What are drivers to do when their Nissan engine experiences failures while driving? Unfortunately, the news of how to fix this problem might not be clear yet.
Several Nissan owners have reported engine failures, loss of power, and engine knocking noises while driving their vehicles. The troublesome aspect of this issue is that most of the vehicles are less than two years old, and all of them are less than four years old. The engines in question make it difficult for drivers to enjoy their vehicles and continue the drive on any road.
Which engines are impacted by this problem?
Two engines are subject to this recent issue, which includes metal chunks and shavings being found in the oil pans of several Nissan vehicles. The engines in question are the 1.5-liter three-cylinder KR15DDt model and the 2.0-liter KR20DDT 4-cylinder engine. These two engines are now under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Office of Defect Investigation (ODI).
These two engines are used in three of the most popular Nissan vehicles:
- 2021-2023 Nissan Rogue
- 2019-2021 Nissan Altima
- 2019-2021 Infiniti QX50
In total, as many as 454,840 engines are under this preliminary investigation.
Are any of the issues already known by Nissan?
Nissan is aware of some of the issues with these two engines and has attempted to address the problems by changing several manufacturing processes. So far, these changes haven’t fixed any of the issues, which brings the ODI into the investigation. The manufacturing changes were made in an attempt to address damage to the main bearing and L-link, which can lead to the engines’ seizing.
The commonality between these two engines is that both use variable compression technology. This system has a multi-link system that varies the piston’s top dead and bottom dead center positions to alter the compression ratio. This tech allows the ECU to control the engine based on conditions, which ensures the right amount of power or efficiency is present while driving.
What seems to be the root cause of this problem?
Both Nissan and the NHTSA seem to be baffled by this problem and don’t understand exactly what’s causing the problems in these engines. Since these two engines use variable compression systems, this is likely at least part of the root cause of the problem. This means more than 450,000 drivers on the road could experience serious problems with their vehicles. This should be enough to put some pressure on Nissan, the NHTSA, and the ODI to find a fix for the problem quickly.
Is Nissan issuing a recall for these engine failures?
The Nissan engines that experience dramatic failure are a bit of a mystery thus far. In fact, because the NHTSA can’t find a root cause or reason to compel Nissan to issue a recall, none has been issued yet. The NHTSA has launched an investigation into these engines to understand the scope of the problem, the frequency of the engine failures, and the safety concerns associated with them. When the NHTSA and ODI conclude their investigation, Nissan could be forced to issue a recall.
Will all 450,000 engines be subject to a recall?
These Nissan engine failures could be limited to a single batch or specific part failing, which is why this investigation must occur. When the investigation is over, it could be a small batch of engines that face a recall, or it could be all of them because every engine is fitted with a specific part that’s failing.
Nissan took measures to improve the manufacturing process to address issues with these engines. That signals that Nissan was working to address the problem without being compelled to do so by the NHTSA. This is a good sign that Nissan will work with the investigating organizations to ensure these problems are corrected. So far, the parties involved have not issued a warning for owners to stop driving their vehicles.
Is this investigation surprising?
Nissan attempted to take corrective action to fix problems in the VC-Turbo engines but couldn’t find a way to fix the engine failure issues. Because the automaker couldn’t get the job done, the NHTSA will investigate, which was inevitable.
Consumers reporting their Nissan and Infiniti vehicles experience engine failure with several flaws, including metal bits in the oil pain, have expressed their frustrations and concerns to Nissan.
Now that the NHTSA and ODI are involved, we should expect a recall to be issued soon. Once the recall is issued, owners of impacted vehicles will need to visit local dealers to have the problem fixed.
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