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.

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.

8.9

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
100,392 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace floor panels (5 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Nissan Altima body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 062016

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

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

I just purchased this car from a private seller, and I was not originally aware of this issue. I took it to be inspected, and the mechanic informed me that the floorboard was rusted out and needs to be replaced. I began looking for a body shop to take it to, then i came across websites where other car owners were having the same issue.

Obviously it is a defect in the Nissan Altimas as the Maximas are not/did not have the same problem. What makes it even more sad is that Nissan does not want to hold responsibility for correcting this defect. These are the types of situations that cause you not to purchase things from that brand ever again.

- , Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #6

Apr 302013

Altima GXE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,061 miles

i think it's pathetic how Nissan can claim to be the #1 selling car in Canada when your floor rusts completely out and you can see the road go by. I could not afford to fix this so I just stuck a piece of metal under the carpet so my feet wouldn't touch the road. I was quoted $1000.00 to fix it, if you have pay that much to fix the floor and also replace the engine. Yes, the engine a 2.5l, also went, thank god I had a warranty.

Why in the HELL would anyone want to buy a Nissan. If they want people to buy their product than step up to the plate and fix these problems, people can't afford to buy a a car and then spend $1000.00s to keep it on the road. Maybe it's time to buy a HONDA, way better product, and if I want to sell it, the name will sell it. Not like a Nissan, people will ask what's wrong with it? What a JOKE!! They lost my business, it's HONDA all the way. Never Invest Some Salary At Nissan.

- , Lr. Sackville, N.S, Canada

problem #5

Oct 012012

Altima SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

My 2003 altima has been garage kept and driven rarely. I noticed a small hole under the right side floor panel and mice getting into the car. After lifting up the carpet found it completely rusted out. Rusty metal just kept flaking off until there was a big hole.Not sure what to do. Going through paperwork to see about warranty and looking online for a replace floor panel. Very disappointed with Nissan!!!

- , Augusta, KY, USA

problem #4

Jul 252012

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

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

I took my car to an auto body shop for a recurring rust problem along the passenger rear (lower) door panel which had been previous fixed twice. He then proceeded to look underneath the car(he knew exactly what he was looking for) and informed me that the floor panels on both sides of my car are rusted out and that it happens to 99% of these cars. I was totally in shock; I love my nissan altima, but now after reading the numerous reports of other people with the same problem and the manufacturer not doing anything about it, I'm not so sure whether I'll ever purchase another vehicle from them. I'm hoping Nissan will do the right thing and recall our vehicles for repair without cost.

Update from Aug 8, 2012: When I purchased my 2003 Nissan Altima, I decided to have the undercoating done. I didn't realize that this undercoating came with a lifetime warranty. Therefore, I was able to get the repair work done on the floor panels without charge.

- , Lincoln, NB, Canada

problem #3

Jun 012012

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 139,000 miles

click to see larger images

rusted floor panels rusted floor panels rusted floor panels rusted floor panels rusted floor panels

2003 ALTIMA - FLOOR BOARD METAL ROTTING OUT - DRIVER SIDE THRU TO CARPET! - AND PASS SIDE ALSO STARTING TO ROT.

I HAVE ALL WEATHER MATS IN CAR FOR 6 YEARS, SO THIS IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE - BAD METAL AND/OR BAD DESIGN W/ PLUG FOR WINDSHIELD DRAIN WATER AS I READ.

WHO CAN WE HIRE FOR A CLASS ACTION SUIT ? ANYONE HAVE A GOOD SHARK OUT THERE ? -- AT ABOUT 1500$ TO FIX TOTAL I'M SURE FOR BOTH SIDES -- COMES OUT TO WHAT 2.0 BILLION FOR ALL 2002-06 ALTIMAS ?

Update from Jun 21, 2012: At least 3K to do it the right way per a collision shop ----- I will be filing my complaint on NHTSA also -- many pics to share -- The part is about $800 and another $700 to remove/replace existing hardware --

I'm sure I can get a cut and weld job also for less - but Nissan reccommends this New Part method for the crash damage shop work --

Will leave a msg w/ the president of PB NISSAN with lawyer and local newspaper article in near future - if they still do not compen$ate me at all.....

- , Toms River, NJ, USA

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problem #2

Mar 262012

Altima 3.5

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles

THe car is in pristine shape and was undercoated at the time of purchase (new). Just took off my winter tires today and realized the passenger side floor pan is completely rusted out, checked driver side and same issue. Called dealership and they said they are performing this repair often at $385 per side. But cannot help at all with the cost must call Nissan Canada. Customer service rep was no help, just kept on saying that the warranty has expired, I said I realize that but this is a design flaw....forums and websites are filled with altima owners with same issue. In the end they will do nothing for me, the manager would not even come on the phone to address a customer. Floorpans should not be rotting out on a 9 year old car regardless of warranty. Nissan knows this is a design problem but refuses to stand behind their product, which is really sad because until today I was a big fan I will not buy another Nissan product due to their poor customer service.

- , Grimsby, ON, canada

problem #1

Aug 082011

Altima S 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 51,263 miles

Purchased a brand new altima in 2003 with extended warranty and rust proofing. Brought it to the dealer for 7 years for regular maintenance. Just last week when I had the car rust proofed by Metropolitain rust, the individual tells me to follow him. So I do and he shows me 2 rusted floor panels and tells me that I am not the first nor the last. Every single altima he saw up to 2006 had ALL rusted panels. Big design flaw. Water that flows through the windshield is supposed to evacuate through a plug. Because the plug is not sealed properly, it leaks into between the floor boards and away it rusts.

Does any one know if there is a class action lawsuit against them. WE SHOULD. I spoke to a customer service rep at the dealer level and he was so nice to tell me that nissan is aware of this and that they did nothing about it. LETS SUE THOSE ?????. I AM IN.

- , Montreal, QC, Canada

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