If you own a 2021-2023 Nissan Rogue, you may have noticed an unusual gasoline smell inside your vehicle. If so, you’re not alone. In fact, many Rogue owners of the same model year report that they are experiencing these symptoms, and a class action lawsuit has been filed against Nissan on behalf of affected owners.
The lawsuit, Young v. Nissan North America Inc claims that the 2021-2023 Rogue models have been sold with an engine defect that causes fuel contamination of the engine oil. The alleged defect causes a strong odor of fuel inside the cabin of the vehicle, and oil dilution.
As a result, the defect has caused numerous complaints from owners about gasoline smells.
Despite Nissan Rogue owner complaints of the cabin smelling like gasoline, there is a potentially more serious problem lurking beneath the surface. It appears these drivers are facing engine issues which causes oil dilution problems.
Simply put, oil dilution results in decreased oil viscosity causing premature wear of the engine’s internal parts. Ultimately, resulting in engine failure.
Let’s take a closer look into the 2021-2023 Nissan Rogue gas smell and oil dilution problem, and what it means for customers long-term.
Owners Allege Nissan Rogue Gas Smell Consumes Cabin of Vehicle
Scott Young, the Nissan Rogue owner leading the lawsuit against Nissan North America Inc., claims one of the tell-tale signs of the oil dilution problem is an “overbearing gasoline smell” in the cabin of the vehicle.
However according to the complaint, Nissan tells owners 2021-2023 Rogues to continue to drive despite the smell of gas. They suggest rolling down the windows and adjusting the air conditioning to try to make the smell go away.
The lawsuit cited a number of complaints filed with the NHTSA, some of which alleged that the odor emanating from the vehicle began after driving a few thousand miles.
In fact, our own vehicle reliability report tool has also identified the defect as a widespread problem as for 2021-2023 Rogue owners.
Owners also report of the gas odors permeating the entire garage after parking the car, with one driver claiming that their children were experiencing sickness as a result.
Truth be told, inhaling even minor quantities of gasoline fumes may cause irritation in the nose and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and respiratory problems.
Additionally, a few complaints indicated that the gas smell was so overpowering that some drivers feared the car could catch fire from the fumes.
Understanding the Significance of The Nissan Rogue Gas Smell
Despite the inconvenience of the fuel odor inside the cabin of the vehicle, there is a more costly defect hidden behind that smell.
That is, of course, when the car’s oil gets mixed with the gas. This issue will cause problems such as fouled spark plugs, damaged engine, and other issues. This is commonly referred to as, oil dilution.
In fact, oil dilution reduces the lubricating properties of the engine oil. On average, the percentage of viscosity reduction due to oil dilution can range from 5% to 20%.
However, the actual percentage can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances, such as the type and amount of diluent, the base oil used, and the operating conditions of the engine.
Simply put, the oil becomes less capable of withstanding the higher loads of an internal combustion engine.
As a result, contact between metal surfaces within the engine begin to lead to rapid wear of internal bearings, the rotating assembly and other internal parts.
This means that 2021-2023 Nissan Rogue owners will need to spend more money on maintenance because of this problem. Or worst, suffer engine failure.
It also means that there will be more contaminated oil that needs to be disposed of, which is bad for the environment.
As such, 2021-2023 Nissan Rogue owners who begin to notice a strong odor of fuel inside the cabin of their vehicles will almost certainly have oil dilution issues.
Owner Alleges Engine’s Variable Compression System to Blame
According to Young, a flaw in the engine’s variable compression system leads to the seepage of gas into unintended areas. This results in a series of enduring complications and accelerated degradation of engine components if left unaddressed.
Nissan’s Variable Compression Engine (VCE) is unique, in that allows the engines to alter the compression ration from 8:1 (providing more vehicle power and less fuel efficiency) to 14:1 (providing less power and more fuel efficiency).
In fact, the VCE engines contain a unique linkage in the crankcase that adjusts the piston stroke by just a few millimeters, which alters the compression ratio.
By changing the position of the crankcase linkage, Nissan’s VCE engines can increase fuel economy by altering the compression ratio.
Due to the unique engineering of the VCE engines, fuel injectors are mounted on the cylinder head, rather than on the intake manifold found in traditional engines.
Otherwise known as Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG), fuel is injected at a very high pressure directly into the combustion chamber rather than through the intake manifold.
Because of the high fuel pressures required for the DIG system in the Class Vehicles, some of the fuel injected into the combustion chamber remains unburned.
The unburned mixture of air and gasoline is then pulled down by the piston, slipping by the piston and oil control rings, and goes directly into the crankcase, which is the protective cover that insulates the crankshaft.
This is commonly referred to as “blow-by” and is a common term used to describe the unwanted occurrence of unburned gasoline entering the engine’s crankcase.
This occurrence, known as oil dilution, leads to a significant contamination of the engine oil stored in the oil pan. When this happens, it can negatively impact the lubricity and viscosity of the engine oil.
This isn’t good for Rogue owners, as it may cause damage to engine bearings, the valve train, fuel injectors, and even the cylinder walls.
However, the most noticeable side effect of this problem, is of course the gas smell inside the cabin of the vehicle.
How Do I know my Nissan Rogue Suffers From Alleged Defect?
One tell-tale sign of the previous mentioned “blow-by” occurrence is the smell of unburned, raw gasoline in the vehicle cabin and within the vicinity of the exterior of the vehicle, as alleged by the Plaintiff.
Additionally, the oil dilution will cause the oil level in the crankcase to increase. Periodically checking your oil levels will begin to show clues of alleged defect.
Another way to tell if your Rogue suffers from this defect is to check the oil dipstick for a strong fuel smell.
Despite Widespread Consumer Complaints, Nissan Continued to Advertise Rogues as Reliable, Safe, and Top Quality
Nissan has not recognized the Engine Defect in Class Vehicles to Class Members, despite widespread consumer complaints of a strong fuel smell and other associated issues.
Additionally, Nissan’s failure to inform the general public, owners or lessees of the Class Vehicles regarding the Engine Defect is especially alarming.
This is due to the fact that the Class Vehicles, after experiencing the Engine Defect, not only experience a strong fuel smell while being used but also run the risk of catastrophic engine failure while in use.
As one can imagine, this can result in the driver and passengers being left stranded, putting them at a greater risk of harm.
However, Nissan provided a specific warranty for the Class Vehicles, guaranteeing to be free from defects for either 36,000 miles or three years with the Limited Warranty, or 60,000 miles or five years with the Powertrain Limited Warranty.
These warranties cover the Engine Defect, but Nissan has not successfully addressed the problem.
According to the complaint, Nissan’s system is “simply inadequate to prevent and address fuel contamination of the crankcase,” resulting in the Nissan Rogue gas smell.
2021 to 2023 Nissan Rogue Owner Voices
The contact owns a 2021 Nissan Rogue. The contact stated that the fueling system was leaking. There was an abnormal odor of fuel detected. While driving at an undisclosed speed, the vehicle lunged forward and stalled but restarted. The alternator warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer but the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 5,500.Complaint Number: 11488158
The contact owns a 2023 Nissan Rogue. The contact stated there was an abnormal fuel odor inside and outside the vehicle. Upon inspecting the vehicle, the contact found no visible leaks coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was then taken to the dealer where the mechanic also could not detect any leaks coming from the vehicle. The manufacturer had been notified of the failure and provided a case number. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 2,000.Complaint Number: 11500268
For several weeks I have noticed strong smell of gasoline when my car is parked in my garage. Today, I called my Nissan dealer because I am very concerned. The service advisor informed me that they have received many similar complaints and Nissan is supposedly trying to identify and remedy the problem. He said my car is safe, but I am terribly concerned.Complaint Number: 11499442
Nissan Rogue Models Affected
The following Nissan Rogue models are affected by this alleged defect:
Status of the Nissan Rogue Class Action Litigation
This is an active class action lawsuit. Young v. Nissan North America Inc, case number 3:23-cv-00394, in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Questions About This Lawsuit?
MyCarVoice.com is not counsel or the settlement administrator in this class action lawsuit. Our goal is to inform owners of these vehicles of the recent lawsuit. This post will be updated when/if new suit information is released.
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Are you driving a Nissan Rogue made between 2021 and 2023 and having issues with a strong gasoline smell in your car? If so, add your voice to this post in the comments below 👇