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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,369 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 #13

Jul 012015

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles


2002 Nissan Altima. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle driver side floor panel rust eating away at floor boards. Updated 09/25/15

- Hopewell, VA, USA

problem #12

Dec 302011

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
While my mechanic was reattaching the bumper guard that had come loose, he noticed the rust on the floor pans under both front seats. My mechanic was able to flake off large pieces of rust. He pulled back the carpet and it was rusted all the way through. He said he hadn't seen this kind of rust on vehicles that are double the age of mine. The remainder of the undercarriage was rust free. I took the car into the Nissan dealer where I bought it, and the manager said it was caused by the salt/chemicals used on the roads in different parts of the country (apparently he was not including Nebraska). The manager stated that it must have been in an area of the country that uses corrosive materials on the roads. The funny thing is that when I purchased this car, the same man said he knew the previous owners and they took excellent care of the vehicle, always spotless and in for every maintenance check!! which time was he lying!!! come to find out, the car was purchased at a Nissan dealer here in omaha, and stayed in omaha the entire time. The Nissan dealer said they could not fix it, and they gave me a business card for a body shop!!! it would cost about $300, he told me, but I have found it would be closer to $2000. At that time, I hadn't even had the car a year. The dealership had to know about the rust when they sold it to me, which makes me very angry!! this is a severe safety issue! I am afraid that one day I will be driving down the highway, I'll fall through the floor, and of course, I will be killed, no doubt about it!! also, exhaust fumes could be getting into the passenger compartment. Please issue a recall before my car becomes a "flintstone" car and/or I am killed. Nissan is responsible for this safety issue, and they should take responsibility!!

- La Vista, NE, USA

problem #11

Oct 112012


  • 90,000 miles
The floors in the Altima are rotting out, this is 2002,2003,2004,2005,2006 and maybe later models. Obviously an engineering, design defect. Just read about this and checked my daughters 2002, just carpet on the passenger side. I haven't checked deeper, but other have reported rotted seat supports. Nissan body shop quoted $950 to repair/replace rotted area. I am lucky that I am able to cover the cost of her repair, other may not be so lucky. This information needs to be aired in the national press before we have a seat failure in a crash that results in death.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #10

Jul 212011

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles


2002 Nissan Altima front floorpans rotting through. I found out today and was shocked! the car is in excellent shape, but the inspection garage pointed out the rust. He said he sees it a lot on Altima at auction! I see online it is a huge problem, that Nissan wont admit to being at blame. It seem that a floor plug was never sealed at the factory and the rust starts at that point and just spreads! there should be a recall due to the safety issues associated with holes in your floors prematurely! the rest of the underside is solid, so it isn't due to road salt, or the whole floor would be rotted. Its a manufacturing issue that causes the problems on thousands of cars!

- Glenshaw, PA, USA

problem #9

Jun 162011


  • 166,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the front driver and passenger floorboard was rusting. The manufacturer and dealer were contacted but were unable to assist the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 166,000.

- St. Paul, MN, USA

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problem #8

Jun 132010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
2002 Nissan Altima has know had to have motor mounts replaced for a second time since purchase of vehicle. Motor mounts seem to be defective.

- Rio Rancho , NM, USA

problem #7

Oct 012010


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to a local mechanic to have new tires installed. The contact was informed that the vehicle frame exhibited an unusually large hole on the front passenger side of the vehicle. The contact called the dealer, who advised that he had not received any complaints in regards to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The current and failure mileage was approximately 70,000.

- Crystal Lake, IL, USA

problem #6

Apr 302010


  • 98,000 miles
Luckily any incidents were omitted. My mechanic discover that the undermount in my 2002 Nissan Altima rusted so badly that I have two holes in the car. The holes are in the under the driver seat and passenger seat. That is just an accident waiting to happen.

- Mount Prospect, IL, USA

problem #5

Apr 172010


  • 130,000 miles
I have a 2002 Nissan Altima and it has developed a large rust hole under the passenger and driver side floor pan. The car was rust proofed when it was purchased new. It has not been in any accidents. Other Altima owners have not had any luck with Nissan to correct this problem. This is a common problem/defect that Nissan refuses to correct.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #4

Mar 232008

Altima 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact noticed metal hanging from the bottom of her vehicle. There was a hole under the driver side, which exposed rotten metal. The vehicle was inspected and the floorboard was diagnosed as the cause of the failure. The sales dealer took pictures and sent them to the manufacturer. Most recently, the manufacturer stated that they could not be of assistance and that the warranty would not cover the corrosion underneath the vehicle. The sales dealer informed the contact that she would be responsible for the $6,000 repair cost. The current mileage was 89,000 and failure mileage was approximately 86,000. Updated 07/29/08. The consumer stated the vehicle has rusted out from the inside out. Updated 07/29/08.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #3

Jun 242006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


My wife was driving her 2002 Altima when the right front inner fender splash shield came loose and jammed against the tire. She though she had a blowout and nearly lost control of the car. Car had prior Nissan recall to install supplemental snow/ice shields. Also prior occurrence of this shield detaching at highway speeds. Nissan charged for reinstallation.

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #2

Feb 012005


  • miles
Request for recall of 2002 Nissan Altima's based on service bulletin-classification BT02-017, reference ntb02-042. The consumers vehicle had a severe leak on the drivers side. The defect caused extreme amounts of water to enter the vehicle.

- Mill Valley, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 272002

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,800 miles
While traveling 70mph on highway and without prior warning engine check light appeared on dashboard, indicating that vehicle caught on fire. The dealership was aware of the problem. There was a sudden loss of power, there was also a clicking sound as if it were coming from the fuel injection system, the oil light, and the light had illuminated.

- Mandeville, LA, USA

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