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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,675 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 #3

Aug 012016


  • 73,000 miles


Upon impact with another car (my front hitting other car's side at approximately 40 to 45 mph), both front air bags deployed and the seat belts for driver and passenger unlatched. Without the protection of the seat belts, our lower torso and legs shifted forward, causing injuries to our hips, knees and ankle. Our car went into ongoing traffic and then landed in someone's yard. If we would have struck a second car and the air bags started to deflate, we would have been without any protection for the second collision. We thank god for our protection! we did contact Nissan manufacturing with an investigator. He could not view the car in salvage as it moved already to final processing from being totaled.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #2

Jan 302015


  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Altima. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle slid on a patch of ice. The contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a snow pile. The driver's seat belt failed to remain latched upon impact and the contact struck her head on the steering wheel. A police report was not filed. The contact sustained blurry vision to the left eye, facial bruising, and a cervical sprain that required medical attention. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 43,000.

- Indiana, PA, USA

problem #1

May 272010


  • 25 miles
Car is all over the road when speed reaches 70 mph or more. Feels like your driving in a hurricane when there's no wind at all present. Brought this to Nissan's attention, but they said nothing is wrong with the car. Also pointed out that there are no chimes to alert/remind you of putting on seat belts. When car is in motion, passenger can undo seatbelt and no warning chime will occur. Again, Nissan said this is normal for their car.

- Jupiter, FL, USA

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