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


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,356 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 accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Sep 172013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


My 2009 Nissan Altima dash is melting. Dash has cracks as well near the front passenger air bags and near the instrument cluster. Read in forums that the car dealerships say that when the dash has cracks and is melting air bags could not deploy correctly. Nissan will not replace dash due to the car being out of warranty and expect me to buy a new one when this seems like a manufacturing issue not taken into account as part of the design.

- San German, PR, USA

problem #6

Oct 042013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
I notice a shine started to build up on my dashboard. I thought that the car wash place might have used too much product so I stopped going to the carwash. I decided I was going to clean it off myself and when I went to clean it off I realized there was a thick film of sticky residue. The residue is was so sticky that nothing could take it off and everything would get stuck to it. After a few months the film kept growing to the point where the shine became almost glassy and too reflective. I realized the substance had become a hazard to my safety and those of others, so I proceeded to try a number of products to try and remove the film. I was unsuccessful and proceeded to do some research online, where I discovered that this is not a maintenance problem, but rather a factory defect that is well documented now with both this Agency and Nissan itself. As far as I can tell there are at least 100 other cases. I would like Nissan to acknowledge and repair the problem before lives are lost.

- Altamonte Springs , FL, USA

problem #5

Nov 052013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
My vehicle is 5 years old and the dash is completely melting. The glare from the mushy, sticky mess on the dashboard makes it very hard to see while driving. I have contacted Nissan and they refuse to admit this is poor craftmanship.

- West Palm Beach , FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 252013


  • 18,500 miles


Well I have a black 09 Nissan Altima and I started to notice that my dashboard is very sticky and shiny and it looks like its melting. There is such a big glare that blocks your view when you're driving. I look online and saw that other people in Florida have the same problem I do. In Florida the weather is always hot. The cars in Florida should be made to withstand the hot weather and not start melting. This is such a safety hazard for drivers.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #3

May 042011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The dash on my Altima coupe is "melting". the dash has never been cleaned with any chemicals and is very tacky to the touch around the vents and seams. Due to the location of the melted components, it creates a very blinding glare that impairs my forward visibility through the windshield. I have contacted Nissan and they refuse to help me although this is a common issue with this model vehicle. Nissan has already had a replacement dash made with different materials which uses a different part # than the original dash. This is a very dangerous issue as I have almost gotten into accidents due to being blinded by the glare.

- Hialeah, FL, USA

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problem #2

Dec 032013


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the windshield became cracked without any warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 98,000.

- Tampa , FL, USA

problem #1

Jan 012013


  • 12,000 miles
My dash on my car has gotten increasingly sticky and shiny. I do not use armor all, although the service guy at Nissan suggest I clean it with that. That was his fix. There is actually nothing that I can clean the dash with as it is so sticky. I do attempt mild soap and water with a sponge. It's become so shiny that it's very hard to see out of the window. Living in the "sunshine state" makes driving difficult. I've been following the issue on the internet, with no resolution. That's why I'm here.

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

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