Notes: Here's a disturbing trend for the 2002 Nissan Altima: the engine starts burning oil like crazy, the catalytic converter goes bad, the head gasket blows and eventually the entire engine needs replacement. Sound familiar? Like a script from a horror film, these Altimas seem doomed to fail around 95k miles.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,375 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 Altima accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #4

May 052007

Altima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,500 miles


Hinged seatback latch failed. No apparent cause; I disengaed it to use the pass-through feature of the seat and when I went to latch it, I noticed the latch had failed.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #3

Mar 092006

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Gas door did not latch closed. Had repaired on 3/9/06. Now I have noticed several 2002 Nissan Altima with the same problem. I contacted Nissan North America on 7/7/06 and was told that this defect was not in recall status, and I could therefore not be issue a refund for the repair. I began collecting plate numbers of Altima with the same problem, I'm at number seven so far. I believe that the gas door not closing could be a safety issue and should be recalled. This defect is not exclusive to my car.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #2

May 012005

Altima 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I always use my key chain when locking and unlocking my vehicle. On this day my drivers door would not shut on first try so I hit the unlock button again and it closed. The next morning when I left for work, driver door would not open from inside nor outside the car. Tired unlocking keyless and manually and it would not budge. Took to Nissan service to have repaired, they had to remove dr seat, inside pannel (if damaged while removing would be at my cost $400). After a few hours they finially got the door open to tell me that the door locked had gotten jammed. The repairs of them removing my door pannel from a closed door from within the car and to replace the entire locking system is estimating me $250. This is not a operator error that caused this issue just a malfunction, yet customer has to pay for the damage incurred because Nissan has built a lock system that is irreparable! if it had decided to "jam" up in a auto accinedt involving fire, I would not be here typing today.

- Statesville, NC, USA

problem #1

May 072003


  • miles
I have a Nissan Altima 2002. There are latches on the rear left and right seat but not in the middle seat - the safest one. Why can't I put the car seat in the middle using the inner most latches from the left and right seat" it says in the manual and online not to, but with no reason why. It is obviously the easiest way to install a car seat and a lot more studier then the seat belt. Is it that it hasn't been tested or is it known to be not safe" thank you. Liza

- New York, NY, USA

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