Feds Investigating Nearly Half A Million Nissans Over Premature Engine Failure

The US Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) announced it is launching a probe into over 450,000 Nissans over reports of premature engine failure.

The vehicles in question include Nissan Altima for model years 2019 through 2023 and the Nissan Rogue from 2021 through 2023. At Infiniti, the QX50s built 2019 to 2023 and the QX55 from 2022 and 2023 are also under investigation.

Gallery: 2022 Nissan Rogue

Nissan confirmed the investigation of these vehicles to Motor1 and offered the following statement:

“Nissan Group is committed to the safety of our customers and is working closely with NHTSA in response to this investigation. Nissan Group values its relationship with NHTSA and will continue to engage in transparent and collaborative dialogue on all matters of product safety.”

These vehicles use one of two engines: a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot. Both are variable-compression engines, and it’s possible issues with the main bearings and/or the L-link in the bottom end could be the cause. Documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) state as much. During initial discussions with the automaker, it was revealed that Nissan was already working to address possible issues with these components.

It’s important to note that, at this time, there is no recall. ODI is launching a preliminary investigation based on six reports of engine failure. Of those reports, three came from Rogues using the three-cylinder turbo. Two came from Infiniti, and there’s one involving an Altima. These models use the aforementioned 2.0-liter turbo-four. The reports mention a loss of power, knocking sounds, metal chunks in the oil, and outright failure.

An engine failure at virtually any speed can certainly be a safety concern. Losing an engine while on the highway could mean no power steering or brakes, which can be a handful for the driver. A catastrophic failure could drop oil onto the highway, risking a slippery situation for other motorists. We’ll keep an eye on this investigation and provide updates if anything changes.

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