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:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
20 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,765 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 #131

Mar 032014


  • 2,900 miles


Front passenger air bag remain active (on) although there is no adult passenger sitting in the front seat.

- Forsyth, IL, USA

problem #130

Feb 272013


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger side air bag light illuminated intermittently when there was a passenger in the seat. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who repaired the vehicle under NHTSA campaign id number 14V138000( air bags, electrical system ) however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Asheboro, NC, USA

problem #129

Oct 162013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
The passenger seat airbag sensor fails to notice a 110 pound passenger in the seat. This results in a warning on the display that the passenger airbag is disabled. The first incident was last fall. The date and mileage above is just a guess, the second time was on or about March 20, 2014 when the warning remained on for about 5 miles or until I stopped and restarted the car at a traffic light. It happened again April 5, 2013. The warning stayed on until I shut off the engine and then restarted it. I am not sure but it may be affected by whether of not her seat belt buckle is engaged before or after the car is started. (please note that this is my wife's car and their is seldom anyone in the passenger seat.) there was a recall for this issue in 2013 and there has been an announcement of a new recall starting soon. Both recalls are only for selected VIN numbers and neither includes our Altima. I checked with Nissan corporate customer service and with the dealer and they both confirmed the recalled vehicles do not include our car. The car is titled to my wife [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Stevensville, MD, USA

problem #128

Mar 312014


  • 15,500 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that upon starting the vehicle, the engine rpms increased excessively without warning. Also, the contact stated that the air bag warning light would illuminate intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnostic. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 15,500.

- Daunn Loring , VA, USA

problem #127

Nov 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Nissan Altima. Consumer writes in regards to "passenger airbag off" light malfunction. The consumer stated the air bag light would illuminate randomly when someone sat in the passenger seat. No fault codes appeared on the computer. The dealer stated that was the design of the vehicle

- Holderness, NH, USA

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problem #126

Mar 182014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 12,500 miles
On 3/18/14 I was stopped at a traffic light that was red and was at the bottom of a ramp located in interstate 225 Colorado going South. When the light turned green I preceded to cross the intersection/ passed the South lanes who were at a red light and all cars were stopped. When I preceded to cross in front of the North bound lane a car suddenly went through a red light and smashed into the front of my car turning the car around in a 180 degrees or more. The impact to the front of the car, fenders and hood was completely damaged from the full impact of the other car. The radiator and air conditioner were leaking and damaged and my vehicle needed to be towed from the scene after the police report was completed. The air bags did not inflate and I incurred multiple bruising from neck to lower back and mid thigh as documented by my doctor. I do not consider this Nissan Altima 2013 to be a safe car to drive and I drive small children to school which is even more worrisome. The air bags in this Nissan Altima 2013 are defective.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #125

May 302013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles


Passenger air bag light indicated that it was off. Had Nissan check it several times and they indicated that there was no issue. Airbag light malfunction several times with adult passenger sitting.

- Milton, FL, USA

problem #124

Jun 122013

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that he started the vehicle and the passenger side air bag illuminated. The contact also stated that the headlights were very low, he was unable to see the road at night and had to activate the high beam headlights. The brake warning light illuminated on the instrument panel while driving 30 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 5,000.updated 05/28/14 MA the consumer stated the brake warning light illuminated at 45mph and then again at 30mph. The passenger air bag light illuminated on two separate occasions prior to a passenger sitting in the seat. The headlights improved since replacing the bulbs with 110 w, aftermarket bulbs. The seat belt light illuminated on 3 separate occasions. The vehicle had to be restarted. Updated 05/30/2014

- Moraga, CA, USA

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

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

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