2019 Nissan Versa Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, brakes and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Compact cars are meant to be economical, but still reliable. When doing research, a lot of customers choose the 2019 Nissan Versa because it was named a BEST 5 award winner in the small car segment by Automotive Science. However, this car is nothing but a disappointment with poor steering, defective service brakes, a malfunctioning powertrain and non-functional back over prevention.

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

Problems with the Steering

It shouldn’t be difficult to keep such a small car on the road, but owners are struggling.

Here is one Cars.com review to consider. “This vehicle seemed ok during test drive but quickly realized that the steering is too loose at times and that the alignment of the front tires is a constant issue. 20,000 miles the brakes have ate through the rotors and the warranty was almost out on the car. The dealership in Franklin, TN tried to swindle my fiancé telling her there was no warranty on the vehicle when there was and I had to call the dealership in Shelbyville to verify.”

Additionally, the company acknowledges that there might be a clicking noise that comes from either axle during acceleration. With the alignment concerns combined with the clicking, it might feel like the wheels are going to fall off while driving. It’s like something out of a child’s cartoon, but not at all humorous.

2019 Nissan Versa Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Power Train
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Electronic Stability Control
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Air Bags:frontal
Air Bags:frontal:passenger Side:inflator Module
Back Over Prevention

Problems with the Brakes

While the car is out of control, it would be helpful to know that stopping is easy. However, that’s not the case either.

One other Cars.com review states, “This car has made me feel so unsafe in it I’ll touch the breaks and it’s like I slammed on them sometimes I have no clue but it doesn’t help that I was in an accident now the tires shake like crazy and I am praying this car can handle it I might just give it back and explain to them that the insurance money isn’t enough to fix the car but seriously this is a throw away car get your credit n move on to something better.”

With this situation, there are no communications from Nissan. Instead, the automaker is taking the silent approach, hoping no one notices how the vehicle jerks during braking. Of course, if the wheels fall off while driving, the brakes aren’t going to be useful anyway.

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Problems with the Transmission

On the lower-cost compact cars, automakers often skimp on the transmission to save money. However, these transmissions are still supposed to be reliable, which isn’t the case with the Versa.

Read this NHTSA review. “Steering clutch transmission. Letter regarding the malfunction of gear shifts, transmission, clutch damaged by 5 speed manual Nissan transmission and stopped my ability shift gears from 5. No gears worked I was traveling on Arizona HWY 60 with cars going 75 miles an hour. I was headed west to Phoenix for 17 HWY and I was between exits 152 and 153. That is where Highway Patrol when they arrive could stop traffic and use their vehicle to push mine to the side of the road. I have been driving in the middle lane and cars or trucks could have killed me even though I had my flashers on until Highway Patrol arrived. I have reports. The sudden malfunction of the major components on a new vehicle purchased on February 27th from [dealer] in Tucson, Arizona. The car was manufactured in Mexico at one of Nissan’s plants.”

This is one area that the company is acknowledging, although not to the level of complete failure. Instead, Nissan issued Service Bulletin #NTB19-068a, which says that the car may experience a lack of power and hesitation. Apparently, the company feels like this might be acceptable since it is a budget-friendly model. Owners might do better taking public transportation than getting behind the wheel of this death trap.

Problems with the Back Up Camera

All vehicles are supposed to come with a back-up system that prevents accidents, but this system is downright defective.

Here’s another NHTSA complaint. “The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA Campaign Number 19V64500 (Back Over Prevention) at [dealer]. However, while in reverse, the image on the screen was difficult to see. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was informed of the failure. The failure mileage was 3,750.”

The NHTSA recall being referenced in that review affects over a million Nissan vehicles. It turns out that owners lose the ability to see the image in the backup camera. However, as this customer and others suggest, the problem is not getting repaired. Instead, they are left to go backward blindly. Love is blind after all. Quite honestly, one has to be blind to enjoy the Versa, with all of its defects.

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.


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
  • Amanda W

    My car keeps acting like it don’t want go forward, it keeps stopping I had service department at the place where I brought car from. They told me it’s transmission problems so they sent me to another dealership so they can fix it but they told me I need a transmission. I can’t make payments and buy another transmission too

  • Aimee M

    My 2019 Versa zooms out of control while I am driving very slowly (pulling into a parking space, backing out of a driveway. It has done this twice. Fortunately the brakes worked. It’s really frightening though

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