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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,944 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Oct 092015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the sun and cleaning products created a glare on the dashboard that hindered the contact's visibility while driving. The dealer confirmed that the dashboard needed to be replaced. The dashboard was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that there was no recall on this issue. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #23

Sep 022015


  • 60,000 miles
Our 2009 Nissan Altima has a dashboard that is melting and gooey. It makes a glare on the windshield and makes driving dangerous. Please let us know if you are holding Nissan responsible for this needed repair. This is the second vehicle we own that is having dashboard isssues. Our other is a cracked dashboard from on our GMC Yukon denali XL. Please make these companies step up and make repairs since they chose to use substandard materials. I mean "really".

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #22

Aug 162016


  • miles
Dashboard is melting causing glare on windshield.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #21

Aug 092016


  • 20,000 miles


The dashboard is sticky which sometimes causes a glare on the windshield when driving the vehicle. My son 18 and the primary driver of the vehicle has stated that sometimes on sunny days there is a glare on the windshield caused by the sticky dashboard. My concern is for his safety and the safety of others driving and this causing an accidents

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #20

Mar 102016


  • miles
This car leaks water into the drivers side floor, and keeps trapped rain water inside of both panel doors for weeks after it rains. I've already had to get the exhaust manifold leak fixed (which luckily was covered under a recall). Not to mention that I ended up having to go to the er last year for a breathing treatment because fumes were leaking into my cabin via the air conditioning(problem unknown/undiagnosed). But now like many other owners of the 2009 Nissan Altima, unfortunately the steering wheel ignition lock/switch malfunctioned causing my engine not to be able to turn on suddenly. When I returned to my car, the key fob was not recognized and the engine will not turn on. After towing it to a local Nissan dealership, it was diagnosed as a faulty steering wheel ignition lock, and will cost me an average of $1100 to fix. After contacting Nissan headquarters to see if it would be covered even though their "campaign" ended in Jan 2016 for my vehicle, they denied the request to provide assistance. I don't understand how any auto manufacturer can be allowed to get away with installing a faulty part into the car, and then pass along the ultimate cost of fixing it to any owner. It's not okay to simply cover the cost of those owners who's switch fails during a certain time period, and then inform the rest of us that they are unwilling to help. Nissan installed the defective part, and the right thing to do would be to own up to that mistake and issue a recall. Clearly Nissan does not have the best interest of their customers at heart. And from what I understand, they must have known that part was faulty enough not to issue a temporary extension of the

- Alexandria, VA, USA

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problem #19

Oct 272014


  • 76,000 miles
My 09 Altima's dash is melting. Noticed little small spots a year and a half ago. Started getting more spots and larger spots. Now the whole top part of the dash by the front window is sticky, tacky and slick. Very bad glare in the window and cannot drive car in bright sunlight safely. Thought it was the heat but you can touch the dash at night, at 40 degrees and you will get black marks on your finger tips. Several reports on car forums of vehicles doing the same. Can not wipe the dash or touch it with anything because it will stick or mark the dash. As the dash deterioration gets worse, it will be more dangerous to drive.

- Grand Bay, AL, USA

problem #18

Aug 192015


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the entire top surface of the dashboard melted and was sticky and shiny. The dashboard became progressively worse over a period of time. While driving various speeds, the sun glare reflected off the dashboard onto the windshield, which distorted the visibility. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #17

Jan 012013


  • miles
A couple of years ago I noticed that my dashboard was melting causing glare whilst driving. My warranty was expired and I didn't take it in to the dealer as I was sure it would be expensive to fix. The glare got to be so horrible that I ended up purchasing a dashboard cover. The vehicle does spend at least 8 hours parked in the sun Monday thru Friday.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #16

Dec 272015


  • 80,000 miles
My dashboard has been melting for over a year now and progressing at a rapid rate. Not only is it sticky, but it is so wide spread now that it will cause a glare in the sun while driving on any road on the windshield that poses an immense safety risk. This is an issue that requires a recall as soon as possible. I contacted Nissan multiple times and they have refused to repair it.

- Daytona Beach, FL, USA

problem #15

Sep 022015


  • 55,000 miles
I have a 2009 Nissan Altima which I bought brand new. My car has only 76K miles. The problem is there is rust forming at the floorbeds which is making the car unsafe and is causing brakes issues. I was told Nissan knew about the rust problem from a very longtime. Last week, I spend $210 to fix air leaks due to failed sensors. The problem is affecting brakes and sensors of the car which is making the car unsafe.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #14

Dec 122009


  • 2,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. During inclement weather, water leaked into the vehicle through the sun roof and head liner into the instrument panel and dashboard. The contact stated that this was a recurring failure. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The technician diagnosed that the sun roof drain tub need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 2,000.

- Everett, MA, USA

problem #13

Feb 122015


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the entire dashboard melted with a sticky substance and caused a glare on the windshield, which distorted the vision whenever driving. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 39,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 6/3/15

- Norco, LA, USA

problem #12

Apr 162015


  • 67,000 miles
I was driving to work this morning and the sun hit my dashboard which has been melting and has a glare reflection on my windshield. A pedestrian was crossing the street, I almost hit them because I was blinded by the glare from the windshield. Please have a recall on that issue so Nissan can fix that unsafe and annoying issue.

- Margate, FL, USA

problem #11

Apr 162014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Vehicles dash is melting causing a horrible glare that impairs visibility.

- Kailua Kona, HI, USA

problem #10

Nov 292014


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. While driving at 30 mph, there was moisture on the floorboard of the front driver side of the vehicle. The contact also stated that during inclement weather, the moisture would freeze. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Peabody , MA, USA

problem #9

May 012011


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact stated that the dashboard was deteriorating. In addition, the contact stated that there was a sticky substance emitting from the dashboard. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the dashboard needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #8

Mar 082015


  • 112,000 miles
The hood suddenly flew up, hitting the windshield. Fortunately the windshield did not break, but there is damage on both sides of the car where the hood bent the body. A couple of months ago I had multiple incidents of the initial hood latch coming loose, so I noted the car sitting in the parking area with the hood only on the 1st latch.

- Bristow, OK, USA

problem #7

Jan 012011

Altima 4-cyl

  • miles
The dashboard appears to be melting, sticky and shiny. It creates a visual problem. It cannot be touched or cleaned and it almost appears to be disintegrating.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 082014


  • 75,657 miles
I was driving on the South conduit by exit 23A near the belt parkway. There were several pot holes on the left lane. I hit the pot holes at normal speed and my rim broke and my tire came off. I had to pull to the side and wait for mechanic to help me.

- Woodhaven, NY, USA

problem #5

Aug 182014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Help, a melting and shiny sticky dash on my 2009 Altima generates a tremendous glare on the windshield and prevents me from clearly viewing the highway in front during the day. It also distors the viewing during the night due to the on-comming vehicles headlights. It is highly serious and dangerous driving safety hazard problem that could/will "it is just a timing issue" cause an accident, the dash can't be clean and is melting. It is also minimazing the value of the vehicle. Please advise if there is solution or recall from Nissan to fix this problem.

- Miami , FL, USA

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