Nissan Pathfinder CVT Issues

Nissan Pathfinder CVT Issues

Rob is having issues with the CVT in his Nissan Pathfinder.

I purchased a 2015 Nissan Pathfinder ST-L (built March 2015) in October 2015.

I noticed a shudder from the CVT transmission with less thank 1000km driven. It mainly occurs when powering out of corners and I have also experienced it on the highway when accelerating. It feels like driving around a corner in low speed in 4th or 5th gear.

I am talking to Nissan Australia and working through the rectification process, however I’m starting to lack confidence in the process and also lost confidence in the vehicle and my investment.

Can you provide your advice/opinion?

Hi Rob

Thanks for your email and telling us about the Nissan Pathfinder CVT issue.

It appears that you certainly aren’t the only Nissan Pathfinder owner to report issues with the CVT, in fact a class action lawsuit was even taken out by owners in the U.S.

As yet there doesn’t seem to be a recall notice for the Pathfinder CVT.

We will pass your email on to Nissan Australia and report back on their response.

*Update from Rob – 26/02/16*

Hi Joel, updating you on the issue. Nissan approved the replacement of the CVT and I just collected the Pathfinder yesterday from the dealer after it was with them for nearly 3 weeks.

They have reassured me it’s fixed. The car seems to be running fine. Crossed fingers it will not reoccur, if it does I’ll let you know as I will be asking Nissan for a full cash refund (the car has only done 7000km’s).

I would like to thank you for your help in raising the issue with Nissan. It’s a wonderful SUV and suits my family needs. I believe Nissan have a real winner in the SUV, if they only sort the CVT issue.


  1. Hi Joel, I’m also having this same issue with my 2013 Pathfinder which has only done 17,000kms and purchased from Nissan Liverpool NSW.. Only thing is Nissan don’t want to know about it. The gearbox shudders violently and this became worse last week after the 17,000 kms service. My concern is this is the car my wife drives and the shudder could cause an accident. This is our family car and we drive our 3 kids around. I’m not looking for anything apart from getting this car fixed properly. Can you please help?

  2. Hi.
    Is there a class action in Australia regarding the Nissan’s pathfinder 2013 models? We have had so many issues that it is beyond a joke now. We just had a new muffler put on. This is the 7th issue in under 3 years now.
    I really need some advice on what our rights are. Nissan told us that it is just the characteristics of the car.
    Please help us.

    • Hi Chrissy. Sorry to hear that you have had issues with your Pathfinder. The best thing I could advise would be to send us all the details and we will take the issues to Nissan for you. We will contact you via email.

  3. Within first few months (less than a year) found water leaking from roof onto front passenger floor resulting in very soggy carpets. had to take to Local Nissan Service Centre for fix on 3 separate occasions to have same problem fixed. Each time they claimed to have fixed it but only successful after 3rd attempt.

    My Pathfinder had only done approx 9000 km when I had the 1 year service done. After picking up car from Local Nissan Service Centre, noticed a shuddering/rumbling sound when driving at approx 80kmph. This was an intermittent problem but reported to Nissan regardless. Had a Nissan Technician sit with me and took car for a drive and the shuddering became audible at approx 110kmph. Nissan ordered parts from overseas and replaced the CVT which a long and expensive fix. Lucky that Nissan paid for it under warranty.

    After collecting my Pathfinder from Nissan Service Centre, I took it out on the motorway after approximately 3-4 weeks. Again we felt and heard the shuddering/rumbling sound at approx 110kmph. Remember that this problem was attended to by Nissan via a CVT replacement. So reported to Nissan Australia CSC and Local Nissan Service Centre.

    I was referred to another Nissan Service Centre closer to my work who checked the software on my Pathfinder that apparently records such relevant data wrt faults and problems. This software did not show any problems!! On suggestion by Nissan Service Centre guy, I agreed to one of the Nissan Service technicians taking my Pathfinder overnight for a long drive on the motorway to see if he could replicate the problem.

    Next day got a call from the Nissan Service Centre guy to be told that Pathfinder never missed a beat and it drove smoothly at 80 to 120kmph. Also they analysed onboard software which told them that there’s nothing wrong!

    So here I am now with an intermittent shuddering problem on a barely one year old Pathfinder! Their Software is only as good as the product as neither does their job as it is supposed to. The onus is on me to replicate this problem to them and have it recorded on their software that hasn’t picked up the problem after it has actually happened!!!

    I would rather Nissan take their product back and give me a refund but they won’t do it because they don’t have faith in their own product! My conscience won’t allow me to sell this vehicle to another person knowing that it has issues that someone else will have to deal with it!

    if you have a suggestion, let me know via this forum what I can do!!!

  4. Hi I’m have the same problem with my 2014 st but it at 35km to 60km. The vehicle has been in at nissan a few times for software updates and now it’s in getting some work done on the gear box. Thay are changing the valve body in the gear box. Thay have had it for 4 days so far hopefully getting it back tomorrow. Fingers crossed it all good

    • Mine just had the valves replaced with no fix the dealer lept the Car and now they are replacing the full transmission which also found out from some US reports may npt fix the issue. NISSAN IS NOT EXPOSING THIS ISSUE to all owners thats for sure..

  5. Mine is also at dealer for yet another long term test. Over 3 mths at dealers in just over 2 years, not sure if the car is still mine, they may have squatters rights by now. Seriously though this is last time, all VCAT paperwork completed and waiting for outcome before I lodge it. ACL provides for full refund if not fit for purpose or if having received full disclosure a reasonable person would not have purchased. Nissan has hidden this problem, probably because they don’t have a fix. Have shown intermittent fault to dealer but Nissan response is no logged fault no problem. Interesting to read claims and settlement of Batista and others V Nissan NA, 200,000 cars recalled, warranty extended by 2 yrs, USD$3.75M in legal fees and they still claim that there is no fault? Pretty generous, recommend it as light reading for anyone considering a class action.

  6. Hey all – I too have a 2013 pathfinder that has constantly had an intermittant shudder when taking off from corners come and go. The problem was evident slightly from 10000 km but at 20000km it was finally bad enough that the dealership had it take place whilst they test drove it and after severel weeks they replaced the transmission, drove car and within days the sudder was back so back to the dealership they “reprogrammed the transmission “all good for a few months . Few months later the sudder returns , back to dealership ” reprogram tranmission ” all good for 6 months ( a few weird moments in between.) and yet another reprogram was needed . Now just 13 days out of warranty and the shudder is back and a nissan customer service guy says unless they witness it,including me having to take time off work to go drive the car for them as they cannot expect their guys to drive it untill it plays up meanwhile not being able to catch much usable info as it happens too far part and too quick to capture live data on it ,will do nothing even though it is under warranty and has had the problem all this time dealership is trying hard to help me it is nissan that are holding out on us and its not right folks !

  7. Hello, we are also experiencing the shuddering problem with our Pathfinder TI.
    Lasttim – did you file with VCAT? And if so what was the outcome?
    Behindthewheel, did you make contact with Nissan about the issues people have been emailing you with? And if so what was their response?
    I am going to bring it up with my dealership – third service that I’ve mentioned the shuddering, and when I get it back it’s ok for a while and then starts shuddering again. And now my electric tailgate door won’t stay up!
    Would like to hear from anyone that has had a good outcome to this issue with the Pathfinder.

    • Hi Stephanie, We have forwarded the info on to Nissan from the owners that have contacted us and we believe they have reached positive outcomes. As always, if you require our assistance with a manufacturer we are happy to help.

  8. Nissan has made many software upgrades so they get around the problem however some cars will move the problem at different range. And you have to be very smooth to get it to fail with you driving but it does happen. What many people dont notice is also on the deceleration there is a slow pulse shake.
    Mine did this from new and now at the 30K service the dealer is replacing the gearbox after every other fix did not work.
    As I can see this replacement may not fix the issue and believe me I will go very hard on NISSAN to resolve this.
    Hopefully will pick the car up next week as Nissan is releasing a new transmission. Too bad they did not develop a manual for the real drivers.. Stay tune…

  9. Thats a big help who do we contact dpr further direct assistance regarding this issue which quite possibly is not goinf to go away as per some of the reports coming from USA.. is the a class action on this in Australia?

  10. First of R52 2014 Nisan Pathfinder had shudder low down from day one, new software updates (at least 3), eventually new CVT still not fixed shudder came back within a month, after that a new valve body in the replaced CVT. our country dealer was great and the problem been fixed 5 months ago . I think its taken time for their transmission supplier to find the fault. If your unhappy go straight to Nissan by pass the dealer and keep complaining

  11. I have just agreed to buy a 2016 Pathfinder, have now stumbled on this tread and am very concerned. Is the transmission issue resolved before 2016 models? Also what percentage of vehicles have issues. Mine is an ex factory with 10,000 km and appears fine. Does the issue manifest early?

    • Hi Richard, We can’t really answer those questions as it appears that the issues don’t consistently affect every Pathfinder. What we can say is that if you have an issue let us know and we will approach Nissan Australia on your behalf. To their credit, Nissan (as far as we are aware) has stood by owners who have had the issue(s).

    • Hi there, I have a late 2016 model and having the same problems, at low speeds pulling out on to a busy highway which has almost caused an accident twice. Was at Nissan service for a week which they said has resolved it but less than 2 weeks after picking it up the same problems are already back. It has to go back for a further 3 weeks for them to look at it again.

  12. My 2014 pathfinder has just had the transmission replaced. I am hoping that it will be ok now, however its only done 600km and there’s some worrying signs that it will do it again. Do you know given that it is a well known problem with them and obviously a design fault and having only had the transmission replaced, my car comes out of warranty in November, is the transmission still covered after this time should the problem reappear?

    • Study up on the Australian Consumer Law. Just because it will be out of warranty it doesn’t mean it ends there. Someone should start pestering the ACCC so that they can chase Nissan on this as they are doing VW thanks to overseas class actions. There is a class action on this transmission in the US too. If anything, insist on an extended warranty that some Pathfinder customers are getting.

  13. My 2014 Nissan Pathfinder R52 has just had its 3rd transmission fitted today at 95000kms. It was a fight to get it covered under warranty. The vehicle had its transmission replaced at just over 1000kms & again at 9000kms.

  14. Hi, I also have a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder that I have a transmission issues with since 1000kms at 5000kms they finally replaced the transmission. Since then it has been in to many times to remember for the same issues which is like a slight shudder/shake type problem. Constantly I’m told there is nothing wrong and it just needed a software upgrade!!!!! Really I’m now at 79000kms and it’s just spent the last week in at Nissan and again there is nothing wrong. Yet again it’s still playing up. Not sure where to go from here any suggestions?? I’ve rang Nissan directly in 2015 and recently in which they tell me they will follow it up. It’s getting to a point that I’m so frustrated. Such a shame as it’s a great size family car and comfortable but would never recommend it. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated

  15. It unfortunately seems like this thread keeps on giving. However, is the new R52 Mk II (March 2017) any better? The press kits are obviously silent and only Experts and Advocates like you may know the true story. Is it affecting only the first series? Thank you

  16. hi Joel,
    My R52 2013 Pathfinder is in at Nissan this morning for the 3rd time in 6 mths to do with the CVT. The first time they upgraded the software and said it should be fine; we took it back again and they replaced the valve body. It is now back in again this morning as the shudder is still there in the same range.

    where to from here? Car is only on 45000kms and about to come out of new car warranty..

  17. Hi Joel,
    We also had a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder TI. At about 8,000kms we started to experience the CVT shudder accelerating out of corners or going up slight inclines at about 30-40km/h. We raised the issue with the dealership who said they would apply a software upgrade. This didn’t work so we were told that a new CVT box had to be ordered. Long story short, 12 months and 4 CVT gearboxes later, not to mention a bonnet latch replacement, clock-spring replacement, and various rubber strips falling off, we took the matter to Nissan Australia directly. They didn’t want to co-operate so we took the matter to the ACCC. Waste of time. They don’t seem to have any real power to do anything and could only suggest that Nissan refund our money, but couldn’t enforce anything. At the 2-year mark we decided to trade the vehicle in and only got $32,000 which I believe was about $10-$15,000 below market value at the time. Do you think there is anything we can do to try and recover money from Nissan for the loss? I’m considering contacting Bannister Law who are handling the Ford Powershift transmission class action.

  18. Hello

    I purchased a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder in 2015 privately. Purchased off Nissan salesman privately though. Only to have experienced the CVT issues late last year & again this year. Today Nissan have called to say they believe the Transmission needs to be replaced & they are “hoping” to put it through under warranty “out of goodwill” as it’s now outside of the warranty period. If not it’s going to cost $9,000+ to replace! They said it could take weeks to get an answer. Has anyone had the issues fixed outside of the warranty period & not had to pay yourself? They placed software on the computer last year to monitor & record any data, which they said they will be sending to Head Office & it presents a good case for replacement. I’m mainly experiencing issues when doing highway driving. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Koby

      Sorry to hear you’re having those issues. If you would like us to take your case to our contacts at Nissan just feel free to send us a message with your relevant details , rego number, contact details etc. and we will follow it up for you.

  19. Hi I bought Pathfinder Ti In 2013. I did not had much problem with CVT till now. But from last week suddenly I am having CVT issue. Shuddering in 40 – 60 km speed. As new car warranty is for 3 years only can Nissan fix my car as it’s know global issue ? It’s just has 56,000 km done. Thanks Maulik

  20. G’Day!
    How are the latest offerings holding up? I’m in the market and fell in love with the R52 at a Motor Show recently, only to stumble across this worrying issue.

  21. I recently bought a 2014 ST-L Pathfinder privately without knowing about the CVT issue, during my test drive there was no evidence of the problem, about 500km later I experienced my first gear shudder at low speed on a slight incline.

    The local dealer joined me for a test drive and first hand felt the shudder, they upgraded to latest software and said to bring it back after the 5th shudder in order for the software to record the relevant fault code. So now it has happened twice and will see once we get back to the dealer regarding the required rectification.
    Unfortunately the car is out of warranty but according to the dealer, Nissan Australia might cover all or up to 80% of the cost.

    Anybody else had success in solving the problem?

  22. Basically the 2013-2016 have an issue with excessive wear of the oil pump flow control valve leading to pressure loss. Problem is the oil pump is in the guts of the CVT, so a new valve body will just be a temporary fix (bigger bores) till the oil pump flow control valve wears even more. There are aftermarket valve kits, but the cost to pull CVT off the vehicle, and pull it apart to replace the valve is just not worth the effort, once it starts shuddering it will damage the chain if you don’t get onto it immediately. Around April 2016, Jatco re-designed the CVT7 with a Flow Control Valve-Less Vane Pump (no presure valve so nothing will wear), speculating this is on the 2017/18s with the CVT8 hence no isssues with these. You can find all this info with google,

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