2018 Nissan Kicks Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, braking system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Crossovers have grown in popularity over the last few years. The 2018 Nissan Kicks is a crossover that claims to please the occupants. In fact, the newest lineup states “Your Way, Right Now,” but very little is actually going the way of the driver. This crossover features a faulty electrical system, defective service brakes, a malfunctioning electronic stability control system and a poorly built engine.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2021   2022   2023

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Nissan pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Nissan Kicks

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Electronic Stability Control
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Power Train
Exterior Lighting
Vehicle Speed Control

Problems with the Electrical System

There’s a lot riding on a vehicle’s electrical system. From the car battery to the navigation system, everything requires power to work appropriately.

One Edmunds review shows that defects abound on the Kicks. “I purchased my 2018 Kicks SR with 20 miles on it. Initially the car was ok for getting to and from work with decent gas mileage, until it got to about 2000 miles on it. Then the problems started: 1. I had the interior lighting package installed on the vehicle, and to put it frankly it sucks you cannot tell the lights are even on even in the dark of night so approx. $500 down the drain, and the dealers suggestion was to buy an aftermarket kit that they would install for me at an additional cost. 2. Front and rear radar went out at about 2500 miles had that replaced. 3. Transmission was acting funny and kept jerking the car during acceleration, took it to dealer they managed to get that problem fixed. 4. Back to the front and rear radar sensors they went out gain at 4000 miles, so second fix. 5. Radio becomes unresponsive 4000 miles. Dealer replaces. So now everything seems to be going ok, now I’m up to about 9000 miles, in about 4 months. And the problems start again 6. Front and rear radar, dealer replaces. 7. Auto dimming rear view mirror stops functioning, dealer replaces. 8. Radio goes out again at 11,000 miles, dealer again replaces. A few months go buy nothing happens. 8 months in and the car seems to have stopped giving me problems, 20,000 miles hits and 9. Front and rear radar again.”

Sadly, there is also an electrical system-related recall issued for this vehicle. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V654000 affects more than 1,200,000 vehicles and states that the back-up camera image becomes non-existent, which leads to an increased chance of crashing. Between that and all the problems faced by the owner above, this model is clearly an electronic nightmare, something from a horror movie.

Problems with the Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEB)

The brakes in a vehicle are designed to stop before impact occurs. With the newer sophisticated systems, the vehicle can even brake for itself, when needed. Yet, this is one more part of the Kicks that is defective and causing trouble.

Another NHTSA complaint says, “I was driving my vehicle on a road with a 35 mph speed limit with no cars in front of or behind me, and my vehicle’s automatic emergency braking engaged, slowing my car down for no reason. There were no obstacles ahead of me.”

Again, Nissan has chosen to remain quiet despite the numerous complaints that say the same thing. While waiting for a response, owners of the Kicks must be concerned about specks of dirt on the road that might activate the emergency braking. If they can’t drive on a completely unobstructed road, they might not arrive at their destination in a reasonable amount of time, due to the stop and go design of the Kicks.

Problems with the Engine

One can only hope that the engine is in good shape, but based on the other evidence shown, it’s safe to assume that this critical component is just as defective.

Here’s an Edmunds review that backs up the assumption. “My engine is sludge!! I’ve been doing oil changes and now I have 44,000 miles on it and the oil is all sludge not to mention I’m having issues with my radio turning off and the air vent is coming out. Very disappointed as this was my first brand new car I purchased, never again!!!”

This time, Nissan does have something to say about the engine, but probably only because they must. Service Bulletin #NTB17-082b states that the engine can suffer a defect because of an evaporation leak at the vent control valve O-ring. At least, the company is willing to fix something under warranty, even though it’s not much. Owners who want to “Get your kicks on route sixty-six,” should consider taking any vehicle other than the Nissan Kicks. It’s just not made to make the long-distance trip and will likely leave owners stranded on the side of the road.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Nissan pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.


Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Kevin

    The 2018 is such a stupid P.O.S, even the arrow indicating the side the gas door is on points the wrong way.
    I absolutely regret ever buying one of these piles of rolling garbage.
    Sensors failed. Unwanted emergency brake engagements. Poorly designed interior. 1992 quality software for the radio. Weak engine. Back hatch door light only turns off if the latch locks. Bad back up camera. Uncomfortable seats. I don’t even know how to put to words the joke that they call folding seats, the cargo area, and every single instance of incompetent ergonomics.
    I could talk for days about all of the things I hate about this car.
    Truth is, absolutely DO NOT buy one.
    They got rid of the Juke for this thing, and both are ugly, stupid, poorly designed trash.

  • Nancy N

    I have a Nissan Kick 2018. It has completely shut down 3x. Nissan stated there is nothing wrong with the car or the battery. I spoke with the manager Randy Bennett and still no resolution and they won’t talk about getting me a rental until it is fixed. Currently waiting for towing to pick up the car to transport it to Nissan Indianapolis In 4302 Lafayette Rd. The car keeps stating malfunction and the brake has no give for the push start. The dash lights up but the brake and the push start are not working at all

  • tarah

    Initially I had a great car buying experience from Sandy Sansing Chevrolet in Pensacola, however it quickly turned into a nightmare.
    I have not had the vehicle for even a month yet and have not even made my first car payment. I reached out to the sales guy (Josh)
    whom I bought the vehicle from and while he was very helpful with getting the initial issue addressed they could not
    fix it at Sandy Sansing Chevrolet. The car (2018 Nissan Kicks) was rough idling and the sensor for the Unavailable
    front radar obstruction keeps coming on. I was referred to Sandy Sansing Nissan. Nissan has looked at my vehicle 4
    times and the issue is still not resolved. This past Saturday I went to put my car in reverse and the car was making
    a grinding noise (metal on metal). If it did not do that then when taking it from park to reverse the car would literally
    jerk from gear to gear. I took video of all that is going on with the car and showed it to the service advisor at Nissan.
    He said that the vehicle definitely should not be having theses issues and it is still under warranty. I should not be
    dealing with these types of issues. I even asked one of the managers at Sandy Sansing Chevrolet if they would be willing to put me in
    another vehicle and they refused. He said once I have had the vehicle for a while they would look at a trade in but it would make my payment
    increase. He was not very understanding about the issues I have been having and I found him to be rude. He stated that he would reach
    out to the service advisor at Sandy Sansing Nissan and talk to him about the issues and would give me a call on 3/8/21 but I have yet
    to hear from him. So at this point I have reached out to Nissan Corporate to see if they would buy my vehicle back and they refused.

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).