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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,363 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Nissan Versa drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Nissan Versa Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Dec 022013

Versa 4-cyl

  • 81,400 miles


Nissan Versa 2012. This is my second cvt transmission replacement. I received the first transmission replacement in December 2013 and it has broken again in May 2014. The vehicle got stuck in gear and would not shift. It accelerated and decelerated without my foot on the gas pedal. The vehicle made front end noises and pops like it was going to fall apart. It's very unsafe to drive. The airbag and check engine lights came on. I took my car to the dealer and got the run around. Don' T know what caused the problems and need more time to run test. The second transmission is under warranty and the dealer gave me every excuse to not fix my car. I was told, by the dealer, after seven days of waiting on repairs, that they (dealer) were waiting for a response from Nissan headquarters to run test. Fix my vehicle and run all the test you want but not at my sacrifice. The dealer said that they could not help me with a rental until Nissan gave the dealer an answer as far as what test to run and if to repair the vehicle, which is under warranty. The dealer just said, sorry but we can't do anything. It wasn't until nine days later that the dealer gave me a rental car, only, after my dad lit the fire. I was inconvenienced getting off work, very late hours, with no transportation. I informed the dealer about my late night dangerous experiences. It should not take, let's see, I'm on day twelve as of this complaint to fix a warranty problem. These cvt transmissions have been a long, ongoing problem with Nissan. This is a nightmare for all Nissan owners and Nissan should be held accountable for knowing about these issues and ignoring their issues. Nissan puts the blame on the car owners so that they can pay. This is wrong. Very disappointed in a reputable company. No longer reputable for me.

- Unknown, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 212014

Versa 4-cyl

  • 34,167 miles
This is a followup to NHTSA id number: 10565392: The morning of March 21, 2014, my dad died. I found out at about noon, went home to make plane reservations and pack, then drove to the nearest airport, about an hour and a half away, mostly interstate. Less than an hour in, I started having trouble, so I stopped to eat lunch and let the cvt cool. Shortly after I started out again, one exit before the airport exit, the car suddenly dropped to 40mph -- in a 70mph zone -- and kept losing power. I had barely enough power to get off the freeway and coast into a gas station. I had it towed to a Nissan dealer, rented a car, rescheduled my flight for the next day, and booked a room in a hotel. I was gone for over a week. It took a whole week for the dealer just to get permission to replace the cvt after the mechanic "pulled cvt oil pan and found excessive metal shavings in pan and inside transmission", so I had to rent another car to get home and to work the next few days. The invoice only said "all Nissan genuine parts carry a 12 month/12,000 mile warranty", so I asked if that was the case for the cvt as well. The response was so outrageous, I asked for it in writing. I was told that, if I had bought an SUV, the cvt would be warrantied for 120,000 miles, but as I owned a Versa, it was only warrantied for 20.5 months or 60,000 miles, whichever came first. I had only had the car for about 1.5 years before the original cvt started to go. It died at 2 years 4 months and 34,167 miles, which means this cvt is warrantied to last less time and mileage than the original. It also means the car is intended to last less than the 5 years it will have taken to pay off the loan.

- Belton, TX, USA

problem #13

Jan 022014

Versa 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
January 2nd I was asked to jumpstart a vehicle in my driveway. Approximately 5 minutes later my Nissan Versa, with less than 33000 miles, caught on fire. The cables were hooked up correctly. Prior to this incident and at least three times, I had complained of a burning smell after highway driving. I was told by my insurance company, I should bring it to a Nissan dealer where a licensed Nissan mechanic could determine the cause of the fire. When the dealer neglected to do so, Nissan North America was called in to do an inspection. They completed their inspection and would not cover the expense or release the report to me or the Nissan dealer. They opted to keep the information undercover. I believe it is related to the recall on the shifter recall. This may have caused the torque converter to leak and the engine to catch on fire.

- Epsom, NH, USA

problem #12

Mar 122014


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact stated that the vehicle would hesitate when shifting. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was advised that the accelerator pedal was the cause of failure. There were unknown repairs made to the vehicle however, the failure persisted. The dealer then replaced the transmission but also to no avail. The vehicle was then taken to an independent mechanic, who referred the contact to the manufacturer to inquire of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V032000 (power train) however, the vehicle was not included in the recall. The manufacturer declined to provide any further assistance to the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Americus, GA, USA

problem #11

Feb 212014

Versa 4-cyl

  • 32,800 miles
I was driving 75 mph (the speed limit) on as flat stretch of TX190 when the vehicle suddenly lost power. I was only able to keep it at 60mph by pressing the accelerator to the floor. I was only able to resume normal driving speed by taking my foot off the accelerator and then pressing it to the floor again. I've owned this car for 2 years and have had problems with this car for the last 8 months. It started with a hesitation and squeal when I lightly touched the accelerator to adjust my speed at freeway speeds. Two months ago it started hesitate-surge behavior, like it was searching for the right gear, at freeway speed limits or when accelerating to freeway or city speed limits. Sometimes it's so strong I'm afraid I'm going to lose control of the vehicle. From what I've read online, Nissan has had problems with its cvt for years, yet I've been unable to get 3 Nissan dealers in 3 different towns to service this problem. One said they couldn't reproduce the problem. The other two wouldn't even give me an appointment. They basically said this is just how this transmission works, live with it. I have this incident and others on dashcam footage.

- Belton, TX, USA

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problem #10

Dec 142013


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact was driving approximately 68 mph when the vehicle suddenly began to erroneously accelerate and decelerate before stalling. The vehicle was diagnosed at the dealer but no repairs were performed. The contact was informed by the dealer that the cvt internal clutch was damaged. The manufacturer was notified but no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Spring Valley , CA, USA

problem #9

Feb 072013


  • 12,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle stalled as the check engine warning light illuminated. The contact mentioned that the failure recurred on two occasions. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was repaired twice but the failure recurred after each repair. The approximate failure mileage was 12,000 and the current mileage was 19,000.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #8

Jul 182013

Versa 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
I put my car into reverse and was unable to depress the brake pedal and had to put the car in park to get it to stop while nearly hitting another vehicle. The low lights also have to available settings but one doesn't work so it stays the same no matter which one you put it on. Also why would I have an oil leak at 35,000 miles. My whole transmission apparently needed to be changed due to a broken or missing cap.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #7

Sep 232012


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact stated that while the vehicle was parked in a residential driveway, the vehicle shifted out of park and into reverse independently. As a result, the vehicle rolled away in reverse and crashed into a tree. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection, but they could not diagnose the cause of the failure. The vehicle was repaired for the body damages but not the shifting failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the incident. The failure mileage was 2,000.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #6

Aug 252011


  • 1 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact stated that the vehicle RPM idles high but the vehicle hesitated when the accelerator pedal was engaged. The contact mentioned that the brakes made a grinding noise when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times who was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 1 and the current mileage was 14,000.

- Denver , CO, USA

problem #5

Jul 162012

Versa 4-cyl

  • 8,555 miles


(1) the car was parked, turned on engine, and attempted to go in reverse to pull out of parking lot; however, the engine just revs. The gear shifts but when in reverse nothing happens. Had to put in neutral and physically push the car to move it. (2) driving on the freeway the engine speeds up and slows down. ****this was an enterprise rental, will be returning to the company today, and have already notified them of the issue.. 844 w. san marcos blvd. #112, san marcos California. Phone (760) 591-4120.****

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 062012


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked when it rolled backwards and crashed into a wall and another vehicle. There were no injuries. The vehicle was not destroyed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection, but the failure was unknown. The manufacturer was notified and they took a report. The contact was also given a case number. The failure mileage was 3,000.

- Lebanon, CT, USA

problem #3

Apr 022012


  • miles
2012 Nissan Versa. Consumer writes in regards to several issues with vehicle and quality the consumer stated the defroster was a major concern. In order to turn on the defroster, he must turn the knob to defrost, but also slide the horizontal switch underneath the dash to defrost as well. Then, he had to turn the driver and passenger side vents toward the glass, all while operating the vehicle. The defroster worked fair at best. It only eliminated about half the fog on the front windshield and none on the rear windshield and side windows. Half the time, when the consumer attempted to turn off the vehicle, the key did not want to come out of the ignition. He would have to jiggle the key and the shift knob to get the key out. The auto door locks did not unlock when he put the vehicle in park. The vehicle had to be turned off in order for the auto doors to unlock. Also, the transmission would emit a loud bang, when the consumer put the vehicle in reverse.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #2

Dec 092011


  • 1,037 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact stated the gear was not locking in park tight enough; therefore, it began to shift into other gears whether the key was is in the ignition or not. The key also could not be removed from the ignition when the engine was turned off or on. The vehicle was taken to the dealer previously for twenty days where they inspected the failure and replaced the shift assembly; however, the failure continued to occur. The manufacturer was notified and the contact requested they buy the vehicle back but the manufacturer refused and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 1,037 and the current mileage was 1, 217.

- Brentwood, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 192011


  • 78 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact was driving approximately 10 mph approaching a traffic signal with the brake engaged, the vehicle jerked with force in reverse for a few seconds. The brake pedal was applied repeatedly before coming to a stop. The identical failure occurred twice. Currently, the vehicle was being diagnosed at an authorized dealer and the data recorder would be used to determine the cause of failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 78.

- Glendale, NY, USA

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