NHTSA Investigates Nissan Titan XD With 5.0L Cummins ISV V8 Over Crankshaft Failures

In production since 2003 for the 2004 model year, the Nissan Titan came with the 5.6-liter Endurance V8 as the only engine in the lineup. The VK-series powerplant is featured in the second-gen truck as well, although Nissan further sweetened the deal with the short-lived Cummins ISV turbo diesel V8.
Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8 9 photos
Photo: Nissan / edited
Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8Nissan Titan XD with 5.0L Cummins ISV V8
Offered between the 2016 and 2019 model years, the 5.0-liter engine develops 310 horsepower and 555 pound-feet (752 Nm) of torque at full chatter. The Nissan Titan XD, which is the heavier-duty version of the Nissan Titan, offers more than 12,000 pounds (5,443 kilograms) of towing capacity with said V8.

Still produced by Cummins for commercial applications, the ISV is under investigation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal watchdog is looking into the Titan XD-specific ISV due to 10 owner complaints filed through the NHTSA's website. Said reports allege the loss of motive power. What's more, the Office of Defects Investigation is aware of a confidential number of Early Warning Reporting field reports.

As implied by the headline, crankshaft failure leads to the aforementioned condition. A failed crankshaft also means no ability to restart, and the remedy for a failed crankshaft is the replacement of said engine. According to the Office of Defects Investigation, multiple process changes were implemented by Cummins between the 2016 and 2019 model years.

A preliminary evaluation is the ODI's way of assessing the scope, frequency, and severity of a given issue. Of course, the NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation further assesses the safety implications. In this case, there's no denying that stalling at high speed increases the risk of a crash.

Nissan Titan XD with 5\.0L Cummins ISV V8
Photo: Nissan
If the preliminary evaluation determines that Nissan is required to fix the Titan XD with the Cummins ISV, the Japanese automaker might end up recalling an estimated 38,763 pickup trucks on behalf of the engine manufacturer. A few customer-submitted complaints mention the failure mileage, which ranges between approximately 52,000 and 100,000 miles, which is 83,686 and 160,934 kilometers in metric.

One owner had the crankshaft sensor replaced one hour before the crankshaft went kaput. Another one told the NHTSA that the connecting rod cap on cylinder number 3 came loose, therefore dropping in the oil pan. The crankshaft understandably gave up the ghost in no time at all, thus seizing the engine.

As we wait for the NHTSA to do its thing, it's important to remember that Nissan will discontinue the Titan after the 2024 model year due to abysmally poor sales. A meager 15,063 units were delivered in the United States in 2022, whereas the sales reports for the first three quarters of 2023 total 15,407 units.

At the moment of reporting, the 2024 Nissan Titan carries a sticker price of $45,770 (as opposed to $22,400 for the first model year of the first gen). The Titan XD is $51,930 sans destination charge, which is quite a bit more than the $40,290 starting price for the first model year of the second gen. Truth be told, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD came standard in S Crew Cab 4x2 flavor as opposed to SV Crew Cab 4x4 for MY24.
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 Download: NHTSA investigation into the Nissan Titan XD 5.0L Cummins ISV V8 (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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