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

Structure, electrical system, and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

A popular SUV continues to be the 2020 Nissan Murano. The automaker claims it has the “tech that anticipates what’s next.” However, owners haven’t been as pleased as they should be, mainly because of the defective structure, malfunctioning steering and faulty electrical system.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2017 2018 2019

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Nissan Murano

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Power Train
Air Bags

Problems with the Structure

While this Nissan is no Infiniti, it should still be built to a high standard, but it’s not. Customers continue to balk at minor to major defects that cause trouble driving.

Here is one such example from an NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2020 Nissan Murano. The contact stated that the hood reflects the sunlight right into the driver’s eyes impairing their vision. The sunlight reflection impairs the contact’s vision while driving. This could cause an accident since the contact cannot see the road while driving. The dealer stated that there was no assistance that could be provided regarding the issue. The manufacturer was contacted due to the concern. The contact was informed that the vehicle operated as designed. No additional assistance was provided. The failure mileage was 300.”

There’s nothing worse than dumping a whole load of money on a new vehicle only to find out 300 miles later that there is a major defect. Then, having the automaker claim that nothing can be done is even more frustrating. It turns out that this isn’t the only documented problem. Service Bulletin #NTB18-035b also discusses how it doesn’t take long before the front passenger carpet can be pulled out from under the trim. With all of this in mind, maybe it’s time for Nissan to “anticipate what’s next.” In the foreseeable future, it’s expected that customers are going to jump ship for another brand.

Problems with the Electrical System

Considering that Nissan wants to boast about this SUVs technical expertise, it only makes sense to look at the electrical system. It doesn’t take long to find an extensive list of complaints.

Here is one from the Edmunds website. “This SUV might be the worst vehicle ever built, on par with the AMC Pacer. Expect many problems including dysfunctional cruise control and dangerous autonomous braking. The car will stop for unexpected reasons – beyond the mechanic’s ability to repair. This model should have the designation ‘POS’ appended to the model name. Worst vehicle I’ve ever owned.”

While some electrical concerns are more about convenience, there are defects that cause more worry. Service Bulletin #NTB19-071, for example, discusses how the Occupant Detection Sensor Unit might be defective. Without this system working the way it should, the Murano cannot determine if someone is sitting in the passenger seat, thereby leaving that occupant vulnerable if an accident were to occur. When no one is recognized in the seat, the air bag might not deploy, leading to more injuries. Of course, there’s always the option to wrap the passengers in bubble wrap instead.

Problems with the Steering

A look at the steering system reveals the same level of defects that the Murano is getting a reputation for.

Here is one more Edmunds review. “This car drifts all over the road you really have to hold steering wheel tight to feel in control of vehicle. The setup of the gas pedal, brake caused a lot of knee pain for me and the big console in the middle did not allow for knee movement.”

The steering system is a major part of any working vehicle. It’s just as important as components such as the engine and powertrain. While on that subject, it’s important to note that the Murano has known transmission problems. Service Bulletin #NTB17-003a says that fluid can leak by the transfer assembly near the right side drive shaft seal. New cars shouldn’t experience any type of leakage, as this only proves it wasn’t manufactured correctly. While Nissan is focused on coming up with state-of-the-art technology, the basics of car manufacturing are falling by the wayside.

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Complaint Data

CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control, Service Brakes
DateFeb 14, 2023
The contact owns a 2020 nissan murano. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph with the cruise control activated, the vehicle experienced unintended acceleration. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired by an independent mechanic or dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 18,000.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateFeb 02, 2023
While driving down interstate the car's automatic collision breaking system activated and brought the car to an immediate stop. While breaking the information screen in the steering wheel area flashed red with an explanation point symbol but as soon as the breaking was done it went away and no other lights appeared on the dash indicating an issue. There was nothing that should have triggered the automatic collision braking system to have engaged. Had someone been directly behind me this could have easily caused an accident by them slamming into the back of my car as nothing would have caused them to expect sudden breaking by me. The unexpected sudden breaking happened twice within a 10 minute window while driving on interstate. I have driven it minimally since so I could have it looked at by the dealer to review the issue as it is under warranty and I felt it unsafe to drive. The car has been inspected by a nissan dealer and they are unable to reproduce the issue and are not taking any repair action at this time.
CategorySteering, Suspension
DateJan 15, 2023
This is a 2020 nissan murano s. The vehicle has been well maintained and taken to the dealership for maintenance periodically. I usually take my vehicle to either antwerpen nissan clarksville or antwerpen nissan security. I took my vehicle to antwerpen nissan security for a transmission flush and change. Shortly after that service I started to notice an oil smell coming into the cabin. I took it back to them twice and they did not see any leakage or anything to cause the smell. I later took my car to antwerpen clarksville. They didn't notice the smell but said I needed to replace both front lower control arms for 55. 88. Front lower control arms splitting, dry rotting. This car was purchased brand new and only had 62k miles. This appears to be premature wear and of course the warranty as passed, which would have been 5 years or 60,000 miles. Out of all the visits I had, no one seen this premature wear on the control arm until this visit. This doesn't happen overnight, and I think nissan should cover this. My vehicle was seen at antwerpen nissan at 56k and inspected and the dealer never mentioned this issue.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateSep 20, 2022
Vehicle routinely triggers the automatic emergency braking system when approaching a certain overpass. Speeds are usually around 40 to 50 mph. Occasionally triggers at other locations where no obstacle should be triggering it. Local nissan dealer has inspected the system several times, including sending to a specialist, and found no defect.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 24, 2022
Unknown - (a)vehicle was recalled for suspension issue/repair was made (b)vibrations while accelerating (>35mph)/tires rotated and balanced - did not correct issue (c)swapped wheels and tires - still vibration - removed drive shaft and test drove with no vibration - replaced shaft (d)vibrations again less than 2 months after fix - back in shop - is this a driveline or suspension problem
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
DateMay 05, 2022
Yesterday, my wife and I were on i94 eastbound in heavy afternoon traffic, in the left of three lanes, and crossed from minnesota into wisconsin. The car was on interactive cruise control. The freeway entry to wisconsin is a long, uphill grade and I needed to get out of the left lane in preparation to exit about 3 miles ahead. I turned off the interactive cruise control and pressed the accelerator in order to safely merge into the faster moving center lane. I instantly lost control of the engine. Not only did the engine not respond to pressing the accelerator, it actually bogged down and slowed. Having effectively lost power because I had no control over the engine, I tried to shelter on the left shoulder but is was not wide enough to get the car out of the left lane. Worse, the narrow shoulder between the left lane and the concrete barrier wall was full of debris, and I immediately had a terrible fear of puncturing a tire in which case I would really be in trouble. The car came to a stop and I still had no control over the engine, sitting there with high speed traffic swerving around us. I put the transmission in neutral and it still didn't respond to the throttle, and the same with park. Finally, I stopped the engine and restarted, and I then had control of the car. When a gap in traffic came, I got back on the freeway and continued home with no further incident. I could easily have been hit by a high speed vehicle, or caused a severe accident involving others due to vehicles unexpectedly finding us stopped, and still partially in the left lane. The car will go to the dealer next week. I was so terrified that I do not know if there were warning lights lit on the dash, but I didn't see any.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMar 12, 2022
On feb 26, 2022; my wife and I were driving down a hwy in sw georgia at approximately 60 mph and our 2020 nissan murano sunroof literally exploded. The roof was fully closed at the time and the sun shade was also closed. It was like a shot gun blast. Was a good thing I was driving, had my wife been driving I suspect she would have reacted in a manner that would have wrecked us. We were both shook up. Hearing wind blowing into car, I slightly opened the sun shade and could tell the center portion of the sun roof had blown out and shivers of glass came down onto us, I closed the shade and pulled over at next available opportunity. At the time the sun roof exploded, there were no other vehicles within approx 1/4 mile in front of us, we had not just passed any vehicle, there were no overpasses, and nothing we recall to have hit the roof. At the time, we were traveling out of our home town, a significant way from home; as soon as I stopped, I took photos of the roof from the exterior above the shattered sunroof with the center section blown out. I was able to purchase a heavy duct tape and tapped the shattered sunroof from the top, with several layers of tap to secure the remaining shattered glass/sun roof. We were able to travel on home. I immediately contacted the dealership (greenway nissan brunswick ga) were we had purchased the 2020 nissan murano vehicle and explained what happened. I was told they had never heard of that happening. We had purchased the platnum extended warranty with our new murano. I scheduled an appointment and took my vehicle to the greenway dealership on mar 8, 2022; and the sun roof was replaced under warranted, and my vehicle was returned to me on mar 10, 2022 with a new sun roof (ref: greenway invoice 48890). The sun shade had a scratch approximately 18”, but was not replaced because the adjuster could not determine it was caused by the roof explosion, which I don't see how it could not have been.
DateMar 09, 2022
The contact owns a 2020 nissan murano. The contact stated that while driving at 64 mph, the vehicle became wobbly. The contact stated that after driving over a pothole in the roadway while she was driving on a bridge, the failure almost caused the vehicle to crash into the side of the bridge. The contact veered to the side of the road and inspected the vehicle but could not determine the cause of the failure. The contact continued to drive the vehicle at a slower speed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who inspected the tires and informed the contact that the tires were properly inflated. The contact stated that the failure had been reoccurring while driving and the vehicle was wobbly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 19,000.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateFeb 25, 2022
We've had the vehicle over a year and have never been able to get used to the forward and backward collision avoidance emergency braking, as it seems to activate for no reason at all. Multiple times this has happened to my wife, the primary driver. She's too anxious to drive it on days with inclement weather when it's the worst. We have the car being evaluated by the dealer, if they can't repair or disable, sensors and auto braking then I'm going to get them to buy it back from me.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateFeb 06, 2022
I-95 nissan, a dealership in riviera beach florida received a stop sale order on this car on march 10, 2021. I went to the dealership on 4/13/2021 to get the oil changed and tires rotated on my 2015 nissan murano platinum. My existing vehicle was in perfect mechanical condition, and while I was awaiting the completion of my oil change, a sales person came up and began to chat with me, and told me I needed to buy a new car, and said my car would be junk in no time, and I needed to get rid of it before it was literally worth nothing. This man did not relent all day long. I finally caved and bought the 2020 murano against my better judgement, and I had no idea it had a recall issued on it, but they did! About 2 months later, I get a call from the dealership inviting me in for a free oil change and tire rotation on the new purchase. I declined, because I was ultimately not satisfied with the salespersons behavior post-purchase. He continued to text me and ask me out to dinner, dancing, etc. Until I finally blocked his phone number. So, I had no intention on getting anything further from that nissan dealership. The person on the phone mentioned that they really needed to get the car in there because they really should not have sold it to me with an open recall, and they needed to get that fixed. I still declined, and did some research, only to find that it's a pretty major safety recall, that could affect the steering loss. I also discovered that federal law 49 u. S. Code § 30116 – defects and noncompliance found before sale to purchaser, prohibits the sale of a new vehicle with an open safety recall!!! I contacted nissan, and they opened case# 45574832, about the sales experience, but stated the dealership is independent of them, and I would need to remedy the situation directly with them. I attempted to do so numerous times, to no avail. They have continually publicly denying my requests, blocking my reviews about the dealership and I am now at this point.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Power Train
DateDec 22, 2021
While parallel parking, we backed into the space and when we put the car into drive, it lurched forward at an incredible speed. We hit and pushed the car parked in front of us, hopped up onto the sidewalk, knocked down a street light, and moved a huge concrete planter. The airbags over the windshield and under the dashboard deployed. The bags under the dash exploded with such force that they injured my husband's legs, and he has been seeing a wound doctor for the past five weeks. The car was towed to a repair shop. I reported the incident to nissan na; they sent a representative to retrieve information from the edr. Nissan has advised that no mechanical problems were recorded but we are absolutely certain the car malfunctioned. We think it might have been a problem with the cvt.
CategoryAir Bags
DateNov 22, 2021
When my wife sits down in the passenger seat the light in the dash that says the passenger airbag is engaged doesn't go out and you have to play with the seat belt clip to get it to go out. This has happened twice within the last two days and I have not yet brought it to the attention of the dealer nor nissan.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 09, 2021
I called my dealership up and they do not have the knuckle part as of yet so they wont look at my car due to taking it apart to check on it . Catch 22 , need the part in their dealership then schedule the car to be looked at will give me a loaner for maybe a week then do the recall . Until then have to wait [xxx] cells d [xxx] f [xxx] emails [xxx] no incident as of yet but there is a concern if there is an accident or incident that causes something and we cant get this fixed . We make payments on a car that can have or does have a defect . Information redacted pursuant to the freedom of information act (foia), 5 u. S. C. 552(b)(6).
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 07, 2021
Sunroof exploded while driving.
CategoryPower Train
DateJun 08, 2021
The contact owns a 2020 nissan murano. The contact stated that when the vehicle was shifted into park, the vehicle continued rolling forward. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the mechanic was unable to identify the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and a case was filed. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Service Brakes
DateMay 02, 2021
I was driving at approximately 25 mph and my vehicle suddenly slammed on the brakes without warning. A red warning screen lit up on my dash. There were no pedestrians or other vehicles in front of me. Luckily, the car behind me was able to stop without hitting me.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateApr 05, 2021
I have a 2020 nissan murano that had 3 occurrences in a 48 hour period where the automatic emergency braking system caused my car to stop immediately with no warning or obstruction in the road. The 1st incident occurred when I was traveling approximately 30 miles per hour on a city street. My car went from 30 to 0 with no warning. The motor didn't stall out, the car was still idling but the car just stopped on the road. I was not braking at the time. I'm thankful no vehicle was traveling behind me at the time. The next 2 occurrences happened while backing out of my drive way. Again there was nothing in the way to obstruct the vehicle from backing out. No maintenance lights or warning lights showed up. When I took my vehicle to the dealership, they found nothing wrong. The computer didn't show anything was in need of repair. I told them there was no maintenance or warning light that showed on any of the 3 occurrences.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateMar 13, 2021
Upon initial state safety inspection for brand new car, nissan service reported metal shavings were found in oil pan and oil was shiny. Check engine light and oil light were not on when car was presented for inspection, and would not go off. Servicer reported that the long block engine was replaced (did not obtain consent or inform me of what the defect was) and work summary stated problem with oil pump. For the week I drove the car, I could sometimes smell funny smell when exiting vehicle after turning off the engine, but attributed it to new car smells.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Service Brakes
DateMar 03, 2021
I was driving 25 mph when the car automatic stopped and applied the automatic emergency brake (aeb) was applied with no obstacles around on a clear sunny day. Purchased the car new with only 3 miles on it. Car came to a complete stop. I am afraid for my safety. Took the car in to dealer and was told nothing is wrong with the car within 1 week it happend again and I was told by the dealer there's nothing wrong with the car.
DateJan 24, 2021
I went from a white 2019 nissan murano to a black 2020 murano. The week after I got it, I took a trip to the gulf coast. On my way down, when the sun was overhead, the rear "lip" of the hood acted just like a mirror and reflected the sun right in the drivers eyes. If you look at the hood, it slants up like a normal hood, then the last 3 inches are tilted down toward the cowl/windshield wiper area. I am attaching a picture, however it does not accurately show how bright this reflection is. It is exactly like somebody taking a mirror and shining it in your eyes. I participate in the nissan employee lease program and took it back to the administrator and they said that they cannot do anything about it; that it was a design issue. This situation only happens when the sun is high in the sky but it is a very dangerous situation when it reflects in your eyes. Below asks for a specific date but it happens any time the conditions are right.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateOct 31, 2020
I was driving 40 mph when the car automatic stopped and applied the automatic emergency brake (aeb) was applied with no obstacles around on a clear sunny day. The car is brand new with only 1100 miles on it. Car came to a complete stop. I am afraid for my safety and will contact the dealer where I purchased the car first thing monday morning (11/2).
CategoryService Brakes
DateOct 19, 2020
We purchased this murano 3/4/2020. It was a demo driven by the sales manager. We noticed that when stepping on the brakes there is a grinding sound. An secure odometer reading was not attached to the contract so we do not know how many miles the sales manager drove the car. This is a federal offense with a fine up to ,000 for pinnacle nissan to not supply us with a secure odometer reading. We are senior citizens, I am 73 and my husband is 86. We live approximately 120 miles from the dealership. We will not drive the car because it could be fatal to our lives. We have tried contacting the general manager and he does not return our calls. We finally decided to hire and attorney. They also baited and switched the price of the car. Packed the invoice, and treated us with disrespect. Ing on the brakes there was a grinding noise. The car was in motion. We do not know ho10,000 by pinw many miles the sales manager drove the car because a secure odom
DateFeb 11, 2020
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 nissan murano. The contact stated that the hood reflects the sunlight right into the driver's eyes impairing their vision. The sunlight reflection impairs the contact's vision while driving. This could cause an accident since the contact can not see the road while driving the dealer rock hill nissan 550 galleria blvd, rock hill, sc 29730 (803) 818-2713 stated that there was no assistance that could be provided regarding the issue. The manufacturer was contacted due to the concern. The contact was informed that the vehicle operated as designed. No additional assistance was provided. The failure mileage was 300.

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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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