2023 Nissan Z Gets Stop-Sale Order for Roll-Away Risk in Automatics

The new Z has fallen victim to the same issue as the Nissan Titan and Frontier pickup trucks.

byLewin Day| PUBLISHED Sep 20, 2022 8:49 PM
2023 Nissan Z Gets Stop-Sale Order for Roll-Away Risk in Automatics
Kristen Lee
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The new 2023 Nissan Z has suffered a setback, with Nissan issuing a stop-sale order for automatic models.

As reported by Autoblog, Nissan has stopped sales and is holding deliveries of 2023 Z models equipped with the nine-speed Jatco automatic transmission. The order was given August 29 due to a roll-away issue when the vehicle is left in park.

If that sounds familiar, it's because Nissan is facing the very same issue with its Titan and Frontier trucks from the 2020 model year onwards. The issue is due to excessive resistance between the parking rod and wedge, which can stop the parking pawl from engaging properly when the transmission is placed in park. This can lead to the vehicle rolling away if the parking brake is not applied.

A drawing of a parking pawl mechanism from a Suzuki patent filing. The parking pawl is shown in red and is designed to engage with the cogged "parking gear" to lock the transmission. It's moved by the wedge (blue) and parking rod (green). Resistance between the wedge and rod in the Jatco nine-speed can inhibit the free movement of the wedge and the pawl, preventing the pawl from engaging properly. USPTO

Nissan has already had to recall more than 200,000 trucks over the issue. The new Z also uses a Jatco nine-speed transmission and is subject to the same problem, which will only add to those numbers. Recall repair will necessarily involve removal of the transmission, and potentially even wholesale replacement of the entire unit, making it a costly exercise for Nissan.

Nissan doesn't actually know the frequency at which this defect occurs in the wild. Amusingly, the company's submission to the NHTSA quotes a figure of 1% but admits that this is solely because there's no option to submit a non-numeric value through the NHTSA's system. However, an audit taken at a Nissan factory in August revealed 11 out of 83 trucks suffered from the issue, or around 13%.

If you were expecting to pick up an automatic 2023 Nissan Z this month, it's likely you'll now have to wait a bit longer. If you've already got one in the driveway, make sure you're using the parking brake every time. Realistically, it's foolhardy to rely on the parking pawl in any vehicle, but we could all use a reminder sometimes.

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