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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,474 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 steering problems

steering 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 1 of 32)

problem #627

Nov 202016

Altima

  • 79,000 miles

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

Two days before my car turned off and won't turn on again this key symbol and the word "key" showed up on my dashboard. Two days later, we went to Sunday dinner parked, I forgot to roll the windows up. I go to turn the car on again and it wont start. I had to have it towed almost 30 miles and now they want me to pay them 1040 to fix the problem. I purchased my car 4 months ago, with no mention from anyone that there was a possibility of this becoming an issue. Which I think is funny that they are even selling people these cars with the extent of people having this problem and with no word to the fax that the extended warranty is up. This is ridiculous that 4 months into owning this car I have to put almost 1500 with tow, parts, and labor into it already. I would have never bought this year or model if I knew this was a standard issue.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #626

Nov 152016

Altima

  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the steering wheel lock malfunctioned. The key icon illuminated when the failure occurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they diagnosed that the steering wheel lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 79,000.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #625

Nov 212016

Altima

  • 138,355 miles
Went to work. Once entering back into the vehicle it wouldn't start showed key icon on the steering wheel. I researched online and it is the electronic steering column lock failure. I called Nissan and was notified that the recall ended in 2015. I was not notified. Once I spoke to gene at Nissan company said the dealer never notified them I was a Nissan owner. Had to have the car towed to a mechanice

- Hueysville, KY, USA

problem #624

Nov 212016

Altima

  • 76,287 miles

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

Drove my 2009 Altima to local Nissan dealership for an evap canister ses light issue. Got out of the car to get early bird paperwork and car would not restart when I returned to it. The service advisor advised that the steering lock mechanism would have to be replaced. My receipt for the steering lock mechanism alone shows a charge of $1110.78. Filed a complaint with Nissan usa that same day and was given a case number (24724130). I was told it would have to be handled by the regional office and to expect a call nlt 11/22/16 by cob. Received a call from shonecia at 12:32pm on 11/22. The call was basically to inform me that because they had originally extended the warranty on the issue and it had ended they were not responsible for the repairs. When I protested that this is a safety issue, she just repeated the previous comments along with the fact that they only acknowledge maintenance receipts from "certified Nissan-trained service departments" when considering how to handle repair reimbursements. My understanding is that even though they know this is a defect in the car, they have no intention of doing more that the previously mention warranty extension. I stressed that this really is a safety issue because there was absolutely no warning--not a light, not a whisper, not a shout-out--absolutely nothing! I told her my only silver-lining to yesterday was that it happened at the dealership and not out in the middle of nowhere. Pretty sure she didn't care and neither does Nissan. I did advise her that I would be filing a complaint with you and my state attorney general.

- Theodore, AL, USA

problem #623

Nov 202016

Altima

  • miles
My have problem with the electronic steering lock column and righ now no move and what can you to help me? my is in my house right now but mo start.

- Wildomar, CA, USA

problem #622

Nov 182016

Altima

  • miles
Steering wheel lock recall. The steering wheel was able to be turned all the way around and would not lock causing the car to be un-driveable. Once the car was powered off and to a stop the car would not start back up again.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #621

Nov 132016

Altima

  • miles

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

My car would not start due to the electrical steering column lock failure. This is also known by Nissan and they still have not recalled this issue. Which is very unfortunate to the Nissan owners and it is expensive to fix.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #620

Nov 162016

Altima

  • 120,000 miles
Steering wheel lock would not release to start. This occurred very far from home and without warning. Nassan is aware of this and does not act in favor of owners to remedy the problem thus allowing for costly expense and repairs.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #619

Nov 152016

Altima

  • 85,000 miles
Vehicle would not crank after steering mechanism malfunction.

- Greenville, AL, USA

problem #618

Nov 152016

Altima

  • 43,000 miles
The key light stays on. The car keeps give me low battery warning even I just changes the battery in key fob. Now the "🔑 /key" lights on. The car could not start.

- Ramsey, NJ, USA

problem #617

Nov 152016

Altima

  • miles

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

The steering wheel lock prevents your push to start to operate and this was an extended warranty for lifetime but Nissan since has actually made it only available till January 2016 which is def still coming up as an ongoing issue today

- Compton, CA, USA

problem #616

Nov 142016

Altima

  • 80,000 miles
I went to the mall to drop off a painting and my car wouldn't start when I left and was giving me the key indicator so after a 20 second search on google I found that a lot of Nissan owners had the same problem as me, which was the steering wheel column not receding to where it should be in order to lock the wheel. I think its absurd the piece is 600 at the dealership and 400 online. Then the key needs to be reprogrammed, if I would have known about such a tedious problem that Nissan was not accepting responsibility for, I would have just gotten another kind of car.

- Valrico, FL, USA

problem #615

Nov 102016

Altima

  • miles
Car stalled twice both parked in a parking lot. Battery works and key fob works with doors. But engine wont start with push button start. Electronic steering column lock defect.

- West Nyack, NY, USA

problem #614

Nov 072016

Altima

  • 88,888 miles
"takata recall" the steering wheel locked in my Altima and it left me stranded in the road! the battery wasn't dead, the control key wasn't bad either. The dealer says is a $1,300 repair job! it's the steeringg wheel lock that needs replacement and I have seen youtube videos and it has happened to thousands of people with 09' Altima!! why did you take the manufacture replacement in 2015!" this is so horrible! I understand that I have to replace wheels, engine oil and other wear and tear items, but how in the world can a part that is inside my steering wheel have problems!" I don't event have a key! I use "keyless control". this is so upsetting! please listen to your customers and have it fixed by the manufactures expense!!!

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #613

Nov 112016

Altima

  • 100,000 miles
Steering lock assembly malfunctioned car will not start. Nissan has knowledge the problem but won't repair honor repairing a defective part.

- Rosharon, TX, USA

problem #612

Nov 102016

Altima

  • 160,000 miles
The electronic steering lock has malfunctioned. The car would not start, leaving myself and two children stranded.

- Columbia, IL, USA

problem #611

Nov 012016

Altima

  • 135,000 miles
Electronic steering column lock failure. Leaves car disabled where ever you are. Car will not start. Must be towed. Nissan had an earlier recall but never published it to 2009 Altima owners.

- Auburn, MA, USA

problem #610

Oct 312016

Altima

  • 131,000 miles
Steering wheel lock malfunctioned causing car not to start. Was having a severe asthma attack at the time and was in a life or death situation. Thankfully others were around that could take me to the er. This part was a known issue as evidenced by an extended warranty on this part but no customer notification was ever issued to me. I was lucky! to be in a situation where you are panicked and not thinking clearly and trying to get help only to be held hostage by a known faulty part that would not let my car start is infuriating.

- Portage, IN, USA

problem #609

Nov 052016

Altima

  • 75,000 miles
When parking in reverse, car does not start after 2 minutes. The electronis steering column lock unit (escl) malfunctions and shows error symbol on dashboard showing that immobilizer is activated and steering is locked. It is unsafe, dangerous and scary situation. I have family, with little kids in the car and stranded on side of a road, with car parked while the traffic is flying by. Nissan dealership and service center representative informed that there is no warranty and no recall. The cost of replacing steering wheel lock system is $1250. This can not done by any other repair shops as all the parts must come from Nissan. It is a Nissan monopoly and ransom to get this repaired.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #608

Nov 052016

Altima

  • 90,000 miles
Takata recall my daughters 2009 Nissan Altima was running fine, she parked it and ran inside to grab her school lanyard and right back out to go back to school when it wouldnt start. The key fob was in the car, and it was as if the car didnt recognize it. We searched online and did our own trouble shooting and replaced the brake switch and key fob batteries which didnt help. Had the car towed to our dealership and it is the steering lock at the tune of $1,005. There was no warning of any issue and there was nothing we could do other than have it tested and pay.after looking at the national highway traffic safety admin page and seeing all of the complaints I do not understand how this has not been recalled. My daughter couldve been stranded anyplace and that is not acceptable to have no way to start this vehicle.now..do we play the waitin game to see if and when it happens again? this seems to be a recurring issue for the Nissan and hopefully they will have to take responsibility in fixing the problem. Our family cannot afford this, as I'm sure nobodys family can.

- Lawton, OK, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?