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 5 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #227

Jun 062014


  • 7,000 miles


Several times the passenger seat / occupant detection system has failed to properly identify an adult occupant and has disabled the passenger air bag. Dealer has serviced twice but issue persist. The only resolution is to pull over, power car completely off and restart car. On restart the car recognized the occupant and enabled the passenger airbag.this happened several more times with the most recent being April 2015. Now I feel unsafe specially with my wife pregnant seating on the passenger side.

- Pacoima, CA, USA

problem #226

Jun 202014


  • 15,000 miles
Several times the passenger seat / occupant detection system has failed to properly identify an adult occupant and has disabled the passenger airbag. This occurs with males and females ranging from 40th to 70th percentile in all genders. I have recorded videos of these incidents for record of their occurrence. The only resolution is to pull over, power car completely off and restart car. On restart the car recognized the occupant and enabled the passenger airbag. The date of incident is of the first occurrence. This happened several more times with the most recent being May 2015 with approximately 29,000 miles on the vehicle.

- Nazareth, PA, USA

problem #225

Dec 172014


  • 19,000 miles
Air bag indicator light shows airbag off with adults in the passenger seat. Multiple occurances, had reprogramming done, problem persists.

- Ashland, KY, USA

problem #224

Dec 302014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 26,635 miles


The passenger airbag light turns on when a passenger is present, meaning if in an accident the airbag will not deploy. The dealer has had the car in 5 times for this issue and is not able to repair it since now the vehicle will not give a code to fix it. I was able to get Nissan North America involved and they said the vehicle is repaired, how do I feel safe having a passenger in that seat with out certainty that airbag will deploy in an accident. When we met with [xxx], from Nissan North America, the engineer, he stated that this airbag is under rated and causes more harm than good. Why would an engineer from the factory say something this ridiculous, this is why we bought the car..for the safety ratings and all the airbags. He stated they only cause black eyes and broken noses, to which I said "its better than the alternative..,death. I am not feeling safe in this car and hope someone can help us get it rectified. Thank you for your time. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #223

Aug 222012


  • 75 miles
Like many many of other people have complained, my airbag sensor is still not working correctly after 3 attempts to fix the problem. I was assured by the dealer that it was working properly even though the passenger airbag light show that the airbag is off when there is a passenger in the seat. I'm nervous every time I see the light on (meaning the bag is off) when my wife is in the car with me. If we get into an accident its a crap shoot whether the airbag will really work or not.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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problem #222

Aug 092014


  • 15,681 miles
I've had the passenger airbag light that is in the center of dash come on multiple times even with an adult sitting in the seat. The first time I took my car to the dealership (8/9/14), they said this is new issue and that they would do some sort of software update and the problem will be solved. The issue happened again so I took the car back in (11/19/14) and they said the update might not have taken properly, so they did the update again. Well it took several weeks, but the issue happened again. I took the car in (3/16/15) and they said that they will do a complete reprogram just in case there was a lingering issue from last time. Well, that did not work. The issue is still happening and I took the car in yesterday (4/14/15) and the dealership called me today and said that they performed a function test and couldn't find any error codes, so they said that they couldn't do anything. They said that if it happens to bring it in asap. With this issue being so intermittent, I have resorted to taking photos of people in the passenger seat of the car while the car is in motion. I feel this issue needs to be addressed more seriously.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #221

Feb 252015


  • 13,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the air bags failed to deploy and the seat belt failed to lock and restrain the driver. A police report was filed and the contact sustained chest injuries. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where an inspection was done on the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 13,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Clevland, OH, USA

problem #220

Mar 112015


  • miles
Vehicle was serviced by Nissan dealership per NHTSA campaign #14V138000 on 3/11/15. On 3/12/15, the occupant classification system continued to operate improperly (e.g. not detecting an occupant in the passenger seat). This has been noted several times since the OCS software was updated by the oem.

- Milton, FL, USA

problem #219

Oct 222013


  • 10,183 miles
The passenger side air bag light will come on intermittently when there are passengers sitting in the seat. The light stays on indicating that the air bag is not functioning. The safety of the passengers are at great risk when this is occurring. The vehicle has been to a Nissan dealer numerous times for this safety concern to no avail.

- Lemont, IL, USA

problem #218

Mar 262013


  • 300 miles
Air bag off light comes on with passenger in seat. Dealer checked, no issue found. Months later, light continues to come on, dealer finally replaced sensor and reprogrammed car's computer. As of today, two years later, light still turns on. Have pics of air bag off light on with passenger in seat, and light on with no passenger in seat. Car now out of 36,000 mile warranty, but have appointment with dealer to check out again on 04/14/2015.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #217

Mar 242015


  • 22,000 miles


This is the fourth time the passenger air bag sensor light came on with an adult in the seat. Nissan has attempted to fix it numerous time without success. I question whether the bag will go off in an accident. I was told by the local dealer that I should call corporate and recorded the complaint. They said they would get back to me.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #216

Nov 152013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 500 miles
I noticed that the air bag indicator light came on (indicating no one was in the passenger seat) when an adult was sitting in the seat. I called the dealer and also heard that there was a recall. Dealer told me that a fix was unknown at the time and that I should wait for a recall notice. I received a recall notice many months later. I took the car in and something was adjusted/fixed per the dealer but problem was not resolved. I was told that I probably was not sitting in the seat correctly or I was under weight. Neither are true. Dealer retested and said nothing was wrong but I still have the problem with the indicator light. I do not feel confident that the passenger side air bag would deploy if I had an accident. Problem is intermittent. I heard recently on tv that other people like me were still complaining. I thought you should know that this problem may be more widespread since I am also experiencing it. Hope I never have an accident in this car!

- Malvern, PA, USA

problem #215

Jun 192013


  • 1,500 miles
The light that indicates my passenger frontal air bag will not deploy is coming on when a normal sized adult is in the front seat. Apparently, this is tied to a sensor which is supposed to disable the air bag if someone has a small child (between 30 lbs and 80 lbs) in the front seat due to the increased risk of injury with an airbag deployment. When I first bought the car, it happened approximately 10% of the time I had an adult in the front seat. I have taken my vehicle into the Nissan dealership twice for this issue. Once I was told that it was inspected with no issues found. And the second time, the dealership performed a re-programming of the computer according to a tsb from Nissan that they had on file. Since the re-programming was done, the frequency has increased to roughly 30% of the time an adult is in the front seat. The size of the passenger is irrelevant. It happens equally often when my 135 lb wife is in the front seat as it does when my dad or father-in-law (both roughly 180 lbs - 200 lbs) are in the front seat. I love the car, but this safety issue needs to be addressed. The previous recall/tsb has not resolved or even improved the issue. It actually made it worse.

- Royse City, TX, USA

problem #214

Sep 012014


  • miles
My Nissan dealer supposedly said they fixed a faulty passenger air bag sensor. Since the "fix" the sensor is showing that there is no passenger in the seat when in fact their is someone riding there. When I went for my last routine oil change about three weeks ago, I let them know of the problem but they said that I would have to come back and schedule a different appointment to have this fixed.

- Gretna, NE, USA

problem #213

Feb 052014


  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while operating the vehicle, the front passenger side air bag sensor light would intermittently illuminate indicating that the air bag system was not activated although the passenger was seated in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the failure was caused by the occupant classification system software. The software was updated but the failure continued to intermittently occur. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 9,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #212

May 242013


  • 2,000 miles
Passenger air bag indicator says off when an adult is sitting in the passenger seat. Happened multiple times since the recall fix was applied. Nissan dealer has checked the system multiple times and recalibrated the sensor multiple times. Happens randomly. Can happen multiple times in 1 day and sometimes not occur for 2 months. Happens when it is 0F or 80F temperature in the car. Happens sometimes when you first start the car after a cold soak and happens when it is a warm restart. I have video recorded of this incident uploaded to a file sharing site please let me know if you want the web link for the video from February 20, 2015 of this exact malfunction. I am meeting with a Nissan factory representative on March 25, 2015 at gandrud Nissan in green bay, wi to discuss the issue. Nissan case #[xxx] a few weeks ago [xxx] from Nissan Consumer Affairs said Nissan has no further fixes for my Altima. I told her it was not an acceptable answer. She suggested Nissan initiate the manufacturer buyback process and they declined to buy it back after evaluating the notes on my car. Please help get these unsafe cars off the road until they are safe. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- De Pere, WI, USA

problem #211

Sep 262014


  • miles
Air bag light still doesn't work properly. An adult can be sitting in the passenger and it comes on, at times no one can be in the seat and it still stays on.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #210

Dec 252012


  • 500 miles
Since I purchased my Altima in 12/2012, 90% of the time the "pass" passenger airbag light comes on when my wife is sitting in the front passenger seat. I have had the Altima in for repairs on this about 5 times at tamaroff Nissan in southfield, Michigan, including when there was a recall. I've had it looked at twice after the recall repair and it is still not fixed. Tamaroff has reloaded software and checked the sensors with no luck. They finally indicated that since my wife weighs around 110 pounds, she is on the cusp of what the sensor will react to. Jokingly, they indicated that if she would carry something heavy in her lap, such as a bowling ball, the pass airbag light would not be activated. My previous Altima never had this problem.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #209

Mar 222015


  • 20,050 miles
This has occurred multiple times since the recall work was done on my car. When driving the passenger air bag off light will turn on, even when an adult passenger is in the passenger seat. I've taken the car into the dealership to address this issue and was told that the system is functioning properly. The only way I've found to fix this issue is to pull over, turn the car off and turn it back on. Sometimes it takes multiple restarts for resolve the issue.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #208

Dec 282012


  • miles
The passenger airbag light would not go off. This happens periodically and not all the time. We had taken it back to Nissan three different times for repair and it still does the same thing. The most recent event was yesterday March 22, 2015. Updated 5/11/15

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

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