I bought a new Nissan Pathfinder Tekna from our nearest Nissan dealership in June 2013.

I have created this page to share with you, my eighteen month nightmare ownership experience.

The webpage is called Nissan Fail, because my Nissan Pathfinder has failed me on many counts.

I would like to make clear firstly that it is only my Pathfinder that I refer to, I have one client that has an identical vehicle that has served them well for over two years & another that has a much older Pathfinder which also gives excellent service. Secondly I would make no criticism of the local dealership who have been both very helpful & professional. Lastly, my experience with this vehicle is not a reflection on Nissan vehicles in general, (indeed I have just bought another Nissan Car).

I hope that you enjoy the marine photos that I have included.

I had a meeting with the sales manager at the dealership & explained that I wanted a new 4 x 4 vehicle that had a good load space, a roof rack, would tow three tons & would go anywhere.

The Nissan Pathfinder seemed ideal for the job, the optional roof bars were suitable for ladders & the flexible load space offered plenty of capacity for tools. Seven seats were a plus for the odd family outing, a tow hitch meant that I could launch & recover my sports fishing boat. As I was coming up to (semi), retirement age I was also planning to tow a large caravan for long holidays in France & Spain.

I had no idea that the vehicle I bought would not be fit for purpose.

I bought my five metre sports fishing boat to enable me to build up a portfolio of high resolution marine photographs that I could offer for sale. This was a four year project, for the first three years the boat was on launch & recovery at Q.A.B. Marina Plymouth. This was very successful but I wanted to cover different areas of the coast & the Pathfinder should have allowed me to do this. My plans after that, were to sell the boat & buy the caravan.

The Clutch.

For 2013 the boat was still at the marina, but after running the car in, I used it to tow, launch & recover my boat in different places. I experienced trouble reversing & the clutch smelled. I did think that it was a pity that you could not use the low gear range in the auto 4x4 mode. I took the car back to the dealer several times for the engineers to examine it, at first they could not find any fault with it. I was told that I would have to pay for them to take out the gearbox & examine the clutch. Naturally I declined as it was a brand new car under warranty. After about 3000 miles the clutch gave up & slipped very badly, at this point the dealer agreed to carry out the work at their expense, they found the clutch & flywheel were faulty & got Nissan to bear the cost of replacement. By this time the boating season was underway the boat was no longer at the marina so I was unable to use it, I then had to wait for the car to cover 500 miles to run the new clutch in before I could tow, so I lost a good part of the season & many photographic opportunities.

Cawsand 2010

The Radio/Computer.

Almost every trip out for some months resulted in a detour to the dealership to ask them to look at various problems, I assumed they were electrical, it was almost as if the car had a life of it's own, sometimes causing me to stop by the side of the road, switch off the ignition & reboot the system before I could continue. The sound system volume would suddenly turn itself up to maximum, (painful on the ears). When I reported these faults I think the service staff, although very polite, thought I had a mental problem. Well it was driving me mad. They thought the L/H switch panel on the steering wheel may be faulty so they ordered a new one (a three week wait). This was then fitted but the problem soon returned. After many more abortive attempts to find the intermittent fault, they ordered a new radio/computer (another 3 week wait), loan car provided but no tow hitch or roof rack for my business. Eventually the new computer was fitted so all was well on that count.

The Roof Rails.

The lettering on the roof rails started peeling off. I didn't realy mind so I told the dealer to remove all of it to stop it looking silly. They did, but it left an etched image that could not be removed, so after much deliberation it was decided to replace them.

The Entry Strip.

The stainless steel plate on the drivers door sill sprung up & peeled back one morning, I had to wrench it away in order to be able to shut the door. This had to be replaced.

The Accessory Rubber Floor Mats.

The drivers floor mat wore through in three months & had to be replaced.

Eddystone Lighthouse

Plymouth 2012

The Horns & Battery.

One evening about nine p.m., I had been watching a film, (surround sound & a sub woofer all on), I thought I could hear a noise from outside of the house. I went outside to find the car horn full on, I managed to stop it at which point a neighbour told me it had been on solidly for hours. The next morning as it was two years to the day that Mum had died I loaded up my garden tools intending to visit Mum & Dads' grave, cut some grass & do some weeding. The car would not start so I called the RAC, they diagnosed a flat battery & jump started it. I put the battery on charge but the following morning it was flat again so I had the RAC back, they got it going & I drove it to the dealership. After another week off the road they got the parts in & replaced the horns & the battery which had all failed.

The Breakdowns.

Along the way, I had one complete loss of power while driving on a dual carriageway towards the dealership. I pulled over & waited a while then managed to start up & continue. They said that they had reset it, but I still don't understand what went wrong.

I drove down to St. Austell to collect my family for a day out at Falmouth, I stopped outside their house, we loaded up ready for the trip in Grandads big new 4x4; it wouldn't start. The RAC came, they could not get it to start either so it went away on a low loader. I had a taxi home & an RAC hire car for two days. That was a blown fuse, it also needed a new battery for the Key.

I had taken my elder grandson & my daughter for a trip on my boat to help me take some photos I had left the boat at the Penmarlam boat park & was taking them home via the Boddinick Ferry. We had stopped in the queue on the steep & very narrow road, when it was time to drive onto the ferry the car ignition switch would not turn, the steering was locked, I was caught of guard, dipped the clutch, the car lurched forward partly blocking the road & preventing those behind me from boarding the ferry. I managed to take the key apart & unlock the steering manually but only after a nasty moment & some unpleasant remarks from other people in the queue. This stress & unpleasantness is not what you need from a new car. Back at the dealers the next day I was told that the key needed yet another new battery as that had caused the problem.

Royal Marines Plymouth 2013

Nissan Customer Service.

I contacted Nissan customer service & was given a case number. The first contact was very sympathetic & noted down all of the details. I explained that the vehicle was unreliable & had caused continual problems & asked them to replace it with another so that they could sort it out on their time. The second contact was less encouraging & the third contact, the supervisor was outright hostile. However my case was so strong they agreed to give me another years warranty to give me peace of mind. I was not happy with this but everyone had tried so hard to resolve the problems with the vehicle, particularly at the dealership that I accepted. By then the car had been serviced & was ready for me to collect again along with assurances from everyone that there were no outstanding faults. I took a deep breath, made a decision to have faith in the vehicle & move forward hoping this was the end of the trouble.

The Last Straw. 22nd January 2015.

I had noticed that the clutch felt a bit shuddery when I reversed into my drive, as you can see from the side photo of the car, is on a slight incline. Before I switched off the engine it started to misfire badly & nothing I did made any difference. I called the RAC the engineer connected his computer up & diagnosed an open circuit on number one injector. He took the cover off the engine & showed me that the injector had broken apart & could not be fixed.

The following morning arrived as did the low loader to take the car to the dealership. I was without any transport over the weekend & having aggravated a pulled leg muscle by walking up to the doctors & then down to the town to pick up a prescription, I was unable to shop for food & had to live out of the freezer over the weekend. The dealer phoned me on the Monday & said that they had ordered a new injector from Japan & it would arrive in the middle of February. They then sent me a loan car.

Nearly two weeks later they said that a part had arrived & they were sending my Pathfinder back. It arrived after the twenty mile journey & their driver went off with the loan car. I started the Pathfinder which was still warm & reversed into my drive, the clutch felt even worse. Prompted by Nissan customer service, I went down to the dealership & asked the technician to look at it but he could not find any fault; but then again that was the case when I first had the vehicle & look what happened with the clutch then.

Having paid road tax of £648 for the first year & £285 for the second year on my 4x4, it was ironic that on the only two days we had snow I was driving a small front wheel drive car, annual road tax £20.

Sardegna Plymouth 2013

The Writing on the Wall

Moonlight over Cattewater 2011

Plymouth Sunset 2012

Nissan Customer Service revisited.

When I was told that my Pathfinder would be off the road for several weeks again whilst the part came from Japan, I contacted Nissan customer service, they identified my case & gave me a new case number. I told the first contact of my problems & that I wanted to draw a line under this by having a replacement vehicle or a refund, he was sympathetic, said he would look into it & call me back. The second contact rang me & told me there was no chance of either as the car was eighteen months old. I pointed out that it wasn't my fault that they had not dealt with the matter earlier when the car was newer. Perhaps the tactic is to fob you off long enough untill they can say the vehicle is too old to replace. However he promised to see what else they could do & would defiantly ring me back that afternoon; he didn't. I left it over the weekend & then called them, only to be told that the second contact was on leave & his supervisor would be calling me. I recognized a pattern & method in this. I said, 'no, get contact two to phone me when he gets back as he had promised'. When he returned from holiday he called me & told me that I had already been given an extra years warranty on the car & they had no intention of offering anything else, regardless of my continuing problems.

When a business invests in a vehicle, it is to improve efficiency, to help the business succeed & show a return on the money invested. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL. Nissan need to be more customer focused. Nissan & some other vehicle manufacturers think they are too big to fail, the truth is; Nissan already has. They have failed their customer.

The Summary.

The Pathfinder has not been available for my business use when needed & has cost me thousands of pounds in lost time & earnings. I have spent hours waiting at the dealership & drunk gallons of their excellent coffee, but for no earnings.

It has been the cause of ruined family outings, loss of face, annoyed my neighbours, has given me a great deal of stress & worry over the eighteen month period.

It prevented me from using my boat for much of the season, loosing me valuable photo opportunities.

It has put me in danger, caused me discomfort, minor injury & a great deal of inconvenience.

It has caused me to abandon the plans that were the reason I bought the vehicle in the first place. I can't risk breaking down halfway to the south of France with a caravan in tow & having to wait two weeks or more for a part to arrive, anymore than I could handle the stress of reversing with a 1.8 ton load as I still have concerns about the clutch.

Sunk 2011

The Lifeboat John Buchanan Barr

Thank you for reading this & I hope that you have enjoyed seeing some of the photos from my marine collection.

The Conclusion.

The dealership offered me a buy back price for the Pathfinder. So for the preservation of my sanity & the benefit of my business I have accepted. Despite clocking up only 7,000 miles (many of which were due to the problems with the car), I will lose £11,000 for my eighteen months of motoring misery. Nissan customer services still run a very sharp operation. My boat has been sold as planned. As I have spent so much time driving one; I have bought a Nissan Note but with a roof rack, to get me around until I decide what to do next. I hope that I have better luck with that. Throughout this ordeal I have remained calm & did not use any bad language, however if you have seen Mrs. Browns' Boys The Movie, you will have heard her elder sons description of his broken down Nissan Navara; I think that his comment would apply equally well to my Pathfinder.

I am just thankful that I have never had to test the airbags!

Since writing this account I have traded in my Nissan Note less than a year after I bought it, for not much more than half of what I paid for it.

Although it was in mint condition, very low mileage, white with piano black alloy wheels, the dealership that I bought it from would not buy it back even at the trade price!

I have since bought a Peugeot based motorhome & I am enjoying semi retirement. Much poorer but much wiser.

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