Lemberg Law is investigating complaints about transmission parking pawl recalls for the 2022 Nissan Frontier. Affected vehicle owners are reporting that the parts and/or remedy needed for the recall repair are not available.
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Is There a Problem with the 2022 Nissan Frontier Transmission?
There is a serious, ongoing recall problem relating to a lack of parts or remedy needed to repair the 2022 Nissan Frontier’s unsecured transmission parking pawl.
There are two recall notices for the same problem. The first states that the transmission parking pawl pin needs to be replaced. According to Nissan, limited parts and/or repair kits were available from July 2022. But they warned they would be in short supply until late fall 2022. The second recall states that the issue can be solved by reprogramming transmission and/or engine control modules. No parts are required. Owners were notified in October 2022 that dealers would undertake the fix.
However, as recently as January 2023, owners are reporting that the remedy is still not available.
The recall problem dates back to June 24, 2022. Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that as many as 180,176 2020-2022 Frontier and Titan pickup trucks were affected.
NHTSA Campaign Number 22V457000 announced that the transmission parking pawl may not engage when these vehicles are in Park. As a result, this unsecured transmission may cause a rollaway, which in turn increases the risk of a crash.
The safety recall report, 22V-457, issued on the same day states that the issue is limited to Frontier and Titan vehicles with 9-speed transmissions and a gas powertrain. The model years affected are 2020-2022.
A second similar recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 22V671000, was issued on September 7, 2022. While the summary is the same, the number of affected units increases to 197,230. The remedy is also different, see Recall Timeline below.
The safety recall report, 22V-671, issued on September 7, states that even more vehicles – 203,223 – are potentially affected. However, they think only 1% of these have the defect. The Frontier model years affected are 2020-2022, and 2020-2023 for the Titan.
Reasons for the Recall
Nissan states in its original safety recall report, 22V-457, that the defect is caused by “dimensional variation during the manufacturing process.” They state that “reduced clearance may cause contact between the edge of the parking pawl and the boss on the transmission case.” This “may result in non-engagement of the parking pawl.” The driver gets no warning before, or as it happens.
The report indicates that there was no available remedy but a “remedy plan” was being developed.
The first safety recall report, 22V-671, issued for the second recall is worded slightly differently. It states that “resistance between the parking rod and wedge inside of the transmission housing may inhibit movement of the wedge and parking pawl. If the parking pawl does not engage, an affected vehicle may move after placing the shifter into ‘Park’.” The results are the same as previously described.
This report also states that a remedy plan “is currently under development.”
Complaints About Unsecured Transmission Problems
Before the recalls were announced, 2022 Nissan Frontier owners were experiencing serious problems caused by a faulty transmission parking pawl pin. The first complaint to the NHTSA was from an owner in Kentucky on June 30, 2022. His wife put the vehicle in Park but didn’t secure the parking brake. This resulted in a rollaway and, inevitably, a crash.
The complaint states that she had parked in front of his garage door. When her husband went back to the vehicle, he noticed that “the truck had moved 25 yards for no reason.” It had bumped into his tractor. He checked and the Frontier was still in Park. His wife had not used the parking brake when she parked. “If someone had been standing between the two vehicles they could have been rolled over. (Now my) wife is learning to use (the) parking brake.”
A New York owner’s Frontier with only 2,000 miles on the clock crashed into a parked vehicle on July 1, 2022, while in Park. The vehicle went over the curb and crashed into the vehicle in front of them. The driver said it felt as if he was being pushed. He was pressing on the brakes, but it kept moving forward. No airbags deployed. Fortunately, no one was injured. The owner figured that the failure was related to the first recall, 22V457000.
On July 11, 2022, an owner from Florida managed to jump into his Frontier as it was starting to roll away. He managed to stop it with the parking brake. The dealer ascertained it was the failure announced in the first recall.
What Problems are Owners Experiencing with the Transmission Recall?
Several of the recall-related complaints are from owners who have experienced vehicle rollaway, like the Florida owner mentioned above. Others are from owners who have received notification of one or other, or sometimes both recalls but have not experienced a failure.
On October 31, 2022, after receiving notification of the second recall, another Florida owner was told by the dealer that the recall repair was not yet available.
An owner from New York complained on January 9, 2023, that the parts to do the recall repair were not yet available. This was after receiving notification of the second recall notice “confirming that the remedy was available and to contact a local dealer. However, the dealer stated that the part was not yet available.” according to the complaint. The manufacturer was notified of the issue and advised the owner to notify the dealer “but did not confirm if the parts were available.”
Timeline of Recall
This is a brief timeline of the two recalls issued by Nissan.
NHTSA Campaign Number 22V457000
When the first recall was announced in June 2022, in its notice, Nissan undertook to replace the transmission parking pawl pin free of charge. However, the NHTSA notice states that Nissan would only be notifying owners of the problem in November 2022. In the meantime, on July 8, 2022, Nissan was to notify owners in a letter that they should apply the parking brake whenever they park their vehicles until a “final remedy plan” was available.
Ongoing safety recall campaign bulletins were issued to dealers by Nissan. The first, on June 30, 2022, states that Nissan isn’t aware of any accidents related to this issue although they do know about four allegations of minor injury. Ironically, the first crash reported to the NHTSA was that same day. Since then there have been at least two more crash reports in NHTSA complaints. Despite this, in the September 7 safety recall report, 22V-671, Nissan claims not to be “aware of any confirmed field incidents” that are “related to the subject condition.”
Another early campaign bulletin, issued on July 8, 2022, announces a Stop Sale, stating that dealers may not sell or deliver any vehicles affected by this campaign.
The bulletin also states very clearly what Nissan won’t be:
- Replacing or repurchasing affected vehicles.
- Supplying rental vehicles except while vehicles were being serviced.
Availability of Parts
On July 15, 2022, dealers were told that “a small quantity of remedy parts” were being shipped to the U.S. and would arrive in about 10 days. More repair kits were expected by mid-August. The bulletin also states that Nissan was still “developing a remedy plan.”
A couple of weeks later, a bulletin dated July 29, 2022, warned that parts would be in short supply until late fall. At the beginning of fall, a campaign bulletin dated September 27, 2022, states that the required transmission parking pawl pin was “on restriction” and only available to dealers for “select cases.”
NHTSA Campaign Number 22V671000
The first safety recall report for this recall (22V-671) contains a chronology of events from June 24, 2022. By September 1, 2022, their investigation was still ongoing, despite the repair kits mentioned above. And, again, they state that a remedy plan “is currently under development.”
While the issue is exactly the same, the new remedy appears to be reprogramming the transmission control module (TCM) and or the engine control module (ECM).
A campaign bulletin dated September 29, 2022, tells dealers that owners will be notified during October 2022 that they can have the remedy work (reprogramming) completed at no cost. It states that parts are not required.
The last documents on file with the NHTSA are templates of the owner notification letters sent out in October. These state that the control modules will be reprogrammed free of charge. This, it states, should take less than an hour to complete.
What to Do If Nissan Cannot Honor Your 2022 Nissan Frontier Transmission Recall?
If Nissan is unable to provide the parts or necessary remedy to honor your recall, please contact Lemberg Law. All you have to do is call our Helpline for a free case evaluation. Or simply fill out our contact form. We will then assess your case. If we go to court, the law says that Nissan will have to pay the legal fees for your claim.