really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,384 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 Pathfinder engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments

problem #4

Jul 132010


  • 101,500 miles


While traveling at a speed of less than 30 mph in the left turn lane I heard a loud grinding noise that felt like the gears stuck. The car then suddenly and without warning, revved up, speed forward with the steering wheel locked to the right. The steering and brakes were non responsive, and I had no control. My car, at a high rate of speed, crossed three additional lanes striking a telephone pole(actually split the pole in 2 places), transformer, fire hydrant, and finally rolling down a hill where it came to rest in a parking lot. There was fire from the power lines touchin and water gushing from the fire hydrant at the same time. My father was two cars ahead of me and witnessed the entire accident. We had just left from getting the annual emissions checked on our vehicles and had traveled less than a mile towards home, when the accident occurred. I was told by the paramedics that they never saw anyone walk away from an accident this severe. I suffered whiplash, minor cuts and a 2nd degree concussion but this malfunction could have resulted in the death of me or someone else.

- Canton, GA, USA

problem #3

Jul 112003

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,135 miles
I noticed after I had stopped car and turned it off that I was not as close to curb as I wanted to be. I restarted vehicle and pulled forward appriximately 1 - 1 1/2 car lengths. Put vehicle into reverse to slowly back up when the car suddenly and unexpectedly began to rev at an exceeding high RPM rate and rapidly accelerated. Attempt to break and stop the vehicle was futile resulting in my vehicle hitting the front of the vehicle that was parked behind me. Other vehicle was unoccupied. I do not trust this vehicle because of this erratic behavior. I drove it home carefully and then had it towed to dealer where it was purchased at the end of April 2003. According to service dept. At dealer, they checked for trouble codes and no codes are stored. They road tested vehicle and vehicle is operating normal. They called Nissan tech line and there is no record of incidents like this. Printout of test indicates "no dtc detected. Further testing may be required. Dealer will not do additional testing - this will require Nissan input. Nissan customer service rep denies any knowledge of other reported instances of rapid acceleration in 2003 Pathfinders. I want to get rid of this vehicle even though it only has 2000 miles on it. If I get another vehicle, however, this does not solve the problem since another operator may experience same situation with this vehicle resulting in injury or death.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #2

May 012003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,750 miles
Unintended acceleration at red light and in parking lot. Low brake pedal when applied, foot hits gas pedal while braking. This is a very dangerous problem that other Pathfinder owners reported.

- Endicott, NY, USA

problem #1

Feb 152002


  • 150 miles
The vehicle experienced sudden acceleration.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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