I own a beautiful 2002 Altima 3.5SE. It's fully equipped and has a spoiler and upgraded chrome grill added. I've never had problems with it. It runs beautifully and the bodywork is near perfect. So what's the problem?
I decided to sell it and get a newer model. I found a buyer and with certified cheque in hand we headed to a Nissan dealer for a pre-sale inspection. Guess what? It failed! The floor pan on the passenger side is rusted out! The mechanic was able to push a screwdriver right through! I asked if this was unusual and he said he had never seen such a problem on a relatively new Altima. I called Nissan and they told me to basically "pee up a rope"! The car's too old. The warranty has expired. The mileage is too high. The floor pan is not covered by the perforation warranty anyway etc.
Has anyone heard of this problem? Is there a way to get Nissan to admit that there must be a factory defect since the car has never been accidented and the floor pan shows no sign of road/off road damage?
I'm stuck with a car that looks perfect but is not sellable in its present condition.
Since Nissan refused to help me, I've sold the car at a $2000 loss. I've also written off Nissan for life. They now join Ford and Chrysler on my list of vehicles that I will never buy on principle. Too bad. It was a great car. If only Nissan had a conscience, I'd still be on board.
I'm sorry that you did not receive a reply sooner. My past experiences with Japanese companies is that they do not seem to care about you, the consumer, whatsoever. They only want money, and they are litigious mother fuckers. If there were a car manufacturer that I would stick next to, it would be Mercedes Benz. Other than that, each car I see I look at individually, and not at the make.
For example, the Nissan Quest makes me sick to my stomach, while I am loving my 2005 Altima 2.5 SL. One more would be the BMW X3, which I see as their "affordable" SUV that they don't really care about. Yet the BMW M5 makes me pre-cum. Yes I just said that. Can you imagine a 21 year old in a $100,000 507 HP sedan? Vroom.
I spoke with the Nissan mechanic that I know today and he said that he has never seen nor hear of any Altimas having rust problems in the cabin area. He did make a good point that if a little rust were to occur, with any rust-able metal, that in time the rust spreads, with the aid of water or not, and as such could cause the problem listed above.
Do you live in an area where there is either salt in the air or alot of salt used during winter? Lots of people forget to wash under their car all winter. 5 years can totally rot out any car unless it is washed well.
Do you park the car on dirt? That can also rot a body very quickly.
I have the same problem with my 2003 Nissan Altima. The problem with the floor is that is not solid. For some unknown reason there is sheet metal welded on top of the floor on the driver side and passenger side. In the winter, water seeps through the welds of the sheet metal and gets trapped between the floor and the sheet metal trapping the water which in turn causes rust.
If the floor was solid and it rusted prematurely thats a normal risk but the floor having that sheet metal makes it a Nissan defect. Nissan should repair the hole at their expense.
Any 2002, 2003 Nissan Altima owner should check your vehicles for rust to prevent this from happening before it gets worse. There should be a recall to fix this problem.
I noticed a rust stain on my front drivers side carpet and brought it to the local Nissan body shop and they told me the floor was rusted out. Sounds like the same thing everyone else has. Quote to fix it was $2,400. The guy at the body shop said it was the second altima in the past few weeks he has seen with the rust problem. I'm going to see if Nissan will do anything about it but I'm not very optimistic! Car has been great, I have 166,000 miles and haven't had any issues till now!
I took my car to the body shop to have it examined. The person that looked at it said it was a bad rust hole and that it had been rusting for almost a year. He said that he will contact a dealer and forward it to a Nissan rep for further action. I will keep you abreast of the situation.
My suggestion to anyone that calls Nissan head office and is told that the warranty is over to escalate the complaint and not to hesitate to contact any media outlet and and the car organizations that touted the 2003 Nissan Altima as the car of the year.
There is strength in numbers don't not do anything about this.
If Nissan doesn't do anything about this and I have to buy from another car maker, I tell you that this will be a bitter divorce. I love Nissan and this is my second Altima I will do what I have to get service.
I have heard from the owner of the body shop who which in turn contacted the Nissan rep. The rep had said that he can get $350.00 CDN to fix the car from Nissan no questions asked and no further action required on my part. To me this is absolutely B/S because it does not cover the actual cost to have it properly fixed which is to have the floor pan cut out and replaced the cost for that will be approximately $2000.00. It doesn't even cover the cost of having the area around the hole cut out and metal welded in place. The cost for that will be at least $500.00 and I will have to put in the remaining money to pay for that.
I am seriously thinking about getting the latter done because the car would never pass the safety as is. I certainly cannot afford to fix the car the way it is supposed to be fixed.
I bought a brand new car in 2003 for $30,000 I should not have to be dealing with this problem. Once I get it fixed I will publicize the pictures of the rust damage to media outlets and car reviewers.
As I expected, Nissan is not interested in helping me out. They said they do not think this is a defect in the car, and made it out like it was due to my high mileage (167,000 on an 2002 3.5SE). I tried to find out what the criteria was for issue a recall but couldn't get a straight answer from the representative. I assume that if enough people complain then they may take some sort of action.
One of my coworkers has an older model Toyota Tacoma and the floors started rusting out on him. Toyota is giving him 1.5 times the value of the truck towards a new vehicle. I guess thats better than nothing. I would advise anyone with an Altima to have there vehicle checked and if there is a problem report it to Nissan. If enough people complain they have to do something. right?
I also have an 02 Altima with rust holes in the floor. I just discovered them a few weeks ago and have been through pretty much the same thing described by other members here; service center was no help, only 5 year warranty for perforation, called Nissan Canada, sorry, 5 year warranty, maybe it was parked on grass? Went to a Nissan body shop and got a quote of around $2000 for the repair. He told me maybe the carpets were wet in the winter.
I also have rust on the front passenger door on the inside where the window surround meets the door, and a bit on the rear driver side door as well. Told me they'd have to replace the doors for about $1500 each installed & painted.
I agree with Surgite111, this is unacceptable and now that I've found out this is a common problem I'm going to call back Nissan Canada and push a little harder, and start calling the media as well. I hope others will too.
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