really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,791 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Nissan Altima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #44

May 042018


  • 35 miles
The car keeps stalling while I drive

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #43

Mar 072016


  • miles
My brakes are going out fast. My heater takes forever to heat up. My fuses keep burning out, car lighter don't work. It runs rough. I think it has a short on some wires.

- Brownfield, TX, USA

problem #42

May 022016


  • 132,000 miles
I have recently discovered that there was a recall on my Nissan Altima 2002 model. I have tried to contact the dealer locally but no results. I also contacted the manufacturer and they gave me run around saying that they needed the software which they will make it available and soon as it's available they will contact me. I have contacted them several times but I get the same run around. It's been over a year and half since I had contacted them. But it hasn't been fixed.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #41

Jan 022017


  • miles
Yes, I have a complaint about interlocks, I know the are to designed to save lives of others, but at risking the lives of the drivers that have them, it is unsafe to be driving down the road doing retest, I know a retest is to ensure that the driver of the car has not drank since driving or had someone else blow to start the car, but in my opinion it's hazardous to the driver to be put in this danger of having to retest every 30min, there is a camera placed in the car for a reason, yes I broke the law, I understand the reason for my interlock, yes I know I can pull to the side of the rode for retest, but in some cases you are not able to pull to the side of the road for them because you never know when they are coming, it took a child to point out the unsafe way retest are. Yes, I know I could have not had it placed in my car, but I have to work and provide for my family. Another thing I think interlocks are a money gimmick for the state and dealer that puts them in. I wasn't court ordered to have one, the judge in my case, said I could've had a restricted license, but the state of motor vehicle so said I had to have one to keep driving. When is the judges judgment not good enough?

- Fayetteville, TN, USA

problem #40

Sep 012015


  • 165,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving up a ramp at approximately 65 mph, the vehicle began to vibrate and jerk. The rpms increased from 35 to 4,000. The speedometer started to fail and the vehicle lost power and stalled. The vehicle was able to restart. This was a recurring failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 165,000.

- Lake Charles , LA, USA

problem #39

Apr 152015


  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. While driving at 20 mph, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was able to be restarted, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the electronic control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 144,000.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #38

Feb 022015

Altima 4-cyl

  • 172,300 miles
The first issue I have are the oxygen senor are bad no speed when getting pass 35 feel like your driving in 25. The major issue and it is very unsafe. I was driving down the street with my under age children in the car and when the gears was in drive it stop and went backwards then I put it all the way in park and it stop and took off and speed went to 60 then back down to it normal speed. Just the other day on 2/16/15 it was placed in drive it automatic went into reverse instead of drive but the gear was in drive.

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #37

Apr 152014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Did check engine light repair fixed crank position sensor. I drive to the store car shuts down to 5mph I pull over reset check engine light then it works fine.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

problem #36

Nov 032014

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Hard starting.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #35

May 222014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 99,975 miles
Problems: Service engine soon light, no start condition, reduced engine power, stopped running during vehicle operation. Car was parked and when started would not go over 15000 RPM - would not back out of the parking space. After several attempts at restarting it I was able to drive it to my local mechanic for him to check why the service engine soon light was on. Code he received did not give him any information so he turned the light off and I continued driving the car. On June 26, 2014 the engine stalled as I pulled up to a stop light. After putting the car in park and turning on my emergency blinkers it began running again. No service engine soon light came on. The next day the car failed to start. After several attempts it started and this has happened multiple times since then. A recall notice for all of these specific problems had been issued in December of 2003.for 2002 Altima manufactured between June 2001 and June 2002. My Altima was manufactured in October 2001 and I purchased it in November 2001. I was told by Nissan when I called on June 27,2014 that my vehicle was not included in that recall even though all of the consequences of the recall were documented on my car. I did receive a recall notice in February of 2009 at which time the local dealer reprogrammed the ECM (R0712). Not sure that worked because in July 2010 the service engine soon light came on - took it to repair shop which replaced the crank position sensor (which could have been defective also since all of these problems are occurring). I paid out of pocket for the same thing others are getting repaired by Nissan for free. Recall no. R3022 and 03V-455 describe these problems.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #34

Aug 132011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while driving 70 mph, the vehicle decelerated without manual force and a fire emerged from the harness of the vehicle. The fire was put out by the contact. A police report was filed. The contact did not sustain any injuries. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis where it was stated the wiring harness needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000. Updated 12/12/13

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #33

Jun 272013

Altima 6-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
On 6/27/2013 I was driving about 30 mph per hour. The car engine shuts off abruptly and I loss all power to the car. I was stuck and the cars behind me almost hit me from behind. I put the hazards on and tried to start the car. I sat for about 5 minutes, put the car in neutral and it started then shut off again. In previous years I had to start the car in neutral but it never shut off while in motion until today,6/27/2013 and the service soon engine light came on and also the tcs, slip. I am now seeing that there is a recall. Can you please help me to get Nissan to fix this problem because this is a hazard and there is a recall. Thank you. I will also call Nissan again and report this problem, and I hope that they fix this problem because I could have been injured also others and there is a product recall on the crankshaft, timing control sensors, etc...why was a product recall notice not mailed to me about this serious defect/ problem?

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #32

Apr 012013


  • 173,000 miles
The Nissan Altima 2002 has muffler recalls people can get killed with the smoke, all Altima has missfire problems can get killed while driving, electrical recalls please do something or are they paying you so you don't do nothing "????????"

- Takoma Park, MD, USA

problem #31

Aug 232012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 175,000 miles
Car was being driven at approximately 35 mph when it stopped running. Diagnosis: The cam position sensors were bad and needed replacement (replaced 2 sensors). The check engine light remains illuminated after replacing the sensor with parts obtained from the dealer. There is a recall on vehicle which was never fulfilled, however, Nissan claims it does not affect my vehicle.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #30

Dec 152011

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Will not start, replaced crank an cam sensor nothing they are recalls on these cars for lots of problems I purchased this car thinking it was a good car for my wife two days later it leaves her an my daughter stuck on the freeway. I have done resets nothing works is there something yall can help me with im out of pocket cause this car. Can I take it to Nissan dealer an they fix it for a recall.

- Arab, AL, USA

problem #29

Sep 012010

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Nissan Altima 2002 keeps having problem with the crankshaft and camshaft sensors and once you replace them a couple months later you'll have the same problem. This problem causes your car to stop randomly in the middle of traffic which could cause you to get into a car accident or worse death. Nissan knows that this is a common issue but they choose to ignore the problem. I have spoken with many dealers and auto repair technicians and they all agree this is a common problem with Nissan Altima. This is sad and I really wish this issue is resolved for the safety of everyone driving. I was driving in my car with my niece when my car just stopped in the middle of traffic scared me to death!!! because we could have been really hurt and the simple fact that I replaced this part 3 months before this occurred is really terrible. I have replaced both sensor and I'm still having an issue. This is something that Nissan needs to correct before someone really gets hurts. The 2002 Nissan Altima is a horrible car its just manufactured all wrong and is constantly giving me issues.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #28

Sep 112009

Altima 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Car uses excessive amounts of engine oil and low oil light never comes on to warn driver, can only determine that it is low by engine knocking noise.average oil consumption about 1 - 2 quarts every 300 miles also heater does not work when car is idleling only works when driving.check engine light constantly comes on code states cat converter bad.continous problem has been going on since car had about out 90,000 miles.car also turns off after running and will crank but does not start after multiple tries.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #27

Mar 182011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
When my 2002 Nissan Altima was about a year old, my vehicle began having difficulties starting in the morning. I live in sunny southern California, so our coldest mornings are in the high 30S. As a result, I don't believe that outside air temperature was a contributing factor to my vehicle not wanting to start. However, this issue never occurred in the warm afternoon. Ever since the initial instance, it has continued to happen a couple of times each year. I notified my local Nissan dealership on at least two occassions. Of course the problem never arose when I was at the dealership, so I decided to just dop the issue, as it didn't happen frequently enough to be of major concern to me. More recently; however, my car nearly stalled on my way home from my friend's house. I had to throw my car into neutral and press the gas pedal to prevent it from doing so. Ever since my car never wants to start on the first turn of the key. In fact, my check engine light is now on, and I have to pump the accelerator to get the car started. I had the check engine light code checked and discovered that there was a problem with the cam position sensor. Through online research, I discovered that Nissan recalled this part on some 2002 Nissan Altima. As a result, I contacted two different local Nissan dealesrhips and gave them my car's VIN number so they could see if the recall applied to my car. Of course it did not. I also discovered through my research that numerous people are encountering the same problem, and I was directed to file a complaint with NHTSA which is what brings me here today. Please help to keep us safe from vehicles stalling in the middle of busy intersections. Not only is this a terrifying thought, but if and when this happens, it could be a fatal problem.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #26

Jun 262010


  • 100,700 miles
The front two windows in my Nissan Altima roll down, by themselves, everytime I take my key out of the ignition! I have tried taking the batteries out of both of my key fobs, thinking maybe there is a short or something wrong with my key fobs, but my front two windows still roll down. I called Nissan to ask them about this problem, and they said, they have never heard of this problem. I have not taken the car to Nissan yet to get it repaired, because honestly I can not afford to pay 100 dollars an hour to have the car sit on the machine to test it, then how ever much it is to fix the problem, which could run into thousands of dollars.

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #25

Jun 132009


  • 139,000 miles
I was on vacation, driving to cleveland, oh with my wife & parents on 6-13-09, sat in 2002 Nissan Altima, 2.5 sl. Around 9.00 pm, on I-80, apprx 40 mil from cleveland, suddenly smoke started coming from the car hood, causing poor visibility. Temp and oil level indicators did not show any sign of problem with the engine. After narrowly escaping crash with other vehicles by grace of god, we could stop the car with smoke still coming out. By the time I moved everybody away from the car, the smoke stopped. This sudden failure of the engine could have been more disastrous, endangering precious lives. On cranking the engine, loud noise from the engine made us believe that car was in bad shape, so car was towed to Nissan of North olmsted, oh (dealer). After inspection on mon, 6/15/09 I was informed that the engine casting had a big hole apprx 2" big. We were asked to either scrap the car or replace the engine with estimated cost of $4500. We were not told any good reason for this engine failure. Being stranded with my family for 3 days and despaired, I decided to replace engine hoping to get compensation from Nissan. Initial positive response from Nissan customer affairs became very dissatisfying and frustrating after I paid the dealer. It was a shock to us that after calling so many times Nissan did not took any responsibility stating on 6/24 that "the vehicle is outside of manufacturer's warranty" later I found many publications stating that 2002, Nissan Altima-2.5L engines have faced similar engine failures but Nissan has not done enough to avoid such incidents. Irresponsible behavior like this is not expected from such a reputed org. There had been multiple recalls on my car including "engine sensor kit" and " engine cooling system". I would like to request you to look in to this matter so as to contain further damage to precious lives of people at large. I further request you to impress upon Nissan to reimburse us for total cost of replacing engine and mental agony.

- East Hartford, CT, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »