2018 Land Rover Discovery Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Vehicle speed control, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The Land Rover brand is known for making high-end luxury SUVs that impress. The 2018 Land Rover Discovery is one model within the lineup that appears to have a lot to offer. This mid-size luxury SUV otherwise referred to as “Disco” by enthusiasts is supposed to “take you anywhere and everywhere in comfort and style.” Sadly, the vehicle rarely performs as intended and suffers from numerous troubles with the engine, powertrain and vehicle speed control.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Land Rover Discovery

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
9
Unknown Or Other
6
Engine
5
Electrical System
4
Visibility/wiper
3
Fuel/propulsion System
3
Vehicle Speed Control
3
Structure:body:hatchback/liftgate
1
Visibility:windshield
1
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
1

Engine

For the price paid on a 2018 Land Rover Discovery, it’s expected that the engine won’t just be powerful, but also competent. Yet, owners quickly discovered for themselves that it’s an overpriced motor that doesn’t function correctly.

One NHTSA complaint states, “There is a dangerous throttle lag when accelerating from a rolling stop. Many users have nearly had accidents like me. You press the throttle and it does nothing for like 2 seconds then suddenly engine picks up. It’s a gasoline V6 engine so it’s not turbo lag… and when you are actually stopped and accelerate it’s just fine. It’s just when slowly rolling it’s extremely dangerous.”

Aside from the lag, there are numerous other engine issues being discussed by the company. In fact, Land Rover has more than 40 manufacturer communications dedicated to the motor. Service Bulletin #SFCC_MAY19 explains how the engine fan might make excessive noise and continue to run after the car is off. Repair includes replacing a coolant pump on the SUV. The company might need to change the tagline to reflect the engine troubles. Maybe it should say, “take you anywhere, after a few seconds of waiting.”

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Engine Problems

LAGGY ACCELERATION AT “ROLLING STOP” SPEEDS OF 2-10 MPH. 2-4 SECOND DELAY MERGING INTO TRAFFIC OR TURNING INTO TRAFFIC. NO AMOUNT OF ACCELERATOR WILL ALLEVIATE THE LAG. SUPERCHARGED V6 GAS ENGINE.

ACCELERATOR HAS A SIGNIFICANT “LAG” WHEN GOING FROM A MOVING “STOP”. AS IF WHEN YOUR TURNING AND WANT TO ACCELERATE. THIS IS A KNOWN PROBLEM WITH LR AND THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON A SOFTWARE FIX FOR MONTHS. IT IS DANGEROUS!!

Powertrain

The powertrain consists of several components, including the transmission. On a luxury vehicle, such as the 2018 Land Rover Discovery, it’s perfectly natural to expect a smooth-shifting experience, but that’s not what drivers are encountering.

One look at the NHTSA website, reveals complaints such as this one. “When attempting to make evasive maneuvers during normal driving, there is a very significant delay after stepping on the accelerator. This is an intermittent problem and seems to happen when slowing down and then trying to accelerate. This has already almost resulted in 2 accidents. This has been reported to the dealer and I was advised there was nothing wrong. The service manager informed me in person there have been many complaints about this, but that the company has not been forthcoming with a remedy.”

We see the same thing when looking at the communications from Land Rover. Service Bulletin #SFCC_OCT19_21 does discuss a hesitation and speed fluctuation, but the issues are still under investigation without any resolution. In the meantime, customers are unable to respond to traffic the way they should. Probably the biggest “discovery” about this SUV is that it is truly a malfunctioning vehicle that isn’t worth the price paid.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Transmission Problems

FROM A STANDSTILL, THE GAS PEDAL ACTUATION CAUSES THE VEHICLE TO LAUNCH INSTEAD OF SMOOTH ACCELERATION. FROM A ROLLING STOP, HITTING THE GAS PEDAL THERE IS A SEVERE LAG AS THE TRUCK SHIFTS TO THE NECESSARY GEAR AND MOVES AT THE EXPECTED RATE, AGAIN LURCHING THE OCCUPANTS

UPON ACCELERATION FROM A STOP OR LOW SPEED, THE VEHICLE NOTICEABLY LAGS CAUSING A SAFETY PROBLEM WHEN TURNING IN FRONT OF CROSSING TRAFFIC (LEFT HAND TURN) OR MERGING INTO TRAFFIC. THIS HAS HAPPENED MULTIPLE TIMES AND I HAVE ATTEMPTED TO ADJUST MY DRIVING STYLE, BUT YESTERDAY WAS ALMOST HIT FROM BEHIND WHILE MERGING INTO TRAFFIC.

Vehicle Speed Control

With a luxury vehicle, one would assume that the vehicle would travel precisely at whatever speed the operator intends. Along with the hesitation issues, it’s clear that this Discovery model can’t seem to move at a steady speed.

Another NHTSA review says, “New vehicle, less than 600 miles, erratic gas pedal, start at stop sign, car lags/stalls. Been at dealership for 3 weeks, they tell me it is within Land Rover specs. Car severely hesitates when going from stop. Been almost hit broad side three times. This happens no matter if the ECO Stop/Start is active or not. Will not drive this vehicle, very dangerous. Not getting anywhere with dealer for help. Dealer says Land Rover is investigating. Also, back up camera non operative, third one installed, still not working and have to order from UK.”

Among these power issues, there is one more safety concern that should worry owners. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V625000 illustrates a recall on the 2018 Land Rover Discovery for a defective Forward Collision Avoidance system. It appears that the system can become disabled without telling the driver, leading to an increase in potential accidents. The last thing anyone needs while driving this Land Rover is an increased risk of crashing. With all the trouble getting it to run at a normal speed, it would be important to have functioning safety features, but Land Rover can’t seem to make that happen. Maybe, the significant discovery here is to avoid the Land Rover SUV at all costs.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Forward Collision Avoidance Problems

WHEN VEHICLE IS UNDER 10 MILES AN HOUR OR BRIEFLY STOPPED AND PRESSURE IS REMOVED FROM ACCELERATOR, WHEN PRESSING ACCELERATOR TO MOVE AGAIN THERE IS A 1-2 SECOND DELAY IN RESPONSE. TRANSMISSION SEEMS TO BE IN WRONG GEAR THEN SHIFTS AFTER A DELAY RESULTING IN CAR NOT RESPONDING TO THROTTLE INPUT THEN JUMPING UNEXPECTEDLY. THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE WHEN EXECUTING LEFT OR RIGHT TURNS INTO TRAFFIC SINCE CAR DOESN’T RESPOND AS EXPECTED AND NORMAL. VERY EASY TO REPRODUCE THIS ISSUE.

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Complaint Data

CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 19, 2022
StateTX
Description
Roof panel trim blew off. This was very dangerous as I was on the highway. The panel could have hit a car behind me causing as accident. There is a technician bulletin that land rover is aware of. This is very dangerous when these panels are not secure and coming off when driving
CategoryStructure:body:hatchback/liftgate, Visibility:windshield
DateJul 28, 2022
StateCA
Description
The contact owns a 2018 land rover discovery. The contact stated that several years ago there was a leak that caused damage to the windshield, sun visors, and inside of the vehicle. The contact stated there was a windshield defect that caused the damages. The windshield leak was confirmed and the vehicle was repaired. There was also a battery failure and the contact replaced the battery. Additionally, there was also a failure with the liftgate brackets and the vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.
CategoryElectrical System
DateApr 07, 2022
StateMA
Description
Car went black (all systems shut off) and I started to roll in the cvs parking lot when I was trying to drive in and park. The brakes and nothing was engaging. It happened so fast I was able to stop the vehicle and I am not sure how but may have just turned the shifter from drive to park... I took the vehicle in for service (a number of issues) and I forgot to mention this, I was told the ground stud needed replacing and it turned out this was likely the cause (I believe he said it had come loose). I have a extended warranty that has comprehensive coverage with cna and they denied this part. Also, land rover recalled this exact part on 2019 and 2020 vehicles, clearly my 2018 has the same issue. Makes me wonder how many other 2018 vehicles also have the issue?
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateFeb 23, 2022
StatePA
Description
Significant water leakage into front dash from the top the windshield.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJan 08, 2022
StateLA
Description
Leaking front windshield at the center and right. Known issue with this car and series, but somehow this specific vin is not in the group for the recall. This occurred exactly like the others and it should be covered. I had to argue with aristocrat motors in miriam and they decided (for now, hasn't been completed) to cover it. This should be covered for the other vins that aren't included in the recall.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateNov 28, 2021
StateNV
Description
1) acceleration lags 1-2 seconds when you step on the gas pedal - have been almost hit many times when taking off at a stop light or changing lanes - very dangerous on streets, but also on the freeway. 2) issue with electrical since the day I purchased it brand new in 2018 - auto stop-start only worked one time - dealer checked the vehicle out, declared the feature requires a fully charged battery to work but did not investigate why the battery is not fully charging; over the past 2 years I noticed the radio often continues to play even when I push the off button, headlights have burnt out 3 times, radio changed from satellite to am automatically last week, and it sometimes smells like burned wires. The car was recently at the dealer for service and their inspection found no issues. I did not take it there specifically for the issues noted here, however would expect their 16-point inspection to pick up these types of issues. Possibly, I'm mistaken and the inspection is not that comprehensive.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateOct 30, 2021
StateTX
Description
1) low coolant warning started flashing. I had the coolant checked on two days by different people and it was full both times. Both times I was told its a sensor issue, the dealership service center should look into it and all components and replace as necessary. 2) occasionally when putting the car in park it automatically shuts off and locks in gear. 3) occasionally when yielding the car is sluggish or there is no power at all when taking off again. All three issues put my safety, those with me and on the road with me at risk. The earliest appointment with the dealer is 24 days out. I bought it as a certified used vehicle 8 weeks ago.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Power Train, Unknown Or Other
DateMar 01, 2021
StateNY
Description
Vehicle rolled back when in the park position. Vehicle had no occupants. Vehicle parked on an incline. Roll back occurred several minutes after shifter was placed in the park position and minutes after I exited the vehicle. Extremely worrisome. 2018 land rover discovery*dt*jb
CategoryElectrical System
DateDec 23, 2020
StateMD
Description
The key fob is consistently has issues with starting the vehicle. Key will not unlock doors when touching the handle. Vehicle will not start when parked. This is unsafe because I have been stranded in public places in the cold and the vehicle would not start. The dealership was actually no assistance. Changing batters did not work. Reprogramming keys did not work. They promised to order a new key fob, and then they said it was backordered. I felt like this is a lie. They have strung me along with no resolution. I have provided four service records to show the amount of times the vehicle was taken into the dealership about the vehicle not starting from key fob not being recognized.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateNov 06, 2020
StateWV
Description
This vehicle loses power while operating at any speed. While going 70mph out of nowhere it goes down to 40 within seconds with zero warning and 3 accidents have almost happened. It was "fixed" once by a local land rover dealer but has happened 3 times since. The "d" for the drive gear flashes red when this happens, it appears the vehicle is going into lymp mode and is absolutely unsafe to drive.
CategoryEngine, Power Train, Service Brakes
DateJun 25, 2020
StateFL
Description
1: gearbox fault.. Unable to move gearbox from park to reverse or drive 2" park brake fault. *tr
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateDec 17, 2019
StateFL
Description
While traveling or standing still the vehicle leaks rainwater from the entire top front windshield. Depending on how hard and how much rain is falling will depend on how much water leaks and accumulates inside into the interior vehicle cabin. I have found several inches in cup holders after a long rainstorm. The dealer advised they have had several complaints on this particular make/model. Advise they will replace seam located on top of the windshield. The part on order, still waiting for the dealer to call. This is a safety hazard which impairs drivers visibility during inclement weather, causes unnecessary distraction and a possible electrical hazard.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateDec 09, 2019
StateFL
Description
Upon staying in the mountains of north carolina and entering the car one morning after a rain storm, and while still raining in that morning, water had been and continued to, leak in through the top passenger side of the window shield. This resulted in a substantial amount of water on the headliner, flooring, and dash board. Vehicle has remained with dealership since 11/29 for repairs and part replacement. Per dealership, the faulty window shield is a known and common problem in the new discoverys yet has not been recalled. As an attorney and an owner of a 2018 discovery, I have escalated to jaguar landrover corporate. I have a video and photos available however I believe the video is too large to upload. Possible damage to electrical and/or long term damage and loss of value is unknown.
CategorySteering, Unknown Or Other
DateOct 06, 2019
StateTX
Description
Let me start, by saying this happened 2 months ago, in monterrey n. L mexico. I was pulling out of my driveway the car felt like it turned off and it pulled to the right and I crashed hitting two cars. Sent it to range rover and they stated the power steering box was damaged and I asked them about any recall the said no thier hadn't been. I need my car fixed can you help please. Mexico doesn't want to do this under warranty. Claim that warranty is only for canada and us. I could have killed people and this would have been on your company I need my problem look at.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateApr 02, 2019
StateVA
Description
We own a land rover discovery 2018. When driving the 2018 land rover discovery there is a significant lag in the throttle spot on the time you push the gas pedal to the time the car recognizes that input and begins to move. Sometimes the lag is up to two seconds. This has almost caused a couple of accidents as you push on the gas expecting the car to move and it doesn't move and then surges unexpectedly after the long lag. This has been reported to land rover for sometime, since before last summer 2018 yet they done nothing to fix it yet. The land rover dealership says to contact land rover corporate. Land rover corporate says to contact the dealership. No one has any idea when it will be fixed and the dealership acknowledges that land rover corporate has known about it for quite some time. They also stated it is a problem in the land rover model, the range rover, as well. Could someone at nhsta please open an inquiry before anyone gets seriously hurt or worse as land rover doesn't seem to be in a hurry to resolve it. Some one is going to get hurt or worse, if they haven't already.
CategoryPower Train
DateMar 30, 2019
StateNC
Description
When attempting to make evasive maneuvers during normal driving there is a very significant delay after stepping on the accelerator. This is an intermittent problem and seems to happen when slowing down and then trying to accelerate. This has already almost resulted in 2 accidents. This has been reported to the dealer and I was advised there was nothing wrong. The service manager informed me in person there have been many complaints about this, but that the company has not been forthcoming with a remedy.
CategoryEngine, Power Train, Vehicle Speed Control
DateMar 19, 2019
StateCO
Description
Laggy acceleration at "rolling stop" speeds of 2-10 mph. 2-4 second delay merging into traffic or turning into traffic. No amount of accelerator will alleviate the lag. Supercharged v6 gas engine.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Power Train
DateMar 13, 2019
StateTX
Description
There is a dangerous throttle lag when accelerating from a rolling stop. Many users have nearly had accidents like me. You press throttle and it does nothing for like 2 seconds then suddenly engine picks up... Its a gasoline v6 engine so its not turbo lag.... And when you are actually stopped and accelerate its just fine. Its just when slowly rolling its extremely dangerous!!!
CategoryPower Train
DateMar 01, 2019
StatePA
Description
From a standstill, the gas pedal actuation causes the vehicle to launch instead of smooth acceleration. From a rolling stop, hitting the gas pedal there is a severe lag as the truck shifts to the necessary gear and moves at the expected rate, again lurching the occupants
CategoryPower Train
DateFeb 14, 2019
StateCO
Description
Upon acceleration from a stop or low speed, the vehicle noticeably lags causing a safety problem when turning in front of crossing traffic (left hand turn) or merging into traffic. This has happened multiple times and I have attempted to adjust my driving style, but yesterday was almost hit from behind while merging into traffic.
CategoryPower Train
DateJan 30, 2019
StatePA
Description
When engine cold and shifting into reverse it will take about 2 seconds for car to start moving. My family is pushing on gas in that small window. When the car moves it is quickly accelerating startling the driver.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateJan 29, 2019
StateNY
Description
Accelerator has a significant "lag" when going from a moving "stop". As if when your turning and want to accelerate. This is a known problem with lr and they have been working on a software fix for months. It is dangerous!!
CategoryPower Train, Vehicle Speed Control
DateJan 03, 2019
StateVA
Description
When vehicle is under 10 miles an hour or briefly stopped and pressure is removed from accelerator, when pressing accelerator to move again there is a 1-2 second delay in response. Transmission seems to be in wrong gear then shifts after a delay resulting in car not responding to throttle input then jumping unexpectedly. This is a safety issue when executing left or right turns into traffic since car doesn't respond as expected and normal. Very easy to reproduce this issue.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateAug 06, 2018
StateVA
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2018 land rover discovery sport. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced an abnormal fuel odor. Also, while idling, a puddle of fuel could be seen underneath the vehicle. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 18v087000 (fuel system, gasoline); however, the parts to do the repair were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. Land rover of alexandria (2712 duke st, alexandria, va) was contacted and confirmed that the parts were not available for the recall remedy. The dealer also confirmed the leak. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that the parts should be available. The failure mileage was approximately 14,400. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateJul 05, 2018
StatePA
Description
New vehicle, less than 600 miles, erratic gas pedal, start at stop sign, car lags/stalls. Been at dealership for 3 weeks, they tell me it is within land rover spec. Car severely hesitates when going from stop. Been almost hit broad side three times. This happens no matter if the eco stop/start is active or not. Will not drive this vehicle, very dangerous. Not getting anywhere with dealer for help. Dealer says land rover investigating. Also, back up camera non operative, third one installed, still not working and have to order from uk.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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