The parking pawl might not engage fully due to a manufacturing defect
Only the 9-speed automatic transmission is affected
A fix has yet to be determined, owners are urged to apply the parking brake every time they stop
Nissan has issued a recall for 180,176 units of the 2020 to 2022 Frontier and Titan pickups in the United States due to a rollaway risk. The number of Canadian vehicles affected has yet to be determined.
According to the automaker, the trucks could start moving on their own after the transmission has been shifted into Park, which can result in injuries and damage to the vehicle. Four minor injuries caused by this defect have been reported in the United States to date.
Nissan and Jatco, the company which makes the 9-speed transmission used in those trucks, have investigated this issue for the past year after having received the first complaint in June of 2021.
The companies took the transmission from this particular Frontier, but they had trouble replicating the failure and it took until April of this year before Jatco could manage to have a truck roll away during one of their tests.
Since multiple similar complaints regarding the current and previous generation Frontier as well as the Titan were received during that time, the automaker was forced to launch a recall.
According to Nissan, the intermittent problem comes from an interference between the transmission case and the parking pawl, which can sometimes prevent it from engaging fully, effectively leaving the vehicle in neutral.
The automaker is still working on a fix, so the timeline for the repairs is not known yet, but the company urges drivers of the affected vehicles to use the parking brake every time they leave the vehicle.
Interestingly, this transmission is built under license from Mercedes-Benz and it is used in a few other Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, none of which are affected by this issue.
Owners will begin to be notified by mail on July 20 and they will receive further communications from Nissan once an official fix for the problem has been determined.