2021 Nissan Rogue Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine, Fuel System, Powertrain and other issues among the top complaints reporting by vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is sure to turn heads with its unique style. The automaker wants customers to know that “you deserve exceptional,” but it doesn’t feel like the automaker has gone above and beyond with this design. After dealing with the defective engine, glitchy electrical system, malfunctioning fuel system, failing powertrain and poorly-built structure, consumers have had enough.

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Most Common Problems with the 2021 Nissan Rogue

We looked at the most common issues consumers complained about in our article 2021 Nissan Rogue Problems and Top Complaints. These are wide-ranging, from defective engines and malfunctioning electrical systems, faulty fuel systems, failing powertrains, and even issues relating to complaints about the poorly-built structure and incorrect assembly.

The article quotes several reviews on Edmunds. Overall, to date, reviewers give the 2021 Nissan Rogue only 3.3 out of 5 stars.

Despite an overall safety rating of 4 out of 5 by the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the Nissan Rogue 2021, complaints and recalls have been significant.

NHTSA reports handling 32 complaints about this model Nissan Rogue. There have been five recalls that could affect more than 88,000 vehicles.

Complaints About the 2021 Nissan Rogue:

Complaints to the NHTSA related to 19 different issues, some of which resulted in recalls (see below). They were:

  • Air bags
  • Backover prevention
  • Electrical system
  • Engine
  • Engine and engine cooling
  • Exterior lighting
  • Forward collision avoidance
  • Fuel system, gasoline
  • Fuel/propulsion system
  • Lane departure
  • Powertrain
  • Seat belts
  • Seats
  • Service brakes
  • Steering
  • Structure
  • Suspension
  • Vehicle speed control
  • Unknown/other, including air-conditioning, A-pillar water leaks, cornering issues, vibrating bumpers, rattling noises, and faulty transmissions

Motoring journalists trying out the 2021 Nissan Rogue also noted that while it was technically a crossover, it had a below-average towing capacity of 1,350 lbs. Some criticized the inadequacy of the 181-hp 2.5-liter 1-4 engine for towing.

The NHTSA reports indicate that two people were involved in an accident caused by a faulty electrical system and malfunctioning brakes, and one person was injured because of lane departure and forward collision avoidance issues that caused a crash.

Problems with the Engine

The engine is arguably the most important component of any vehicle, but the Rogue suffers to provide a reliable motor.

One Edmunds review states, “Do not buy. 2021 Nissan Rogue 23 hours old and 170.0 miles suffered catastrophic engine failure. Worst part is that Nissan left my parents who are in their 80’s on the side of the freeway in the middle of nowhere and car can’t charge phone and it’s cold and raining with semi-trucks passing them and hazard lights will not work. Nissan says we are sending a truck but we are going to leave you on the side of the road and you need to call Uber or negotiate with the tow company. Nissan’s response put their lives in danger for over 4 hours. My mom and dad are terrified of this car and Nissan’s response.”

At this point, Nissan has failed to release any meaningful communication regarding engine problems. It’s as if there’s nothing to look at…never mind the numerous complaints of customers being stranded on the side of the road. One look at the number of Rogues sitting in the junkyard is proof enough.

Problems with the Electrical System

In the modern vehicle, the electrical system can make or break the entire ride. Sadly, the Rogue has proven itself to be a glitchy mess.

Another Edmunds review says, “My daughter bought this 2021 Nissan Rogue, piece of junk. It has 1900 miles on it and it is in the shop for the second time, should of been 3rd.  Imagine driving down the interstate, engine failure coming across the dash, the car pulling itself over to the side of the road and putting itself in park, scary huh. And Nissan’s solution, don’t replace the car, oh no, it needs a module that they have no idea when it will be available and whether it will even fix the problem.  I drive a Toyota and would never even consider a Nissan, especially after this.”

There’s one particular electrical malfunction that goes hand in hand with the engine. Service Bulletin #NTB21-041A states that the Engine Oil Service Due light comes on when it shouldn’t. Of course, the Nissan customers have gotten so used to having engine issues, they probably assume it is true, even if the oil was just changed. Maybe oil changes every few miles will keep the motor running.

Problems with the Fuel System

The fuel system shows just as many problems, which makes sense considering how terrible the engine turned out to be.

This Edmunds user states, “Upgraded a 2018 Nissan Rogue to this 2021 Rogue; I’ve owned this vehicle for almost 3 months now and as of now I’ve sat in the waiting room for three and a half hours due to recalls and my engine light being on this fast week only foe it to be 3 days later and my engine light is on once again. Stopped at O’Reillys on the way home and was told after plugging it up that it is in fact on again due to the fuel rail. I’ve never had this many issues, this vehicles came with lots of flaws.”

In this case, there is a fuel system recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V068000 reveals the trouble. The fuel hose might not have been secured correctly, with a lock ring that isn’t seated on the fuel tank. If the hose becomes disconnected, it can lead to a stalled engine and car fire. Of course, “exceptional” does seem like a fitting term at this point – an “exceptional” failure.

Problems with the Powertrain

The powertrain has been a sore point for Nissan in recent years, and it doesn’t appear that the 2021 models got it right.

Here’s yet another Edmunds complaint. “I just purchased a brand new rogue 7 days ago and yesterday I took it to the freeway to test the Propilot and after 5 minutes the warning light was on and said CVT malfunction Service not available. I pulled off to a stop turned off the engine and restart again. The warning light was gone. I got back to the freeway again and turned the autopilot again and about 3 minutes warning light on again. I can’t turned it off so had pulled over and stopped the engine and restart again this time the CVT malfunction light was gone but engine check light was on and can’t turned it off. I called the dealer and dropped the car off for them to fix it. It was frustrated when you spent over $32k for a brand new car and only last for 120 miles and had to go to the shop. Never experienced anything like this before on a new car. Very disappointed, should have gone for a different brand.”

Nissan has undergone class action lawsuits in the past because of the defective transmission. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that 2014-2018 Nissan Rogue models were found to be worthy of lawsuits. Those transmissions suffered from shuddering and clunking during acceleration. The way things are going, this “exceptional” model might be following in its predecessor’s footsteps.

Problems with the Structure

It wouldn’t be fair to claim that the new Rogue is falling apart at the seams, but it is wise to look at what some of the customers are stating.

One final Edmunds review reveals some interesting facts. “We discovered that when you drive the vehicle over 45 mph, or a road with expansion joints the Sideview mirror on the driver’s side vibrates so much you can’t distinguish objects coming up behind and beside you. When we returned home I took the vehicle back to the selling dealer. The mechanic that serviced the Rogue reported that he ‘even drove a Rogue out of the dealer’s inventory and it had the same situation so there is nothing wrong with it.'”

There are also several recalls that illustrate the level of care the manufacturer put into making this SUV. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V474000 shows that more than 47,000 vehicles might have been built with improperly welded tether wires to the second-row seatback frame, keeping child seats from being anchored securely. Additionally, NHTSA Campaign Number 21V286000 shows that affected models were also built with a missing bushing in the brake caliper assembly. If the O-ring seal is allowed to move, brake fluid can leak, which would result in reduced braking performance. Finally, NHTSA Campaign Number 21V186000 states that there were also some Rogues built with the wrong wheel nuts, leading to the wheel assembly separating from the vehicle. Is there any part of this Nissan SUV that was built correctly? The verdict is still out.

2021 Nissan Rogue Recalls

According to NHTSA, the recalls relate to these components:

  • Fuel system, gasoline
  • Child seat
  • Seats
  • Service brakes, hydraulic
  • Wheels

In all cases, vehicle owners were, or will be, told to contact their dealers whom Nissan has instructed to replace faulty parts free of charge.

Fuel Pump May Overheat – 9 December 2021

This is the most recent recall and it potentially affects 24,793 vehicles. According to NHTSA, the fuel pump failure is caused by abnormal wear within the fuel pump that may cause it to overheat and fail. It can also cause an engine stall which increases the risk of a crash.

Letters informing 2021 Nissan Rogue owners of the potential failure will be mailed in late January 2022.

Fuel Hose May Disconnect From Fuel Tank – 11 February 2021

The first recall of this Nissan Rogue model was due to the possibility of fuel hoses leaking or disconnecting completely. Leaks can cause a fire, while disconnection can cause the engine to stall and increase the risk of a crash.

The recall of 2,150 vehicles began in March 2021, and owners were advised to take their vehicles to dealers so they could check that:

  1. The fuel hose was secured in the proper position
  2. The fuel tank lock ring was fully seated

Second-Row Seatback Improperly Welded – 24 June 2021

The reason for this recall is that second-row upper tether wires may not have been correctly welded to the seatback frame of 2021 models. This means that affected vehicles will not comply with the child restraint anchorage systems requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

This manufacturing fault can prevent child seats from being securely anchored. The implications of this are that the child seat may move if the vehicle stops suddenly or is in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

As many as 47,098 vehicles may be affected. Letters were mailed on 30 July 2021 telling owners that dealers have been told to inspect the second-row seatback and replace them if they are improperly welded.

Missing Internal Bushing in Brake Caliper – 22 April 2021

Nissan discovered that the rear left and/or right brake caliper assemblies may be missing an internal bushing on as many as 14,054 vehicles. This fault will allow the O-ring to move, which will cause brake fluid to leak, reducing braking performance.

Because this can increase the risk of a crash, all potentially affected vehicles were recalled in June 2021.

Incorrect Wheel Nuts May Cause wheel Separation – 17 March, 2021

While a Nissan assessment indicates only up to 21 vehicles may be affected, the recall began in May 2021. Their concern is that if the incorrect wheel nuts are installed they may come loose and cause wheel vibration. The danger is that wheel vibration can break the wheel studs and result in the wheel assembly separating from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

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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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • scott

    bought a 2019 nissan rogue has 70000kms on it and it is 3yrs old took it to oregans nissan in dartmouth nova scotia where i bought thecar.the car was making a high pitched noise between 40 and 60 kms was told it was rear left wheel bearing had it replaced .stiil made same noise so took it back was told it was my tires so i purchased 4 tires from dealer .this still did nothing to fix noise .took it back againthis time they checked and replaced differential fluid and proceeded to tell me it was low and had a smell to it. they then proceeded to tell me the noise is from the transfer case which needs to be replaced at a cost or around 2100dollars.they are refusing to pay for this under the powertrain warranty even thou i still have 2yrs left and 30000kms left on powertrain warranty.They claim it should have been changed earlier even thou it recommends changing at 100kms.Also i had dealership inspect fluid and have work orders showing they themselves inspected the fluid at year one year two and changed it at yrs three. very dissapointed in nissan for not backing their warranties and want everyone to know so please pass this info on thanks

  • Marie

    I bought my 2022 Nissan Rogue SV in March 2022. On the 25th of June I went into the grocery store with my children. Once we came out I noticed my windows were dark, my hazard lights were on, and my car was on fire. I called the fire department and they said it was a electrical fire. I have been trying to get in contact with Nissan Corporate office due to a manufacturer defect. Once I was able to finally have a conversation with someone I got a attitude and a hang up in my face. Once I contacted Consumer Affairs department again, I was told it will be another 1-3 business days before I can speak to someone again. I contacted my insurance company and they said it should not be like this at all. I am being treated like I set the fire.

  • Sandy W

    Bought a Rogue 2021 Sport this January and within two weeks I was experiencing a lack of excileration when putting my foot on the gas peddle. It doesn’t do it all the time. I notice that it does it more when I have pulled up to stop, do a “U” turn or idling waiting to merge into traffic. I mentioned it to the dealer’s sales rep and he said never heard of that and something was said about a “break in” period. It did it again and I made an appointment at the dealership for service. They never check it but a rep came out to tell me that I needed to put 1300 to 1500 hundred miles on it, break in period. Well, it has been almost 3 months and yesterday it did it several times while out driving. It is driving me paranoid and concern I will cause an accident. I am going in tomorrow for a discussion with management and I want it fixed!

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