2016 Nissan Sentra Top 3 Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Transmission, Airbag and Brakes issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
HELPLINE

The Nissan Sentra is a popular compact car that’s been in production since 1982. An inexpensive price and low cost of ownership make the Sentra very appealing. It also used to be reliable, but the quality has degraded over the years. The 2016 Nissan Sentra is a particularly troublesome.  According to consumer complaints logged with the NHTSA common problem areas include the transmission, brakes and air bags.

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Transmission

Continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) have replaced traditional automatic transmissions in many vehicles. Instead of using planetary gear sets, like an automatic transmission, most CVTs use a steel belt and pulleys. This allows for an infinite level of “gear ratios”, resulting in improved fuel economy.
About 15 years ago, Nissan started putting CVT transmissions in most of its vehicles. The transmission design has been problematic in everything it came in, including the 2016 Sentra.

Continuously variable transmission (CVT) failure

There are dozens of technical service bulletins (TSBs) regarding the Sentra’s Xtronic CVT. The transmission has been known to cause many performance problems such as bucking and slipping. In many cases, the root cause of these issues seems to be transmission overheating due to poor design.

Nissan also issued a couple of service campaigns aimed at the CVT. These attempt to address the problems by reprogramming the transmission control module. In most cases though, this doesn’t fix the problem and the transmission must be replaced. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Nissan for its Xtronic CVT.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2016 Nissan Sentra CVT Transmission Problems:

WE BOUGHT A 2016 NISSAN SENTRA IN MARCH OF 2018. I TOOK IT IN COMPLAINING OF A WHINING NOISE A FEW MONTHS AFTER HAVING IT AND WAS TOLD BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE OR FEEL ANYTHING THERE IS NOTHING TO BE DONE. NOW IN NOVEMBER THE CVT TRANSMISSION NEEDS REPLACED. IT PUNCHES WHEN YOU GO TO TAKE OFF, FEELS LIKE IT IS LOSING POWER WHEN DRIVING ON THE FREEWAY, DIFFICULT ACCELERATING, JERKS WHILE DRIVING, SHIFTS ON ITS OWN FROM ABOUT 1.5 RPM UP TO 3 WHILE DRIVING ON THE FREEWAY, AND NISSAN SAID IT IS OUT OF WARRANTY BECAUSE I AM OVER 60,000 MILES (MY MILEAGE IS AT ABOUT 64,000 MILES). IT’S GOING TO COST $4500 TO REPLACE IT ACCORDING TO NISSAN. THE DOOR HANDLE COMES OFF AND IT HAS TO BE PUSHED BACK IN, THE SIDE VIEW MIRRORS WHISTLE WHILE DRIVING ON THE FREEWAY.

DAYS BEFORE THE TRANSMISSION STOPPED ON ME THE CAR WOULD FEEL LIKE IT WAS CHANGING GEARS ON IT’S OWN ON THE HIGHWAY,IT WOULD SHIFT BACK AND FORTH REALLY BAD AND THE RPMS WERE GOING UP AND DOWN REALLY FAST AND THE CAR WOULD NOT ACCELERATE PAST 40 MPH.FINALLY WHEN I TRIED TO GO UP THE STREET,THE CAR WOULD NOT MOVE AT ALL,HAD IT TOWED TO THE DEALERSHIP AND THEY SAID THE TRANSMISSION NEEDS TO BE REPLACED FOR 4500.00,ON A 2 YEAR OLD CAR, THAT’S CRAZY

I HAVE A 2016 NISSAN SENTRA THAT HAS CVT TRANSMISSION THAT IS BREAKING DOWN AFTER THE CAR IS ONLY 2 YEARS OLD. CAR IS HAVING TROUBLE SHIFTING, ACCELERATING, AND HESITATE AND LOSES POWER WHEN DRIVING ON BOTH A CITY STREET OR HIGHWAY. THIS HAS BEEN A KNOWN PROBLEM BY NISSAN FROM PREVIOUS MODELS AND THAT GO FROM 2003 TO 2010 MODELS WHERE THEY EXTENDED THE TRANSMISSION WARRANTY. I FOUND THIS OUT THROUGH RESEARCH AND SEE THERE ARE OTHER COMPLAINTS FOR LATE MODEL CARS LIKE MINE. A TRANSMISSION SHOULD NOT FAIL LIKE THIS ON A 2 YEAR OLD CAR AND I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BEAR THE COST OF REPLACING IT AT $5,000.

Brakes

No part of your vehicle is more important than the brakes. The center of the brake system is the master cylinder. Pushing the brake pedal moves a rod inside the master cylinder. The rod pushes a pair of pistons that create pressure. This pressurized hydraulic fluid flows through the brake lines to apply the brakes at each wheel.

A faulty master cylinder can result in several problems. The list includes a spongy brake pedal, excessive brake travel or a pedal that sinks to the floor.

Faulty master cylinder

The 2013 Nissan Sentra is plagued by master cylinder problems. While no official recalls have been issued, there are countless customer complaints. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also opened an investigation into the issue.Since a faulty master cylinder can cause loss of braking, the problem is very serious.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2016 Nissan Sentra Brake Problems:

THE CONTACT OWNS A 2016 NISSAN SENTRA. WHILE DRIVING APPROXIMATELY 25 MPH, THE BRAKES MALFUNCTIONED WHILE APPROACHING A STOP SIGN. AS A RESULT, THE VEHICLE DROVE INTO A BUSY INTERSECTION WITHOUT INCIDENT. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO THE LOCAL DEALER WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED THAT THE MASTER CYLINDER FAILED DUE TO A RUPTURED BRAKE LINE. THE VEHICLE WAS REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 56,000.

BREAK FAILED TO STOP THE CAR. BREAK PEDAL WAS DEPRESSED ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR. JUST DIDN’T COME TO FULL STOP. HAPPENED 2 DAYS IN A ROW. THE LATTER INCIDENT HIT THE CAR IN FRONT. IT’S A REAL HAZARD ON THE ROAD. NOW THE CAR IS BEING SERVICED AND LOANER CAR IS BEING PROVIDED BY THE DEALER

THE CONTACT OWNS A 2016 NISSAN SENTRA. WHILE DRIVING 40 MPH AND DEPRESSING THE BRAKE PEDAL TO THE FLOORBOARD, THE BRAKE PEDAL FAILED. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO THE DEALER WHERE IT WAS DIAGNOSED, BUT A FAILURE COULD NOT BE FOUND. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE APPROXIMATE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 2,500.

Airbags

Airbags are used to “supplement” a vehicle’s existing restraints (the seat belts). Smaller passengers and children can be injured by airbags, which is why an occupant classification system (OCS) is required.

The Nissan Sentra has an OCS control unit mounted under the passenger seat cushion. The unit uses sensors to determine passenger weight. It then relays this information to the airbag diagnostic unit, which determines whether to deploy the airbag in a crash. The airbag diagnostic unit also controls the passenger air bag indicator light.

Occupant classification system malfunction

The Nissan Sentra has several different problems with the OCS system. These have resulted in a bunch of TSBs and recalls. The main issue is the OCS system may not be able to tell when a passenger is present. This can result in the airbags not being deployed in a crash. The fix, per Nissan, is to replace the OCS sensors.
Another issue is that, in some cases, the passenger airbag will deploy when it shouldn’t. This can cause harm to small passengers. To address the problem, Nissan recommends programing the OCS control unit and replacing a faulty seat belt bracket.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2016 Sentra Airbag Problems.

I GOT INTO AN ACCIDENT GOING 55+ MPH ON THE FREEWAY AND GOT HIT BY A BIG RIG AND NONE OF THE AIRBAGS DEPLOYED. PRIOR TO THIS I HAD TAKEN THE VEHICLE FOR AN OIL CHANGE WHEN I WAS TOLD THE AIRBAGS WERE RECALLED SO THEY FIXED THEM. I WAS HIT BY A BIG RIG WHICH WRECKED MY WHOLE CAR MAKING IT NOT DRIVEABLE THE WINDOWS WERE ALL SHATTERED AND NONE OF THE AIRBAGS WENT OFF..

THE CONTACT OWNS A 2016 NISSAN SENTRA. WHILE THE CONTACT WAS AT AN INTERSECTION, ANOTHER VEHICLE CRASHED INTO THE FRONT END OF HIS VEHICLE. THE SPEED WAS UNKNOWN. THE AIR BAGS DID NOT DEPLOY. THERE WERE NO INJURIES AND A POLICE REPORT WAS FILED. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO A TOW YARD. IT WAS UNKNOWN IF THE VEHICLE WAS DESTROYED. THE DEALER AND MANUFACTURER WERE NOT NOTIFIED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS UNKNOWN

THE CONTACT OWNS A 2016 NISSAN SENTRA. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHILE DRIVING AT 60 MPH, THE VEHICLE IN FRONT ABRUPTLY STOPPED CAUSING THE CONTACT TO REAR END THE VEHICLE. THE FRONT DRIVER SIDE AIR BAG FAILED TO DEPLOY. IN ADDITION, THE FRONT PASSENGER SEAT WAS OCCUPIED BUT THE AIR BAG FAILED TO DEPLOY. A POLICE REPORT WAS FILED. THERE WERE NO INJURIES SUSTAINED THAT REQUIRED MEDICAL ATTENTION. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO AN UNKNOWN LOCATION. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOT NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 5,000

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights


Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Nissan pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Lemberg Law are Lemon Law experts and can help you get Lemon Justice – absolutely free! Fill out our form on this page for a no-obligation case evaluation, or call toll free 877-795-3666.

3 COMMENTS
  • LingRa

    I have a 2016 Nissan Sentra that I purchased brand new in October of 2016 and recently I noticed that I was having trouble pulling off…two days later the car would stutter and the RPMs would just go up and down clearly this is an issue when seeking help the only advice I got was to have it replaced. Can someone please tell me why there hasn’t been a recall on this issue being that it is and ongoing problem

  • Gustavo valenzuela

    I have a 2016 Nissan Sentra that the transmission is going out after 2 years old 103000 miles I have told then I have had a problem with it and they do test but nothing is ever wrong according to them

  • Michael

    Thanks. Good nissan info!

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