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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,900 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.

2003 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 182008

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,800 miles


There is no interlock on ignition to prevent removal of the ignition key if shifter is not placed in park position. Car was parked and automatic transmission shifter was in neutral when key was removed. Car rolled out of parking lot down embankment and crashed into tree then proceeded across street into a lower parking lot hitting guard rail before coming to a complete stop. This lack of a safety feature was unknown to owners and consider this a defect safety risk to the public.

- Leominster, MA, USA

problem #1

May 102004

Altima 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Shift lever easily shifting through 1, 2, 3, N causing the vehicle to rollin to a canal.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

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