CarComplaints.com Notes: Here's a disturbing trend for the 2002 Nissan Altima: the engine starts burning oil like crazy, the catalytic converter goes bad, the head gasket blows and eventually the entire engine needs replacement. Sound familiar? Like a script from a horror film, these Altimas seem doomed to fail around 95k miles.

1.9

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,837 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Nissan Altima body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #67

Apr 232015

Altima 6-cyl

  • 80,108 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The front floor boards of my 2002 Altima are rusting and rotting away. The safety issue is not only the obvious floor rotting from beneath me, but also the exhaust vapors that are entering the passenger compartment. There is a major design flaw that has caused the floors to rust and rot on vehicles in the North East. Because there is no recall, the dealer cannot help me. This should be a recall specific to the North East and needs to be done to rectify the faulty spraying of the undercarriage which was not sufficient to combat a normal North East winter. I bought this vehicle brand new and it has low miles. I have always kept up with maintenance and repairs for this vehicle inside and out. I should be able to pass this car on to my 16 year old son as a reliable first car. I cannot do that in good faith knowing the safety issue Altima and the NHTSA has allowed. Massachusetts is a difficult state for safety standards on owners of vehicles and I am fearful that if I have galvanized sheet metal welded to my undercarriage, it could possibly be considered not appropriate for the state's standards and cause me more financial burden. I would like to have Altima rectify this safety issue. How many complaints do there really need to be in order for the NHTSA to help? as of 4/23/15 I have counted almost 500 complaints specific to the floor boards of the 2002 Altima. Add those to the complaints to the 2003, 2004, 2005, etc. Of floor boards rotting in the North East and you can see these complaints need to be investigated. I will also file complaints with my local attorney generals office. Safety standards should be a priority of car makers as well as car owners.

- Medford, MA, USA

problem #66

Nov 032014

Altima

  • 105,000 miles
Floor board rusted through on the passenger side of the vehicle...apparently a common problem that other Nissan Altima owners are running into... the hole is about 20" in diameter and the carpet is falling thru the bottom at this point... there has been a segment on nbc news about the issue.

- Lewis Center, OH, USA

problem #65

Apr 112015

Altima

  • miles
My 2002 Nissan Altima has very badly rusted floor boards on both the driver and passenger sides. I noticed this problem started back in approximately 2010. I was walking away from the car an looked back and saw something hanging below the car on the driver side. It appeared to be a surface sheet of metal so I wasn't too worried about it and figured I was the only one who happened to get a bad car. But it has gotten worse since. There are large holes that go all the way through the floorboard. I heard about the news story on nbc and wanted to be sure you are aware of the extent of the problem and how many people cars are affected. I would appreciate being updated if there is any news on this apparently common problem or how I can rectify the problem.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #64

Apr 092015

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Took my car in for an oil change at my Nissan dealership to find out that both front passenger and driver floor boards were rotted out.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #63

Apr 012011

Altima

  • miles
Was doing work under my car and noticed the floorboard on my car rotted out on the driver side and crumbled in my hand. Had to cut out the bad section that had rust on it and rivet in a piece of galvanized sheet metal to replace it. Would like to see Nissan held accountable for this more and more common problem for the safety of those drivers who aren't aware of this or have the means to fix it themselves.

- Matawan, NJ, USA

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problem #62

Mar 022015

Altima

  • 165,000 miles
I discovered around this date that my drivers side and passenger side floorboards are rusted out and almost have holes all the way through the floorboard.

- Morehead`, KY, USA

problem #61

Mar 042014

Altima

  • 82,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Body and frame of car rusted out leaving a 6-inch by 10-inch hole in the floorboard. The rust hole is located under the driver's seat, on the frame, and around the jack reinforcement. The hole, deemed a structural flaw, is the reason the car failed its safety inspection in Virginia. The estimated prices to repair the hole ranged from $2,500 to $5,000.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #60

Apr 032015

Altima

  • 96,000 miles
My dad recently informed me that he saw a story on the news about Nissan Altima's and rusted out floorboards. Sure enough, my floorboards on the driver and passenger sides are in bad shape. Especially the driver side. The car looks like new otherwise. I am the original owner and have taken my car to state line Nissan for all maintenance. Nobody there ever told me that this was happening under my car. I looked online and found quite a few Nissan Altima owners with the same problem. Some of the complaints go back 5 years. It is clear that Nissan knows about this design flaw and wants to avoid a costly recall. I went to hendrick collision center in merriam Kansas who are in the Nissan network for repairs. It will take 10 days and cost $3,232.38. I then took the car to Santa Fe body Inc. Which is an independent body shop. They have already done some other Altima's and charge $500 per side for $1000. They cut out the rusted area and replace it with sheet metal. This will take 1-2 days. The NHTSA needs to force Nissan into a recall as it is a design flaw and safety issue. People are driving around in cars not knowing that the floor below them is rusting all the way through. I feel Nissan should pay for this repair since it is a design flaw. My mom lives 5 minutes away and has a 1995 Nissan Altima without this floorboard problem.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #59

Dec 012014

Altima

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the floorboards were completely rusted. The dealer diagnosed that the floorboards needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Raytown , MO, USA

problem #58

Dec 112013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
A section of the floor-pan under the front driver and passenger feet rusted completely out. Both holes look identical a rectangular hole just forward of the seats between the frame ridge and the rocker panel about 16 inches long.and 4 inches wide.

- De Forest, WI, USA

problem #57

Jun 122014

Altima

  • 116,001 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Passenger side floor board completely rotted out. I bought my car 2 1/2 years ago (purchased in 2012) from a Nissan dealer and they put a inspection sticker on my car which it should of never got one. I looked under the car at the time of the sale but I didn't see any holes because they popped riveted a plate to cover the damage and painted it so it looked like nothing was wrong. I just recently brought my car in for service and the plate fell off and you can see my carpet from the outside of the car. Granted my car is 12 years old but the rust is so bad that it looks like a 30 year old car.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #56

May 012014

Altima 6-cyl

  • 97,876 miles
Purchased car used from Nissan dealer in 2005 with 33,936 miles on it. Although I live in the midwest and am exposed to road salt, I very seldom drive my car in the winter, if at all. For the past several months I've noticed "orange" spots on the garage floor where I park. At first I thought it was a fluid leak, however, when my husband went to change the oil we noticed a hole, 3-4" in diameter, on the driver's side floor board, where the opener for the fuel compartment is located. Upon further examination, we observed a rusted area approximately 2ft X 1ft waiting to break through. Now, if this is not a safety hazard I don't know what is. I currently have a rag stuck in the hole to avoid any road debris from hitting me and fumes from entering the passenger compartment. After researching this issue I discovered that this is a common problem with the 2005 model year, but mine is a 2002. This may indicate Nissan has been allowed to sell this defective product for a much longer period of time. I have owned several vehicles over my lifetime, which I keep as long as possible, and have never encountered a situation like this. It's been my understanding that automobile manufacturers had remedied this problem years ago ! please, someone, make Nissan accountable !

- Curtice, OH, USA

problem #55

May 122014

Altima

  • 117 miles
The vehicles floor boards on both passenger and driver are rusting and there is a whole that you can see the ground. I have done research and have seen hundreds of vehicles in the same year as mine having this same issue. Nissan can blame it on salt all they want, but how is it that other vehicles don't have this issue? I think it's an issue with the car itself, it just doesn't make sense. This needs to be a recall.

- Sanborn, NY, USA

problem #54

Mar 172014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I took my car in for 100,000 basic tune-up estimate. I have had no serious issues with the motor, nor with the body or reliability of this vehicle. I pointed out to the mechanic a piece of metal was hanging from the undercarriage of my passenger side and asked him if it was from my exhaust. He checked further and indicated with shock and surprise that "no, it was from my undercarriage", "the hole appearing before me contained my interior carpet". I screamed in horror! literally, I did yell out of frustration and fear as I have small dogs and when I travel, I have one that does get on the floor and sniff around. He could have easily fallen through if the carpet was not secure! I was in shock and actually still am and don't know what I am going to do with my car. I am sad because it was a good car. I wanted to drive it until 200,000 miles because the engine still has the ability to get up and go! since Monday I've frequented many websites and have seen this has been an ongoing issue with many 2002 Nissan Altima owners and find it very sad that the motor and body of a car outstand the actual framework. This makes me feel really safe on the road today. What are we putting on our roads in the winter, acid" I keep my car clean too. I'm not a person with a lot of money so I am in limbo right now. I'm hoping you can help" thank you.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #53

Dec 022013

Altima

  • 93,000 miles
Front floorboards both driver and passenger are entirely rusted away. Area adjacent to the outer sill about 14 inches in length and 9 inches in width has no structure remaining. Affected area appears to have consisted of two thin sheets of mild steel.

- Hillsville, VA, USA

problem #52

Nov 232013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 94,385 miles
While inspecting my vehicle I noticed on both the driver and passenger sides there is an excessive amount of rot under the vehicle. While inspecting further and lifting the carpet from the front floor boards it has rotted through to the inside of the vehicle. Upon searching the internet I've found this to be a huge issue over the years and would like feedback.

- Meriden, CT, USA

problem #51

Sep 172008

Altima 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
During a safety inspection I was recently shown two large holes in the floor pan of the car that have obviously been rusting for quite a long time. I was advised that this is a safety concern because of the extent of the damage and their locations under the driver and passenger seats. Further research on the internet has proven this is a common problem for all the Altima of this era. The inspection shop also told me that they have seen it many times before on Altima. Nissan is not receptive to any complains about this problem from what I have read and it's clearly a generic problem with this car. Since this problem obviously started a long time ago with no one noticing it I have made an estimate as to the date and mileage when it may have first been noticeable. The car currently has 72000 miles on it.

- Selden, NY, USA

problem #50

Oct 092013

Altima

  • 98,026 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that an independent mechanic informed him that the under carriage was corroded near the front passenger's side floor board. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 98,026.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #49

Oct 022013

Altima

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that upon inspection, it was found that the floorboards were rusted. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where the failure was confirmed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN and failure mileage was unavailable.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #48

Sep 222012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
On above date fount that there was substantial rust on the driver and front passenger floorboards. There is no other rust on the vehicle due to car being garage-kept at home. Rust is completely through the floorboard on the passenger side in a few small areas. Cost to repair at one body shop is $2303. Estimator at shop stated that this should not be happening to a car that is this old and with the mileage it has. Have found on the internet that this is a common problem with Altima from 2002 to at least 2006 model years. My wife and I have been the only owners of this vehicle. Nissan dealer has been used for multiple repairs and oil changes and never indicated the rust problem which is visible under the car (they do a safety inspection of the vehicle as part of their normal service procedure when they have pointed out other issues with the vehicle over the years). I take my car to the Nissan dealer in chantilly, va.

- Centreville, VA, USA

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