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

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

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

It’s becoming more popular to drive compact vehicles such as the 2020 Nissan Kicks. The automaker claims that this vehicle helps owners “flex your technology,” but the overall consensus is that this model is a dud. From the faulty engine to the defective fuel system and poor visibility, Nissan has a lot to answer for.

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Problems with the Engine

Arguably, the engine is the most important part of any vehicle. If this component is defective, there’s no way to enjoy the drive.

That’s what this NHTSA complaint discusses. “The car stalled while driving causing a safety concern. The engine was still running. However, the car would not move. After shutting it down and restarting the car a second time, the car started moving again.”

It turns out that there are other engine concerns. Service Bulletin #PM945 talks about vehicles requiring an Engine Control Module calibration to change alternator control and idle speed to resolve trouble with the engine stalling when coming to a stop. With this in mind, it might not be best to “get your Kicks on Rt. 66” with this Nissan model.

Problems with the Fuel System

Working in conjunction with the engine is the fuel system. If this equipment is defective in any way, it will also drastically change the ride and handling.

Here is another NHTSA complaint to look at. “I purchased a 2020 Nissan Kicks with 11 miles on 1/1/20. The car began shaking and stalling when stopped in traffic, and at lights on 1/10/20, with 250 miles on the odometer. After 3 service appointments, taking pictures and using the event recorder as instructed, I was informed on 3/5/20, there is currently no fix for this Kicks. Engineers are aware of the problem, and they will contact me when an update is available that may resolve the problem. This vehicle has stalled out 19 times as of 3/9/20, with 2039 miles on the odometer. The Nissan dealership where I purchased and serviced the vehicle could not repair and would not replace the vehicle, after 3 visits totaling 9 days in the shop within the first 60 days of purchase, I have been directed to follow up with Nissan Consumer Affairs with my concerns. Nissan will be sending an engineer to further inspect the vehicle within the next 2 weeks. Concern: The vehicle shakes/shudders and/or shuts down while driving in stop and go traffic, stopping at traffic lights and signs, and also when stopping to park. During these events the vehicle is in Drive, with brake pedal depressed. No warning lights appear on the dash display except the battery and oil light after the engine has stalled. Each even has been resolved by placing vehicle in Drive and restarting the engine. The events are inconsistent/unpredictable, having occurred twice in the same mile, or up to 358 miles between events; also having occurred 0-4 times every 0-10 days.”

When it comes to the fuel system, Nissan doesn’t really want to discuss any problems. As of now, there are no communications between the automaker and technicians regarding any trouble. Still, it’s clear that owners are unable to “flex” their “technology” due to the lack of care and concern by the Nissan dealerships.

Problems with the Visibility/Wiper

Finally, any vehicle must be equipped with reliable visibility. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to see and puts a lot of people in danger.

Yet, there is another NHTSA complaint about this part of the Kicks. “Back window cleaner keeps leaking, leaving streaks down back window.”

It’s as if the Kicks wants to constantly bathe itself and wash itself clean of all the defects. Still, it’s evident that this isn’t the only design problem with the Nissan model. Service Bulletin #NTB19-111 also talks about how the front seat belt might not extend down from its stowed position, further leaving people in jeopardy. At this point, it might be best if owners  “flex” their choice to pick a different car altogether.

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.

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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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  • Erica

    I have a 2021 Kicks at 6,000 miles my transmission went out. The screen blacks out for no reason. When parked on an incline it’s really hard to put it in gear and makes a horrible noise when you get it in gear. The side sensors go off and engage the braking system. now the latest is my lift gate won’t stay open. I bought this in Dec. 2021 because my other Nissan 2018 Versa the transmission went out in it. The dealer made me pay 1800 for the Versas parts before they would trade it in. I always say I bought a LEMON not an orange kicks

  • Jacqueline R

    I have a 2020 Nissan Kicks got in November 2021 at 11,000 miles . Do anyone have a problem with your passenger side making a rubbing sound.

  • Tasneem T

    I purchase Nissan kicks 2020 in March 2021 and at 22 miles (on the second day of my purchase) the car lost power at a signal and didn’t even move at full acceleration. After having fuelling several times, it started moving at a snail speed and later it speeded up. Reported to the dealer and they fixed it after having kept the car for 10 days in their workshop. Again in January 2022 the same problem occured at 13527 miles and it was fixed by the dealer in one week time. And now at 17100 miles the problem has occurred for the third time. Nissan USA is less bothered and doesn’t resolve it for once and for all.Its a nightmare and wouldn’t advise anybody to go for this model. Looks like it’s a failure model.

  • Elise

    I also have a 2020 kicks. When I first bought it, it would sometimes make a knocking sound when backing up. Then the CK engine light stays on. Now 3 different warning lights stay on and cruise control is malfunctioning. What next?

  • Donna A

    I have the 2020 Nissan Kicks and since day one every time I apply the brakes it makes a knocking noise. Now the dashboard warning lights come on after driving for about 30 seconds and stay on. Also once the warning lights come on then the auto diming head lights don’t work. Last week the radio station started changing stations on it’s own. I have taken it to the Nissan dealership and they say they don’t know how to fix! How is this even possible??

  • GUY M

    Well” my 2020 kicks has not given me any issues yet I have almost 14000 on it and it’s going into the shop for scheduled maintenance on Monday 4th 2021 @8:30. It’s Ben a good car to me . I have the device called fix and run it on my fix ..each time it has scanned the system it has come back with no issues detected. There is always later..we will see. I would hate to give up this car as I have 33 miles to the gallon. All you people out there make me ask my self will I experience later? When ? Who knows but for now ..just dive and take care of it in the way of keeping it washed and vacuumed and oil changes .this all any of us can do until problems hit.

  • JerryV.

    Front collision detection failure warning, comes on for no apparent reason goes off with restart. I use a hand free car wash like someone else talked about. Love my Kicks; hope it is a fixable problem.

  • Erica

    I’ve had my car a year now I have had it in the shop three times over transmission, And the sea owners manual rear and front sensors going off or flashing stuttering around corners, and on occasion slamming into gear. They say nothings wrong with the car other than a transmission update is needed that was done same issues still occurring. Now I have a check engine light on and another appointment this car is the biggest, largest, Headache I’ve ever owned. I’m fairly certain this will be the last Nissan I buy.

  • Amanda j

    I have a 2020 Nissan kicks. Bought it with 14 miles on it.. I am a commuter and at 75,000 the transmission had to be completely replaced!! Now it’s at 108,000 miles and it’s constantly stalling on me while the car is still running. Almost Everytime I stop , it will not take off when time to go. Gas pedal goes all the way to floor with no movement. Almost been hit by other vehicles more times than I can count! My lights constantly flicker . The headlights and interior lights . This car is the devil and it’s out to get me ..I suggest you skip buying the kicks all together!

  • Kenyatta

    I have a 2020 nissan kicks this is the second time the front inercaer light came on. Something to do with the braking system. I only have 1600 Mike’s on it. Dont know how many miles it take for it to stop coming on. The dealership anit much help.

  • John C

    I now have 7200 miles on my 2020 Nissan Kicks. At 1000 miles my front auto break detection warning light came on for no reason. The dealer replaced the radar system. I am now dealing with the rear auto detection warning light coming on. They checked it out and said I must have hit one of the 4 sensors on the rear bumper. I told the dealer I have never hit anything.They asked if I washed my car or took it to a car wash. I take it to a car wash. The dealer said they might have done something to the sensor, and that was a common issue. Nonsense! It only took 2 weeks for the warning light to come on again, and has come on3 times in the last 2 weeks, including today, when my blind spot warning came on , and they ceased working. I am scared to take this car on a long trip. Taking it back to the dealer in the AM. Can’t wait for this diagnosis.!

  • Keith W

    My 2020 Kicks powered off randomly tonight. No idea why. It turn back on about 10 minutes later. Only had the car for 2 or 3 months.

  • David M

    Got This Car as a Rental While Waiting for My Car to Be Repaired following a Collision!!
    This Car Simply Feels Unsafe.
    have not felt this insecure driving an automobile since I had to drive My brothers ’73 Pinto during High School!!
    Sadly, I am Stuck with Poor Acceleration (Dangerous when merging into Traffic) and al the other things that Make it Feel Unsafe, until My Regular Car is either repaired or Totaled, and God Knows how long That will Take!! I strongly recommend that you pass this model by!! As For Enterprise Rental Cars, You would do yourself well to Pass them By as Well!

  • Liliane

    Hi i have Nissan kicks 2018,
    The light doesn’t switch off in auto mode and doesn’t give the voice signal while opening and closing it. Please advise how can I fix it.

  • Jessica M

    I have a 2020 Nissan kicks and I am having an issue with the back rear tire. I took it to get an alignment and they told me that there’s no way that it could be aligned I took it to Nissan and they refused to fix it I called consumer affairs and they refused to help me with the situation I don’t know what else to do it’s wasting at the back of my tire faster than the rest of them. I also took my vehicle in for regular service and they just committed fraud because they didn’t even do the service I requested on my vehicle at the time I had to get a second opinion to find out about the alignment and the defect in the right rear tire if anyone else is having that issue

  • Vince

    Have a 2020 Nissan kicks with 747 miles on it and the power training indicator light came on checked it cylinder number 2 miss firing

  • Myrtle D

    Has anyone had a problem with the safety system?

  • Caitlan

    Nissan kicks S 2020. I have had issues ranging from the car stalling, radio and camera displays blacking out randomly, car not cranking, auto brake feature going off randomly, and crash sensors going off for no reason. I have taken it to the dealer three times now and raised the concerns and everytime they say”oh we reset the sensors, we updated a chip, or we can’t get it to replicate” I have had this car for only 6 months and only have 13,000 miles on it. I hate this car yet they refuse to replace it or take it back.

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