hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,727 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.

2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #19

Dec 192016

Altima Hybrid

  • 89,665 miles


2009 Nissan Altima hybrid's electronic steering column lock (┐escl┐) failed while the vehicle was parked. This failure activates vehicle's anti-theft system and completely disables the ignition, rendering the vehicle inoperable. It could happen anywhere and anytime without a warning.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 102016

Altima Hybrid

  • 69,000 miles
Key unlocked car but no display, start button not working (no response at all). Car unable to be started, towed to our mechanic. Diagnostics run, found out it was a steering column lock issue that can only be fixed by Nissan!! so towed over there. Now a 1 week wait even to be looked at and part not even in stock.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #17

Nov 012016

Altima Hybrid

  • 130,000 miles
My car was parked and off, and had been working fine when I parked it about 8 hours earlier. It was parked indoors in a garage on a warm fall day, so extreme temperatures and weather were not present. The parking spot and location were unremarkable (I was parked at work, which is safe and no one would have tampered with the car). After 7 years with no problem with the push button ignition switch, it suddenly refused to acknowledge the remote key fob. They key continued to work with the doors and trunk, and the car battery was fine. It would not accept the key when placed into the emergency ignition slot, either. The dealer determined that the lock steering unit needed to be replaced for a parts cost of $678 and labor of $303. I looked online, and found that there are many other Nissan owners with cars made around this time frame with identical issue and fix. It sounds like a serial defect to me, and I believe Nissan should bear the cost.

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #16

Mar 082016

Altima Hybrid

  • 101,000 miles


The Nissan Altima and maximas have a faulty electronic steering lock (factory part #48700-9N00B & 48700-9N00A). Which will fail and your car will not start. This should been recalled because it is a very common issue which renders the car non-drivable. Also this part was only on the 07-11 Altima and 09-10 maximas. All this part is a little lock actuator that moves up and down and unlocks the steering wheel, then informs to vehicle to start the car. So if this fails when you push the start button on the vehicle the car will not start. Nissan knows that it is an common issue, even their service techs informed me it is a issue. Unfortunately they would rather charge the customer $680 for the part another couple hundred dollars in labor. This roughly a $1000 repair and instead of Nissan taking responsibility for a faulty part, they are passing the cost over to their consumers.

- Sherwood, OR, USA

problem #15

Jan 292016

Altima Hybrid

  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid. While parked, the vehicle failed to start and "keyless intelligence" displayed across the message board. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 104,000.

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #14

Sep 152015

Altima Hybrid

  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator illuminated while driving approximately 20 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the sensor in the passenger side seat needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired however the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 67,000.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #13

May 042015

Altima Hybrid

  • 108,885 miles


I was 50 miles away from home, when I go to start my car it will not start at all! my key would lock and unlock my car but it wouldn't turn on. Initially I thought it was the key, I had my sister drop off my spare to see if that was the case, it wasn't. come to find out the escl seems to be faulty and is preventing the car from starting up. Right now I'm waiting on the dealer to tell me what's going on, beware Nissan knows all about this but is refusing to do a recall!

- North Bergen , NJ, USA

problem #12

Feb 232015

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 60,984 miles
My 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid refused to recognize the wireless key, leaving me stranded. It was seven degrees in Chicago and the windchill was below zero, but I was able to return home taking public transportation. Who knows what might have happened if this had occurred in the middle of the road. I towed the car to a dealer, who told me that the "steering lock assembly" had failed, but they could fix it for $1170 plus tax. I found that there used to be a special warranty if this part failed, but Nissan had put a time limit on it so that cars where the defect showed up were being denied coverage as early as October of 2014. Nissan insists that: (1) this defect affects few cars, so they issued a special warranty rather than a recall, (2) the defect does not have safety implications, and (3) customers are adequately covered by the warranty. I believe all three statements are knowingly false. (1) the dealer where my car was repaired told me that they are seeing similar cases more than once a week. Multiply by the number of shops in the country and pretty soon you have thousands of vehicles affected. The NHTSA website alone has hundreds of cases reported. (2) aside from the danger stemming from being stranded in bad weather or location, if this part fails while the car is running the likely result is a failure of the steering and transmission locks. A transmission that does not lock can easily lead to a car moving by itself in an incline, causing an accident. (3) almost all affected cars manufactured after October 2008 are being denied coverage. The owners were told in writing to wait until the defect occurred, and then the problem would be taken care of by Nissan. This does not look like taking care of the problem. The solution: Ask Nissan to issue an outright recall of this defective part. The safety of thousands is at stake.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #11

Oct 112014

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The driver side and passenger side front door actuators stopped working on my Nissan when I use my fob or the door button to open. I press the button and the door locks will only move part of the way, but will not fully lock or unlock the door. I have to put the physical key into the lock and twist to open the door. I know this is my door actuators because the exact same thing happened 4 months ago to my rear two doors. I replaced them and the doors work in the rear now, but I believe the original parts are faulty and that is why they are going out in the front. I should not have to replace them in a 5 year old car. I am a young woman living in an urban area and require swift entry in and out of my vehicle to remain safe. This is why I require use of my fob.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #10

Feb 092014

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 44,489 miles
Starting system does not recognize the key fob. I can lock and unlock the car with the fob but can not start it. Inserting the fob into the accessory key port makes no difference. Research concludes this is a common malfunction that leaves motorists stranded and that the solution is resolved with the replacement of the steering lock mechanism. Again, this appears to be a common, known issue.

- South Orange, NJ, USA

problem #9

Feb 252013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


My husband went out to move my car and it started fine. About an hour later I went to get into my car to leave for work and it would not do anything. The only light that came on the dash was a small key that kept flashing. After having my car towed twice and calling all of the Nissan dealerships around here, I was told no one could fix my car because it was a hybrid. Finally I called the Nissan dealership one more time and this time all of a sudden they said they could work on it. I was very frustrated and had already been without my car for 3 weeks. Once I had it towed to the dealership they were able to fix it and said that it was a familar problem with this year of car. It was the steering mechanism and ended up costing me over $800. The guy at the dealership told me they had already fixed 30 vehicles like mine with the same problem since November of 2012. If this is such a common problem then why hasn't Nissan issued a recall on this"????"

- Aynor, SC, USA

problem #8

Feb 222013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
My wife went to start her 2009 Altima hybrid with the intelligent key system. Nothing happened, the key indicator on the left of the instrument panel was lit. She tried the key in the in dash slot and still nothing. Batteries were good in both key fob's we tried, car battery was good also. It turned out to be the steering lock motor and switch. You could hear the steering lock work but evidently it never contacted the switch to show it was unlocked so the car would not start or even go into accessory mode. Parts and labor were $923 ($550 for the part, the rest labor) towing was another $100. Nissan would not help out even though I read in Nissan forums that it's been a recall item on a different model and that they didn't use the same system in newer cars.

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #7

Feb 052013

Altima Hybrid

  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima. The contact attempted to start the ignition but the engine failed to operate. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The computerized chip was replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 32,000.

- Hightstown, NJ, USA

problem #6

Feb 072013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Car operated normally in the morning, able to start and drove perfectly fine to the office. When I went to start my car to go get lunch, the car would not start and the intelligent key light flashed. I called the local dealership and was told the fob must have somehow un-synced. Aaa towed to dealership, was then told that my steering control lock had failed and needed to be replaced. Due to high demand from the part (indicating a significant current failure rate) the part would not be available for almost a week. I then went home and googled the issue, found "Q=&page=24 where hundreds of complaints about this particular part failing over the past year were being reported. What if I wasn't at the office" I could have been stranded anywhere, in the middle of winter. This poses a serious health risk. Beyond that, the total cost of repair was almost $800.

- Blue Bell, PA, USA

problem #5

Jan 192013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 60,400 miles
Intellikey light blinking started on January 14th. I replaced the battery in the key fob. I went to get into my car after work on Saturday and was able to unlock my doors. I attempted to start my car, and the intellikey light was blinking again, but I did not have any dash lights come one. The car did not respond to the bypass option either. There was no power or ability to turn the car on. I had the vehicle towed to the nearest Nissan dealer and have been told that the electronic steering lock malfunctioned and needs to be replaced. There is no eta as there is a back order nationwide for the part.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 162013

Altima Hybrid

  • 30,500 miles
It was in night around 11pm, I stepped out to nearby walmart. Upon return, the car did not start. I was getting the "yellow key" symbol. My first impression was that something was faulty with my fob key. I called my friend and got to try the key. Even this was futile. I looked up my manual for this symbol code and realized that there was some malfunction in the keyless ignition system. I was surprised cos the car was well maintained, with periodic service and very low miles(30K).it was perfect until then. I returned home with my friend and next day, I tried road side assistance who tried jump start without any luck. Finally, it was towed to the dealer. Later the dealer calls me to tell that it is steering lock problem, and that he doesn't have the replacement nor can he give me date of when it is expected. After seeing the messages in forum here, I realize it is serious problem on Nissan part. I am just lucky that this did not happen on day when I was far away from home. I cant imagine being stuck in outskirts in middle of night. I hope they seriously do something to recall this part. It is a total risky thing and wonder how Nissan did not look into it.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #3

Nov 022012

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
The steering lock unit (part number 48700-9N00B) needed replacement. The steering lock unit did not properly engage when the vehicle was turned off. Because the unit did not engage, the vehicle would not start. I was left stranded in a parking garage at night and had to have the vehicle towed. The nearest dealership was in alexandria, va. They charged $900 to diagnose and repair this problem. Since the vehicle had over 36,000 miles, it was not covered under warranty. This is a widely known issue with Nissan vehicles and is present on several online forums. Most of the steering lock unit failures occur after the warranty period, but before 60K miles. There is an existing safety recall for the 2009 Nissan GT-R model for the steering lock unit (campaign id P0309). This is Nissan's top tier vehicle. At this time Nissan has chosen not to issue a recall for other models to include the Altima. Anyone driving a Nissan with this known issue can be stranded at any time.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #2

Oct 072009

Altima Hybrid

  • 3,000 miles
I bought my 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid on July 30, 2009. On October 3rd, evening, it lost power while I was driving on freeway 99 California. Dash board light are on, engine has no power output. The vehicle dropped speed quickly. I pulled over to the shoulder and turn off the engine. One minute later, I turned engine on again. It backed to work. However, the same thing happened three more times again later in one week. It made me really think about the safety of driving it. On Oct 7,2009, the engine completely cannot be started anymore and it was towed to dealership in the morning for a full check up and did not find anything wrong. The technician said they checked all the wires and re-wired all the connection cords. It back to work and work alright now. After about 5000 miles driving, it seems there are no same problems appeared. But lose power without any reason on freeway is too dangerous to driver and passengers, I hope the manufacturer can find the real problems and avoid it's happenings in all vehicles.

- Turock, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 092010

Altima Hybrid

  • 10,897 miles
On a sunny cold afternoon in avon ct, doing 35 mph, the ABS and brake lights suddenly came on my dash of 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid with 10897 miles. An audible continuous alarm was on in the car. The brakes were totally inoperable. It was a total catastrophic failure. The car was towed to the nearest dealer and Nissan claims it was a faulty ABS actuator that needs replacement.

- Avon, CT, USA

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