Powertrain & electrical issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The 2022 Nissan Frontier is a pickup truck that many hard workers rely on. The automaker claims it is designed to help “choose your adventure.” Yet, owners are met with a faulty electrical system, a defective powertrain and a poorly-built structure.
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Most Common Problems with the 2022 Nissan Frontier
According to complaints made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), components causing issues in the 2022 Nissan Frontier are varied. Indeed, many complaints cite multiple components in their complaints. Forward collision avoidance ranks highest in terms of numbers. But almost all the complaints in this category include other issues, including the electrical system.
The most serious complaint under Forward Collision Avoidance is also listed under Air Bags and Service Brakes. It states that while the owner, from Puerto Rico, was traveling at between 52 and 54 mph on a highway, the brakes didn’t respond when pressed. Also, “the automatic emergency braking did not activate or stop the vehicle.” The airbags didn’t deploy either. The truck crashed into a vehicle in front, but “Thanks GOD, NOBODY WAS HURT PHYSICALLY.”
The powertrain is next on the list, followed by electrical system issues. We deal with both of these below. But it’s worth quoting one of the NHTSA complaints about transmission here:
“Transmission failed catastrophically after 1300 miles of use. Vehicle was towed to Nissan who confirmed multiple solenoids had failed within (the) transmission. Vehicle is completely inoperable. Manufacturer has been unhelpful getting (my) vehicle repaired. Manufacturer has (a) history of supplying vehicles with inferior transmissions
2022 Nissan Frontier Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
|Vehicle Speed Control
Problems with the Electrical System
Today’s vehicles are built with an insane amount of technology that makes life easier, when the systems work the way they should.
One NHTSA complaint says, “I bought my 2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-X on 09/12/2021. Since day 1 it had something loose under the hood and was making cracking sounds. Had to bring it in and they tightened something and then had to do a full re-alignment. And before I even hit 1k miles my aerial / backup camera stop working and I’m now waiting on a whole new camera control assembly unit that is on back order and they claim could take months.”
The complaint goes on to state: “Also my AEB sensor is not working and after doing research I see a lot of people have had issues with that too and the vehicles making unexpected AEB lock engagement in the middle of driving on the highway. In addition I’ve also had a 4th issue, the steering seems very off balance and vehicle sways too easily. I feel like this truck has had too many issues for being brand new and not only has been very inconvenient but I also feel it is a safety hazard at this point.”
Nissan knows that the issues are larger than expected. Just look at Service Bulletin #NTB21-100. This communication states that the wireless charging function will only work if the doors are shut. If this were a “normal” occurrence as stated by the automaker, there wouldn’t need to be a Service Bulletin about it. Everyone would know that’s how wireless charging works. Yet, it’s not normal and the automaker can’t keep making excuses for the glitches in the included technology.
We aren’t living in an era where people have to stand a certain way to get the TV antenna placed just right in order to watch their favorite show, no matter how much Nissan tries to portray that it’s normal.
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Problems with the Powertrain
The powertrain is responsible for taking the transmitted power and moving it to the wheels so the truck can function. Yet, the 2022 Nissan Frontier is struggling to make this basic operation happen smoothly.
Here’s one Edmunds review worth noting. “There seems to be vast pressure on all companies to increase their automatic transmissions to 8 or 9 speeds and to alter the computer shift mapping to move the car into as high a gear as possible. They clearly went too far and have developed issues. The car will go to the highest gear, whether it drives well at that gear or not. You will also find that it will not properly downshift to first gear when you come to a stop sign (or down shift when driving slowly). I have found myself driving with manual mode too often to compensate.”
Another major transmission issue causes rollaway when vehicles are in Park. On June 24, 2022, the NHTSA published a recall notice from Nissan North America. NHTSA Campaign Number 22V457000 warns that the transmission parking pawl might not engage when the Frontier is shifted into Park.
The pawl is what engages with a ratchet to prevent motion in a particular direction. When it doesn’t engage, it can cause a vehicle “rollaway.” This, as the recall points out, will increase the risk of a crash.
Frontier NHTSA Powertrain Complaints
Most of the powertrain complaints relate to the 2022 Frontier rolling in Park. Two report crashes. At least one states that the parts needed for the recall aren’t available.
An owner from California states that when notified about the recall, the parts weren’t available. Then, “while parking the vehicle, the gear shifter was shifted to park (P). However, the vehicle rolled backward.” Luckily, the pickup truck didn’t crash and the driver was able to apply the parking brake to park the vehicle.
This was on July 20, and the dealer confirmed that parts were not yet available. The VIN tool confirmed this.
An owner from Florida states that while the vehicle was parked, she exited the vehicle to place some items in the truck bed. However, the vehicle started to roll away at about 2 mph. Her husband jumped back into the vehicle and used the parking brake to stop it.
The dealer diagnosed that the failure was related to the same NHTSA Campaign Number: 22V457000 (Power Train). The vehicle was not repaired, possibly because it was in early July before the remedy plan was announced.
Complaints About Rolling in Park Resulting in a Crash
On July 1, 2022, the owner of a 2022 Nissan Frontier accelerated, went over the curb, and crashed into a parked vehicle while the driver was in Park. The parked vehicle crashed into another unattended parked vehicle in front of him.
The driver said it “felt as if he was being pushed.” He “was pressing on the brakes, but the vehicle continued to move forward. There was an unknown yellow light that illuminated.” To make it worse, the airbags didn’t deploy either.
“The police arrived on the scene and filed a report. There were no injuries. There were no medical treatments on the scene.” However, the entire front of the vehicle was damaged. The passenger side of the vehicle in front of them was damaged.
This second crash-related complaint is from a Kentucky owner. It describes how his vehicle crashed while parked outside his garage door. Ironically, the VIN tool advised no recalls for the vehicle.
“On June 29, 2022, my 2022 Nissan Frontier was parked (in the) drive in front of (the) garage door. I arrived home for lunch and parked my cab farm tractor in (the) yard under (a) shade tree to keep cool while I was inside my home.”
When he returned, he discovered the Frontier was sitting against the front tire of his tractor. “The truck had moved 25 yards for no reason.” After establishing there was minor damage, he discovered that the truck was still in Park.
He tested the truck “and all functions were normal as they were 6 weeks ago when I purchased (it) new.” At the time, the key wasn’t in the truck and no-one else had access to it. Although his wife, who had driven the Frontier last, hadn’t used the parking brake, the vehicle was in Park.
Problems with Fuel System
Just like the powertrain, the fuel system is equally as important. Yet, this system has faced some issues as well, even with a recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V917000 states that the tow hitch wasn’t installed correctly on some trucks, leaving the structural integrity of the fuel tank at risk. In these trucks, the leaf spring could contact the tank in an accident, which could cause a fire and serious injury. Of course, by now, many owners are hoping that the truck would burn to a pile of rubble in the middle of a freeway somewhere just so they can stop driving it.
Problems with the Vehicle Structure
The structure is another sore spot for many Frontier owners. It just doesn’t seem to be built to any level of quality that would have been expected.
Here’s a final Edmunds review. “The interior feels very cheap with acres of hard plastic. They can give you a worthless indicator light that tells you the airbag is inactive, but they could not give you a TPMS that gives individual tire pressures.”
Another recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 21V958000 states that the seat belt bracket mounting bolts might not have been tightened correctly on the left rear seat. Because of this, the bracket could break during a collision. If this occurs, the restraint might not hold, leading to an increased chance of injury to that occupant.
This is not an “adventure” any person would ever “choose,” yet it’s being forced on Nissan Frontier owners as if it is normal to have bolts tightened incorrectly. The truth is, Nissan’s quality control is failing and leaving a lot of people at risk on today’s roads.
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