2020 Nissan Armada Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Structure and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Traveling with a large family is supposed to be more enjoyable with a three-row SUV such as the 2020 Nissan Armada. After all, the company claims the newer SUVs will help you “tame the wild.” Yet, these models are coming out of the factory with major defects to both the engine and structure.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Nissan Armada

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Fuel System, Gasoline
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Exterior Lighting

Problems with the Engine

The engine is the heart of any vehicle. With such a large model, the engine is even more important so there is enough capability to haul passengers and cargo. However, this 2020 Nissan Armada seems to struggle to perform.

One Edmunds review states, “The worst financial decision made. I had the car for 3 months, and I consider I wait too long to sell it. The gas consumable was ridiculously abysmal. 250 miles per 26 gallon was the most. I have a 2007 Nissan Armada also, and no comparison. Don’t make the mistake I did. There are other cars in the market. Customer service, hotline, the worst ever. They don’t even know basic math, and I spoke to more than 2 representatives. Do all bad around. I bought a Suburban 2021 and it [doesn’t] compare with the Armada.”

At this time, Nissan has been silent about engine complaints with the 2020 Nissan Armada. There are no service bulletins to reference and nothing that shows that the automaker cares about what’s happening. At this point, it’s difficult to believe that this model will “tame” anything, especially if there isn’t a fuel pump nearby for a constant fill-up.

Problems with the Structure

A closer look at how the 2020 Nissan Armada was built will reveal just how much care the automaker put into the design.

The Car Connection states, “The 2020 Nissan Armada earned mediocre scores in the NHTSA’s testing, though it does come standard with active safety features that can help avoid a collision in the first place. Until the IIHS evaluates Nissan’s big SUV, we’ll have to hold off assigning a score here. The NHTSA rated the 2020 Armada at four stars overall, including a concerning and unusual three-star score in the rollover evaluation. Most new vehicles rank at five stars overall.”

If this vehicle was specifically designed to hold families, shouldn’t there have been enough care put into the engineering to assure it was safe? Instead, Nissan treated it like building a LEGO model and just threw it together, unaware of how it could hurt people. To be safe, owners need to drive “tamely” to ensure that nothing happens to their precious cargo.

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Complaint Data

CategoryService Brakes
DateSep 30, 2022
Bci malfunction - caused brakes to seize up while driving. The first time I received this warning, in august 2022, it only caused my car not to start. After multiple attempts to start the vehicle, I finally was able to get it started and I scheduled repair at nissan. When I took it in for repair, the service advisor said since the warning light was not actively illuminating, they were not able to pull codes and therefore not able to diagnose or repair. They sent me on my way and instructed me to return when the warning was displayed again. During this visit, my car was still under the mfg. Warranty. Last week, while driving 50 mph and about to enter the freeway in southern ca with 75+ speeds, the bci malfunction light came on and my brakes immediately seized causing me to stop abruptly. I was able to move to the side of the road and call a tow truck. The vehicle was towed to nissan who had it for 3 days and said they were unable to duplicate the issue and felt the brake switch was just out of adjustment. I'm not sure how a brake switch could become out of adjustment and it does not sound like a reasonable answer to me. I do not feel safe driving this vehicle. If you look up nissan armada bci malfunction on an internet search, you will find several complaints with owners having the same issue. Why is this not a recall?! This is a major safety issue if the brakes are seizing up while driving! I was getting ready to enter the freeway and in southern ca, freeway speed is 75+ mph! Is it going to take someone dying before nissan handles this problem???
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Unknown Or Other
DateJul 26, 2022
The 2020 nissan armada platinum began with a bci malfunction notification on the dash, as well as multiple other warning lights illuminating on the same time on the dash. As well the low windshield washer fluid light came on after just changing the oil and checking fluids in mid-june. Reservoir was filled with additional washer fluid, the notification went off, but returned 30 minutes later despite the reservoir being full. Later in the day, the gear shift would not immediately engage to allow me to put the car into drive. While sitting at a stop light in a turn lane the car was put into park to adjust the navigation settings. From that point, the car would not shift into any other gear to make the car operational. Panicked and blocking traffic in the road, the car was turned off in the hopes it could be turned back on and it would engage the gear shift. The armada would not start after that point at all. I sat for ten minutes attempting to restart the car, constantly having to get out of my car to waive traffic around me, putting myself at risk of being hit. Thankfully, a local fire dept was coming back from a call, and stopped to assist me. They blocked traffic to my right with their fire engine, and a family member came and blocked traffic from behind me with their vehicle to keep me safer than I had been. The firemen tried everything they could to get the car to start to get the car to safety as we contacted a tow truck. With no success after another 20 minutes, they had to get a long screwdriver from the fire engine to release the shift lock to be able to put the armada in neutral. It took three firemen, and a family member to be able to push the car across three lanes of traffic, with the fire engine driving alongside my right to block traffic, pushing me into a busy intersection (at one point with an 18-wheel coming at us) to make a right onto the connecting street to a gas station parking lot to await a tow to the dealership. So scary!
CategoryFuel System, Gasoline
DateMar 08, 2022
The contact owns a 2020 nissan armada. The contact stated that while the vehicle was parked, there was oil leaking onto the ground. The dealer and jenkins nissan of leesburg (8865 us-441, leesburg, fl 34788) were made aware of the failure. Jenkins nissan of leesburg informed the contact of nhtsa campaign number: 21v373000 (fuel system, gasoline) associated with the vin and scheduled an upcoming appointment for diagnostic testing. Both dealers informed the contact that parts were on backorder. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that there was a stop-sale issued on the vehicle in june 2021. The failure mileage was approximately 43,000. Parts distribution disconnect.
DateFeb 27, 2022
On multiple occasions, when I stop on stop sign or light and then start hitting gas the car won't move , engine turn off almost to the point where no sounds come off the engine. This happened on multiple occasions on high ways, in town and keeps happening. I took to nissan service and I was told everything is fine . Then it keeps happening creating huge safety risks .
CategoryFuel System, Gasoline
DateNov 12, 2021
The contact owns a 2020 nissan armada. The contact was informed by the dealer that the vin was included in nhtsa campaign number: 21v373000 (fuel system, gasoline) however, the part to do the recall repair was unavailable. The contact took the vehicle to the local dealer and it was confirmed that the part was not yet available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
CategoryEngine, Unknown Or Other
DateOct 02, 2021
My car had the recall work completed about a month ago, just for your information. Yesterday, while out with a friend ,I noticed, and made comments aloud about “ is my car in drive?”…”my car feels like it's ‘pulling' or something, almost like the emergency brake engaged …(but it was not) periodically I continued to mutter these same types of statements intermittently. I had decided, if the vehicle continued, I would call dealership for appt. It is still under complete warranty and just turned 16,000 miles. Later that afternoon, at about 5:30 pm my friend and I were driving out of a restaurant parking lot, preparing to pull onto a (somewhat) main rd, when suddenly, and without any warning the car unexpectedly accelerated, totally,lunging us forward up a curb, up onto a berm/median, that divides north and southbound traffic, and over a boulder/huge decorative rock, app. Three feet high, slammed us back down, both very frightened , I yelled “I can't make it stop!!” I thought to turn off engine or put into neutral ,as we were then on the wrong side of the road ,facing oncoming traffic…. My friend yelled for me to turn into another parking lot. At that juncture I was able to do so, successfully, then turned the car off. I'm still unsure if I was able to place the out-of-control car in neutral. Even with seatbelts on, we were being tossed up and down like rag dolls. Friend immediately tearful due to sternum pain & hand pain. My hand was hurting, as was my rib cage area in front right and right side of spine & knee. These “injuries” were noticeable within a few minutes of exiting the car, calming down a bit & looking to see damage. We were beyond stunned, and were attempting to figure out what had just happened to us! The undercarriage of the vehicle appeared bent,hood buckled ,pieces of under car were left in oncoming lane,paint cracks from force jamming car into curbs, median/berm & boulder. Followed nissan protocol. Car towed to nearest dealer,they will call w/I days.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateJun 15, 2021
I feel that there should be a more visible notification or warning if the headlights are not on at night. While driving at night on the highway a car in front of me rapidly switched lanes to avoid exiting the highway and nearly caused a major high speed accident. He didn't see us because the headlights weren't on. All of the dashboard lights come on even though the headlights are off- so it gives you a false sense that the headlights are on. There is a very small green light that comes on when the headlights are on, but there should either be no dashboard lights or a message that warns you about the headlights.

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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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