Notes: The 2012 Altima has a defect trend of CVT transmission failure showing up around the 100,000 mile mark.

It's an expensive repair at nearly $2,000 average repair cost. For more information see Nissan Altima CVT defect info on


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
105,850 miles
Total Complaints:
38 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (20 reports)
  2. replace transmission (13 reports)
  3. installed an external transmission fluid cooler (4 reports)
  4. transmission fluid replaced (1 reports)
2012 Nissan Altima transmission problems

transmission problem

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2012 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Jun 012016


  • CVT transmission
  • 80,000 miles


I bought my son a 2012 Nissan Altima in 2012 with about 14,000 miles. After driving for a couple of years, the car began slowing down while driving. No amount of pressure on the gas pedal helped. This has been a problem off and on since around 80,000 miles. I took it to my mechanic, who could find nothing wrong. I have since learned that Nissan has had pervasive problems with their transmissions and they have recalled some and extended the warranty on some. Of course, our car was not included.

I know personally three other people with Altimas with the same problem. All of a sudden the car slows and will NOT accelerate, which is dangerous.

I took it to the Nissan dealership, and wouldn't you know, they say I need a new transmission. My problem with this whole situation is that they knew there was a problem and did not include all cars affected by this faulty transmission. I'm not sure what to do from here, but will not pay $3,500 for a problem that is caused by a faulty part.

- Margaret D., Georgetown, KY, US

problem #37

Sep 022019


  • CVT transmission
  • 134,000 miles

I start out good on the interstate, 70mph+ and then out of nowhere the car slows down and will not accelerate. I remember going 20mph on the interstate one time and it was extremely dangerous! I could put the pedal to the floor and still no acceleration! It's like the pedal just flops, no pressure at all! It's happened MULTIPLE times. It's to the point where I'm scared to drive my car on the interstate as it happens EVERY TIME! It's extremely frustrating! Definitely need a recall or something! If I would've known about it, i would have NEVER bought the car!

- Destiny K., Conway, US

problem #36

Jul 012019

Altima LX 2.4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 120,100 miles

So when driving the car usually on cruise on the interstate after 2 hours the car losses power. You can press the gas but it slows down to 40 or less. You have to pull off and shut the car off! This is dangerous and annoying also. So not sure id it is the cvt cooler or the transmission. I have seen other report this issue on this model Altima. When will a recall be issued?

- Jay P., Murfreesboro, TN, US

problem #35

Mar 012019

Altima ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles


I am absolutely in love with my car. !st car I buy on my own and it has a HUGE problem with the 2nd most important part on a vehicle, the TRANSMISSION. I think my car is fairly new to have this BIG problem. When I took it back to the dealer they said, it had ran out of warranty. I looked too see if there was a recall. NOPE, nothing in the system. I am an overwhelmed single parent, I need a reliable car. I think Nissan should take into consideration everyone who has this type of problem....

- Cynthia G., Caldwell, US

problem #34

Apr 032019

Altima 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 183,300 miles

Why do I have to purchase a transmission in a 7 year old car? Nissan needs to recall thes funky CVT transmission System! My 2009 Altima out ran the 2012 it doesn’t have a CVT! All Nissan CVT Altima owners need to unite to have them fix this problem! Nissan knows it’s at fault!

- Rita C., Webster, US

problem #33

Sep 082018

Altima SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,512 miles

While driving 70 miles an hour on interstate, I lost speed and could not accelerate. An 18 wheel truck was behind me and I had to verve off the left hand side of the road so I would not be run over by the truck! I can't believe I didn't flip my car! I finally make it to the left side emergency lane and my car would not go more that 45 miles per hour with the pedal to the floor. The went on for about 20 minutes and then I was able to accelerate again.

I called my dealer where I purchased the car and by the time they got me an appointment it has happened 10 more times. The crazy part is MY WARRANTY WOULD NOT COVER THE REPAIR!!!!! The fix was a transmission coolant and they said it was not covered by my extended warranty!!!! So I called Nissan North America, Inc. Consumer Affairs AND THEY STILL WOULD NOT COVER THE REPAIR. The repair cost $600.00 out of pocket to fix!!!!


- Melissa W., Lexington, KY, US

problem #32

Sep 072018

Altima 2.5S V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 105,288 miles


After driving around for an hour in a half, my car started slowing in speed on its own. I looked behind me, a hwy full of 70mph big trucks and cars approaching fast. I looked at my son with pure terror," this is the end for us" I thought. I'm on interstate75 during rush hour traffic in Atlanta Georgia 1 of the busiest interstates in the U.S.

The car slowed from 70mph to 50 and below. I had no control over the car acceraltor!

Thank God, nothing happened as I made it over to safety.

This is DEADLY!.....DEADLY!!!!!!

I will never buy a Nissan again.

- cpatrick1, Snellville, US

problem #31

May 032016

Altima S 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I too have suffered the Trans Fail (safemode) Nissan would not replace because I had not had service with dealer (oil changes etc.) I added external tranny cooler. Under 1 hour work for about $130. Biggest deal is taking front bumper off, after that it's clear sailing. After install, no issues whatsoever, even in 100 degree heat on highway. Nissan is the worst to work with. They know about problem but fail to resolve issues.

Have had new ext cooler on for almost two years with no problems.

- Brian A., Greer, US

problem #30

Aug 282018

Altima 2.5 S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 109,000 miles

I understand some models have an extended warranty or 10 years and 120,000 miles. Why is it just some models? Why not all models if there is a known problem with the CVT transmission?

- Bob W., Kilmarnock, VA, US

problem #29

Jul 042018

Altima SL 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 112,800 miles

Purchased 2012 Nissan Altima used from local Hertz lot 12/16/13. In the summer heat of 2014 car slowed to 30-35 mph, unable to accelerate. Very dangerous on freeway. Private mechanic said it was factory defect. Went to Nissan of Duarte. They added trans. cooler, at no charge. Worked until 7/4/18, same problem occurred, plus check engine light went on(never happened previously). Different private mechanic knew problem, replaced trans. with rebuilt by Nissan trans, $3500.00.

Nissan customer service would not answer emails, and at one time in 2017, washed their hands of the problem. Nissan will not extend warranty of 120,000 miles, even though this car was under 113,000 on this occurrence. I have owned 2 Nissans before this: 1979 280zx (for sale), and 1997 infiniti i30t, blew transmission at almost 354,000 miles, it was donated, not worth fixing.

I am so disappointed and disgusted with Nissan, the bad attitude, bad customer service, indifference to customers, etc. I am going to send another email, but have no hopes of being recognized. I have joined one class action suit. Also, I cannot find an email or physical address for Nissan in Japan. If anyone knows, please post. They should know how customers are being ignored. Nissan is no longer my champion auto maker, and will never buy another one. Thank you for reading this. UUUGHGHGHGH!!

- madonna01, Pasadena, US

problem #28

Aug 052018

Altima 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 98,000 miles


My wife took the car several hours to a family vacation. On the way back at freeway speeds suddenly acceleration was gone and it wouldn't drive over 60mph. Got worse as she continued on. Dealer says 9 out of 10 times this requires a transmission replacement which they're saying is going to cost $4100. Car is barely worth that, so may just have to junk it. Going to take it to the dealer and have them confirm that it has to be replaced. Got a quote for about the same from Aamco to replace the transmission. It's a gutless wonder, which I was okay with until I found out that the transmission lasts less than 100,000 on average.

- Russ B., Logan, US

problem #27

May 092018

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 120,000 miles

On a hot day heading to CT going up the hill, the car shakes and can't speed up. When hot it makes weird noise. Let it cool off it, goes away. Then few days later, it comes back again. I took to the dealer. They claim the car is fine. They know all cvt transmissions suck. Can anyone help? I am about to contact a lawyer because many people have the same issues. It is Nissan's issue, they have to fix it.

- Aba S., Bronx, NY, US

problem #26

May 152018

Altima S 2.5L V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 120,548 miles

CVT transmissions according to many owners are no good. I will not replace my transmission with the history that I have read of these transmissions. I would like it added to the extended 10 year/120000 mile warranty that many other Nissan vehicles have been given. I have had my car for one year, used, as is. I found out early on that my transmission was going out. I have read that some owners have replaced their transmissions up to three times, and have the same issues with each new transmission. Thanks for letting me complain. I looked up the information about the CVT transmission failures from CarGurus trying to find out what was wrong with my car.

- Patricia R., Madras, US

problem #25

Mar 122018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Purchased my 2012 Nissan Altima in July 2014, but it just recently started the issue. We cannot drive it more than 40 min straight without it losing power and dropping to 45 mph on the hwy. It drops and we try to push the gas pedal down to gain speed, but it will not accelerate more than 45 mph. This was very scary the first time it happened to us (we were traveling to Las Vegas). We had to pull over to avoid being in an accident. After 30 minutes of sitting on the side of the hwy, we started the car and pushed on the gas to check if the rpm's meter would go up. It did, so we continued cautiously on the hwy. The car ran fine the rest of the way. It must be expressed how dangerous it is for this to be happening. It is an accident waiting to happen. I am afraid of taking my car long distance or allowing anyone to drive it that is unable to react quickly. We had a repair shop look into it, they put it on a machine but no codes are coming up.

- Damaris H., Chowchilla, CA, US

problem #24

Jan 162017

Altima 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 135,000 miles

I have suffered enough having no other transportation back and forth to work. Having to pay someone, bum a ride, having no life stuck at home, having to rent cars and still having to pay for a car I can't use. I want Nissan to make it right with all these car and stop putting these transmission that they know are not good. Stop saying there is no problem, when clearly there is. Every time I call the Nissan place in Montgomery, those unprofessional people in the Service Department keep telling me to bring it in and get diagnostic done. The want me to pay them $110 each time for them to tell me the same thing.


- Evett D., Montgomery, AL, US

problem #23

Feb 072018

Altima ES 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 139,000 miles

I am one of many Americans who have purchased a Nissan with similar complaints and historical findings that the CVT is not a good manufactured drive train component installed for Americans across the world. Nissan needs to compensate us for our trouble with recalling these vehicles and or repairing at no cost while a the dealership for repairs.

- Andrew E., Commack, NY, US

problem #22

May 092017

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,345 miles

When traveling on Highway at the speed of 70 mph for no more than an hour, the car will start to whine loudly and will go into what’s called a safe mode declining speed and not able increase speed! I wouldn’t call this safe on a highway!! I have filed a claim with Nissan Corporation as this is highly dangerous and unable to travel with my car! I was all about getting another Nissan .....not anymore!!

- Dulcey M., Santee, US

problem #21

Aug 312017

Altima 2.5S 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 94,000 miles

Today my wife and i drove from Knoxville to Nashville got approximately 30 miles outside of Nashville in BAD traffic when the car just QUIT going uphill....i pressed the pedal all the way to the floor and NO RESPONSE.....i had no clue of what was i got in far right lane near shoulder and could not get the speed above 45....this is dangerous as people were flying past me,flipping me off,etc......i continued to my exit because i was NOT leaving my car on the side of I40!.....was in Nashville 30 minutes turned around driving back praying....made it appx 100 miles then it repeated the same problem the last 65 miles to Knoxville.....i googled this problem only to find out it is TOO COMMON of a problem which will get someone killed! this needs to be remedied QUICKLY or I'm all in with everyone else to do a class action lawsuit against NISSAN!

- msgt richard, Knoxville, US

problem #20

May 232016

Altima 2.5 S 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,000 miles

This car has some kind of acceleration or transmission issue. I've been told that there is not a problem, but if it works at one point and then does not at another point there is clearly a problem. The car seems to accelerate smoothly sometimes and others I drive to blocks before the gears change. There are sometimes that in mid drive I will lose acceleration. This is dangerous on the freeway. I am outraged that these car companies can just run with your money. They charge 100times the amount it takes to make the car and then will not be honorable and admit when they need to correct something.

It has been almost a month that I have not driven this car and still making payments on it!!!! THANK GOD I have family and they have been very helpful on loaning me a car while I get the money to replace parts or transmission.

- Maria J., HANFORD, CA, US

problem #19

Jul 152017

Altima SL 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 103,734 miles

Traveling with friends driving on I 81 and all of the sudden car would not accelerate above 60 MPH no matter how much I tried to push gas pedal nothing happened. Cars on both sides of me because I was in middle lane. Cars started to pass me , honk at me and I barely could move over to shoulder to get off road because speed started to drop off quickly then I could barely go above 20 MPH. Same exact thing happened on the way home. Took car into Nissan dealership and was told needed new transmission.

Wouldn't you know that I am 3734 miles outside of my warranty!!!! I have called 1-800-Nissan 1 to file a case to see if anything can or will be done.. I mentioned this site and that there were numerous complaints identical to mine and asked if there was a recall or something under investigation due to similar issues with 2012 Altimas. I was told NO AND that unless owners call Nissan and start a case that they are unaware.

If you haven't done this PLEASE DO! Maybe we can get assistance or something will result by making them aware of this transmission issue. I just know that we should be getting longer life from a Nissan that 100000 miles.

- kdadams, Powell, US

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