Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. 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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,260 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

problem #12

Mar 042011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


Floor boards rusted out, large holes in floor boards.

- Charlton, MA, USA

problem #11

Jan 172011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
2002 Nissan Altima has rotted out floor boards on both sides! I can see the underside of the carpeting! I have seen this in 2 of 2 cars that I have checked yet the dealers service department said they never heard of it! then I went into the parts department and they said its very common! I think service department is coached to say that they never heard of the problem! this is dangerous for many reasons! first of all something that was run over could come into the passenger compartment! the car is not as strong when the chassis of the car is compromised! I believe this problem is affecting over 50% of these vehicles! the dealer is acting like they have never heard of the problem and has no help available! I have also had to put an engine in this car because of a factory defect! they did a recall to put a shield in between the engine and catalytic converter but the engine has a hole in the side right where they all have a problem! these cars are junk and Nissan should be ashamed! instead they act like they don't know what your talking about!

- Ri, RI, USA

problem #10

Aug 232010


  • miles
I have mailed an official letter since the space provided is not sufficient for my complaint. The consumer stated during a recent oil change, the technician noticed an enormous rusted hole on the driver's side of the floor panel underneath the vehicle. The passenger side also had a big rusted spot where another hole was developing. The consumer was advised by a repair shop to replace the entire floor panel since it was so badly rusted. The consumer believed the defect was due to the absence of drain holes in the floor pan underneath the vehicle. The drain holes were visible to have been outlined, but they were never drilled through. The water from the air conditioner would get trapped on top of the floor panel and collect there, eventually causing rust. Updated IVOQ

- Champlin, MN, USA

problem #9

Sep 302010

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles


Passenger side floorboard on my 2002 Nissan Altima is rusted through. Vehicle was getting inspected last week and I was informed of the issue. Have done some research and appears I'm not the only Altima owner with this issue. The rust is a safety issue due to the rust hole I have in the floorboard. The rust is only of the passenger side no where else on the vehicle. Appears to be a defect on the 2002-2005 Nissan Altima. I know several others have filed complaints as well: ODI #10357667 ODI # 10358132.

- Moon Twp, PA, USA

problem #8

Apr 012010

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
Re: 2002 Nissan Altima. There is severe rust and corrosion in specific locations directly under both the driver and front passengers seats and floors. The corrosion appears to be related to two factory holes in the floor, one on each side of the vehicle. The corrosion on the passenger side of our car is less severe: A large area of rust but a relatively small hole (tennis ball size) through the sheet metal. The drivers side of the car has a large hole (soccer ball size) in the floor. This is the only major corrosion on the car (the "rear subframe" assembly was replaced in 2006 due to corrosion under a Nissan warranty program). The fuel filler neck is also rusty and does not seal properly, which can cause an engine alert when the fuel vapor seal leak reaches the point where the alert is triggered. There is little or no corrosion in the wheel wells or fenders. Based on two bids from auto body shops in this area, the cost to repair the rust damage will be between $2500 and $3200. I have taken photographs of approximately forty Altima in this area. All but five have corrosion in this specific area to varying degrees. It is clearly not limited to only the car we own. Nissan has a warranty program which covers rust perforation for a period of five years from the date of manufacture. I have spoken to a number of people at a dealer in this area regarding this problem. They claim that Nissan is aware of this problem on 2001 through 2005 Altima, but has chosen not to warrant it due to the expense, preferring instead to refuse to be responsible. Nissan will apparently take the cars in trade and sell them to wholesale auto operations where they are sold to customers who may or may not be aware of the problem. Updated IVOQ 11/05/10 the battery was replaced. Updated 12/22/10

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

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problem #7

Jun 152010


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While cleaning the vehicle, the contact noticed rust on the undercarriage near the front end of the vehicle. The contact stated that if you lift the floor mats up from the front driver and passenger sides he could see all the way through the vehicle because the frame was completely covered with rust. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that he had to pay to have the frame repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 95,000.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #6

Apr 102010


  • 66,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the frame was rusted and partially corroded from road salt. The dealer advised replacing the rear body and center floors at the contact's expense. There were no recalls on the vehicle. The manufacturer would not provide any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 66,000. Updated 10/27/10.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #5

May 102010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 134,000 miles
Had oil changed on 2002 Nissan Altima SE and notice large rust spots on the floor panels under both driver's and passenger side. Upon further investigation, the rust had created a hole right through the floor panel - lifting the carpet, I could see the road below. Nissan dealers said that it was out of warranty so they could do nothing.

- Cabot, PA, USA

problem #4

Aug 112009


  • 105,000 miles
The floor panel on my 2002 Nissan Altima has rusted through completely the hole is approximately 8X8 it is only on the passenger side which I find very peculiar.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Jan 072010

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While the contact was attempting to have her vehicle inspected she was informed that the frame of the vehicle was beginning to rust. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership and there were no prior warnings, the current and failure mileages were 72000. Updated 2/22/10 updated 05/20/10

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #2

Jun 182009


  • miles
Defective sheet metal design in floor pan of Nissan Altima, body style beginning with model year 2002. Design flaw caused large rust holes in front of driver and passenger seat, seemingly by trapping moisture. My holes approx 12" each. I am hearing similar complaints from other Altima owners. Perforation warranty was 5 years, and due to my dealership not noticing the problem within that period, Nissan claims no responsibility. These holes may alter the structural integrity of the body frame in case of side impact. Additionally, water enters the cabin and remains in the carpet and pad. My floor pan will need to be replaced, and am preparing to schedule the work. Nissans recommended local body shop has estimated repairs approx. $2300 us.

- Altoona, IA, USA

problem #1

Feb 092004

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,123 miles
During a routine brake job at the Nissan dealership it was noticed that I had a rear cracked cross member (frame). The frame of the body was cracked. Nissan would not take responsibility for the problem. I took it to a body shop they had recommended since they would not quote me a price. I had it fixed for $888.71. They replaced the rear crossmember. I do have the old cross member in my garage.

- Chadds Ford, PA, USA

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