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:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 1
Average Mileage:
39,666 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Aug 152009

Altima 6-cyl

  • miles


My 2009 Nissan Altima coupe passenger side air bag will go off and on when an adult is sitting in the seat. This has been an intermittent problem. I have had it in to the Nissan dealer to fix the problem on two different occasions and both times they tell me there is nothing wrong. (it has always done this - every time a passenger is in my vehicle) my research indicates the 2007/2008 coupes were recalled for what appears to be same issue (08V521000). I can't get the dealer to fix the problem. I don't want to die in the crash or someone else to die in a crash because the airbag didn't inflate. Help! updated IVOQ 05/25/11

- Maize, KS, USA

problem #4

Jul 272010


  • 8,100 miles
On July 27,2010 my vehicle was approaching a corner and trying to come to a stop. A truck was approaching perpendicular heading North. I motioned for the truck to take the right of way before making my turn. My foot was on the brake pedal, but the vehicle would not stop, resulting in the truck hitting my vehicle in the left front side, causing considerable damage. In addition the airbags did not deploy. The vehicle is now in the body shop. Nissan na has been contacted, and planning to investigate the problem concerning the brakes and airbags. Insurance is estimating body damage.

- Hallandale , FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 082008


  • 3,000 miles
Passenger airbag off light randomly stays on when a passenger in seat. Means the passenger is not protected by the air bag. This happens to passenger over 110 lbs. This is working as it supposed to, according to Nissan dealer, anymore over 80 lbs sit in passenger seat, the light should be off and the airbag should be on. The dealer could not find out what is wrong. I search complaints on NHTSA and it turned out to be a large number of complaints on 07-09 model. Please help us out, there is a truly a life related safety issue.

- State College, PA, USA

problem #2

Sep 282008


  • 100 miles
Passenger airbag turns on and off even when passenger is in seat. It occurs frequently and daily. So far Nissan has not issued any recalls, heard there was the same problems on the 2008. This was on a 2009 Nissan Altima coupe.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #1

Jan 012009


  • 338 miles
There is a problem with the 2009 Nissan Altima in which the passenger airbag turns off (indicated by a passenger airbag off light), while an adult passenger over 100 lbs is correctly seated on the passenger side, sitting square with seatbelts fastened. If an accident occurred while the airbag is turned off, the passenger is not protected in Nissan Altima. At the least, an override on or off is needed because the weight sensor doesn't work correctly on the Nissan Altima, based on the first month of driving on my 2009 Nissan Altima, with a 108 pound passenger. I purchased a 2009 Nissan Altima from mossy Nissan oceanside last month. Today on 2 separate occasions the passenger airbag turned off. The first time it turned off, I checked the manual which stated that the passenger needs to sit correctly for the airbag to turn on. We believe she was, however her feet were on the right side rather than the center of the floor. Later this evening, we made certain the passenger was sitting correctly when the passenger airbag off light turn on again. In both cases, within 10 minutes the airbag off light then turned off. If an accident occurs during the airbag failure period above, a fatality can easily occur.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

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