2021 Land Rover Defender Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Windshield cracking & exterior lighting issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Land Rover Defender has been around, on and off, for a very long time. Launched in 1990, it took the place of Land Rover’s original workhorse, the Land Rover Discovery. It was sold in the U.S. from 1993 to 1997. And, in 2016, the manufacturer stopped production of the Defender. It made its reappearance in 2020 with a total redesign.

Historically British in origin, Land Rover is owned by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Automotive PLC. Recognized as the UK’s largest multinational automobile producer, it is headquartered in Coventry. However, Jaguar Land Rover Limited is confusingly a wholly-owned subsidiary of India’s Tata Motors and has been since 2008.

According to Automotive News Europe, Land Rover hasn’t been able to meet the nearly 100,000 orders for the 2021 Land Rover Defender. In an article published on 29 June 2021, they report that this problem is further compounded by the lack of availability globally of semiconductors. The result is a complete shutdown of the production plant in Nitra, Slovakia.

In a 1 November 2021 article, the publication says the JLR order book stands at 128,000. The article also says that JLR reports a loss of $413 million because of “chip supply constraints.”

But, there are 2021 Land Rover Defenders out there and complaints to the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) aren’t going unnoticed.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2022   2023

Most Common Problems

There are a total of 6 complaints about the 2021 Land Rover Defender L663 90 and longer L663 110. The most common problem is a windshield issue, mentioned a total of 5 times in 3 categories. These are Structure, Visibility, Visibility/Wiper, and Unknown or Other. The other issue relates to exterior lighting.

Additionally, there have been 5 recalls. Of these, 2 relate to the electrical system and powertrain, and to exterior lighting. The other 3 relate to seats, child seats, child restraint equipment, and seatbelts in general.

2021 Land Rover Defender Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Exterior Lighting
Unknown Or Other

Windshield Problems

There are several issues relating to windshields that are mentioned in NHTSA complaints.

Windshield Cracking

The most common windshield problems relate to windshields cracking, which leads to safety issues. But NHTSA complaints claim that JLR denies there is a design fault and refuses to issue a recall.

A major concern here is that some owners may think a cracked windshield is simply bad luck, not realizing there is an issue. But some complaints say that cracks develop spontaneously without any external impact. And car owners reportedly have had windshields crack more than once in the same car.

One complaint tells of 3 cracked windshields in a car with only 15,000 miles on the clock. This Florida-based Land Rover Defender owner also shares information from forums where people are complaining they have had to replace 4 or 5 windshields.

“Land Rover knows these are defective and won’t admit/recall, just passing this (cost) off to customers.”

Another complaint says, “JLR fails even to acknowledge any issues and denies any design fault or responsibility.”

A third complaint mentions that the windshield cracking at about 1,500 miles, caused electrical issues. The dealer didn’t repair the windshield and told the owner Land Rover was “unable to assist.”

Weather Stripping Not Secure

A different type of windshield complaint states that the passenger A-pillar isn’t tight enough to prevent air from passing under the windshield’s weather stripping. This causes air turbulence and a flapping noise on the windshield when driving at highway speeds.

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Exterior Lighting Problems

A recall issued in June 2021 was prompted by turn signals, brake lights, and tail lights failing to illuminate. But this only applies to a maximum of 2,622 2020-2022 Defender vehicles that have smoked rear light assemblies.

What Land Rover says happens is a voltage spike that is triggered by a bright light shining on the back of the SUV. Because the Land Rover lights don’t illuminate, it can reduce other drivers’ visibility and increase the risk of a crash.

The complaint to the NHTSA, made in July 2021, describes the same scenario but with 2 x 2021 Defender 110 SE models that don’t have smoked tail lights. Because of this, the complainant’s car doesn’t qualify for the recall that replaces rear light assemblies at no charge.

What to do if your 2021 Land Rover is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

If the defect you identify makes a substantial impact on the value, safety, and/or use you can make of your Land Rover Defender, you may have bought a lemon. If so, you need a lemon lawyer to help you fight for your rights.

We have helped many clients get replacement vehicles, buy-back deals, refunds of towing or rental fees, and even cash settlements when they found they had bought a lemon. Contact us and we’ll evaluate the impact of your problems and advise what we can do to help you.

It won’t cost you anything to fight Land Rover because the law makes the manufacturer pay. Call our Helpline today.

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

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