2018 Nissan Kicks Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, braking system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

This article was written by Brian Jones, trusted ASE Certified Master Tech and Lemberg Law Expert Automotive Contributor

Crossovers have grown in popularity over the last few years. The 2018 Nissan Kicks is a crossover that claims to please the occupants. In fact, the newest lineup states “Your Way, Right Now,” but very little is actually going the way of the driver. This crossover features a faulty electrical system, defective service brakes, a malfunctioning electronic stability control system and a poorly built engine.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019

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Problems with the Electrical System

There’s a lot riding on a vehicle’s electrical system. From the car battery to the navigation system, everything requires power to work appropriately.

One Edmunds review shows that defects abound on the Kicks. “I purchased my 2018 Kicks SR with 20 miles on it. Initially the car was ok for getting to and from work with decent gas mileage, until it got to about 2000 miles on it. Then the problems started: 1. I had the interior lighting package installed on the vehicle, and to put it frankly it sucks you cannot tell the lights are even on even in the dark of night so approx. $500 down the drain, and the dealers suggestion was to buy an aftermarket kit that they would install for me at an additional cost. 2. Front and rear radar went out at about 2500 miles had that replaced. 3. Transmission was acting funny and kept jerking the car during acceleration, took it to dealer they managed to get that problem fixed. 4. Back to the front and rear radar sensors they went out gain at 4000 miles, so second fix. 5. Radio becomes unresponsive 4000 miles. Dealer replaces. So now everything seems to be going ok, now I’m up to about 9000 miles, in about 4 months. And the problems start again 6. Front and rear radar, dealer replaces. 7. Auto dimming rear view mirror stops functioning, dealer replaces. 8. Radio goes out again at 11,000 miles, dealer again replaces. A few months go buy nothing happens. 8 months in and the car seems to have stopped giving me problems, 20,000 miles hits and 9. Front and rear radar again.”

Sadly, there is also an electrical system-related recall issued for this vehicle. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V654000 affects more than 1,200,000 vehicles and states that the back-up camera image becomes non-existent, which leads to an increased chance of crashing. Between that and all the problems faced by the owner above, this model is clearly an electronic nightmare, something from a horror movie.

Problems with the Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEB)

The brakes in a vehicle are designed to stop before impact occurs. With the newer sophisticated systems, the vehicle can even brake for itself, when needed. Yet, this is one more part of the Kicks that is defective and causing trouble.

Another NHTSA complaint says, “I was driving my vehicle on a road with a 35 mph speed limit with no cars in front of or behind me, and my vehicle’s automatic emergency braking engaged, slowing my car down for no reason. There were no obstacles ahead of me.”

Again, Nissan has chosen to remain quiet despite the numerous complaints that say the same thing. While waiting for a response, owners of the Kicks must be concerned about specks of dirt on the road that might activate the emergency braking. If they can’t drive on a completely unobstructed road, they might not arrive at their destination in a reasonable amount of time, due to the stop and go design of the Kicks.

Problems with the Engine

One can only hope that the engine is in good shape, but based on the other evidence shown, it’s safe to assume that this critical component is just as defective.

Here’s an Edmunds review that backs up the assumption. “My engine is sludge!! I’ve been doing oil changes and now I have 44,000 miles on it and the oil is all sludge not to mention I’m having issues with my radio turning off and the air vent is coming out. Very disappointed as this was my first brand new car I purchased, never again!!!”

This time, Nissan does have something to say about the engine, but probably only because they must. Service Bulletin #NTB17-082b states that the engine can suffer a defect because of an evaporation leak at the vent control valve O-ring. At least, the company is willing to fix something under warranty, even though it’s not much. Owners who want to “Get your kicks on route sixty-six,” should consider taking any vehicle other than the Nissan Kicks. It’s just not made to make the long-distance trip and will likely leave owners stranded on the side of the road.

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.

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