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Nissan Versa Shift Lock Problems (Rollaway Risk!)

Nissan Versa Shift Lock Problems (Rollaway Risk!)

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

2012 Nissan Versa had a recall for a shift lock that didn´t work, creating a rollaway risk because the transmission would think it was in Neutral. 2010 – 2015 Versa had problems with the shift selector getting stuck in Park.

However, that certainly doesn´t tell us everything about the shift lock problems on a Nissan Versa. Below, we´ll give you a detailed look at the two potential issues, what caused them and how you can fix them. Read on!

Two Potential Issues

First of all, it´s good to know that there are two potential problems with the shift lock of the Nissan Versa:

  • 2012 models had an official recall for a shift lock that didn´t function properly and would allow the vehicle to roll away without pressing the brake pedal.
  • 2010 – 2015 have unconfirmed complaints about the shift lock getting stuck, therefore not allowing the driver to shift out of Park.

Below we´ll first look at the 2012 shift lock recall; after that, we´ll discuss the shift lock getting stuck into Park problem.

2012 Shift Lock Recall

The 2012 model years did have an official recall for this issue under NHTSA number 12V032000. This was called a ´voluntary´ recall and involved model years made between June 9, 2011, and January 13, 2012 (all 2012 model years). It specifically includes vehicles that were equipped with the RE0F11A Xtronic CVT and involved around 36,608 vehicles. Nissan described the problem as follows:

On some of the potentially affected vehicles, the shift selector handle may have been manufactured out of specification. This may cause the brake shift interlock not to operate as designed.

Nissan, 12V032000 recall

The solution that Nissan proposed in the recall was first to replace the shift selector handle and check if that got rid of the issue. If this was the case, everything was solved. This was done by removing the shift lock pin (as seen in the first image below)

shift lock pin removal on nissan versa

And then removing the shift selector handle and replacing it with a new one, as displayed in the next image.

shift selector handle removal nissan versa

However, in some vehicles, this did not fix the issue, and then Nissan advised replacing the complete shift selector assembly, which did fix the issue in all cases.

Shifter Stuck In Park Problem

Another issue Nissan Versa owners had to deal with was the shift lock getting stuck into the Park position and not being able to get the vehicle out of Park. This mainly happened with the 2010 – 2015 model years with a CVT. One owner stated the following:

I have 2010 hatchback automatic. Couple of weeks ago the shifter got stuck in park and I have been manually depressing the shift lock.


Typically, this will be a problem with the brake pedal position sensor, the shifter cable or the shift lock solenoid. No matter what the problem, if you want a quick, temporary solution, use the manual override option, as displayed in the video below.

If it´s a problem with the brake pedal position sensor, this means your vehicle isn´t registering it when you press the brake pedal. Therefore, it won´t allow you to shift into Park. The brake pedal position sensor is located near the top part of your brake pedal, and replacing it will set you back between $100 – $200.

The other possible option is that it´s a broken shift cable. The shift cable is responsible for putting the transmission into the right gear after you´ve changed the position of the shift selector: these cables car break, and some of the plastic parts that keep them in place. Replacing the shift cable will set you back $300; if it´s one of the plastic parts, you´ll most likely have to pay less, but labor costs can still add up.

Did you know that Nissan Versa have also had problems with its door lock, transmission, and the ignition switch? Click on the links to read detailed articles about these problems.

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