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Nissan Stops Sales of Automatic-Equipped 2023 Z Pending Investigation

Transmission problems continue to plague Nissan

  • Nissan stops sales of 2023 Z models with the nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Sales of the Nissan Z with the six-speed manual will continue
  • Problem noted with Frontier and Titan automatic, which is shared with the Z
  • Could cause the vehicle to roll away in park

The new 2023 Nissan Z is the latest vehicle from the automaker to be affected by problems related to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Nissan has issued a stop-sale order to its nationwide dealership network for automatic-equipped versions of its recently updated two-passenger sports car.

Since the new Z just went on sale this summer, the number of affected vehicles is unclear at the moment. Sales of 2023 Zs fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox can continue, however.

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Potential transmission problem originates from Nissan pickups

At this point, the stop-sale order seems to be a precautionary measure, as the Z shares a nine-speed auto with the Frontier and Titan pickups. More than 200,000 of these trucks produced from the 2020 to 2023 model years were issued a recall recently. In filings with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, the defect is described as a "potential non-engagement of the parking pawl" that could cause an affected truck to roll away when parked. The pawl itself is a small mechanical device used to lock the transmission and prevent the vehicle from moving. A malfunction could cause the vehicle to roll unless the emergency brake has also been engaged.

The problem was spotted at Nissan's manufacturing plant in Canton, Mississippi. In an audit of the plant, Nissan's NHTSA-issued statement reported that 11 of 83 vehicles (which could include Frontier, Titan and Z models) tested had problems related to their automatic transmissions.

The NHTSA report notes that on September 1, "Nissan decided to conduct a recall campaign due to the safety risk of a potential rollaway condition after parking the vehicle. Nissan's investigation is ongoing, and the final recall remedy is still under development. At this time, Nissan is not aware of any confirmed field incidents to date related to the subject condition."

The transmission is produced by JATCO (Japan Automatic Transmission Co.) based in Fuji, Japan. 


Stop sale and NHTSA recall update

Faced with supply chain issues, such as the continuing microchip shortage affecting the entire automotive industry, this combined recall and stop-sale order could not come at a worse time for Nissan. Trucks like the Frontier and Titan are big moneymakers for car companies, and the new 2023 Z sport coupe is the automaker's only performance model.

At the time of writing, it's unclear how long the stop-sale might last on the Frontier, Titan and Z. Nissan will be issuing a recall notice to all affected owners by November 1, 2022. Until a permanent fix is found, Nissan is advising customers to engage the parking brake whenever the vehicle is parked.

To see if your vehicle might be part of this ongoing recall, visit the NHTSA website and plug in your car's vehicle identification number (VIN). This is commonly found on the driver's side base of the windshield or on the driver's door jamb. 

Edmunds says

Nissan's problems with the JATCO-produced automatic transmission continue to ripple through its lineup of vehicles, the most recent victim being the Z sports car. With no permanent solution at the moment, it's unclear how long this issue might drag on.