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 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #103

Dec 022015


  • 38,000 miles


Purchased car may of 2013, pre-owned certified and only 21000miles. From onset of ownership, brakes made noises, "cyclop brake light in rear window would blink constantly, dash lights would go from dim to bright all the time. The car would hesitate when leaving stop position, pushing electronic start button would not work often. Dealership always said that the situation could not be duplicated. On Dec. 2nd, 2015 while driving home I was approaching a stopped car in the middle of the road and tried to slow below the 20mph I was driving and the brake pedal went all the way to the floor and all dash lights went blank and the car stalled resulting in a collision. The car would not start for over 2 hours. The dealership asked about the key fob location and battery condition and the batteries were good and key fob was on front seat where it always was. I filed a customer complaint with Nissan Consumer Affairs on Dec, 4th 2015 and constantly got run-arounds with no call backs several time. I was left without a vehicle and no help from dealership or Nissan Consumer Affairs. While reading the many complaints of other Altima's I was so concerned with my safety and health I purchased another car. I believe I had an electrical issue from the beginning and it could not be diagnosed and it ended up with a collision involving another car.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #102

Oct 302015


  • 84,001 miles
I bought a 2013 Nissan Altima from enterprises car sales with 44,669 miles on it, at 1 month later I started having transmission problems but every time I would take the car back the problem would go phantom. At 8 month later the transmission goes out. Enterprise lied and said that I never reported the problem. It is not normal for a transmission to go out so soon, what can I do about this?

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #101

Nov 292015


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving at 15 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. In addition, on some occasions, the vehicle vibrated severely while idling. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the continuously variable transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 69,000.

- Augusta, KS, USA

problem #100

Nov 302015


  • 82,340 miles


The nature of my complaint is centered around the now defunct transmission (cvt) in my 2013 niss alt sv only has 82000 miles on it. The car has been driven primarily as a commuter car to and from work everyday (164 miles) roundtrip. There were no codes, had the car checked by the local auto zone. The first noticeable problem occurred on Sunday, November 29th, 2015, I was coming home from about a 150-mile trip and stopped to take a restroom break, parked the car, ran into the store, came back out and cranked it up. When I started to backup the car bobbled and shuttered something fierce and went dead. After making it to the interstate I traveled about 15 miles to the next town, when I got to the stop light the car died. I managed to crank it back up and get her going again on my way home. After making it home the car was parked until the next morning. Going back to work the next day with no problems (Nov 30th, 2015), on the way home from work, I started to notice that the car was very sluggish in response to throttle and felt like it wasn┐T downshifting, something was right┐I immediately called the Nissan dealership and setup service for December 03, 2015 and told them that the transmission needed to be looked at. About 3 miles from the house the car was having some definite problems with acceleration. I managed to make it home and parked the car thinking nothing of it. A couple of hours later I decided to leave for a bite to eat, when I got in and put it in gear, nothing, the car would not move in forward or reverse. Called Nissan usa and opened a case, had the car towed to the dealership Dec 01, 2015. The next day Dec 02, 2015 the dealership called and said the transmission had an ┐internal failure┐ (no codes) and the cost to repair would be around $3200, Nissan is refusing to pay for the faulty transmission and denies that there is a ongoing problem with the cvt.

- Perkinston, MS, USA

problem #99

Dec 022015


  • 51,365 miles
My car jerks hard at low speed around 15-20 mph while decelerating on city streets. In bumper to bumper traffic the cvt tranny is at its worse. It feels like the tranny can't decide what it needs to do. Also, between 60-65 mph on the highway there is a judder feeling like the car is moving across a wash board. Took car to the dealer on 02dec15, tcm was reprogramed. 08dec15, car has the same issue.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

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problem #98

Oct 012014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled in the park gear and hesitated to restart. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #97

Nov 012015


  • 29,000 miles


Power shifter will not move out of park unless you pay Nissan $1000 to repair. You can do a manual override using a screwdriver, but if you forget to put the brakes on, you will go into reverse automatically which can damage the transmission, or cause an accident. This is also a problem with the Nissan titan truck. Nissan said it was caused by a drink being spilled, and it only takes a drop or two. I accidentally bumped my coffee cup when getting into the car. A dealer tried to clean the shifter, but it didn't work, and they charged me $120 dollars. Car is stationary.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #96

Nov 022015


  • 29,000 miles
Just purchased Nissan Altima 2013 sl with 24,000 miles still under new car warranty in Sept. Paying $400 monthly. Accidentally bumped coffee cup when getting into car. A few weeks later the shifter sticks in park, and you can't get it out unless you pay Nissan $1000 to replace it. I payed them $120 to clean. It didn't work. The Nissan North american office called me to tell me that they would do nothing. This is a known manufacturer design issue. My boss has a $45,000 Nissan titan, and he has to use a screw driver like I do to push down in the little opening beside the gears. You have to lift the little box lid to the left of the gears. Nissan has known about this for years. I am single, and struggling to make the car payment already, and I work in a real bad area. My safety is a concern if I can't leave as quickly as I enter the car. Nissan denies that this is their fault and is trying to stick it to Nissan consumers. I will never buy another Nissan, and have already told 2 Altima owners about this problem, and will tell everyone I see who is considering purchasing a Nissan, or has one. This happens when the car is in park.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #95

Sep 112015


  • 76,000 miles
The continuously variable transmission failed while going down the interstate. The car would maintain speed but was very, very slow to accelerate and when I exited the interstate, it only idled and would not accelerate from a stop for several minutes. Eventually it sputtered and I was able to limp it to the dealership that, by the grace of god, just happened to be at that same exit in vicksburg, Ms. After doing research while stuck at the hotel this seems to be a very common problem the the cvt's in 2013 Altima. this one is 49 pages!!

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #94

Feb 012015


  • 15,000 miles
The issue first started two (2) months after I purchased the vehicle, making a shutter/power surge feeling under acceleration. The brakes also shuttered, the backup camera went in and out, there were numerous recalls for the vehicle as well. I brought it to the dealership and they "fixed" all of the issues with some software updates, resurfaced the rotors, and also replaced the side mirrors. The transmission seemed better for a couple of months. Then the issue started again, the car would make a loud grinding noise and would shutter at lower speeds now. I brought it back and they could not replicate the issue, so I left. I brought it back a third time when it started getting worse and the entire transmission was replaced under warranty. I got the car back and now the problem is happening with the transmission. It shutters violently and happens at all speeds under acceleration. I brought it back for the fourth time and they could not "replicate" the issue and told me to monitor the issue and if it happens again to bring it back immediately and they would look at it. Today 09/16/15 it was worse than other days so I called the dealership and they said there was nothing they could do because they were too busy to see me. It still shudders/surges daily and at all speeds. It really feels like the transmission is about to let go.

- Sarasota , FL, USA

problem #93

Aug 262015


  • 60,480 miles


When I was driving my 2013 Nissan Altima on August 26, 2015 my car lost pressure and started to jerk, after almost being hit by other drivers, I was able to pull over and call for help. I tried to restart the car and it started up again and when I put the car in drive it shut off. I have made several reports to the service department at the dealership and no help. Finally, after experiencing the horrible deal on yesterday, the tech call to report that he tried to check the car on the machine and its wasn't given him a indication of anything being wrong with the car. He finally drove the car and it started acting up on him and stop and he saw that is was indeed the transmission gone bad. What is so sad about the situation is that I had be complaining about the car a week after I bought in. You could park on a hill and the car will vibrate really hard and I was told this was normal. Complaint after complaint after complaint. I am really terrified out my head to drive this car. I fear for my life and my children. All I can think of is the what if!

- Mccalla, AL, USA

problem #92

Aug 102015


  • 21,000 miles
Lost power to the drivetrain - car coasted to a stop this happened just as I was pulling into a parking lot so it was far less dangerous than it could have been - Nissan is replacing the transmission

- Dedham, MA, USA

problem #91

Jul 142015


  • 62,000 miles
When slowing down for traffic light, car stalled. Would start but would not move. Transmission stalled and it rolled backward although I was in drive and pushing on gas. Transmission finally engaged once up to 4000 RPM and car began to move, slowly. Various cars almost rear-ended me at different times when light was green, I had foot off brake, and was trying to move forward. This happened various times before the transmission actually went out at 62,500 miles. Had it hooked up to computer at Nissan dealer and showed no defect.

- Dixon, IL, USA

problem #90

May 012015


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving, the vehicle hesitated when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The contact indicated that the failure would occur in both the drive and reverse position. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- St. Mary's , GA, USA

problem #89

May 212015


  • 10,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 30 mph, the transmission shifted from drive into the neutral position independently and an abnormal noise emitted. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but the mechanic was unable to duplicate or locate the failure. The contact experienced multiple unrelated failures with the vehicle that included the exterior door failing to unlock or lock with the key fob until after several attempts. A burning odor emitted from the air vents when the air conditioner or heater was activated. There were no flames present. Also, the brakes squeaked intermittently when depressed. The contact stated there was concern regarding a potential health hazard with the push button starter causing cancer. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 10,600.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #88

Jul 052013


  • 1,600 miles
First and foremost, this vehicle is not safe since the air bag light for the passenger has never worked. More than 6 times the dealer has tried to fix to no avail. I wont let passengers sit in the front for their safety. I always have them sit in the back. It looks like I am their employee/driver. Also a huge problem is the cvt transmission. It shudders, grumbles and the whole car vibrates intermittently. First the dealer said it was the alternator and replaced it, that didnt fix it so they said it was a bolt, that wasnt it, finally they just gave up and said they dont know and "they cant reproduce the problem" its all a scam. This car is defective.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #87

May 112015


  • 62,985 miles
I was driving down the interstate with my three childred going 65 mph ( which was the speed limit) I slowed down to let a car in front of me, tried to speed up but my car would not accelerate. Pulled to the side of the interstate, confused at what was happening with my car. I turned my car off and on and as soo N as I would put it in gear my car cut off. It did this 3 times. When I finally got my car to stay "in drive" my car would not go faster than 45 mph and it felt like my car was pulling. I was scared to death with my three children in the car with me and we were on the side of the interstate. I drove with my flashers on going 45 mph during rush hour, had to get off on the first exit. Took my car to the Nissan dealership, by then my car would not go faster than 25 mph, and stated that I needed a new transmission. Its a 2 year old car and I bought it less than a year ago. Nissan has refused to pay for the repairs as it has passed the 60000 warranty.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #86

May 042015


  • 45 miles
I was driving down the road between 45 and 50 miles an hours, and my car just cut off. Would start fine, but would cut off as soon as input it into drive or reverse.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #85

May 052015


  • 32,000 miles
Three weeks prior to the incident day I retrieved my car from the dealer under the assumption the air flow sensor was malfunctioning and it was replaced. The symptoms I was experiencing was a shuttering of the car while accelerating. The car would just cut off while in drive or when the gear changed to reverse. It would cut on, but as soon as a gear changed, it would automatically shut off. The dealer said it was an air flow sensor problem and two other cars came in the same week with the same problem. That was the 1st incident three weeks ago. As of today, my car is in the dealer yet again although it encountered the same symptoms mentioned previously. This time the diagnoses was the transmission went out and needed to be replaced. The car is only 32K miles and I've had ownership for less than 2 years. It has always been serviced timely and by certified individuals. The transmission is faulty as noted by others complaints occurring this year as the transmission just gives out.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #84

May 032015


  • 43,500 miles
I was driving on the highway when the car started running rough. Next the RPM's display was jumping around. The car just slowed down like it was going to stop in the middle of the highway. When I got to town it became worse. The car had a delay when I tried to accelerate from a dead stop the car sounded like it was a standard instead of an automatic. Also after shifting to drive or reverse it was a long wait before the car would engage. When I took the car to the dealer they diagnosed that the transmission had gone out. I had the car from April 22 to May 3 when this occurred.

- Pensacola , FL, USA

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