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:
53,727 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.

2010 Nissan Altima engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #9

May 132016


  • 207,000 miles


The cvt transmission started shifting hard a few months ago. Then about a month ago the transmission started slipping. I exited the freeway and came to a light. Turned left and was in the middle of the intersection when the car would not go. I was nervious and pushed then pumped the gas and the car would not go. Then out of the blue it took off with out my foot on the gas. I had the transmission fluid changed. Then a few weeks latter I was driving 75 (speed limit) with cruise control on then the car started loosing power, 65,60 55. I accelerated the car and it just would not go faster. I was able to stop it with the cruise at 55. With flashers on could have been killed. Started my research and found that Nissan has extended the warranty by doubling it from 5 years/60,000 to 10 years/120,000 miles. My issue is my car is only 6 years old with 128,000 miles and Nissan has my car in their shop and will not fix it. I believe the cvt transmission needs to be recalled before someone get killed. I have very service record since the day I bought the car with 12 miles on it. The car has been well maintained.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #8

Apr 132014


  • 121,895 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while driving approximately two hours the vehicle suddenly failed to accelerate over 60 mph and the RPM's would not increase past 2000. The contact indicated that the defect recurred on multiple occasions after driving for more than two hours at highway speeds. The vehicle failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 121,895.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #7

Apr 072014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Altima. The contact stated while driving, the vehicle decelerated and stalled. The contact was unable to shift the vehicle into reverse. The failure recurred for two months. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic for diagnostic testing; however, they were unable to determine the cause of failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage were not available.

- Lower Peach Tree, AL, USA

problem #6

Jul 132013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 60,500 miles


Running to about 60 or 62 mph my vehicle decelerated repeatedly at the highway, I was pushing the pedal but nothing happened, I had to exit to the shoulder and turn it off and wait for a about ten min. After that I turn on the engine and could continue my way normally, never pass again but its weir because its relative a new car.

- The Colony, TX, USA

problem #5

Feb 092013

Altima 4-cyl

  • 38,700 miles
I was driving about 40 mph and the car just started slowly down even though I was pressing the gas pedal all the way to the floor.the gas pedal was not responding. The car would not pick up speed and I thought the headlights where dimming out but I'm not completely sure. I was panicking because other vehicles were behind me. I put on my hazard lights. I was able to pull to the shoulder of the rode. I placed the car in park for a few minutes and then tried to drive again. The car picked up speed after that. Very scary on a dark rode at night.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #4

Mar 112011

Altima 4-cyl

  • 10,602 miles
Engine ping noise from engine at times really loud noise got worse then more problems happened over time at a stop car was accelerating like if was pressing the brake and the gas at the same time, next car would come to a stop then lost power when accelerating the car would not go more than a few mph this happened a few times and once down hill the car would not go in reverse and almost hit a parked car also almost got in an accident because the car would not clear an intersection, I also got video footage of incident, dealer keeps saying there is nothing wrong and the car is safe even after they saw the video they say the computer shows nothing then a recorder was installed in the car and the car was accelerated by itself the recorder button was pressed and the car was then taken to the dealer the recorder was taken off and the main Nissan company called me and said that the information on the recorder was accidentally erased. I have had many problems with this car since I had it this is my main concern but I have had problems from the windows not rolling down to the airbag light turning on and tail lights not working the dealer is not helping neither Nissan direct and at this point im concerned of my safety and my family's.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 072012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles


While driving home from Mexico we stop at the border check point and after coming to a complete stop and trying to accelerate, I had the gas pedal all the way to the floor and the car would not accelerate at all. From there after it did that after everytime time I had to come to a complete stop the entire way home. I have only had this car for less than a year.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #2

Nov 052010


  • miles
Last week I rented a Nissan Altima from hertz. This was the first time that I had driven this car. There is a design problem with the location of the brake pedal and spacing between the accelerator. I wear a size 10 shoe and the edge of my shoe kept getting caught on the edge of the brake pedal when I moved my foot to apply the brake. I narrowly escaped several accidents as a result of this. There is no space between these 2 pedals!

- Vail, AZ, USA

problem #1

Apr 262010

Altima 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 850 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Altima. The contact stated the vehicle abnormally accelerated while pulling into an uphill parking spot at speeds of 5 mph. The vehicle crashed into a large cement pillar and came to a stop. There were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to the bodyshop and repaired. The failure and current mileage were 850. Updated 06/25/10 updated 07/27/10 the consumer stated there was abnormal acceleration, due to electronic throttle control, or drive by wire. There were no codes. Updated 09/15/10

- Durham, NC, USA

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