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.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
96,473 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.

2003 Nissan Murano drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Nissan Murano Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #86

Jul 212009


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. While driving in stop-and-go traffic, the vehicle did not pick up speed after a stop. Approximately ten seconds later, the vehicle accelerated without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The failure recurred frequently. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and the contact was advised to take the vehicle to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 09V169000 (engine and engine cooling). The failure mileage was approximately 90,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #85

Jul 082016


  • miles
I recently purchashed a 2003 Nissan Murano for my wife and kid I feel like I put my familys life in risk buying this car tried several times to fix it but know out of funds to continue trowing my money away the car loses power in traffic on hills it is so dangerous we where involed in 2 near misses when trying to change lanes it loss power after hours of research I am not alone with this issue several othe people have my same type of problem I dont want to sell this car because I am not the type of person that will put somebody else life in danger so pleasee aking for youre help dont know what esle

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #84

Mar 152014


  • 98,000 miles
2003 Nissan Murano started at 98,000 miles. Like many, many thousands of others the cvt transmission has failed and is extremely dangerous! when driving in stop and go traffic for a short period of time, when pressing the accelerator the vehicle is completely unresponsive for about 5 seconds then suddenly launches forward unexpectantly! Nissan tried to look as if they are taking responsibility for the saftey flaw by extending the warranty period from 5 yr or 60,000 miles to 10 yr or 100,000 miles. Problem is the issue a lot of the times starts outside those perimeters such as mine! even more, if the vehicle does fall in the warranty period they replaced the faulty transmission with the exact same transmission which also fails as they are identicle! in my case the vehicle was already outside the extended warranty period when I started experiencing the issue therefore Nissan says it will not be covered. How can a major design flaw that is a serious saftey issue be covered under a time limit" the design flaw is forever therfore the safety issue is forever! so my life is depending on your help to get this resolved. This is a significant safety issue and I feel that Nissan should be held responsible for correcting this problem on all affected vehicles! I would not recommend the purchase of Nissan products until they live up to their responsibility. If the government can make GM, Chrysler and Ford recall that are over ten-years old ; why can't they require Nissan to do the same thing?"menu=2 look for yourself, google will show you hundreds of pages filled with Nissan cvt transmissions failing! this should be 100% lifetime covered!!!

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #83

Dec 032015


  • miles


I have a 2003 Nissan Murano with 88,000 miles. The car for the most part has been reliable. Recently it was diagnosed with a bad cvt transmission. Nissan said it is to old to be considered for warranty repaired, I have noticed on various websites that this vehicle has numerous complaints regarding this cvt transmission. Despite a warranty extension by Nissan to address this problem, it seems that this problem occurs after the vehicle has exceeded any warranty consideration. This is a significant safety issue and I feel that Nissan should be held responsible for correcting this problem on all affected vehicles; this should include free transmission fluid changes they claim may cause cvt failures. At this point I would not recommend the purchase of Nissan products until they live up to their responsibility. If the government can make GM, Chrysler and Ford recall that are over ten-years old ; why can't they require Nissan to do the same thing?

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #82

Jul 092015


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. While drivibg at 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact stated the failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 113,000.

- Kailua, HI, USA

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problem #81

Apr 242015

Murano 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Transmission housing is cracked. Vehicle made loud noises and shuddering. Several similar complaints on the internet.

- Golden, CO, USA

problem #80

Dec 212014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles


The rear suspension member link which holds the suspension to the car rotted off and caused the suspension to fail. The remaining metal is severely rooted or perforated. There are several 2003 Muranos on the road. Mine is always garaged and I have kept it well maintained since new. Nissanusa was called and they will do nothing to fix or pay to fix the problem. I surely would think this car could go for several more years before any problems with it. The entire car has no rust anywhere on it, so why did the rear suspension fail? I am wondering if in the early 2000's if this metal that was used was some of the batch that made them recall and replace a large number of pickup trucks too. I am wondering how many other Murano's have this problem or will. This is surely a safety issue for anyone who is driving a vehicle like this.. please help.

- Norton, MA, USA

problem #79

Nov 252014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Coming off exit ramp, stopped and turned left, was going around 25 mph when the car surged forward, accelerated, RPM shot up. I had to slam on the brakes and put the car into neutral. The car then slowed and began driving normally. A week later, my wife and I were on the interstate going around 60 mph when the car slowed down as though it was put into a low gear. We could only get it to go no more that 35 mph. We pulled off on the shoulder and parked. The car would not start again. Had to tow it. About a month later, I was on the interstate going around 65 when the same thing happened as before, it went into a lower gear, lowering my speed to around 30 mph which caused me to almost get hit from behind. Had it been a large truck it most likely would have hit me. I put it in neutral and pulled off to the shoulder. When I pulled out again, it drove at a normal rate of speed. I've taken it to the Nissan dealership and they claimed they couldn't find anything wrong. The internet is full of complaints from Murano owners with the same problems and stating that local Nissan dealerships cannot find the problem and if they do anything, they change out the transmission at a cost to the owner. I just purchased my Murano a few months ago in September of 2014 from a small lot. This is very frustrating for me and my family. Twice we could have very easily been hit from behind. Since this is a problem that's been going on since the first 2003 Muranos, I feel Nissan should order a recall and fix this safety issue before someone is killed.

- Gahanna, OH, USA

problem #78

Jun 102014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I purchased this car from a dealer as a used vehicle in September 2013. After several months I began to notice a very serious transmission problem. All of the sudden when driving the car does not respond to the gas pedal and then all of the sudden the vehicle will lurch forward. This has been scary and unsafe when driving in high traffic areas and I have run the risk of rear ending another vehicle. Other times it has been an extreme safety hazard when entering traffic that is traveling at a higher speed and you have to speed up to merge. If your car does not move when you press on the gas pedal others can crash into you. I have read that other Nissan Muranos that are the same year as mine have experienced the same safety issues and Nissan has received a significant number of complaints with regard to cvt and front transfer case (cracks/fractures) issues but that Nissan has not had a recall to correct this serious problem. I have a three year old grand daughter that I have in my car with me on a daily basis and I am afraid to drive the car! I also purchased this car after another serious accident that totaled my other vehicle and now I have a car that has major safety issues that I am extremely concerned about!!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #77

Oct 242014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
Transmission, transfer case, it wouldn't shift gears. It didn't go over 40 30 mph I accelerated and won't do more then 30, 40 mph and the vehicle shut down on me.

- Bladensburg , MD, USA

problem #76

Jul 142014


  • 101,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact stated that while driving up a hill at an unknown speed, the vehicle lost power and made a grinding noise. The contact mentioned that the vehicle failed to accelerate and there was a sudden increase in engine rpms. Also, the contact mentioned that the vehicle would suddenly engage independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 101,000.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #75

Jul 162014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 91,750 miles
I just purchased this vehicle on 7/15/14, drove it home and it would not start 7/16/14. I was able to get the vehicle started, but the service engine soon light came on and it shut off 2 more times while parked. I was finally able to get it started and running to go about my errands. I stopped to pick someone up from the hospital and it started up, but immediately shut off again. Eventually, it started bucking and shuddering while I was driving and seemed as if it was going to shut off. I was able to get it to the dealer I purchased it from and he is taking responsibility of getting it serviced. The diagnosis was the rear cam position sensor went bad. I called haldemann Nissan in hamilton, NJ to inquire about recalls, as I knew this was a recall issue and was told that my VIN number had no recalls.

- Bristol, PA, USA

problem #74

May 032014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
While driving on the interstate the vehicle lost acceleration completely.. it had to be re-started in order to continue driving. Once in, option again, the engine was idling extremely high and continued that way until the vehicle was turned off and sat for over an hour. Started.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #73

Apr 092014

Murano 6-cyl

  • 93,300 miles
I was hearing some really loud noises while accelerating in the last couple of days prior to the "stalling/no acceleration" issue that I experienced on April 9, 2014. I was driving on a busy expressway in rush hour traffic and the vehicle wouldn't accelerate or would hesitate for 5 seconds or so and then it would "kick" in, albeit slowly. The car is at the dealership right now.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #72

Sep 072013

Murano 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
We were driving home (my daughter was driving) about 45mph, and the car made a whinning noise then the rpms were going up and down, then when she pushed on the gas the car did not accelerate. Got the car home and my husband said he would look at it. Every time we start the vehicle makes a horrible whinning noise. We were going to have it towed to get it checked out and in the matter of a few days a squirrel had gotten under the hood and ate the main wire casing. So we had it towed to woodmen Nissan in Colorado springs since we couldn't do anything until that was fixed because the car had no wiring. That was 9-21-2013. We got a call from woodmen niss that the part was on back order and would be awhile, well 12-21-2013 we finally get a call that the car is done and we could come get it. While we are waiting for a car, I googled transmission problems with 2003 niss Muranos and found the ext the warranty to 10yrs or 120K, well we are under the mileage but 1 1/2 months over time. We purchased from our brother in law who was the original owner. He and well as us, took very good care of the vehicle it was well maintained. Niss said there is nothing they can do since it is over the 10 yrs. I looked back at the records and the vehicle was taken in on several occasions for leaking transmission... I too believe Nissan should be responsible for a new transmission as it was a bad transmission and they knew it was bad. They are not willing to do anything.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #71

Nov 172013

Murano 6-cyl

  • 80,100 miles
My wife and I were traveling 55 miles an hour when the transmission stopped working in our 2003 Nissan Murano, jerking the car (and us), and leaving the vehicle paralyzed in night traffic in the fast lane. Several cars nearly hit us until we could safely steer the car to the shoulder. We were obviously scared to death and hurt from the abrupt stop. The vehicle would then only carry us about 1 mile an hour along the shoulder until we could get to safety. This vehicle only has 80,100 miles on the odometer (over a 10 year period.) it is very well cared for and maintained. We took it to the Nissan dealer (woodmen Nissan of Colorado springs) for repair, and are now told it needs a new transmission. They will charge us $3,600 plus tax for a rebuilt transmission. Nissan motor company, ltd is aware that it put defective transmissions in this model year, because it later extended its power train warranty (after consumer complaints) for this model to 120,000 miles or 10 years, whichever came first. Again, my vehicle has only 80,000 and just went over the 10 year mark. This product is unacceptable and nearly cost me and my wife our lives. Nissan's mistake is also now potentially costing us thousands of dollars to fix. I want Nissan to take care of this defect by replacing the transmission in our car. I have contacted it's customer care center and am now waiting for a response. It is solely Nissan's fault., and it's responsibility to repair. I have informed millions as a news anchor across the country over the past 18 years, and I now work as a free-lance journalist with two national news networks, I will share Nissan's response to my request with every living person in my sphere of influence through every avenue of broadcast and social media I possibly can. We will see if a company that put it's customers in defective, dangerous vehicles will do the right thing.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #70

Nov 042013

Murano 6-cyl

  • 84,985 miles
Loud banging noise, louder as I increase speed, new transmission 3/2013.

- Westfield , MA, USA

problem #69

Jul 112012

Murano 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
While driving on a major freeway I began to hear my cvt transmission making a loud winding noise that sounded like a turbine engine revving up and then my engine light came on. After I noticed something was wrong, the vehicle went from 65mph to 15mph during extremely heavy high speed traffic and then I was not able to accelerate which brought the vehicle to a complete stop on the freeway. The vehicle constantly does a bunny hop in heavy stop and go traffic which almost caused me to rear end another car because of the sudden surge of acceleration. This has been an ongoing issue since I purchased the car and is now becoming a serious safety issue.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #68

Feb 152013

Murano 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
My wife was driving down our road when the transfer case on her 2003 Nissan Murano locked up and locked the back wheels spinning her into the ditch and sign post. She wasn't hurt. I did alot of research on the problem, and it turns out that Nissan knows there was defective tranny and transfer cases on the 03, and 04 Muranos. They even issued T.S.B.S to the dealers about the defect. My question is, why they aren't being held accountable to fix the problem" why no recall? isn't your job to make the auto makers make a safe product and when they don't, call them on their faults. I know that there are alot of Nissan owners like myself that are getting nowhere with Nissan. Our domestic auto makers have to live with recalls, why not Nissan"

- Phelps, WI, USA

problem #67

Apr 212013

Murano 6-cyl

  • 142,410 miles
I was driving down a hill road, I decided to turn back, I performed a legal U turn and when I tried to reverse the accelerator would not perform its duty. I was going downhill and hit the dirt curb and almost went off the cliff if I had not pressed the emergency brakes. This is not the only incident. As I go on the freeway I am not able to accelerate from time to time because the step motor cannot perform its duty in making sure gears switch at a proper time. I went to a transmission expert and was told it was the step motor which affects the transmission. This part is in charge in making sure gears switch properly. I went online and I have seen that many people have issues with this same problem. I called a Nissan dealership and was told that since I had passed the 120K mileage mark they could no longer service my transmission within the warranty limits. This means I will have to pay out of pocket $2,140 for a new transmission not including labor.

- Cudahy, CA, USA

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