pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
76,570 miles
Total Complaints:
87 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace the steering lock control unit (40 reports)
  2. not sure (29 reports)
  3. replace the brake switch (6 reports)
  4. replace the steering lock unit (5 reports)
  5. replace the ignition interlock (3 reports)
  6. steering lock assembly replaced (3 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Nissan dealer.

problem #87

Nov 252015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,671 miles

I was completely caught off guard today when my 2009 Nissan Altima wouldn't start. I had just finished getting gas, had my two young children in the car with me and was getting us ready to head out to my mom's for Thanksgiving. Needless to say our plans came to a complete halt. My husband went with the car to the dealership and called me with the news - $1000 repair. I was shocked. Our car has less than 60,000 miles on it. What choice do we have but fix it? I feel completely screwed by this. And honestly, Nissan has sent so much mail offering to buy back our car. A friend of mine had a 2010 Altima and she was getting the same mail so she actually traded her car in for a newer model. Maybe Nissan wanted to get these models back to try and avoid a lawsuit?!?!? This many people with the same, pricey problem? Seems pretty fishy to me.

Good luck to everyone. I doubt I'll ever buy a Nissan again either.

- , Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #86

Oct 192015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Nissan wouldn't do anything. I pushed and pushed. They said it was fixed originally and it was not. This is absolutely ridiculous. 3 months past the warranty and they won't even work with me. This will be my last Nissan. This should have been a RECALL.

- , Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #85

Oct 172015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,371 miles

This should be a recall. It seems to be a problem that Nissan is aware of but has done little to help us cope with it. My car is stuck in a parking garage 3 days until I finally had to get it towed to Nissan dealership and spent $800+ on part/labor.


I bought a used 2009 Nissan Ultima 6mo ago, my first Nissan ever. I spent $800 to replace air condition unit and now on Steering Wheel lock.


- , Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #84

Oct 172015

Altima V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


- , Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #83

Aug 202015

Altima LX

  • Manual transmission
  • 73,000 miles

This should be a recall. Nissan says that the electronic steering lock column is a manufacturer irregularity. They won't do a recall. They extended the warranty to 72 months/unlimited mileage. However, this part went bad only 18 days after my warranty expired. I opened a case with Nissan Assist and they won't pay my claim for 18 days. This is a safety issue. What if I was stranded in an unsafe area or worse. Now I have a car that won't start. I am in the process of finding a claim settlement attorney to begin a case.

- , Limerick, PA, USA

problem #82

Oct 052015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

It seems to be a problem that Nissan is aware of but has done little to help us cope with it. My car is stuck in a parking garage many miles from home. It will cost alot to tow the vehicle and then the expense to fix it. Not a happy Nissan customer.

- , West Nyack, NY, USA

problem #81

Oct 022015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

We bought this car from PRIORITY Nissan in Chantilly, VA 6 months ago. We were unaware with the problem with the steering locks on this car. My daughter and granddaughter were stranded for 4 hours because she parked the car and went back and it wouldn't start. We now have to pay to have the car towed.

Was told by Nissan that the part itself was $700. Neither PRIORITY or NISSAN were willing to help us out with this. The service manager ERIC HAWKE, lied and said he can't do anything about it but NISSAN itself will help you. NISSANS stance is its out of warranty - too bad. THIS IS A DEFECTIVE PART. It doesn't stop working because of wear and tear.

NISSAN needs to recall this vehicle and replace these parts with all costs paid for by NISSAN. DONT buy a NISSAN, they don't care for the safety of their customers and PRIORITY NISSAN definitely doesn't care. ALSO THIS IS A PART THAT YOU CAN REPLACE YOURSELF HOWEVER NISSAN MAKES THIS PART EXPENSIVE. $700 just for the freaking device and then another 600 - 700 for towing, 30 min of labor. Buy the part yourself and install yourself and DON'T BUY another NISSAN and definitely don't buy from PRIORITY NISSAN in Chantilly, VA.

- , Springfield, VA, USA

problem #80

Aug 242015

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,103 miles

We purchased this 2009 Nissan Altima new and have been very pleased overall with the car, but a situation just recently has made me question on ever purchasing another Nissan. A few weeks ago my wife took the car to the grocery store, but when she went to leave, the ignition was locked and the car made no attempt to start. She called me and I drove up to the store and sure enough, pushed the start button and nothing. We moved the groceries to our other vehicle and I drove us home, at which time I searched the internet to try and determine what's going on. To my amazement, I literally found hundreds of posts from other angry Nissan owners with the same problem and, with a little more research, I found Nissan had extended the warranty on this problem to 6 years (but still 6 month short for my immaculate 2009). I found several websites with recommendations on how to get the car going, which involved banging on the steering interlock, so I returned to the parking lot with a hammer and once I gained access to the module, banged on the interlock a few times and, as if by magic... it started!

I called the dealer in my area (the one we purchased it from in no longer in business) and found that this is going to cost us nearly $1,000 once we get the car to them. This is my wife's car and, under the circumstances, I have no confidence that my "repair" was going to last, so I see no other responsible option other than replacement (which needs to be done by a dealer). This is when I decided to contact Nissan customer service and I made my first call on Thursday, Aug 27th, early in the afternoon. I believe her name was Maretha and she seemed very pleasant and understanding to our situation. I explained that under the circumstances, I believe this problem should have prompted a recall because of the nature of the problem. There is no way I'm going to make my wife drive a car that randomly might leave her stranded who knows where, we were lucky this time being fairly close to home, but who knows next time. She told me that she couldn't even talk about doing anything unless we took the dealer and had them diagnose the problem. I question this strategy, because they would not promise me anything and if I do this it's a couple hours and $100 inspection more than me just taking the vehicle into have the work done. Based on our conversation, I was given the impression, if we spent this extra time and money, it would be worth it in the end, so I contacted the dealer and setup an appointment the following morning. As soon as I received the report from the dealer stating the obvious problem, I called Maretha back and she then told me she would need time to research the case and will get back to me on Monday, Aug 31st with a decision. My question back was "why does it take several days to make this decision, which leaves us without the car in the meantime. She said there was no way she could hurry the process, but promised again to contact me on Monday. At that point, I'm annoyed, but didn't see that I had any options and fully expected Nissan to work something out with us if we wait a few days.

Come Monday, no phone call? I call the number several times that she gave me but never get a call back. All of a sudden the phone rings at a little after 7 PM, but I'm in a first aid class and can't answer the phone. As soon as we have a break (about 20 minutes later), I call back, but only get voicemail again. I listen to my voicemail and it's Maretha calling to tell me that she'll call me back on Thursday? At this point I'm really starting to get angry at how we're being treated.

Tuesday morning, I call customer service back and Maretha is nowhere to be found, but I talk to another agent, who promises to have someone call me back... nothing!

Wednesday morning, I call customer service back and Maretha is nowhere to be found again, but I talk to another agent, who promises to take ownership of this problem and will have someone call me back. Wednesday evening I get a call back from someone new that said that Nissan had decided that since my car was out of warranty, there was nothing they could do. I explained my side of the situation, but they said it was cut and dried... it's not covered under my warranty. I then asked why they held me hostage (without a car) on this decision for nearly a week, if the decision was fixed based on the warranty and the process they made me go through cost us extra time and money, but they had no answer and told me I had no options appeal.

Thursday afternoon, I finally get a call back from Maretha, who repeats the decision to me and seems to have very little empathy for our situation, nor seems to want to make any effort to do anything about it. It seems the only variable in the decision was the fact that I didn't take the car back to the dealership for regular service. This car has been meticulously taken care of and looks and drives just like it came off the showroom floor, other than a failed part might leave us stranded at any time. That didn't seem to matter, nor did the fact that by following her advise this repair costs us more time and money than had we just taken it in to have fixed and not talked to Nissan. Quite a service you offer, but I guess you made a little more money for the dealer out of the deal. What a scam!

The next day I contacted the dealer in my area and they were nice enough to discount their work, which we scheduled and had done.

This is an example of terrible customer service and your poor decisions has convinced me that we will never purchase a Nissan product again and I will do everything in my power to make sure everyone hears how you treat your "valuable" customers

- , Snohomish, WA, USA

problem #79

Feb 022015

Altima Coupe 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 140,000 miles

The push button start seemed like such a great idea. Until the sensor stops working and the car won't start while you are 50 miles from home. Great, Nissan did recall the part and replace it. But I had to pay the towing and had to find my own way home for the night and then drive the 50 miles back to pick up at the dealership a week later when they finally fixed it. There should have been notification sent out about this problem so people will not be stranded.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #78

Sep 212015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

yesterday, finally got to nissan appointment, i had figured it was the steering column lock, since that what most others were complaining about. turns out it was the brake sensor and harnass. Nissan's paper work stated that they "would replace brake sensor and "updated" harness . What's with the updated harnass, apparently the harnass that was installed in the 2009 was defective, so guess what.....have to have the new harnass changed out......Another defect in their car that customer has to pay to replace. Cost $558.00 My mechanic says no choice but to buy part except at nissan since any other parts, used, etc will be the old harness . Nissan selling this part for $350.00. NEVER have i had this much trouble with a car, and it not been fixed by the manufacturer. also have a recall, that i was never informed of my nissan, they tell me they need the car for an entire day, the entire exhaust system has to be changed out!

- , Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #77

Sep 222015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

It's bullshit I've had the vehicle for 2 years now this is a serious problem it should have recall for this type of incident.

- , fort worth, TX, USA

problem #76

Jul 312015

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,500 miles

It makes you uncertain of being able to run your life unhindered.

- , Porter Ranch, CA, USA

problem #75

Sep 032015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,700 miles

The key symbol showed up on the dash. I thought it was the signal to change the battery in the remote which I did. I purchased batteries from auto zone. Symbol went away, so I thought. I went to the next store, came to start car and Nothing! Numerous tries car would not start. What the hell? The car was towed to a mechanic shop. Informed it was the steering column lock. Informed part is $650 and total cost would be close to $1,000 to repair. Called Nissan to ask is it on recall. Informed it was no recalls on my Vin #. Was not informed it could be an extended warranty issue. I researched the problem and noticed Nissan extended it to 7 years unlimited miles. I am contacting Nissan for repairs without cost.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #74

Aug 032015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

I see here this is quite the problem on this car talk to headquarters and doesn't seem like they want to help. Even though I'm not the only one having this issue! Haven't had any luck getting any kind of assistance so the cost is just over a thousand! I don't recommend the newer push to start Nissan to anyone no recall or nothing so just have an extra thousand bucks ready to put into a car that is not even ten years old. I always thought highly of Nissan but don't think I will ever purchase one again after this experience!

- , Brighton, CO, USA

problem #73

Jul 012015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

The light started appearing on the dash and before you know it didn’t start, looked it up and it shows the Anti-Lock Steering Lock control is a defect that is happening in all 2009 Nissan Altima’s. I called Avondale Nissan in Avondale, AZ and they informed me this is not a recall issue and will have to pay out of pocket.

The cost for everything came close to $1,000 its ridiculous that Nissan is not taking responsibility for a part they are surely aware is a malfunction and not recalling vehicles to get this taken care of, they said since it was not a safety issue it will not be recalled and expect their customers to dish out money for their incompetence. My next car will definitely not be a NISSAN!

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #72

Jul 072015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Steering wheel is locked, car is not reading fob key. Ignition will not start and cannot turn car on to put in neutral. Batteries in fob key were changed but made no difference. Have seen several other reports with identical complaints from other owners, Nissan has not issued a recall. This is a ridiculous issue that they have been ignoring and needs to be addressed!!!!

- , Irvine, CA, USA

problem #71

Jun 032015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My vehicle will randomly not start. New battery and yes the battery cables are clean. I researched this issue online and viola, huge number of people have the dreaded steering wheel lock issue. Sure, Nissan extended the warranty to 6 years but with so many people having this problem, why the heck are they not recalling affected vehicles to get that $1200 part/labor replaced free of charge? It's obviously a defective part that will leave you stranded sooner or later. This has permanently ticked me off to the point where I, along with all of my family members will never buy another new Nissan again.

- , West Fargo, ND, USA

problem #70

Aug 122015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,324 miles

Plano Texas, 8/12/15 105 degrees, left the gym and my car wouldn't start!!! The brake wouldn't depress all the way and when I hit the push start button, the lights would come on, fans, dash lights would start but the engine wouldn't come on.

I called Auto nation Dallas(Formerly Bankston Nissan) 4707 Lyndon B Johnson FWY and told Matt about it, he thought it might be my battery - it wasn't. I replaced it this year and it has since been tested and found to be perfect). He asked me to bring the car in, had to call AAA to tow it in to the shop.

It took a full hour for diagnostics to be done after which he said it was the brake switch. My brakes had been just fine, also I had taken my car in for an oil change on 7/30/2015 and I had all green on my multi-point inspection. While I waited for my car's diagnostic my brother sent me a link to forums talking about the Warranty extension for the Electronic Steering Column Lock, when I asked the service guy about it, I was quickly passed on to a manager and then to Director Jeff all so they could tell me that the warranty expired 7/24/2015 and they would charge me $700 dollars if I wanted this fixed.

I did not receive a notice from Nissan and since I have been a customer at automation Nissan, they have my records and they don't show ever addressing the ESCL. They did fix the brake switch. They would not address the ESCL issue because the extension expired 20 Days ago!

- , Plano, USA

problem #69

Jul 232015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

I will never purchase another Nissan again. I was at work one day thnking I was about to jump in my car and go pick my baby up from the babysitter only to find out that my car wouldn't start. Long story short I investigated the problem and it ended up being the steering lock default bs. Called Nissan only to find out that they knew that the part was defected and it would eventually go out on all the 2009 altimas. So they extended the warranty for almost 6 yrs. My luck the warranty ran out in Oct. 2014 and my part went out Jul 2015. So NissAN TELLING me they want cover it because it happen outside the warranty. So it would have had to happen during the time of the warranty. Being that that raggedy ass part lasted a couple more months then expected they want fix it. So im stuck paying almost $1100

- , Salisbury, NC, USA

problem #68

Apr 152015

Altima EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

I'm trying to leave work at the end of the day and my car won't start out of the blue. The key light is blinking, but won't start, on a fairly new vehicle.

- , East Haven, CT, USA

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