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 16 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Jan 072013


  • 50 miles


With a 140 lb adult sitting upright in the passenger seat the airbag light stays on. It even fails sometimes with an adult weighing 155 lbs. I took the car to the dealership and they said no system errors are detected. The tried a 120lb adult and the airbag light was on also. They said that to repair Nissan has to advise them what the issue is.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #14

Jan 082013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 85 miles
There is an intermittent passenger airbag detection issue with 2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 sv. There were in multiple times when a full grown person(weight > 150lbs) sitting on the passenger side, while car was being driven, 'passenger side air bag off' indicator would turn on, indicating that car is not detecting anyone in the front passenger side and in result airbags were turned off. This warning indication stayed on throughout our drive and sometimes turned off after 10-15 minutes of drive and in other occasions it didn't turn off at all until car was turned off. If this was just a feature issue then much lower priority should been assigned but it is a major safety issue/concern and I request an investigation. A blatant disregard from the manufacturer of this issue may result in death, injury and property damage. I request the help of NHTSA for quick and thorough investigation on this matter. Thank you!

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #13

Dec 282012


  • 39 miles
With a full-size adult sitting in the front passenger seat, the airbag light stays illuminated (which indicates the passenger side airbag is not engaged). This happened every single time I've operated my vehicle since I purchased it on December 28th, no matter the size of the adult sitting in the passenger seat - anywhere from 130 lb. Individual to 220 lb. Individual. For reference, my friend has a rogue and the airbag engages (I.e. light goes off) with just her handbag in the seat. I took it to the local dealership since the car is fully covered by warranty. They ordered a new sensor from Nissan and have not been able to resolve the issue with the new sensor. They have had my brand new vehicle (500 miles) for 6 days. I read on-line boards that indicate this is a problem with 2013 Nissan Altima ( and am very concerned I purchased this vehicle. I may be returning it under the lemon law.

- St. Louis Park , MN, USA

problem #12

Sep 042012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 150 miles


The passenger air bag off warning light comes on intermittently while an adult over 125 lbs is seated in the passenger seat. This has happened multiple times with multiple adults of various weights. If the car is stopped, turned off and turned back on it usually clears the problem. I have brought the car into the Nissan service center four times. Each time they have done something else to try to resolve the problem but it keeps happening. I am awaiting a call back from the manager of the Nissan service center. I am very concerned that in the event of an accident my passenger will not be protected by a working front air bag. I have searched this problem on line and seen many post of similar problems for the 2013 Nissan Altima. I have also seem many instances of this problem with previous Altima models and other Nissan vehicles.

- Syosset, NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 102012


  • 4,600 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the passenger side air bag light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer twice, who test drive the vehicle four miles and advised the contact that they could not duplicate or repair the failure. The manufacturer was notified and lodged a complaint for the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 4,600.

- Hoboken, GA, USA

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problem #10

Dec 152012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 2,000 miles
Female passenger, 5ft. 0in., weighing 100lbs causes front passenger airbag to be disabled (front passenger airbag status light on). Light would go away after a while. For a female passenger, 5ft. 5in., weighing 120-125lbs causes intermittent front passenger airbag operation. Appeared to operate normally before. 12/24/2012: Vehicle was brought to dealer and was found that the scale on the front passenger side seat was off by 25. Scale was zeroed out in the front passenger seat. Issue appears to be resolved for female passenger, 5ft. 5in., weighing 120-125lbs. 01/07/2013: Front passenger airbag disabled for male passenger 5ft. 6in., weighing 160lbs. Resolved by restarting vehicle.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Jan 022013


  • 97 miles


The passenger side air bag does not engage when individuals sit in the passenger seat. The airbag sensor shows the airbag non-operational even when individuals of appropriate size and weight are sitting in the passenger seat. Nissan has no known fixes for the situation and state that its a "break in" period. This is a brand new car purchased one week ago. Serious injury could result from an non-operational airbag and I am not willing to wait for the break in period.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #8

Sep 192012


  • 5,000 miles
Passanger air back indicator(light) sometime come up even though adult sitting on passenger sheet.

- Riverview, MI, USA

problem #7

Jul 152012


  • 5 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. While parked, the contact noticed that the air bag warning light was illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing five times. The technician recalibrated the air bag sensor and replaced the seat cushion but the failure continued. The vehicle was not further repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 5.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

Nov 122012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 957 miles
2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 sl. On multiple occasions with a person in the passenger the passenger side air bag was indicated as being off. This is happening with full grown adults all of whom have been over 150 pounds. I believe this to he a faulty sensor in the cars seat cushion. Once driving for 10-15 minutes the light goes off indicating airbag is now on. This usually occurs if the car is already running and a passenger enters the vehicle.

- Melville, NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 302012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 76 miles


Passenger airbag off light is on when adult passenger is sitting in the seat. Light goes on and off after driving for several minutes.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #4

Oct 162012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 300 miles
Intermittently, "passenger airbag off" warning light remains on even though passenger (130 lbs) is in the front passenger, it occurred several times, had to turn off and restart the car to clear the light.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #3

Sep 062012


  • miles
Passenger airbag "off" light stays on even when someone is sitting in the passenger seat. Intermittent problem - ongoing since new.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #2

Aug 312012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
The passenger air bag off light remained illuminated even though there was a passenger sitting in the seat that was over 100 pounds. I took the vehicle to the local dealership and they said that nothing could be done since there was no error code in the system. I had to shut off and restart the vehicle in order for the passenger air bag to function properly. Since the initial incident, this problem has occurred one other time.

- Troy, AL, USA

problem #1

Aug 052012


  • 50 miles
Intermittently, "passenger airbag off" warning light remains on even though passenger (130 lbs) is in the front passenger (cloth) seat.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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