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Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 1
Average Mileage:
73,146 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.

2002 Nissan Xterra seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2002 Nissan Xterra Owner Comments

problem #11

Sep 022015


  • 98,000 miles


Vehicle was wrecked on a dirt road. The vehicle rolled four times and was totaled; the airbags did not deploy. Driver was the only person in the car so passenger side airbags not deploying is not a surprise. Driver was severely injured from accident, incurring significant medical costs as well as job loss.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #10

Feb 032016


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Xterra. While driving 30 mph, another driver crashed into the passenger side of the contact's vehicle. The front driver's air bag failed to deploy. The driver suffered injuries to the head that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was driven to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Steubenville, OH, USA

problem #9

Feb 082015


  • 245,000 miles
The vehicle started to sputter and the ABS and airbag lights started to come on. When the gears shifted up, it started to resist acceleration and losing transmission power. Started to shift down and coast. Pulled over to the side and the vehicle shut off. Would not start back up.

- Philadelphia, MS, USA

problem #8

May 292011

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle became unstable and the driver lost control of the vehicle. As a result, the driver crashed into a guard rail causing the vehicle to roll over twice. The air bags failed to deploy. The driver sustained fatal injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000. Updated 02/05/15 updated 9/20/2017

- Elkridge , MD, USA

problem #7

May 142014


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing the same failures listed in NHTSA campaign number: 03V061000 (air bags). The contact stated that the air bag light intermittently illuminated. The dealer was not made aware of the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 136,000.

- Elizabethton, TN, USA

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problem #6

Sep 182013

Xterra 6-cyl

  • 85,607 miles
I was approaching the 'on' ramp when Xterra pulled to side then flipped over 3X.there are 4 recalls;3 may have contributed to rollover.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 102013


  • miles


The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Xterra. The contact stated that the air bag light illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Waterford, NY, USA

problem #4

Nov 282004

Xterra 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I owned a Nissan Xterra(02)4WD-I drove it to the lassen nat'L volcanic park in red bluff, ca, I was about 300 ft from highway 36 going to the park. It was kind of chilly and the road have some snow on it. I was going slow about 13 to 15 miles, because I'm not familiar with the road, I was thinking I'll put on four wheel drive, but I have to stop the car and transfer it to 4WD-when I started sliding towards the mountainside, so stepped on the brakes(ABS) but I kept on sliding, I did not steer it to the opposite direction, I just went where the was going which is to the right, the vehicle did not stop. It hit the the mountain side trees and snow then it rolled over. My son and me were shaken and I smelled the gas so I turn the engine, it still running. We got out of the car and I can't believe that we survived the crash- we were wearing our seat belts, we got some bruise an D bumps in our head, but a week later I still feel aches and pains-my complaints are that why did our ABS did not work and the airbas did not deploy? lucky enough that we were not on the side of the of the deep canyon when it happened. I always maintained that car.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 012004


  • miles
Problems with control unit on 2002 Nissan Xterra. The SRS light would come on, the first dealer replaced the control panel but the second service dealer suggested that the part was not replaced. The consumer found that the problem was due to a faulty connector.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #2

May 312002

Xterra 4WD

  • miles
The air bag light continues to come on. The dealer service dept has replaced the left front seat belt(driver) tongue assembly, as a way of correcting the air bag indicator light. This was done on 5-31-02. The light came back on, that same day, before I left the dealership. They then reset the computer. On 8-9-02, I returned to delarship again, the airbag indicator light came back on, 8-2-02. The service dept attempted to correct problem again by: R&R pillar cover trim to check seatbelt pretensioner. They found harness was in a bind & was taped short frm the factory. Cut away tape & pulled some slack in wire. Then on 8-14-02, the airbag indicator light came back on again. I called the dealership & advised that when I bring car in for regular service on 8-16-02, they need to correct the airbag indicator light problem or I want to get a replacement vehicle. I also called the Nissan Consumer Affairs dept, my complaint# is 3862334. I was advised they will contact the dealership & assist them in repairing problem or if it cant be repaired, then they will take the necessary steps to buy back the vehicle. I researched your web site today & found: PE02-038, Nissan Xterra 2002 problem has prev been reported for the driver's airbag system malfunction. At this point, I am requesting assistance in obtaining a new vehicle, since it appears this may be a problem for the 2002 Xterra's that were prev sold. Thank you for you assistance.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #1

Jun 052002

Xterra 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
ABS light came on while driving. Vehicle was taken to dealer who stated rear passenger side wheel was about to fall off. Inner seal on axle bearing had failed. Consumer noticed gear oil around rear passenger side tire. Vehicle at dealership at this time. Consumer states that now the air bag light has illuminated, dealer stated that the control module and the coil wire for the drivers side air bag needed to be replaced.

- Georgetown, MA, USA

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