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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,250 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.

2011 Nissan Altima electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #19

Mar 042014


  • 35,998 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Altima. After the brake pedal was depressed and the push start was pressed, the brakes seized and there was no engine power. All the warning indicators illuminated when the failure occurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that a software update was needed. The software was updated, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was brought back to the dealer on two separate occasions when the failure recurred; however, the technicians could not duplicate the issue. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was approximately 35,998. Updated 10/06/16

- Lagrange, GA, USA

problem #18

Nov 262015


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that after the attempting to start the vehicle, the push to start button failed to operate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Bloomfield, NY, USA

problem #17

Jan 012011


  • 52 miles
I have a Nissan Altima (2011) and my sister has a Nissan murano (2013?). both cars remain running when the "smart key" is removed. My car beeps 3 times if I get out with the key when it is running, but not much notification. I have not had a problem yet, but my sister, in her 80's, has left her car running for hours frequently since she bought the murano (at least 5 times). We both keep our cars in a closed in basement and if left running could be deadly. Our bedrooms are directly over the garage. It seems like a simple timer could be used to turn the car off if the key is removed for more than 5 minutes. An over ride could be put on the option if the owner wants it to run longer for winter warm-ups or whatever. The sooner the auto complex fixes this the fewer recalls in the future. I really worry about my sister and others not as tech savvy or maybe with memory/attention issues. The incident date above is close to the date that I bought the car new, since this issue existed the day that I bought it. I was not aware of the danger until my sister repeatedly left hers running unknowingly. I'm sure that you are aware that this problem may not be Nissan specific and all companies will need to fix it. Thank you for your help.

- Brevard, NC, USA

problem #16

Jan 072014


  • 35,000 miles


This is an incident that has occurred multiple times, most recently on 2/23/15. Car would not start in colder weather. Replaced battery in January of 2014 fine for awhile. Happened again in December 2014. Got jump start and took to repair shop. Could not find anything wrong with it. Started fine for shop. January 2015, incident occurred again where car would not start. Brought back to repair shop, said I had a faulty battery. Battery replaced. February 2015, less than 3 weeks after new battery put in, car starts fine. Stopped for gas not even 2 minutes later. Trying to start car after filling up, car will not start. Steering wheel is in locked position, brakes are locked up, red light flashing as on dash as if there is no key in the car. Locks were not responsive to either manual button on door nor with key fob. Ignition would not even come close to turning over. No lights would turn on. Car was just dead. Had to tow to repair shop, where mechanic said battery was completely dead. It was brand new 3 weeks ago!!!! still don't know the real root of the problem. No one can find anything else wrong with it. Have read several other posts with similar situations and it seems that Nissan fixing the BCM is the only thing that seems to work in the long run. This is something they should be mandated to do!!!! car is barely 4 years old and has had this problem for over a year. Ridiculous! Nissan needs to own up to their faulty "no key" ignition system.

- Point Pleasant, NJ, USA

problem #15

Mar 122014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Air conditioner stopped working during normal use. The coil to the compressor is fried and will not turn on the A/C even though it has working amounts of freon and all other equipment in A/C system is good.

- Kailua, HI, USA

problem #14

Feb 052015


  • miles
I am currently in the army. I am conducting training at fort sill, ok and my wife is in North Carolina where I actually work. My wife dropped the kids off at their schools and went to the store where the car was running fine and was having no issues. When she returned to the car to start it, the steering wheel was locked, brakes were locked, dashboard lights would not come one, had the red blinking car with key symbol and the ignition switch was saying locked, she was stuck in town, no way to pick up our kids, and no way to get back home. Ended up paying tow truck to take car to the house, changed batteries in key fob. Checked the battery, and nothing has fixed it. I have done some research on this issue and there are a multitude of complaints on this. This needs to be fixed now, I would be a lot more furious if it would have been my wife along with both of my sons that are 4 and 2. they would have been stuck there in the cold with no way home at that time. Nissan needs to get off their butts and take responsibility on their car defects. This is a serious problem and potentially be a hazard if this happens while driving. Please push to get this issue fixed before someone does get hurt. Do a search on 2011 Nissan Altima with steering wheel locking and not starting you will be amazed at all these my wife has to wait until I get back from training to get the car fixed. Getting it fixed herself is impossible due to my 4 year old be autistic. I am begging for your help and to look into this issue for everyone's safety.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #13

Jan 162015

Altima 4-cyl

  • 83,000 miles


There have been several times the car was unable to start and unable to be shut off without having to be towed. They claimed it was a battery issue, but the car almost acted like it was encountering a software crash both times. I've had to have the exhaust / catalytic converter replaced on the car. I've had several major steering problems. At one point, a tie rod had to be replaced on this car. The latest steering issue just occurred in the last few weeks. On January 16, I took a road trip with my fiancÉE and her sister to memphis, tn to visit her other sister. On the way down we noticed the car was difficult to steer. Upon inspection, we found the power steering fluid was low. We replaced it. However, we found it strange given the excellent maintenance on the car. As we drove, the steering issues recurred. We figured out there was a leak in the system. We bought a lot of power steering fluid in order to make it to memphis (there weren't many major cities on our way between where we came from and memphis, so we had to get to memphis.) several mechanics confirmed the issue was the rack & pinion system on the car. The dealership that ultimately repaired the car mentioned this brake was highly unusual, not due to poor maintenance, and not due to road hazards. Since the car is not out of warranty, I had to pay for the repair myself. Given the other major repairs that have occurred in the short time I've had this car, especially given the very diligent maintenance I've been performing on the car and despite the many miles already on it, I believe I've been sold a lemon. As a result of this costly repair, I'll probably have to sell a portion of my 401K. I additionally had added expenses sending my fiancÉE and her sister back home so they could go to work, room & board, car rental, and lost a day of work.

- Northbrook, IL, USA

problem #12

Nov 222014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
My Altima failed to respond to the start button and exhibited all alarms lit on the dashboard (including erroneous indications of open doors.) aaa service was forbidden by aaa to provide any service beyond battery and towing. After being towed to a tire shop, I begged the mechanics to detach the ground wire in order to reboot the computer. This worked! an internet search revealed that this condition and fix was identical to ones described in service bulletin ntb12-041. My complaint is against the dealership (Nissan bridgewater NJ) who failed to apply this software patch when it first appeared in April 2012 despite many returns I made to them for routine warranty service. The occurrence of this failure and citation of the service bulletin has been reported by several users in Nissan user forums. This implies that other dealers are similarly negligent in keeping cars current with service bulletins applicable to their vehicle.

- Scotch Plains, NJ, USA

problem #11

May 022013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
The car has left me stranded over 20 times this past year from not starting ( I've only had the car a year). All the lights will come on but when I push the start button it won't do anything. It will jump off and might run for weeks but all of a sudden it will fail me again. I have took it to the dealership a couple of times(while it was under warranty) and they said they couldn't find anything wrong with it. I have also took it to autozone several times (after warranty expired) to find out there wasn't a battery issue. I researched online to find many many many complaints about others doing the same thing with most of them saying its a software problem. I feel this should have been taken care of while the car was still under the factory warranty.

- Alexandria, AL, USA

problem #10

Jan 182012


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that she attempted to start the vehicle using the push-to-start button when all of the lights on the instrument panel illuminated but the engine would not start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they stated that a sensor needed to be reset. The contact stated that she did not know what the sensor was but the vehicle was repaired and the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 20,000.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #9

Jul 202013


  • 23,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the headlights shut off independently. The contact crashed into a pole because he was unable to see while trying to pull over and park the vehicle. There were no injuries. The vehicle later could not be shut off using the push-to-start button. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer, who T reprogrammed the body control module. The failure mileage was 23,000.

- Eagleville, PA, USA

problem #8

Apr 042013


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the push button ignition would not start the vehicle at times. The contact did not take the vehicle to a dealer or local mechanic for a diagnostic test. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Sanger, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 192013


  • 49,327 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the vehicle was equipped with a push start ignition and the engine failed to operate upon engaging the switch. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician informed the contact that the BCM needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 49,327.

- North Miami Beach , FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 122012


  • 5,000 miles
Vehicle would not respond to key. Doors would not lock from key. Doors would not lock from interior switch. Trunk would not open from inside. Windows would not go down. Push to start switch stuck "on" position. Interior lights stuck on. Vehicle was towed to dealership. Dealership diagnosed vehicle after two days of testing. Initial diagnosis was key needed reprogramming. After more diagnostic --concluded BCM needed reprogramming. BCM was reprogrammed. Vehicle was repaired.

- Baldwin Park, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 082012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 10,440 miles
When driver attempted to start vehicle, all warning lights came on, all interior lights and headlamps & running lights came on, and vehicle became totally unresponsive, stranding driver & running down battery due to inability to turn any lights off or turn vehicle off. No controls related to electrical system were controllable. Some examples include: 1. power door lock switches did not function (no effect from pressing). 2. power window switches did not function (no effect from pressing). 3. pressing the vehicle power / ignition button (modern equivalent of starting key switch) did not have any effect, whether short or long duration presses were used, and regardless of delay between key presses. 4. headlights & running lights were on regardless of the switch position of the headlight control switch. This resulted in the driver being stranded. Because the vehicle's lighting would not turn off, the battery ran down, disabling the vehicle further. Vehicle was towed to a Nissan dealer. Nissan serviceman initially refused to write the customer problem description as per the customer description of the problem. Later, customer called back to the dealership to request the customer description include specific and correct information already provided by the customer such as vehicle was "completely unresponsive while all the warning light came [remained turned] on the vehicle. Doors would not lock or unlock.", the dealer reported that the service technician found tsb ntb12-041. Dealer record reads: "reprogrammed [sic] BCM update as per tsb. Vehicle is now operating as designed [sic] after update." Vehicle has functioned normally since.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 012011


  • miles
2011 Nissan Altima. Consumer states problem with starting vehicle the consumer stated he was unable to unlock any of the doors, a message indicated the door was open, but it was tightly closed. The consumer had the vehicle towed. The tow truck driver noticed the fan was running. A diagnosis at the dealer revealed a computer glitch.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #3

Jan 012012


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that when he attempted to start the vehicle, the start button failed. The start button was very loose and had to be continually pressed for two to fifteen minutes to get the vehicle to start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnosis; however they were unable to replicate the failure. The failure continued to get progressively worse. The failure occurred again and the vehicle had to be towed to the dealer; however once again the failure could not be replicated. The dealer stated that they would replace the push button assembly. The failure and current mileages were 5,000.

- Alburquerque, NM, USA

problem #2

Mar 012011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the vehicle was equipped with a keyless ignition. The contact was concerned because when exiting the vehicle and forgetting to engage the push to start button, there was no warning to indicate that the engine was still running. The contact believed that the design posed a safety hazard. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised that they were aware of the problem but they were unable to alter the vehicle's design. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 500 and the current mileage was 15,000. Updated 05/15/12 *

- Plainview , NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 012011


  • 438 miles
I set the climate control timer for my Nissan leaf to turn on via the computer through Nissan's carwings application. This is to pre-cool the car before driving. When I went to the car, the car was not cool but more importantly the car was disabled and unable to be started and had to be towed to the dealer. Depending on the situation of when and where this can occur, it can result in a dangerous situation. More info can also be found here:

- San Mateo, CA, USA

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