2022 Land Rover Defender Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Visibility, steering, and brake issues are the main causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2022 Land Rover Defender is hailed as an off-road champion. The automaker states it is “capable of great things,” but sadly, many customers are experiencing serious problems. Among the top complaints are windshields that crack without impact, defective exterior lighting, steering that fails, and brakes that malfunction.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2021   2023

Most Common Problems

The most common problems 2022 Land Rover Defender owners are experiencing relate to visibility issues. Most of these are windshields that crack for no reason, ultimately obscuring visibility. The other relates to faulty exterior lighting, which can be a major safety risk.

Other serious issues are related to steering failure and malfunctioning brakes.

2022 Land Rover Defender Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Exterior Lighting
Lane Departure: Assist
Service Brakes
Back Over Prevention: Warnings

Visibility Problems

Any problem that limits visibility in a vehicle is a safety hazard. As mentioned above, the two visibility issues 2022 Land Rover Defender owners are complaining about are cracking windshields and exterior lighting. These are also the main cause of complaints about the 2021 Land Rover Defender to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Additionally, Lemberg Law is investigating consumer complaints about windshields cracking in the 2020-2022 Land Rover Defenders.

Windshields That Randomly Crack

Of the 24 complaints lodged with the NHTSA between November 3, 2021, and January 21, 2023, 10 are about windshields, most of which randomly crack with no impact. Some 2022 Defender owners have had this happen 2 or 3 times. Some report that dealerships say there is no warranty on glass.

Windshield Complaint Examples

An owner from California states that the windshield “spontaneously cracked” without impact while parked. It started near the top center of the windshield and was 1.5 feet long in an instant, partially obstructing the driver’s view.

Another owner from California states that the windshield broke 30 days after purchase. “I think this is a design issue and should be looked into.” An Arizona owner’s windshield also cracked within 30 days of ownership. This time a “small pebble” was the cause.

Another complaint reports a spontaneous crack that starts at the top of the windshield and then spiders into 3 more cracks that block visibility. This, the owner from Massachusetts, states happened while the SUV was being hand washed. There were no chips and no damage.

An owner from Arizona had his 5-month-old Defender’s windshield crack while driving through a car wash. “The windshield ‘popped’ and a large crack started in the top center and spread out (in) both directions in what looks like a mustache.” Again, there was no chip and the vehicle wasn’t moving.

A Michigan owner also states that the “windshield cracked for no apparent reason.” It starts from the bottom of the windshield and spreads upwards. “I do not understand why this problem is not being addressed by Land Rover and why there has not been a major recall for this issue.” The complaint continues, “It is very sad to purchase such an expensive vehicle, and the windshield breaks after just a couple weeks of ownership. I know I have to get it replaced because it will only spread and I won’t be able to see the road when I’m driving.”

Cracks That Look the Same

An owner from Utah complained to the NHTSA after his “windshield cracked in the upper right corner with no impact” twice. “The second time, I wasn’t even driving! The crack looks nearly identical, even as it runs. I paid for a new windshield the first time because they insisted that a rock hit me, although none of the people in the car ever heard or saw that. This time, I wasn’t even driving.”

A Washington owner believes the problem may be the defogger, but also states that cracks look the same. He states that his crack is almost identical to at least three other 2022 Defender windshield cracks he has seen. It starts at the lower midline of the windshield and extends up about 9 inches before arcing horizontally. All of these cracked with zero impact. “The cracks are too similar in location and dimension and too spontaneous (no strike noted) to be anything other than an integral design flaw.”

No Warranty On Glass

This Washington owner also states, “As this is glass, (the) dealer will not entertain warranty issues.” So, “I won’t waste time contacting (the) dealership.’

A New Jersey owner whose Defender windshield cracked while parked says it seems to be a stress crack. “It is a small V at the top center (that) comes down the middle and across the passenger side.” Like the Washington owner, he thinks heating may be an issue. “I wonder if there is a design flaw in the filament put inside the glass.”

Having owned the SUV for only a few months, and “barely driven” it, he tried to claim by warranty. But the dealer said that “they wouldn’t chance covering by warranty out of fear (that) corporate would deny the claim.” Land Rover corporate responded a month saying they wouldn’t cover or have anyone further inspect as they rely on their dealers only. They suggested that if the owner wasn’t satisfied he should go to arbitration. “This appears to be a known issue now and concerning that they wouldn’t want to investigate further.”

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Exterior Lighting Problems

Vehicle lighting is designed to provide the driver with plenty of visibility while helping other people on the road see the SUV. However, some Defender models have severe issues with lighting.

Here’s an outline given through an NHTSA complaint from an owner in North Carolina.

“1. Both rear taillights extinguish when a bright light is flashed at them. The taillights will not come back on until you power cycle the vehicle. I am able to replicate this issue with a handheld flashlight. 2. At night if my taillights are not visible, then this can be hazardous to the safety of others on the road and myself. 3. I have not had an authorized repair facility inspect the issue but have read that this is an issue with other Defender models and that a recall has been issued for the clear taillights that come on the Defender X trim 4. There is nothing to alert you of the issue. I saw people report this issue in a Defender forum and decided to try it on my personal vehicle. I was able to replicate the issue.”

It turns out that there is a recall on 2,622 2020-2022 Defender models because of poor lighting that can reduce visibility. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V435000 says that the rear taillight assembly can fail because of a voltage spike. When the assembly fails, the turn signals, tail lights, and brake lights can fail to work properly, leading to on-road danger and the risk of crashing.

Steering Failure

It stands to reason that any vehicle is useless without steering. So, if you have a recurring problem with the power steering of your 2022 Land Rover Defender failing, you may have bought a lemon.

There are 5 complaints to the NHTSA about steering, most of which also report getting a lane assist not available error message. An owner from Connecticut states that lane assist not being available was “the only error presented.” This was after turning on the Defender and experiencing “a complete shutdown of (the) power steering system.”

Another owner from Connecticut experienced engine failure several times. The dealer serviced the brand-new SUV and said it was a battery issue. But it happened 2 more times after the service. To make matters worse, “now the car is not drivable, because the steering wheel does not budge/move.”

An owner from Nevada received the lane assist unavailable error message when the power steering failed. This was 12 hours after not using the vehicle. At first, after starting the Defender, it didn’t move in drive or reverse. After a few restarts, the driver got it moving, “but the steering was still failing. I am worried about the steering failing while driving.”

Another report of lane assist not being available comes from an owner in Pennsylvania. This was showing on the driver’s screen, “and when I wanted to drive away, the steering wheel was unresponsive, but I could drive the vehicle forward and in reverse. Also, the main interactive display was slightly dimmed.” Trying to restart didn’t help this owner. Additionally, the dealership couldn’t find anything wrong but assured the owner that this couldn’t happen at high speed!

An owner from California reports that the lane departure feature “erroneously triggers causing the active steering system to engage and induce swerving.”

Brake Malfunctions

When brakes malfunction, it’s not only those who are inside the vehicle that are put at risk of injury if there’s a crash. Anyone in adjacent vehicles are also at risk.

Brake problems reported to the NHTSA are that the brakes “lock up” or the automatic emergency braking system self-activates for no reason.

A Californian owner has had lots of problems with the 2022 SUV including the emergency braking system self-activating. The vehicle stopped abruptly even though there were no obstacles in the road and the closest vehicle ahead of them was at least 20 yards away. “Luckily, there was no vehicle following me or we would have been rear-ended. There was a red hazard signal with a red exclamation mark that appeared on the display near the speedometer and an audible alarm sounded.” As so often happens, the dealer couldn’t find any faults. “I informed the dealership that if this happens again I will return the vehicle and request a refund.”

After sliding on ice and crashing, very slowly, into his garage wall, an owner from Nevada tried to reverse away from the building. All the warning lights turned on. Eventually, he got it to reverse, but thereafter, each time he put the SUV into drive, “the parking brake would turn on and the brakes would lock up.” According to the dealership, the ABS module that runs diagnostic checks of the SUV’s antilock braking system, “faulted.”

They installed a new one but that didn’t work properly either. To make matters worse, Land Rover says this isn’t a manufacturer’s defect and so this isn’t covered by warranty. “Land Rover USA has been horrible to work with and I am now driving a vehicle with a vibrating sensation in the brakes and maybe 50% of the normal braking power.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

If you think you have a lemon you can let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Land Rover pay legal fees. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you. And the law makes Land Rover pay legal fees.

So, if you think you’ve got a lemon, feel free to contact Lemberg Law by calling our Helpline or filling out a contact form.

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
  • Chris L

    I bought a Defender 110 from Stratstone in Stockton U.K. After owening it for just under a year the windscreen has cracked from the bottom edge, I’ve contacted Stratstone via their chat line and I’ve been been told they don’t fit new windscreens and they don’t know who does and have totally ignored the fact that the screen has cracked without impact!!!!! “How about that for Land Rover after sales” also when I picked this vehicle up I was kept in the show room buy a young “so called salesman” for two and a half hours! After eventually being given the keys and driving part of the way home I opened the sun roof to find there’s a squeak on the opening device. I also ordered side steps which they said they’d ran out of but said I would be contacted when the steps came in, also before I left the garage I showed the so called sales person that one of the out plastic door panels was not fitted quite right but we agreed that when the side steps were getting fitted that they’d see to the door panel also.
    I’ve now had the vehicle almost fifteen months and I’m still waiting to be contacted!!!! Wished I’d never parted with my twenty two year old Landcruiser. Thanks Jaguar Land Rover.

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