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


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
4,573 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 - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 212011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles


I have a 2009 Nissan Altima with just over 13000 miles on it. Last week as I was driving to work at about 65 mph I heard what sounded like a shotgun blast over my head. The sunroof glass had shattered (more like exploded) leaving about a 2 foot circular hole in the glass. At first I thought something must have hit me but when I pulled over I could obviously see that the glass was mushroomed out as if it had exploded from the inside out, not pushed in. I took the car to my Nissan dealer and they agreed that that there was no evidence that anything had hit the glass and that it had simply spontaneously shattered. They also pointed out chips in the paint on the roof and trunk lid caused by the pieces of broken glass. After first denying any coverage, Nissan now has agreed to pay for the new glass as a "goodwill repair" but they still refuse to pay for installation or the paint damage. The dealership picked up the installation and my insurance company is covering the $2500 of paint damage. I did contact Nissan Consumer Affairs to appeal their decision but was very curtly denied again.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #2

Dec 212009


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. He received a recall notice on 12-7-2009. He took the vehicle to be repaired on 12-8-2009. A technician from the dealer stated that Nissan the manufacturer has suspended the ordering of the part. He called the Nissan manufacturer and a representative opened a case. The failure and current mileages were unavailable.

- Destin, FL, USA

problem #1

Jan 072009


  • 720 miles
I recently (12/30/08) bought a 09 Nissan Altima 2.5sl with connection package and within the first week of driving the car I came across an issue with the stereo. I turned on the car as I have for the past week by pressing the start button, but this time the stereo sound wasn't coming through the speakers. I cycled through the stereo modes (am/fm/xm/cd) and adjusted the volume up and all I heard was a consistent buzz coming through the speakers. I then turned off the car and restarted the vehicle where the stereo worked perfectly. I can't help but think this issue is attributed to an initialization problem with the stereo/car. Since this issue occurred I haven't experienced the issue again as of the time that I am writing this (2 weeks later). I asked the dealership if there has been any other people that have experienced this, but they haven't had any complaints about a similar issue at this time. I just wanted to document this issue in case anybody else has experienced something similar.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

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