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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,690 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #7

Apr 012008


  • miles


Nissan recall on frontal drivers side air bag. Shortage that would prevent airbag from deploying in the event of an accident. Contact Nissan my VIN# was not included in recall. Nissan should be responsible since problem caused by defect in their product.

- Neeses, SC, USA

problem #6

Dec 132006

Altima 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Air bag warning light came on. Dealer says codes point to spiral cable or air bag unit but can't say for sure which caused one light to come on.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #5

Mar 092008

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles
As I was driving the road at a good distance from the vehicle in front of me, the other veh stopped suddenly. I put foot on the brakes but I skid to his rear bumper with my front end. I was traveling about 40 miles per hour. The passenager side air bags deployed and the seatbelt tighten, but mind did not. Which caused me to strike the steering wheel and multiple injuries that I'm still suffering. When my vehicle was take to mechanic, he stated my air bag sensors were not activated and he stated that I did not have anti-lock brakes which could have caused me not to have the accident. I purchased the vehicle from a local dealership in July 2007, before purchasing I had Firestone inspect the veh for any defects or mechanical problems. They never said anything was wrong with my sensors or that I lacked anti-lock brakes. The dealership was to have done a safety check on my vehicle and I was never told that my vehicle had a recall for air bags. Had I known I would made it was fixed before purchasing and I would have not suffered injuries. My vehicle was totalled from that crash anther other vehicle a 2006 Nissan maxim had a couple dents and scratches. My vehicle was totalled on 03/17/08 and I'm still going to the doctor for pain. I do not know what to do about this issue but I going to make sure something is done very soon.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #4

May 012002


  • miles


This car has been a lemon since day one, in and out of dealership for one reason or the other, it started with the car running hard, dealership told me it was because I have broke the car in and now this is how they run, took it back again 3 to 4 more times with same problem, told them car idles high, shifts bad, runs bad, they said nothing wrong, I do alot of highway miles and as soon as I was over the miles and out of the warrenty they told me that the motor mounts were gone only 800 to get fixed, I was then hit by a car head on and really hurt I suffered major back problems, come to find out I probaby could have prevented some of the damage to my self if I had a saver car, my air bags didn;T deploy. I have had every recall to this car, the service men at the dealserships are the rudest men I have ever delt with. I was right the whole time !!!!! I have also experienced the same thing with the lights cost around 800 to fox kept changing the lights not to mentions the tickets I recieved from the cops, I explained to them the light keeps going out, they are like this is a 02 that doesn't happen, if they only knew!!! I am really tired of this car, now I was just told that the car has another problem, it over heats they think it might be the therostat but they don't know. How much money will that cost me"?" I am one angry person when it comes to this car!!!!!!!

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 122003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
I had an accident where I was hit going about 35 mph in the front passenger side corner and the air bag did not deploy.

- Shrewsbury, PA, USA

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problem #2

Jun 232003

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,830 miles
Consumer states that while driving at 50mph. Vehicle was in a head on collision. Consumer states that both front airbags did not deploy. Dealer notified. There was a recall on the vehicle.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #1

Apr 272002


  • miles
Another vehicle ran a stop sign and consumer's vehicle hit that vehicle on the driver's side rear at about 15 mph. Upon impact, none of consumer's vehicle airbags deployed.

- Butler, NJ, USA

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