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 4 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #255

Feb 092016


  • miles


Car jutter & stalled when came to a stop. Took car to local Nissan dealership and they placed car on diagnostic which came back clear and could not duplicate problem for 2 days. Received car back and car did the same thing, took it to a different Nissan dealership that said they have heard of same complaints but they have had my car for 5 days and claim to not be able to duplicate the problem. Car warranty is almost up and Nissan seems to be of no help. Passenger airbag light also stays on from time to time. I have read and printed out several identical complaints and there seems to be no resolve.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #254

Feb 272016


  • 31,000 miles
My vehicle has been in twice now for the passenger airbag light remaining on when a passenger over 130lbs is seated in that seat. I first had this checked by kayser Nissan in madison 1/10/14 and was told no problem found then the recall came out and the vehicle was serviced again at kayser Nissan and was told the problem was fixed. Airbag light has been coming on again with person in seat and vehicle has to be pulled over and turned off and restarted for it to reset properly. This is very inconvenient and unsafe for passengers. The vehicle is mostly driven without passenger so this problem is not noticed right away making it hard to file a lemon law complaint even though it was first complained about within first year and under warranty.

- Stoughton, WI, USA

problem #253

Feb 142016


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owned a 2013 Nissan Altima. While driving 50 mph, the front of the vehicle struck an embankment. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained major injuries to the sternum, which required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was 36,000.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #252

Feb 052016


  • 19,209 miles


For 3 years we have been dealing with this particular issue, with no resolution. The dashboard light signaling that the passenger air bag is properly activated for an adult occupant comes on or does not come on when it is supposed to. This occurs whether the car is stationary or on the move. The dealer has told us not to put anything on the passenger seat = ridiculous. The dealer then said that it "reprogrammed the system". then the dealer told us that they needed to replace the sensor. I believe this has been done 2 X. we last had this attended to Sept 15, 2015 but the "so-called repair" did not work again. This air bag issue is serious, and we feel unsafe in this car, therefore we have driven less than 2000 miles in 5 months - the car sits in the garage. The problem is intermittant = we don't know when the air bag system is functioning correctly - we must assume it is malfunctioning!

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #251

Apr 112014


  • miles
The light continued to come on and off when someone sat in the passenger side that airbag off. I had it check and it was reset in 4/2014. It has indicated it was off random times when there was a passenger in the seat. I brought the car in for the recall of front hood latch and had the airbag sensor checked. I was told it was the sensor and it needed to be replaced and it would cost $700. For part and labor. I do not feel if a sensor is not working that is not from a wear and tear issue. It a defected part and it shouldn't have anything to do with the warranty. Especially being the car is only a 2013. I have tried several times to go through Nissan. They have continue to tell me there is nothing they can do it's out of warranty. I tried explaining how this has been going on since I got the car and I'm not so sure they are hearing what I'm telling them. They say the same thing as if they are reading a script. There is terrible customer service. This is a defect and should be replaced from the dealership. Do you have any suggestions where I need to go from here?

- Cumming, GA, USA

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problem #250

Nov 152015


  • miles
Randomly, the airbag sensor for the passenger side indicates as being off even when there is someone seating on it. This issue (supposedly) was already been looked at by the local Nissan dealer when a recalled was implemented for this issue. But it is happening again.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #249

Dec 012015


  • 36,000 miles


The passenger airbag light turns off (light switches on) even when a passenger is in the carseat. The problem was consistent around 1.5 years back and there was a Nissan recall that resolved the problem after 2 attempts. By consistent, I mean the air bag was definitely switched off regardless of whether a passenger is present or not. Now the problem is back although the light does not turn off consistently. Sometimes the light is off and sometimes it is on. I wrote to Nissan about this. Unfortunately, my car just went off warranty and the diagnosis itself is $161.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #248

Jan 012014


  • miles
We have the same issue that many have complained about with the air bag light indicating that it is off because not enough weight is being distributed in the seat to register while driving. My wife is 140 lbs and it is constantly turning off and on. Two Nissan dealerships told my wife there was nothing they could do but that some women sit on the side of the seat and so they are not sitting correctly for it to register. So... I began sitting in the passenger seat (I'm 6'3 225 lbs) and it still does it. I love Nissan cars and trucks but this is a ludicrous answer!! how can you sit in a seat of a car wrong!!!!

- Duncan, SC, USA

problem #247

Jul 192015


  • 57,072 miles
If I'm driving, when I try to stop the car, I press the brakes the brakes do not activate. The car does not stop it keep rolling on. I have to pat the brakes to stop the car or press the brake a second time for the brakes to catch. It feels as though it slips pass the brakes! I also took my car to Nissan for the latch recall every since I got the recall "fixed" the pass air bag light pops on when no is in the passenger seat and my car will state that I have 100 miles (more or less) of fuel but my fuel gage will read empty and I will need gas as the gauge states!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #246

Nov 102015


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving at 25 mph, the OCS warning light remained illuminated. As a result, the contact crashed into another vehicle and the air bags failed to deploy. The passenger sustained head and neck injuries that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was driven to the contact's residence. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 44,000.

- Gulf Breeze, FL, USA

problem #245

Nov 102015


  • 45,000 miles


Passenger air bag light comes on intermittently with an adult passenger in the front seat weighing approximately 140 lbs. The yellow airbag off light comes on intermittently. It usually goes out after about five seconds. Sometimes it stays on. 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 reset the computer. Problem still persists. I have made several complaints with the dealer. Dealership said they could not resolve the problem because it is a weight issue with the person sitting in the seat. 140 lbs and under the light might come on. 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.

- Colchester, CT, USA

problem #244

Nov 212015


  • 42,000 miles
Front passenger airbag remains disabled when full sized adult is sitting in front passenger seat. Car was taken to dealer over one year ago for recall on this issue. Still has not been resolved. New recall issued Oct 2015, took vehicle to Nissan for fix on 11/24/15. Nissan will not fix, say they have no way to fix the issue. Nissan states I will have to continue to drive a vehicle with inoperable passenger air bags. Showed Nissan service dept video of full sized adult sitting in passenger seat, vehicle running, and "airbag off" light illuminated in center of dash. Nissan states there is no fault in the system, and passenger should just "move their legs" to arm the system. Passenger seating position does not arm airbag or alter the function of the faulty system. Problem occurs randomly, with vehicle moving/stationary.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #243

Sep 072015


  • 23,000 miles
The passenger airbag disabled light has come on twice in two months while my wife (110 lbs.)was seated squarely in the center of the passenger seat.. I notice this right after starting on a drive. My wife moved around in the seat trying to get it to recognize her presence with no luck. It reset-ted both times after stopping the car and having her exit and reenter. This vehicle had already had this issue serviced under the previous recall. I took it to the dealer last week. They said that they could not duplicate the problem so they sent me home without making any repair. I have video evidence put forgot to get it out of my wifes phone before she left for Japan for aq three week trip. I will upload it when she returns. This is my wifes car so I will put her name on the contact form.

- Stevensville, MD, USA

problem #242

Nov 022015

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Nissan Altima. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle airbag recall and primary hood latch issues. The consumer stated the air bag was not working properly. According to the owner's manual, the light was suppose to come on and then go off, to shoe that it was working properly. The consumer was informed the hood latch had been oiled.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #241

Nov 062015


  • 29,500 miles
The front passenger air bag light remains illuminated when an adult passenger is seated in the front passenger seat. This continues to occur even though the car was serviced for this recurring problem by the Nissan dealer last week under the recall campaign. The software update performed by the dealer has not solved the problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #240

May 012013


  • 150 miles
2013 Nissan Altima sv purchased brand new, April 2013.. my passenger side airbag light detector is constantly intermittently lighting up when my daughter, who is 18 sits in the seat..she weighs about 115 lbs. To get the light to turn off, and therefore hope the airbag works, if god forbid we get into an accident, I have to turn off the car, have her get out, then get back in and then start the car again..this usually results in the light going out and then we can proceed "safely" on our way, with the airbag hopefully operational. That's pretty bad when we already have a ritual to figure this issue out, don't you think"? I did take it to Nissan where I bought it new, 2 years ago and they told me that she doesn't weigh enough for the sensor.. I have a friend who weighs 180 lbs and the light also occasionally goes on with her in the seat!! so, by Nissan's reasoning, then 180 lbs isn't enough to activate the sensor???? she loves it because it makes her feel thinner, but seriously, this is ridiculous! something is obviously wrong with either the airbag or sensor! now, I see Nissan has a recall for this exact same issue that I have been dealing with for 2 years, but somehow, my car is excluded when this is exactly what I have had issues with. What is the reasoning here?" also, I live in Florida, where the humidity is very high and I know there have been many issues with the takata airbags where the humidity is high, like here where I live and drive. Ps, ...other than this, I really do love this car..wish this would get straightened out, or Nissan may have some lawsuits on there hands with regards to these airbags!!

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #239

Sep 272015


  • miles
The car randomly displays the front passenger airbag deactivation light when the seat is either occupied by someone weighing 130-180 pounds or the seat is empty. All components of the front passenger system have been replaced and recall number 14V138000 has been performed. Since this randomly happens, Nissan says "if they can't duplicate the problem, they cannot and will not fix it." This started at approximately 20,000 miles and has continued since. The vehicle was being driven on the roadway and the light will sometimes come on. A Nissan rep said today, October 29, 2015, that if the front passenger airbag was to deploy while occupied by my wife(5' 5" 180 pounds) or daughter(4' 10" 130 pounds) that "they would be seriously hurt or killed if the airbag deployed." I have pictures and videos showing the malfunction. It has happened on numerous dates.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #238

Jul 012014

Altima 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the front passenger seat was occupied but the passenger side air bag off warning light illuminated. The contact mentioned that the seat was being occupied by a 180 pound passenger. The vehicle was previously taken to a dealer where the front passenger air bag system was replaced. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer who indicated that the system was operating as normal and the failure was undetermined. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 20,000.....updated 12/30/15

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #237

Oct 232015


  • 35,800 miles
Passenger side airbag light does not cycle off when a adult is on board. This occurs aprox 15% of the time and requires the car to be shut down and restarted. This mitigates the problem most of the time. Car has been in for repairs for this problem on 3 occasions to include the spring 14 algorithm recall. If anything, the computer reprogram made it worse. Nissan dealers have no fix and ignore the problem. Dealer treats me like it is my imagination even though I have video recorded the light on at speed several dozen times. My car is a lease and it is going back in 6 months. This problem is dependent on the "boot" process failing. The light does not come on during travel if it properly cycles when the car is started. If the light successfully goes out 5 seconds after start, it stays out. I am assuming that the passenger airbag is engaged and will function? this problem has occurred from the very first day until now, ongoing....35800 miles.

- Jonesborough, TN, USA

problem #236

Sep 102015


  • 22,345 miles
I have a 2013 Nissan Altima. The passenger seat air bag occupant sensor comes on showing that the passenger air bag is turned off when an adult is sitting in the seat. The adult is 200 lbs. The light will stay on while driving. My car was recalled for the occupant sensor classification reset. It did not change anything. It still does the same thing. I have complained about it numerous times to the dealer. The dealer says there is no fix for this and no codes in the computer. It seems that if the passenger sits in the car, buckles the seat belt before the car is started then the issue happens less often, as if the car only checks if the seat is occupied on startup.

- Austin, TX, USA

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