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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
92,827 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.

2002 Nissan Pathfinder steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments

problem #10

Aug 262015


  • 142,270 miles


There is a active recall for excessive corrosion in the driver side strut tower housing which can cause binding on the steering column. I received a recall in 2011, but never a follow up letter as stated would happen for the remedy process. I took my 2002 vehicle in since it was still eligible for repair.I was told that if it was not repairable, I would be told so and then it would escalate to Nissan na. After bringing in the vehicle, it is now not drivable at all due to the dealership trying to do the recall and damaging the transmission cross-member that it dropped 8". the whole inside of the tower was badly rusted as was much of the under carriage. In fact they let me drive the vehicle back home (43 miles) on the day I bought it in due to my time schedule was not free for 4 hours to wait and they had no loaner vehicle. A mechanic that was ready to purchase the vehicle looked under the hood and showed to my amazement, the tower was already embracing the steering column in such a way as it was embedded in the steel. We have pictures and documentation. So the vehicle was towed back the following day and they went ahead and did the "repair" on the tower. I was called the next day and told that the vehicle was "all set" and ready to be picked up. To my wifes and my surprise the next am arriving at the dealer ship, was the obvious cross-member hanging down on the drivers side. The GM of serafini had the vehicle towed back to my residence in hopes of this all going away after he was going to check the "paper trail". when we got the vehicle back later on, only then did we receive a invoice (attached) telling us the car was uninspected(false) and not safe to drive. It was given to the tow truck operator and he gave it to us. Their way to settle it was to have a junk yard pick it up for $400

- Deposit, NY, USA

problem #9

Jul 242015


  • 121,000 miles
Brakes failed. Took car to mechanic to repair 7/24/15. Mechanic replaced brake line and bled system but recommended we contact Nissan regarding severe corrosion in the right front strut housing area. The inner fender had pulled away causing the broken brake line. We were unaware of the extent of the corrosion until our mechanic pointed it out to us. We have photos of the area. We took the car to great neck Nissan on 9/2/15. After inspecting the car, they informed us that campaign #11V-244 would be repaired and that it had been previously repaired in 2011 at star Nissan of bayside, NY. The dealership had our vehicle from 9/2/15 until 9/9/15. On 9/8/15 they informed us that the car had additional front end issues that we would be responsible for, however, these issues would not have been a factor had the strut housing tower not been so severely defective. We had to tow our car home from the dealership because it had no brakes and was unsafe. The car is now sitting in our driveway unusable. We drove the car to the dealership and cannot drive it now (after campaign repair). Our mechanic inspected the repair and found the ABS box not secured (bolt missing). The ABS box moves substantially, it is supposed to be bolted to the top of the strut tower but it is not. In addition, the right front strut is leaking which is a direct result of the campaign issue. The left front sway bar link is broken due to the stress of the right front strut housing issue. We now have a vehicle that we cannot use that is otherwise in good condition. We have tried to resolve these issues with the dealership as well as with Nissan Consumer Affairs regional specialist but we were told that all associated issues are at the dealership's discretion. The dealership wants to charge us two hours labor to inspect the brakes but still deny the brake and suspension issues are related to the campaign

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 022010

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the steering wheel locking mechanism failed to unlock and the contact constantly had to maneuver and adjust the steering wheel to insert the key. The contact was able to insert the key after numerous attempts. The contact mentioned that the vehicle experienced the failure of the engine not cranking upon turning the key over into the start position. The contact also experienced suspension failure in which the vehicle was swaying back and forth with no warning at any rate of speed. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 11V244000 (steering, suspension). The vehicle was taken to the authorized dealer several times and the vehicle had several repairs performed. However the failure recurred. The vehicle was to be taken back to the dealer for further inspection and diagnosis. The manufacturer was notified of the failure several times. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 6/11/15 updated 7/16/2015

- Plainfield, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jun 032013


  • 116,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Pathfinder. The contact stated that the struts were rusted. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V244000 (steering, suspension). The failure mileage was approximately 116,000.

- Washington, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 032013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Shortly after entering freeway I heard a loud "pop" and the steering wheel grabbed to the right. Due to light snow and icy conditions at the time I almost lost control of the vehicle. After pulling over I noticed the front right coil spring had snapped at about the first coil up from the bottom.

- Shakopee, MN, USA

problem #5

Oct 122011


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the front end of the vehicle began to shake continuously. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and repaired under a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 11V244000 (steering: Column). However, after the remedy repair was performed the problem recurred. The manufacturer was notified and they recommended the vehicle be diagnosed by an authorized dealer at the expense of the owner. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- Rocky Hill , CT, USA

problem #4

Jul 212011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • miles


This vehicle was purchased in Tennessee and moved to Indiana less than 1 year later. Said vehicle has also made several trips to Michigan. I received a letter from Nissan stating there may be a problem with the strut housing which in turn can affect the steering. They made this to sound like a minor problem and to have it checked out if you hear noise or have difficulty steering. A concern would be if you are driving a vehicle that seems to steer correctly, however has a housing that is cracked, corroded and close to failing. Why would Nissan not recall all the vehicles to have them checked instead of making it sound like the problem is not that significant. Nissan's note states they are currently developing a remedy for this condition and when the remedy is available they will send a second letter asking owner's to bring in vehicle's for an inspection and a remedy. I haven't heard anything from Nissan since my first notice and that was months ago.

- Onward, IN, USA

problem #3

Sep 012011


  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 11V244000(steering:column). A few weeks after the repairs, the contact started to notice pulling in the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and they advised her that the recall was not done properly. The manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 170,000.

- West Greenwich, RI, USA

problem #2

Apr 202011


  • miles
Recall issued for Nissan Pathfinder -1996-2004- steering column- called the Nissan dealership and was told that my vehicle was not on some lists, well it does fall within the model years and I want it checked. Customer service rep was not helpful, asked to speak with a manager, have not heard back. Recall issued for Nissan Pathfinder-1996-2004- front suspension-called the Nissan dealership and was told that my vehicle was not on some lists, well it does fall within the model years and I want it checked. Customer service rep was not helpful, asked to speak with a manager, have not heard back. The interior panel lights work when they want to, not safe if driving at night, this occurs very often and nothing has been done to correct this reported issue by Nissan.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #1

Oct 212004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
Within 5 minutes of pulling out of a parking lot and onto a main street, driving at 20 mph in stop and go traffic, suddenly the vehicle veered to the right. The driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to go over a curb, up onto a lawn, across the street, hitting a mail box and went back onto the road. The vehicle hit an on coming van, went back up onto a curb and stopped. The driver had no steering control. The vehicle is currently at the dealership being repaired.

- Hazleton, PA, USA

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