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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,874 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 Hybrid steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Apr 292016

Altima Hybrid

  • miles


I was not notified about a recall on my vehicle. Now I am getting told that my steering lock control unit needs to be repaired and it is going to cost me $1300.

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #20

Mar 072016

Altima Hybrid

  • 55,000 miles
2009 Altima appeared to have a known issue regarding the steering lock column. Nissan did not issue a recall, but instead offered to replace the steering lock only once the vehicle broke down, with this offer expiring Jan 1st 2016 apparently. My car has only 55,000 miles on it, and in March 2016 started experiencing this issue. Car would just be unable to start at all. I have spent money having to get the car towed to the dealership, and now it will cost me $1325 to replace the steering lock. Since this was a known issue that Nissan knew about, the replacement coverage period should be extended indefinitely, or a recall needs to be issued.

- Massapequa Park, NY, USA

problem #19

Jan 272016

Altima Hybrid

  • 127,000 miles
Takata recal the car was at a gas station when I returned to it, it would not start. It sarts with a fob. Inserted the fob at key location and would not start. Mechanic try starting through the battery. Would not start. The steering column was the issue. The warrenty for this part was for 6 years. I never recieved notification for the warrenty. Nissan America said it was my responsiblity to look it up on line. The repair cost me $1263.58. I was only asking for the part price which was $898.63. Why would a part be on warrenty for 6 years and then break down 9 months later and they are not responsible for the part failure.

- Brooklyn, CT, USA

problem #18

Oct 302015

Altima Hybrid

  • 46,715 miles


Electronic steering column lock is a known defective part that is not treated as safety issue since it seems to occur only before starting sequence. However, if car stalls or attempt to restart in traffic situation there is potential danger. Nissan modified warranty to 72 months on this part but did not notify owners of issue. We should have been notified and part replaced.... in our case it happened while getting serviced -- and even replacement failed and had to be replaced....

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #17

Feb 232015

Altima Hybrid

  • 55,000 miles
The steering lock assembly seized up while the car was parked, so the engine starter was prevented from turning on and the steering and transmission remained locked. This happened in the dead of winter and at near-zero temperatures, requiring a tow to a dealer and a $1200 repair, which Nissan later reduced to $450. I accepted this on condition it would not constitute a settlement. This is a defect that turns up in all Altima built during several months in 2008, which they have acknowledged. They offered a 72-month warranty after manufacture (not a recall, though customers clamored for it) just for this item, but unfortunately the defect tends to surface after this period. My car missed the window by 22 days. Many similar cases have been reported since, and none have been covered. Had the unit failed while the car was running, it is likely that the steering wheel and the transmission would have failed to lock upon turning off the ignition, leading to a hazardous situation. Being in the cold for hours was hazardous on its own, anyway, but I survived it.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #16

Oct 062015

Altima Hybrid

  • 111,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock control module failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 111,000.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #15

May 042015

Altima Hybrid

  • 108,885 miles


I was 50 miles away from home, when I go to start my car it will not start at all! my key would lock and unlock my car but it wouldn't turn on. Initially I thought it was the key, I had my sister drop off my spare to see if that was the case, it wasn't. come to find out the escl seems to be faulty and is preventing the car from starting up. Right now I'm waiting on the dealer to tell me what's going on, beware Nissan knows all about this but is refusing to do a recall!

- North Bergen , NJ, USA

problem #14

Feb 232015

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 60,984 miles
My 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid refused to recognize the wireless key, leaving me stranded. It was seven degrees in Chicago and the windchill was below zero, but I was able to return home taking public transportation. Who knows what might have happened if this had occurred in the middle of the road. I towed the car to a dealer, who told me that the "steering lock assembly" had failed, but they could fix it for $1170 plus tax. I found that there used to be a special warranty if this part failed, but Nissan had put a time limit on it so that cars where the defect showed up were being denied coverage as early as October of 2014. Nissan insists that: (1) this defect affects few cars, so they issued a special warranty rather than a recall, (2) the defect does not have safety implications, and (3) customers are adequately covered by the warranty. I believe all three statements are knowingly false. (1) the dealer where my car was repaired told me that they are seeing similar cases more than once a week. Multiply by the number of shops in the country and pretty soon you have thousands of vehicles affected. The NHTSA website alone has hundreds of cases reported. (2) aside from the danger stemming from being stranded in bad weather or location, if this part fails while the car is running the likely result is a failure of the steering and transmission locks. A transmission that does not lock can easily lead to a car moving by itself in an incline, causing an accident. (3) almost all affected cars manufactured after October 2008 are being denied coverage. The owners were told in writing to wait until the defect occurred, and then the problem would be taken care of by Nissan. This does not look like taking care of the problem. The solution: Ask Nissan to issue an outright recall of this defective part. The safety of thousands is at stake.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

Feb 092014

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 44,489 miles
Starting system does not recognize the key fob. I can lock and unlock the car with the fob but can not start it. Inserting the fob into the accessory key port makes no difference. Research concludes this is a common malfunction that leaves motorists stranded and that the solution is resolved with the replacement of the steering lock mechanism. Again, this appears to be a common, known issue.

- South Orange, NJ, USA

problem #12

Nov 282013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
On the morning of 11-28-2013 I entered my vehicle to leave work and proceeded to turn it on, however it would not start. There was an amber colored light on the dash of a car and key and the vehicle stayed in lock mode. After several attempts to start the vehicle, jumping the battery to make sure it was charged and changing the fob battery it still wouldn't work. After some research and speaking with the dealership about the problem it was determined that the steering lock assembly had malfunctioned and would need to be replaced. My car at this point is completely useless. After researching this issue I found that this is a very common problem with the 2008-2010 Nissan Altima's and the part was actually removed from the vehicle specifications in 2010. This is a safety concern because there is no way to move the vehicle once it malfunctions other than towing it. All that it takes for the malfunction to occur is the vehicle to be turned off. I had no notice that there was a problem. It simply would not start. With the number of complaints regarding this part and the number of people who have been stranded due to this faulty mechanism, the manufacturer needs to answer to something. Numerous complaints regarding this malfunction can be found at this link

- Bryan, TX, USA

problem #11

Feb 252013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


My husband went out to move my car and it started fine. About an hour later I went to get into my car to leave for work and it would not do anything. The only light that came on the dash was a small key that kept flashing. After having my car towed twice and calling all of the Nissan dealerships around here, I was told no one could fix my car because it was a hybrid. Finally I called the Nissan dealership one more time and this time all of a sudden they said they could work on it. I was very frustrated and had already been without my car for 3 weeks. Once I had it towed to the dealership they were able to fix it and said that it was a familar problem with this year of car. It was the steering mechanism and ended up costing me over $800. The guy at the dealership told me they had already fixed 30 vehicles like mine with the same problem since November of 2012. If this is such a common problem then why hasn't Nissan issued a recall on this"????"

- Aynor, SC, USA

problem #10

Mar 112013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 75,181 miles
Drove to work on mon 3/11/13. When going out at lunchtime to run errands, car would not start and didn't start until repaired by Nissan service. Repair shop knew instantly what the problem was and why. I'm a single parent in a 1-car home and this issue causes me/my school-aged children both need and financial hardships. Over 132 folks had same problem as found on about automobile complaints website alone. This doesn't factor in the number of consumers who have also experienced this problem and didn't write about it publicly. This should be a recall issue. Nissan service replaced "steering lock control unit". total cost to me was $700.41.

- Voorheesville, NY, USA

problem #9

Feb 252013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 63,500 miles
Car was parked in public transit parking garage. Upon returning, car would not turn "on." The ignition button remained in the lock position and the yellow intelligent key sensor light illuminated on the dash. Car had to be towed and Nissan dealer quoted $800 to repair. Dealer said the tsb is ntb10-053 - the steering lock has an internal failure and must be replaced. Intelligent keys must be reprogrammed upon steering lock replacement.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 042013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Returned to my vehicle after work at 5pm, and car wouldn't start. Ignition button was lit, with 'lock' light illuminated, and 'key' light was illuminated in the hud. Researched in owners manual, which referred to the steering lock unit, and told me to contact dealer. Interior lights worked, but little else. Had aaa tow me the next day to local dealer; service advisor stated the steering lock control unit had failed and needed to be replaced (part# 487009N00B). This appears to be a common issue with Nissan Altima, circa 2007-2009, based on consumer complaints, but Nissan will not warranty the part nor issue recall. Total cost was $800. I will be contacting Nissan consumer help to see about recourse.

- Coventry, RI, USA

problem #7

Feb 072013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Car operated normally in the morning, able to start and drove perfectly fine to the office. When I went to start my car to go get lunch, the car would not start and the intelligent key light flashed. I called the local dealership and was told the fob must have somehow un-synced. Aaa towed to dealership, was then told that my steering control lock had failed and needed to be replaced. Due to high demand from the part (indicating a significant current failure rate) the part would not be available for almost a week. I then went home and googled the issue, found "Q=&page=24 where hundreds of complaints about this particular part failing over the past year were being reported. What if I wasn't at the office" I could have been stranded anywhere, in the middle of winter. This poses a serious health risk. Beyond that, the total cost of repair was almost $800.

- Blue Bell, PA, USA

problem #6

Feb 072013

Altima Hybrid

  • 35,700 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact towed the vehicle to a dealer. The diagnostic test showed a defective steering lock control module which prevented the vehicle from starting. The dealer did not have the part replaced due to the part being on back order. The failure mileage was 35,700. The VIN was not available.

- Scarmento , CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 012013

Altima Hybrid

  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for diagnosis where the contact was informed that the steering lock column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified and a case was opened. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 69,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #4

Jan 192013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 60,400 miles
Intellikey light blinking started on January 14th. I replaced the battery in the key fob. I went to get into my car after work on Saturday and was able to unlock my doors. I attempted to start my car, and the intellikey light was blinking again, but I did not have any dash lights come one. The car did not respond to the bypass option either. There was no power or ability to turn the car on. I had the vehicle towed to the nearest Nissan dealer and have been told that the electronic steering lock malfunctioned and needs to be replaced. There is no eta as there is a back order nationwide for the part.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #3

Jan 162013

Altima Hybrid

  • 30,500 miles
It was in night around 11pm, I stepped out to nearby walmart. Upon return, the car did not start. I was getting the "yellow key" symbol. My first impression was that something was faulty with my fob key. I called my friend and got to try the key. Even this was futile. I looked up my manual for this symbol code and realized that there was some malfunction in the keyless ignition system. I was surprised cos the car was well maintained, with periodic service and very low miles(30K).it was perfect until then. I returned home with my friend and next day, I tried road side assistance who tried jump start without any luck. Finally, it was towed to the dealer. Later the dealer calls me to tell that it is steering lock problem, and that he doesn't have the replacement nor can he give me date of when it is expected. After seeing the messages in forum here, I realize it is serious problem on Nissan part. I am just lucky that this did not happen on day when I was far away from home. I cant imagine being stuck in outskirts in middle of night. I hope they seriously do something to recall this part. It is a total risky thing and wonder how Nissan did not look into it.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #2

Jan 182013

Altima Hybrid

  • 63,000 miles
The key fob unlocked the car but the car would not start when I tried to start it. The yellow key light indicator was on the dash. The push-start button stayed in the lock position. I had the car towed to the Nissan dealer. They told me that the steering lock unit malfunctioned and needed to be replaced. The car will not start up until it is replaced. The part is not under warranty. My final quote was $775 from the dealer. My story is similar to other steering lock unit complaints Nissan should recall this defective part.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

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