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 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #83

Nov 272014


  • 61,750 miles


I have been having an issue with the transmission since my car reached just over 60K miles. I've taken to the dealership numerous times and keep telling me it's not a VIN number that comes up in a recall, but some of the 2012-2013 Nissan Altima are getting notices for what my complaint is on my car. The Nissan dealership service told me to flush the transmission that it should fix the issue, so I did that and no help with the issue. I've since taken back two more times with the same complaint and not getting any results and there is a problem with the transmission. They either tell me it's not part of the cars on recall or it's the way that transmission is, which they already agreed there was an issue when they required me to flush the transmission for the 60K miles. I've since taken my car to two other outside mechanics and they agree there is an issue, but Nissan needs to repair it. I just want someone to step up and do the right thing.

- Ponder, TX, USA

problem #82

Sep 012014


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle decelerated while driving. The failure occurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 28,000.

- Alberta , VA, USA

problem #81

Mar 242015


  • 65,000 miles
Car purchased 2/27/2015. Having a tire sensor and torque converter replaced in less then two weeks of purchasing this thing, now the check engine light comes on weeks later. Took it to the dealership. Was told that they ran tests and couldn't find anything. Was told that a part maybe going bad but they couldn't do anything until it was completely bad. They turned the light off and was told that if it came back on then to bring it back. Two days later, the light came back on. I called the dealership and was told that they couldn't get me in to check it for 4 days. My husband went up there to talk to the representative. He told them that we were heading out of town over 600 miles away. He wanted to know if it would be ok and did we purchase a lemon. We were told that they don't sell lemons and we should be fine. The associate turned the light off. After returning from the trip 3 days later, 2 hours from home, the light comes back on. Two days later it went off. A week and a half the light comes back on and my husband, being feed up, took it to the dealership again and was told that the system needed to be updated for $160 and that's why the light kept coming on. The update was done on 4/20/2015. Today, 4/22/2015, I went to my son's sports banquet and the light is back on. My husband and I are taking it back up there on the 24th. I am beginning to believe something is going on and we are not being told about this vehicle. I have checked for recalls and everything but nothing has come up. I am just about ready to get rid of a 2013 car that I haven't even had for a full 2 months.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #80

Mar 032015


  • 65,000 miles


Car was purchased on 2/27/2015. Left the car lot and went back to have tire sensor replaced after 30 minutes of driving. On 3/3/2015, my husband was in the car when it stopped at a red light and wouldn't move. The engine would start but wouldn't move. Called dealership. They sent a tow truck and got us a rental car. After a couple of days, was told that the torque converter was gone in the transmission. This was replaced costing me $100 deductible. All of this before my first car note is paid.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #79

Mar 242015


  • 61,428 miles
Unable to shift the gear shift lever out of the park position. At first I thought I might not have pressed on the brake. After a few attempts it unlocked and I was able to put it in gear. I took it to the local Nissan dealership on Friday March 27, 2015, and was told the 'brake safety switch' failed. This was replaced at a cost of $154. Left the dealership and car was shifting fine. The next morning I drove a local day went to local store and pulled into a parking spot, when I came out and when to leave, I was not able to shift the gear shift out of the park position. Called the Nissan dealership and was told to have it towed in. The tow truck driver removed the "shift lock cover button" and used a screwdriver to override the gearshift lever and then put the car into gear, and on the truck. The service representative stated that the entire gear shift mechanism had to be replaced. They have not told me why it failed. When the car had 59,000 miles I took the car into this same dealership. At T at that time, they replaced the transmission, stating that there was a "code failure". since the car is no longer under the manufacturer's warranty, the cost for repair is over $650. They have not indicated what caused the failure, only that it has to be replaced. Seems funny that this would fail right after the transmission was replaced.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

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problem #78

Feb 042015


  • 31,000 miles
Vehicle vibrates up through steering wheel at 2,000 RPM regardless of speed. Nissan dealer and Nissan usa, Inc. Have come to the conclusion that this is a "characteristic" of the vehicle and that they do not intend to repair or address in any manner. This is despite comments by the technician at middletown Nissan of middletown, ct that he's never seen a Nissan Altima exhibit this much vibration before. I've stated that neither I or my wife feel safe in the car and are now concerned that a component of the vehicle could vibrate loose.

- Middletown, CT, USA

problem #77

Jan 312014


  • 34,300 miles


Serious intermittent problem where my 2013 Nissan Altima cannot be placed into gear from the park position with the shifter lever. When issue happens many times you have to pull out plug and insert screw driver into override shifter release in the center console beside the shifter in order to get the car into gear. It seems the electronically controlled internal lock mechanism in shifter will not unlock. Presented vehicle to Nissan dealer which could not reproduce issue and service consultant stated if they could have reproduced the issue most likely they would find that some liquid spilled into shifter and any repair then would not be covered under warranty. Issue happens very often and is frightening especially in cases where you need to get your car moved out the way quickly. The issue happens after starting the car, pressing and holding the brake, squeezing the park release on shifter and trying to pull the shifter back to put into gear and shifter will it will not budge or move. Sometime when shifter will not unlock you can wiggle the shifter handle or try repeatedly and the solenoid lock in the shift mechanism will finally release however most times you are better off using the override however you need to have a screw driver in car to perform that procedure. I feel if this issue is truly caused by any liquid spilling down into the mechanism that Nissan has a serious design flaw in placing 2 drink holders practically on top of this mechanism.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #76

Feb 032015


  • 21,012 miles
At approx. 25 mph or 1500 to 2000 RPM's there is a very noticeable vibration or shudder in the vehicle coming up through the steering wheel and the gas pedal. This also occurs around 60 mph and is very disturbing. Also sometimes when I am stopped for a stop sign, traffic signal etc., when I step on the gas to move forward, there is no response for approx. 2 to 3 seconds. I was making a right turn once and the vehicle shot forward at a speed that is too dangerous for making the turn safely. I had the vehicle to the dealer on 2-25-15 and they said that the problem I am experiencing is normal for the cvt transmission and it adapts to the driver's habits. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. I was told to differ my driving habits periodically to alter the transmission. I have been driving for 56 years of accident free days. Nissan has a complaint and has given me a case number. I thought I heard everything until I heard the above excuse. This vehicle is less than 2 years old and at this time has 21817 miles on the odometer. If this is normal, why didn't it do it when I purchased it new? Nissan modified the cvt transmission in the 2015 model, but won't do it in older models for cost reasons. This is totally insane to their customers. This transmission is going to get someone killed, or severely injured and then there will some serious law suits.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #75

Jun 182013


  • 9,977 miles
My car have some issue I took the car complaining about the pax light airbag NHTSA num 14V138000 but as of now the problem exist and another NHTSA 13V069000 occupant detection system may disable pas airbag and this problem still exist on my car and another problem that I have my car has 3 new transmissions and only has 24763 miles.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #74

Jan 312015

Altima 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Extreme vibration in the front all the way to the seats at any speed above 20 mph. Took to the dealership three times. Laughed at each time. Was told it's the cvt and how it works. That is false as I have driven numerous vehicles including other Altima with the cvt and the Nissan xtronic cvt. I have never driven a vehicle with so much vibration that concentrated. This is one of the numerous issues with this car. Good way to lose a loyal Nissan customer.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #73

Feb 072014


  • 17,000 miles


Transmission begins to vibrate when car is loaded with passengers and / or going up a hill. Reported it to local Nissan dealer at 17,000 miles and it seemed to stop vibrating for about 5,000 and then it started again. We now have 35,000 miles on this car and we have taken it to the local Nissan dealer again. They performed a tcm reprogram to the car, but the transmission still vibrates. We have reported this to Nissan Corp office and they have set up case # 17560576 to begin looking into what is causing this problem.

- Killen, AL, USA

problem #72

Sep 162014


  • 32,000 miles
This card start shuddering and with enough vibration to shake the cabin dashboard. Vehicle start shuddering around: 20 / 40 / 55mph when RPM stay around 1500 -- 2000 RPM. With light accelaration, the car will shudder just like with a stick shift with 1 gear higher. Very annoying. Nissan dealer offer no help. First was replace a alternator, but after 10000 miles, it come back again. And the car still suddering with enough vibration to make you crazy and tire of it. The transmission should on a recall.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #71

Jan 082015


  • 57,000 miles
January the 8th I was driving from work to home my job is about 30 miles from my home. I was driving no faster than 50-45 miles an hour due to construction in the areas on my way home. There are cameras at the lights in a city 7 miles before my city. If you go over the line a bit they take pictures of your license plate and send you a picture and ticket in the mail with an image of you going over the line indicating you've run a red light. So I pressed on the breaks to slow down as the light turned yellow to assure I did not go over the line. As I slowed down my car jerked I had a 2011 Altima that did the same thing so I was thinking its nothing its how the transmission runs. But within a 12-15 feet distance I stopped as I completely came to a stop my car jerked forward, the brakes locked up, hazard lights on the dash showed up, and the engine shut off. I could not get my car to drive forward it was embarrassing as cars honked for me to drive. I returned my car to Nissan and they updated some recalls. Then stated their system is not showing in issues. This has occurred multiple times and once I was on a hill the car was in drive and it started rolling backwards. I hope the recalls they have fixed resolves the issue I am scared that the car will die and cut off while I am on a busy highway. I hope and pray my issues are resolved and, I do not get crushed in a collision.

- Taylor, TX, USA

problem #70

Dec 272014


  • 17,000 miles
I was driving on high way car suddenly started making noise and I was not able to accelerate more than 20 mph and finally it stopped middle of the high way.after visiting the service center they told me transmission is broken, I saw same posts in other blogs as well.please take a action as soon as possible.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #69

Dec 062014


  • 35,000 miles
I was parked in front of a store. I exited the car to put my mother's walker in the trunk. I had reached the rear of the vehicle (on driver's side) when the car began to move. I ran after it and grabbed the driver's side door handle to try and slow or stop the vehicle but it was in gear and I was thrown to the ground injuring my knee. The car proceeded to crash into two other cars before it came to a stop. I was in shock and taken to the hospital in an ambulance. I was not thinking clearly and assumed that I had accidentally left the car in drive. Several weeks later, when I was able to drive again I noted that when I took my foot off the brake with the car in drive, the vehicle would immediately start forward, rendering it impossible to get out of the car without being painfully aware that it was already moving. The surge forward would not have occurred several seconds after I got out. I returned to the scene of the accident to test out the hypothesis that I may have left the car in neutral. The road was perfectly flat and the car did not move when in neutral. I repositioned the car up and down the road in five yard increments and at no point did the car move forward from a stop when shifting into neutral. I called the dealer and explained the problem. He did not ask me to bring the vehicle in. He gave me the phone number of the national Nissan Consumer Affairs department. I called and was assigned a case number. I have yet to hear from the investigator assigned to the case.

- Roslindale, MA, USA

problem #68

Jan 012014


  • 17,000 miles
Very hard shutter at during acceleration low speeds of approximately 20 mph. This shutter causes a hesitation which could prove dangerous.

- Leawood, KS, USA

problem #67

Dec 022014


  • 25,000 miles
Transmission shudders during acceleration, generally between 1st and 2nd gear thus hesitation occurs when entering higher speed lanes.(I.e. a momentary hesitation in power during acceleration)

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #66

Oct 102014


  • 36,000 miles
When I started the car in the morning the car would not get out of parking tried several times to turn of car and start car to see if it get out of park and it would not. Had to insert another object in manual shift release to get car into gear and drive. Called dealer they said it is unknown if covered. Took it to the dealer they looked at it and said it is not covered and the part is over a month away. I have seen several other cars have the same issue.

- El Centro , CA, USA

problem #65

Jun 202014


  • 1,500 miles
When I test drove and purchased my vehicle, everything seemed great. It was a very short test drive though. Not even 1month after buying the car, I have problems with it. I noticed the suspension and steering to be not as tight or responsive (diminished) and also notice a lot of wander in the font end and understeer/oversteer. Along with the suspension and steering problems came the transmission shutter. At lower speed acceleration (approx. 25-40mph), there is a shutter or jumpy feeling. Took the car to Nissan multiple times to fix the problem and has yet to be done. My service tech has been able to duplicate all the problems, but Nissan tech line refuses to fix anything because "it is up to Nissan standards". in order for them to even begin to replace or work on anything, it has to meet certain circumstances (basically jump through hoops), even though it is a known problem with the car and has been duplicated by one of their own techs. I have contacted the BBB and have started arbitration to get this matter resolved. This entire ordeal has cost me time off work and about a total of 4weeks without my car.

- Commerce City, CO, USA

problem #64

Oct 252014


  • 45,368 miles
Was driving down the road and the car just went dead. The steering was difficult as I am 18 and not very strong. I was unable to get from the highway which was very dangerous. After research many people are having the same problem which I feel is a safety hazard. This has been going on since 2003 and Nissan has not remedied the issue.

- Cantonment, FL, USA

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