Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: You don't want to get 2009 and 2010 Altima owners started about their cars. That is, unless, you know how to start their cars.

These vehicles can suddenly become impossible to start thanks to a faulty electronic steering column lock (ESCL). Nissan dealers will gladly replace it, but that will run you $1000.

It's one of the many reasons this car was named CarTalk's Turd of the Week and given our Beware of this Clunker badge. Two dubious honors.

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

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,013 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #64

Aug 052016

Altima

  • 90,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle became difficult to control. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the strut insulator was cracked, which caused the vehicle to be unstable. The mechanic advised that there was a recall, but the manufacturer stated that the VIN was not included. The failure mileage was 90,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Stratford, OK, USA

problem #63

Mar 152016

Altima 4-cyl

  • 210,000 miles
My 2009 Nissan Altima VIN number [xxx] has many safety issues that are not being reported with my VIN number. The struts, steering lock box{which I paid $900 to repair], ABS speed control sensor, engine oil coolant and most of all the cvt transmission have went out on my car and Nissan will not help me repair. So I am forced to attempt this last try before joining a class action law suit. I have only had the car 2 years and now I am out $9000 and the repairs are more than the car is worth. It would take too long to give detail about all the events so I pray someone at Nissan is decent enough to stand behind their product and make this right I am a single mom of three and ride less. I have contacted att. General [xxx] and BBB. My car is at [xxx] my number is [xxx] my name is [xxx] I have opened 5 cases and been denied. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Greenville, MS, USA

problem #62

Jul 302016

Altima

  • 130,000 miles
First problem is stationary while parked. Car was bumped by another while parked and steering column locked up. It happened again without being bumped for unknown reason. Had to tow to garage to unlock. Has happened twice now. Expensive to fix. Second problem is while in motion on highways. On hot day, during longer trips where uphill climbing is present, the engine starts to lose power going up hill and manual states it is a built in safety feature to protect engine however this is a big safety hazard because you have to pull over and let the car cool down for a while before driving again. This has now happened to my family 3 times.

- Alpine, CA, USA

problem #61

Jul 112016

Altima

  • 107,000 miles

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

On July 11th I went to the store to pick up some items. When I left the store to get in my car, it would not start. I drive a two door Nissan Altima coupe 2009. The steering lock had malfunctioned leaving me stranded in a parking lot while it was 95 degrees outside. I had a lock smith come and use his computer on my vehicle, unfortunately my car is in hijack mode and my engine will not allow his computer to talk to it. Only Nissan has a computer that can bypass this and replace my steering lock. With that, Nissan knows the 2009 model has a defective steering lock but has yet to recall it. There are thousands of people with this model and year who have had this same issue. Nissan also went as far as replacing the part but with a different part # as they know the part # in the 2009's are defective. The part # they are now replacing it with is the part they put in the 2013 Nissan Altima's. Nissan says it's going to cost me over $1200 to get this fixed in my car. I refuse to pay for a problem that is defective in my vehicle and is known by the company itself. I am now carless as I don't have that kind of money to fix this problem. I am appalled that Nissan would knowingly not recall the part in the 2009 Nissan Altima's. it poses a risk to people's safety as it can happen anytime and anywhere!

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #60

Jul 012016

Altima

  • 92,000 miles
2009 Nissan Altima will not start they said it was the steering lock control unit that needs replaced. $1,100. Nissan knew of the issue and extended the warranty only until 2015. If there was an issue why was I never told about it. I would have had them replace it a long time ago. We should have been told and they should cover the cost!

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #59

Jun 102016

Altima

  • 134,000 miles
My 2009 Nissan Altima had a defective steering lock that caused me to be stranded alone late at night on June 10, 2016 - not able to start my car. My car had to be towed to a dealer the next day. This is a very dangerous situation to be in because I had no warning that this was going to happen and this time it was not too cold. I was able to use my cellphone to call a friend to help. I had to get a ride back to my car the next day and wait for a tow truck. I was without my vehicle for 3 days waiting for it to be serviced. This cost me $900 to fix. This is a defective part in the 2009 Nissan Altima and there is no way to know if it will happen again and should be covered by a recall for the life of the car.

- East Providence, RI, USA

problem #58

Jun 082016

Altima

  • miles

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

Car would not start, towed to dealership, diagnosed as failed steering lock mechanism, a known issue on the 2009 Nissan Altima that Nissan did not recall. The car was not in motion at the time, had difficulty getting it towed since even in neutral the steering was locked down.

- Federal Heights, CO, USA

problem #57

May 172016

Altima

  • miles
Not too long ago my car would not start in several ocassions I had my children with me ages 4 & 7 in the heat stranded because my car would not recognize my key... I have contacted Nissan consumers affairs at one point their was a recall but has expire in 2015..now its June 2016 and my car just started doing this I made 1yr with my pre owned car still makin payments not once was I notified about this recall..I just felt scared and this vehicle is not safe for me and my children.it could leave us stranded any time and its June I cannot risk it in this heat.... this is a safety issue... Nissan did state to me that their was a recall and their sorry but it has expired and im responsible for the part... this is a manufacture issue they knew their vechicles had a safety issue when they made them I believe they are responsible for this costly matter... I am a single mom of 2 still making payments on a car that wont unlock and read my key I need help please someone..... this part is $680+ labor=$1150!!!! I believe Nissan is responsible for this issue...

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #56

May 292016

Altima

  • 146,000 miles
Steering lock release malfunction indicator on; can't start car. It's sitting like a bump in my driveway. Thanks goodness it didn't leave me stranded!! but now I'm carless!!

- Bristow, OK, USA

problem #55

May 032016

Altima

  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. When attempting to start the vehicle, it was unable to start. The "push to start" did not start the engine and the steering failed. The failure was included in an extended warranty; however, the contact was not sure if the vehicle would still be covered. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 143,000.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #54

Apr 232016

Altima

  • 75,000 miles

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

The escl wheel lock will not release to let the vehicle start

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #53

Apr 102016

Altima

  • 66,500 miles
Was going out of town and due to bad weather conditions on the area I was supposed to drive to, I did not go. However, on Sunday afternoon I got into vehicle, tried to start it and it would not start. Now, if I had of gone out of town like I was supposed to, I would have been stranded. I often have my small granddaughter with me. Glad she wasn't this time. Had to call tow service.

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #52

Jan 012016

Altima

  • 80,000 miles
I live in the country and was prepared to leave town to visit my sister. I pack my car and get ready to leave (my car was in perfect condition in my garage all night) I went to start my car and nothing! I assumed the battery at first but the lights would turn on. I called Nissan and I was told my steering wheel lock device needs replaced. I was told that I would have to tow my car in, pay for parts and labor. I ask Nissan, if this is so common then how was I not notified of this" I learn this device was put in place for protection against car theft and designed for the key fab to undo the lock up. My car was not in threat of being stolen, and my key fab would not allow the engine to start. I was left stranded for no reason and without warning. I start researching that I am not the only one. There are hundreds effected by this faulty device. I can't believe Nissan has not recalled or set out notice to warn people, or offer an extended warranty. I watch a video on how to trick start the engine. You pull down the bottom of steering wheel and tap the metal lock device with a hammer. This allows my car to start some times. I've been stranded out of town, at a grocery store, and in the middle of no where all due to this defective device. What if it goes out while driving and causes an accident and/or death" I'm scared and upset until Nissan does the right thing to fix this

- Hutchinson, KS, USA

problem #51

Jan 152016

Altima

  • 0 miles
No star. Steering lock bloqued

- Mcallen, TX, USA

problem #50

Mar 102016

Altima

  • miles
This car leaks water into the drivers side floor, and keeps trapped rain water inside of both panel doors for weeks after it rains. I've already had to get the exhaust manifold leak fixed (which luckily was covered under a recall). Not to mention that I ended up having to go to the er last year for a breathing treatment because fumes were leaking into my cabin via the air conditioning(problem unknown/undiagnosed). But now like many other owners of the 2009 Nissan Altima, unfortunately the steering wheel ignition lock/switch malfunctioned causing my engine not to be able to turn on suddenly. When I returned to my car, the key fob was not recognized and the engine will not turn on. After towing it to a local Nissan dealership, it was diagnosed as a faulty steering wheel ignition lock, and will cost me an average of $1100 to fix. After contacting Nissan headquarters to see if it would be covered even though their "campaign" ended in Jan 2016 for my vehicle, they denied the request to provide assistance. I don't understand how any auto manufacturer can be allowed to get away with installing a faulty part into the car, and then pass along the ultimate cost of fixing it to any owner. It's not okay to simply cover the cost of those owners who's switch fails during a certain time period, and then inform the rest of us that they are unwilling to help. Nissan installed the defective part, and the right thing to do would be to own up to that mistake and issue a recall. Clearly Nissan does not have the best interest of their customers at heart. And from what I understand, they must have known that part was faulty enough not to issue a temporary extension of the

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #49

Mar 112016

Altima

  • 0 miles
Takata recall steering lock failer, engine will no longer work. Car was parked when it happened. Part defective. Nissan is apparently aware of problem. They should fix part.

- Springerville, AZ, USA

problem #48

Jun 132015

Altima

  • 190,000 miles
Takata recall service bulletins. I have a 2009 Nissan Altima that is very dangerous on the road with my children we have had it a year amd already spent alot. Call this dept and Nissan several times with no result I have 13 of the service bulletins wrong with this car amd many lives at stake I may have to get am attorney before we loose a life. I paid $9000 for this one year ago amd no one can help the strut, the cvt the engine cooler leaks, push start, cruise control vehicle speed sensor ABS ect please help is figure out what T9 do so I can sleep at night with all my babies safe

- Greenville, MS, USA

problem #47

Jan 202015

Altima

  • 46,517 miles
Keyless start malfunctioned, steering wheel lock mechanism failed and rendered the car unable to start. Part:lock assy strg 48700-9N00B replacement part used at the cost of towing and $899.95 at mentor Nissan Ohio. Through research found this is a widely know issue, many cases involved this. 250,000 hits on internet. Certainly the consumer should be protected and reimbursed by Nissan.

- Mentor, OH, USA

problem #46

Dec 132015

Altima

  • 73,000 miles
12-13-2015 failed electronic steering lock which stranded us on the side of the road with the windows down exposing personal items and our personal safety for a part the manufacture has recognized as faulty and extended the warranty until 120 days before the part fails. 715 times" does someone have to die in a snow storm or get hit on the interstate before action will be taken on this" the part by itself was $715 from the dealer. Make this problem right before someone dies if they haven't already.

- Buda, TX, USA

problem #45

Dec 042015

Altima

  • 64,000 miles
Our 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid died without warning. We were unable to turn the car on, nothing on the dashboard lit up except a yellow key symbol. The lights, locks, and key fob continued to work, however. I researched the issue we were having and discovered a number of consumers had similar problems with their Nissan. It is a manufacturer's defect with the steering lock which renders the car inoperable, apparently. This is not normal wear and tear. Our car gave no indication of something being wrong. It has only about 64,000 miles on it and we have had no major issues previously, and no indication that anything was wrong prior to it dying. When I contacted Nissan of marlboro, MA, the individual I spoke with diagnosed the problem over the phone. He said he was 99% certain it was the steering lock. This was confirmed once we brought the vehicle in for repair. For him to diagnose the problem accurately over the phone, they must see this issue often enough. Only further solidifying that Nissan is aware that there is a manufacturer's defect. I was told however, that despite Nissan being aware of the problem, we had missed the deadline for the extended warranty which ended in June 2015. Again, this is not due to normal wear and tear. Our car was in perfectly good condition until the moment it simply stopped working. When I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs to report the problem, I was also made aware that the reason we never heard of the problem was that they had the previous owner, michael something, listed rather than us. So the mailing may have gone to him, not us. We purchased the car from Nissan of woburn as a certified pre-owned vehicle. By the time I spoke with the second individual from Nissan, our information was updated and she claimed Nissan can not guarantee that recall information is mailed to the correct owner.

- Acton, MA, USA

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