Notes: While the 2008 has fewer reports of coolant leaking into and killing the transmission than years past, the problem still exists. And for that reason alone, this SUV is not worth your time.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,445 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.

2008 Nissan Xterra electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 252015


  • 90,000 miles


Was driving Xterra 4X4 on the street when all of a sudden the vehicle shut itself off. Was able to luckily turn the vehicle back on but when we arrived home the vehicle would no longer start. Had it towed to Nissan who discovered the car has a defective ECM unit. This could have been very very dangerous and I believe many other Nissan Xterra/frontiers/pathfinders have been affected as evident by searching google regarding this issue. Nissan would not repair the vehicle free of charge and wanted 1400 dollars to replace ECM. This day and age an ECM should last much much longer and should not shut down the vehicle nor, impair its ability to drive.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 242013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
My Nissan Xterra is a victim of the manufacturing defect where the coolant in the radiator mixes with the automatic transmission fluid, due to a leak in the transmission cooler, causing complete transmission failure. My transmission slips and driving is erratic, causing unsafe driving conditions. The repair is quoted at $6,000 dollars and is not considered a recall item. Nissan has extended coverage on vehicles up to 100,00 miles only, but this is starting to happen to newer vehicles over 100,00 miles. A radiator replacement would have prevented this problem. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed soon!

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #4

Oct 252011


  • 57,400 miles
Service engine soon light came on while driving on residential streets. Had code checked. Code listed as P0462. Cleared code then restarted car. Upon starting car none of the gauges worked only the tachometer and speedometer worked. Fuel, temperature, oil, odometer, trip odometer and all warning lights to include turn signal indicators did not work. Upon driving gauges would regain power, but the fuel gauge did not function properly. Took vehicle to dealer. Seems that my VIN was not included in the recall # 10V075000, even though the exact recall repair was done to my car to fix this issue. While the fuel gauge now works, none of my other gauges work. I was told the combo meter that controls my cluster of gauges would need to be replaced. There were no issues with my vehicle until the service engine soon light came on. My vehicle should have been included in the recall stated above, and I find it highly suspect that all of my gauges go out at the exact same time, but according to Nissan these are two separate unrelated issues. I have had to pay $488 to repair what should have been covered under the recall, and now need to pay an additional $590 to repair my gauges. My vehicle should have been included in the recall for other 08 Nissan Xterras.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #3

Apr 072010


  • 51,000 miles


While driving at 65 mph, the engine suddenly stopped. No warning lights were illuminated prior to the failure. Gas, temp., and oil pressure were all normal. A private garage diagnosed the problem as a failure in the intelligent power distributor module (ipdm), and also the mass air flow sensor. Both parts were replaced (at my expense) and the car now runs well.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #2

Dec 132009


  • 32,213 miles
Plastic tray that the battery sits on broke, causing the bar that holds the battery in place to arch over and set the plastic fuse holder on the battery to catch fire. The vehicle stalled the died. I saw what I thought was "steam" coming from under the hood. I popped to hood from inside and saw flames. I got out and tried to open the hood, which is very difficult since the latch is small and black. I got my grandkids out of the car and tried once more to open the hood. I finally got it opened and realized the battery was on fire. I poured the only liquid I had on it, "a&w cream soda" and put out the fire. It totally melted part of the battery and the battery connector. Amazing enough the vehicle started and I was able to drive home. Had I not been able to open the hood, the vehicle would have burnt to the ground all because of the cheap plastic battery holder broke.

- Livingston, TX, USA

problem #1

Aug 292008


  • 57 miles
2008 Nissan Xterra, chronic failures of the vdc traction control system, also causing failures in ABS and air bags 7 repair attempts since purchased new 6 months ago including computer reprogramming, battery replacement, steering angle sensor adjustments, replacement of air bag control module and replacement of ABS control module. These failures cause total failure in multiple electronic safety systems representing a serious threat to life or bodily harm. Multiple incidents - the date below represents date of brand new purchase which was the day of the first malfunction for me. The dealership noticed a malfunction at the time of the pdi (but did not disclose this at the time of sale to my great outrage).

- Prince George, 00, USA

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