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

Engine and powertrain issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Launched in 1989, the Land Rover Discovery is a well-established off-road family car based on the bones of the company’s luxury icon, the Range Rover. It’s been updated and upgraded many times since then, though it is officially still in its third generation.

Even though the quintessentially British brand, launched in 1948, was owned by British companies for decades, it is now owned by the Indian auto-manufacturing giant, Tata Motors.

But the Discovery does not have a good reputation in terms of reliability. According to MotorTrend, which produces a motoring magazine, the Land Rover Discovery is not a reliable vehicle. They say that while a new model isn’t likely “to break down and leave you stranded,” older models tend to develop annoying problems both big and small.

The Lemberg Law team looked at the most common complaints and problems experienced by owners of the 2018 model. We identified that engine, powertrain (specifically transmission), and vehicle speed control issues were paramount. Our information was extracted from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) records.

There are even more complaints (10 in all) to the NHTSA about the 2019 model. These cover a wide range of components and systems. Only 3 of these were made in 2019, which seems to back up MotorTrend’s theory. There is only 1 complaint on file for the 2020 model. Made mid-2021, it relates to the structure of the vehicle, as well as its brakes and suspension.

It is worth mentioning that there are 3 recalls relating to Discovery components, one of which is urgent. This relates to a fire risk when the vehicle is marked due to a possible electrical short circuit. There are 3 recalls linked to the 2019 model.

Most Common Problems

So far, there is only one complaint about the 2021 model, and it concerns the engine and transmissions problems. There is also one recall that relates to seat belts.

But there are 152 manufacturer communications to dealers that provide technical bulletins and offer advice about faults and malfunctions the manufacturer knows about. There are also complaints on other platforms relating to reliability and safety.

For the record, there are no complaints on file with the NHTSA about the 2021 Land Rover Discovery plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV).

2021 Land Rover Discovery Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train

Engine & Transmission Problems

The one complaint about the 2021 model to the NHTSA is serious, with the owner of the vehicle claiming, “This vehicle is going to get me injured or killed.”

The complaint states: “The vehicle has a transmission problem. The vehicle will shut off at a stop and will come out of gear. I have been sitting at a traffic light and when the light turns green the car will not move (it goes back into neutral). When this happens I have to turn the engine off and restart the car before it will go into drive. When I back out of my driveway onto the main road and then place the vehicle in drive the vehicle will not go into gear leaving me and the car stranded in the road.”

This is where the owner’s fear of getting injured or killed comes from.

“Someone is going to hit me because I cannot move out of the way. I have almost been hit numerous times because I cannot get out of the way of oncoming traffic.”

Additionally, the problem keeps recurring. “The car has been back to the manufacturer 3 times now (this time they have had the car 22 days and it is still not repaired). No warning lights have come on before the incident, however, the check engine light will appear after the car fails to go into gear.”

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Reliability & Safety Problems

The 2021 Discovery has not been rated for safety by the NHTSA. But the seat belt recall is a safety issue that warns of an automatic locking retractor malfunction. The risk is that the retractors may activate early which may prevent the child restraint system from being properly secured. This, the recall says, “can increase the risk of injury during a crash.”

A consumer review on the Edmunds website gives the vehicle 2 out of 5 stars for reliability and 4 out of 5 for safety. The owner describes several malfunctions after driving about 7,000 miles, including:

“Build quality is below average to only fair. I am experiencing electrical issues and have 3 outstanding recalls that need to be resolved. Not sure why, but the rear tailgate opens and closes on its own. Not while driving, however! Had an ongoing issue after a few weeks with CEL going on. They looked at it and said it was fixed by replacing an O2 sensor. Light came back on two weeks later. Then, on and off every once in a while. Now, it is magically staying off. Visibility is outstanding. The start/stop feature requires a two-step menu-driven action to turn off. I really don’t like it and it is a slight annoyance to have to go through this every time.”

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

If any malfunction or defect impacts the safety, use, or value of your  2021 Land Rover Discovery, there’s a possibility that it may be a lemon. There don’t have to be any other vehicles that experience the same issues, but if there are, they will strengthen your case.

If you identify issues and think you might have bought a lemon, contact the Lemberg Law Helpline. We have negotiated settlements for many vehicle owners in the form of refunds, trade-ins, and buy-back deals. We will evaluate your problems and take on your case if we believe you’ve got a lemon on your hands.

It’s not going to cost you anything because the law makes Land Rover pay the legal costs of lemon law cases.

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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