Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
64,569 miles
Total Complaints:
35 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. new transmission (20 reports)
  2. replaced transmission with remanufactured transmission (8 reports)
  3. not sure (7 reports)
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2012 Nissan Versa transmission problems

transmission problem

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2012 Nissan Versa Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Dec 022015

Versa SV

  • CVT transmission
  • 66,476 miles


we bought the car in October and was told that there was a 'new transmission' that had been installed the prior year, in 2014. We didn't realize it was a refurbished transmission. However, the car was only 2 years old when the transmission failed the first time. The second time it was a few months past the 12 month warrant on the 2d transmission, so it wasn't under the warranty. Transmissions should not be failing this quickly in a car that was, at the time, only 3 years old. It is a manufacturer's defect and someone should do a class action lawsuit!

- , ventura, CA, USA

problem #34

Apr 242015

Versa SV 1.6L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

We started to notice some problems with the transmission in our 2012 Nissan Versa shortly after we bought the Versa with 19k miles on it already. A year after owning it the problems got worse. The engine kicked when you go from coasting or a stop and press down on the accelerator. It started happening more and more often and since my wife and I both used the car for commuting we were both noticing it quite a bit.

Eventually after noticing the kicking we started noticing other symptoms. The engine would stay in low gear while accelerating on an on ramp onto the highway or after accelerating through an intersection after a green light. While on the highway sometimes it would switch down to a lower gear while coasting and we couldn't get to kick back up, which would cause the tachometer to go crazy and the engine would whine. Finally on a trip from Portland to Vancouver, WA and back we had enough when the engine wouldn't shift past the lower gears (automatic) and we were forced to make the entire trip under 50 mph with the engine whining the whole way.

When we took it into the dealership they were very good about identifying that the issue was with the transmission (even though we had taken it in a couple months prior and they said there was nothing wrong). They replaced the transmission at no cost to us including labor, they also identified a problem with one of the bearings and replaced that as well. Overall our experience with the dealership was great, they fixed both problems expeditiously and at no cost to us, with a rental car provided during the repairs. Personally I don't feel like a transmission should be failing with less than 40k miles on it, but since they replaced it for free I didn't raise too much of a stink.

This all happened almost exactly a year ago, but recently (within the last two months) we've started noticing the same kicking and the initial problems we were having are cropping up. We've taken it in twice and both times the dealership has said there's nothing wrong (and after the second visit the stabilization (slip) light continues to come on and stay on randomly on the dashboard). My fear is they are going to wait until we get past the 60k basic warranty before they "identify" another issue with the transmission so we will have to pay out of warranty for the fix.

At this point it's a race against the clock to see if the transmission will fail again before we get through the next 10k miles since we're currently at 49k miles edging every closer to 50k. I would never buy another Versa because of the transmission issues we've had with this one and from the fact that we're not alone. Our other vehicle is a 2011 Nissan Leaf and that car has been perfect since we bought it, so it's not Nissans in general that I'm unhappy with, it's just the Versa.

- , Aloha, OR, USA

problem #33

Mar 182016

Versa SL V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 108,000 miles

I drive all over S. Calif. to patients homes. I need a dependable car. Bought 2012 Nissan Versa in 2014 with 30,000 miles on it. 2016-108,000 miles. 8,000 miles outside of warranty, car refuses to move forward. It is against the law to drive a car in reverse but that is the only way the car will move. It will cost $4,500 to replace with no guarantee it will go much further before that one refuses to move forward. I still owe a great amount.

Nissan would not even do a "goodwill gesture" to replace it. I had taken the car back to the dealer several times after purchase complaining about "jerking" up the street instead of the smooth transition that I was told CVT's provide. They kept saying, "All is fine. No problems. We can't find anything wrong." Well guess what Nissan-you don't have to pay for it & be without a car.

I hope you all sleep in peace with dreams of Nissan CVT breaking down on you throughout the night in your corrupt dreams. All you care about is $$$. Along with all others, I would never recommend a Nissan car of any kind. You can keep your piece of junk metal and downshift into the belly of your consciousness if you can find peace. I also had to take the car back, after it had been certified-pre-owned, to have the brakes replaced. A few weeks later, the Master Cylinder had to be replaced in 2014 and just a few months ago, the Master Cylinder had to be, once again, replaced.

One Nissan dealer did a poor job of replacing in 2014 that another dealer could not tell if it was a new issue or the remains of the prior job done poorly by the prior dealer. Great job, Nissan. Just before 100,000 mile, the Fuel Injection system had to be replaced. Thankfully under warranty. Another, Great job, Nissan. Keep up the poor work and hopefully you will meet up with a CVT on your way to work. I ended up buying a Toyota Prius Hybrid. WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN Nissan Versa.

- , San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #32

Apr 192016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles


My check engine light came on.... The code came up as a transmission pressure issue.... Brought it into the dealership I bought it from and found out that the transmission needs to be replaced! The car only has 63,000 miles (3,000 miles after my extended warranty expired)!!! Gave me a quote of over $3500 to repair! This car is a total piece of crap! Do not buy one! Everything about it is cheap and the safety ratings are terrible. Now just fighting with the warranty company. Hoping they honor the lifetime powertrain warranty. Don't buy this car! Spend a little more and get a Toyota or a Honda! I will never buy a Nissan again after reading how many other people have had this same issue. Hopefully there will be a class action lawsuit for this faulty transmission.

- , Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #31

Feb 242016

Versa SV

  • CVT transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I am a college student paying for my own school, car, etc... I saved up literally my entire life and a year and a half ago I bought a 2012 Nissan Versa used. Up until a little over a month ago, it's been great! I had no issues and I even convinced my sister to buy a 2013 Versa.

A little over a month ago, it started stalling and would rev up randomly while I was driving down the highway or would refuse to go after I had stopped at an intersection. Finally, I took it into a local shop I use and it stopped in the middle of an intersection and wouldn't restart at all. It had to be pushed the rest of the way to the shop.

They said that the transmission had completely failed and this was a problem they see a lot with Nissans because of recalls that have been put out on CVT transmissions. I had never been notified of any recalls or any problems with this car. We had it towed to the Nissan dealership and when I first got it there, the dealership said it should be completely covered because there was a recall. Now, a MONTH later, I am still without a car.

The first two weeks it was at the dealership, they didn't even have it tagged in their system; nobody had even looked at it. Then the dealership says it's going to cost around $5,000 to fix because I need a completely new transmission and it's 2,000 miles out of warranty. So, we take this up with Nissan's consumer affairs and after complaining for a while they agree to pay for the parts but are still making me pay over $1,000 for labor, which would cost $600 anywhere else. $1,000 is the equivalent of 2 months of school payments for me! And they are refusing to say that the recalls, both on the CVT software and the shifter, had anything to do with the transmission failing!

I am so amazed and I don't know what else to do. I've had the case reopened twice with Nissan's consumer affairs and they won't budge. I can't afford to pay this much money but I've been without a car for over a month now and am losing hope. If anyone knows an attorney to call or anyway to fix this, please let me know!

- , Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #30

Mar 032016

Versa SV V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I bought my car about 3 years ago used. I have almost $9000 left to pay on this car. I am driving to get my girls from school and the car shutters and shuts off. I am in the middle of the road and almost get hit by a large SUV. I restart the car to find out it won't work in drive but will work in reverse. I have to drive in reverse through the neighborhood back to my house.

After lots of calls I find out that this problem could have been caused by the CVT program recall. That if you don't get it fixed soon enough it can cause the mechanism to go bad but Nissan wont fix it. Then I read all the transmission problems other people have had are just like mine. I will never own another Nissan again. This is a safety issue and Nissan needs to have a recall on all their cars.

- , Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #29

Feb 142016

Versa Sedan 1.6sv

  • CVT transmission
  • 73,000 miles


the last week has been hell on earth. I learned of a recall notice that went out in August 2015-concerning the CVT. The dealership is claiming, the recall has nothing to do with the failure. I owe 9550 on the car, the price to fix is 3700. I am renting a car right now costing me more. I was at a red light, when I entered the intersection to turn left I got to the middle of the road and the car did not go anymore. lucky it was 8am on a sunday morning, no one was around. I was able to put in reverse to back it in a parking lot. I am 61 year old woman, with no resources. I have talked to Nissan consumer affairs and they ruled against me. I am really speechless at this point. weak from fighting with them. please no one buy a NISSAN! if nyone has any suggestions please feel free to answer me

- , Hillsborough, NJ, USA

problem #28

Feb 082016

Versa SV 4, 1.6L

  • CVT transmission
  • 104,598 miles

OMG!!!! I purchased this car 4 years ago, it's not paid off... it died on my way to work with my 2.5 year old in the car!!!! We could have been killed... the engine was revving like it wanted to go... AND NOTHING! and what did Nissan have to say... NOTHING! How can I start a class action lawsuit? CLEARLY there are issues with the versa transmission!

- , Ostrander, OH, USA

problem #27

Dec 182015

Versa SV 1.6L I4

  • CVT transmission
  • 67,000 miles

12/18/2015 Driving on I-380 to US 101 during traffic hours, the car is at normal operating temperature. During traffic hours of course I have to switch between gas and brake. When the car was going uphill, I step on the gas pedal wouldn't respond and the RPM doesn't go up either. I pulled over and check if it is the gas pedal wire problem but no. Then, I tried put in other gear only Park and N the gas pedal will respond (have RPM). Previously, the car already feel jerky and slow shift during shifts.

The dashboard doesn't have any check lights.

Went to an Auto Shop nearby my house, shop owner said I need new transmission is about 2-3k dollars.

- , Hayward, CA, USA

problem #26

Jan 042016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,900 miles

When driving my car, it was giving me issues. It would keep bucking, and wouldn't drive over 60mph on the highway. If I was at a stoplight and it turned green, I would try to move. The RPM's would go high, the engine would rev, but the car wouldn't move right away. When it finally did move it would buck a lot and took a while to move. Because my warranty had expired, I called Nissan USA directly and they told me to bring to dealer to have them diagnose the issue and give an estimate. (Mind you just for them to look at it and diagnose it, it cost $129) They told me the transmission had to be replaced because of internal failure and it would cost $3200. I called Nissan USA back and gave them the info. They said a regional service rep would call me tomorrow to discuss. Justin, the regional service rep, just called me and told me they can't help me because my car is "so far over" my warranty. My warranty ended at 60,000 and my car only had 69,000 miles on it!!!! He said his decision was final and there's no one else I could talk to because he's the regional guy and he makes the decisions... SUCH BS!!!

- , Derry, NH, USA

problem #25

Mar 032015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


At 54K miles our 2012 Versa had catastrophic transmission failure. At the time it was covered under the manufacturers warranty, and it was fixed because of a recall on it. After another 50K miles, we had another transmission failure. This time not under warranty, so we had a transmission replaced at our own expense. The transmission was bought from a Nissan dealership and put it by a certified mechanic. The car never drove 5 miles before that transmission failed. The Nissan dealership where the transmission was bought took it back and replaced it themselves with a dealer warranty. WE drove it for three months before the final transmission failure occurred. It has 120k miles on the car and we have only driven it three months since March of 2015. The Nissan dealership has told us that the transmission has failed yet again and it is not under warranty. The car is worth nothing at this point in time. THIS IS LEMON!!!!!!

- , MOnteagle, USA

problem #24

Nov 302015

Versa Limited

  • CVT transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Took my Fully Functional Versa in for the Trim Recall, had CVT reprogramming recall done also. Next day going to work (100 miles), the engine RPMs would bounce between 2,000 to 4,000. Took back to dealer. Service dept. said car was fine and since they reprogrammed the CVT computer, it had to relearn its shift points and adapt to my driving style. Since I bought it used, I did not get to experience this first. Drove car to work next day with same issue. Almost to work, at first stop light, pushed gas pedal to go and car hesitated. Engine RPMs would not increase. Car drifted forward, then RPMs went to 4500 and car accelerated. Only did this the one time. On way home, I made a stop in Annapolis and car would do this at every light. Called Dover service dept. and they said call local Nissan dealer. Told local service dept what was going on and about what Dover service dept told me. They said that is not how the CVT system works. Got car to Annapolis dealer they told me, without looking at car, that I needed a transmission change. Called Dover service dept and was told, "look Nissan knows there is a problem with those transmissions, but I can't expect them to change everyone's transmission." Left car at relative's house in Annapolis for a week. On weekend was able to drive it home with no issues other than bouncing RPM. Let son drive car in Dover for about a week with no issues so decided to try again to take it to work. Same problem! Car would drive fine until getting to Washington then pause at every stop. Took back to Dover service dept. Told to call Nissan. Reply was that transmission has an internal failure and needs replaced. Can drive car around Delaware where it is flat, but long distance and with hills, car is a mess. Dover service dept gave me a copy of the recall bulletin. It says pressures were increased to help with belt movement. My codes say pressure solenoid failure. Sounds to me like the program update caused my problem. Planning next option.

- , Wyoming, DE, USA

problem #23

Nov 032015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,450 miles

I started noticing the car jerk a little and it would stop. So I thought nothing of it until I was driving and the car lost all ability to accelerate. Of I course I had my family in the car at the time and thank God I was not on a busy road at the time. However my wife took it out and it was driving fine she went to the doctor and on her way home the car completely stopped on a busy intersection which almost resulted in an accident. I spoke with Nissan who stated "because the car was significantly out of the Powertrain mileage they could not do anything. Now kind you the Powertrain warranty ended at 60k the car has 68k on it now. You tell me if that doesn't seem fishy.

- , Pickerington, OH, USA

problem #22

Oct 012015

Versa S Sedan 4 Door 4 C, 1.6L

  • CVT transmission
  • 70,400 miles

I bought a 2012 Nissan Versa in 2012 brand new. I bought this car because of Nissans reliability and the car got great gas mileage. I had regular maintenance and service, but not at the dealership. In late September 2015 when the car had about 70,000 miles on it it started randomly jerking when driving. I took it in to the dealership and they told me the transmission had went out and it would cost me $3,500 for a new transmission with a 1 year warranty. The Versa has a CVT transmission and they said the fluid should have been changed at 60,000 miles and probably got to hot and broke down. The warranty was for 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Here are my issues: I was never told when I purchased the car that the CVT transmission fluid needs changed every 60,000 miles. I was told after the transmission was ruined that it should be. I had the car in the dealership at 63,000 for a recall and no one mentioned it. I have driven for 25 years and never had to change transmission fluid in prior vehicles.

The car never had any kind of warning light to let me know there was a problem and I took it in almost immediately after this started happening.

I found out that the CVT transmission is a known issues and in 2010 they were covered by a 6 year 120,000 miles warranty meaning someone who has a car 2 years older than mine still has a warranty.

I drove this care every mile myself and I drove it like a 90 year old man.

In the end I had to spend $4,004 on a new transmission on a 3 year old car. I made 2 cases to Nissan and a regional manager called me and said there is nothing Nissan can do.

To me there is no logical explanation why the transmission went out, why there is no system that would let me know there is a problem before it is ruined, and why I was never informed that the fluid should be changed.

- , Topeka, KS, USA

problem #21

Apr 162014

Versa SV 1.6L 109 Hp I4

  • CVT transmission
  • 12,000 miles

I bought this 2012 Nissan Versa on October 31, 2012, after my 2005 Toyota Camry was destroyed by the floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy. The dealer was packed - people trying to get a new set of wheels after their cars were, to, destroyed by the Hurricane. You could here snippets of conversation left and right - " $289 a month? I'll take it! " , " Do you have any Rouges left ? ", " $20,000? Do you have anything cheaper? ". Once I was set up with the salesperson, I told him " Give me the most inexpensive car you have ". A few hours later, I drove away in a brand new $15,000 Versa. I wanted this car to last me a long time. But, just in case, I was saving up to buy a new car if anything happened to this one.

About 1 1/2 years later, I am in the breakdown lane of a highway on my way home from work, waiting for a tow truck to tow my car to the mechanic. I kept checking the mileage again and again. Only 12,000 miles. Surely there must have been a mistake - maybe the car had 120,000 miles on it instead of 12,000? But that was impossible. The mechanic told me the car suffered from transmission failure. I was stunned - 12,000 miles and transmission failure?!? I got Nissan to replace it. A few days later, however, I crashed into a tree and totaled the car. So, with the $22,000 I saved up, I bought a top of the line 2014 Toyota Corolla. This is my last Nissan.

- , Far Rockaway, NY, USA

problem #20

Aug 292015

Versa CV 4cl

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,500 miles

I bought my 2012 Nissan Versa and been paying extra to get it paid off. Now it has a recall on transmission to reprogram it. If that does not work I will have to get it replaced. I only owe $1000. I am so mad bought a new car because my last two used cars had transmission problem. I pray it can be fixed !!!!!!!

- , Manassas, USA

problem #19

May 202015

Versa SL 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Took Versa to Tempe Nissan and paid diagnostic fee. Service tech returns and tells me that the transmission is bad and needs to be replaced at cost of approximately $4,000. I asked if there was anything NSSN could do and if the vehicle was under warranty. Was told that vehicle was over standard power train warranty and there weren't any recalls for this particular issue. We already had the shifter recall completed. Dealer was not willing to provide any assistance.

Took car to non-dealer for replacement of trans which then eventually went bad as well. Now the vehicle is sitting at non-dealer shop waiting for another transmission. Still owe more than the vehicle is worth. So sad since I have been a loyal NSSN customer. Had a van, Sentra, hardbody, and quad cab. My 1995 hardbody is still running strong with 264,000 miles. They don't make them like they used to and am considering joining/starting class action lawsuit as NSSN is aware of the CVT failures yet they will not extend the power train warranty for the 2012.

I will not purchase another NSSN again. I have a 2011 Chevy Silverado that had a trans failure at 70,000 miles and the dealer rebuilt the trans at no cost, while giving me a 2015 quad cab to use during repairs, again all at no cost. Please email me at yahoo to join lawsuit.

- , Maricopa, AZ, USA

problem #18

Sep 212015


  • CVT transmission
  • 71,000 miles

My transmission went out of my NSSN Versa at 71,000 miles. The vehicle is only 3 years old!!!! I am 10,000 miles over the warrant. I filed a formal complaint with NSSN and after waiting 4 days was advised because I did not have the vehicle routine maintenance completed through the dealership they would not provide any assistance in replacing it. The transmission did not even require routine maintenance. Unsure how this is even relevant to their decision! I do have the oil changed regularly at a local servicing center. The closest Nissan dealership is 45 minute drive. I have never been so disappointed in a vehicle I have purchased before.

I will never purchase another Nissan in my life. I now have a 3 year old vehicle which I owe 3 more years on and owe around $6500 more than it is worth. What makes me more frustrated is reading all of the other similar complaints online regarding the CVT transmission in Nissan's with similar mileage.

- , New Castle, PA, USA

problem #17

Jul 222015

Versa S 1.6L

  • CVT transmission
  • 67,800 miles

2012 Nissan Versa S 1.6 - Complete Transmission failure at 67000 miles. Nearly got wiped out on the highway when the whole thing locked up and I could not go over 20 miles and hour. Complete joke. Cheaply made CVT transmissions. Nissan would not even work with us and just insisted that the Powertrain warranty ran out at 60,000 miles and it was our problem.

I will NEVER buy anything from this piece of crap company again. I don't know one manufacturer out there that has a Powertrain warranty less than 100,000 miles. Additionally, they had doubled all of the 2003-2010 models warranty to 10 years - 120,000 miles for the Powertrain which in so many words is saying they knew there is a problem. They claimed the issue that was causing the problems with the CVT transmissions was fixed on the models after 2010 but in looking around on the web, I still see way too many complaints about the same thing that happened to me. Cost $3400 to replace and the warranty for the new transmission is only 12 months or 12000 miles which shows how much they believe in their work.

I WILL NEVER PURCHASE A FOREIGN CAR AGAIN. Sadly, I should have known better and this whole experience proved this. This is the first and last time. Nissan should be under investigation for this garbage and could have at least worked with me on meeting me part way on the responsibility of this. They said that they had no proof I maintained the vehicle and even if I did it would not have mattered. I could provide them anything they needed for maintenance records but it was just brushed off.

- , Toronto, OH, USA

problem #16

Sep 212015

Versa LS 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,500 miles

Fairly new car, not even finished paying for it and the transmission goes out.

- , Bakersfield, CA, USA

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