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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,843 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 1 of 4)

problem #77

Oct 142016


  • 72,000 miles


My son was driving down interstate 65 near white house, Tennessee (at night), and the RPM gauge pegged out; but he could not maintain speed. He pulled over to the side of the road and could go no more than 3 or 4 miles an hour and the car was making noises. We had it towed to the dealer where they told us the transmission needed replacement. The car has about 72,000 miles and the warranty expired at 60,000. They said some kind of sensor failed. This was an expensive repair since the entire transmission had to be replaced. It seems really dangerous for a vehicle sensor to disable the vehicle, especially on the interstate. I feel like Nissan should have fixed this problem for us even though it was out of warranty. It is a safety issue and needs to be investigated.

- Old Hickory, TN, USA

problem #76

Aug 202016


  • 63,700 miles
Cvt transmission failed in the middle of the highway just after warranty expired with 63700 miles. This car is dangerious Nissan refused to do anything has car towed to them and called Nissan corperate and they refused to do anything when there cvt problem has not been corected and still failing on the new cars. Car died in the middled of the road I was lucky I was not killed these cars are dangerious !!!

- New Milford, CT, USA

problem #75

Jul 012016


  • miles
Letter from senator markey on behalf of constituent re 2012 Nissan Versa front coil springs recall. The consumer stated the front coil springs had rotted out. Also, the torque seal on the transmission needed to be replaced.

- Webster, MA, USA

problem #74

Feb 142016


  • 73,000 miles


I was in the middle of in intersection, making a left turn, and the car would not move forward. I was able to go in reverse and backed it up into a parking lot

- Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

problem #73

Jun 072016


  • miles
When I was buying this car from mcculskey used I questioned the transmission. Asked that they put this in writing. They refused and stated that it was fine. The transmission at the time was a dead spot where trans did not shift. As time has passed, the transmission has progressively gotten worse until I could not take it. The transmission at 25 mph and 45 mph went in to seizures. Almost like a new driver of a standard shift. Then the power would shut down while driving. I took it to the dealer service. Because they would know better than anyone. How ever they were unable to find anything wrong with my transmission. They were able to fix the power problem. No recalls available. While researching my car I found that 2007-2010 trans have been recalled. I spoke to Nissan company to make a complaint. There was nothing they could do for me. Recently the ps light is coming on. The power stearing is out when the light is on. When you shut the car off and turn it back on the power stearing works until the light returns. The car is now almost not able to drive due to the trans. I only have 84,000 miles on this car. It is only 4 years only. I need someone to help.

- Trenton, OH, USA

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problem #72

Jun 212016


  • 98,500 miles
Shifter is very tight. Will not go into gear unless using two hands to pull the shifter down.

- Fort Hood, TX, USA

problem #71

Apr 112015


  • 25,000 miles


I bought my car brand new with 18 miles on it. At approximately 25K I was doing a fluid check on my vehicle because while driving the car stutter while accelerating. When I popped the hood open I noticed the my coolant reservoir tank was bone dry. I found some coolant in my garage and immediately added it to the reservoir to get it down to the dealership with no issue. The following day I brought it into the dealership and was trying to explain my situation. The service tech looked at the car and kept saying that the tank was full and there was nothing wrong with it even though I explained that I added some to get it there. They finally took my car back and had it for 2 days. When I came down to pick it up that said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. They said they pressure tested the cooling system and found no leeks and told me I was imaging thing as far as the stutter with my tranny. At approximately 32K again I was low (1/4 full) on coolant and the stutter stilled happened intermittingly. Again I took it down to the dealership. They had it for about 2 days and when I got it back they told me the same thing. At approx. 38K the stuttering had gotten worse and there would be times that id press the accelerator and nothing would happen for about 5-10 seconds. I took it back to the dealership for the tranny only this time. And they told me with out the check engine light coming on there was nothing they could do for my car even though it was under warranty. I have almost been in a coupe accidents because the tranny would not respond while pressing the accelerator.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #70

Jun 042016


  • 66,000 miles
June 4, 2016, while driving along 118 E freeway I am seeing that my RPM is going up and down and the car is jerking speed. I merged to 405 S in about 5 mins. I was getting off 405 S freeway from ramp. Then travelling North along haskell ave, my 2012 Nissan Versa just stopped making a rattling noise in transmission. All the cars behind me just stopped. I slowly eased the car to the side of the street. Turned off the engine thinking that I'm done. After sitting for 2 minutes I tried turning it on again because I have to pick up my son waiting at lax flywaway along gloria street. Mysteriously the car started to move forward again. I picked up my son and drove slowly to simi valley ca still with my RPM going up and down at times. We arrived at home in simi valley, ca ok. We stopped using the car for a week until I have it checked by Nissan dealer on June 14, 2016. They said they did not see anything wrong upon testing. I had them service the cvt transmission. I took the car back from the dealer 06/15/2016. On 6/20/2016, while driving to church, we experienced the same problem where the transmission stalled. Same as before, RPM at 0 and we have stop the car and slowly pushed the pedal again and it engaged until we parked at the parking lot. Coming home from church, we have no problem. My wife reported the same problem the day before. It seems that Nissan knows this transmission problem because of several complaints from car owners. See this link:

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #69

Jun 082016


  • 72,000 miles
My car has been acting like it wouldn't shift when I accelerate on a hill. It jerks and the rpms spike up and down but no increase in speed. My mechanic is telling me that this is an accelerator cable issue and that part is over $700. I have done some research and found many 2012 Versas with the exact same issue, some have even stalled while on a highway. Why is Nissan not doing something about this? I tried to pull out at a red light and even though I depressed the gas pedal, my car did not move, the rpms did not change. After a few minutes, I was able to get it off the street into a parking lot. A day later, it did it again.

- Scenery Hill, PA, USA

problem #68

Apr 282016


  • 51,220 miles
I would like to report that I purchased a Nissan Versa on April 5, 2015. The night I drove it home I noticed a few problems: First: The seat belt light stays on unless both front seats are buckled even if the drive is the only person in the vehicle. This is cause for the vehicle to not pass state inspection and the dealership I bought it from is telling me they took the car to two different Nissan dealerships and this is proper function for the Nissan Versa. The mechanic from the inspection station and I each called Nissan dealerships as well and each of the dealerships we spoke with said this is in fact incorrect and needs to be fixed. Second: The car is not accelerating or shifting (atleast that is how I described it). I tried to merge into traffic and RPM's moved way up but the car hesitated to move forward once it started to move I had to put on the brakes because traffic was too close. I drove it to West Virginia with my young sons in tow and it could not keep up with the flow of traffic and continued to get worse the longer we were on the road or on an incline. The speed limit was 70 mph on interstate 70 and it took a long time to get up to speed. When there was an incline (we were in the mountains) the RPM's would go up to 4,000- 4,500 but the car would stay at 60 mph and lose speed. The dealership called me and was very condescending letting me know they could find no problems with the car. They will not even fix the seat belt warning light even though I can not get my hard tags for the car.

- Earleville,, MD, USA

problem #67

Mar 182016


  • 108,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. After driving approximately 8 mph, the vehicle would not operate forward. The contact stated that the reverse functioned properly. The contact was able to reverse in a parking structure. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the vehicle needed a new transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 108,000.

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #66

Mar 122016


  • 57,200 miles
I was driving and while the vehicle was in motion I inadvertently bumped into my gear shifter handle and my car shifted into reverse without the break being depressed or applied. I almost had an car crash/accident with the person directly behind me. In March of 2016 I contacted Nissan North America, Inc. About this issue but they are not acknowledging that this is a safety defect. My car has aprroxametly 57,470 miles as of 03/30/2016 and Nissan North America is refusing to repair this dangerous defect free of charge because my vehicle was not on any Nissan or nhsta campaign recall lists. The referenced nhsta campaign recall id number associated with my vehicle issue is id: 12V032000 voluntary safety recall campaign 2012 Versa sedan shift selector campaign id: PM253 applied vehicles 2012 Versa(N17) applied transmission cvt

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #65

Mar 212016


  • 57,600 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact stated that the gear shifter was able to be moved without having the brake depressed. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the gear shifter was able to be moved without the brake being applied. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 12V032000 (power train); however, the VIN was not inlcuded. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 57,600.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #64

Sep 102015


  • 65,000 miles
Our Versa will not accelerate, at random intervals, when we are stopped at a stop light. When I called Nissan mortor company North America, they ackowledged that they were aware that one or more parts used in the cvt transmission were known to be defective. Yet, they would not replace, repair, or even assist with repairing our Versa. I am afraid that we may one day be hit from behind as we attempt to accelerate from a stop light. This actually almost occurred on two separate occasions.

- Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #63

Mar 092016


  • 62,000 miles
Hesitation going up any incline. Just started when it hit 60000. Warranty only for 50000. Looks like Nissan built it to just get by then over 50000 you are out big time. My big issue is I had to trade car with my daughter who drove this. Almost had 2 accidents in a week because of heavy traffic. Stay away from this for safety issues. Accident waiting to happen.

- Goode, VA, USA

problem #62

Feb 112016


  • 70 miles
The car has a cvt transmission. Transmission slips and over heats. Took it to 3 transmission shops all 3 say it unrepairable.was also to cvt transmission will be discontinued and they all in time will over heat and cheaply made and a transmission should not go out but a cvt is a defect and can cause an accident and should be recalled and no errors was caused by me and cvt transmission is no good have contact nessin and they refuse to replace. There are many complaints on the cvt transmission on-line

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #61

Feb 192016


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. The contact stated that while driving at 50 mph, the transmission hesitated between shifting and the engine rpms revved. The transmission would shift gears violently causing the vehicle to jerk. The contact mentioned that the failure was getting progressively worst. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 68,000.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #60

Feb 242016


  • 46,000 miles
Driving on I-5 North of san diego and car will no longer accelerate, RPM going into red but no acceleration. Car slowed to 40's then 30's then stopped altogether. Had to be towed. Clearly a common issue with this model. I gave this car to my daughter because I thought it was safe and reliable.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #59

Jan 302016


  • 73,393 miles
While accelerating from a stop at an intersection the vehicles would not move. You press the pedal and it does not throttle up or move at all leaving us exposed to traffic. After the car sat for 1 hour we were able to drive it but then the RPM began to fluctuate between 2000 and 4000 RPM and you could feel the vehicle speed up and slow down without any movement of the throttle. This occurred multiple times so we took it to a shop. The diagnosed this as a bad transmission which they stated was common on for this type of cvt transmission. I reviewed the transmission and complaints associated with the Nissan cvt built by jatco and quality issues exist. Nissan extended the warranties on the 2010 models when the 2012 through 2015 models are having the same issues and failures potentially leaving you stranded or worse in the middle of an intersection about to get whacked by a semi. Nissan refused to anything about this issue stating that there is no issue. The only problem with that logic is Mr. Ghosn, CEO nna, state in December 2013 that jatco had significant issues with their quality of product. A product that can leave you or your children in a bad way trying to navigate traffic. So my point to all of this, Nissan is well aware of the issues with their cvt transmission but refuse to make it right

- Lambertville, MI, USA

problem #58

Feb 072016


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Versa. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle hesitated when attempting to accelerate. The contact made three attempts to accelerate, but was unsuccessful. The vehicle stalled and was towed to a certified mechanic who stated that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The dealer stated that the vehicle was no longer covered under the warranty. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact to take the vehicle to the dealer. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer who confirmed the transmission failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Stradford, CT, USA

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