2020 Nissan Rogue Problems Overview

Our analysis found that forward collision avoidance, brakes, electrical system, and airbag issues are among the top reported problems.

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

With SUVs continuing to gain in popularity, one might wonder what makes the 2020 Nissan Rogue special. The automaker claims it makes owners “feel at home on the road,” but relaxing in a house isn’t nearly as frightening as some people find driving this vehicle. The most common complaints relate to the automatic emergency braking system and malfunction warnings.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2021   2022   2023

Problems Summary

Looking at the complaints lodged with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) it is clear to see that forward collision avoidance and braking issues are paramount. Most of these indicate that the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system is compromised. Complaints about this issue are usually reported as forward collision avoidance and/or service brake problems.

There are also a large number of complaints about the electrical system. These are varied, ranging from key fob issues to a USB port in the console catching fire while the 2020 Rogue was parked. The vehicle was destroyed. Several complaints about the AEB system are also listed as being electrical issues.

Airbag problems are also high on the list of complaints, with nearly half of them reporting injuries due to airbags not deploying.

Other components and systems listed as being problematic include backover prevention, engine and engine cooling, powertrain, and vehicle speed control.

Complaints are spread between two NHTSA pages, one specifically for the Nissan Rogue Sport. Most issues are common to all Rogue models, except an issue with the engine cooling fan that appears to be more prevalent in the Sport.

There is one recall that affects all models of the 2020 Nissan Rogue. Issued on February 16, 2023, NHTSA Campaign Number 23V093000 warns that the ignition key may collapse and shut off vehicles. This will, of course, increase the risk of a crash. Another risk is that if the vehicle shuts off while driving, the airbags may not deploy as intended, which increases the risk of injury.

The recall affects a total number of 712,458 2014-2020 Rogue and 2017-2022 Rogue Sport vehicles with a jackknife-style ignition key.

Automatic Emergency Braking System Problems

Close to half of the complaints on file with the NHTSA describe dangerous AEB system malfunctions with vehicles stopping for no reason or malfunction lights displaying. Some malfunction lights warn that the vehicle “is not safe to drive.” Several complaints report crashes, while many more say they narrowly escaped crashing.

A complaint that records the warning, “This vehicle is not safe to drive,” states that the dealership diagnosed faulty brakes. However, the dealership could not fix the problem — “and ignores me mostly. They said it’s a sensor issue, a settings feature issue and to bring in the vehicle to reset the settings. The dealership said in so many unspoken words, it’s your problem.”

But perhaps it was a situation of the dealership not being able to find the failure. This seems to happen a lot. For instance, an owner from North Carolina states that while driving at about 20 mph, the forward collision avoidance alert system suddenly activated. The vehicle stopped briefly and he was able to continue driving. This happened twice. Additionally, whenever reversing, the collision avoidance system was activated without any vehicle nearby. The dealer’s mechanic was unable to determine the cause of the failure.

An owner from Georgia experienced automatic braking several times. Again, the dealer was unable to identify a problem. The owner did some research and discovered a technical service bulletin (TSB) that alerts dealers to “false activation of the AEB,” as well as forward emergency braking (FEB), and forward collision warning (FCW) for 2017-2020 Nissan Rogue vehicles. The dealer’s master technician retested the Rogue and said the TSB did not apply to this vehicle. “I am now very hesitant to drive this vehicle due to the fact that the vehicle may stop at any time and could cause a crash.”

Reports of 2020 Rogue Vehicles Crashing

An owner from Ohio was pulling into a parking space going about 2 mph. “About 4 feet from a pole the engine raced and the car slammed into the pole. The airbags did not deploy. I was the only person in the car and my foot was still on the brake after the collision. I asked Nissan to investigate and they said I would have to wait to get the car fixed for two months and store and tow it at my own expense. It was already being repaired and my insurance company will only pay for a rental for 50 days.”

An owner from Florida was injured in a crash caused by an AEB malfunction. While making a left turn at a stop sign, the vehicle suddenly stopped, causing the vehicle to be rear-ended. No airbags were deployed, and the driver suffered back injuries and required medical attention. The dealer was unable to either recreate the failure or identify its cause!

An owner from Missouri was driving her brand new 2020 Rogue when the AEB system “slammed on the brakes at full force making her slip and go over a curb.” Her foot didn’t touch the brakes. Her husband states in the complaint, “She was scared to death. The collision system is supposed to stop accidents, not cause them.”

The front sensors of a Rogue in New York activated during a snowstorm, triggering the brakes and steering wheel to lock. “The car slid 50 yards across (a) 3-way stop sign intersection into a house front lawn. The same sensors keep coming on all the time.” Frustrated that no one at Nissan seemed to be trying to fix the problem, he states, “I’m filing a complaint with (the) NY State Attorney General’s office. I can’t take it anymore.”

Key Fob Problems

A complaint lodged with the NHTSA in November states that a 2020 Nissan Rogue Sport S AWD unexpectedly shut down twice, “almost causing massive accidents and potentially severe injury and/or death for everyone affected.” After the brakes malfunctioned, the vehicle had no power steering, and the electrical system and lights went dead. “This is all due to the JackKnife Key recall, which was not properly disclosed by the dealership, and which Nissan refuses to properly address and fix.”

The complaint maintains that the recall fix “is negligent” because it needs a plastic spacer that requires the “key fob to have the key out in the open position at all times. The issue is that the key fob was never engineered to be in an open position at all times, so it would most likely brake fast. This would require the consumer to now pay thousands of dollars to have a new key fob made and to replace the affected areas of the key slot.” The complaint states this is “Nissan’s cheap fix … that probably costs less than $0.99 to produce, all in the name of increased profits and decreased costs by finding the most unsafe and cheapest solution possible.“

The owner of a 2020 Nissan Rogue S states that “The doors lock randomly when in (the) vehicle or away from (the) vehicle without using the key fob.” This adds to the problem confirmed in Nissan’s recall notification.

Additionally, there are several complaints that key fob recall repair is not available. The most recent of these is dated June 23, 2023.

Engine Cooling Fan Problems

After his engine cooling fan stopped working, an owner was presented with some alarming information by the Nissan dealership. They said it “is a big issue with this specific vehicle and that it’s hard to get the part because this is always an issue.” The complaint continues, stating that the air conditioner stopped working. The dealership said, “If I drive with the cooling fan broken it will explode. How is this not a recall? This has been reproduced by ALL Nissan dealerships and the Nissan dealership is who told me this and diagnosed my car.”

Another owner states that the air conditioner “began blowing cold and hot intermittently as the car was idle but no engine lights were coming on. 5 days later a mechanic was able to look at (the) vehicle and discovered the one fan responsible for (the) entire car wasn’t not coming on. It was only the air being pushed into the front of (the) vehicle by having it in motion that was turning the fan thus making the vehicle blow cold air when in motion and keeping the engine cooled. No warning lights were coming on and staying on.”

In August 2023, five months after the recall was issued, an owner from Georgia stalled while leaving a parking lot. There was steam coming out of the engine. The vehicle was towed to a local dealer and the owner was told that the cooling fan needed to be replaced. However, the parts were on backorder and the vehicle could not be serviced!

Airbag Problems

Airbags are a vital safety element in any vehicle. If they don’t deploy when the vehicle crashes, occupants risk serious injury.

A complaint from the mother of a Missouri woman whose 2020 Rogue Sport was hit by another vehicle states her daughter was injured. The airbags didn’t deploy. She had been attempting to merge onto the highway at 10 mph when the other car crashed into the driver’s side. Her daughter sustained a two-inch laceration to the back of her head, and bruising to her left eye and leg. The driver sustained a broken hand and lacerations.

Another woman crashed into a stationary car when she braked and slid on a wet road. “While the seat belts held, none of the airbags deployed.” While they didn’t seek immediate medical attention, the woman and her mother were reportedly both in pain.

Black ice caused the owner of a 2020 Rogue to slide and crash into another vehicle while traveling at 40 mph. The front driver’s side airbag and the one under the steering wheel deployed. However, the bottom airbag hit her lower left leg, causing it to swell. She needed medical attention and had to have surgery due to the injuries. The vehicle was not drivable or repairable.

An owner from Indiana tells how three people were injured when only one airbag deployed after a Harley Davidson motorcycle crashed head-on into her Rogue. According to the complaint, “The driver-side skirt airbag was deployed. The driver sustained concussions, burns, shoulder, back pain, and bruises. The front passenger was her son who sustained bruises from his shoulder to his buttocks and has PTSD and anxiety. The rear passenger, her daughter, sustained bruises to her body and has anxiety and PTSD. All three occupants were provided medical attention.”

Warning Lights Deem Vehicles Unsafe to Drive

Airbag warning lights can also be an issue — and if they come on, people need to be aware of the serious risks. A complaint from an owner in Georgia states the airbag warning light on the dash came on. The “passenger airbag off” light also came on. “We took it to the dealership and they determined the airbag system needed to be replaced after owning the vehicle for only 1 year and told us that the vehicle was unsafe to drive and to limit our driving if we were to be in an accident our airbags would not go off.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Do you think your 2020 Nissan Rogue may be a lemon? If so, Lemberg Law will assess your problems free of charge. All you have to do is call our Helpline or fill out a contact form. The law makes Nissan pay legal fees.


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
  • Renee F

    I am so disappointed with my black 2020 Rogue. The paint chips and scratches very easily. I have road rash on my hood and have not had this car 2 years! I am not hard on my cars and my Ford Escape did not do this! I love the safety package it has but I wish I had never bought it and I’m in it for my finance duration. I’m not sure how to remedy this!

  • KD

    I brought my 2020 Rogue SV in February of 2022. Problem with my bumper didn’t show up for 30 days or so. They are not tight to the body of the car. I too can see the clips. Nissan needs to fix my bumper this problem.

  • Patrick

    I bought mine with 18k miles on my 2020 rogue sport and i stopped near a car and the brakes grabed weirdly like a grinding sound. I have small paint knicks and also. The car clicks real quick on start up and i wait then i push it softly and it turns over real soft a couple times then fires up. A yeallow triangle with exclamation and red car with key stays on. The fob is starting to not recognize my car also. Two auto parts said well its the altenator other says battery and no codes are putting out. Seevice dept says they have no clue about what they are doing now they are charging me 400 for battery not sure why i have all these warranty and nothing covered

  • Micki G

    I bought my 2020 Nissan Rogue in January 2021 and whenever I lock my car with the fob it has a history of random beeps – 2 sets of 3 beeps. The dealer told me it was because both of my fobs were on the same key chain. I now leave my spare one at home and the issue continues. Recently when I use my fob to lock the door the beep is very faint. Also when it’s very cold the accident/collision warning light flashes until the car warms up. I have also had the weird brake issue out of nowhere – once as I drove down the road at 50 mph with nothing in front,on the side, or behind me. I have an appointment with the dealer about these issues. I have little white nick like marks on my hood’s paint as well as the small uneven area on my front driver’s side bump. It sounds like I have the same issues as both of the previous posts. Yikes. I bought the car with 29 miles so I guess that’s considered new. I currently have just under 15K. I may be trading her for a 100K miles warranty Hyundai.

  • Kira

    I bought my 2020 Nissan Rouge in August and as soon as I turned the fan on, it rattled my car! This issue was, I believe, a unique incident, however, the dealership sold me a car that clearly had something wrong with it. When I took it in, a rodent has chewed through and made a nest in my air filter. This caused the dealership to completely open up my dashboard to get to the issue.

    The bigger issue that I am now experiencing is my brake warning light has been coming on. The first time it can on, I refilled the fluid, though it seemed extremely odd that I would be doing this about 7000 miles. The next day (2/25/2021) I was driving on an empty road and my automatic brakes kicked in. There was clearly no obstruction in front of me and my brakes kicked on in the middle of driving. I found this extremely odd and unsettling but brushed it off. The next day (2/26/2021), my brake fluid light kicked on once again. Unfortunately, it is now a Saturday and the dealership service shop is closed after noon on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. I do NOT feel safe in my, what is supposed to be, brand new, reliable car.

  • Gregory

    I brought my 2020 Rogue sv 6 months ago now. I wouldn’t think the body would have problems this early. My bumper isn’t tight on the body it’s about a 1/4 inch off the body. I can see the white clips this shouldn’t be. The service department at loyalty Nissan trying to say that’s standard. I’ve seen a lot of rogue that don’t have this problem. I want my car bumper fixed.

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