What's Wrong with the Frontier?

There are 883 complaints over 20 Frontier model years. These can be broken down into 2 generations with their collective PainRank™. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Generation Breakdown

Compare NHTSA
Gen Years Score Problems Recalls Inv. TSBs
2 2005—2017 15.29 827 37 30 251
1 1998—2004 3.55 56 42 1 334

Recent Frontier News

Nissan Says Their Timing Chains Are Just Super Noisy, Not Busted

Nissan owners are tired of their timing chains whining, buzzing, ticking, and knocking their engines apart.

In the case of Kobe Falco, et. al., v. Nissan North America, Inc., and Nissan Motor Company, LTD., the plaintiffs say they were forced to pay for expensive timing chain repairs which happened to fall ever-so-conveniently just outside of Nissan’s warranty period. Earlier this year, the class-action was certified by a judge.

So now Nissan has brought together their best engineers and a top-notch legal team to come up with their defense –– ok, our timing chains are noisy, but they’re not a safety defect.

Nissan's defense team in court

From CarComplaints.com:

According to the automaker, there has never been anything defective about the timing chain systems and the most that owners can show is that the timing chains make noise, not that the systems are a safety risk. Nissan says the plaintiffs admit no crashes are attributed to the timing chains, even though the majority of the vehicles have been in service more than 10 years.

So the case will attempt to answer are Nissan’s timing chains just loud and annoying? Or are they loud, annoying, and potentially dangerous?

The vehicles named in the suit all use the same uniform timing chain system: the 2004-2008 Maxima, 2004-2009 Quest, 2004-2006 Altima (VQ35 engine), 2005-2007 Pathfinder, 2004-2007 Xterra, and the 2005-2007 Frontier (VQ49 engine).

Heads Up, Nissan Owners! That Sunroof Isn’t As Safe As You’d Hope

Heads up, Nissan owners! The sunroof in your vehicle might soon be coming down in a thousand little pieces.

A lawsuit alleges that all of Nissan’s factory-installed sunroofs (panoramic or otherwise) can explode without warning. This includes any vehicle since 2008.

Plaintiff Janelle Horne says she was riding with her husband and four kids in a leased Infiniti QX80 when the sunroof exploded like a shotgun, causing Mr. Horne to pull off the highway and see shards of glass everywhere.

Yikes, that’ll get your attention. Hopefully this lawsuit means Nissan will start paying attention too.

The lawsuit only includes residents of California at this time, but similar lawsuits may be filed nationwide based on its results.

No Investigation for the Cracked Radiators Killing Nissan Transmissions

Certain Nissan vehicles have a defective cracked radiator that leaks coolant into the transmission fluid, creating a toxic hell stew that kills the transmission entirely.

If it hasn’t happened to you (yet), you’ve probably heard of it. And if you haven’t heard of it, well … I’m sorry to be the bearer of some really bad news.

Unfortunately, the news gets worse. There were high hopes that the government would open an investigation that would lead to a recall, but we now know that ain’t going to happen.

A Petition to Nowhere

After being petitioned in 2012 by the North Carolina Consumers Council (NCCC), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into the 2005-2010 Nissan Frontier, Pathfinder, and Xterra. It’s taken four years, but NHTSA has a conclusion:

[Out] of 2,505 complaints, 638 relate to stalling engines and vehicles that are unable to maintain speed, symptoms that could cause safety hazards. But according to NHTSA, the majority of complaints (1,867) aren’t considered a risk to safety.

They did find four crashes related to the problem, but say the majority are “customer satisfaction issues.” Yeah, you can say satisfaction is an issue.

Extended Coverage That Covers Nothing

NHTSA says Nissan did issue a warranty extension in 2007 for the transmission oil cooler and radiator that provided owners with an 8-year/80,000 mile warranty. Then due to a class-action lawsuit in 2010, Nissan Frontier, Pathfinder and Xterra owners received extended warranty coverage for certain repairs for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

That’s all fine and good, but let’s take a look at some of the average mileages when this problem gets reported:

And so on. Isn’t it convenient how the extended warranty expires just barely before the problem happens?