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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 1
Average Mileage:
85,871 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #16

Aug 102016

Altima

  • miles

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

The contact owned a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that another vehicle sped through an intersection and crashed into the front passenger side of the her vehicle. None of the air bags deployed. The driver sustained whiplash, head injuries, and the seat belt failed to provide proper restraint. The front passenger also sustained whiplash and extensive injuries. Medical attention was received and the front passenger was transported away by an ambulance. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to a yard. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was not available.

- Monroe, LA, USA

problem #15

Apr 292014

Altima

  • miles
Air bag sensor the light turns on and off when a passenger sit in the seat. The sensor was reprogrammed in 4/2104. The OCS sensor continues to come on and off still defected. I had it rechecked when the car was brought in for a front hood latch at this time I was told the sensor on the airbag was bad and needed to be replaced and it would cost me $700. I refused to pay and it needed to be taken care of from Nissan as it is a defected part not from a wear and tear. Dealership called Nissan they agreed to pay for part but I would be responsible for labor. I contacted Consumer Affairs and was told very contradicting answers from them and the regional specialist. I will say the people I talked with sounded very uneducated about the products and issues with their cars. It sounded as though they were reading scripts and never heard my situation of all that had occurred with is OCS sensor. I talked with several people from Consumer Affairs, so called regional specialist and customer service of which represent Nissan. I have 4 different reference numbers. The customer service with Nissan has not been cooperative or helpful at all. I continue to hear it's not under warranty and they can not help me. This could be a lawsuit if something happened and this airbag does not open.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #14

Sep 012015

Altima

  • 200,000 miles
The seats had been removed in order to clean the carpet and upholstery in the car when the dash and steering wheel air bags suddenly went off. The car was sitting stationary and was not moving at the time.

- Denham Springs, LA, USA

problem #13

Sep 012015

Altima

  • 200,000 miles

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

The seats were removed in order to clean the carpet and upholstery in the car when the side air bags went off. The car was sitting stationary and was not moving at the time.

- Denham Springs, LA, USA

problem #12

Jan 152015

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that when the ignition was turned to the on position, the air bag warning light illuminated. The failure recurred continuously. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that all of the vehicle's air bags were not functioning and the back of the front passenger seat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 180,000. Updated 5/29/15 the consumer stated the first failure, the side curtain air bag light turned off. Two months later, the air bag light started flashing and all the air bags failed. Updated 05/10/16.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

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problem #11

Aug 062009

Altima 4-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
There was an initial right passenger door impact, and front bumper impact by a hit and run driver. Followed by a cement barrier impact on the drivers door and front left bumper. The final impact was via a palm tree placed at 20 feet by cal trans on the 101 freeway South bound oxnard, ca at rose avenue exit. The final impact occurred on the front left bumper. Front left quarter panel, and left front drivers door. Chemistry professor [xxx]. was killed. The air bag failed to deploy. The car was well maintained with no structural damage prior to this accident, no electrical problems, and no mechanical problems. The tires and brakes were new with well known brand names. The air bags failure to deploy contributed to my husbands death as he died of a head injury. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Carpinteria , CA, USA

problem #10

Apr 162013

Altima

  • 80,000 miles

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

My husband was on his way to work when another car hit him head on. Both air bags came out. His right hand had a deep cut on it. It required stitches. We don't know if the air bag cut his hand or the canister put the cut on his hand.

- East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #9

Oct 102010

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
In October 2010 the air bag light flashing, result: Retrieved code B1129-rh side air bag module open circuit, not detected at the time, code was in past tense. May have intermittent fault. Cleared code and light stayed off at the time. In July 2011 the air bag was flashing again retrieved code B1129-rh again. This time they said seat back needs to be replaced and/or needs a sensor unit. I find this a manufacture issue and responsibility, due to the fact that this car has never been in a car accident or abused. The air bag is not a tire to go bad, if one was in a car accident and replaced it at a private place that is another story! it is not fair for the same code (B1129-rh) once they just turned off and once they say you need to replace it.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #8

Sep 152009

Altima

  • 74,000 miles
My car shut of on me while driving at night which was hard to see because the headlamps didn't give much light and both airbags deployed and my seat belts don't work either...I own a 2003 Nissan Altima...the car would usually turn of on me like that but not a higher speeds...the car's engine has been making a loud noise it had 3 recalls for it( headlamp recall, engine exhaust recall, & engine cooling recall) before I had this done I had a service engine light on which came out as P0420, P0240, and had 3 P0335...after I had the "recall done"...a week later my car "blew a head gasket" and I had a code P0300...I immediately got it fixed for like $1300...after that...2 weeks later I got a service engine light on which came out as P0335, P0240, & P0420...I've also been in contact with Nissan Consumer Affairs...I've been in touch with a regional specialist which can't really help me at all...Nissan dealer like to take money for diagnosis and tells me the car is unsafe to drive...my car still shuts off and sometimes it doesn't even start...when the car start up it makes a loud engine noise...so right now my car shuts off at any speed rate now just low speeds, I don't have airbags in the car, engine makes a loud noise, sounds like there's something like a rock in the catalytic converter, and my car's seat belts don't work.

- Huntington Park, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 092009

Altima 4-cyl

  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 40 mph in rainy weather conditions, the vehicle suddenly crashed into the rear of the proceeding vehicle. The police and ambulance were notified. A police report was filed. There were minor injuries sustained to both vehicle occupants. The vehicle was completely destroyed and towed to a salvage facility. The air bag system failed to deploy with the massive level of impact. The contact had concerns of the safety risk involved. The failure and current mileages were 136,000. Updated 10/29/09 air bag failed to deploy at 40 mph. The vehicle was totaled. Updated 10/29/09.

- West Point , MS, USA

problem #6

Jul 172007

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Altima. While driving 35 mph uphill, the contact's husband rear ended another vehicle. The passenger side air bag deployed, but the driver side air bag did not. As a result, he sustained chest and head injuries. The vehicle was destroyed and a police report was filed. The failure and current mileages were 50,000.

- Macingin, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 142006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
: the contact stated without incident the airbag light started to blink intermittently. The dealership stated the airbag needed to be replaced.

- Sun City, AZ, USA

problem #4

Jun 062006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,943 miles
(1) car was backed into by a heavy truck, weighing over 2 tons. The impact was at a speed of approximately 15 mph. Car was at rest, the offending vehicle was in motion. (2) the 2003 Nissan Altima 2.5S was severely hit. Car was violently hit and has suffered extensive front end damage to the bumper, fenders, grille and back into the radiator, alternator and other belts. Both the driver side and passenger side airbags failed to deploy. I was hit into the steering wheel. Had there been a passenger, they too would have been hurt. (3) car is in the care of the towing company, waiting the inspection of the claims adjuster of the offending party.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #3

May 132005

Altima

  • miles
I purchased a 2003 Nissan Altima on 5/13/2005. After the purchase it was sent for detailing while I finished the finance paperwork. When I returned home (about 11pm) I showed my wife the car. She noticed a dent on the dashboard covering the passenger airbag. This dent was not present at the time of purchase. I immediately informed the person who sold me the car and he said that when we brought it in on Monday it would be taken care of. However it is now 18 days since purchase and we are still arguing with them to take care of it, their reason being that because it was a used vehicle it was sold as is and I did not inform them of the dent until after I drove it off the lot. That is not my main concern. I wish to know if this "dent" can cause the airbag to malfunction. I was told by a Nissan service department technician that this dented panel is an entire airbag assembly and not a separate part. I would appreciate it if you could investigate whether this is a safety concern (my wife is afraid to drive it) or if it is simply a dent. If you find that there is a possibility that the airbag "could" fail as a result of this dent, does the dealer have to replace the part? the car still has some of the original factory warranty and I also purchased an extended warranty. Since we are without this car at the moment (for another reason entirely) and arguing with the dealer time is an issue. If you could get back to me asap, I (and my wife) would greatly appreciate it.

- M, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 122004

Altima

  • miles
Consumer's vehicle accelerated from a stop and hit two vehicles head on. Upon impact, none of the airbags deployed. Driver sustained head injuroes.

- Sheridan, AR, USA

problem #1

Mar 122003

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles
Airbags did not deploy during a collision.

- Henderson, NV, USA

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