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: The 2013 Nissan Altima has multiple problem trends including the CVT transmission, and now that this model is out of warranty, it earns our "avoid like the plague" badge.

Owners complain about vibration and transmission failure related to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), a whining noise from the power steering pump, and constant windshield problems that appear to be the result of poor design.

Be warned: the 2014 & 2015 Nissan Altima appears to share these same problems.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,008 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.

2013 Nissan Altima drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 3 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #123

Mar 112016


  • 71,000 miles


I was stopped at an intersection when the vehicle started jerking and moving forward. I thought I got rear ended by the car behind me, so I turned the ignition off. It turns out the cvt was having issues. I turned the car back on and started driving.the car would feel like it was downshifting while driving, almost causing accidents with the vehicles behind me. I brought the car to the dealer where they said the cvt needed to be replaced.

- Huntley, IL, USA

problem #122

Mar 112016


  • 87,000 miles
Driving down road (pkw 55 miles per hr speed limit), started to loose power, RPM's dropped, slower till car would no longer go forward. Stopped in middle of rush hour traffic. Transmission had failed. Many reports of same problems with this cvt transmission on internet of transmission failing with no warning..

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #121

Feb 082016


  • 62,000 miles
I put my car in reverse and it would not move. It eventually started about 10 seconds later. Then when driving it began to sputter and jump in and out of acclerating. It did not accelerate correctly... I would push the gas pedal and it would not move, then it would jolt in to forward. The car barely got me to work. I took it to a Nissan dealer where they diagnosed it with a bad transmission. However, Nissan would not replace the transmission, even thought the car is only 2.5 years old... because it has 62,000 miles, which is 2,000 over the powertrain warranty. I have to pay one fourth the price of the car (which I still pay a note on) to replace the transmission.

- Bridge City, TX, USA

problem #120

Feb 152016


  • 50,000 miles


Transmission abruptly started bucking/malfunctioning while both traveling as well as at a stop sign. I took it to the dealer who could not replicate it, then it happened again, and again dealer could not replicate but put some software down. Then it happened again on the nys thruway---bucking to the point it was abruptly slowing down and I almost got hit by a semi. This time the dealer said the cvt transmission was bad. Car was purchased new 2 years ago and has 50K miles on it.

- Highland Mills, NY, USA

problem #119

Feb 292016


  • 39,898 miles
My car shuts off at traffic lights and hesitate upon take off..makes noises when I put it in park...I got this car in 2013 brand new..

- Jackson, MS, USA

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problem #118

Feb 292016


  • 80,000 miles
80K miles and tranny bearing gone!!

- Sandwich, MA, USA

problem #117

Feb 092016


  • miles


Car jutter & stalled when came to a stop. Took car to local Nissan dealership and they placed car on diagnostic which came back clear and could not duplicate problem for 2 days. Received car back and car did the same thing, took it to a different Nissan dealership that said they have heard of same complaints but they have had my car for 5 days and claim to not be able to duplicate the problem. Car warranty is almost up and Nissan seems to be of no help. Passenger airbag light also stays on from time to time. I have read and printed out several identical complaints and there seems to be no resolve.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #116

Sep 132015


  • miles
The vehicle would not accelerate after getting on the highway coming from the main street. Car had to be towed because the vehicle could no longer move. After review by mechanics they deemed the issue being the transmission. The car was newly purchased at 88K miles. No liability or responsibility was picked up Nissan after I was assured that the new cvt was great on the new models.

- Conley, GA, USA

problem #115

Feb 082016


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine and traction control warning lights illuminated. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was able to restart, but stalled immediately when the gear lever was shifted into drive. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Travelers, SC, USA

problem #114

Feb 012016


  • 15,000 miles
Loud vibrating sound when depressing the accelerator at 40mph and 70mph. At low rpms to car also vibrates around 25mph. It also vibrates at 40mph and 70mph when pressing on the accelerator.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #113

Sep 112015


  • 98,000 miles


The cvt transmission started jerking and shuttering before warranty was expired. I took it to the dealership and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Now that the warranty is expired it is getting worse. When driving down the highway it will jerk and shutter.

- Benton, AR, USA

problem #112

Jan 292016


  • 70,000 miles
While driving car shutters and stalls. Cuts off while at traffic light. Would start back up but shutts off. Got it towed to Nissan dealer but they said no codes found so nothing thyey can do. Car stalled again this weekend.while I was parked in my drive way car starts shutter and jerk forward while in park.

- Middletown, NY, USA

problem #111

Jan 142016


  • miles
My 2013 Nissan ultima driving on that highway stop and when off 20 sec later starts took it to the dealer they say I need a new transmission I only have 61,000 miles and they have a lot of complaints from different people they want me to pay almost $5000 but I did not get fixed

- Madison, TN, USA

problem #110

May 272015


  • 65,000 miles
Not 2 years yet of ownership (May 2015) and my car decides to not accelerate on me. I would have to floor it to get it to finally kick in and drive until I stopped at the next light. There were no warning lights or anything letting me know of any problems. Had 2 near collisions with my family in the car trying to get my car to the nearest dealer to have it checked out. Dealer thought it was transmission and alternator but upon warranty rep diagnosing vehicle, it was decided that it needed a new alternator. This is a huge concern for me and the safety of my family and passengers not to have a light go off to warn me of problems and just to have it happen while driving.

- Colton, CA, USA

problem #109

Jan 202016


  • 54,201 miles
While in motion on a city street I pressed the brake to slow down as a approach a traffic light. My vehicle shut off. I restarted the vehicle and each time I put the car into drive it would shut off again. I was unable to move the car from the street. This took place in the downtown district during the busiest time of the date.

- Ideal, GA, USA

problem #108

Dec 222015


  • 70,068 miles
When this issue first happened I was proceeding to leave the gas station from getting gas and my car just shut off right before I was about to enter onto the highway. I took it to the dealership and they couldn't get it to shut off on them and sent me home. The next time I started to get ready for my class and went to crank my car, it crank, but once I put it into drive it shut off. I had to get it towed to Nissan if vidalia and it took them 3 days to tell me that I needed a new transmission! I have not even had this car a year yet and already needing a new transmission. I purchased my car from Nissan of South morrow and they failed to inform me about an extended warranty so now I'm stuck with a car but cannot drive it because I do not have $3,600 to have it replaced. This is ridiculous and Nissan needs to put a recall on all cvt transmissions because this is very unsafe!!! they've did nothing to help me with my situation and I will never do business with them again!!!!

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #107

Dec 072015


  • 51,000 miles
I recently purchased a previously owned 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 sv and noticed almost immediately a shudder and juttering of the vehicle which suggested a load on the engine or transmission. It creates a relatively loud sound and a not very smooth ride. You can feel the vibration in the steering wheel. As I began to research what might be wrong I found that there have been numerous complaints about the cvt transmission by many owners. Fixes and/or explanations by the dealers have ranged from complete transmission, torque converter, valve body assembly and alternator replacement to reprogramming the transmission to dealer service departments suggesting that this is normal for a cvt transmission. I don't know of any published recall notices or service bulletins for this problem and from my research a good many instances occur after the 60,000 mile powertrain warranty has expired. Since I purchased this vehicle used and it has 51,000 miles on it I am very concerned that I may be facing a costly repair in the not too distant future. I bring this to your attention because I have already lived through this experience once before with a 2005 Ford five hundred with a cvt transmission which ended up costing me close to 2,000 dollars to have the dealer fix it out of warranty. In my view I firmly believe that manufacturers are having nightmarish problems with this type of transmission and so they are trying to bury the problem until warranty expiration because the cost incurred by the manufacturers of a mandated recall would cost them millions of dollars for a permanent fix. I implore you to begin an investigation into the viability and reliability of cvt transmission technology across all manufacturers so that the public can best be served by the truth, the inherent problems and the permanent resolution of what also can be a safety issue for many motorists. Thank you.

- Cortland, NY, USA

problem #106

Apr 302013


  • 3,000 miles
I have a bad rattle coming from the right side of my car along with a whine noise coming from the same area. Also have a very bad vibration/rattle in the car that seems to be from the transmission at acceleration from a start and acceleration while switching lanes on a city street. You can coast and press the gas again and then the whole car rattles. It has been in to a Nissan dealership and they said they can feel it but don't know where or what is causing it. Also headlights give very very poor visibility when driving at night and when raining at night.

- Washington, IL, USA

problem #105

Jan 022016


  • 36,000 miles
In less than three years and just over 36,000 miles we have serviced the transmission 3-4 times (I've lost count), had it brought in for brake noise (screeching) at least 4 times, and just this week the bearings in both rear wheels had to be replaced. The brakes screech is ear splitting. They reconditioned the surface of the rotors, re-shimmed the pads and replaced the pads 9 months ago. I warned them then that I knew this was only a temporary fix and that I was concerned that they would get noisy again once the warranty expires and that is exactly what has happened. A few months before that they shimmed the pads which made it better temporarily. I told them shims were a band aid for a design flaw and that it wouldn't last. Several weeks later it was back in the shop. The tranny has the shakes. It has been reprogrammed, the alternator was replaced because supposedly the voltage variation was affecting the timing of the tranny, and most recently a vale body was replaced. The oscillation problem is better for now but my wife had it buck again last week just not as bad. It's just a matter of time on this too. Their competitors do not have this problem. I am highly concerned that I have more bearing issues in the future. Two out of two bearing sets failing (the fronts bearings are different) is a 100% failure rate in less than 36K. All three problems (brakes, transmission and bearings) are known issues in this year, google it.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #104

Dec 262015


  • 64,207 miles
Car was driving down the road and stalled out on me completely as I was coming to a stop light about to get on interstate 81 in staunton va. I was able to restart the car back up, but the car would die out if I shifted it from park to drive. Local sheriff's deputy was kind enough to protect our car at this busy intersection as we waited for tow company. Dealership advised the torque converter had locked up. Once they had it up on lift, it disengaged and started working properly. However, the mechanic (who was very professional at valley Nissan in staunton va) advised me that it could break down again at any point. It was very scary when it died it in motion, so we went with the option to replace the torque converter and the transmission (advised that was the only option to really fix this issue). Repair bill from valley Nissan in staunton va is $3114.39 for transmission replacement. Googling cvt 2013 Nissan Altima issues brings a plethora of results. I am clearly not the only person to have this issue. This happened at 64,207 miles, - 4,207 miles over the factory warranty for the transmission. Can't understand how the people who work at Nissan could stand behind any product that has a failure rate of under 100,000 miles for a transmission in this world now. They made it seem like a failure at 60K miles was normal.

- Delmar, NY, USA

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