California Lemon Law News + Info

Nissan Pathfinder Problems: Top 5 Issues Explained

If your Nissan Pathfinder has recurring problems that won’t go away, it may be considered a lemon.

Under the California Lemon Law, a lemon is a vehicle with recurring problems that will not go away, despite a reasonable number of repair attempts by authorized repair facilities. These problems must negatively impact the use, safety or value of your vehicle.

Many owners and lessees of Nissan Pathfinder vehicles report problems that do just that. Learn more about common problems that 2015–2020 Nissan Pathfinder owners and lessees report in their vehicles. If one of these problems repeatedly appear in your Nissan Pathfinder, you may need to talk to a lemon law attorney about your case.

1. Transmission Problems

Many Nissan Pathfinder drivers have reported that the continuously variable transmission (CVT) has made their SUVs shake, jerk and stop at random.

A class action lawsuit against Nissan alleges that vehicles such as 2015—2018 Nissan Pathfinder experience sudden stops, random shaking, violent jerking while accelerating, stalling and transmission failure. Though the CVT lawsuit for 2015—2018 Nissan Pathfinders has since reached settlement, Nissan still installs the CVT transmission in 2019 and newer Nissan Pathfinder SUVs.

An owner of a 2019 Nissan Pathfinder submitted this complaint about its transmission:

Vehicle was perfectly fine, but then begin to stall out on 3/1 in motion on the street, while turning, & backing up. Then on 3/18 when attempting to back up the car, it completely stopped. The car is at the shop now with reported transmission issues.

Other Nissan Pathfinder drivers reported that their SUVs experience late downshifting, don’t shift properly, slip out of Park, accelerate suddenly or fail to accelerate. According to, transmission problems are the worst issue found in Nissan Pathfinder SUVs.

2. Brake Problems

Nissan Pathfinder SUVs have been reported to stop at random. According to a class action lawsuit, these random stops are caused by a defect in the Automatic Emergency Braking systems.

The AEB system uses radar sensors to detect if something is in front of the vehicle that could possibly cause a crash. If something (like another car or a pedestrian) is detected, the AEB system is supposed to hit the brakes to prevent a crash. However, the lawsuit claims that the systems are prone to false alarms.

When this happens, Nissan’s AEB system will detect an object that isn’t there, or sometimes hit the brakes despite no obstacle being present.

An owner of a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder submitted this complaint about its AEB system:

My emergency braking keeps sending me alerts when there is nothing in front of me. I’m getting messages that the system is disabled because of an obstruction. This happens a lot of times when it’s raining out. I have open a complaint with Nissan. The dealer tells me rain can affect the system. When the weather is bad is when you need the system the most.

Outside of the class action suit, some drivers have reported other brake problems. For example, the brake lights may malfunction, staying on even while the vehicle is in motion. Some drivers have reported premature wear of brake pads, locked up brakes, brake fluid leaks and brake failure in their Nissan Pathfinders.

A 2017 Nissan Pathfinder owner submitted this report found on

I purchased my 2017 Nissan Pathfinder and have already had to replace my rear brakes and all of my tires. I didn’t even have 25,000 miles and was told it was due to normal wear and tear. I’ve had numerous vehicles and never had to replace brakes or tires with such low mileage. Obviously, there is something wrong because I am seeing the same complaint for other owners. The tires were replaced in Sept 2019 with less than 24K miles and I held off repairing the brakes until March 2019. Either way a brand new vehicle with that mileage should not have to have those repairs.

3. Engine Problems

Is your Check Engine Light on? That’s just one of several signs that your Nissan Pathfinder’s engine may be faulty.

Other commonly reported Nissan Pathfinder engine problems include loud rattling noises, stalling, knocking noise from the engine, hesitation or failure to accelerate, and engine shutdowns. According to many complaints found on, engine noises could be attributed to faulty radiator fans, as seen below:

2016 Nissan Pathfinder

Our Nissan Pathfinder 2016 was suddenly making loud noise, which was coming from the front (engine area). The dealer diagnosed that replacement of fan shroud is necessary and that’s expensive. We send car for regular maintenance, what else we can do!! The miles on my car is above 50000 and that’s when I came across this problem. I have never had this kind of problem in any of my cars so far. This is something to do from the manufacturing side.

2017 Nissan Pathfinder

The radiator fan is failing at 62k miles. Researching online it was found that this is a common occurrence for 2017 Nissan Pathfinders between 20k and 80k miles. Fan failure could lead to overheating and eventually fire. Vehicle was taken into the dealership for a knocking/rattling noise coming from under the hood. There were no check engine lights or warning lamps to indicate an issue. The dealership has to order a complete new assembly and motor, which is an extensive repair as well.

4. Electrical Problems

Functional electrical systems are vital to the use of your Nissan Pathfinder. If any part of these systems goes haywire, it can make for frightening malfunctions in your vehicle.

Nissan Pathfinder drivers have reported starting issues, such as starter relay failure, and other electrical problems such as faulty alternator, nonfunctioning cruise control and the corrosion of batteries in the vehicles. Some Nissan Pathfinders have shut down while driving due to electrical problems.

If electrical problems repeatedly appear in your vehicle despite multiple dealership visits, it may be considered a lemon.

5. Safety System Problems

If your Airbag Warning Light illuminates on your dashboard, you may need to check your safety systems.

Your seat belts and airbags are supposed to protect you in a car crash. Faults in these systems will compromise your safety. Drivers of Nissan Pathfinders have reported malfunctions in the seat belt indicator lights and the seat belt latches, the last of which may unlatch during a crash. Some Nissan Pathfinders have reported that the front passenger airbag appeared to be shut off, even when someone sat in the front passenger seat.

If any of these problems repeatedly occur and won’t go away, it may be time to consult a lemon law attorney about your situation.

Contact a California Lemon Law Attorney

If problems persist in your Nissan Pathfinder despite multiple repair attempts, your vehicle may be a lemon.

Owners and lessees of “lemons” or defective vehicles are entitled to cash compensation, a vehicle replacement or a lemon law buyback. Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group has helped thousands of lemon owners and lessees obtain these rewards under the California lemon law.

Don’t go through the lemon law process alone. Our experienced Nissan lemon law attorneys can provide legal representation at no up-front cost to you. If you want to learn more about the California Lemon Law or have specific questions about your case, fill out our contact form or call us for a free consultation at 877-217-7676.

Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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