really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,957 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.

2008 Nissan Altima steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Aug 042015


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Altima. While parked, the vehicle failed to start on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock mechanism needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #25

Jul 052016


  • 140,000 miles
My car was in my driveway when I tried to start it. A yellow light with a key appeared in the upper left corner of the dash. The car wouldn't start. We researched the warning light and tried everything suggested such as disconnecting the battery, disconnecting the negative battery, etc. With no luck. I have to drive to a conference 4 hours away tomorrow and now have no car.

- Dayton, TX, USA

problem #24

Jul 012015


  • 75,000 miles
Dashboard, steering wheel, and shift handle have all melted from heat. The dashboard has become almost liquified, and the glare from the now shiny surface creates a reflection on the windshield, creating a safety hazard. The steering wheel has become gummy, making steering unsafe, and the rubbery material on the shift handle has become gummy, making it difficult to safely shift gears accuarately.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #23

Feb 102016


  • miles


Hola me llamo hector chavez tengoi un Nissan Altima 2008 cuyo lo comple con 81 millas E cual ah empesado a tener ploblema la pisarra esta deretida completa rajada tiene olor a plastico derretido cuando en la tarde salgo del trabjo tien un olor super fuerte no puedo andarcon mi nina en el auto me dirigi ala Nissan Y me trataron super mal que pagar 4.000 mil dolares creo que no ES justo cuando la culpa ES de ellos vi en telemundo lo casoo pero la marca de mi carro no esta incluida so por favor si pudieran ayudarme SE lo agradeseria SE le puedo enviare fotos sin ploblema estoy bastante dijustado con el fabrivcante altualmet estoy pagando el carro con el banco ES estresante andar asi en la calle eh visto barios modelo 2008 iguales con la pisarra deretida hable con lo dueno Y le comente que yo habia ido al dile que eras ploblema de factoria que el dile me avian tratdo super mal pero bueno espero quealguien lea esto gracias

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #22

Oct 242015


  • 124,809 miles
Car suddenly would not start - was stranded and had to call to have it flat bedded to a dealership. I was told the steering lock needed to be replaced. Was provided extended warranty for this part since if a defect, I was two weeks overdue and they would not pay for the work to be completed.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #21

Mar 182015


  • 62,500 miles
This is the 5th time this has happened in the last 4 weeks and each time I have been left stranded. The escl - electronic steering column lock has failed. My car unlocks/locks properly with the key fob, aux electrical works fine, headlights, radio ect.. however the brake will not depress and the steering wheel is locked not allowing me to start my vehicle leaving me stranded. This is bs! I am very upsetnissan should have a recall and replace this part, but instead I was told this will cost me upward of $1,000 to repair. Please help!!!!

- Tarzana, CA, USA

problem #20

Dec 202014


  • 123,000 miles


Went to a smoke shop went back out and my car wouldn't start.. my key yellow logo on dash is on so I'm positive it steering lock seen a lot of complaints about this and this should be recalled!!!!

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #19

Aug 052014


  • 70,000 miles
I parked my 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5se at my door took groceries inside and went back to park my car, and it would not start I could go thru the different modes of the push button start but the car would not start. I get it towed to Nissan and the tell me my electronic steering column lock has gone bad they also tell me they have a recall on the same part on the 2009 models. Price tag to fix the E.S.C.L $800 this is so unfair I believe the 08 models Altima should be added to the already ineffect recall for the same exact part.

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #18

Aug 052014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I parked my 2008 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE in front of my house took groceries into the house I return to the car and it would not start. The key symbol was on. I can without pressing the brake change modes just wont start.

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #17

Apr 182014


  • 72,000 miles
The vehicle cut off and would not start back up.

- Hampton , VA, USA

problem #16

Apr 052014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 146,311 miles


Had the oil changed at dealership. Upon driving back home the car would not start. I received the yellow key light on the dash and could not depress the brake pedal or start the car. I attempted to put in a new battery to the intelligent key and also jumpstart the vehicle. Still would not start. Nothing warns you of this issue and glad that I was not driving the vehicle when this happened or part failed. On the following date the vehicle was towed to the local dealership. On Monday the 7th the car was diagnosed with the electric steering lock assembly failure. Same day I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs to find out there were no recalls nor would they offer any assistance or recall this part as they have on other similar models.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #15

Aug 112013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 11,100 miles
I took my car to wash and suddenly for no reason I just heard a noise right after that my reset tire pressure light came on for no reason, then the cruise control light came on and set was flashing, I tried to cancel it but it wouldn't then luckily I should say when I got home my ac just turned off and wouldn't turn back on then I turned the car off and when I tried to start it wouldn't start then the yellow key light turned on and I it wouldn't recognize the either key. My phone was charging and it was also damaged due to this failure. I've very upset. I had to tow it in to the dealer ship to get it diagnosed had to pay $95 for it plus now they are telling me this: -----original message----- from: [xxx] sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 12:20 pm to: Subject: Repair quote the repairs for 2008 Altima are listed below steering lock assembly & screws $834.22 labor charges $286.20 taxes & disposal fees -95.89 total - $1216.31 this is absurd, I did my research and I see a lot of complaints about the same issue this needs to be recalled. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #14

Jun 142013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 69,500 miles
I drove my car yesterday without any incidents. I have noticed this "key" symbol on dash warning light indicating I needed to insert the key into the car in order to start the car for the past several months. There is no diagnostic code and I was told by the dealership at Nissan that it was just indicating low battery on the key remote (even tho I just replaced the battery in November). I went to start my car this morning and although the dash lights up, the car will not start. I tried to jump start it and still wouldn't start. The brake lights come on and the dash lights up, but the car will not turn over at all. There isn't a fast clicking sound like it could be the starter. The key doesn't work to unlock the doors or the trunk either. Apparently this is as a result of a faulty steering lock unit.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #13

May 032013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
I had only one issue with my 08 Altima. The car would occasionally not recognize either of the key-fobs for what seemed like no reason. It did not seem to matter what time of day, temp., or weather. I even replaced the batteries of the key-fobs and the cars battery as well. (which was suggested as the first try to remedy this problem). On May 3, 2013 with about 66,000 miles or so (still a baby as far as car mileage goes) I had no issues starting the car or with it recognizing the key-fob. The 'issue" happened as I was making a lane change. The steering wheel locked making it impossible to control the car causing us (2 children and myself) to crash. My car was totaled... and after this experience I will not be purchasing or riding in another Nissan again. I'm certain had I been on a major hwy when this occurred we would have died and others injured/dead as well.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #12

May 052013


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the push-to-start system malfunctioned and the vehicle could not be started. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The contact ran an independent diagnostic test, which determined that there was a defect in the steering column, which needed to be replaced. The contact called the manufacturer and was advised to take the vehicle to the dealer. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #11

Feb 192013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the engine was running but the vehicle would not move. The contact mentioned that the failure was experienced once before. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that this was a known issue because of the belts that were used in the transmission. The dealer also stated that the steering lock needed to be replaced. The current mileage and failure mileage was 129,000.

- Wenonah, NJ, USA

problem #10

Feb 192013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Backing up in a parking lot, I heard a loud pop and found that I could not steer the vehicle. I brought the car to a local mechanic who had to replace the power steering rack.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #9

Jan 122013


  • 39,837 miles
Drove car to work. After 3 hours of work went to start car, was able to open door but could not start car. Changed batteries in smart key, still would not start. Had car towed to Nissan dealership. They informed us that it was the steering lock mechanism, a $1400 dollar repair. I called 1-800-nissan1 and argued with them for day's. they finally agreed to pay for the parts but I'm stuck with $311 in labor costs, and we lost our car for nine day's..Nissan refused to pay for a rental car. This needs to be a recall and people need to be reimbursed. Nissan will not guarantee me that this will not happen again as it is the same parts. Something needs to be done!!!!

- Newington, NH, USA

problem #8

Nov 152012

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
Nov 15, 2012 - harrison, NJ - steering I own a 2008 salvage Nissan Altima. I was traveling approximately 40 mph when the steering wheel became extremely stiff. I was unable to turn the wheel so the vehicle to coasted to a stop. I noticed there was no power steering fluid in the vehicle. While adding more power steering fluid, he noticed the fluid leaking directly from the power steering fluid compartment. The vehicle was then towed to an independent mechanic where I was told the power steering rack fractured from the vehicle. The failure mileage was 44,040 and the current mileage was 44,000, I haven't taken it to authorize dealer yet but since it's a salvage vehicle most likely I'll be paying the repair out my packet.

- Harrison, NJ, USA

problem #7

Nov 012009

Altima 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Car has developed a terrible wobble or shimmy between 30 and 40 mph. Nissan maintains it is in the cvt transmission. I have had the car into dealer many, many times.. no solution. But, all agree the car wobbles and shimmies at 30-40 mph. I have had Nissan engineers drive car, same result;.nothing. I have written to Nissan corporate offices, no solution. Told by Nissan that my driving style may be too conservative for car. Told by Nissan execs to drive car harder and faster and avoid speeds between 30 and 40 mph. How absurd. Nissan says there is no solution, so live with it. This car is a danger. What will happen on snow and ice. The consumer stated the transmission was reprogrammed several times, but to no avail. Updated IVOQ 12/08/11

- Villa Grove, IL, USA

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