Dude, Where’s My Floorboard?
Hundreds of Altima owners have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and CarComplaints.com about their floors rusting through.
Some are so bad you can poke a hole through them with your toes. For others, the hole is already there and they really don’t want to pull a Fred Flintstone on the way to work.
The problem might be related to drainage and affects both the driver and passenger side.
Hundreds of Complaints
NHTSA has received over 400 complaints for the 2002–2006 model years. The scary part, however, is that most owners have no idea how close they are to falling through to the ground as the rust is usually obscured by the interior carpet.
Some owners have reported going in to their mechanic for an oil change and coming out with a bill upwards of $5000 for a new floorboard.
A majority of the complaints come from the salt belt states where a higher concentration of road salt is used to combat winter conditions. But not all. In fact, many complaints come from regions that barely (if ever) use road salt.
What Nissan Knows
Nissan doesn’t deny the problem and says they’ve been aware of it since 2008. However, they have no plans to order a recall or offer an extended warranty because “there’s no evidence of a defect.”
Their argument is it’s not unusual to see 10–14 years old cars with metal corrosion. That much is true. However, this isn’t just a little rust we’re talking about here. Even mechanics can’t explain why the floorboards in the 2002–2006 Altima are so much worse than, say, the 2002–2006 Maxima.
Rusted Floorboards Lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Illinois disagrees that this isn’t a safety issue and wants Nissan to cover the cost of replacing the floorboards. The lawsuit says:
- These hidden rust holes can allow dangerous exhaust fumes and road debris into the car.
- These vehicles can’t pass inspection without being repaired and they have little to no resale value.
- The repair can cost upwards of $3000. Compare that the KBB value of a 2005 Altima and the cost to repair is nearly 84% the entire value of the vehicle.
- At least one person has been injured as a result of the defect, while hundreds say they’re afraid to drive their cars.
Actions You Can Take
This step is crucial, don't just complain on forums! The sites below will actively manage your complaints and turn them into useful statistics. Both CarComplaints.com and the CAS will report dangerous trends to the authorities and are often called upon by law firms for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.
Step 1: File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com
CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases. Add a Complaint
Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety
The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS
Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues. Report to NHTSA