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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,837 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Feb 212012

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles


Rusted out floor pan on bottom of car underneath drivers feet area and front passenger feet area. Two separate large holes in floor..

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #26

Apr 062012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
While changing the serpentine belt on my Altima, I noticed an eight inch chunk of the driver's side floorpan rusting away straight through to the carpeting. I also saw the floorpan beginning to rot away on the passenger side as well. I was shocked and disappointed that a car only 10 years old would have this type of problem, especially a Nissan. Now I have to figure out how to get this repaired without breaking the bank...

- Ridgewood, NY, USA

problem #25

Apr 052012

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
The Nissan Altima has severe rusting problems which will result in deterioration of the driver and passenger floor. I purchased my Altima brand new in 2002. 10 years later, my mechanic says there are holes in the driver and passenger side floorboard which will cost between $2000 and $3000. Nissan will do nothing to aid their customers.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #24

Feb 082012

Altima 4-cyl Diesel

  • miles


I was under my Altima doing routine maintenance. On the right front floor area, I noticed rusted metal flaking off of the floor pan. Inspecting the area revealed that a large area was rusted completely thru. Further inspection revealed no other involved areas of the floor pan. I thought this was very strange indeed, especially since the car is rarely driven in the winter and also that the car was used in a southern state for a large portion of its operating life. Checking on the internet revealed that many people are reporting the same issue.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #23

Dec 182011


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5. the contacted stated that while the vehicle was being serviced by a private mechanic, the mechanic advised the contact that there was corrosion under the passenger side floor boards. The manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 104,000 and the current mileage was 112,000.

- Fall River, MA, USA

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problem #22

Oct 222011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while the vehicle was serviced by a local repair shop when she was advised that the floor boards were corroded. The manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 59,000 and the current mileage was 72,000. Updated 02/06/12

- Dunbar, PA, USA

problem #21

Oct 012011


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed state inspection due to corrosion of the sub frame. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the dealer confirmed the corrosion of the sub frame. The manufacturer was contacted but the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 104,000.

- Media, PA, USA

problem #20

Oct 172011

Altima 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
The floor on the passenger side of my 2002 Nissan Altima 3.5 has rusted through, and the driver's side is well on the way. The car up till now has been an reliable, excellent vehicle. But with only 99,000 miles on it, it is basically trashed. It's like a seemingly healthy, active 50 year old going to the doctor for a yearly checkup, and being told "you have stage four cancer. It's over." Nissan won't do anything to help or compensate, stating it is beyond the perforation warranty. Cars built in 2002 aren't supposed to rust out. There's no visible body rust on the car, but the floor is rusted through. This should be a class action suit, as it has happened to many Altima. It is truly a crime.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #19

Aug 172011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
Floor pans on both driver and passenger sides are rusted through engine dies randomly.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #18

Sep 012011


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the floorboard on the driver and passenger side was corroded. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 60,000.

- Boston , MA, USA

problem #17

Aug 232011

Altima 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


Passenger side floor rust out. Discovered August 23, 2011. Noticed wet passenger footwell after driving in rain. Looked underneath car and found rest of car to be pristine, almost like new. Car as a whole in great shape, except for this one area. Clear design problem/flaw.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #16

Feb 012011


  • 101,000 miles
Floorboards rusted through on my 2002 Nissan Altima putting my child in danger.

- Barrington, IL, USA

problem #15

Jan 012011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 95,465 miles
I have an 2002 Nissan Altima S 2.5 liter with 95K on it. There is heavy rust under the drivers floor. It has only taken a little short of a year to go from nothing to some major rot. I am a professional detailer and autobody tech and the car has been meticulously well maintained. It looks as though is a flaw in the design. I noticed it today when I was changing my oil and inspecting the underside of the car.

- Pottstown, PA, USA

problem #14

Nov 022010


  • 90,000 miles
2002 Nissan Altima floorboard rust through. 90,000 miles, discovered large hole from rust through on passenger side front floorboard. Car is washed on normal basis and was parked in unheated garage during winter months.

- Cicero, NY, USA

problem #13

Nov 012010

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
While getting new tires put on my car the mechanic noticed a large hole in my passenger side floor. I own a 2002 Nissan Altima and he mentioned this was not the first case on this model of car he had seen. Upon further examination it became clear that someone had placed tape and some tin to mask the problem. I bought the car from my grandma who had no idea of such an issue. She had bought in when it was a year old. Clearly a car that age should have no reason to rust and have a hole in it, since I must assume the original owners placed the tin. Even a car at 8 years old should not have the rust that is found under only the passenger side and a hole the size of a dinner plate. I have researched it online and have seen numerous complaints similar to mine for this make and model.

- East Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 282010


  • 100,000 miles
Underbody rust. Auto body shop stated this was a very unusual condition for a vehicle this age.

- Chanhassen, MN, USA

problem #11

Aug 152010

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I own a 2002 Nissan Altima. A few months ago I noticed rust on both the passenger and driver side. The drivers side is worse than the passengers side. There is an actual hole in the metal where it has corroded. It has rusted from the inside out, so it appears to me as if it is a factory defect. I called Nissan and spoke with a representative. She told me there was nothing Nissan could do because the warranty has expired. I talked to her supervisor and she told me also there was nothing they could do. Her 3 reasons were: (1) it costs too much to fix (2) she does not know the history of the vehicle and (3) the warranty has expired. I believe that this defect is a safety issue and Nissan need to fix it.

- Parker, Co 80134, CO, USA

problem #10

Feb 182009


  • 105,000 miles
Rusted floor boards front. Floor boards rusted specially passenger side due to defect in the drainage inside or poor design. Persons could inhale gas fumes or floor board suddenly fall down if a person is unaware that a rusted hole is underneath. Told out of corrosion warranty which is only 5 years.

- Mount Prospect, IL, USA

problem #9

Sep 162010


  • 89,847 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic shop for an oil change and while inspecting the vehicle they found the floor boards rotted out on the driver and passenger side. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they took pictures of the failure and contacted the manufacturer. The manufacturer contacted her and informed her it was wear and tear and the vehicle was out of warranty and there was nothing they can do for her. The failure mileage was 89,847.

- Hyde Park, MA, USA

problem #8

Aug 132010


  • 42,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2002 Nissan Altima 2.5 S. I have owned this car for almost 8 years and have close to 42,000 miles on it. I purchased it brand new in 2002 from a Nissan dealership. Just recently I had a routine oil change done in my car and my mechanic noticed an enormous rusted hole on the driver side of the floor panel underneath the car, the passenger side also had a big rusted spot where another hole is developing. I took it to a local Nissan bodyworks repair shop where I was advised to replace the entire floor panel, since it was so badly rusted, you can see the carpeting through the hole. The estimate came out to a total over $2,000. This comes as a complete surprise to me, since I hardly drive my vehicle and take very good care of it. It is kept in a sealed garage of a private house. The vehicle also gets washed regularly, especially during winter months. The underbody is cleaned periodically (at the very least once a week in winter) to make sure the salt and sand/dirt does not cause deterioration, it also gets waxed every so often. When the floor coverings get wet during the cold months, I take them out and dry them before placing them back in. I am just in a total state of shock, how a vehicle with 42,000 miles during a span of 8 years, which was kept inside a garage and constantly maintained have such an issue with the floor panel. There is definitely something wrong with the way that particular part of the car was manufactured.

- Champlin, MN, USA

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