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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 1
Average Mileage:
3,971 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Nissan Murano Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 282003

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,914 miles


Crash was fatal head-on collision involving power steering problem in 2003 and 2004 Muranos. Murano driver was rounding sweeping right-hand curve on familiar road and ended up in oncoming lane. Driver apparently tried to steer back into proper lane, but was unable to do so, apparently because steering unexpectedly became very stiff and hard to turn when trying to turn quickly to avoid crash. Crash killed Murano driver instantly, and injured driver and occupants of oncoming pick-up truck. Extensive research in public sources has found that circumstances of this accident mirror problems with sudden loss of power steering-assist experienced by numerous Murano drivers in accidents and near-accidents at normal driving speeds, as in other complaints on NHTSA website and Nissan owner websites, and as found by consumers reports accident avoidance maneuver testing. This is a design issue, with steering pump based on lighter Altima unable to keep up with quick steering inputs. Interplay of continuously variable transmission and drive-by-wire throttle may also contribute to problem by creating possibility of rapid drop in RPM when driver quickly takes foot off accelerator, as in emergency. It is not clear whether other problems with car's steering performance also led to initial crossing into oncoming lane. Nissan changed steering pump in 2005 and later models to deal with problem. Drivers of 2003 and 2004 models are still at risk for loss of power steering when they most need it. When loss occurs in parallel parking it is an inconvenience; when it happens unexpectedly while driving, especially when trying to avoid an accident, it is life-threatening, as in this case. Because it is a design feature, all 2003 and 2004 Muranos are subject to this problem. Murano owners (and dealers) should be notified immediately of this dangerous design defect. There should be safety recall for replacement of inadequate steering pump system before there are more fatalities and injuries.

- Concord, MA, USA

problem #2

Jul 162004

Murano 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
2003 Murano. The power steering fades in and out while turning at slow speeds. Turn the steering one way to one direction and try to quickly turn it back to the opposite way while slightly accelerating. All of a sudden, steering becomes very difficult and requires muscle power causing a few near collisions when changing lane or maneuvering out of sudden avoidance.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #1

Oct 012003

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
2003 Murano. The power steering fades in and out while turning at slow speeds, especially when parking or driving in traffic jams. All of a sudden, steering becomes very difficult and requires muscle power causing a few near collisions.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

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