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


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,000 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #2

Jun 282016


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 55 mph, the push button key warning indicator illuminated continuously. The next day, the push button start failed to operate when engaged. The manufacturer issued a customer satisfaction program, which pertained to the replacement of the electronic steering column lock; however, the VIN was not included. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #1

Nov 162015


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. When the key was inserted in the ignition switch, the steering ability seized. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the steering column lock was damaged and needed replacement. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Massapequa, NY, USA

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