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 15 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #35

Feb 012013


  • 4,000 miles


After the first car with 2000miles air bags did not go off in the accident so went bought another new one the airbag light was on in 70 miles so put a new seat from another car Nissan did not have a new seat no the air bag light does not work properly and the car has a viberation that Nissan cant fix need to stop selling lemons.

- Horton, AL, USA

problem #34

Nov 092012


  • 2,000 miles
We had anew 2013 Altima with 2000miles on it was traveling 25 or so mph got hot in rear end by a F 350 going 60 or70mph hit the car in front of me both sides damaged me and the wife had to be cut out of the car no air bags went off N has a problem.

- Horton, AL, USA

problem #33

Jan 072013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 250 miles
Passenger air bag periodically turns itself off during a trip and will not reset until the car is turned off. This has happened periodically, approximately 10 times. I returned to the dealership and they said they would not change the defective sensor until Nissan officially recalled the part. They simply loosened and then retorques the sensor.

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #32

Mar 252013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 800 miles


Passenger airbag seems to disable itself randomly. Airbag off light comes on and then goes away after a while and then comes back again after a few minutes. Very scary to drive knowing that the airbag won't deploy.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #31

Mar 162013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
I took delivery on a new Nissan Altima 3/15/2013, and the night before, I saw online that there was a recall related to passenger air bag sensors, so I asked dealer to check on this before I took delivery. The dealer told me that my vehicle was not covered by that recall since it was manufactured after that 'batch'. I noticed the next day that the red dash airbag light was on, and also noticed that the yellow passenger airbag 'off' light was on, even though nobody was in that seat, no object there, etc. I drove my wife in the car a few days later, and both red and yellow lights remained illuminated whether she was in the seat, or I was in the seat, or nobody was in the seat. I checked the owners manual, and it indicated that both driver and passenger airbags may not deploy if in an accident if these lights were on. Returned to dealer on 3/20/2013 after telling the dealer that I refused to drive this car anymore until this was remedied. And was told that they would investigate, they provided a rental car. I still have a rental car as of 3/23/2013, and have been told for 3 days now that Nissan has informed the dealer that they want to send the dealer an entire 'passenger seat strip', but cannot provide information on when the part will be available or when it will ship. After reading the recall description, my vehicle is exhibiting exactly the same symptoms as the recall notice - both red and yellow air bag lights are on and remain on all the time. I asked again for the dealer to check if my vehicle was covered by the recall, they said no. How can it be that this vehicle has not been recalled" the dealer told me that another customer just had the same thing happen, and the rental car Agency told me they just ordered several new Altima and that they had to return one for the same problem. Is the NHTSA aware of this problem"

- Massillon, OH, USA

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problem #30

Jan 032013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Air bag light is illuminated while the seat is occupied with passenger indicating that the air bag is deactivated. Both requirement (weight limit and setting correctly) by the manufacture is meet. Took to the dealer and had Nissan send a tech from the manufacturer to check it out. All the tell me is there is no codes store in the system. I believe this is major safety issue with no answers from Nissan. They dance around when I ask question and turn it into user error, where in fact requirement (weight limit and setting correctly) by the manufacture is meet. 1800-343-6913 ext. [xxx] case # [xxx]. major safety issue please help I got no where with Nissan information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #29

Sep 032012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles


The passenger side airbag warning light has been coming on at random times when someone is sitting in the seat. It has been doing this since I bought the car. The light indicates that the airbag is off. The dealer has reset the seat two time and the problem is not solved. I checked online and found that others have been having the same problem. The dealer has indicated that Nissan has put a hold on parts for that seat. They obviously know there is a problem. I am seriously concerned that someone sitting in the passenger seat can be at risk in the event of an accident. If Nissan won't tell their own dealers what is going on that is a problem.

- De Pere, WI, USA

problem #28

Feb 182013


  • 300 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the passenger side air bag warning light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the passenger did not weigh enough for the air bag seat sensor to recognize that the seat was occupied. The contact then rode in the passenger seat and the air bag warning light also illuminated for a occupant with more body mass. A second appointment was scheduled with the dealer fir further inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 300.

- Churchville, MD, USA

problem #27

Feb 022013


  • 200 miles
I bought this car new (Nissan Altima 2013 - 3.5sl) and found out after 2 days that the passenger front airbag light was working in a sporadic manner. My wife weighs 112 lbs. And the sensor will not work to protect her to inflate - as the light indicates the airbag is off. I sat in the seat at 160 lbs. And the light went off and then came back on. The dealer said it had no solution that I had to drive it that way. The search on the internet showed a hundreds of complaints about the Nissan front passenger airbag. This notice of complaint is concerning why there has not been a recall on this defect that is life threatenting and why the NHTSA has not stepped in to protect the consumer.

- Churchville, MD, USA

problem #26

Jan 022013


  • 200 miles
When starting the car the starter would keep cranking after the release of the start button, the passenger air bag light stays on sometimes even when a passenger is in the seat also the rear seat belts are very hard to lock in do to the receiver end pushes down into the seat when driving there is a few problems the low end rattles and shakes and 45 and above there is a wining noise from the engine compartment that sounds like a bad alt bearing or trans problem it gets louder the faster you go very annoying with today technology these problems and this is just a few is a big step back for Nissan not a happy customer just broke 6000 miles.

- Manahawkin, NM, USA

problem #25

Feb 272013


  • 200 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the passenger side air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician could not duplicate or repair the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 200.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #24

Dec 102012

Altima 6-cyl

  • 400 miles
Purchased a new 2013 Altima sedan 3.5sl in November 2012. Within days noticed that the passenger airbag light was always on, whether a passenger was in the passenger seat or not. Took car into dealer and was told that the sensor had been incorrectly calibrated at 200 pounds instead of 0 pounds. They recalibrated the sensor and the airbag light worked fine... for approximately 2 weeks. The passenger airbag warning light is now always on. This issue concerns me because I must assume that the passenger airbag will never deploy.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #23

Sep 192012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 400 miles
The "passenger air bag off" warning light may come on when an adult or large teenager is sitting in the front passenger seat. This failure happens occasionally. At times, the warning light will go off after a few minutes of driving. It appears that either the seat sensor(s) or the software that reads the sensor(s) and determines the size/weight of the front passenger may be faulty. I am amazed that there has been no recall of the 2013 Altima for this issue, given the number of complaints on this website.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #22

Jan 032013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
The first six weeks we had the car it operated normally. Than the passenger air bag off light occasionally would come on with my 120 lb wife in the seat. Now it will come on all of the time. If you start the car before she gets in the light usually stays off after she gets in but not always. With a 50 lb person in the seat the light does not come on, that is when I think it should come on.

- Springfield , OH, USA

problem #21

Aug 122012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
I have owned this 2013 Altima for 5 months and the passenger airbags continuously stay on "off mode". I am a female and weigh 136 pounds and my husband rides on the passenger side as well at times and he is 160 pounds, so there is definitely enough weight. I believe there is a defect within the sensors. In my vehicle it will stay off for hours or sometimes it will take 15-30 minutes and it will turn on, but it never stays on.I have seen several complaints with the same issue. And it could be life threatening to a passenger in one of these vehicles if the airbags do not deploy in a crash. Nissan needs to take a closer look at this issue before someone loses there life. There is definitely something wrong and something needs to be done quickly to resolve this issue its a serious matter. There are lives at stake here..

- Coden, AL, USA

problem #20

Feb 102013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,100 miles
Few days after I purchased the vehicle (09/23/12) the seat belt light would not shut off. The passenger airbag light would also indicate that the passenger airbag was disengaged with a passenger in the vehicle. Tonight (2/10/13) the passenger airbag sensor once again indicated no passenger when my 120 lb wife was sitting in the seat. I tried it with myself (155lb) and again it occurred. This is an unacceptable safety concern.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #19

Feb 092013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 200 miles
The day I purchased the vehicle (1/23/13) the seat belt light would not shut off. The passenger airbag light would also indicate that the passenger airbag was disengaged with a passenger in the vehicle. The dealership (rosenthal Nissan of tysons) took the car in back and made some adjustments. The problem apparently went away. Tonight (2/9/13) the passenger airbag sensor once again indicated no passenger when my 110 lb wife was sitting in the seat. I tried it with myself (175lb) and again it occurred. This is an unacceptable safety concern.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #18

Feb 062013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 120 miles
Was driving 45 mph to take child to school. While at light made sure no parking brake on. Then put car in park turned vehicle off and on twice as braking light still on. Kept vehicle off for approximally 1 minute and turned back on. The following day took vehicle in for service which they stated break fluid not topped off. So on 2/8/2013 driving with 8 yr.old daughter sitting in front set. Airbag light was on the showing airbag off but then the light went off. Pulled over had my daughter stand up, remove booster seat and then put back down. Airbag light still remained off. Turned vehicle off 3 times before turning back on. My husband called dealership to discuss and advise taking in for service and problems after just purchasing vehicle on 2/4/2013. On the way home brake light came on and wouldn't go off.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #17

Jan 252013


  • 300 miles
The passenger airbag light is constantly on meaning that the airbag is not activating no matter who is sitting on the seat. We took it to the dealer one week after we purchased it and they "supposedly" reset the sensor. We left the dealership and the problem persisted immediately. We took it back to the dealer a week later and a Nissan engineer was there that day and he looked at it and said that there was nothing they could do about. This is a serious safety issue. A person's life could be lost because of the manufacturing defect. Nissan should seriously look into this and recall the cars before something serious happens to any of us who purchased this car. We can't believe that knowing that there is this serious problem, they will not even try to fix it. It shows lack of concern and responsibility on their part for their customers. We are going to use the "lemon law" and return the car since this is a safety issue and a manufacturers defect. and the national highway safety administration needs to investigate this issue. There are plenty of complaints in regards to this issue. Back in 2009 Nissan recalled several of their cars (including the Altima) for this same problem. I can't believe that they still haven't gotten it right.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #16

Jan 292013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 600 miles
I have owned this car for all of a week. There are at least 2 major safety concerns. The first is the passenger air bag. The light on the dash indicates that the air bag is "off" when my wife sits in the passenger seats. She is an adult, height about 5' 2" and weighs approx. 120 lbs. Apparently I am not the only one with this issue. Calls to Nissan are a waste of time at this point as I'm told nothing about how this will be resolved. The other issue is with the cvt transmission. Under light acceleration, at about 1200-1500 RPM there is a vibration and its very noisy. It almost seems like the car is going to die out. The other issues I am having with the car of which there are a few are not necessarily safety related so I wont post them here. Needless to say, there are better and safer choices out there. Choose wisely.

- Buffalo Grove, IL, USA

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