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 12 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #95

May 012013


  • 2,000 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 13V069000 (air bags) and stated that the manufacturer advised that the VIN was not included in the recall. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated, which he believed was associated with the recall. The failure mileage was 2,000.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #94

Sep 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the front passenger air bag off warning message illuminated while the passenger's seat was occupied. The manufacturer was contacted and advised that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number 13V069000 (air bags). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 10,000...updated 12-30-13 updated 1/23/2014

- Niles , IL, USA

problem #93

Mar 142013


  • miles
Bought 2013 Altima in Feb. In March noticed the passenger light was on when someone was sitting in the seat. Followed by on and off frequently. Took the car to the dealer.....said he found sensor was bad. On Nov. 5,2013 it happened and returned to the dealer who said it showed no errors. Told me it was safe but if the light came on take a picture. It came on twice on 11/8/2013. I am at a loss of what to do other than hold Nissan libel for not fixing an obvious safety defect. I will return to the dealer later this week in November 2013. How can we get Nissan to react to our protection on an obvious complaint from so many owners?

- Maryland, MD, USA

problem #92

Mar 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


In approximately March 2013, the passenger air bag "off" light began coming on while driving our 2013 Nissan Altima. At first, the light would come for a minute or two and then go off. As time progressed, the occurrences became more frequent and longer in duration. On May 31, 2013, the car was taken to the Nissan dealer from which the car was purchased to have the problem corrected. The dealer could not find a problem and there were no error codes. No repair was performed. The frequency and duration of the light coming on continued to increase. At one point during a trip to the southwestern United States, the "off" light was illuminated for more than two hours while driving. On September 23, 2013, the car was again taken to the dealer to have the problem fixed. Again, the dealer could not duplicate the problem, and there were no error codes. Supposedly, the dealer contacted Nissan for assistance. It was reported that Nissan declined to do anything since there were no error codes and the dealer could not duplicate the problem. Again, no repair was performed. The passenger air bag "off" light continues to come on occasionally while driving. Although, with the arrival of cooler weather, the frequency and duration are less than the occurrences during the summer heat.

- El Dorado, KS, USA

problem #91

Nov 062013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 12,400 miles
Passenger air bag indicator light indicates that airbag remains off while passenger is in the seat. Nissan dealer tech claims that this is not a problem; just the way the system works. He wouldn't even look at it.

- Chardon, OH, USA

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problem #90

Sep 172013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Airbag light is on with front passenger (more than 115lb). Went trough the recall (13V069000 )with the replacement of the sensor in passenger seat. It didn't help and at dealership I am told that they can't do anything about it.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #89

Sep 292013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles


The car was traveling between 25-30 mph when the driver swerved to miss a deer that had jumped out of the woods. The car went off the road and into some trees and a rock wall. The front end of the car was damaged pretty extensively (total loss), with damage to the drivers side fender and a direct impact to the center of the vehicle pushing the interior bumper approx. 10" back and into the radiator. The airbags did not deploy during this crash. We had been told previously that Nissan had a recall for the passenger air bags, and when it was brought to the dealer, nothing was done because they ran a report stating that our vehicle was not due for the recall. After showing the dealer pictures of the damage, their response was that "they couldn't believe that the airbags didn't deploy, and that "they believed that they should have". I have pictures of the damage, and I also have video evidence of my daughter sitting in the passenger seat with the airbag light on stating that the airbag is off. This was shown to the dealer prior to the crash, and still nothing was done to investigate the issue further. When I showed the GM of the dealership the video, and told him that nothing was done to repair it, his response was "god forbid that anyone of us got into an accident and the airbags didn't deploy'!! a few weeks later....that's exactly what happened. I believe there is a huge problem with the airbag systems of these cars, and something should be done before someone is severely injured or killed during a crash.

- Lyman, ME, USA

problem #88

Oct 012012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Dash mounted passenger air bag light illuminates...air bag system for passenger is off. Has occurred about 12 times since purchase in Sep 2012. Light is lit sometimes for long periods of time; sometimes for short (minute or less). Dealer has replaced sensors in passenger seat. Problem continues.

- Landenberg, PA, USA

problem #87

Jun 102013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
The vehicle passenger air bag "off" warning lite comes on intermittently when an adult, weighing approximately 160#, is in the passenger seat.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #86

Oct 152012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Passenger air bag system malfunctions despite Nissan replacing the sensors in that seat on 9-25-2013. Previously this malfunction occurred about 6 times during the period 9-8-2012 to 9-25-2013. Nissan unable to replicate error in shop or ascertain cause. Only when I produced video evidence of the malfunction did they take action and replace seat sensors. The problem persists.

- Landenberg, PA, USA

problem #85

Dec 012012

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 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 where the technician explained that the passenger's weight was not enough to activate the sensor. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 5 and the current mileage was 4,464..... updated 10-17-13 updated 10/23/2013

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #84

Jun 292013

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,200 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the passenger's side air bag warning light illuminated for 30 miles. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis on three different occasions and on the third visit, the air bag sensor was replaced. The failure recurred one week later. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure and current mileage was 2,200. Updated 9/24/13 the consumer no longer owns the vehicle. Updated 09/25/13

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #83

May 152013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 700 miles
The airbag light on the dash that signifies if the airbag is off or on is inconsistent. The light is supposed to light for a brief 7 second boot up period then extinguish, regardless if there is a passenger or not...with the exception of a under weight passenger with the seat belt fastened. The most common irregularity observed is for the light to extinguish as expected however with a passenger that weighs well over 100 lbs, the light will come on randomly while the vehicle is at high speed and not extinguish until the vehicle is shut down. The first dozen times or so, I would ask the passenger to move their weight or wiggle to attempt to have the light go out and re-engage the airbag but this was to no avail. Once the light trips while the car is underway, it will not go out. On occasion the behavior is that the light stays on after the boot period and even when a passenger sits and buckles up, the light stays lit. Again, every indication is that there is no airbag during this period. I took the car to a Nissan dealer on August 27th and they said they could not find any "codes" and although they could not guarantee me the airbag system was engaging properly, they could not do any more then reset the system until Nissan Corp was contacted and offered a tech to look into the vehicle VIN record and investigate. I contacted Nissan and received a case number (119977748)on 8/28 via phone. Nissan contacted me on 8/29 to advise that the would investigate and contact me in early September as to their findings. I am also attempting to determine if there has been any follow up letter to the Nissan Corp letter 13V-069 dated 2/28 sent to the NHTSA, recall management division indicating that Nissan intended to have a recall for a similar problem.

- Jonesborough , TN, USA

problem #82

Nov 262012

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Safety concern, proper operation of air bags (SRS light on). This is a major safety concern. One month after purchasing a brand new Nissan Altima 2013, a major light indicator came on. This light brought up concerns. Are the air bags working properly" will the air bags deploy correctly upon impact? are the air bags working at all? will the air bags deploy while driving? will the air bags implode and affect the steering process? is this an indication that there is an electronic or electrical circuit malfunction? after buying a brand new vehicle, should I even have to deal with these issues, questions or concerns? in addition to the above safety concern, the list of electronic, electrical and mechanical issues continues for the newly bought vehicle. There was an issue with the power steering, the brake system, bubbling paint and concerns with the engine compartment and interior compartment of the above mentioned vehicle. All this is reflected in each of the invoices submitted for your perusal. In addition, upon starting the vehicle, it continuously has a rough idle, a rough start at times the vehicle stalls out. He is at a loss because who should he take his vehicle with this concern" all in all, sir all these vehicle discrepancies are troubling to have with a brand new Nissan Altima 2013 and all of these issues within the last nine months. Also, there were problems with the power steering, the brake system and concerns with the engine and interior compartments. In addition, upon starting the vehicle, it continuously had a rough idle, a rough start at all times and the vehicle would stall.

- Ojai, CA, USA

problem #81

Jun 122013


  • 3,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the air bag and the seat belt warning lights were illuminated. The contact mentioned that the seat belt warning light would illuminate although the seal belt was latched. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where unknown repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 3,600.

- Goshen, OH, USA

problem #80

Aug 182013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 428 miles
The passenger side air bag light came on as I was a passenger in the front seat of the Altima. Therefore, the air bag turned off which is a safety issue. I am a 5'7" adult female weighing around 140 lbs. I contacted Nissan corporate offices today and they said there is no recall on this problem for this vehicle. However, I noticed online that there have been numerous recalls for this problem on other Nissan Altima's, so why not this one" is this an ongoing issue that has not been corrected" I will also be sending a complaint regarding our 2008 Altima that has the same problem. This problem has not been fixed on this 2008 vehicle, either.

- Dewitt, MI, USA

problem #79

Aug 012013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Nissan Altima. Consumer writes in regards to problems with the passenger seat air bag warning light. The consumer stated the passenger seat air bag light has been on continuously. After doing some research, he found it was caused by the failure of the sensor in the seat that determined whether the seat was occupied by an adult or a child. The consumer installed spacers between the passenger seat rails and the seat in order to raise the seat by one inch. The Nissan dealership informed the consumer that altering the vehicle voided the warranty covering the faulty sensor. The consumer believed the changes he made resulted in the passenger seat still being more firmly anchored to the floor pan of the vehicle than the power seat that sat beside it. As far as the sensor was concerned, it could not tell the difference between the seats original configuration and the alterations that he made. The consumer asked the service manager if he restored the seat to its original configuration, would it be considered un-altered; he said no. The very fact that he removed the seat constituted altering it.

- New London, NH, USA

problem #78

Aug 142013

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
I got Nissan Altima 2013 in Sep. 2012 and since then I have been taking this car every month to dealership for airbag off indicator, which remains lit even when passenger is seated with seat belt on. This has happened multiple times and weight of the passenger ranged from 130 to 180 pounds. The most serious of these incidents was, when I drove my car for 15 miles (2 miles on city street and 13 miles on freeway). So far, I have been told by dealership that there are no error codes, they would reset some sensors but it hasn't made any difference. I was told it could have been because of the way passenger was sitting, so one time I asked passenger to jump on the seat, that 180lb passenger was jumping in the seat but the airbag off light still remained on. I noticed there are multiple complaints about this issue, and I hope these complaints will eventually get desired recall attention.

- Rose Hill , NC, USA

problem #77

Jun 222013


  • miles
2013 Nissan Altima. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle passenger seat air bag malfunction. The consumer stated upon leaving the dealership, he noticed a light on the dashboard indicating the passenger seat air bag was not functioning. When the consumer called the dealership, he was advised by the salesperson, that his wife should jump up and down on the seat to correct the problem. On July 3, 2013, the consumer returned to the dealer to correct the problem. The consumer was informed the computer did not indicate there was a problem, and since the vehicle only had a few hundred miles, it should be ok. On July 13, 2013, the consumer returned to the dealer, where the consumer informed them, the light appeared on the dashboard on three separate occasions, while driving on the highway. The consumer insisted that the proper repair be made, only to be told that removing the seat and changing the sensor could not be accomplished at his request and under no condition would the repair be implemented without a recall notice from Nissan.

- Seaford, NY, USA

problem #76

Dec 102012


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated while the seats were occupied by adult passengers. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the passenger's side mat sensor needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 13V069000 (air bags). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100.

- Teaneck, NJ, USA

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