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:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
148,500 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2010 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #2

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 #1

Apr 122015


  • 90,000 miles
Traveling East on I-20 in arlingtjon Texas our car began losing power and coasted to a stop. We were powerless to move and could not get off the freeway. We were hit from behind and as reported our car went airborne. The truck that hit us also hit another vehicle and flipped onto its top. In all 4 people went to hospital including my self and my wife. In researching the reason the car stopped, I found a number of other cases over several years of people online that lost power in this type vehicle. The problem seems to be a sensor for the crankshaft/camshaft that fails causing stalling. I contacted Nissan representative(case number18593816) at 615-725-7539. Told them the car had been sealed and secured awaiting their inspection to determine the problem. They refused to inspect the vehicle saying their were no recalls on it. I feel this is a dangerous situation that could have killed us and others.

- Winnsboro, TX, USA

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