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

Powertrain, fuel system, service brakes, and electrical system issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Sedans might be disappearing at record rates, but the 2020 Nissan Versa still has a following. Nissan claims it provides “a new way to look at sedans,” but many customers have decided this model doesn’t deserve any attention. It contains a defective powertrain, a faulty fuel system, a shoddy electrical system and malfunctioning service brakes.

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

Problems with the Powertrain

The powertrain is home to the transmission, which is needed to shift the vehicle smoothly. With the Versa, the transmission helps turn this vehicle into a bucking bull.

One NHTSA complaint says, “Already having transmission problems. Car jerks and slows me down and the steering has gotten almost unmanageable in less than 200 miles. The wheels already need alignment and I’ve hit no curbs. The car is another disaster from Nissan. The CVT was a terrible thing that has happened to vehicles.”

It’s no surprise that Nissan is having trouble with these cars. Service Bulletin #NTB18-059a goes further to discuss transmission fluid leaks that the Versa is experiencing. Basically the Versa is falling apart at the seams, which does fall in line with looking at this sedan differently. Of course, it won’t be hard to notice because it is the car with the line of fluid following behind it.

2020 Nissan Versa Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Power Train
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Fuel/propulsion System

Fuel System Issues

Another vital part of the vehicle is the fuel system. This system is responsible for transporting fuel to the engine to make it work. Yet, it’s also a major defect with Versa models.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “The vehicle was stationary, it will not start, it will not turn on. None of my lights have been left on, nothing has been plugged in. The first time I had it jumped it started and turned on. The belt was making a high-pitched squealing noise. After it was initially jumped and after it was on and drove around and put back in Park and turned back off. It no longer would start. I have tried to have it jumped again and it would not jump. I am concerned with the engine and fuel system. When I’ve tried to turn it on and it wouldn’t, it made sort of like a gargling noise after I had hit the start button as well as the gauges coming [on] very slightly and shaking.”

Not surprisingly, the fuel system is the subject of a recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V112000 states that affected cars were built with a fuel tank that doesn’t contain a thick enough wall, which could lead to a small hole in the seams. When a hole occurs, so does a fuel leak. Not only does this leave more fluids trickling from the Versa, but it also increases the chances of a car fire. Guess it gives new meaning to the thought that sedans are dying out – this one just happens to go away in a blaze of glory.

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Problems with the Service Brakes

Stopping the vehicle before an accident occurs should also be a priority, but apparently, Nissan no longer cares about supplying decent brakes either.

This is shown through another NHTSA complaint. “I have a 2020 Nissan Versa and I purchased it in July. After driving it for a month or so I began to hear a squeaking noise. I took it in, they said it was brake dust, I kept hearing the noise and I took it back in and they said it was the brakes. Afterwards I went back to have them repaired only to find out that they said some hardware was missing from my brakes. I have been out here driving in this car with faulty brakes that left the manufacturer and that should have never been put out into circulation for purchase.”

Need further proof that the Nissan isn’t built up to quality standards? Service Bulletin #NTB18-042b goes on to discuss how the front door stops opening. How are people supposed to get in and out of a car when the door doesn’t open? This time Nissan is physically attempting to entrap customers because it can’t keep them any other way.

Electrical System Problems

Finally, a look at the electrical system reveals the same level of manufacturing that has been shown in the other vital systems.

One final NHTSA complaint states, “The screen for the radio won’t turn on sometimes when the car is on. I have to drive a couple miles before it works, leaving me without GPS and Radio. It’s happened about a dozen times since ownership.”

Nissan is fully aware of the situation, even noting in Service Bulletin #NTB20-016d that the radio will intermittently reboot while using audio playback connected to iPhones through Bluetooth. It leaves owners asking, “Can you hear me now?”

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
  • Víctor

    José c did you fix your problem? I have the same problem

  • Jose C

    I live in Puerto Rico and bought a 2020 Nissan Versa SV in Sept. Of 2020 with only 7 miles. Ever since I bought the car all I have had is problems. The radio screen does some weird things at times, I had a problem with one of the doors not locking with the key hub, then it made a noise under the emergency brake handle. It also has given me problems to where the transmission would not change gears nor move when pressing on gas. I am an Insurance agent and I bought the car because I travel all over the Island of Puerto Rico to go to client appointments and leaving it at the dealer is not a choice even though I did take it in once to try to get things fixed and they had it for 1 week which caused me to loose appointments and possibly money since I do not have another car and the dealership did not offer a replacement while they had my car. I have always been fond of Nissans but in reality I do not recommend this make and model because it has been a lemon and the worst part is that I still owe $12,000 approximately on it.

  • Rahmi

    Hello, can I take legal action in my used and out of warranty vehicle?

    • LembergLaw

      Generally speaking, there is limited legal recourse with a used and out of warranty vehicle. We’ve just given you a call to discuss further.

  • Dixie W

    Our 2020 Nissan Versa is choking out, engine lights coming on, sensors going crazy. It’s in the dealership now 3rd time in 3 months. Were stuck in California waiting on our car. Dealership was nice..not so much to us now. They ignored my initial reporting of the issue blamed it on something else 4,500.00, so I recorded it today before they took it into service. They said last week it was a sonar sensor. Now what? The car is still under warranty.

  • Virginia C

    I have 2020 versa got it last year in November now we in November n having problems with it not catching gears n took it to shop said was battery drove it a day or two n got worse n to it bk nsaid nothing was found wrong now again now its has moments where no reverse no drive move on L..so paying money so car can be parked or risk on getting stranded…

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