2022 Nissan Frontier Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Powertrain & electrical issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

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

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.

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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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.

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15 COMMENTS
  • Tammy R

    I bought a 22 ! First week all the abs lights came on ! 75 mph on the highway truck came to a skid on the interstate breaks stoped me I got on the side of the road called the service dept was told turn truck off it will reset !! This has happened 3 different times ! This truck is dangerous! The transmission is slipping won’t go over 40mph took it back to service had to have a harness replaced ! Dropped the tail gate down to haul a new sofa that was a joke truck won’t let me back up with tail gate down ! Nissan needs to buy back all these trucks !

  • Daniel M

    I have several electrical issues:
    1. Driver door locks about 50% of the time for no apparent reason when I exit the vehicle
    2. The radio resets for no particular reason when I shut the vehicle off. Defaults to AM 1400
    3. The collision avoidance system lights up when I drive and doesn’t reset until the vehicle is turned off and back on.
    4. While in cruise control starting up a hill, the vehicle drops 2 or 3 gears, over reving the engine, scaring the crap out of me.

  • Zedgal

    Just took delivery of 2023 Pro-4x four days ago. Took it out for a drive, got the new vehicle “wows”, outdoor temp 62F. This was my 1st & only drive without issues. I note the temp for suspect reasons, as will further explain. I work 6p-6a as a nurse. I come out the first time I drove it to work, start of day 2. Outside temp 19F. Start driving and the map lights come on, as well as the front/rear collision light. Pull into gas station, continues. Drove 20 miles home with map lights blaring driving on I-80 @ 75 mph. Don’t know enough about the vehicle yet, actuating the control switch on the map lights does nothing. Didn’t hit a pedestrian as the owner manual suggests, as speed suggests, heading down the interstate. Fast forward. I head to work 17:00, 65F, and viola, ZERO issues @ ambient temperature. Duplicate the aforementioned by 2 more shifts, and this morning, instead of having the map lights come on while on I-80, they come on after stopping for 10 minutes, flickering. I suspect a sensor issue. Or god forbid, a LEMON in infancy with much more FUN to come. Jesus! I’ve purchased too many vehicles to count, my first Nissan and if this is the foretelling of my life upcoming, it’s my last Nissan. I have 30 days to invoke the Lemon Law. I’d say I’m well on my way. Love the styling, but I’d rather drive my 70’ vette I can wrench on all day without too much to figure out what she wants!!! This truck is bipolar, schizophrenic, ADHD and psychotic all at once!

  • James D

    Since buying my 2022 Nissan frontier I got a recall notice because it slips out of park but never caught an appointment to get this fixed I’ve had to take the truck back to the dealer because the ABS failure warning comes on on the dashboard they said they fixed it the ABS failure warning is still coming on on the dashboard the backup warning goes off when there’s nothing behind the truck the screen of the backup camera and entertainment system blanks out and sometimes won’t come on till 2 or 3 minutes after the truck is going to start it also the truck has a very rough idle at times at this point it only has 6,000 miles on it and it is in excellent shape

  • Marcus R

    This truck is a safety hazard. I have bought this truck less than four months ago. It has shut down three times to while driving has put me in an unbearable place on the highway and it will not stay in park. The whole system shut down with no acceleration to the car, will leave you in danger. Also have heard crackling sound like something was frying at the bottom of the truck. Also, the fan on the truck comes on loud like an airplane get ready to take off and then it kills the battery. This truck has a major electric issues I only beg for help somebody’s gonna get hurt in this truck if your truck has been in the shop like mine more than 30 days or more than three attempts on fixing it by Nissan you now have a lemon we all might just have a class action lawsuit now

  • Gregg G

    I bought my 2022 Frontier in October of 2021. I am having the common issue of my ABS/Front Collision giving me a system fault when I am in heavy traffic. I have had it in the shop 3 times, of course they cant do anything until they see it as it resets when you shut the truck off. The last time it happened, I got there 5 minutes before the technicians left, I was told there was no one there that could look at it. Pretty frustrating, seems to be a common problem with this piece of junk. I’d leave the keys in it but no one would be dumb enough to steal it.

  • Sam B

    2022 Pro4x Luxury is hands down the worst new vehicle I have owned. Put 6000km on it while dealing with terrible shift mapping, cruise control that was less than intelligent, crap fuel economy, terrible handling. Never should have traded an f150 for this, anyway drove the Nissan to Ford last week and dumped it for a new 4dr Bronco. Couldn’t be happier.

  • Tracy D

    Okay at first I was in love with my Frontier. Very quickly I realized that my seat wouldn’t stay in the position I put it. It reclines all the way back weather I’m driving or not. Also this problem has become a fantastic feature I didn’t know came with the truck. Driving down the highway every single safety feature shut down abs shut down traction control shut down, and autonomies breaking failed too. I might as well have been driving a brick down the highway. This has happened twice now. Seems safe right. Dealer needs to replicate vrs just going off of what the cpu says. We all know how that’s gonna go. I no longer feel safe in this truck.

  • Tad R

    I am driving a 2022 Frontier Crew Cab. Short bed. Ordered in October of 2021. Received it in April of 2022. I have had 3 times now, that is the safety system shuts down when traveling 60 + mph with the cruise control on and set, as I go through a dip or hit a rough stretch of road. Nothing that would cause me to lose control. It shuts down all safety sensors telling me to take the truck to a service center at once. I can stop, shut down the engine and restart. It will clear all issues, and everything is normal. After the third event, I set up an appointment to have it looked at. The local Nissan distributor scanned the truck and said it was a brake sensor gone bad. They fixed it. Two days later it did it again. Has anyone else seen this?
    I have also had problems with the entertainment system not keeping track of MP3s from a flash drive. I can be in the middle of a book. Stop the truck. Once I start the engine again it gets to the end of the current track and then reverts back to the first song in the index, not the next in the folder as expected. This is with the repeat of the folder selected. It seems not to correctly log the current location of the file and order when playing.
    The first issue is a concern. The second is a real nuisance. I drive 3000 to 5000 miles a month. I REALLY would like the mp3 player to work correctly.
    I also have a problem with the door gasket being too short and constantly pulling out of place. The local shop said this is common. They say they can’t fix it…..A perfect response for a Nissan factory shop.
    I know this is three issues but because all three issues do not seem to be logged in the error codes Nissan says it’s not an issue as they cannot recreate it with a simple drive. That is for the exception of the door gasket. They simply say it’s a non-issue? I need to know if I am alone with these issues or is this issues Nissan in not admitting to.

  • Cleora

    Purchased my 2022 in January and in February I had to take it in for a ECM reset, front windshield Cowell needed replacement. Undercarriage of truck has many rusted parts, found a loose bolt under my backseat and the plastic cover is broken. Top it off while driving a ⚠️ popped up saying warning system failure see owner s manual. Reading all this different issues I am seriously considering trading this truck in.

  • Betsy W

    I did my research before buying this 2022 frontier. It sounded perfect…but after 8 months I want to sell it. Sways all over the road, screwed up electrical system, etc. Now for the third time I need to get it towed to a dealer and get more work done so I can drive it. I am very pissed off as this is the very first new vehicle I have ever bought.

  • Nick C

    Excessive brake dust! Nissan used the cheapest pads and cameras they could find! The truck sways all over on the highway!
    Really sad for a 45k truck. Should have kept my F150!

  • Hewitt M

    The intelligent cruise control is not in the least bit intelligent.
    If it drops 1 or 2 mph on a slight hill or wind it drops several gears and revs very high to recover that slight drop in speed. Cruise on Crack!

  • Karl H

    Bought a 22 Nissan frontier. ABS light started flickering for seconds then stayed on then went off then stayed on for a day. Passenger window is slow to open and close. After 2k miles tried to leave work… shift was stuck in park. Had to towe, truck is in the shop for a week to fix . Truck also makes a rumble or studder when coming to a stop or slowing down. Asked service manager if I possibly bought a lemon. He said absolutely not, just like other new cars things come up sometimes.

  • perry r

    They put the hood on crooked it is so comical…i have never seen such poor quality. 2022 Frontier Pro X

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