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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,752 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.

2003 Nissan Altima body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Aug 142012

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the front driver and passenger side floor boards were rotting. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and the dealer advised the contact to take the vehicle to a body repair shop. The contact did not take the vehicle to a body shop. The failure mileage was 147,000. Updated 10/11/12 the consumer stated the vehicle was due to be repaired on Sept 14, 2012. Updated 10/11/2012

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #24

Jul 012011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
One day I was driving and I heard something scraping on the bottom of my car, I pulled over to see that the bottom of my floor board was dragging on the floor. It just completely rusted out without warning and there is a huge hole. I have no rust on any part of my vehicle, it runs great, the body is in good condition it is garage kept, and I have a whole on my passenger side floor board. The only rust spot on the whole car! and how many complaints does it take before Nissan has to recall this? I have read over 50 complaints on this..... unacceptable.

- O Fallon, IL, USA

problem #23

Jul 142012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
1. the floor under the front passenger has rotted out making this car very unsafe. This is the most important one. The other ones I list because I am disappointed with the life of this car and because I have heard of multiple stories of the similar complaints. 2. the door handle broke off on the front driver side and on the passenger rear side. 3. gas cap will not close/open properly 4. trunk latch will not close. 5. moon/sun roof is off its hinge and will not work properly. 5. plastic part of the key broke not allowing it to attach to a key chain.

- Norwood, MA, USA

problem #22

Dec 082011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


I took my car in to midas, burlington, MA for brake assistance, and while up on the lift the technician pointed out that the front passenger floor panel was very rusted. Warned not to use that spot when jacking up the car when changing a tire, etc. (mentally add this to $$ to spend this year...) had my car at ntb in cambridge, MA to check a front end rattle and the mechanic showed me the rust again. He is also a state safety inspector and wanted to let me know since it was rusted though it would not pass state inspection (due in August). Next stop was a local body shop and the estimate was $2K. Then saw so many complaints for the same problem for the Altima. I feel this is a known defect and should be paid for by Nissan. My car is well care for and maintained and is rotting!!

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #21

Jan 062012


  • 150,000 miles
Pursuant to a non-related incident, my Nissan certified insurance adjuster warned me of the unusual rust formed holes on the drivers and passengers side floor boards. According to him, this is a very unusual rust issue that he has only noticed on older (2002-2003) Nissan Altima's. I have initiated my own research and have found that this is a wide-spread problem with Altima's, irrespective of mileage, where some have reported the problem at 50,000 and others at 160,000 miles. Despite the many complaints, Nissan has refused to issue a safety recall and has done nothing to help those who have been affected by the rust problem. Many, who had the problem, continued to drive without the knowledge thereof, until a mechanic or auto dealer informed them of the issue, as was the case with my Altima. As such, I can imagine that even more Altima drivers are affected, yet Nissan refuses to take responsibility. There must be a viable alternative to reach a resolution.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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problem #20

Jun 072012


  • 84,800 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima sl. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for an unrelated repair where it was detected that the front passenger side floorboard was completely rusted. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and they were unable to provide assistance. The approximate failure mileage was 84,800.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #19

Jun 112012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 84,699 miles


I went to have car inspected and found out the passenger side floor board is rusted completely through, this is some sort of defect as I am reading more people are experiencing the same problem....Nissan will not cover this repair. Something needs to be done to help!

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #18

Jul 112011


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the floor boards, front and rear suspension and the right and left stabilizer links were all covered with rust. The dealer and manufacturer were notified, but denied any assistance with repairing the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 112,000 and the current mileage was 124,000.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #17

Jan 162012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact noticed a hole in the floor of the vehicle, which could cause fumes to enter inside the cabin of the vehicle. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was aware of the failure but failed to offer any assistance. No repairs were performed. The current mileage was 113,000 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #16

Nov 052011


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the floorboard on the front driver and passenger sides of the vehicle were rotting. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and a claim was filed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was not repaired. The contact was awaiting a return call from the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Gonic, NH, USA

problem #15

Oct 122011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 73,390 miles


Drivers side floor rusting through from inside to outside, was told it would need to be repaired in order to pass state inspection. Was told eventually exhaust fumes may leak inside of vehicle through rotted floor. Car only has 73,000 miles on it. Worried that corrosion will work its way to the seat support and will fall through.

- Trucksville, PA, USA

problem #14

Jun 012011


  • 70,000 miles
Passenger side floorboard has rotted out. It is an obvious defect since all other floorboards are rust free. Nissan is aware of problem because they repair this problem on a daily basis.

- Monroeville, PA, USA

problem #13

Apr 092011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100,311 miles
Passenger floorboards completely rusted through opening a 16in long by 8 in wide hole in passenger floor. No other rust anywhere else found on vehicle. Appears rust originated around floor plug.

- Topsfield, MA, USA

problem #12

Mar 202011


  • 108,000 miles
Floor board rusiting on 2003 Nissan Altima, both driver and passenger side.

- Brookfield, OH, USA

problem #11

Jul 072010


  • 115,000 miles
2003 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE with both floorboards rusted through.

- Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #10

Dec 022010


  • 105,000 miles
Upon inspection of the undercarriage, a hole about the size of a softball had rusted through the floorpan on the passenger side. The vehicle is kept in a garage and is regularly cleaned and waxed. The corrosion problem seems to be a systemic issue with Altima based on NHTSA complaints and internet searches. Nissan chooses to ignore the issue which could present a safety issue if exhaust fumes get into the passenger compartment

- Covington, KY, USA

problem #9

Aug 142010


  • miles
2003 Nissan Altima has large rust, bubbling area under passenger seat. I am the original owner. The car is garaged. Will not pass state inspection next time. This is a frequent complaint online.

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #8

Nov 132010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
The body underneath the passenger floorboard has prematurely rusted through (7"X3" hole) due to an obvious improperly sealed hole in the structure. Same hole on driver's side was sealed and body appears to be in good condition with no rust. Dealer quote to repair is $1100, or $3000 to replace entire floorboard. Dealer stated they have seen several of same issue in last month on one or both sides of car. Filed complaint with Nissan, but they will not acknowledge manufacturing issue or offer any compensation for repair. Numerous complaints in NHTSA database echo same issues. Weakened/rusted through floorboard can be safety issue due to compromised body structure and potential point of entry of fumes into passenger area. Updated 01/18/11 pictures received 01/27/11

- Bayside, WI, USA

problem #7

Nov 152010

Altima 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
Floor board panels on 2003 Nissan Altima on passenger and drivers side rusting through from inside out. I am the original owner, car has 74,000 miles on it car was in for service when it was brought to my attention. Updated 01/28/11 pictures received. Updated 02/03/11

- Roselle, IL, USA

problem #6

Aug 122010

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Nissan Altima 4 cyl. Automatic. Front end under body all the steel parts ar rusted. The oil pan is rusted so bad it was leaking oil all over my driveway. I had to remove the oil pan not to mention the rusted bolts holding the pan. Under the front passenger the floor is starting to rust so far is only a size of 1/2 a dollar. Way too many complaints about this. Please do something the dealer tells me they have no information or complaints about this. Nissan is denying there is a wide spread problem.

- North Brunswick, NJ, USA

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