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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,822 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #10

Nov 272016


  • 94,420 miles


Luckily the car was parked and wouldn't start for this incident. After having it towed they needed to replace the steering lock mechanism. We're glad it wasn't being driven on the highway at the time it failed and possibly locked up the steering column. That could have been deadly. The replacement cost of this part is outrageous and should have been covered or replaced by Nissan. They've had a history of issues with this and should refund us the $1000 it cost just for the repair bill. It's ridiculous that people keep getting taken for something like this. Something needs to be done to remedy this situation.

- Mankato, MN, USA

problem #9

Oct 122015


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. While driving various speeds, the contact heard a grinding noise. There were no warning indicators illuminated. Shortly after, the contact drove over a pothole, which flattened the driver's side tire. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home. The contact stated that after a spare was installed on the vehicle, the noise grew louder. The contact had the vehicle towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the passenger side alloy wheel, rear driver side alloy wheel, LK2 engine cradle 2.5, both top control arms and knuckles needed to be replaced. The insurance company declared the vehicle destroyed. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Mariette, GA, USA

problem #8

Jan 052016


  • 51,000 miles
First issue was with passenger seat airbag sensor. My wife or other passenger would be sitting in passenger seat and the sensor in the seat would not work and therefore the passenger airbag was disabled, putting passenger safety at risk. Second issue. Had to replace tire pressure monitoring sensor due to leaking tire pressure. Have had to replace 2 out of 4 so far in the last year. Causes low tire pressure and unsafe driving condition.

- Exton, PA, USA

problem #7

Nov 012013


  • miles


All four tire pressure monitoring units made by schrader company equipped on my 2009 Altima SE V6 model failed after 4 years or 31,000 miles. The government mandated unit should have lasted at least half the vehicle's life which is approximately 75,000 miles or 5 years.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #6

Dec 282014


  • 59,300 miles
The vehicle was parked and two of the tire pressure sensors failed causing the tires to lose all their air. Previously, in December 2013 one sensor failed while the vehicle was being driven. The mileage at that time was 51,300. We had no idea that the tire pressure sensors could fail due to exposure to a northern climate (ice, snow and salt.) after the latter occurrence our research indicates that their have been Nissan recalls related to the tire pressure sensors on other 2009 Nissan models.

- St. Louis Park, MN, USA

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problem #5

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 #4

Aug 062014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 72,822 miles


Have had several issues with my 2009 Nissan Altima. I bought it November 2012. By February 2013, I replaced tires. Was sold a car with incorrect license plates that owed registration fees to dmv. I almost got towed and didn't know why. Between February and November 2013, I replaced brakes, another set of tires, third brake light twice, and battery. May 2014, took it to rogers & rogers dealership for an oil change. Maintenance other light and tires on. (car was bought with a flashing tire maintenance light on) mounts and struts were replaced and was advised to replace sensors. August 2014, car wouldn't start again. Steering lock unit needs to be replaced. It's not covered under extended warranty. Rear left window doesn't work either. Everything adds up to over $3000.

- El Centro, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 202011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 33,022 miles
TPMS light blinks for a while and then stays on. The first incident happened at 33022 miles and again at 52033. It appears that the TPMS sensor batteries are defective causing the system to be unreliable.

- Huntersville, NC, USA

problem #2

Jul 312012


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while having the tires changed at a local tire dealer, the dealer noticed that all four valves stems were defective and needed to be replaced. The contact called the manufacturer regarding the valve stems who stated that the valve stems were recalled by the manufacturer but the contact's VIN was not included. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Aberdeen, MD, USA

problem #1

Jan 152010


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 55 mph he began to feel vibrations in the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where he was informed the failure may be due to the wheel mounts. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure continued to recur whenever he would drive approximately 55-60 mph. The vehicle was taken back to an authorized dealer where the tires were balanced and the wheel racks were replaced. The failure continued. The failure mileage was 12,000 and the current mileage was 20,000.

- Avon Lake, OH, USA

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