ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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.

More info & videos about the Nissan ESCL defect are available over at

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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,000 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 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #1

Feb 012011


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact was driving 70 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning. The air filter has caught on fire and was detected by the sensor. The contact was able to extinguish the fire but the air filter housing had melted. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop where the mechanic was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was contacted but did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileage was 48,000. Updated 04/15/2011 dealer responded that no recall is issued on my make and model year so they can not proceed. Updated 1/13/2012

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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