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 1 of 5)

problem #87

Dec 082016


  • 77,000 miles


After hearing a scraping noise, while pulling out of a driveway, it was discovered that a 6-inch section (approx.) of metal was hanging from the undercarriage of the front passenger side of the vehicle. After looking at the area, it became clear that the floor pan under the front passenger side of the vehicle was corroded/rusted/rotted. After calling my local Nissan dealership, I was directed to Nissan corporate, who then passed me along to a regional Consumer Affairs rep. The bulletin number provided by that rep was ntb15-059 (floor pan repair). I was told that they knew of others also having this problem, but they said there was nothing they could do and that I should call around for repair estimates. After getting several estimates, it was discovered that the floor pan under the front driver side was even more rotted out than the passenger side. I was also told that carpeting in my vehicle was already slightly damp, due to the holes in the floor pan and that there may be a future issue with mold. Flakes of rusted metal continue to fall from underneath my vehicle. One autobody shop even stated that they had already fixed approximately 2 dozen other 2002 Nissan Altima with the same problem.

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #86

Dec 052016


  • 113,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the floorboard was completely corodded. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic where it was diagnosed that the floorboard needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 113,000.

- Yardville, NJ, USA

problem #85

Jun 292016


  • 83,450 miles
As others have stated.. the front floor pan on my 2002 nisan Altima completely rusted through. The total cost of repairs was $746.60.

- Towson, MD, USA

problem #84

Aug 012016


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the floor pan under the front driver and passenger side of the vehicle was rusted through and created holes in the floor. The failure occurred due to rusting of the floor pans. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 09/30/16

- Kings Park, NY, USA

problem #83

Oct 242015


  • 179,000 miles
Front floor boards are rusted through. Didnt not notice until an inspection was done. Find this very alarming as it can be unrecognized when stepping on it from inside, as the carpet hides and supports the partial body weight when stepping into the vehicle. Extremrely dangerous for anybody in front seats.

- Council Bluffs, IA, USA

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problem #82

Oct 012014


  • miles
Floor rusting out from front of car to seat. Feet could fall through. Gas fumes come in car.

- Paris, TN, USA

problem #81

Jun 012015


  • miles


I purchased my car in 2013 as a used 2002 Nissan Altima. This past June of 2015, my mechanic noticed large rusted out areas behind each front tire on both the passenger and driver side of the undercarriage. The driver side was rusted so badly that one could easily take chunks of rusted undercarriage off. I quickly noticed a large hole, realizing that without carpet beneath my feet I would have had my left food through to the ground. After much research, I found that this is an all too frequent occurance in Nissan Altima made in 2002-2006, and Nissan refuses to recall these vehicles and/or pay for damages. With these facts in mind, one can see that this is clearly not an issue of poor care and maintenance by the owner, nor can it be blamed on salt and chemicals on the road in snowy areas. This issue was unsafe to myself and my passengers. If the rust had spread, it could have caused damage to other areas of the car, risking permanent damage, an unsafe vehicle on the road, and causing potential harm to my passengers and myself. The repair for this safety issue did not come at a low price, and the scenario is eternally frustrating. I will never buy a Nissan Altima again, and will continue to warn friends and family against purchasing Nissan.

- Amherst, MA, USA

problem #80

Sep 292015


  • 161,985 miles
Got in my car and my boot literally went threw the floor in my driveway not on or anything !! this is dangerous Nissan has a bulletin number ntb15-059 but will not pay to fix the issue they caused "?" insane a car shouldn't be doing this anymore where not in the 80S the metal shouldn't be rotted and so thin that in 10 years its shot like an 80S truck. If this happened in the back seats with my daughter what would the problem be then my child getting cut on rust and having possible health issues !!! this is dangerous and if I was driving I would have lost my foot.. please make Nissan fix this issue its getting way out of hand and sorry not all of us can afford new cars to replace this issue.

- Franklin Square, NY, USA

problem #79

May 012015


  • 95,000 miles
While performing an oil change, noticed a soft-material flap had dislodged from underneath passenger side floor board. Upon further inspection, noticed excessive rust that has left a hole that goes through and reaches the interior carpet. The surrounding area is very soft and brittle, same on drivers side. Concerned about weakening structure overall especially seat placement, and possible injuries caused by not having a protective surface from the outside road.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #78

Jul 062015


  • miles
Floor panels rusting out. Had car in for service and mechanic told me there was major rust in the floor boards and should be addressed soon. The car has been garaged daily since it was purposed new at jeff wyler Nissan, cincinnati area. Not a lot of road salt used in this area. Understand a class action lawsuit is in place.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #77

Jul 272015


  • 148,000 miles


I discovered around this date that my drivers side and passenger side floorboards are rusted out and almost have holes all the way through the floorboard.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #76

Jul 242015


  • 64,333 miles
The car was diagnosed as having multiple large wholes in the floor under both the passenger and driver side where you would normally place your feet. At this point the car cannot pass a safety inspection.

- Winthrop, MA, USA

problem #75

Jul 142015


  • 85,000 miles
The floor boards on the passenger and driver side front have rusted through.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #74

Jul 152015


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. When the vehicle was taken to a mechanic, it was discovered that the floorboards on the front driver and passenger sides were rotting. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Harpers Ferry, WV, USA

problem #73

Jul 102015

Altima 4-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
My driver and passenger side floorboards are completely rusted through I was driving down the street and all of a sudden I heard a loud scraping sound when I got out to look half my drivers floor was on the floor so I go check my passenger side and it is also completely rusted but didn't fall yet.

- Bk, NY, USA

problem #72

Jul 082015


  • 120,000 miles
I have noticed there is extensive rust at the floorboard at the drivers seat. That is very localized and appears to be due to a design flaw that retains water there. I also feel this could be a structural problem.

- Stevensville, MI, USA

problem #71

Jul 022015


  • 112,000 miles
After noticing excessive rust on both front floor panels of my 2002 Nissan Altima, I googled "Nissan rust" and read the many articles and news shows on the amount of complaints. I live I St louis, so not a eastern state with excessive cold and snow. Very disappointed in this defect, and would hope Nissan would be forced to offer a recall to correct this defect.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #70

Jun 142015


  • 209,000 miles
There is a rust hole in the bottom of the drivers side floor pan about 5X10 inches this is very concerning and going to be a very costly repair that I can not afford.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #69

Jun 012015


  • 105,560 miles
Passenger side floor panel was noted to be rusted through upon inspection after smelling exhaust fumes while driving the vehicle. It appears to have rusted from inside the panel out as the bulging of the rusted panel downward toward the ground suggests. I would like to get this inspected but from what has been shared thus far, Nissan has not accepted responsibility (yet) for repairs. I am hoping Nissan will voluntarily inspect this model to determine a suitable remedy, otherwise this will be the last Nissan I choose to own.

- Oakland Gardens, NY, USA

problem #68

May 152014


  • 120,000 miles
Structure: Both front floor panels have rusted out. There are large holes and sagging of the floor that have weakened the overall floor structure and created an unsafe condition. It appears that a drain hole in each floor panel never had a rubber plug inserted. Over the years, water splashed up through the holes and was absorbed and trapped by the insulation material between the carpet and floor.this is not the result of normal wear and tear. If the drain holes had been plugged, this never would have happened!

- Ludlow, MA, USA

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