hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,630 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 232016

Altima Hybrid

  • 62,000 miles


Engine light had been going on and off, car shuddered occasionally. Took car in for that along with 60K service. Mechanic said diagnostic codes revealed need to replace cylinder head due to excess carbon buildup. Said it was a common problem they see. Car has used synthetic oil from beginning only 62,000 miles.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #5

Feb 232015

Altima Hybrid

  • 55,000 miles
The steering lock assembly seized up while the car was parked, so the engine starter was prevented from turning on and the steering and transmission remained locked. This happened in the dead of winter and at near-zero temperatures, requiring a tow to a dealer and a $1200 repair, which Nissan later reduced to $450. I accepted this on condition it would not constitute a settlement. This is a defect that turns up in all Altima built during several months in 2008, which they have acknowledged. They offered a 72-month warranty after manufacture (not a recall, though customers clamored for it) just for this item, but unfortunately the defect tends to surface after this period. My car missed the window by 22 days. Many similar cases have been reported since, and none have been covered. Had the unit failed while the car was running, it is likely that the steering wheel and the transmission would have failed to lock upon turning off the ignition, leading to a hazardous situation. Being in the cold for hours was hazardous on its own, anyway, but I survived it.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #4

Nov 092013

Altima Hybrid

  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Altima hybrid. The contact stated that the vehicle was idling hard for an extended amount of time. The vehicle was taken to a dealer on two separate occasions where the failure was unable to be duplicated. The vehicle was then taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the ECM needed to be replaced and advised for the repairs to be done at a dealer. The vehicle was taken back to a dealer where the repairs were pending approval. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Carle Place, NY, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Oct 272013

Altima Hybrid 4-cyl

  • 83,290 miles
Went to start the car and the start control wouldn't recognize the key. Replaced the battery to remote key, this made no difference. The steering is not locked. [xxx] in riverdale city, ut. Checked it and said it was the steering lock component that is keeping the car from being able to start. They asked for VIN number, which we gave them and in checking they twice said it was covered under extended warranty, since there had been numerous problems dealing with the steering lock. They then called us the following day and said Nissan wouldn't cover the warranted since it was a branded title and said the cost would be $818, which we don't have and now the car is dead in the water due to this faulty steering lock. Please require Nissan to issue a recall on this part/problem. Thanks for listening. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Ogden, UT, USA

problem #1

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

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