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The Nissan Frontier has had a decent enough run, but some critics complain that the 2019 model is a little dated. In spite of this, it has remained popular with many consumers, and still manages to bring in solid sales. Part of the reason for this is that the Nissan Frontier ages well and doesn’t rack up a lot of repairs.

That’s not true for every model year, however. According to Car Complaints, the 2005, 2006, and 2007 are models that you should avoid due to high repair bills and multiple problems.

2005 Nissan Frontier

Automakers love racking up rewards, but the 2005 model appears to have picked up an award that no one wants. The 2005 model has the highest number of complaints and is ranked as the worst model year by Car Complaints. 

Still, every vehicle that has ever made it off the assembly line and into dealerships has one model year that was worse than any other.

So what makes the 2005 so bad? According to Car Complaints, “the radiator ruptures and leaks coolant into the transmission, killing it.” You don’t have to be a mechanic to understand that a dead transmission means a dead truck. What it also means is huge repair bills. 

The average repair costs comes out to a whopping $3,790. Not only is this more than most households bring home in a month, but many consumers can’t afford to pay it at all. Several consumers say that the cost to repair the transmission and radiator is over $5,000. 

One consumer said,

“I have taken excellent care of this vehicle in the hope that good maintenance would translate into good longevity. Apparently I was wrong. I can not maintain a vehicle that is engineered to self destroy itself! This is not the first incident with this vehicle, but it will definitely be the last!”

Another stated,

“Was driving home from work going 70 when the truck stopped shifting ..surrounded by a lot of traffic and the truck stalled the transmission got radiator fluid….can’t afford the fix was told by Nissan it would be almost 7k to fix…”

Even though there were so many issues with the 2005 radiator, Nissan inexplicably continued to use it in the 2006 and 2007 models. 

2006 and 2007 Nissan Frontier

If you look at the chart provided by Car Complaints, you’ll see that the number of complaints dropped during 2006 and 2007, but the numbers were still very high. 

The average cost of repairs didn’t drop, however. On the 2006 model, the repair costs average $4,170. For the 2007, it was slightly less at $3,610. In some cases, mechanics were able to rebuild the transmission, but this was still costly to the consumer. 

Lawsuits against Nissan

With so many costly repairs, it’s not surprising that Nissan has been sued. According to the North Carolina Consumers Council, Nissan was sued over the radiator and transmission problems that occurred in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 models.

In this case, Nissan reached a settlement. The Japanese automaker agreed to extend warranties and reimburse consumers for repairs if it met certain criteria. 

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only lawsuit Nissan faced over the Frontier. Top Class Actions reports that Nissan was sued for a defective timing chain in the Frontier, as well as several other vehicles. Nissan tried to get the case dismissed, but lost the case in 2016. 

It’s important to note that after 2007, the Frontier has very few complaints or repair notices, according to Car Complaints. Nissan may have had three rough years, but it was able to pull it together and make a dependable truck.