If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2009-2010 Nissan Altima appears to have a defect where it occasionally refuses to start. We know the feeling, but it's just not acceptable in a car.

For the fix, Nissan dealers enjoy replacing the steering lock control unit for $800. Stranded Nissan owners have found that banging like hell on the steering lock unit at the base of the steering column will do the trick. Yes, the same unit that apparently has $800 worth of electronics.

How far do you have to drive to experience this? The average mileage at failure is just over 55,000 very short miles.

More info & videos are available over at NissanProblems.com.

2.5

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,777 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.

2009 Nissan Altima electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Nissan Altima:

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

2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #195

Feb 022015

Altima

  • 87,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

After stopping at the store my car no longer would start. I live in Texas where it is hot, this is a danger to be stuck and no way to fix it. The key light popped on. Apparently after research it is noted Nissan is aware of the electronic steering lock problem. If there are so many issues why not recall the part instead of leaving motorist stranded. If the part malfunctions there is no way to move the car. I'm not sure where it is ok to charge 1200 dollars knowing your part is defective. This problem has left me stranded 3 different times.

- Decatur, TX, USA

problem #194

May 012015

Altima

  • miles
On May 1, 2015 my vehicle would not start. I had to have the car towed to a Nissan dealer. My 2009 Nissan Altima's electronic steering column lock (escl) system failed 4 months after the warranty extension expired.this is a known issue that according to Nissan "happening to only a small number of vehicles". if the number is so miniscule then why not issue a recall?? I cannot imagine what I would be dealing with if I experienced this failure away from home or traveling. I thank god that my family and I were at home.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #193

Apr 302015

Altima

  • 90,000 miles
I have a 2009 Nissan Altima. Apparently Nissan is fully aware of the issues that the electric steering column lock is having. Nissan chose to extend the warranty instead of recall the part. Knowing that the majority of the effected Altima owners would fall outside that warranty. Of course now my steering column has malfunctioned even though Nissan states that this would not be an issue for majority of car owners. They know this is a huge problem. I have found thousands of write ups on the internet. It is unfair to the Altima car owners. Nissan is not taking responsibility for using defective parts. They have since discontinued using these parts, and left Nissan Altima car owners holding their dirty little secret. The one car we have can not function, and they are asking for over$1000 to repair it. Issue: The car will not drive because of this malfunction and defective part. Please help us the 2009 Nissan Altima car owners get this part fully recalled by Nissan. Thank you!

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #192

Apr 212015

Altima

  • 145,309 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driver side door lock stop functioning with the remote keyless entry fob. This is the only door that stopped working all the other doors function as intended. I believe it is a malfunction of the lock regulator.

- Ogdensburg, NJ, USA

problem #191

Apr 152015

Altima

  • 55,000 miles
My car wouldn't start after work and couldn't figure out what was wrong, until I searched the internet for some help, and found that this is a known problem with Altima's from 2009 2010. I contacted corporate Nissan, who informed me that the warranty expired two months ago, exactly, and I would have to have it diagnosed by a Nissan before they consider covering faulty parts. My car was towed to the Nissan repair, who confirmed that the power steering lock was faulty and needed to be replaced for $1020. Nissan mechanic said that it is a known problem with 2009 and 2010 Altima's. I reported back to corporate, who said they would "investigate" my claim, and assured I would be contacted two days ago. Never received a call, despite several attempts to reach them, and convenient for Nissan that the department I need doesn't have an available telephone number

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #190

Apr 152015

Altima

  • 55,000 miles
My car wouldn't start after leaving work, couldn't figure out what was wrong, until I did a google search. I contacted corporate Nissan, who informed me that the warranty expired two months ago, exactly, and I would have to have it diagnosed by a Nissan repair before they consider covering faulty parts. I had my car towed to the Nissan repair, who confirmed that the power steering lock was faulty and needed to be replaced for $1020. Nissan mechanic said that it is a known problem with 2009 and 2010 Altima's. I reported back to corporate, who said they would "investigate" my claim, and assured I would be contacted two days ago. Never received a call, despite several attempts to reach them, and convenient for Nissan that the department I need doesn't have an available telephone number.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #189

Feb 242015

Altima

  • 94,444 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Airbags light for both passenger and drivers side came on indicating that they will not deploy.

- Kailua Kona, HI, USA

problem #188

Sep 082014

Altima

  • 94,444 miles
Steering lock - not able to start vehicle

- Kailua Kona, HI, USA

problem #187

Apr 112015

Altima

  • 95,524 miles
I was at the storage unit cleaning it out when I came out and the car would lock and unlock, but the break was hard to push down, and with you pushed the start button it will not come out of the lock position. The car will not crank up at all.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #186

Mar 202015

Altima

  • 83,902 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact attempted to use the spare key to start the vehicle; however, it failed to start. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the steering lock module would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 83,902.

- South Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #185

Mar 212015

Altima

  • 153,637 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I drove to pick up my daughter from the babysitter and I parked my car alongside the curb. It was less than 10 min and we went to the car and it would not start. I performed my usual routine when starting it...insert key in slot...press foot down on brake...then press the ignition start button and it still would not start. I tried the same routine a second time only to no avail. Finally on the third time...my instrument panel displayed a yellow key and a red key and it the ignition button stayed in the lock position. I eventually called a tow truck and when he arrived he knew exactly what it was. I was informed by the tow driver that it was a steering wheel lock issue and the only reason he knew was because I was his 6th Nissan in over a three day span. Apparently...Nissan is aware of this issue but refuses to acknowledge this issue as a recall.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #184

Feb 242015

Altima

  • 26,466 miles
Electronic steering column lock (escl) failed while car was parked. This could certainly be a safety issue if it occurred late at night or in a dangerous area. The dealer said there was a short in this. Could this have caused a fire" could they have fixed the short without charging me $993.65 because it was 3 months past the 6 year extended warranty" car has only 26466 miles on it. The starting mechanism which senses the brake being depressed had failed previously, and fixed under warranty, when I was far from home at a lakeside. Two electrical starting failures on the same vehicle. From their web site: Your Nissan vehicle is equipped with an electronic steering column lock (escl) unit that locks the steering wheel when the vehicle is parked and the ignition is turned off to help prevent theft. On some vehicles, due to a manufacturing irregularity that has since been corrected, the escl may malfunction after the vehicle is locked and could prevent the engine from starting. This condition, should it occur, will only occur when attempting to start the vehicle, and not while driving. Although Nissan believes the majority of owners will never experience this unique condition, to assure your continued satisfaction and confidence in your vehicle, Nissan has decided to extend the Nissan new vehicle limited warranty, as it applies to the escl unit, from 3 years / 36,000 miles to 6 years / unlimited miles, whichever comes first. Access to complete information and instructions including a reimbursement claim form will be available at www.nissanassist.com on April 1, 2013.

- Bloomington , IN, USA

problem #183

Feb 252015

Altima

  • 100,000 miles
My daughter, age 24, stopped by a local walgreens after working as a personal trainer. It was late evening and the temperature was 15 degrees. She went to start her car (push button start) and it wouldn't start. She waited for 2 hours before someone could come help. This is an issue Nissan is well aware of and has admitted is due to a "manufacturing irregularity". it's not a matter of if the part will fail but when the part will fail. While the car may be stationary, it none the less puts the driver at risk.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #182

Feb 242015

Altima

  • 58,690 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. While parking the vehicle, the theft system locked without warning and prevented the vehicle from starting. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the theft system needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 58,690.

- Waxsaw, NC, USA

problem #181

Feb 202015

Altima

  • 51,300 miles
On a very cold day (O degrees F), the steering lock control unit failed and car could not be started. Car needed to be towed to dealership and the steering lock control unit replaced at a total cost of $1106.98.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #180

Nov 032014

Altima

  • 83,000 miles
My vehicle begin to not start properly around November 2014. It has since got to the point that it will not start, due to a malfunction of the electronic steering control lock. I found this out after some trouble shooting and research. I also found that this is a known issue with this vehicle and yet a full recall was never made, due to it being labeled as not a safety issue. My wife and 18 month old son were stranded in 14 degree weather for over 3 hours today and the wind chill was below zero. I do not understand how a company like Nissan can get away with saying this malfunction is not a safety issue. Nissan has acknowledged the issue, but claims it will not be covered as our car is out of warranty. We never received anything stating that there was possibly a defective part on our car. There are numerous complaints about this online and I'm sure several have already filed complaints here as well. Nissan now wants us to pay out of pocket for an authorized dealership to diagnose the problem that we have already diagnosed, I find this to be an unacceptable business practice, which indicates they are more concerned with money then the welfare of their customers. I have had several vehicles that had recalls and never once was I required to pay to have it checked out.

- Odenton, MD, USA

problem #179

Feb 162015

Altima

  • 40,000 miles
After moving my car to shovel snow, I parked it. I came out 2 hours later and the car would not start. Electronic key worked, interior lights worked, horn worked, alarm worked but it would not start. I pressed the start button and nothing. We tried to jump start it thinking the battery might be a little weak but nothing!!! now after 2 days of research and missed work the problem is in the lock steering column. I now have to tow the car to the dealership and god knows how much this will cost me. Thank heaven the car just didn't die while I was driving it! the car isn't even paid off yet and has only 40,000 miles...I hope your Agency will do something for all the people out there like myself, that pay good hard earned money for something, only to buy a defective piece of junk.if it was only me, I'd suck it up and move on but its hundreds of us and if other Altima owners aren't complaing now, don't worry they will!!!

- Woodbridge, NJ, USA

problem #178

Feb 162015

Altima

  • 70,000 miles
Went out this morning, started my car, drove it to the supermarket, came out and the car won't start. According to the intelligent key warning light information in the manual, it says I have to contact the dealer. Looking at other posts here and other sites, this is a known problem that Nissan doesn't recognize as a recall problem. I just hope I don't get ripped off too much for the repair.

- Glenmont, NY, USA

problem #177

Feb 022015

Altima

  • 75,049 miles
The electronic steering column lock suddenly failed, resulting in the inability to start the car. I had to tow the car to the dealership to find out that the issue is out of warranty and would cost be $900+. after researching the issue, I found thousands of similar experiences with the 2009 Altima and it is clear that Nissan is well aware of this issue and they have not issued a recall. I was stranded, away from home, and had to rearrange my entire day while coming out of pocket a large sum of money which I, quite frankly, do not have. I submitted a warranty extension reimbursement form to Nissan who turned around and told me that I was out of luck. I was referred to the Nissan Consumer Affairs who confirmed that I was out of luck. I never received any notice that there was a recurring issue with the 2009 Nissan Altima, otherwise, I would have taken the car in to correct the problem before it became a problem. I am only 3 months outside of their extended warranty to be eligible for a reimbursement. It appears to me that Nissan is aware of this problem but refuses to stand by their product.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #176

Feb 102015

Altima 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
Went out to start car, and would not start. Key fob allows me to open and lock car, but I am unable to get my car started. I am being told that this is a common issue for the 2009 Altima, what with the steering column locking, and not being able to start. Nissan has been aware of this problem, and still no recall. I will have to pay to have this vehicle towed, and possibly have to pay over $1000 to have repaired. This issue usually occurs after 55,000 miles, but I am just at 33,000. Please wont you help those of us with this issue with a recall ! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Peoria, IL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?