Can you trust Nissan's CVT? Probably not. (2023)

Nissan proudly introduced what they called "the first CVT passenger car."[1]in 2002. It received mixed reviews, though this is to be expected for a first-generation product. The most common complaints were difficulty accelerating, shaking/stuttering, overheating, and sudden blackouts. Fortunately, Nissan would address most of these concerns...

I'm kidding here we are15 years laterand the same complaints plague Nissan owners. Instead of fixing the problems, Nissan executives seem too busy sorting out their stacks of cash.

What is a CVT?

A CVT uses a steel belt or pulley system to continuously move gears (uhh), smooth movement. is a concept thatWashington PostIt makes a lot of sense:

The idea behind CVTs is easy to understand: a heavy-duty drive belt (or chain) is powered by a system of grooved pulleys with hydraulic actuators, allowing the effective ratio to vary infinitely over a range of ratios.

For anyone used to driving a fixed ratio car, it's important to note that a CVT isn't justfeelingsdifferent but it isChildrenalso different. Many complaints about "CVT howl" are a byproduct of its design.

The most common complaints about the Nissan CVT

I hope you take any marketing game with a grain of salt, but Nissan's glowing review of its CVT deserves a few scoops:

[An] innovative transmission that delivers smooth, consistent shifts, matching the vehicle's performance to your driving style.

But the reviews from the actual owners are much less rosy. First, let's take a look at the vehicles withCVT Complaints at

And now we are going to see the most common ones.The typeof complaints

(Video) Are CVT Transmissions Reliable? The Truth About CVTs (Good And Bad)

Slow, crushing acceleration

Slow-speed acceleration is a particular concern for this CVT. According to owners, their vehicles will rattle and sway as they pick up speed.

Get away from that car! My gearbox was reset at 12,000 km. Driven well with no issues and all scheduled maintenance has been done regularly at the dealer. At km 65 the gearbox started to shake and then the vehicle stopped and died in traffic, very dangerous. Vehicle has been sent to dealer 3 times, for motor pulley, reprogram, ECM all new. The car was getting worse. The vehicle is the worst I have ever owned and I would never buy a Nissan again.--- Dono do Altima 2013

In November 2006, a Technical Service Bulletin (NTB05-084A) on Hesitation on Acceleration was issued to Nissan Service Departments. The TSB, written for the 2003–2007 Murano, urges mechanics to review these conditions when an owner complains of hesitation:

  1. The Service Engine Soon (SES) light in the instrument cluster is not on.
  2. The P0868 code is stored in the Transmission Control Module (TCM).

It's too hot

One of the reasons for all the shaking could be overheating. Nissan has been accused of using an inadequate cooling system for its transmission.

When the CVT gets hot, it can vibrate excessively. And if it does overheat, it puts the car into a fail-safe mode that limits engine speed to prevent damage.

This can put drivers in a dangerous position and is one of the complaints in aDestination Sentra Xtronic.

Horribly slow response time

Speaking of dangerous positions, it has been reported that the CVT can take alanguageIt's time to respond to pedal input.

Can you trust Nissan's CVT? Probably not. (1)Illustration by

CVTs, by design, feel different when you push the throttle all the way down. Where a shift transmission would normally disengage, a CVT has a much smoother (and slower) ramp to full power.

But some say the CVT's inertia goes too far. Some even describe trying to enter a busy street as a safety hazard. Needless to say, this will not make you friends with the people driving behind you.

(Video) Did Nissan fix the CVT problems?

The car has had the same problem for several years. After driving for more than 30 minutes, it stops accelerating and makes a loud howl.

Beyond wailing, this thing is loud

CVT howling is a common problem and not exclusive to Nissan vehicles. What's unique, though, is how much Nissan's CVTs tend to complain.

Oh, and then there's all the fuss and fuss.

Car howled at high speeds/long drives and hot summer temperatures. It got worse every summer and even suddenly stopped revving. I took my car to the dealer 3 summers in a row. The first two summers they basically told me I was crazy because they couldn't reproduce the problem.--- Dono do Altima 2009

not case ofKobe Falcoet. al., gegen Nissan North America, Inc. y Nissan Motor Company, LTD, Nissan's defense team admitted that the CVT was noisy, but this did not indicate a malfunction. More on this case in a moment.

Crashes at low mileage

The most concerning issue is that all these issues result in short CVT life.

The 2011 Versa, for example, has a64,750 mile average failure. The very popular 2013 Altimadown by 60,167 miles.

In fact, the problem seems to be getting worse, because if you look at older models with complaints of CVT failure, they generally have a longer lifespan, so2008 AltimaWhich has a much more reasonable (although still frustrating) average failure above 120,000 miles.

Nissan previously extended its CVT warranty

Citing complaints from a "small percentage of owners of older CVT-equipped models," Nissan said.extends your CVT warrantyfor certain vehicles. The extension essentially doubled the previous coverage and increased the powertrain warranty from 5 years/60,000 miles to 10 years/120,000 miles, whichever comes first.

(Video) Why you shouldn’t get a CVT transmission

These included:

  • 2007-2010 Altima (Plus Altima Coupe and Altima Hybrid)
  • Maximums 2007-2010
  • 2003-2007; Murano 2009-2010
  • Villain 2008-2010
  • Seats 2007-2010
  • 2007-2010 viceversa (1.8SL)
Can you trust Nissan's CVT? Probably not. (2)Will Nissan help?

Nissan also offered repair reimbursements, but that program ended on July 31, 2010.

Complaints to everyone else

The extended warranty helps some, but leaves others looking for help. For these people there is hope in the form of regrets.

Demand 2013-14 against Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60

The first class action lawsuit took place in January 2015, accusing Nissan of placingDefective CVT on 2013-14 Pathfinder. This process,Batista v. Nissan North America, Inc., had three main points:

  1. Nissan installed CVT transmissions with known defects, e.g. B. How the CVT belt slips and the CVT shakes violently when accelerating from 24-30 km/h.
  2. Nissan was aware of the problem and began developing "software countermeasures," but failed to alert consumers and continued to sell vehicles.
  3. The owners had no choice but to pay for the expensive repairs after the automaker refused to reimburse them.

In October 2016,Nissan agreed to settle this CVT lawsuitwhich included the Infiniti QX60 and JX35 with the FK-*k2 CVT. The automaker said they settled because they didn't want to spend years in court, not because they were going to admit wrong.

The settlement gave owners of the 2013-14 Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60/JX35 a transmission software upgrade and extended the transmission warranty to 24 months or 24,000 miles (conditions apply, of course).

Additionally, Nissan paid $3.75 million in attorneys' fees.[2]. Visitnissancvtlitigation.comfor more information.

Central Complaint 2014

The action was filed in April 2017.Unveiled in New Jersey for 2014 Sentra Ownerswho were sick of the shuddering, jolting, and sudden downshifting issues. The lawsuit was filed by a garbage collection company, which is only fitting considering how useless these broadcasts have become.

The lawsuit states that the company had to replace his transferquadruple:


  1. 2007-2010 Sentras were subject to a customer service warranty program; however, other Sentras also have the same problem.
  2. Despite learning of the shortcomings, Nissan continued to sell and advertise its CVTs as superior to the competition. Specifically, how they "have fewer moving parts to reduce friction and heat," making the transmission last longer.

This case is pending.

Overheat Action Sentra Xtronic 2012-2017

In September 2017, Nissan was accused of co-designing the CVT Xtronic.Very small refrigeration systemsto do the job.

the process,Waldo Leyva et al. Gegen Nissan North America, Inc., was used by the US District Court for the Central District of California.

CVT or not CVT? That isAAsk.

While some manufacturers, such as Nissan and Subaru, have embraced CVT technology, others (Chrysler and Ford) have tried to remove CVTs from their lineup. Let's take a quick look at the pros and cons.

Benefits of a CVT

  1. super smooth to drive--- A traditional automatic transmission can hunt for gears and sometimes jerk or stutter. CVT areallegedlyto avoid this problem.
  2. No more shift hits--- the momentary loss of power when accelerating with conventional gears.
  3. constant power--- Since there is no more searching or changing gears, the driver receives constant power when accelerating. Again, that's howallegedlywork.
  4. Simpler design, fewer moving parts--- This reduces friction and heat, which are a deadly combination for mechanical parts. reduced exposurehe musthelp the transfer take longer.
  5. best miles per gallon--- A CVT offers better fuel efficiency in two ways. First, it keeps the engine in the optimal range when accelerating (more efficient), and second, it is lighter than a traditional gearbox (less weight).

These days, the MPG advantage could be the reason for you.The next car will probably have a CVT. CVTs offer the same fuel efficiency gains as 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions, but they cost a lot less.

I'll give Nissan the MPG boost, but you'll note that the most common complaints seem to indicate that Nissan's CVT doesn't deliver the traditional benefits. Plus they come with meNotraditional drawbacks.

Disadvantages of a CVT

  1. It's boring--- Sure, if you grew up with a manual transmission, a CVT will put you to sleep. Depending on how you look at it, you can view smooth acceleration and lack of velocity as negatives.
  2. It's noisy--- CVTs may sound strange to owners who often complain about thembuzzoa somanoise it makes There are also complaints that the engine doesn't "feel more connected" to the sensation of speed.
  3. It may feel slow--- Again, depending on how you look at it, a CVT can feel like it's "slipping" compared to a traditional automatic transmission.
  4. It is more expensive to replace--- CVTs offer automakers an upfront cost advantage, which in turn should lower the sticker price of new vehicles. However, they tend to be more expensive to maintain and replace. CVTs are not sealed and can require expensive fluid changes.
  1. DoLado XTRONIC ↩︎

  2. ↩︎


Can you trust Nissan CVT? ›

But Nissan's CVTs are also known for failing early on, which is why they're the subject of many lawsuits. The transmissions are notorious for shuddering, making strange noises, overheating—and forcing the vehicle into a “limp” mode. Some would argue that Nissan's CVTs are the worst transmissions ever built.

Has Nissan fixed their CVT issues? ›

Since 2009, Nissan's CVT transmissions have been known to cause problems, and the company hasn't exactly acted swiftly to resolve the issue.

Does anyone make a reliable CVT transmission? ›

CVTs have been used in various vehicles for many years and are generally considered reliable transmissions. They are especially popular in hybrids and SUVs because they offer excellent fuel efficiency and smooth, uninterrupted power delivery.

Do all Nissans have CVT problems? ›

SUMMARY: Nissan CVT issues are common among Nissan vehicles. Otherwise known as a continuously variable transmission, the feature was intended to increase the performance of vehicles by creating smoother gear shift capability.

Should you avoid CVT? ›

CVTs can be expensive to repair or replace when compared to a conventional automatic transmission. Some of the common problems that owners run into include overheating, slipping, and sudden loss of acceleration. Shuddering is also a common problem.

How long can a Nissan CVT last? ›

In today's marketplace, new cars with CVTs can be expected to provide reliable operation up to about 160,000 Kilometres. For most cars, overall reliability will be poorer than that expected with a conventional automatic or manual transmission. But excellent owner care can lengthen this projection.

How do you stop a Nissan CVT from failing? ›

Yes, CVT Transmissions can be repaired, but the most effective way to avoid having to repair them is to make sure that you replace the fluid at Nissan's (or your own manufacturers) recommended Intervals and avoid putting unapproved load or stress on your CVT vehicle (towing or trailering).

What year did Nissan have bad CVT? ›

Generally, the issues have been reported between 2012/2013 and 2018. There were some problems in 2003 when Nissan first began using this transmission and in the 2007-2012 CVT generation. Specific models include the Murano, Sentra, Altima, Rogue, Versa, and Versa Note.

What is Nissan doing about CVT transmission problems? ›

2022 Nissan CVT Class Action Settlement

Nissan agreed to pay over $277 million as part of the settlement to resolve certain defective transmissions claims. The following Nissan models are included in the 2022 Nissan CVT settlement: 2014 – 2018 Nissan Rogue. 2015 – 2018 Nissan Pathfinder.

Why do Jatco CVTs fail? ›

A major root-cause failure on the Jatco CVTs is traced back to a worn Flow Control Valve found in the oil pump assembly (Figure 9). The pump gets scored and can cause sticking, which will cause very low pressure in the transmission.

Did Nissan improve the CVT transmission? ›

We improved the electronic control system and the hydraulic system components under its control. In addition, adoption of a high-performance ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) enhances response and stability. As a result, the CVT shifts ratios about 30% faster than the previous version.

Which car company has the best CVT transmission? ›

Best cars with CVT transmissions
  • Renault Koleos.
  • Honda Jazz.
  • Lexus ES.
  • Subaru Outback.
  • Toyota Corolla.
  • Nissan Qashqai.
  • Lexus RC.
  • Toyota Prius.
Sep 2, 2022

Can you sue Nissan for CVT transmission? ›

Recently, complainants hit Nissan with cases regarding defective CVT Transmissions. The lawsuit alleged that CVTs cause jerking that lead to transmission failure. Nissan settled this class action lawsuit regarding several 2013-2017 models.

How to make a Nissan CVT last? ›

Adopt good driving habits: When driving on a hill, avoid using the throttle to hold yourself, instead, hit the brakes to resist backward motion, and once you have released it, hit the throttle again. Also, just like any other automatic transmission vehicle, do not neutral stop your vehicle, it could damage your CVT.

Will Nissan pay for my transmission? ›

Nissan will provide cash reimbursement for owners or lessees who have had to pay for transmission assembly or control unit repairs out of pocket after their warranty expires. If the replacement or repair was performed by a Nissan dealer, the full amount paid will be reimbursed.

Should I avoid Nissan CVT transmission? ›

Nissan's CVTs are known to be notoriously unreliable, and many owners complain about having to repair or even replace their car's transmission more frequently compared to regular automatic or manual transmissions.

Why do people hate CVT? ›

They are slow to respond and make an annoying droning sound” ( “CVTs tend to dull the performance of powerful vehicles” ( “A transmission without gears, personality, or any concern for the driver's mental well-being” ( “CVT gearboxes suck and are prone to failure” (Reddit)

What usually fails in CVT transmission? ›

Slipping Gears - a very common symptom of a bad CVT transmission is that the transmission is slipping gears. This is a common problem that is a result of structural problems or not enough transmission fluid, which causes the potential of gears to pop out of gear while you are driving.

Will a CVT last 200 000 miles? ›

You should easily see 200,000 miles, possibly 300,000 miles or more. BUT, to do that you need to change the oil at least every 50,000 (preferably less), no matter what your manual says. And use the latest fluid.

How much does it cost to replace CVT? ›

Replacing a CVT transmission costs roughly between $3,000 and $5,000 or higher. The CVTs won't last nearly as long as the standard automatic transmissions, and it's not surprising if they fail to run for more than 100K miles or less.

How often do CVT belts need replaced? ›

No matter how you ride your ATV, the CVT belt will require replacement every few years. If you're an aggressive rider, you may need to replace your CVT belt annually. And for competitive use, it is advised to replace the CVT bent every few races.

Are CVT transmissions improving? ›

CVT is a type of automatic transmission that has been around for a long time. But they've been improved over the years to become more efficient.

Why does Nissan continue to use CVT? ›

The basic answer is that there aren't fixed gears like there are with automatic transmissions, which both creates a smoother feel as you don't feel gear changes, and fuel efficiency is improved because your transmission doesn't have to sit in a gear for longer than necessary before it kicks up or down.

Are Jatco CVT transmissions good? ›

Their CVTs are stellar. They're very reliable, not noisy or buzzy, they're responsive and work very nicely. We have a Lexus RX 450H which has a CVT, and also a manual Mitsubishi Lanver Evo and an automatic Lexus IS350, and I can tell you that the CVT much smoother than the auto Lexus IS (and obviously the manual Evo).

How long does Jatco CVT last? ›

At least more than five years! CVT is still a new technology and the automakers have been working to improve it. But, they will still last for a long time if you do proper maintenance. Change the transmission fluid regularly, possibly every 30,000 kilometers.

Who uses Jatco CVT transmissions? ›

JATCO became one of the largest suppliers of CVTs, and products from nearly every auto maker have used Jatco transmissions, with major exceptions of Honda Motor Company, who makes their own transmissions, and Toyota Motor Corporation, who has always used transmissions made by their Aisin subsidiary.

Is it good to buy CVT transmission? ›

CVTs are always adjusting, so they keep engine RPMs low and consistent, avoiding the high engine speeds that suck down gasoline. CVTs also have lower production costs because they have fewer moving parts than traditional automatics. This is another appealing factor to car manufacturers, and thus to car buyers as well.

What brand of CVT does Nissan use? ›

Nissan's CVT transmissions are manufactured by JATCO- The Japanese Automatic Transmission Company. The Vehicle Manufacturer owns approximately 75% of JATCO and together they make a devastating, whirlwind of a team.

Which Nissan cars have transmission problems? ›

2. What Nissan vehicles still have the CVT transmission problems?
  • 2018–2022 Nissan Sentra.
  • 2017–2022 Nissan Altima.
  • 2016–2022 Nissan Maxima.
  • 2015–2022 Nissan Murano.
  • 2019–2021 Nissan Pathfinder.
  • 2015–2017 Nissan Quest.
  • 2019–2022 Nissan Rogue.
  • 2018–2012 Nissan Versa.

Is there a class action lawsuit against Nissan CVT transmission? ›

Nissan CVT Lawsuit Settlements

Recently, complainants hit Nissan with cases regarding defective CVT Transmissions. The lawsuit alleged that CVTs cause jerking that lead to transmission failure. Nissan settled this class action lawsuit regarding several 2013-2017 models.


1. Subaru CVT: Love It, Or Leave It! Not As Bad As You Think. Why The Manual Is Gone.
2. Why Most CVT Transmission Cars are Terrible
(Scotty Kilmer)
3. nissan cvt (transmission) replaced fixed and reprogrammed
(ADAS AIMING By Jack Short)
4. Should you fix, replace or Junk your CVT Transmission?
(Peter L)
5. CVT Transmissions - The problem was the limitations of the OEM fluid, not unit design.
(Amsoil Synthetic Warehouse and Dealer)
6. Should You Buy a CVT Transmission Car (How It Works)
(Scotty Kilmer)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Margart Wisoky

Last Updated: 03/12/2023

Views: 6301

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Margart Wisoky

Birthday: 1993-05-13

Address: 2113 Abernathy Knoll, New Tamerafurt, CT 66893-2169

Phone: +25815234346805

Job: Central Developer

Hobby: Machining, Pottery, Rafting, Cosplaying, Jogging, Taekwondo, Scouting

Introduction: My name is Margart Wisoky, I am a gorgeous, shiny, successful, beautiful, adventurous, excited, pleasant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.