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


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,286 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2010 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 012015


  • 25,000 miles


The dashboard is literally melting and has puddles of tacky residue. I live in Florida. The vehicle was purchased in Florida. The dashboard is breaking down and causing a dangerous glare on the windshield. It is a serious safety hazard for passengers, other mva's and especially pedestrians as they are almost impossible to see in daylight. The tacky substance cannot be cleaned. Anything that touches it sticks. Nissan knows about the problem. It is a defect in composite material and has not been caused by solvents or cleaners. Nissan refuses to cover dashboard replacement despite this being a known issue. The cost to replace is over $2K. Nissan has entered into a class action settlement for model years 2008 & 2009 (sanborn V. Nissan North America) but I have a 2010 and it has the same problem. 2010's should be recalled now and I shouldn't have to pursue legal action for this known and extremely dangerous defect but more importantly someone is going to get killed unless these dashboards are recalled and replaced. The problem seems to be most prevalent in Florida based on what I've seen online. Please google "Nissan Altima melting dashboard" - it's not an uncommon complaint. I'm providing 2 pictures to demonstrate visibility when parked in the driveway as well as driving on the road. Try to locate the license plate on the truck in front of me, let alone read it. Now imagine if someone were to walk in front of my car.

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #13

May 012015


  • 34,500 miles
The dashboard is melting also with the sun light create a glare in windshield and block my view I thing is not safe because can haven anytime to driven special in afternoon when I driving Nissan said is not a safety problem I dont agree somebody have to died and why Toyota did a recall they have same problem

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 282016


  • 61,000 miles
Car will not start. Battery is good. The key fail/malfunction signal keeps blinking. Now car is stuck in on position from when I pushed the start button.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #11

Jul 012016


  • 50,000 miles


Dash is so melted and reflects sun so much it I cannot see while driving or stopped. There was a class action lawsuit for 2008 and 2009 Altima for this same defect. Toyota recalled for their melted dashboard. NHTSA needs to care about our safety and recall Altima!

- Largo, FL, USA

problem #10

Aug 012015


  • 50,000 miles
The dashboard on my 2010 Nissan Altima is melting. It creates a glare on the inside of the windshield when I'm driving affecting my vision.

- Pooler, GA, USA

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problem #9

Jun 192016


  • 67,500 miles
Dashboard melting, getting sticking and glaring on front glass when driving, is very unsafe and it need to be replace please by manufacturer

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #8

Jun 012015


  • miles


Melted dash causing lack of visibility due to light reflects on driver. Complaint filed with Nissan and denied.

- Doral, FL, USA

problem #7

Mar 012016


  • miles
The dashboard on my 2010 Altima is melting. I have found many other owners complaining of this same problem and I believe there is a class action lawsuit in process for 2008 and 2009 models but have not found anything related to the 2010 model year. Besides being unsightly and annoying as many parts of the dashboard are soft and permanently sticky it is also dangerous. In certain lighting conditions the glare on the windshield reflecting off the shiny melting areas is quite significant indicated this occurred on 3/1/15 as a date was required. Obviously this has deteriorated over time and I am not the original owner.

- Peachtree Corners, GA, USA

problem #6

Aug 012015


  • 0 miles
Dash board is melting. Has become sticky and shinny causing a glare when sun hits it. This occurs from exposure to the sunlight.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #5

Sep 142015


  • 50,000 miles
At the dealership lot, the car was starting fine. As soon as we got home, the car would not start right away, sometimes it will take more than 30 minutes and one day my wife was stranded at a shopping center parking lot for hours before it started. Since it's been parked at home for a whole week and half, the car won't start at all, the battery is brand new and I purchased it pre-owned without waranty. After doing some research, it looks like there's issues with the intelligent key and the wheels locking control system. In order to pay for the car, I have to go to work but the car is stopping me to make it to work.

- Coppell, TX, USA

problem #4

Feb 052014


  • 24,000 miles


As approaching a stop light, brakes were difficult to "grab" and too extra pressure. Stop was rather slow, and anti-lock brakes appeared to kick in (by rough, staccato shaking typical of them applying). Only by pressing down as hard as I could did I prevent smashing into the car ahead of me. Dry, sunny Florida conditions, no sand or slipping at all, just slow, odd braking. Then the engine seemed to be revving a bit - faster idling than normal while at the stop light. We are not talking about speeding here, or sudden braking, just a normal approach to a known stop sign or light. This is a serious safety issue. This happened a couple times, then did not repeat for a couple months. Then, when it did repeat, I asked the dealer about it. Always at a stop light or stop sign, always in danger of smashing into the car ahead of me or entering too far into the intersection if I could not control the stop. They were completely puzzled, and could not duplicate it because, as I said, it is very sporadic. An ispection did not reveal anything. They laughed at me, saying it was totally impossible for the anti-lock brakes to kick in if there is no skidding. Ok, so what was it then? it sure as heck seemed like anti-lock brakes! (I come from up North and have experienced anti-lock brakes kicking in on snow covered roads...) since the initial reoccurrence, it went several months, about six, with no issues or repeats, then just the other day, it did it again twice more. I suspect it could be something to do with computer controls, rather than the brakes themselves, but I am no mechanic.

- Debary, FL, USA

problem #3

Dec 142014

Altima 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Several times over the past few months and everyday for the past week, the car will not start during ignition due to the inability to depress the brake. The only way to get it to start is to repeatedly hit the brakes while pressing the start button. It never consistently works but eventually starts. After starting, the ABS, vdc, and slip warning lights are illuminated. There have been multiple reports of the same thing happening with this model from other owners. This poses a serious risk to health particularly in times where one may need to leave immediately. More often, it is an extreme inconvenience. The dealership service departments want to charge over $500 to repair something that is clearly defective and systematic. Please do something about this as many Altima owners are experiencing the same frustration that I have endured.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #2

Apr 102012

Altima 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
My 2010 Nissan Altima has had difficulty starting. All the electrical components would come on but the engine wouldn't turnover. At first I could get it to start after a few tries (I would pump the brakes, slam the car hood, bang on the steering wheel). Then I noticed while driving the vds (traction control), ABS and parking brake light would remain illuminated while driving. This meant that my vds was not functioning and as such I lost control of my car several times on wet surfaces. On 4/22/2014 I tried starting my car and could not. I had it towed to a Nissan dealership (orr Nissan in corinth Texas) where the service manager informed me that it required a new brake light switch, harness and band hoses. He told me there was a Nissan service bulletin as this was a "known issue". so much so that Nissan had actually developed a more dependable brake switch. The service bulletin number is ntb10-139- which was released on November 23rd 2010. He told me to repair it was going to cost over $500. The faulty brake switch is a safety hazard as it causes the car to throw error codes which deactivates the traction control and ABS. Why has this not been a recall" why is a dealership charging 500 dollars to repair a malfunctioning component that shortly after the car was released, the manufacture acknowledged it was faulty? furthermore, based on my calculations the dealership is putting a 300% mark up on the parts required. Why would the NHTSA wait until somebody dies in a crash caused by the vds and ABS features not working before they force a recall/repair of this known issue" I am sending a copy of this to local and national news organizations.

- Lantana, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 162010

(reported on)


  • miles
2010 Nissan Altima. Consumer writes to inquire about keyless ignition

- Washington, DC, USA

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