really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,912 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.

2008 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 222011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 72,345 miles


I was driving my 2008 Nissan Altima from los angeles to las vegas. When I was about to cross the California line into Nevada, my car started sounding like an electric vehicle. We lost speed and I tried shifting my cvt transmission into manual mode. The speeds would not change. After making an emergency stop. I put the car on reverse and then shifted to drive again. The car would move, but the speed would not change. As soon as I arrive to vegas, my car lost all speed and it wouldn't move in direct or reverse. Smoke started coming out of the car. I parked the car and turned it off. When I came back the next day to tow the car to the nearest Nissan dealer, the car would turn on, the engine was working, but the dashboard would not turn on and the car would not move either in direct or reverse. I bought the Nissan Altima brand new from the buena park Nissan dealer in California. The car has had all scheduled maintenance and I even took the car to get the transmission serviced at 48,000 miles. My car currently has 72,345 miles in it. When I took my car to the dealer in vegas, another person came in with the exact same issue under the same circumstances. Her vehicle had 75,000 miles and it had been serviced at the vegas dealer day prior to the transmission failing.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 182011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
From a complete stop, placed foot on brake pedal, put transmission into forward, released foot from brake pedal, vehicle accelerated into reverse without touching the accelerator pedal causing an accident into a parked car. Ten days later, from a complete stop, placed foot on brake pedal, put transmission into reverse, released foot from brake pedal, vehicle accelerated forward without touching the accelerator pedal causing an accident into a tree. Each incident occurred with different drivers. Transmission is faulty at 42K miles. Car is unreliable and unsafe to drive.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 092010

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the accelerator pedal was stuck in the up position while depressing the pedal, the vehicle failed to move. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they performed a diagnostic test but could not duplicate the failure. They also reprogrammed the computer but the problem continued. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 10,000. The dealer replaced the throttle lever assembly. Updated 11/05/10 the consumer stated as he backed out of the driveway, he then put the gear in drive and the vehicle would not move beyond 5 mph. After about 100 feet of a slow roll and trying to engage the accelerator, it caught with a lurch. According to the dealer, the transmission was overfilled with fluid, which caused the vehicle to shut down. Updated 12/22/10

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #4

Jul 042010


  • 33,125 miles


2008 Altima 2.5S was on 35-35 degree incline with front facing uphill. As I was exiting the vehicle, it popped out of park and into neutral. Before I could stop it, the driver door caught on neighboring yard/hill and bent forward. Damage to rear bumper as well. Damage totaled approximately $3700. Nissan said their filed tech could find nothing wrong with the car. I have found 7 other instances of this happening but they did not seem to care. This car is not safe to drive or park for that matter.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #3

Jul 102008

Altima 4-cyl

  • 69,304 miles
2008 Nissan Altima 2.5 4 cylinder with cvt transmission, when pulling out on highway the car began to accelerate normally at first (0 to 25 mph) but then would not accelerate and coasted into traffic nearly causing accident. This happened twice more on the way to the dealership. The problem happens intermittently and has been reported to a Nissan dealer twice for repair under warranty. Check engine light came on when lack of acceleration happened 3 times and twice the dealer reset the code, change the fluid and reprogram the computer and said it was just a fluke and that it found no hardware problems. The Nissan cvt transmission control electronics are unreliable, unsafe and should be investigated. This recurring problem very nearly resulted in a major accident today.

- South Point, OH, USA

problem #2

Apr 262010


  • 29,708 miles
Cvt transmission is warmed up after approximately thirty minutes of driving. Once warm, from a complete stop, I lightly accelerate to 20mph. The rpms drop slightly and more acceleration is necessary to drive faster than 20mph. I press the accelerator pedal to about half way down and the vehicle shudders/surges three to five times then accelerates rapidly. This causes your neck to snap back and the vehicle to loose control. No accident yet but it could easily happen. Taken to Nissan dealer in California who called it a "normal operating condition" and sent me home. Still fighting with Nissan customer service.

- San Jacinto, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 032009


  • 8,900 miles
While driving my 2008 Nissan Altima I came to a sudden stop going uphill to avoid hitting another vehicle. As I tried to proceed the transmission will not crank into gear even though it was in drive position. After shutting the engine off and restarting it I was able to proceed forward.

- Clifton, NJ, USA

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