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:
19 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
20 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,929 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 10 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #123

Mar 202014


  • miles


We purchased a Nissan Altima last August. Every time I sit in the passenger seat, it says that the passenger air bag is not operative. The owner's manual states that it will not function if a child or small adult occupies the seat. I weigh between 111 and 114 pounds. I called Nissan's Consumer Affairs office to determine the weight that would trigger the air bag's functionality. I was trying to ascertain whether the air bag was broken or whether I was considered a "small adult" for this purpose. We received a voice mail from [xxx], stating that she was assisting mark in this matter and that my case number was 14039699. She further stated that she could not answer my question because "the information was proprietary to the manufacturer of the component" and thus "not available to the public." As a result, there is no way for me to determine whether the air bag is malfunctioning. While I understand that the deployment of an air bag can be harmful to lightweight passengers, its failure to function for someone that exceeds an appropriate weight limit is dangerous and potentially fatal. I therefore ask you to assist me in getting that information from Nissan. I find it incredible that Nissan is telling me that this key safety information isn't available to their customers. Thank you for your help. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #122

Jan 022012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
The 2013 Altima S has an intermittent airbag problem. Is noticeable when the weight of the passenger is about 120 pounds and slim. Have notified Nissan Consumer Affairs and the dealer and despite a recall and parts being replaced the problem persists. More than likely is a software issue.

- Byron, GA, USA

problem #121

Mar 212014

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
I am sending this email to notify you a possible severe safety risk caused by the failure of airbag passenger detection sensor. Recently I found that the seat belt warning light is malfunctioning in case a heavy bag with 22 lb weight is placed in the right side passenger seat. If heavy bag is placed in the right front seat, the seat pressure sensor detects the heavy bag as a passenger is seated and the car safety system turns on the seatbelt warning indicator on driver's monitor screen. This is the detection algorism failure for seatbelt detection system. So, to turn off seat belt warning red light, I fastened the seatbelt of rightside front seat even though there was no passenger in the seat. Then the seat belt warning light (red) is turned off. But even though seat belt warning light is turned off, this failure also makes the front passenger airbag to stop functioning, as the system turns on "front passenger airbag status indicator" with orange color light. And this means the airbag is not functioning in case of accident if the heavy bag is placed in the front right side seat of the car. This detection algorism failure may lead a severe injury in case of accident. So please refer and test with above condition, and fix this problem by recommending or taking action to upgrade the front passenger detection algorism and related software, to stop the malfunctioning of front airbag system. If you see this notice, please give me your reply for confirmation of receiving this message. Solving and notifying this problem is very important because the insurance company also matters this faults and the insurance company also recognizes and makes record history that other passenger was seated in the pls give me your email, that I may send file attachment for detailed explanation for this complaint.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #120

May 222013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 4,400 miles


I first had the air bag passenger sensor warning come on and stay on for around fifteen minutes and then it went off. My wife was sitting in the passenger seat in all these incidents. This happened twice before I took it in to the dealer and they told me there was a recall for the seat sensors. They replaced the sensors and performed the zero point reset on May 31, 2013. Prior to Sept. 6, 2013 I had the same problem of the passenger sensor warning come on and staying on for ten to 15 minutes. On Sept. 6th they secured some cables and performed another zero point reset. Prior to Feb. 21, 2014 I had the same problem and they performed another zero point reset on Feb. 21. on March 15th I had the same problem one night when we drove 5 blocks from a friends house and it was still on when I shut the car off. I haven't taken it back to the dealer yet but the zero point reset doesn't seem to be solving the problem. At this point I don't know if anyone in the front passenger seat is being protected or not. Has anyone else been reporting problems with this cars sensors?

- Crest Hill, IL, USA

problem #119

Mar 162014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
Passenger airbag-off light comes on with passengers between 90 and 120 lb -- well above child weight. Reported to two separate dealers, who claim they found no problems and is not covered by any recalls or service campaigns. Yet this is a very common complain on this model (see forum link below). This seems to be just one crash away from a fatality. Here is the forum link (or go there and search for 2013 Altima airbag light) where many people are reporting this problem and not acknowledged by Nissan corporate or dealers:

- Dublin, CA, USA

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problem #118

Jun 012013


  • miles
The orange passenger air bag light (underneath hazard lights button) comes on when a full-grown adult (150 lbs) is seated in the passenger seat. This means that the airbag would not deploy if I crash with them in the passenger seat, which makes me very nervous about safety. It does not happen every single time, but about 75% of the time a full-grown adult is seated in the passenger seat. I've taken it to Nissan dealers, and they have not been able to fix it.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #117

Aug 292012

Altima 6-cyl

  • 100 miles


Airbag passenger sensor/system problem, airbag disabled with a 200+ pound person in the passenger seat (should only disable with a small child)! the issue continues intermittently to present, dealer has not been able to duplicate, and will not fix it without an error logged in the computer. Issue has occurred at least 50 times, most recently in the last two weeks.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #116

Feb 222014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 9,026 miles
Passenger air bag illuminates, yellow status light "off", when engine started with full size adults buckled into front seats. Went one mile, stopped the car and shut off engine. Engine restarted and pass airbag "off" light came on again. Shut off eng. And restarted again. Light turned off after restart and has not illuminated. This intermittent problem has been reported many times before.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #115

Jul 092012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Within the first week of having the vehicle I noticed the car pulled to the left. Had the alignment fixed. 7 months later I had the car back in the shop because the passenger air bag light said the air bag was not turned on. This occurred with a 128 pound girl in the seat and on another occasion with a 215 pound man in the passenger seat. The dealership stated that there was no problem and that the air bag would deploy if necessary. Less than a month after that I still have the problem and now my elec. Stability did not start working till about 15 min of slipping around on snow while driving home from work. Ever since it finally came on the light now stays on the majority of the time and occasionally goes off but the roads have been both wet and completely dry when this occurs. Also now my steering wheel is tilted about 30 degrees to the left when I have my car driving on a straight away because my alignment has went completely off again but even worse than before.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #114

Jan 232014


  • miles
I have had the 2013 Nissan Altima in for service 5 times for the occupancy sensor in the front passenger seat. The air bag is off per the lighted indicator on occasion when a passenger rides in the front passenger seat. I have contacted NHTSA for the specs on the sensor. Nissan submits these specs to the NHTSA for compliance regulations. The specs state that the passenger must be over 108 pounds for the air bag to be activated. In the case of all the front riding passengers in my 2013 Nissan Altima, this requirement was well exceeded (150+ lbs). Please review the follow link for facts. **please note that a 5th percentile human female weighs about 102 lbs and a 5th percentile female test dummie weighs 108 lbs. I am not confident that our local dealership can or will repair the vehicle after 5 attemps (3 sensors and 2 sensors "resets"). I have opened a case with Nissan and will be submitting the lemon law documentation. I am seeking full replacement of the vehicle with a new 2013/2014 Nissan Altima or full amount paid (car, down payment, trade in, tax, tag and tile).

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #113

Dec 292012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles


Air bag light to indicate airbags are of comes on when I have an adult passenger in the front seat. Can turn the car off and back on and the light may stay off - very inconsistent. Same passenger rides in a 2010 Nissan Altima front seat with no issues. Has happened with 2 different passengers and neither has had this problem in any other vehicle. Both are adults weighing approximately 100 pounds. Taken to the dealer twice - no resolution. Dealer says working as expected.

- Perkasie, PA, USA

problem #112

Oct 122013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 13 miles
When the front passenger seat is occupied the passenger air bag light is illuminated indicating the air bag is not activated. This issues has occurred since purchasing the vehicle. I have reported this to the dealership at the 3500 & 7500 service intervals. At the 3500 miles service the action was verified that the sensor was properly calibrated & working properly and should not happen again. The next day the light again came on when my 138 lb son was riding. Although this does not occur every single time a passenger is riding, it does occur frequently. At the 7500 mile service I again notified the dealership of the continuing issue. The issue was again verified that the system was working properly. The dealerships response was that the issue was related to using the specified components (seat cushion & sensors) that the NHTSA requires manufacturers to use, leading me to believe the issue is with government specs and not with Nissan. If so, the question then would be why doesn't this occur with every car that has an air bag in it's seat? this is the first car I have ever been in that has this issue. With exception that this same issue occurred when I rented a 2013/2014 Nissan Altima recently on a trip. Additionally when I asked, none of my friends or family have ever heard of such an issue. This issue is not resolved.

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #111

Mar 102013


  • 37,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger's side air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the mat sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number 13V069000 (air bags) but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 37,600.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #110

Jan 162013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,800 miles
The center console air bag light becomes illuminated after the passenger had been seated in the car for some time, indicating the passenger seat air bag has been disabled.. took the car in to Nissan as I was alerted to a recall. I was told my sensor did not need to be replaced, just reprogrammed. That did not solve the problem. The light keeps coming on. The passenger is over 150 pounds. The light comes on after the car has been operational, the light always goes off when the vehicle is started. The passenger is usually reading, so they are sitting still. When the light comes on, Nissan indicates the air bags may not work in the event of a collision. I have taken this car back to Nissan 4 times because of this problem. Since the computer indicates no errors, nothing gets fixed. When I leave the dealer, there is always a reason why nothing gets fixed and I am also told there is nothing wrong. There is obviously a problem with the passenger seat sensor. I am very concerned on the safety of the passenger since the air bags will not deploy if this light is on.

- Trinity, FL, USA

problem #109

Mar 052013


  • 1,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger's side air bag warning lamp was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The computer was reset as a precaution. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 1,500 and the current mileage was 36,300.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #108

Jan 102014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 10,985 miles
Since I purchased this vehicle in June I have noticed that the air bag light will go on for the passenger seat when someone over 100 lbs is sitting there. I took it in today and they tested the sensor and reset it. They said that everything was normal and if it did it again to turn off the car and have the passenger sit properly on the seat and not half way. It is intermittent and happens only occasionally. I know that the passengers are sitting fully on the seat and worry that the air bag is not going to work when it is supposed to. I see several postings on youtube about this same problem and customers complaining that their dealers can't find the problem and to bring it in when the light is on. I also noticed a recall for occupant sensors on this model and wonder if this problem is related.

- Stoughton, WI, USA

problem #107

Dec 102013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 18,499 miles
The front passenger air bag status light (passenger air bag off), illuminates intermittently with a full sized adult sitting in the right front passenger seat. Nissan claims that my vehicle is not subject to the voluntary safety recall campaign id# PC214, dated April 2, 2013. The passenger airbag status lamp is located above the instrument panel center stack. This intermittent condition has occurred twice through the month of December 2013. The warning indicator will turn off and operate correctly after I turn off my running engine and restart.

- Media, PA, USA

problem #106

Jan 102013

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the air bag warning light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was included and repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 13V069000 (air bags). After the recall repair was performed the failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and an engineer inspected the vehicle. The engineer recommended replacing the interior of the front passenger's seat. After the vehicle was repaired the failure continued to occur. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 1,000....updated 02/11/2014

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #105

Jan 092014


  • 14,000 miles
The passenger front airbag does not detect adults sitting in the seat and therefore may not deploy in a crash. My car does not fit under the previous recall. Nissan corporate says it is aware of the problem. But cannot provide a date of a software patch. As a solution, I was told to pull the car over and restart it every time it happens.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #104

Oct 012013


  • 35 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger's side air warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the air bag passenger occupant sensor was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 35 and the current mileage was 4,000.

- Spencer, NY, USA

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