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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,834 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2010 Nissan Altima Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 272010

Altima 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


2010 Nissan Altima coupe purchased the car in September 2010. Have taken the car in for service at Nissan quality of temecula for multiple issues. The first issue is the air bag light goes on stating that the air bag is turned off and this is when there is an adult of 200 pounds sitting in the passanger's seat. I am very concerned of our safety in the case of an accident.this is a huge safety issue and I am not convinced that if there is an accident the air bag will go off. The transmission is also giving us is stalling and jerking while driving. The master warning light is also coming on and I'm not sure if this is related to the airbag not working correctly. The car has been taken in several times since September and nothing has been done. Nissan was okay with us leaving the lot knowing that the air bags were not working correctly.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #3

Dec 282009

Altima 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
2010 Nissan Altima S (purchased new 12/7/09) and as part of the incentive to buy the vehicle, the dealership had after market leather installed and from there the problems have been non-stop. At this point, I believe the problem is electrical. I have taken my car nearly 10 times (one being today) in the past 15 months for service and was placed in loaner cars at least 4 times due to the problems. The passenger seat air bag not working and tire pressure light sporadically comes on both blinking and/or a constant. My entire seat was replaced and still the air bag light takes up to 5 minutes sometimes (it varies) to turn off indicating someone is in the seat. I have driven up to 4 miles with my passenger being unprotected. The dealership, today says this is normal. The tire pressure light has came off and on since the car was purchased with nothing found to be wrong each time, except once, they said I had a nail in my tire and they plugged it. I have never seen the repair work and looked very well... this past weekend, I vacuumed my entire car (meaning each door had been opened and shut) taking approx 15 minutes. When I got in the vehicle and tried to start it the shift was locked and the car would not start. All lights started blinking and then completely shut down. It would show "on" on the start button while not running. I was jump started and then instantly the tire pressure light blinked for one minute then stayed constant. The air bag sensor took even longer to work. Of course, when I took it to the dealership today, nothing was wrong--battery was good--air bags are good; however, they did confirm low tire pressure in one tire... I truly believe it is an electrical problem and the company is not standing behind their product. I am beyond frustrated and truly dishearten by Nissan and their lack of concern for their customers' safety and well being.

- Canton, NC, USA

problem #2

Jun 302010


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 20 mph with the passenger seat occupied when the passenger side air bag warning light illuminated indicating that the air bag was off. The contact stated that the failure would occur intermittently while driving at various speeds. The dealer stated that the failure was normal. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 3,000.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 082010


  • 8,336 miles
I own a 2010 Nissan Altima, bought in January of this year. I was rear-ended today by a large pickup truck which forced me to hit the car in front of me as well and my air bag never deployed. My face actually just touched my steering wheel! I called my dealership and the service department told me that unless the car is hit in precisely the right point near a sensor the airbag will not deploy!! I have never heard such a stupid excuse and am seriously considering if my car gets "totaled" of going with a different make - not Nissan! I can only imagine if one of my grandchildren had been in the car. I went to the hospital to be checked out and thankfully I am "ok" although my back is in pain as well as my neck! they said I may have to return for an mri if it gets worse.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

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