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:
14,239 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 15 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Feb 022013


  • 200 miles


I bought this car new (Nissan Altima 2013 - 3.5sl) and found out after 2 days that the passenger front airbag light was working in a sporadic manner. My wife weighs 112 lbs. And the sensor will not work to protect her to inflate - as the light indicates the airbag is off. I sat in the seat at 160 lbs. And the light went off and then came back on. The dealer said it had no solution that I had to drive it that way. The search on the internet showed a hundreds of complaints about the Nissan front passenger airbag. This notice of complaint is concerning why there has not been a recall on this defect that is life threatenting and why the NHTSA has not stepped in to protect the consumer.

- Churchville, MD, USA

problem #26

Jan 022013


  • 200 miles
When starting the car the starter would keep cranking after the release of the start button, the passenger air bag light stays on sometimes even when a passenger is in the seat also the rear seat belts are very hard to lock in do to the receiver end pushes down into the seat when driving there is a few problems the low end rattles and shakes and 45 and above there is a wining noise from the engine compartment that sounds like a bad alt bearing or trans problem it gets louder the faster you go very annoying with today technology these problems and this is just a few is a big step back for Nissan not a happy customer just broke 6000 miles.

- Manahawkin, NM, USA

problem #25

Feb 272013


  • 200 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger side air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician could not duplicate or repair the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 200.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #24

Dec 102012

Altima 6-cyl

  • 400 miles


Purchased a new 2013 Altima sedan 3.5sl in November 2012. Within days noticed that the passenger airbag light was always on, whether a passenger was in the passenger seat or not. Took car into dealer and was told that the sensor had been incorrectly calibrated at 200 pounds instead of 0 pounds. They recalibrated the sensor and the airbag light worked fine... for approximately 2 weeks. The passenger airbag warning light is now always on. This issue concerns me because I must assume that the passenger airbag will never deploy.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #23

Sep 192012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
The "passenger air bag off" warning light may come on when an adult or large teenager is sitting in the front passenger seat. This failure happens occasionally. At times, the warning light will go off after a few minutes of driving. It appears that either the seat sensor(s) or the software that reads the sensor(s) and determines the size/weight of the front passenger may be faulty. I am amazed that there has been no recall of the 2013 Altima for this issue, given the number of complaints on this website.

- Irvine, CA, USA

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problem #22

Jan 032013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
The first six weeks we had the car it operated normally. Than the passenger air bag off light occasionally would come on with my 120 lb wife in the seat. Now it will come on all of the time. If you start the car before she gets in the light usually stays off after she gets in but not always. With a 50 lb person in the seat the light does not come on, that is when I think it should come on.

- Springfield , OH, USA

problem #21

Aug 122012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 500 miles


I have owned this 2013 Altima for 5 months and the passenger airbags continuously stay on "off mode". I am a female and weigh 136 pounds and my husband rides on the passenger side as well at times and he is 160 pounds, so there is definitely enough weight. I believe there is a defect within the sensors. In my vehicle it will stay off for hours or sometimes it will take 15-30 minutes and it will turn on, but it never stays on.I have seen several complaints with the same issue. And it could be life threatening to a passenger in one of these vehicles if the airbags do not deploy in a crash. Nissan needs to take a closer look at this issue before someone loses there life. There is definitely something wrong and something needs to be done quickly to resolve this issue its a serious matter. There are lives at stake here..

- Coden, AL, USA

problem #20

Feb 102013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,100 miles
Few days after I purchased the vehicle (09/23/12) the seat belt light would not shut off. The passenger airbag light would also indicate that the passenger airbag was disengaged with a passenger in the vehicle. Tonight (2/10/13) the passenger airbag sensor once again indicated no passenger when my 120 lb wife was sitting in the seat. I tried it with myself (155lb) and again it occurred. This is an unacceptable safety concern.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #19

Feb 092013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
The day I purchased the vehicle (1/23/13) the seat belt light would not shut off. The passenger airbag light would also indicate that the passenger airbag was disengaged with a passenger in the vehicle. The dealership (rosenthal Nissan of tysons) took the car in back and made some adjustments. The problem apparently went away. Tonight (2/9/13) the passenger airbag sensor once again indicated no passenger when my 110 lb wife was sitting in the seat. I tried it with myself (175lb) and again it occurred. This is an unacceptable safety concern.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #18

Feb 062013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 120 miles
Was driving 45 mph to take child to school. While at light made sure no parking brake on. Then put car in park turned vehicle off and on twice as braking light still on. Kept vehicle off for approximally 1 minute and turned back on. The following day took vehicle in for service which they stated break fluid not topped off. So on 2/8/2013 driving with 8 yr.old daughter sitting in front set. Airbag light was on the showing airbag off but then the light went off. Pulled over had my daughter stand up, remove booster seat and then put back down. Airbag light still remained off. Turned vehicle off 3 times before turning back on. My husband called dealership to discuss and advise taking in for service and problems after just purchasing vehicle on 2/4/2013. On the way home brake light came on and wouldn't go off.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #17

Jan 252013


  • 300 miles


The passenger airbag light is constantly on meaning that the airbag is not activating no matter who is sitting on the seat. We took it to the dealer one week after we purchased it and they "supposedly" reset the sensor. We left the dealership and the problem persisted immediately. We took it back to the dealer a week later and a Nissan engineer was there that day and he looked at it and said that there was nothing they could do about. This is a serious safety issue. A person's life could be lost because of the manufacturing defect. Nissan should seriously look into this and recall the cars before something serious happens to any of us who purchased this car. We can't believe that knowing that there is this serious problem, they will not even try to fix it. It shows lack of concern and responsibility on their part for their customers. We are going to use the "lemon law" and return the car since this is a safety issue and a manufacturers defect. and the national highway safety administration needs to investigate this issue. There are plenty of complaints in regards to this issue. Back in 2009 Nissan recalled several of their cars (including the Altima) for this same problem. I can't believe that they still haven't gotten it right.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #16

Jan 292013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 600 miles
I have owned this car for all of a week. There are at least 2 major safety concerns. The first is the passenger air bag. The light on the dash indicates that the air bag is "off" when my wife sits in the passenger seats. She is an adult, height about 5' 2" and weighs approx. 120 lbs. Apparently I am not the only one with this issue. Calls to Nissan are a waste of time at this point as I'm told nothing about how this will be resolved. The other issue is with the cvt transmission. Under light acceleration, at about 1200-1500 RPM there is a vibration and its very noisy. It almost seems like the car is going to die out. The other issues I am having with the car of which there are a few are not necessarily safety related so I wont post them here. Needless to say, there are better and safer choices out there. Choose wisely.

- Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

problem #15

Jan 072013


  • 50 miles
With a 140 lb adult sitting upright in the passenger seat the airbag light stays on. It even fails sometimes with an adult weighing 155 lbs. I took the car to the dealership and they said no system errors are detected. The tried a 120lb adult and the airbag light was on also. They said that to repair Nissan has to advise them what the issue is.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #14

Jan 082013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 85 miles
There is an intermittent passenger airbag detection issue with 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 sv. There were in multiple times when a full grown person(weight > 150lbs) sitting on the passenger side, while car was being driven, 'passenger side air bag off' indicator would turn on, indicating that car is not detecting anyone in the front passenger side and in result airbags were turned off. This warning indication stayed on throughout our drive and sometimes turned off after 10-15 minutes of drive and in other occasions it didn't turn off at all until car was turned off. If this was just a feature issue then much lower priority should been assigned but it is a major safety issue/concern and I request an investigation. A blatant disregard from the manufacturer of this issue may result in death, injury and property damage. I request the help of NHTSA for quick and thorough investigation on this matter. Thank you!

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #13

Dec 282012


  • 39 miles
With a full-size adult sitting in the front passenger seat, the airbag light stays illuminated (which indicates the passenger side airbag is not engaged). This happened every single time I've operated my vehicle since I purchased it on December 28th, no matter the size of the adult sitting in the passenger seat - anywhere from 130 lb. Individual to 220 lb. Individual. For reference, my friend has a rogue and the airbag engages (I.e. light goes off) with just her handbag in the seat. I took it to the local dealership since the car is fully covered by warranty. They ordered a new sensor from Nissan and have not been able to resolve the issue with the new sensor. They have had my brand new vehicle (500 miles) for 6 days. I read on-line boards that indicate this is a problem with 2013 Nissan Altima ( and am very concerned I purchased this vehicle. I may be returning it under the lemon law.

- St. Louis Park , MN, USA

problem #12

Sep 042012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 150 miles
The passenger air bag off warning light comes on intermittently while an adult over 125 lbs is seated in the passenger seat. This has happened multiple times with multiple adults of various weights. If the car is stopped, turned off and turned back on it usually clears the problem. I have brought the car into the Nissan service center four times. Each time they have done something else to try to resolve the problem but it keeps happening. I am awaiting a call back from the manager of the Nissan service center. I am very concerned that in the event of an accident my passenger will not be protected by a working front air bag. I have searched this problem on line and seen many post of similar problems for the 2013 Nissan Altima. I have also seem many instances of this problem with previous Altima models and other Nissan vehicles.

- Syosset, NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 102012


  • 4,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the passenger side air bag light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer twice, who test drive the vehicle four miles and advised the contact that they could not duplicate or repair the failure. The manufacturer was notified and lodged a complaint for the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 4,600.

- Hoboken, GA, USA

problem #10

Dec 152012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
Female passenger, 5ft. 0in., weighing 100lbs causes front passenger airbag to be disabled (front passenger airbag status light on). Light would go away after a while. For a female passenger, 5ft. 5in., weighing 120-125lbs causes intermittent front passenger airbag operation. Appeared to operate normally before. 12/24/2012: Vehicle was brought to dealer and was found that the scale on the front passenger side seat was off by 25. Scale was zeroed out in the front passenger seat. Issue appears to be resolved for female passenger, 5ft. 5in., weighing 120-125lbs. 01/07/2013: Front passenger airbag disabled for male passenger 5ft. 6in., weighing 160lbs. Resolved by restarting vehicle.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Jan 022013


  • 97 miles
The passenger side air bag does not engage when individuals sit in the passenger seat. The airbag sensor shows the airbag non-operational even when individuals of appropriate size and weight are sitting in the passenger seat. Nissan has no known fixes for the situation and state that its a "break in" period. This is a brand new car purchased one week ago. Serious injury could result from an non-operational airbag and I am not willing to wait for the break in period.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #8

Sep 192012


  • 5,000 miles
Passanger air back indicator(light) sometime come up even though adult sitting on passenger sheet.

- Riverview, MI, USA

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