California Lemon Law News + Info

Nissan Engine Failure, Complaints of Metal Chunks Prompt Investigation

Engine failure, power loss, and metal chunks in the oil pan have prompted a defect investigation into certain recent model year Nissan Rogue, Nissan Altima and Infiniti QX50 vehicles.

Specifically, initial research found 2021–2023 Nissan Rogue, 2019–2021 Nissan Altima, and 2019–2021 Infiniti QX50 vehicles to be experiencing these problems. The fault seems to lie in two specific engines: the KR15DDT and the KR20DDET. These engines, part of the Nissan KR engine family, have variable compression ratios that allow for high power output and high fuel efficiency at the same time.

The KR15DDT is a 3-cylinder, 1.5 liter engine found in the Nissan Rogue. The KR20DDET is a 4-cylinder, 2-liter engine found in the Nissan Altima, Infiniti QX50 and Infiniti QX55. However, the Infiniti QX55 is not currently under investigation (subject populations of these investigations can change according to need). Currently, an estimated 454,840 vehicles are subject to this engine failure investigation.

The Office of Defects Investigation, an arm of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, launched a preliminary evaluation after an analysis into data from vehicle owner questionnaires and frequency reports. The ODI learned from six questionnaires and multiple reports that Nissan and Infiniti vehicles with these KR engines allegedly experience engine failure, loss of motive power, engine knocking or noises, and/or metal chunks and shavings found in the oil pan. Often, these KR15DDT and KR20DDET engines experience failure with no ability to restart.

According to an ODI Resume made available on NHTSA’s website, the ODI also learned through discussions with Nissan that the automaker has attempted to address main bearing and L-link damage and seizures on the engines by making multiple changes to manufacturing processes over time.

The preliminary evaluation will assess the scope, frequency and consequences of these Nissan KR engine failures. Should the need arise, the ODI may include more Nissan and Infiniti vehicles into its investigation.

The preliminary evaluation is usually the first step in a larger NHTSA investigation into a suspected vehicle defect. Depending on the outcome of the preliminary evaluation, the investigation may either close or lead to an engineering analysis, the results of which may determine if affected vehicles are recalled ultimately.

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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