9.0

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$728.00
Average Mileage:
67,929 miles
Total Complaints:
52 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (21 reports)
  2. replace the steering lock control unit (19 reports)
  3. replace the brake switch (4 reports)
  4. replace the ignition interlock (3 reports)
  5. replace the steering lock unit (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 #52

Jan 232015

Altima

  • 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

Altima

  • 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

problem #46

Dec 042014

Altima SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,400 miles

I DROVE MY 2009 NISSAN ALTIMA 2.5S TO WORK ON 12/04 AND IT STARTED UP JUST FINE AS USUAL. HOWEVER, WHEN I WENT TO LEAVE WORK FOR THE DAY THE CAR DID NOT START. THE KEYLESS REMOTE WILL ALLOW ME TO LOCK AND UNLOCK MY CAR, BUT WHEN I GO TO START THE CAR, IT WILL NOT REGISTER MY KEY FOB. AN ERROR CODE SHOWS THAT THE ELECTRONIC STEERING COLUMN LOCK (ESCL) MECHANISM WAS MALFUNCTIONING. ALSO, THERE IS A YELLOW KEY ICON ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE DASH THAT INTERMITTENTLY FLASHES NO KEY. THE IGNITION IS INDICATING THAT THE STEERING WHEEL IS LOCKED ALTHOUGH I CAN TURN THE STEERING WHEEL. HOWEVER, WHEN TRYING TO SHIFT GEARS THE BRAKE WOULD NOT SUPRESS. THERE WERE NO PRIOR WARNING LIGHTS INDICATING THAT THE PART WAS ABOUT TO FAIL ON THE DASH PANEL.

I WAS STRANDED FOR SOMETIME TRYING TO FIND A WAY HOME. DUE TO BEING IN A PARKING GARAGE I HAD TO LEAVE MY CAR THERE FOR SEVERAL DAYS SINCE TOW TRUCKS DID NOT HAVE THE CLEARANCE TO ENTER THE GARAGE. AFTER DOING FURTHER RESEARCH INTO THE ISSUE I HAVE COME TO SEE THAT MULTIPLE PEOPLE HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS SAME EXACT PROBLEM. A VERY DISTURBING FACTOR SINCE NISSAN IS AWARE OF THE PROBLEM. THEY HAVE ISSUED AN EXTENDED WARRANTY FOR THIS SPECIFIC PROBLEM. HOWEVER, I HAVE BEEN WITHOUT MY CAR NOW FOR A MONTH AS I CANNOT AFFORD THE REPAIRS, AND AT WAR WITH NISSAN FROM DAY 1. THEY ARE STILL REFUSING TO REPAIR MY CAR INDICATING THAT IT FALLS OUTSIDE OF THE WARRANTY EXTENSION PERIOD. THIS IS VERY INTERESTING CONSIDERING THAT THERE IS A DETAILED LETTER EXPLAINING THE WARRANTY AND THE EXTENSION DATE. THE LETTER CLEARLY STATES THAT:

"Nissan has decided to extend the Nissan New Vehicle Limited Warranty, as it applies to the ESCL unit, from 3 years / 36,000 miles to 6 years / unlimited miles, whichever comes first."

DOING SOME BASIC MATH IT SHOWS THAT 6 YEARS FROM 2009 WOULD BE 2015 NOT 2014 SO I AM STILL NOT CERTAIN AS TO HOW I AM OUTSIDE OF THE WARRANTY PERIOD. SEEING AS HOW MY CLAIM WAS ORIGINALLY FILED IN 2014 THIS SHOULD MAKE ME ELIGIBLE FOR REPAIRS UNDER THE COVERED WARRANTY. I AM STILL GOING DOING BATTLE WITH NISSAN BUT HOPEFULLY THEY CORRECT THE ISSUE OR THE NEXT STEP IS COURT.

FOR ALL THOSE INTERESTED IN VIEWING THIS LETTER IN THE EVENT YOU FILED A COMPLAINT BEFORE THE 2015 TIME MARK PLEASE VISIT: http://www.nissanassist.com/web/ESCL_Warranty_Extension/ProgramDetails.php?menu=61

- , Detroit, MI, USA

problem #45

Dec 182014

Altima 2.5SL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,654 miles

I was told at dealership that this has been noted as a problem and Nissan extend warranties due to the issue. However this happened after it had expired. Nissan is aware of the issue however due to the timing good for them but diva sting for our family!! I thought I bought a car that was dependable and was wrong. Merry Christmas Nissan!! $1364 really!!!

- , Bentonville, AR, USA

problem #44

Dec 152014

Altima 2.5S 4L

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,024 miles

Well - I had to tow the car to the dealer to find out that nissan knew about this, extended the warranty, but did not think being unable to start the cat worthy of a recall.

I could open the car and get in (key was working, and I tried even "in" the keyport just in case key battery may be low), I could turn on the lights (battery was working) but I had two warning lights on the board - red key in the car icon and the yellow key icon. Push the button and nothing happens.

The dealer was super nice and replaced the ESCL piece for free, but they could not pick me up and I had to call Geico to tow me and that will again raise my insurance premium. After this end of a work day when I just wanted to go home and after finding out that Nissan knew about this before me I don't think I will ever... lest I forget... well... let's just say I liked my Altima a lot. Let's see what Nissan knows that I did not find out yet, I saw some news about settling a lawsuit for defect brakes just now for a few millions... I think I got a letter from them, but thought it did not apply to me since it said I should not do anything.

How can this still happen? I was very fortunate about my circumstances, but I see now that others have not

I hope you are not in the same mood I was in, but just in case this is happening to you know... maybe you are lucky and not in the middle of nowhere or just before Xmas or in a rush to get anywhere, 'cause even if Nissan pays for the fix you still need a ride, a rental, a tow truck and/or and/or roadside assistance.

Check http://www.nissanassist.com/web/ESCL_Warranty_Extension/index.php?menu=69 for the whole way Nissan envisioned this unique moment in your life when your car does not start.

- , Milford, Connecticut, USA

problem #43

Sep 302014

Altima ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

Went to leave work & the car won't start. Brake won't depress. Car doors will lock/unlock. Lights will come on. We removed the battery to reset any codes, that didn't work. Battery in the key FOB replaced, that didn't fix the issue. The dash blinks & knows there is a key in the car. Remote starter will start the car, but the ignition will not switch out of the LOCK position... It acts like ignition failure. It appears a lot of people are having the same issue... Why isn't there a recall?? Bang on the steer modular - what is that???

- , Maybrook, NY, USA

problem #42

Aug 202014

Altima SS 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

My 2009 Altima. When I first bought it I loved it. It had like pull once in a while, like it would not catch up. But then I had this no key problem, where the car would lock the brakes and shifter. It will not let me start the car because it would say no key. I don't know why. I replaced the battery in the key fob and also disconnected the battery from the vehicle to no avail.

I'm a single girl in collage, so this was so stressful and depressing. I would have to ask for rides and till now I can't get it fixed I have to walk everywhere. I don't have the money to take it to a dealer. I need to tow it to the Nissan dealership and I'm not going to so my car is in my driveway just dying lol I'm dying without it. I hate being a girl and not know how to fix stupid stuff like this

- , Red Oak, TX, USA

problem #41

Aug 182014

Altima Z 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

My car won't start even after changing the battery in the remote and car... Only the key light was flashing on the dash and the brakes where stiff........... I was stuck in the hot sun with my baby. This was ridiculous..............

- , Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas

problem #40

Nov 242014

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

The car won't start. Both the key fobs (intelligent) don't seem to work. I can open the car doors, etc but the car won't start.

- , El Dorado Hills, California, USA

problem #39

Aug 042014

Altima 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Had the same issue of lights, radio, door locks working but car would not start. Drove to work, ran errands at lunch, no problems whatsoever. 2 hours later, got into car, AC blows...lights and radio come on, but car would not crank!! The shoe on brake picture is showing on my dash along with the car and key symbol. Had battery checked...no battery problem. Changed battery in key fob....car still won't crank. My brake light will not illuminate once the pedal is pressed.

Like the other complaints, I am thinking either ignition switch lock problem or brake switch problem...either way the car will not start without them because it has push button start. I called Nissan America Hotline 1-800-647-7261 with Vin # handy. Although there is no recall, the CSR stated that if the vehicle is diagnosed with the ignition switch failure that Nissan will replace it for free under the ESCL extended warranty program.

Car is getting towed to dealer as we speak! Will update as soon as I have a diagnosis. I can say that I was a Honda fan who always admired Nissan vehicles but now after this scary ordeal...I am rethinking my line of vehicles. I just hope no one else has to go thru the fear of being stranded and engine won't start.

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #38

Jun 032014

Altima LS 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Add me to the list. The Altima is perfectly fine in every way except that the car won't start when you press the start button. It has a new car battery, new battery in the key fob, all electronics function except that it won't start. This clearly merits a recall! The impact is that the car cannot be driven, period, without spending an average of $1,000 on replacing the defective part.

As others have noted, Nissan identified its own problem and made changes in more recent models. So why hasn't this been the subject of a recall?

- , Folsom, CA, USA

problem #37

Jun 222014

Altima SL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,200 miles

Key/security alert or brake light is on, brakes freeze up and the car won't start. This is the second time I've had this issue. The first was 2 1/2 yes ago when the car had 32,000 miles. I replaced the battery and it's worked fairly well the last couple of years but occasionally needs a jump to start it. The sunroof, windows and radio work but the thing just won't start. It takes a jump and then runs fine until you turn off the engine. That's why I thought something was just sucking the life out of the battery.

My son read some fixes on this website so banged on the steering column and down by the brakes then unhooked the new replacement battery (installed a week ago) hooked it back up and it now starts again.

I'm going to call the numbers I saw listed here, not that I think Nissan will do anything but the complaint needs to go on file.

- , Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #36

Jun 192014

Altima LX 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Went into store, came out and car won't start. Left car overnight, borrowed another to get to work and now stranded for the weekend at work.

- , Tewksbury, MA, USA

problem #35

Jul 052014

Altima

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

You can add me to the list as well. Went out to local convenience store. Came out, car would not start. Got my wife to bring me the second key fob. I replaced batteries in both key fobs (not necessary). I was able to lock and unlock the door locks and trunk but that was it. Little "Key" symbol was lit on dashboard. Ignition switch would not move from lock to "On" position. Could not jump start car either. Car was totally immobilized. I left it parked on borough street all night. Next day had it towed to Nissan Dealer where it sat all night since it was a Sunday. Through the help of this website and NissanAssist, I determined that the problem was the Electronic Steering Column Lock (ESCL). The next day, they replaced the entire Lock Module & Ignition Switch Assy in 2 hours. They didn't charge me anything at all since Nissan has given a Warranty extension for this problem. It's a very annoying problem and Nissan should have had a general recall for 2009 Altimas.

It could leave you stranded when you least expected maybe in a city location or somewhere isolated. Fortunately, for me it was in my own town.

- , Haddon Heights, NJ, USA

problem #34

Dec 132013

Altima 3.5 V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,099 miles

Woke up Friday for my daily work commute, low and behold car would not start. It's as if intelligent key was rendered useless. Towed vehicle to local shop and waited a day for a diagnostic. While conducting independent research I found out that there is an extended warranty to all 2009 Nissan Altima's with Electronic Steering Column Lock (ESCL) issue. And from what I've read on this website this applies to 99.99% of people experiencing this issue.

Nissan will extend its new vehicle limited warranty coverage for the affected part numbers from its original duration of 36 months/ 36,000 miles to 72 months/unlimited miles. All other warranty terms, conditions and limitations otherwise remain unchanged and continue to apply.

Contact Nissan Consumer Affairs at 1-855-619-8190 and confirm your VIN to see if your vehicle is eligible.

Good luck and hope this helps!

- , Whitby, Ontario, canada

problem #33

Dec 052013

Altima SL V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

Totally freaking pissed!!! Wife tried to take kids to school one morning and car wouldn't start. Doors would unlock with intelligent key but wouldn't start car. She tried everything, so no car to take kids to school. After much research we discovered the problem with the steering lock failure. We couldn't believe all the people having the exact same problems with their car. We did try the removing of the casing under the steering wheel and banging on lock until it disengaged. This actually worked for a couple days. In the meantime Nissan says that they know nothing of the problem and have car towed in we'll look at it for you. For $200!!!!

You gotta be kidding I'm telling you what the problem is. Oh by the way car is dead again, won't start and don't have the hundreds of dollars to fix. If Nissan knew this piece was faulty, which they did because they stopped putting it in the 2010, NISSAN NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!!!

- , Martinez, CA, USA

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