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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,000 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 #3

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 #2

Mar 182004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Nissan Altima overheats, air conditioner and engine failures. Customer states that she has brought the car in on numerous occasions for the overheating, air conditioning, and engine failures. The consumer stated she was backing out of the driveway, when all of a sudden the engine light flashed and there was an immediate loss of power and no steering capability. The starter, engine control module and radiator were replaced. The thermostat was sticking which was one of the reasons the engine was overheating. The rear middle seat belt locked into place. The fuel door would not open when using the internal latch. The gear was difficult to get out of park.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

May 272002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driver's seat belt will not retract. Problem has existed since vehicle was purchased in September. Seat belt gives no support when worn. When sudden braking tension on belts fails. Dealer was contacted.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

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