Notes: The 2013 Nissan Altima has multiple problem trends including the CVT transmission, and now that this model is out of warranty, it earns our "avoid like the plague" badge.

Owners complain about vibration and transmission failure related to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), a whining noise from the power steering pump, and constant windshield problems that appear to be the result of poor design.

Be warned: the 2014 & 2015 Nissan Altima appears to share these same problems.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
20 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,912 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.

2013 Nissan Altima seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2013 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 11 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #115

Jul 092012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 100 miles


Within the first week of having the vehicle I noticed the car pulled to the left. Had the alignment fixed. 7 months later I had the car back in the shop because the passenger air bag light said the air bag was not turned on. This occurred with a 128 pound girl in the seat and on another occasion with a 215 pound man in the passenger seat. The dealership stated that there was no problem and that the air bag would deploy if necessary. Less than a month after that I still have the problem and now my elec. Stability did not start working till about 15 min of slipping around on snow while driving home from work. Ever since it finally came on the light now stays on the majority of the time and occasionally goes off but the roads have been both wet and completely dry when this occurs. Also now my steering wheel is tilted about 30 degrees to the left when I have my car driving on a straight away because my alignment has went completely off again but even worse than before.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #114

Jan 232014


  • miles
I have had the 2013 Nissan Altima in for service 5 times for the occupancy sensor in the front passenger seat. The air bag is off per the lighted indicator on occasion when a passenger rides in the front passenger seat. I have contacted NHTSA for the specs on the sensor. Nissan submits these specs to the NHTSA for compliance regulations. The specs state that the passenger must be over 108 pounds for the air bag to be activated. In the case of all the front riding passengers in my 2013 Nissan Altima, this requirement was well exceeded (150+ lbs). Please review the follow link for facts. **please note that a 5th percentile human female weighs about 102 lbs and a 5th percentile female test dummie weighs 108 lbs. I am not confident that our local dealership can or will repair the vehicle after 5 attemps (3 sensors and 2 sensors "resets"). I have opened a case with Nissan and will be submitting the lemon law documentation. I am seeking full replacement of the vehicle with a new 2013/2014 Nissan Altima or full amount paid (car, down payment, trade in, tax, tag and tile).

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #113

Dec 292012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 4,000 miles
Air bag light to indicate airbags are of comes on when I have an adult passenger in the front seat. Can turn the car off and back on and the light may stay off - very inconsistent. Same passenger rides in a 2010 Nissan Altima front seat with no issues. Has happened with 2 different passengers and neither has had this problem in any other vehicle. Both are adults weighing approximately 100 pounds. Taken to the dealer twice - no resolution. Dealer says working as expected.

- Perkasie, PA, USA

problem #112

Oct 122013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 13 miles


When the front passenger seat is occupied the passenger air bag light is illuminated indicating the air bag is not activated. This issues has occurred since purchasing the vehicle. I have reported this to the dealership at the 3500 & 7500 service intervals. At the 3500 miles service the action was verified that the sensor was properly calibrated & working properly and should not happen again. The next day the light again came on when my 138 lb son was riding. Although this does not occur every single time a passenger is riding, it does occur frequently. At the 7500 mile service I again notified the dealership of the continuing issue. The issue was again verified that the system was working properly. The dealerships response was that the issue was related to using the specified components (seat cushion & sensors) that the NHTSA requires manufacturers to use, leading me to believe the issue is with government specs and not with Nissan. If so, the question then would be why doesn't this occur with every car that has an air bag in it's seat? this is the first car I have ever been in that has this issue. With exception that this same issue occurred when I rented a 2013/2014 Nissan Altima recently on a trip. Additionally when I asked, none of my friends or family have ever heard of such an issue. This issue is not resolved.

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #111

Mar 102013


  • 37,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger's side air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the mat sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number 13V069000 (air bags) but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 37,600.

- Westfield, MA, USA

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problem #110

Jan 162013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,800 miles
The center console air bag light becomes illuminated after the passenger had been seated in the car for some time, indicating the passenger seat air bag has been disabled.. took the car in to Nissan as I was alerted to a recall. I was told my sensor did not need to be replaced, just reprogrammed. That did not solve the problem. The light keeps coming on. The passenger is over 150 pounds. The light comes on after the car has been operational, the light always goes off when the vehicle is started. The passenger is usually reading, so they are sitting still. When the light comes on, Nissan indicates the air bags may not work in the event of a collision. I have taken this car back to Nissan 4 times because of this problem. Since the computer indicates no errors, nothing gets fixed. When I leave the dealer, there is always a reason why nothing gets fixed and I am also told there is nothing wrong. There is obviously a problem with the passenger seat sensor. I am very concerned on the safety of the passenger since the air bags will not deploy if this light is on.

- Trinity, FL, USA

problem #109

Mar 052013


  • 1,500 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger's side air bag warning lamp was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The computer was reset as a precaution. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 1,500 and the current mileage was 36,300.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #108

Jan 102014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 10,985 miles
Since I purchased this vehicle in June I have noticed that the air bag light will go on for the passenger seat when someone over 100 lbs is sitting there. I took it in today and they tested the sensor and reset it. They said that everything was normal and if it did it again to turn off the car and have the passenger sit properly on the seat and not half way. It is intermittent and happens only occasionally. I know that the passengers are sitting fully on the seat and worry that the air bag is not going to work when it is supposed to. I see several postings on youtube about this same problem and customers complaining that their dealers can't find the problem and to bring it in when the light is on. I also noticed a recall for occupant sensors on this model and wonder if this problem is related.

- Stoughton, WI, USA

problem #107

Dec 102013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 18,499 miles
The front passenger air bag status light (passenger air bag off), illuminates intermittently with a full sized adult sitting in the right front passenger seat. Nissan claims that my vehicle is not subject to the voluntary safety recall campaign id# PC214, dated April 2, 2013. The passenger airbag status lamp is located above the instrument panel center stack. This intermittent condition has occurred twice through the month of December 2013. The warning indicator will turn off and operate correctly after I turn off my running engine and restart.

- Media, PA, USA

problem #106

Jan 102013

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the air bag warning light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was included and repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 13V069000 (air bags). After the recall repair was performed the failure continued. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and an engineer inspected the vehicle. The engineer recommended replacing the interior of the front passenger's seat. After the vehicle was repaired the failure continued to occur. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 1,000....updated 02/11/2014

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #105

Jan 092014


  • 14,000 miles


The passenger front airbag does not detect adults sitting in the seat and therefore may not deploy in a crash. My car does not fit under the previous recall. Nissan corporate says it is aware of the problem. But cannot provide a date of a software patch. As a solution, I was told to pull the car over and restart it every time it happens.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #104

Oct 012013


  • 35 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger's side air warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the air bag passenger occupant sensor was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 35 and the current mileage was 4,000.

- Spencer, NY, USA

problem #103

Jul 012013


  • 1,000 miles
Passenger air bag off light has been on 9 times while with 140 to 200 lb passenger seated. Notified Nissan service department and I was informed that it would be difficult to trouble shoot this problem as no code would be generated therefore it would have to have the light on for them to troubleshoot. And I know the light won't stay on long enough for that to happen. Also I was told my car was not up for recall.

- Fridley, MN, USA

problem #102

Dec 092013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 19,221 miles
Bought this car new and have continual problem with passenger air bag light coming on saying the air bag is off when a passenger of more than 125 pounds is sitting in the seat. Car has been to Nissan service several times for this problem and they say there is no computer codes. I've documented this happening 9 times since July and I am very concerned about safety of my passengers. When I see the light, I stop the car, turn car off and back on and light goes out. One time the passenger moving around in the seat caused the light to go out. I do not have confidence the air bag will work if needed. Nissan North America has just about washed their hands of trying to fix it and tell me the system is operating as designed. Frustrated~!

- Bluffton, IN, USA

problem #101

Nov 012013


  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger air bag off warning light remained illuminated while a passenger was occupying the seat. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection however the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and advised the contact that the passenger side air bag was operating normally. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 11,000 and the current mileage was 12,300.

- Greesnboro , NC, USA

problem #100

Dec 142013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Driving with a person in the front passenger seat, the passenger airbag light on the dash illuminated to indicate the airbag had turned off. It did this twice on the same day. The person sitting in the front passenger seat was 175 lbs, well big enough that the sensors should have detected. This appears, from numerous online forums, to be a common problem. Prior to manufacture of my 2013 Altima (06/2013) a recall was conducted for this very same problem. Apparently, post recall, the problem still exists. Many people could be killed or seriously injured as a result of this safety failure.

- West Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #99

Sep 182013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 750 miles
After owning my vehicle for less than a month, an indicator light came on indicating that the passenger side air bag was now deactivated even though the front passenger seat was occupied by an adult. After the vehicle ignition was turned off and restarted the light disappeared. A few days later the light once again came on to indicate that the air bag was off with an adult in the seat. I took it to the dealer to be serviced... and was told that it was probably caused by the person " not sitting in the seat correctly " and proceeded to show me how a passenger should sit in the seat ! I explained that once it was on, the light never went back off no matter how the passenger sat.the light continued to warn that there was no active airbag ! after the dealer investigated they said that nothing was wrong with the sensors. They said that" the sensors take a while to adjust ". I inquired as to why Nissan had just recalled the 2013 Altima for this same problem ( recall 13V069000 )... but I was told that the problem had been fixed on new vehicles like mine. This air bag deactivated light continues to come on and stay on randomly to this date. The dealer says the only way to diagnose it correctly is to bring the vehicle in while the airbag light off is illuminated. Needless to say this is difficult to is going back in for this problem next week. At this point I am unsure whether or not I truly do have active passenger side airbags... I don't want to have that answered when it is too late ! search the internet ( Altima forums ) and you will see a large number of people with the same issue, as well as the same hollow explanation !

- East Hartford, CT, USA

problem #98

Aug 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Passenger presence detection system failed to recognize a passenger and enable the passenger side air bag approximately 30% of the time. Dealer reprogrammed the controller. Same error occurred 2 months later. Dealer reprogrammed the controller and advised against placing anything over about 10 lbs in the passenger seat as this would corrupt the presence detection algorithm. But the dealer couldn't offer any assurance that the system wouldn't fail again.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #97

Nov 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
1. I purchased a new 2013 Nissan Altima sl in April 2013. After couple of weeks I started noticing passenger air bag off light is always on, whether a passenger sits in passenger seat or not. I went to dealer, they told that there is a recall on passenger airbag sensor and they were waiting for new sensors. After couple of months they received new sensors and they installed it in my car. 2. after installing new sensor I started noticing issues with airbag again. My wife weighs about 110lbs-115lbs, I see 'passenger airbag off' light is on in following scenarios with my wife in passenger seat with seat belt fastened. A. after starting the car 'passenger airbag off' light supposed to on for 7 seconds then go off. But it stays on for a lot more time than that (more than 15 minutes) some times it goes off after 15 min/ 30 min, some times it is always on. This doesn't happen always but happens almost 2-3 times out of 10. If I restart car it works normal again. This happened driving in various speeds from 0 -70 mile/ hour. B. when driving, all of a sudden 'passenger airbag off' light comes on stays on for a while. Sometimes it goes off after 15 minutes approximately, some times it stayed on for more than 30 minutes. This happens in very random manner and doesn't always happen. This happened driving in various speeds from 0 -70 mile/ hour with my wife in passenger seat with seat belt fastened. I have took my vehicle to dealer 2 times, they checked but said they couldn't find anything wrong. Performed 'passenger weight sensor' reset 2 times suggesting it may fix the problem. But it didn't help. I am still driving my car with weird bugs like this. So in case of accident passenger airbag may not deploy when required, please take an action on Nissan to fix this serious safety issue.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #96

Nov 162013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
Passenger air bag light comes on intermittently with an adult passenger in the front seat weighing approximately 150 lbs. The yellow light (middle dashboard) always comes on when car is started. It usually goes out (as it should) after about five seconds. Sometimes it stays on -- sometimes for 15 minutes or more. It sometimes comes on after I have been driving for a while. I sometimes pull over and turn off the car and restart and it usually goes out like it is supposed to. Took car to dealership where we bought it. They said they couldn't duplicate the problem. They also said there is a recall for some 2013 Altima for air bag weight sensor problems, but that our VIN # wasn't included. Looking online, it looks like many people are having same problem. This is a definite safety hazard. When light is on, air bags won't deploy if in an accident occurs.

- Grandview, WA, USA

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