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

Electrical system, engine, and fuel system, issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2021 Nissan Rogue is sure to turn heads with its unique style. The automaker wants customers to know that “you deserve exceptional.” The problem is that complaints from owners are exceptionally high.  After dealing with defective engines, glitchy electrical systems, and malfunctioning fuel systems, many consumers have had enough.

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Most Common Problems

Complaints about the 2021 Nissan Rogue to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are wide-ranging. They include reports about defective engines, malfunctioning electrical systems, and faulty fuel systems. Of particular concern are issues with roofs that leak through the A-pillar, engines that stall, and batteries that drain.

By mid-September 2023, there were 96 complaints to the NHTSA spanning dozens of systems and components. In terms of numbers, the electrical system topped the list with 22 complaints followed by the engine and engine cooling with 20, and fuel systems with 16. There are so many reported problems, it’s impossible to outline all of these in a post like this.

Many of the complaints are listed in 2-3 categories. One of the worst is listed as an electrical system, engine, and fuel/propulsion system issue – see next section.

On top of all these issues, there are also 8 recalls. These relate to back-over prevention, equipment, the gasoline fuel system, the child seat, seats and seat belts, hydraulic brakes, and the wheels of 2021 Nissan Rogue vehicles. While the Nissan Rogue is said to have been the automaker’s best selling model since 2016, it seems to be living up to its defiant rogue name in a way Nissan didn’t intend.

Where There’s Smoke There May Be Fire

An owner from Mississippi was driving on the interstate when smoke started coming from under the hood into the vehicle. “When there is smoke you usually find fire!” The driver managed to pull off the road to a rest area but passed out from smoke inhalation. The SUV continued traveling straight ahead at about 55 mph before hitting a parked 18-wheeler tractor-trailer.

The truck driver and a security guard pulled the unconscious driver from the SUV just before “the vehicle exploded into flames.” There was nothing left of the Rogue. “Rescuers could not see if any other passengers were in (the) car because the black smoke was so thick and flames were shooting from under (the) hood.”

The driver was taken by ambulance to a regional trauma and burn center and admitted to critical care ICU. He suffered 4 broken ribs, a cut on the top of his head that required 8 staples, and needed stitches in his eyebrow. He also had first, second, and third-degree burns on his face, arm, and his hands. “My shirt MELTED.”

“Loved the vehicle but it almost killed me! Thanks forever to my guardian Angel that saved my life! This model SUV must be recalled to save lives in the future and repair such a dangerous issue!”

2021 Nissan Rogue Complaint Summary

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

Problems with a Roof Leak

The first complaint lodged with the NHTSA about the now well-known roof leak was in September 2021. An owner from California reported that the A-pillars on both the driver and passenger sides were leaking water. “This may cause mold (which is an) issue during winter and harmful for the passenger of the vehicle.”

Soon owners realized that this was a common issue. But as a complaint in October 2021 states, dealers were blaming “user-error for using car washes.”

In April 2022, an owner from Washington elaborated on the problem, noting there had been a TSB about the problem. He “had the clips replaced and resealed.” But two days later, the leak was back. “For me, it was the driver’s side C-pillar and driver’s side hatch area.” When he took the Rogue back to the dealer, he was told he also had a faulty sunroof and sunroof seal.

“There are tons online reporting the leaking issue. This needs to be fixed and changed to a recall! We should not be worried about having leaking on a brand-new car and soaked headliners and pillars.

TSB to Fix the Problem

More than a year later, the TSB, issued on October 20, 2021, is still the only indication of the problem. This warns dealerships that they may get SUVs coming in with a water leak at the top front corner of the windshield. Alternatively, there may be water stains “on the headliner or on one or both interior front pillar garnish.” The TSB provides an illustrated, step-by-step service procedure. This shows how to “remove both roof rails, or roof side moldings, and replace the leading plastic clip.”

An owner from Mississippi states that when he discovered the A-pillar was leaking in April 2022, the local dealer fixed the problem using the TSB instructions. “However, there are hundreds of other owners of the 21 and 22 Nissan Rogue experiencing the same thing with many having recurrences after 6 months. My concern is mildew/mold forming.”

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Engine Problems

The engine is the most important component of any vehicle, but some owners are finding their Rogue engines are unreliable. A major problem is that the engine stalls or loses power.

An owner from Georgia states in a complaint that “while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would not accelerate while the accelerator pedal was depressed.” At the time, the check engine warning light was illuminated, but the dealer did not diagnose a problem. At the time, the 2021 Rogue had only done about 2,000 miles.

An owner from Pennsylvania states that the Rogue was going at a slower speed than the speed displayed on the speedometer. The warning message “Engine Malfunction/Power Reduced/Service Now” was illuminated. The dealer said the problem was “the gear shifter, the battery, and unknown sensors” which needed to be replaced. The repair was done, but the fault recurred. The dealer couldn’t duplicate the failure but attempted a repair that didn’t work.

A random malfunction light, check engine light, caution light, and low power lights that flash and beep in the car were reported by an owner from Minnesota. The owner of this 2021 Rogue said he needed to apply more pressure when trying to accelerate. But, “It will randomly shut off and turn on. Since it started it has been happening more and more with more lights going off. While driving it has turned off the blind spot indicator and other electrical options in the car distracting me while driving.”

Worse still, an owner from Florida states that the Rogue crashed into a pole after the driver had pressed the brake. The complaint states the vehicle suddenly accelerated and a few “unknown warning lights were illuminated.” Smoke was coming from the engine. The driver and his wife were injured.

Battery Draining Problems

It isn’t clear what causes battery draining problems. For example, one recent complaint in March 2023 states that the “battery was down when we tried to start.” This resulted in the owner’s wife having to drive “blind.” It is listed as an electrical system issue.

Here’s another complaint that is listed as both an electrical and an engine issue. An owner from New York complained in September 2021 that while driving at 62 mph, the vehicle lost power, and speed was inadvertently reduced. A warning message, “malfunction power reduced service now” was displayed. This sounds like the same engine issue, and maybe it is. But in this case, the dealer stated that the battery had simply lost charge. It was left with the dealer overnight “to have the battery recharged.” While the issue seemed to have been corrected, the failure recurred several times after that.

Electrical System Problems

While battery draining issues mentioned in the previous section apply to the electrical system, there are other electrical problems as well. For instance, a Maryland owner states that the SUV simply wouldn’t move after stopping at a stop sign. “My car began to shutter, then out itself in Park. I turned it off then on again as no indicators popped up but I could not drive. It would go only into Neutral or Park.” Nothing seemed to help and eventually, the “oil life and engine light came on” and then the error message said there was “a headlight system error or failure. We tried to jump the car and it still would not start.”

An owner from Illinois states that there have been several issues over two years that seem to be electrical or computer problems. “The dashboard will light up and all the warnings constantly display. It is not always the same alert. It has also happened a couple (of) times while I was driving and I had to pull over. Today I had another issue. I went to get in my car and there was beeping and flashing, and lights on the dashboard. I was also unable to start my vehicle. This progressed to me not being able to unlock or lock the doors, I had to do it manually.”

Problems with the Fuel System

Problems relating to the fuel system are listed with the NHTSA under either Fuel/Propulsion System or Fuel System, Gasoline. In many instances, the problem is the fuel pump.

An owner from Texas tells how the fuel gauge started dropping very quickly while driving. There was also a strong smell of gas. When he got to his destination, the owner walked around the Rogue and saw a puddle of liquid under the passenger side door area. The underside of the SUV was also saturated with fuel – and the fuel tank was empty. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where they found the fuel line and blown apart. At the time of the complaint, the SUV was with the dealer waiting for a new fuel line. This was going to take at least 3 weeks.

A complaint from an owner in Oklahoma also states that there was “an abnormal odor of fuel” and the system was leaking. While driving, “the vehicle lunged forward and stalled, but restarted.” In this instance, the dealer was unable to diagnose the problem, and the SUV wasn’t repaired.

Another owner simply reports the “strong fuel odor in the car.” The complaint states it was strong enough to induce a headache and leave an “unusual taste” in the mouth.

An owner from New Jersey reported that “the fuel pump failed or malfunctioned, causing the engine to sputter and putting my safety and others at risk.”

There are only 2 complaints that state that they identified problems they experienced as recall issues. Interestingly, both these fuel-related recalls only affect 2021 Rogue vehicles, and both are filed under Fuel System, Gasoline.

Fuel-Related Recalls

The first recall issued for the 2021 Nissan Rogue vehicles potentially affects 2,150 SUVs. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V068000, dated February 11, 2021, reveals that the fuel hose might not have been secured correctly and the fuel tank may not be fully seated. seated. If the hose becomes disconnected, it can lead to the engine stalling, increasing the risk of a crash. The recall also states that an improperly secured fuel hose may also leak, which increases the risk of a fire..

The second fuel-related recall was issued on December 9, 2021. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V957000 states that as many as 24,793 2021 Rogue vehicles may be affected. The problem is that “abnormal wear inside the fuel pump may cause it to overheat and fail.” Fuel pump failure can cause engines to stall, which increases the risk of a crash.

Complaints Linked to Recalls

An owner from Massachusetts experienced a stall when moving from a stop. There was no warning light. The vehicle, which had only 3,300 miles on the clock, was towed to the local dealer who diagnosed that it needed a new fuel pump. The owner associated the problem with the first recall. However, the VIN of the vehicle was not included in the recall and Nissan refused to assist.

The experience of a Maryland owner was quite different from others quoted. The SUV wouldn’t start and had to be towed to the dealer who said the alternator failed. No repairs were done. On another occasion, the brakes activated randomly and the SUV stopped. The tail lights were blinking and the radio turned on by itself. This time, the dealer said “an engine wiring harness that had been damaged by water, corrosion, and partly melted. (And) the wiring harnesses needed to be replaced.”

Strangely, the dealer told the owner that this failure was related to the 2 fuel-related recalls. But the VIN was not included.

What To Do If Your 2021 Rogue is a Lemon

If you have recurring problems with your 2021 Nissan Rogue that affect your use and the value of the SUV there’s a chance you might have bought a lemon. If you believe this is the case, contact Lemberg Law and we will assess your problems and advise you.

Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace, or pay cash settlements to thousands of consumers who have found themselves with a lemon vehicle. The law says that Nissan must pay the legal fees, so we won’t charge you a cent.


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
  • Carlo A

    I purchased my Rogue in 2022 and like many owners in the comments, my Rogue was doing sort of weird thing with low mileage. I had 24k miles on it and the car shut off completely and displayed a malfunction light. I took it to the dealer and they stated they could not see the problem. I took pictures of the dash when it occurred. They still say it wasn’t anything wrong with the car.

    As of yesterday 3/31/24, I was entering a street with a right turn. The tie rod snapped in half. I took a picture of it and couldn’t believe a car driven with care and less than 100k mile they tie rod would snap. This car was poorly put together and Nissan knows this.

  • Anthony D

    Reading through the comments, my wife experienced the same issue with the car going from “D” for drive and switching to “numbers” aka driving manually vs automatic. I noticed if you pull the gear shifter towards you while it is on Drive, it will move to manual drive and numbers will appear and the engine will rev. If you shift it toward you again, it will go back to Drive. Hope this helps with some of the issues listed about…

  • Christina J

    My 21 Rogue with 15,000 miles on it has been having some system malfunctions. Sometimes it won’t go into gear. Instead of saying D it’s on 1. I would have to stop the car and put it into park, then drive to fix the issue. Well last night, I was parked on a steep driveway and my car decided to kick out of drive and rolled down the hill into the lake. I don’t know what the claim will be since the water never got into the vehicle and only reached just underneath the bumper. It was pulled out and cranked fine and electrical works fine, but at this point I’m disgusted cause I can’t trust it to enough to drive it again. Bought it with 8,300 miles and have had nothing but malfunction problems. 🙁

  • Cheryl

    I recently purchased Nissan rogue 2021 sport vehicle. I noticed while driving on the freeway it seems to be pulling and bounce to it. I really like my car but after trip to Walmart I came home and my car will only go in reverse. This SUV only had 21098 miles when I bought it. So I’m having them come pick it up. I just bought it on July 13 not even 30 days. What a mess I should have known when both FOB batteries required changing. These cars are beautiful but ugly under the hood.

  • Roy C

    May 1, 2023 / 2021 Nissan Rogue SV / 54K miles / purchased from Hertz Car Sales 3-7-23/ burned 5-1-23 Driving home from work on I55 South. Car started to smoke under hood, then car started to fill up with smoke. Very heavy traffic & could not get over to side of road & passed the next exit. Went 1 more mile & entered rest area, MS Welcome Ctr, going to check under hood to check problem. Never made it. I passed out from smoke inhalation as I entered the ramp to Welcome CTR. Car proceeded going straight, in lieu of slight turn in ramp, & hit an 18-wheeler between the cab & trailer area. Car bounced off truck, did a spin & ended up facing West & I was traveling South. I was totally unconscious. Truck driver & security guard could not tell how many were in the car due to the smoke. Truck driver pulled me from the car. Immediately the car exploded as they cleared the car door. I would have died if it were not for this wonderful truck driver. After I was placed into the ambulance, I began regaining my senses but I don’t know how long I was out. I was taken to the Regional One trauma & burn center in Memphis. I have no car as it was completely destroyed by the fire. I was burned with 1st, 2nd, & 3rd degree burns on my face, R. ear, under chin & neck, plus both hands & L. arm; 8 staples in head, & stitches in right eyebrow. And everyone I spoke with says “sorry” no recall, nothing we can do. No one cares this car is a real piece of junk & the dealer & Nissan don’t what to know about & look the other way! Lucky I am not dead!

  • Cindy n

    2021 Rogue would not start…had to just start it..then it would not go into gear…finally after turning off and on again was able to get it into gear…ABS LIGHTS ON..BRAKE LIGHTS ON…TAKING IT BACK TO DEALSHIP… Used but ONLY HAD IT FOR ONE MONTH…30K

  • Perer D

    2021 Nissan Rogue SV, purchased in January 2022. Worked very well for till I had taken to the dealer for oil change. The Bolts of the SUV loosed themselves without intervention. Clocked 5.7 Liters to 100 Kms in Alberta. I drive at the recommended speed as per the road signs. Pre Start before I drive in winter. Now it’s 18000 KMS and gives 6.8 Liters for 100 Kms in February 2023

  • 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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