Even though the Infiniti QX80 is a fairly reliable vehicle; it does come with its fair share of problems. Whether you’re an owner or a potential buyer for the SUV, we’d recommend that you develop an understanding of these issues and their resolutions. Let’s just save the details for later and go over a quick overview of these problems.
The most common problem found in the Infiniti QX80 is with the electrical system for model years 2011, 2015, and 2019. Others issues include glitches in the back camera system on the 2018-2019 model years; FEB system malfunction on the 2019 model; fuel pump assembly issue on the 2020-2021 model years; and brake pedal fault on the 2008-2010 model years.
There are instances where a particular model year poses more challenges than others. That is why we’ve outlined a number of common problems that owners have reported on various portals. We’ve also added the solutions and costs associated with fixing them.
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We Use Real World Vehicle Data To Create This List Of Problems
Before we dive into the most common problems, let’s quickly explain how we created this list.
This data comes from vehicle owners like you. It’s based on real data from real drivers. No guesswork or hypotheticals here.
We use resources like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and many others, to review the most common complaints issues by owners along with the full history of recalls and active investigations.
From there, our team of automotive experts takes a closer look into each problem and breaks down why it happens, what you can do to prevent it, and how to fix it.
We review the data and interpret the results to make your life easier. Now that you understand how we came up with this list, let’s get into it!
1. Electrical System
The Infiniti QX80, formerly known as Infiniti QX56, faces an issue with the electrical system whereby the vehicle’s battery pack is depleted at a faster pace than usual. Affected vehicles include the 2011, 2015, and 2019 model years. While this can be caused as a result of battery age and condition; many owners have reported the issue despite having replaced the battery for a brand new one.
Underlyingly, this problem is caused by Nissan’s ECM controlled alternator. This device prevents the battery from charging to a full 100%, unlike other alternators. Hence, it dynamically controls the charge percentage based on vehicle usage. This makes the battery prone to dying out completely since additional features and equipment also take their toll on the overall battery output.
This issue is especially pronounced in cases where the vehicle is frequently used on short trips. If your vehicle is showing signs of a bad battery, be very sure to bypass the alternator as a few owners have done. This can be achieved by removing the sensor present on the battery’s negative terminal. Other steps to disable this sensor can be found online.
Since Nissan regards this alternator as a feature to improve economy, rather than an issue; it’s best to visit your local dealer and discuss for ultimate solutions if the problem persists.
2. Rattling Noise from the Engine
Owners of the 2019 Infiniti QX80 have reported a rattling noise that supposedly origins from the engine bay. While a stretched engine belt may be the cause of this issue, a sounder explanation proposes that it is caused by a loose exhaust system.
A heat shield which is placed above the exhaust front tube is deemed to be the culprit that causes this rattling noise. Since the problem doesn’t add to being a safety hazard, no known recall has been performed by Infiniti in order to fix it.
Thankfully, this isn’t a major issue and can be easily fixed by tightening up the shield. If, however, the noise is caused by some fault in the engine belt or pulleys; it may cost up to $150 for the repairs.
3. Back Camera Issue
An issue that affects the 2018-2019 model years of the Infiniti QX80 is a scenario where the back camera becomes nonfunctional. A glitch in the display system allows for the back camera and display settings to be adjusted in such a way that the reverse camera screen becomes no longer visible.
This poses a viable threat, especially when backing up in parking lots and tight spaces. In the presence of small obstacles behind the vehicle, it’s highly possible for drivers to overlook them and cause an accident.
The problem persists, because the display screen retains this setting when the vehicle is again placed in reverse drive mode. Fortunately, Nissan has issued a recall where they simply update the system software to resolve the underlying glitch.
The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 19V654000.
4. Forward Emergency Braking System Malfunction
Reported problems regarding the 2019 Infiniti QX80 include instances where the Forward Emergency Braking system (FEB) ceases to function normally. Ideally, this feature is supposed to bring the vehicle to a halt in case of on-road scenarios where emergency braking is required. However, in particular cases, the system advances into action even when there is no need to brake.
This fault can prove to be life threatening when the vehicle randomly decides to brake-check the previous driver on interstates and country roads. In worst cases, the Infiniti driver can end up being rear ended and sustain dangerous injuries. Braking issues are also common in the Infiniti Q50.
Unfortunately, Nissan hasn’t addressed the issue yet. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take up the fault with your local dealer. In case you decide to replace the system altogether, it would cost around $3000 to install a new system in your QX80.
5. Fuel Pump Assembly Issue
Fuel Pumps are essential components to vehicle operation. Infiniti has issued a voluntary recall campaign for replacing the fuel pump assemblies on a number of Infiniti QX80 vehicles belonging to the 2020-2021 model years. This is because the impeller of the fuel pump is prone to swelling and binding within the pump, ultimately resulting in part failure.
Infiniti has decided to fix the issue free of cost. This means that the customers won’t be charged any part or labor fee to change the assembly. Since a faulty fuel pump may result in the vehicle engine to stall, this condition poses a major threat to the vehicle occupants.
The identification number assigned to this campaign is R21A3.
6. Inaccurate Fuel Gauge
A friendly disclaimer for the viewers with range anxiety – things are about to get real. An issue impacts the 2015-2016 model years of the QX80 is that the fuel gauge shows incorrect reading. Some owners have observed that the fuel gauge shows fuel to be depleted a lot earlier than what they calculate and suspect.
As a result, even if you have a few gallons worth of remaining fuel to burn, your vehicle’s meter will show the fuel tank to be completely empty. While you start to worry about finding the next gas station, reality paints a different picture. The fuel sensor present in the fuel tank is at a higher level than usual. This results in the vehicle completely ignoring the last few gallons of gas in the tank.
In fact, Infiniti has released a service bulletin that caters to vehicles with immediate fuel level drops. In case you find out about an issue with your fuel level sensor, you can always replace it for a new one at around $250 to $300.
7. Faulty Brake Pedal
The 2008-2010 model Infiniti QX56 is host to an issue with the brake pedal pivot pin. According to details, a manufacturing fault has been detected in the brake pedal. This can prove to be fatal in driving scenarios where abrupt braking is required. The brake may also fail during down slopes on hilly areas.
The fault lies in the pivot pin of the pedal, which isn’t produced according to specifications. As a result, the pivot pin may slip and cause the brake pedal to get disengaged from its bracket.
A recall has been issued under NHTSA’s campaign ID 10V072000. All owners of the affected SUVs are requested to get their vehicles checked for pivot pin faults. In case an issue is found, the brake pedal assembly will be replaced free of cost.
What’s The Worst Year Of The Infiniti QX80?
The Infiniti QX80 is a durable luxury SUV that will last you for more than 200,000 miles – if maintained properly. Assuming normal driving mileage of 15,000 miles, it will last you for a solid 17-20 years. Still, it has its fair share of problems – and not all years are created equal.
The worst year for the Infiniti QX80 is a close tie between the 2019 model year and the 2014 model. 2019 had the most complaints – with battery drain being the most commonly reported one. The 2019 model had other problems such as rod knock and forward emergency brake malfunction.
Although the problems reported in the 2014 model are less in number, they are difficult to solve and will cost you a hefty repair bill. Several electrical problems such as battery depletion and failed fuses are also common.
The QX80 was known as QX56 before 2014 and had its fair share of problems even then. The 2008-10 model had faulty brake pedal problems, while the 2010-14 model faced strange noises coming from the timing chains.
There were also reports of peeling paint and radiator fluid leaks in the earlier models of QX80 aka the QX56. All these problems have made us declare the 2014 and the 2019 models the worst years for the QX80. Problems with the paint are an extra reason to take proper care of it. Read more here on ShinyCarProject about the differences between polishing or waxing.
As far as the best years are concerned, the latest 2021 model has the least problems. With time, the number of complaints might increase – but as of now it is the crown jewel in this lineup. The advanced safety features, ample towing capacity, and powerful engine make it the best QX80 version till date.
His interests in cars, motorcycles, and machines led him to the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore where he is currently a mechanical engineering sophomore.
His future aims include the development of an energy-efficient prototype vehicle for the Shell Eco-Marathon competition and getting a Master’s Degree in Automotive Engineering from Germany.