Nissan Defects: 7 Problems Owners Should Expect

Nissan Defects: 7 Problems Owners Should Expect

Nissan is among the most popular and affordable carmakers in the world, but popularity doesn’t always equal reliability. In fact, the affordability of Nissan vehicles can come at the cost of reliability and safety. If you own a Nissan, you should keep an eye out for some of the following manufacturing defects discovered across multiple of the brand’s lines.

1. Transmission Failures

The last thing any car owner wants to hear is that their transmission has gone bad. Fixing a faulty transmission is one of the most costly repairs possible. That’s why the issues with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) found in Nissan Altimas, Sentras, Versas, and Versa Notes are so problematic. 

Owners of these vehicles often complain that their CVTs have problems with overheating due to improperly sized transmission coolers. This makes the cars clunky, causes acceleration problems, and can cause them to shudder or jerk forward when in operation. In fact, the problem is so serious that the manufacturer announced on June 12, 2023, that it would be offering extended CVT warranties for certain impacted year models. 

2. Defective Automatic Emergency Braking Systems

Automatic Emergency Braking systems (AEBs) are among modern vehicles’ most valuable safety features. However, owners of 11 different Nissan models have claimed that the AEBs installed in their cars do not work properly. According to drivers, the Continental ARS410 radar sensors installed in their vehicles cause the brakes to activate unexpectedly, even in clear road conditions. The AEB may also turn off without warning, deactivating this critical safety feature.

Nissan’s own documents may support this claim. The manufacturer has issued 11 technical service bulletins regarding AEB systems in its vehicles in the past five years. These bulletins cover vehicles made as recently as 2022, so even nearly brand-new cars could have serious AEB defects.

3. Sunroof Problems

You probably don’t give your vehicle’s sunroof much thought. Unfortunately, Nissan owners have found that their panoramic sunroofs tend to “explode” during normal driving conditions. These explosions happen without any accidents or external causes. The tempered glass appears to be shaped in such a way that hitting a bump in the road can cause it to loudly shatter, raining glass on the vehicle’s occupants. 

Nissan has argued that this only happens in 0.15% of its vehicles. While that number sounds small, it translates to about three exploding sunroofs for every two thousand affected vehicles. With tens of thousands of Nissan cars on the road with these sunroofs, that’s a much larger problem than it seems. If you have a sunroof, you may be at risk. 

4. Fluid Leaks 

Owners have reported both brake fluid and water leaks in recent year models. In May 2023, the manufacturer recalled 2023 year model Leafs due to manufacturing defects that could cause brake tubes to corrode and leak flammable liquid, putting owners at risk of fires. Additionally, a lack of brake fluid can make it more difficult for vehicles to stop quickly, making accidents more likely. 

Additionally, 2022 Sentras were just recalled in June 2023 for faulty seals around the body of the vehicles. These seals are supposed to prevent water from entering the driver’s side frame. The faulty seals could cause electrical systems to corrode and even short out, again putting owners in danger of car fires. 

5. Rust Problems

While rust is not usually grounds for a recall, it’s certainly a problem for car owners. Rust not only damages the value of a vehicle, but it can also seriously impact its safety during an accident. Nissan owners have complained about how easily the manufacturer’s vehicles rust for years. 

Normally, rust doesn’t become a problem until years after a vehicle is purchased. However, with how prone Nissans are to developing rusty frames, owners should keep an eye on even brand-new cars. If your nearly-new Nissan starts to develop telltale signs of rust around the wheel wells or on the undercarriage, it may be a sign of a serious defect.

6. Backup Camera Failures

The backup camera in many Nissans is not always reliable. Several years ago, the manufacturer recalled 1.23 million cars for issues with the camera display software that prevented it from providing complete visibility in many cases. 

Even when the software works, some owners report electrical glitches in more recent year models that make the camera slow to turn on or prevent it from working entirely. This can make it difficult or even impossible to tell what is behind the car when in reverse, potentially causing owners to hit obstacles or people they couldn’t see.

7. Steering Wheels Falling Off

The steering wheel is your primary control over your car during operation. That’s why a recent recall for 2023 Ariyas is so worrying: the manufacturer may have failed to install the steering bolt on some of these cars. As a result, the steering wheel could simply fall off if it is pulled toward the driver. The issue was so concerning that Nissan issued a stop-sale order to prevent more vehicles from being sold until they were checked and the bolt installed.

Help for Nissan Manufacturing Defect and Lemon Claims

While many Nissans are reliable, it only takes one manufacturing defect for your car to become dangerous. If you have a defective Nissan that’s still under warranty, you may be able to file a lemon claim and get your wasted money refunded. The first step toward filing your lemon claim in California is to contact Johnson & Buxton — The Lemon Law Guys. We have spent years working with California car owners to help them get faulty vehicles refunded under state lemon laws. We can help you determine if you have a Nissan lemon claim and work to ensure you get the best possible outcome from your case. Learn more about how we can help by getting in touch with our lemon law firm today.

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