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Nissan Versa Ignition Switch Problems (+Solutions)

Nissan Versa Ignition Switch Problems (+Solutions)

Nissan Versa are typically reliable cars. However, they did have their fair share of problems throughout the years. In this article, we wrote extensively about all the common problems you´ll run into with a Nissan Versa. Today, we´ll look specifically at the ignition switch problem. Here is a quick summary:

2017 – 2018 Nissan Versa were recalled for ignition switch failure and had their ignition switches replaced. 2007 – 2016 Nissan Versa had a technical service bulletin for a worn-out mechanical key that wouldn´t turn the ignition switch on/off.

However, that certainly doesn´t tell us everything about the ignition switch problems on a Nissan Versa. Below, we´ll give you a detailed look at the potential issues, what caused them and how you can fix them. We´ll first look at the 2017 – 2018 recall and later on the 2007 – 2016 service bulletin. Read on!

2017 – 2018 Ignition Switch Failure

When it comes to the Nissan Versa, especially the 2017 – 2018 Versa sedan and Versa Note, have had problems with the ignition switch. However, ignition switch problems can occur in every model year of the Versa, and the guidance in this article will apply to all of them as well. The following symptoms identify ignition switch problems:

  • The key getting stuck in the ignition switch
  • The steering wheel is not turning
  • Engine stalling either when starting or during driving

Therefore, this was a significant safety risk, and Nissan issued a recall on September 4, 2018. The recall affected 153,047 Nissans, including many more Nissans than just the Versa.

Owners reported the following several times; however, not many complaints were issued for engine stalling (which is a good thing):

Ignition switch failure and key cannot be removed. Car can be difficult to shut off and steering wheel can be difficult to put into lock position. Safety concern with parking and leaving key in all the time (especially with small children).


Solution For This Recall

As you would expect, Nissan dealers were ordered to inspect the ignition switch and replace it if the number on the back of the ignition switch matched up with the lot numbers that were part of the recall. To do this, dealers were ordered to do the following (for detailed explanations, read this document):

  • Disconnect battery cables.
  • Remove several parts of the lower instrument panel.
  • Disconnect the harness connectors from the backside of the instrument panel.
  • Remove the instrument panel’s lower support bracket.
  • Remove the steering wheel cover.
  • Remove the ignition switch harness screws and ignition switch.
  • Check the lot number on the ignition switch and the Nissan database.
  • Replace the ignition switch if the lot number matches up.

If the lot number matched the recall, dealers had to replace the ignition switch free of charge. As you can see, this was quite a labor-intensive process. Removing the ignition switch isn´t the hardest thing in the world, but you also have to check the lot number of the ignition switch, which only a certified Nissan mechanic can do.

Cost Of Replacing An Ignition Switch

If your car wasn´t part of the recall but is still experiencing the same problems, you´ll still need to replace the ignition switch. Expect to pay around $150 – $250 to a mechanic to replace the ignition switch of a Nissan Versa. The ignition switch will cost about $50-$100, whereas labor will cost $100 – $150.

2007 – 2016 Worn Out Key

2007 – 2016 Nissan Versa received a technical service bulletin because of a worn-out key that couldn´t turn the ignition switch anymore. Furthermore, the key would stick in the ignition switch or the door locks. The TSB was first issued in 2016 and was slightly changed in 2021. Specifically, the following Versa (without intelligent key systems) were affected:

  • 2007 – 2012 Versa Hatchback (C11)
  • 2007 – 2011 Versa Sedan (C11)
  • 2012 – 2016 Versa Sedan (N17)
  • 2014 – 2016 Versa NOTE (E12)

In this case, the solution was to replace all mechanical key cylinders of the car. This meant replacing the ignition switch and the locks on the car’s doors (because the key was worn out and needed to be replaced as well as a worn-out key can lead to plenty of other problems).

Therefore, this was quite a labor-intensive task. Expect to pay $150 – $250 to replace the ignition switch and around $150 per door (5 doors x $150 = $750). Making this quite an expensive repair if you can´t do it under warranty.

Did you know that Nissan Versa have also had problems with its electric power steering? If you´re experiencing steering issues, check out this article we wrote about these problems. Also, don´t miss out on the article about transmission problems.

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