2020 Nissan Altima Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system and braking issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

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The 2020 Nissan Altima is meant to be a reliable and cost-effective sedan. The new models claim to have the “tech that helps you be there.” However, the technology is exactly what is causing the trouble with the electrical system and service brakes.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019  2021  2022

Problems with the Electrical System

With a properly working electrical system, customers have access to the latest technology needed to enjoy the road. However, the Altima suffers from many defects.

Here is just one NHTSA complaint. “The contact owns a 2020 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving in Reverse that automatic electronic braking activated although no objects were present behind the vehicle. Additionally, while switching to the Reverse the message indicating an object was behind the vehicle was displayed. While driving the vehicle hesitated and vibrated while the accelerator pedal was depressed. The blind spot monitoring system also experienced intermittent failures. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer who indicated the crash avoidance system needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 3,000.”

It turns out that the electrical system problems go far beyond what one would expect. Even Service Bulletin #NTB20-046 talks about how the speaker volume knob adjusts the sound erratically. The communications talks about how rotating the knob changes the sound too much at once. There are several points to make here. First, does anyone even know how to use a volume knob anymore? Secondly, if this car has the “tech that helps you be there,” why is it still using old-school knobs?

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2020 Nissan Altima Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Service Brakes
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Air Bags

Problems with the Service Brakes

It might not seem that the braking system and technology would go hand in hand, but they do. In today’s modern vehicle, there are many driver-assist technologies that affect the brakes – either for good or bad.

Here’s what one NHTSA complaint points out. “The contact owns a 2020 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that upon approaching a stop light, he attempted to stop the vehicle but the brake pedal failed without warning. The contact depressed the brake pedal to the floorboard but to no avail; due to the brake failure, he bumped into the vehicle in front of him at 5 mph. The air bags did not deploy upon impact. No injuries were reported due to the failure and a police report was not filed. The contact was able to resume normal driving after the accident. The contact stated that the Forward Emergency Braking System failed without warning which caused the accident. [Dealer] was notified of the failure and informed him to bring the vehicle in for inspection; the vehicle had yet to be inspected. The vehicle had yet to be repaired. The failure mileage was 260.”

No car’s braking system should fail after just 260 miles. However, Nissan has nothing to say about the braking system. Instead, they continue to claim that it’s designed to get owners “there.” Where is “there?” Is it back to the service department after just a couple hundred miles?

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Nissan pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Brennan

    My 2020 Altima’s front camera malfunctioned out of the blue one day. No front collision warning or lane departure warnings as a result. $1500 to replace a camera I never damaged. Why do I have to foot the bill for faulty electronics?

  • Lydia E

    I just leased my Nissan Altima, and got in an accident by my quarter panel, no air bags and now that I’m having it worked on the airbags say 2x airbags off, it started up two times before being towed after collision and everything seemed to be in working order besides the hazard horn. It’s being worked on and they have checked every solution and cause given for the brake being stiff and locked up it won’t start but has power battery is good has malfunction warning and collision warning stuck on and gives the code U0100 meaning bad battery but the battery is at 100% the ecm and pcm seem to be fine. it’s a almost new car 2020 Nissan Altima Sedan CVT awd 2.5L 4 cylinder. So there is a lot of problems here during accident no warnings or collision lights popped up no sensor detection happened or auto braking occurred. I am extremely upset I just started leasing this car and now I have to pay off something impossible to even get fixed from a pretty minor collision might I add but definitely should’ve had airbags deployed with where struck.

  • Lisa S

    I bought my brand new Nissan Altima turbo and 2020 it is a 20/20 it is now 2022 and I’ve had two brand new motors put in it new brakes recalled tires that I’ve already replaced and a new battery they said went had a bad cell which is now giving me problems again not wanting to start properly unbelievable absolutely not happy worst vehicle I’ve ever owned

  • angela h

    after getting a 2020 nissan altima i was so hurt to see my seats are not real leather,front seat start tear apart look so bad i didnot think all time they put in make this cars very bad seats they install, i hate i brought it now no help from nissan. my next car will be with someone who care about their product, I gave them a 0 if could give less i would.

  • Casey J

    I have a 2019 Nissan Altima that I’ve only had less than a year. Since I’ve had it I’ve replaced the battery at Nissan. The battery will fail at least once a month leaving me stranded. I’ve paid over $300 in diagnostic fees for Nissan to tell me nothing is wrong. But you can bet the battery will fail and once jumped off it does fine until it happens again. It’s favorite warning when this happens is headlight system error but Nissan swears nothing is wrong with my car.

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