2019 INFINITI QX80 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2019 Infiniti QX80 is a high-end SUV that is supposed to make travel more enjoyable. The newer models are hailed as providing “commanding luxury” to customers, but not everyone agrees with this assessment. In fact, customers are complaining about the electrical system, service brakes, engine and vehicle speed control.


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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 INFINITI QX80

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Back Over Prevention: Camera System
Service Brakes
Exterior Lighting
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
Fuel/propulsion System
Vehicle Speed Control

Problems with the Electrical System

The electrical system is responsible for running everything from the battery to the power windows and radio. When this system has a fault, it can create quite the inconvenience.

This is noted in a recent NHTSA complaint. “My wife is in quarantine with our daughter in Oregon. Drives the QX80 every 2 or 3 days to go to the store for food. QX80 started up just fine, drove it to the store and parked it. 35 minutes later, came out of the store with perishable groceries, the battery was too weak to start it. Had to be jump started. Seeing that others are having the same issue. Called the dealership about the issue. They claimed there is a recent recall that may help with the issue. No recall in the system, but noticed from Infiniti Service on this possible fix or reprogramming an electric module. Per the last complaint, it doesn’t fix it.”

While there is nothing about this recall in the database, there is another electrical system issue noted. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V654000 talks about more than one million vehicles with a defective backup system. It appears that the backup camera can be adjusted in a way that makes the image no longer visible, making it impossible to see what’s behind the SUV. With this in mind, it becomes very difficult to “command” anything without being able to see what’s going on behind the vehicle. It’s like driving blind.

Problems with the Forward Emergency Braking System (FEB)

For decades, service brakes have been responsible for stopping a vehicle before a crash occurs. With more advanced technology recently, there’s so much more than can go wrong.

That’s shown in this NHTSA complaint. “The 2019 QX80 Forward Emergency Braking System (FEB) continuously engages the brakes without warning or an obstruction. Always while a railroad crossing is in sight, sometimes when a red light is near but green with no vehicles stopped at it. It has also done it on an open highway and interstate at speeds of 70 mph with nothing around. This causes a very real chance of being rear ended or startling the driver into crashing.”

There’s nothing talked about in the communications about these issues. Instead Infiniti has chosen to remain quiet about why the SUV is stopping itself for no reason. This premium vehicle operates like a dog noticing a squirrel, which doesn’t pan out well for drivers with cars behind them.

Problems with the Engine

As a luxury SUV, the Infiniti model does come with a potent powertrain. However, there have been complaints about how well the engine works.

Here’s one Edmunds review to read. “When starts to pullout of garage in am motor revs up before pulling out! Dealer says that is standard for this car! When turning the steering wheel either way you feel it shudder when turning! Dealer says the tire tread is causing that and they don’t warranty tires! Car has 2200miles on it! And last the rear axle [assembly] started to howl and they say they can’t tell where the noise is coming from and won’t repair any of these issues. No wonder their sales are down 50%.”

Infiniti does recognize some engine issues, but not with the performance, just some strange noises. Service Bulletin #ITB20-020 states that there is a rattling noise coming from the right front of the SUV while the engine runs. It also occurs while driving at slow speeds or during turns. To repair the problem, the technicians need to adjust the clearance found between the frame and heat shield located on the exhaust front tube. These noises ensure everyone knows that the Infiniti SUV is coming down the road. It’s like a band, announcing the arrival of the driver. Maybe the red carpet should be rolled out as well.

Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control

Additionally, the vehicle speed control systems are meant to keep occupants safe, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this Infiniti model.

Here’s another Edmunds review discussing trouble. “We have owned this vehicle for 5 months now due to Covid only driven about 5000 miles. We have noticed that issue with the cruise control as described by others here. You’ll be cruising at -say- 70 mph and the engine is just purring along at under 2000RPM. Then there is a slight incline in the road, and the gearbox kicks down two gears, the engine revs up to over 5000RPM! Only when the incline has passed will it return to normal. This is very odd and disconcerting, and the mechanic at the dealer felt the same. However, they were issued a directive by Infiniti stating: ‘This is normal operating characteristic of the vehicle that has been reported in multiple cases. No further diagnosis should be performed.’”

There are other concerns with the advanced safety equipment. Service Bulletin #ITB19-013 discusses how the AEB warning light continues to blink for some drivers. It appears that this situation can occur when there is contamination of the lane camera viewing window, while driving in the snow or when the lane camera window becomes fogged. Basically, drivers can count on the safety of this SUV unless driving in less than perfect weather.

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 Infiniti 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.

Complaint Data

CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 07, 2022
The battery will lose all charge stranding you. Has happened twice and after searching the internet apparently infiniti has known about this problem.
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Camera System, Visibility/wiper
DateSep 11, 2021
The night rear backup camera is extremely dark and blurry. You can't see anything via the camera at night.
CategoryBack Over Prevention: Camera System, Exterior Lighting, Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
DateJul 10, 2021
The backup camera cannot see see at nighttime, a real safety issue.
CategoryElectrical System
DateSep 19, 2020
I have had this vehicle for a little over a year and since april, I have been stranded in different places. The reason is because I would go to get in my car and the battery was completely dead. The first time this happened, the dealership said it was a recall issue that they claimed to fix. This happened again 3 months later, at night with my baby at the grocery store. I went to get into my car and battery was dead yet again. Took it the dealership and they tried to tell me it was my fault because I don't drive it enough. Mind you, I drive my vehicle every single day to work and to daycare etc. After fighting with them for a week, they finally fixed it, or so I thought. Today, I went to my sons soccer game and guess what, battery dead yet again! I have never in my life had an issue like this. This is an 80,000 vehicle and completely unacceptable to have had this happen 3 times in 6 months. I bought this car for safety purposes for me and my baby, and it is literally the exact opposite of what I needed. I have been stranded with my baby 3 times!!! This vehicle is an absolute joke and I beg anyone reading this to never purchase it! I will be speaking to an attorney regarding lemon laws. I want my money back and I will never purchase an infiniti again.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 24, 2020
I was driving down the road, only vehicle on the highway and it was a clear, hot, and sunny day. I heard a loud noise like a gunshot and then could hear the sound of air like riding with the window down. I looked around inside my car and didn't see anything so I pulled the shade a little from the sunroof and it was shattered.
CategoryService Brakes
DateApr 30, 2020
The 2019 qx80 forward emergency breaking system (feb) continuously engages the brakes without warning or an obstruction. Always while a railroad crossing is in site, sometimes when a redlight is near but (green) with no vehicles stopped at it. It has also done it on an open highway & interstate at speeds of 70 mph with nothing around. This causes a very real chance of being rear-ended, or starteling the driver into crashing.
CategoryElectrical System
DateApr 21, 2020
My wife is in quarantine with our daughter in oregon. Drives the qx80 every 2 or 3 days, to go to the store for food. Qx80 started up just fine, drove it to the store and parked it. 35 minutes later, came out of the store with perishable groceries, the battery was too weak to start it. Had to be jump started. Seeing that others are having the same issue. Called the dealership about the issue. They claim there is a recent recall that may help with the issue. No recall in the system, but notices from infiniti service on this possible fix of reprogramming an electrical module. Per the last complaint, it doesn't fix it. I called the dealership, they are aware of the issue. I was told that due to all the electronics in the car, there is a large draw on the battery from electronics and a lot needed for start up. Was told the qx80 has to be driven for like 30 minutes after you start it up, just to charge the battery for what draw it took to start the engine. Also being told the qx80 is not meant to sit without being driven for a week or longer, as this can cause the battery to drain enough it will not start. So I used the example that I cannot leave the qx80 at the airport if I was flying out and going on vacation for a week. They recommended that I do not do that. Also recommended that if the qx80 is going to sit for several days, that I can purchase and hook up a battery charger/maintainer to the battery. This was not something told to me when I bought it, did not read it in any vehicle info. Purchased a k vehicle and I have to pop the hood, run an extension cord to and depend on a battery charger to keep it running. This is not acceptable for any vehicle. If I wanted a vehicle that I had to constantly plug in and charge, I would have purchased an electric car.
CategoryElectrical System
DateApr 10, 2020
I have been stranded numerous times with this vehicle. Some battery gremlin or electrical gremlin. Brought to the shop and they said there was a recall that was fixed. I went to the store 2 days later , came out with 0 worth of groceries and go to start my truck and nothing . Blinking flashing electric glitching . It took 15 minutes of just trying to jump it off!!! Annoying and dangerous !! Obviously the recall is not fixing the issue with this truck .
CategoryUnknown Or Other, Visibility/wiper
DateFeb 17, 2020
The car's rearview camera has no visibility when it's nighttime or dark outside. The rearview camera monitor is almost pitch black and too grainy. Sideview camera also shows no visibility (even though the car comes with these features) and changing brightness/contrast settings does not resolve the problem. During the day, there's visibility, but at night, the monitor is black and grainy. The dealership's maintenance department has not resolved the problem when car was brought for maintenance just 45 days after leasing the new vehicle. Infiniti's consumer affairs was contacted and they have not resolved the problem as well. This creates a huge safety hazard as when the sun goes down, nothing is visible in the monitor when backing up.
CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 05, 2020
On three occasions the battery in my 2019 qx80 has died for no apparent reason. The car is a 2019 and the battery died 8 months, 10 months and now 13 months after purchasing it brand new. Each time the car has driven fine in the morning on my way to work but when I tried to turn it on to head home it didn't start. I was initially told it was a bad battery and then told it was an alternator issue. I have two young children and am now scared to drive them in our family vehicle out of fear of being stranded again.
CategoryService Brakes
DateJan 13, 2020
2019 infinity qx80 limited 4 x 4--faulty automatic breaking system!!! Car would emit a beep beep beeeeeep and then the auto braking system would engage and cause the car to come to an abrupt stop. This occurred within the first 1000 miles of driving and continued for the duration of ownership. The car stopped on the freeway access road (35 mph), state highway 6 (50 mph) in rush hour traffic...., sienna parkway (45 mph), 290 (65 mph) and turning into driveway (5 mph). It was inconsistent, and there were no obstructions (moving or sedentary) to cause the sensors to initiate the brakes. It was very dangerous. I am writing this safety complaint, as I have concerns that nissan is not required to report issues if they do a voluntary buy back. We initiated a lemon law claim with nissan north america. They were professional and quick to respond. They bought the car back exactly one year from the date of purchase. The vehicle had 14,000 miles and was in impeccable condition. I worry that someone else may buy the vehicle and/or the issue may go un-reported. I had a problem finding any similar complaints, with exception to the mass recall of the rogue in canada for what appears to be a similar issue (same parent company). Additionally, the 2020 model was released and did look to address other issues with the vehicle (screen/technology), but not sure if they safety issue regarding the brakes engaging on their own was addressed.
CategoryElectrical System, Fuel/propulsion System
DateDec 24, 2019
Went to start car after it was sitting over night (and temperature had dropped) and it would not start, requiring a jump. Nothing was left on overnight. Car required jump start two more times until I was able to take to dealer. I was told it was a defective battery and battery was exchanged. Three weeks later, after stopping for gas at 5am on way to work, car would not start again. Again nothing has been left on. Car is currently dead in my driveway. It is a 2019! Also, the door covering my gas cap no longer opens, requiring it to be pried open.
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateJun 20, 2019
The cruise control does not work going down a hill. It works on a level road. It works going up a hill. I set it at say 50 mph on us route 30, boswell, pa going down a hill and without applying the brakes the vehicle would be going 60 mph at the bottom of the hill. This is dangerous. Dealer told me not to use the cruise control going down a hill!

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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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  • Jim

    I have an older one of these and the cruise control acts just like that and the transmission acts totally stupid and inefficient if you’re driving under 45mph.
    I don’t know if I’d have bought it had I noticed it on the test drive
    I’m thankful I don’t have that stupid braking system that brakes for shadows.

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