pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
73,164 miles
Total Complaints:
66 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace the steering lock control unit (28 reports)
  2. not sure (25 reports)
  3. replace the brake switch (4 reports)
  4. replace the steering lock unit (4 reports)
  5. replace the ignition interlock (3 reports)
  6. install new steering column lock sensor (1 reports)
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This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Nissan dealer.

problem #66

Mar 042015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Driving my 2009 Altima all day yesterday with no problem... Came out of salon appointment with my wife, who is wheelchair bound.. went to start the car and nothing happens! The key light is flashing, which I later find out is a known problem with the steering lock system going bad.

I bought the car used from Nissan in 2011... apparently the warranty expired on 03/03/2015.. The steering column lock issue happens to me on 03/04/2015!!

I have the car towed to the dealer.. I leave the car and I am informed less then 30 minutes later that the problem is the steering column lock issue and it will cost me $960 to repair... Get a call 2 hours later that the car is all done and ready.

I called in to Nissan to complain about this while I am waiting for dealership to do the repair.. At this point I am waiting for them to call me back before I have to go pickup the car. I am going to jump up and down to get them to cover this under warranty since it happened less then 24 hours after the 6 year/999,999 mile warranty on this problem expired... I certainly hope they do the right thing!!!!!!!

- , Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #65

Mar 052015

Altima ES 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,231 miles

I called Nissan Head Quarters 800-NISSAN1, they opened a case to help resolve the issue. Our vehicle is currently with Riverside Nissan. Looking forward to getting this issue resolved with the assistance of Nissan.

- , Moreno Valley, California, USA

problem #64

Jan 242015

Altima SE 3.0L

  • CVT transmission
  • 154,000 miles

This car is a piece of crap. I had to take my car in for another issue and after only 2 weeks of it being out of the shop, I go out to get in my car and it won't start. The key icon is flashing on the dash, so I changed out the battery in my fob, no luck. I tried to start the car by inserting the fob into the manual override, nothing.

I do not have any extra money to spend in this car and have to wonder if the issue had anything to do with the dealer having to tear apart my transmission 2 weeks earlier. I had contacted Consumer Affairs 2 weeks prior in regards to another issue with the car and was told that "it's out of warranty, nothing we can do." Stuck with this piece of crap and can't even drive it. Sitting in my driveway rotting as I do not have any more money to fix it.

- , Culpeper, Virginia, USA

problem #63

Jan 182015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 155,000 miles

1) When my car did not start I was in another state 100's of miles from home. I attempted to replace the battery in the key but that did not solve the issue. I waited it out, which took about 30 minutes, sometimes longer. 2) This is not my first experience of this issue. I had it towed into a dealer over a year ago and was told the part was recalled and they replaced. This helped for about 1 1/2 years. 3) After the first few times it started to happen on a regular basis. I replaced the key, it did not happen again for over a year. 4) Removing the battery cables to reboot the car helped for a few months. 5) Now my current issue is while driving down the road all of a sudden my car does not recognize my key. It's been scary driving on an interstate and my car acts like I have stolen it. Headlights flash, the air or heat stops, no wipers, no radio.... 6) This is happening more often while I am driving. It has happened three times in the last week. Twice while I was on my way to work in the rain. The wipers stopped, even putting the key into the dash does not have an effect on the outcome. 7) I have just looked up recalls and of course there are none. 8) I planned on giving it to my daughter for her sixteenth birthday. I am thinking it's time replace the car and go upside down on another.

- , Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #62

Mar 052015

Altima SL 2.5L I4

  • CVT transmission
  • 38,400 miles

I got stuck with the car when the engine couldn't start because of this Steering Lock Failure. The car is just 38400 miles and the part failed! It was due to a manufacturing irregularity problem, which should be recalled.

Now because it is just several months out of warranty, I have to pay $1200 to fix it ! Plus the tow! And the pain to get stranded at freezing cold weather!

- , Latham, NY, USA

problem #61

Mar 022015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

2009 Nissan Altima just decided to flash the key light on Saturday and stopped working on Sunday. Never had a problem with the ignition or key before this time. Car would not start, steering wheel was locked in position tightly. Entered the manual key into the ignition to put in Nuetral and the lights and radio started to work. This should have been a recall since my car is 5 years old with only 55k miles on it and has never really been driven but to work and back. Nissan stated that there was a way to fix this if it was within the warranty which is a bunch of B.S...due to it happening right after my warranty expired!! The only thing to do by your customers is to be fair due to you knowing about this problem and not having a full recall on this item. I wonder what else don't we know about our Nissan's!!! Seriously in debate of buying another Nissan EVER!

- , Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

problem #60

Feb 182015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles

Steering lock failure-seems to be a major issue with this model and year. Called the dealer about the extended warranty which expired 2 months ago. Estimated cost 800 dollars not including tow.

Update from Mar 12, 2015: UPDATE: After speaking with a couple of dealers, who said this is a chronic issue with Nissan. I decided to call Nissan Consumer Affairs and filed a claim. The regional representative called back who denied my claim; said it was out of warranty and there is absolutely nothing that Nissan would do to resolve the issue. I picked up my car at the dealer on 03/12/15 at a cost of $1049.00. The dealer advised that I call back Nissan Consumer Affairs and complain, as the dealer had 5 cars come in for that same problem in the 4 day period that my car was there. I spoke with the representative, who wanted to know specifically who at the dealer referred me back to them. I refused to give him that information. After a long call with that representative, who still did not budge on their previous decision, I finally was able to get him to leave a message for his supervisor who should call me back in the next 48 hours. They seemed to not care that my experience with them will most likely make myself, my family, my friends and my co-workers never buy another Nissan product again. The funny thing about the whole situation was the consumer affairs operator said, "Thanks for being the best part about Nissan." Definitely the truth, cause the best part of Nissan sure isn't their product or the way they treat their consumers.

- , Highland, UT, USA

problem #59

Feb 202015

Altima S 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,300 miles

This happened when it was near 0 degrees F, so it was a pain to deal with this in that kind of weather.

- , Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #58

Jan 052015

Altima 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


So I went to leave work one day and my car would not start!!!!!!!!!! Red little car (security) light blinking, yellow key light blinking, would not even go into aux mode so I could roll my window up. Luck for me my friend owns a towing company and came and got me and the car and brought us home. I found this website and tried the quick fix of banging like hell on the steering column lock unit and it worked, for a couple of days. I also saw, from this site that the part was $800, which I don’t have!. So I waited to call the dealership and then had no choice when the quick fix would not work anymore.

After speaking with someone at Kingston Nissan Kingston NY I was told that THIS PART IS WARRANTED FOR THE LIFE OF THE CAR. I was pissed that they would not just make it a recall as it being warranted does not help you when your stranded somewhere. BUT MY FRIEND BROUGHT MY CAR TO THE DEALERSHIP AND THEY REPLACED THE PART AT NO COST TO ME AND THEY EVEN PAID MY TOW BILL. The car was only at the dealership for a couple of hours. Again this was great, but if I had gotten stranded somewhere with all 3 of my kids in the car I WOULD HAVE BEEN A LOT MORE PISSED. THIS SHOULD BE A RECALL.

- , Tannersville, NY, USA

problem #57

Feb 122015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,580 miles

I was told there have been numerous complaints regarding this problem but Nissan hasn't addressed the issue.

- , Manassas, VA, USA

problem #56

Jan 272015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles


- , Bklyn, NY, USA

problem #55

Jan 282015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

Like everyone else who has this car, the steering lock control unit locked up and now looking to pay up to $1,000 to fix it. I was told by the dealer to call consumer affairs and file a complaint. 3 days later I get told by Nissan that it is out of warranty and there is nothing they can do. The dealership is working on getting me a discount but it is not looking good. For a part that shouldn't be an issue in the first place and a lot of Nissan clients having the same problem, they were quick to say there is nothing they can do to help. If this doesn't get resolved, there is no way I will ever buy or recommend Nissan to anyone. They have nice vehicles but their loyalty to their clients is not worth much.

- , Belvidere, IL, USA

problem #54

Jan 302015


  • CVT transmission
  • 114,000 miles

Coming home from work, go to the car.... no start. Sounds like it's about to start and then cuts off mid-start. Lights come on, radio comes on, and interior lights fully light up. Steering wheel does NOT lock and the brakes are stiff to press, which is not normal. From what I'm seeing and hearing it's either the break switch or the electric steering control lock. This is the FIRST issue with the car besides the tire pressure sensors(all are taken out now). I'm not sure but it seems that temperature may also be part of the problem. A LOT of the issues I am hearing are during cold weather months. I'm going to try the "solutions" that I saw on the internet and publish the results. I am shocked that this isn't a recall by now with all the problems I am seeing with this issue. Besides this, it has been a wonderful car.

Update from Feb 1, 2015: Oh... went back to the car.... Still was the same issue as before. Stiff break pedal, car sounds like it's beginning to start and then turns off. The power ran down and I needed a jump after a while. Got the car jumped (charged for 20 mins). car finally started...called the dealer and they said it sounded like the Break Sensor and I . could bring it in for a $140 so they could look at it. I started the car a lot of times since then when no problem but I'll be on the look out... One thing I did do was take the battery out of the remote and put it back in.... or maybe completely losing power and needing a jump reset the car computer some how.... But its running fine now...

- , New Carrollton, MD - Maryland, USA

problem #53

Jan 292015

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

As with most warranties, Nissan knows of this problem and extended the normal warranty to cover up to 72 months for this problem. My 72 months ran out in Oct. 2014. So the cost is on me to get the faulty part replaced. I understand that it might cost me $700 - $1000. I am like an elephant, don't forget so I probably will not recommend Nissan to anyone nor will I buy another Nissan product. It has to do with the steering wheel lock and or the ignition switch lock. My car will not start. The push button starter is dead. I had to have it towed home until I figure out what to do now. I'm only glad it didn't happen last week while I was over 400 miles from home.

- , Marietta, GA, USA

problem #52

Jan 232015


  • CVT transmission
  • 102,150 miles

Key fob works for trunk, door locks, panic button but car won't even turn on, let alone start. Just have blinking red key security light and the gold key light stays on solid. Had to get a tow to the dealership. My warranty has expired. I have read over a hundred cases of this happening to other people. I'll find out tomorrow what the $$(damage) costs.

- , Modesto, CA, USA

problem #51

Jan 092015

Altima S 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 104,000 miles

Also appear to be having the electronic steering column lock issue. Key fob works for trunk, door locks, panic button but car won't even turn on, let alone start. Just have blinking red key security light and the gold key light stays on solid. Tried disconnecting battery and reconnecting, but that didn't work. Tried moving the steering wheel every which way I could think of to no avail. Had to get a tow to the dealership. Find out the extended warranty is expired as of Oct. 28 2014.

Opened case with consumer affairs and am pushing my case to have this classified as a recall as I have read over a hundred cases of this happening to other people. Fortunately the dealership gave me a loaner which is just a step up from a Flintstone mobile but hey, it gets me from point A to point B so I'm not complaining too much. The only mystery that remains is how much I'm going to have to pay for this to get fixed. Hopefully Nissan consumer affairs is feeling generous this week so we'll see.

- , Raymore, MO - Missouri, USA

problem #50

Jan 122015

Altima 2.5 SL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

Left work today, my 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL started without a problem. Stopped at the store, was in there for 10 minutes. Came out, my car wouldn't start. It would lock and unlock, lights worked, but wouldn't start. It was freezing out and I had a kid and little puppy in the car, extremely frustrating. Called the Lia Nissan dealership, they didn't know what was wrong, manager said it was probably my battery. Which it wasn't. Had my friend who is a mechanic for Volvo come look at it, he said it was the steering column. He had to bring me home and my car is sitting at Stop&Shop!

- , West Springfield, MA, USA

problem #49

Jan 102015

Altima 2.5 S

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

The car won't start. Both the keys are detected. I can unlock the car doors, etc but the car won't start.

- , New Iberia, LA, USA

problem #48

Jan 102015

Altima 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles

Typical complaint, which is a total indictment of NISSAN'S GUILT AND FILTH on this particular problem.

Went inside a restaurant on Congress Ave in Austin, Texas to eat with friends. I had picked up a car full of compadre's to save everyone the hassle of individual commutes in a rare ice event. Finished meal, went outside to leave...and promptly encountered the electronic steering module defect fiasco. Car towage, lying and manipulative Nissan parts/repair dept. on display in all it's full glory. They made the now well-known song and dance routine regarding extended warranty" JUST running out. The level of dishonesty at the dealership was energy draining.

They parked the car outside the repair doors and told us to wait for a minute, someone would get our personal info and such. They took the key but never returned. We waited an hour, decided to ask "what up". Response..."SO sorry, we just forgot about you". Anyway, the porter went outside to do who knows what to the car but rolled down the windows in sleet and rain and then they wouldn't roll up. Manager, several employee's all came out to watch and had no idea what to do!

Luckily, the taxi service we had to call arrived and helped us, the customer, push it under an awning to get out of the weather. Nissan employees stood and watched. Total insanity, and the only solution offered was a $189 diagnostic test and then a $998 repair bill if it is the electronic steering lock. Awful, awful, awful experience.

- , Austin, Texas, USA

problem #47

Dec 282014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I was at the gas station at 6am and I cut my car off as usual while getting gas and when I attempted to start my car afterwards it wouldn't start. I had to push my car away from the pump, then have it towed from the gas station. This was an awful experience! I've had my car for a little over a year and never had anything like this happen before. This is such an inconvenience and I'm pretty sure it's going to be costly as well. I'll never buy another Nissan ever.

- , Belleville, New Jersey, USA

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