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Over the years, there has been plenty of speculation as to why Nissan does not offer a diesel engine option in its full-size Titan pickup. It did, but Nissan killed it in 2019. We know that owners have been complaining loudly about broken crankshafts in the Cummins 5.0-liter diesel V8. Finally, as complaints continue piling up, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is opening up an investigation into the matter.

Nissan began offering the diesel V8 in 2016 before its untimely demise in 2019. And beginning in 2016, complaints about broken crankshafts began appearing on forums. Finally, the NHTSA is starting a preliminary investigation into the cause and breadth of the problem. 

What do Nissan Titan diesel owners say happens?

2024 Nissan Titan pickup front 3/4 view
2024 Nissan Titan pickup | Nissan

Here’s how one owner describes the event in a letter to the NHTSA, “Was driving down the interstate going 70 mph. The truck started losing power without any warning or check engine lights. The truck started vibrating violently to the point almost lost control of the truck. The dealer says it broke the crankshaft in the motor. The truck only has 77k miles on it. This should be looked into as it’s happening a lot with models with the Cummings diesel motor. Please look into this before someone is killed.”

It is not clear what outcome the NHTSA’s findings will have for owners. If it is found that there is an inherent problem with the Titan diesel engines, it could mean monetary compensation for inconvenience and outside expenses owners might incur. But the broken crankshaft problem would have been under warranty. So, there should not have been any expenses directly related to parts and labor.

From 2016 to 2019, Nissan sold 38,000 Titan trucks with the diesel option. So, the NHTSA could also issue a recall to protect future owners from having the same issue. There have been several other issues over the years, including DEF pump failure, EGR valve failure, turbocharger failure, and more, according to DieselIQ.

What engines come with the 2024 Nissan Titan?

2024 Nissan Titan pickup with sunlit rocks in background
2024 Nissan Titan pickup | Nissan

It also goes without saying that a crankshaft breaking is a catastrophic event. Besides the crank itself, there is usually damage to the engine block, connecting rods, and potentially the valves and pistons. That, in turn, can bend rocker shafts, which can also damage the camshaft and rockers. So essentially, most of the internal components including the block see damage beyond repair. 

Since 2020, the Titan has only come with one engine, Nissan’s 5.6-liter Endurance V8 gas engine. The V8 produces 400 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. It spins a nine-speed automatic transmission. In 2019, the Titan got a refresh with some options going away.

2024 will be the final year of the full-size Titan pickup. Nissan has always seen success with its midsize Frontier pickup truck and never really saw big numbers with the Titan. Over the years, Nissan has cut back on options like the single- and extra-cab bodies, as well as different bed lengths available.