hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,633 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.

2003 Nissan Murano drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Nissan Murano Owner Comments

problem #13

Mar 282011


  • 112,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle seized without warning. There was an unknown fluid leaking from the vents and smoke emitting from the transfer case. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic shop where the contact was advised that the transfer case was defective and would need replacing. The contact stated she authorized the mechanic to replace the defective transfer case. The manufacturer was contacted and a complaint was filed but no further assistance was offered. The failure and current mileage was 112,000.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #12

Jan 012010


  • 57,000 miles
Transfer case seals have failed for the second time after having been replaced by the dealer in the fall of 2008. Nissan North America refuses to acknowledge an issue with leaking transfer cases in Muranos. They have put in place an extended warranty for cvt transmission failures, however, did not include transfer case problems.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #11

Mar 162009


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Nissan Murano. While driving at a speed 35 mph, there was an unusual foul odor emitting from the air compartments as well as an abnormal noise from underneath the vehicle. Suddenly, there was a loud pop and the engine began smoking. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the contact was informed that the cvt transfer case was busted, which was replaced at that time. The failure mileage was 51,000 and the current mileage was 84,000.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 312008


  • 95,000 miles


Nissan Murano 2003 AWD automobile has a faulty transfer case. The mileage is 95,000. Nothing led to failure. The parts are not yet repaired because the estimate is very high $3000. The maintenance on the vehicle is very good.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #9

Nov 162007

Murano 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles
I have owned my Nissan Murano 2003 for about two years and a few months ago it started to hesitate while I was in stop and go traffic. I learned that by turning the car off for a few seconds the problem would go away. Then last week, my transmission started to make a strange noise and when I went to get my car fixed...my mechanic said that the cvt needed to be replaced and that Nissan is the only one that can fix it. The cvt is destroyed after 110K miles and with it's demise it took our and destroyed the transfer case totaling $7200 to fix. While looking at the consumer reports for this vehicle...it looks as if I am not alone in this situation and that Nissan has turned their backs on this initial product by not acknowledging the design flaws and chronic problems with this new cvt technology. I am currently waiting for Nissan to step up to the plate and make this right but if history and the correspondence with other Murano owners...I am not going to be satisfied with Nissan's stance. I would like to help initiate a class action against Nissan for both the cost to fix this known problem and the frustration this vehicle has given me.

- Arvada, CO, USA

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problem #8

Aug 132007

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
Nissan Murano 2003- 71,000 miles- AWD transfer case defect $3500- acute onset- loud clunking noise which increases in volume when speed increases- inoperable at this time- contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs with no financial assistance granted- dealer attributed that wear was caused by driving on dry pavement while in AWD which never occurred. Situation was similar in nature when my alternator failed suddenly with no cause which resulted in a recall one year later.

- State College, PA, USA

problem #7

Aug 292006

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,171 miles


My vehicle is all wheel drive. When I took it in for normal maintenance I was advised the transfer case was locked in all wheel drive. There is no warning light to advise that this has happened. I don't know how many miles the car was driven in this condition. It so happens that I had recently passed my warranty period and had to pay a very large amount to repair it. If a warning light had gone on I would have been able to repair this sooner under warranty. Plus, I had recently returned from a long two week drive in hot desert country. I would imagine it was not wise or safe to be in all wheel drive under hot road driving conditions. I asked the manufacturer to inform me how often their vehicles have this problem but I had no response from them. I did ask my dealership and they told me at least one other vehicle had the same problem locally.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #6

Nov 132006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On Monday, 11/13/06 I took my 2003 Nissan Murano in for winterizing & to have them check out a humming noise to the Nissan dealer. Later that day I was called and told the noise was related to the transfer case which needed to be replaced at my cost, over $4000 to repair. This vehicle has only 89,000 miles. Decided to get a second opinion and had the vehicle moved to another Nissan dealer. This Nissan dealer has repaired another Murano with the same situation and so was able to diagnose that it is not the transfer case, but it is the transmission. Unfortunately the cost is even more - over $6000. Being I did not purchase an extended warranty, I'm responsible for the costs. What I don't understand is the "why" for the failure. There was no indication that either the transfer case or transmission were failing when the car was being driven. I called my salesperson about the situation and he informed me he had a friend that had his transfer case fail at approximately the same miles. In my opinion, major components - transmissions or transfer cases should not be failing at this mileage and would like for someone to pursue to determine if there is a recall situation.

- St. Bonifacius, MN, USA

problem #5

Apr 082005

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
Transfer case for AWD failure at 66,000 miles (AWD function used less than 10 times in vehicles history). Observered gringing poping niose and locked up viechele. The transfer case has been back-ordered for seven weeks. There was no indication of a problem prior to failure. Concerned regarding failure in highway driving

- Mt. Pleasant, NC, USA

problem #4

Apr 082005

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
Transfer case for AWD failure at 66,000 miles (AWD option used less than approximately 12 times in vehicle's history). Gringing poping niose and locked up viechele. Transfer case has been back-ordered for seven weeks! there was no indication of a problem prior to failure.

- Mt. Pleasant, NC, USA

problem #3

Oct 182004

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles


Transfer case for AWD failure 2nd time in 26,000 miles (1st 8,000 miles, 2nd 26,000 miles). In both cases gringing poping niose and locked up viechele had to be towed in to dealership. There was no indication of a problem prior to failure.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #2

Aug 272004

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,852 miles
Cracked transfer case occurred twice on 2003 Nissan Murano; Aug 27, 2004 & Sep 24 2003. Concern is future incidents may occur while driving on interstate highways causing accidents. Other internet site forums indicated failures but did not submit complaints to NHTSA.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #1

Aug 232004

Murano 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,200 miles
The transfer case and driveshft had to be replaced due to a horrible noise that started occuring at 10200 miles on the vehicle.

- Merrick, NY, USA

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