2023 Nissan Pathfinder Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, powertrain and engine issues are a cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder was an “all-new” model. So, adding to the appeal, for 2023, Nissan promises owners the ability to “take more adventurous journeys.” The manufacturer goes as far as to say that it is “designed for drivers with the desire to venture away from the pavement.” But when the pickup-truck SUV vibrates or suddenly shuts off while driving, owners are left wondering how safe they will be on the road. Should they stick to the pavement?

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2022

Most Common Problems with the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder

It’s never easy to assess the level or severity of complaints for a vehicle that hasn’t been on the market very long. The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is a good example. Between October 2022 and March 2023, there were only 4 consumer complaints lodged with the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA).

But there are also complaints on other platforms, including Edmunds.

So far, there aren’t a flood of complaints about anything in particular. But there are lots of different complaints that indicate there are problems that owners need to be aware of.

The NHTSA complaints relate to the engine shutting off, the vehicle vibrating while on the road, electrical issues, and serious concerns about the reliability of the airbags that rattle and click.

Problems highlighted on Edmunds relate to various issues including the heating system and windshields cracking. One owner writes that with less than 1,000 miles on the clock, a Pathfinder that was less than a month old had windshield issues. After two weeks, “a rock from a cement truck chipped the windshield, and the crack spread in hours.” Needless to say, the windshield had to be replaced. Then, a week later, “something hits the windshield driving on the interstate, another chip. This isn’t normal.”

2023 Nissan Pathfinder Complaint Summary

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

Electrical and Related Problems

An owner from Kentucky tells the NHTSA that a simple issue of water spilling onto the console of the Pathfinder resulted in the shifter becoming inoperable. Obviously, it was a mistake, but the complaint states that the “components around the cup hole need to be protected from water damage.” This, says the complaint, is a definite safety issue. “What if the spill happened at a stop light/intersection/railroad crossing for goodness sakes. And you can’t freaking MOVE the car?”

Problems with the HVAC system are probably also electrical. Here are three issues shared on the Edmunds website that Nissan dealerships are unable to fix.

One owner states how the heater starts “blowing cold air after driving it for at least 30 minutes or more. The Nissan dealership cannot fix it. I was told that everything is normal.”

Another complaint on Edmunds states that HVAC issues started the day after buying the Pathfinder. “It will only blow HOT air until the temperature is set to low temperature – then it only blows COLD air.” And the dealer hasn’t been able to fix the problem.

There’s another probable electrical issue that is also clear from comments on Edmunds.

“There is a noticeable power surge when the alternator kicks in (per the service technician). When the interior lights are turned on they brighten and dim randomly as the alternator works and the fan motor increases and decreases speed randomly as well. Nissan service said it is a power surge when the alternator engages and they do not have a fix for it.

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Powertrain and Engine Problems

Owners of the 2023 Pathfinder aren’t completely sure about the cause of some problems they report, For instance, there’s a complaint said to be a powertrain problem that states the “Vehicle suddenly vibrates when driving between 38 and 40 miles per hour.”

Another one, listed as an unknown or other problem, talks about how a brand new 2023 Pathfinder shuts off while driving. The complaint states that the vehicle turns off completely on the highway. This often happens when ”getting close to a light or trying to park.” Once the car is restarted, “it turns on again fine. One time the car did go crazy on the panel and it was fuzzy. The dealer has checked the car 3 times and keeps saying there’s no issue.”

It’s certainly a lot easier to fix a problem that doesn’t exist! But many owners aren’t convinced.

What to do if your 2023 Nissan Pathfinder is a Lemon?

If you have a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder and you’ve got recurring problems that affect the use of the vehicle or its value, it is probably a good idea to get a lemon lawyer to assess your issues. You may not realize it, but every year automakers, including Nissan, replace, buy back, or pay cash settlements to thousands of vehicle owners who find they have bought lemons. What’s in your favor is that the law makes the manufacturer pay the legal fees for lemon-related legal cases.

If you want Lemberg Law to assess your 2023 Nissan Pathfinder problems at no cost to you, please call our Helpline or fill out a contact form. We recognize your urgency and will get back to you as soon as we can.

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
  • Rachael H

    I bought my first new car a 2023 pathfinder and I’m so disappointed. I had issues almost immediately. Car would put itself into neutral at stop lights periodically. I would not realize it and go to take off when the light turned green and be stuck there until I shifted. It would also put itself into manual 1st gear while I was in Auto Drive and I would have to shift quickly back to drive. I took it to the dealership and they sent me away after saying the issue wasn’t duplicated while with them. On the way home the Car lost power while out shopping and had a code on the dashboard to check owners manual. I could push the gas all the way down and the car would barely drive. I was able to limp back to the dealership and they replaced the fuel pump.
    My dome lights do not always come on when I open the car door but they cannot fix it.
    My car just recently lost power in my driveway again and said malfunction. I started it again in the morning and it was driving normal so I’m on my way back to the dealership. I will never buy a Nissan again.

  • Abby

    I purchased a 2023 Nissan Pathfinder in December 2022 and had been happy with it until recently. The first incident happened in early October 2023. I was while driving in a parking lot when I felt the vehicle slow down, rumble, and suddenly shut off. I was confused and terrified. I didn’t know what to do, I tried putting the vehicle in neutral but the vehicle was stuck or frozen and nothing happened. I didn’t take my foot off the brake I didn’t know or wasn’t sure if the vehicle would move or not. After 10 minutes or so, I pushed the start engine button again and the vehicle started running and I was able to drive off as if nothing happened. Two weeks after that, it happened again but this time I was driving on a residential street, the vehicle slowed down, rumbled and shut down, luckily was I able to pull over and not cause traffic or an accident. This time, it took a few minutes before I was able to get the vehicle starting again and was able to drive off. The last incident happened not even a week later and was the most terrifying. I was in the middle of a busy intersection trying to turn when the vehicle rumbled and suddenly shut off. I was stuck in the middle of the intersection terrified. I just sat there in frustration because I wasn’t understanding why my brand new 2023 vehicle was as acting so bizarre. I was able to get help from some kind people, who tried to get the vehicle started. After 10 minutes or so, the vehicle finally started and I was able to drive off. It was after the third incident I took the vehicle to the dealership for inspection and a full diagnostic. The technicians did not find anything wrong. I was given the consumer affairs number and so far, still waiting for a response. At this point, I didn’t feel safe driving the vehicle so instead of risking another incident, I have the vehicle parked in the driveway. I had not driven the vehicle in weeks. I have not heard a response from Nissan about my concerns. What do I do from here?

  • Pete

    New 2024 Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek, vehicle is having issues starting again (after auto start/stop engaged) after coming to a stop at intersections, engine will chug chug chug shift itself into Neutral suddenly and stalls after manually engaging Drive mode again. Then it is very difficult to get started again, I have to carefully press the gas pedal at the same time I push the start button to get it to start again. However this has been inconsistent. Sometimes it will just start right back up as it normally would. Coming out of an auto car wash shifting from neutral to drive, the car will either chug chug go or chug chug stall. Taking to dealership tomorrow for inspection. Owned for one month so far. Also I have the same complaint I’ve seen online as the vehicle vibrates between 38-41 miles per hour. I figured it was the A/T Oversized tires that vibrate at certain speeds but finding other drivers having the same complaint. Could only be a Rock Creek Edition issue.

  • Donetta y

    I brought my 2023 Nissan Pathfinder in May 2023
    I was loving my new car and was especially enjoying the drive. However that all changed when I took a trip on the major highway while in traffic the car shut off and it took a good 3 minutes to restart I’m thinking it’s just a glitch but once back home I’m at a light and it happened again the car just stopped. I had to place my flashers on and kept pressing the brakes until the lights came back on, and the car started. I was terrified.

  • Megan

    I have a 2018 pathfinder and never had any issues with it. So we decided to buy our 2023 Pathfinder, only 4 months ago… 7k miles on it, first issue started when it just wouldn’t start one morning, it acted dead but the lights came on so it was not the battery. It was towed to the dealership and the problem was duplicated 4 days—they could not figure out why it would not start, car magically started for 3 days in a row so they sent it home, even though nothing was done to fix the issue. They said there was a code for the fuel pump so they replaced it but did not believe it was connected to why the car would not start. Exactly 1 week after I picked it up again, the car would not shut off. I was 5 minutes from the dealership so we took it there and they could not get it to shut down either, the service department was closed so they advised me to take it home and let it run in the driveway overnight…so I did and it ran all night with no key in the car. Nissan consumer affairs tells me they can’t buy back the car because there is no diagnosis code for them to go off of!

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