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 3 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #267

May 012014


  • 25,000 miles


The passenger side airbag "off" light will illuminate when a passenger around 130 lbs sits in the passenger seat. When this occurs (about half of the time), the light illuminates upon engine startup and the passenger is seated. The only way to get the light to turn off is to shut off the car and restart it with the passenger still in the seat. The passenger airbag "off" light does not illuminate when I start the car first, and then the passenger sits in the seat. I have also noticed the light illuminate when my 5 lb work bag is in the passenger seat and I take a sharp turn around a highway ramp (turning for about 10 seconds). This all occurs even after the car was re-programed under recall 14V138000

- North Kingstown, RI, USA

problem #266

Apr 022016


  • 29,000 miles
My almost 14 year old son who is 106 lbs. Sits in the passenger seat as well as a male friend who is 220. The passenger air bag light remains "off" when it should be engaged. I took it to a Nissan dealer and they said that they reset it and my son may not be "heavy enough". I am very upset at how they handled it (they didn't) and I can guarantee if there is an incident that happens and these were defective, there will be issues. I have read online that numerous other people have the same problem and they said they have to restart the car to get it to go off. I am not doing that or buying it. I was told that if Nissan does not recognize this problem for this specific year and model, that the recall with not be covered. It is obviously an issue. Secondly, I made an appt 3 weeks in advance for my hood latch to be repaired to allow for the part to get it. I drove 1.25 hrs to get it replaced, sat there for 2 hours to be told that they were putting in it and then "did not have it in". they had me take a rental car home "to have a supervisor look at my airbag" as it was over the weekend. I got a disgusting car for 5 days to find out nothing had been repaired. I "need to stop in when I am in town sometime" to get my hood latch replaced. Really"??" I will never go back to billion Nissan in sioux city. Poor service. I would like both of these issues taken care of promptly. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

- Aurelia, IA, USA

problem #265

Mar 202016


  • 58,437 miles
The contact owned a 2013 Nissan Altima. While the contact's vehicle was at a stop light, it was struck head on by another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained head and neck injuries that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,437.

- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA

problem #264

Apr 022016


  • 62,000 miles


Passenger side airbag indicator light says it's off when an adult passenger of sufficient weight is buckled up and occupying the front passenger seat.

- Owensboro, KY, USA

problem #263

Mar 012016


  • miles
Last year there was NHTSA recall 15V-681 which relates to the occupant classification system (OCS). This is the control unit that turns the air bag protection on/off based on the size of the passenger... I took my car to the Nissan dealer but the issue continues. Some time later when I asked the service man about it, they say the car is out of warranty, and want to charge me to check and fix the OCS. Which is part of the NHTSA recall 15V-681 what is my recourse? I have two kids, a 16 and a 20 years old. The air bag will be turned on or off on either of them randomly. It almost seems that the temperature of the day has something to do with it. Another issue with the car is that the parking brake light stays on after the pedal has been released and the car is being driven normally... again my guess is that it seems to occurred more when it is cold but it is intermittent. I have taken a video of the occurrence to show the dealer but they don't care about it. I cant send you the video because it is too big (more than 20mb) and you only allows a file no bigger than 5 mb the issue is still going on but since it is intermittent the date before is only a reference

- Wichita, KS, USA

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problem #262

Mar 062016


  • 61,000 miles
I have had ongoing problem with the passenger airbag since the car was new. The yellow light on the the dash will sometimes stay on, indicating that the passenger airbag is disabled, even with a 150 lb adult sitting properly in the seat. If I pull over and turn off the car and restart, it usually goes out. I have reported this numerous times to the dealer (I also have pictures of the light staying on), but have been told that they have done everything they can, but cannot fix the problem. I also have reported this twice on this site (NHTSA), but nothing has been solved. It is obvious that both Nissan and NHTSA don't care about this safety issue, as many, many others have reported the same problem on this site during the last several years. When someone gets killed because their passenger airbag fails to work, maybe something will get done.

- Grandview, WA, USA

problem #261

Mar 152015


  • 45,000 miles


I'm having and issues with the passenger side airbag not engaging when I have a passenger in the front seat, not registering that there is someone sitting in the seat.. another issues is water saturating the passenger floor boards all the way to the back seat when is rains outside

- Racine, WI, USA

problem #260

Sep 132013


  • 35,800 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving at various speeds, the passenger side air bag warning light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the aftermarket leather seat and sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,800. Updated 06/23/16

- Clyde, NC, USA

problem #259

Mar 162016


  • 33,513 miles
I was driving my 2013 3.5 sv Altima (V6) at around 35-40 mph, on a city street, with my wife seated on the front passenger seat. I noticed that the passenger air bag 'off' light in the center of the dashboard was illuminated. I asked my wife to shift a bit while being in her seat, which she did, but the airbag 'off' light remained illuminated throughout the journey of about 15-20 mins. This was dangerous and somewhat unnerving as the 'passenger air bag' was showing as 'off' inspite of a passenger being in the seat. This needs to be investigated and fixed.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #258

Jan 252016


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owned a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle revved and accelerated without warning. The contact depressed the brake pedal, but the vehicle did not respond. As a result, the contact's vehicle crashed into another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The driver sustained injuries to the pelvic, both legs, head, teeth, and. Medical attention was required. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 29,000.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #257

Apr 072015


  • 32,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the air bag light remained off even when a passenger was seated in the passenger seat. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to repair the sensor, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 32,000.

- Vernon, CT, USA

problem #256

Mar 012015


  • 20,000 miles
Front passenger airbag warning light says passenger airbag is "off" even when someone (adult) is sitting in passenger seat. Happens intermittingly and light goes off (passenger airbag "on") after a while-5 to 10 minutes. Complained to dealer. They said there was no recall. Saw no problem.

- Mashpee, MA, USA

problem #255

Feb 092016


  • miles
Car jutter & stalled when came to a stop. Took car to local Nissan dealership and they placed car on diagnostic which came back clear and could not duplicate problem for 2 days. Received car back and car did the same thing, took it to a different Nissan dealership that said they have heard of same complaints but they have had my car for 5 days and claim to not be able to duplicate the problem. Car warranty is almost up and Nissan seems to be of no help. Passenger airbag light also stays on from time to time. I have read and printed out several identical complaints and there seems to be no resolve.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #254

Feb 272016


  • 31,000 miles
My vehicle has been in twice now for the passenger airbag light remaining on when a passenger over 130lbs is seated in that seat. I first had this checked by kayser Nissan in madison 1/10/14 and was told no problem found then the recall came out and the vehicle was serviced again at kayser Nissan and was told the problem was fixed. Airbag light has been coming on again with person in seat and vehicle has to be pulled over and turned off and restarted for it to reset properly. This is very inconvenient and unsafe for passengers. The vehicle is mostly driven without passenger so this problem is not noticed right away making it hard to file a lemon law complaint even though it was first complained about within first year and under warranty.

- Stoughton, WI, USA

problem #253

Feb 142016


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owned a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 50 mph, the front of the vehicle struck an embankment. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained major injuries to the sternum, which required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was 36,000.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #252

Feb 052016


  • 19,209 miles
For 3 years we have been dealing with this particular issue, with no resolution. The dashboard light signaling that the passenger air bag is properly activated for an adult occupant comes on or does not come on when it is supposed to. This occurs whether the car is stationary or on the move. The dealer has told us not to put anything on the passenger seat = ridiculous. The dealer then said that it "reprogrammed the system". then the dealer told us that they needed to replace the sensor. I believe this has been done 2 X. we last had this attended to Sept 15, 2015 but the "so-called repair" did not work again. This air bag issue is serious, and we feel unsafe in this car, therefore we have driven less than 2000 miles in 5 months - the car sits in the garage. The problem is intermittant = we don't know when the air bag system is functioning correctly - we must assume it is malfunctioning!

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #251

Apr 112014


  • miles
The light continued to come on and off when someone sat in the passenger side that airbag off. I had it check and it was reset in 4/2014. It has indicated it was off random times when there was a passenger in the seat. I brought the car in for the recall of front hood latch and had the airbag sensor checked. I was told it was the sensor and it needed to be replaced and it would cost $700. For part and labor. I do not feel if a sensor is not working that is not from a wear and tear issue. It a defected part and it shouldn't have anything to do with the warranty. Especially being the car is only a 2013. I have tried several times to go through Nissan. They have continue to tell me there is nothing they can do it's out of warranty. I tried explaining how this has been going on since I got the car and I'm not so sure they are hearing what I'm telling them. They say the same thing as if they are reading a script. There is terrible customer service. This is a defect and should be replaced from the dealership. Do you have any suggestions where I need to go from here?

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #250

Nov 152015


  • miles
Randomly, the airbag sensor for the passenger side indicates as being off even when there is someone seating on it. This issue (supposedly) was already been looked at by the local Nissan dealer when a recalled was implemented for this issue. But it is happening again.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #249

Dec 012015


  • 36,000 miles
The passenger airbag light turns off (light switches on) even when a passenger is in the carseat. The problem was consistent around 1.5 years back and there was a Nissan recall that resolved the problem after 2 attempts. By consistent, I mean the air bag was definitely switched off regardless of whether a passenger is present or not. Now the problem is back although the light does not turn off consistently. Sometimes the light is off and sometimes it is on. I wrote to Nissan about this. Unfortunately, my car just went off warranty and the diagnosis itself is $161.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #248

Jan 012014


  • miles
We have the same issue that many have complained about with the air bag light indicating that it is off because not enough weight is being distributed in the seat to register while driving. My wife is 140 lbs and it is constantly turning off and on. Two Nissan dealerships told my wife there was nothing they could do but that some women sit on the side of the seat and so they are not sitting correctly for it to register. So... I began sitting in the passenger seat (I'm 6'3 225 lbs) and it still does it. I love Nissan cars and trucks but this is a ludicrous answer!! how can you sit in a seat of a car wrong!!!!

- Duncan, SC, USA

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