Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: We don't recommend the 2009 Maxima nearly as highly as the 2007-2008 Maxima, because NHTSA complaints show a pattern of the steering lock module failing.

When the module fails it prevents the car from starting, & Nissan dealers charge over $1,000 (!!) to repair it. Nissan recalled the module on some other 2009 models with the same steering lock problem, but for some reason they left out the 2009 Maxima.

If you're thinking about buying a 2009 Maxima, instead consider a 2007-2008, or 2010 (or newer).


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,329 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 Maxima electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #62

Jun 132016


  • miles


My 2009 Nissan Maxima is no longer starting and the brake and steering wheel have locked. It does not recognize that I have a key even though I do. Any attempt to start the vehicle results in a sporadic tick tick or screeching type noise for lack of a better word.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #61

May 092016


  • 88,000 miles
Escl part is defective. Makes car completely inoperable. Manufacturer knows original part is defective but no recall. Extended warranty has expired and now part cost has doubled. Part was $380 but now is $680 with a slightly different part number. Cost doubled after warranty expired!

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #60

Mar 172016


  • 109,600 miles
Steering lock box repair. Extended warranty was issued & needs to be extended indefinitely. This is a manufacturer defect. Consumers will experience this inconvenience at different lifecycles of the vehicle & should be given the same reimbursements/courtesy as other 2009 Nissan Maxima or Altima owners.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #59

Feb 202016


  • miles


Electronic steering column lock. 41.4 K miles on car. Parked car, went to start, key light went on and the car was immobilized. Towed to dealership, filed a report with Nissan. Warranty extension specific to this issue no longer available by 6 months. $1,071 repair denied by Nissan because it was out of warranty. Could have been major safety issue if I was stuck in a remote location.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #58

Feb 112016


  • 53,000 miles
Stranded twice car will not start because of steering lock module not releasing allowing the car to start.

- Erlanger, KY, USA

problem #57

Feb 042016


  • 71,000 miles
The steering wheel lock unit failed making the car not start leaving my wife stranded at a convenience store on a cold night. Nissan knows this is a widespread problem but is still letting its customers foot the $1000 bill for their poor design. It is a safety problem when it leaves my wife stranded!

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #56

Jan 312016


  • 75,000 miles


Luckily in the driveway after loading car for food bank delivery, I tried to start but no light asking to press foot on brake to start came on was my first clue something was wrong. Key locks/unlocks/open trunk/alarm works but will not start engine. "key warning light" comes on. Tried both keys but nothing. Disconnected/reconnected battery without success. Steering wheel is unlocked. Insert fob to try & start manually but nothing. My neighbor is a local mechanic & came over to help. Stumped him so I guess I will be calling to get a tow to dealership in the morning after unloading food bank donations! after reading several hundred complaints about this issue in just a matter of few minutes, I am sure there are hundreds of thousand Nissan unsatisfied customers who have had to deal with this. Step up Nissan & do the right thing. I do not have $1000 to fix this problem. We also have an Altima so wondering when that will go too. No more Nissan for us!

- Jamison, PA, USA

problem #55

Jan 132016


  • 108,000 miles
I was never notified that my 2009 Nissan Maxima has a malfunction called steering wheel lock failure. My car was on a city street when it would not start, it would not recognize my keys fob, and I was not able to start the car with the push to start button. Nothing happened. Nothing on the dashboard would show. I had my car towed to the Nissan dealership and this malfunction is costing me a lot of money. I did some research and this malfunction is something that a lot of people have complained about and I don't understand why this is not something that would be a recall. If this was a recall, then I never received a recall letter because I would have got this fixed a lot sooner before it happened to me.

- Ridgefield Park, NJ, USA

problem #54

Jan 042016


  • 107,000 miles
When trying to start the car, it fails to start. Steering has failed, not allowing the car to start. This issue has appeared twice on my car in 7 days. Thanks to I have been able to limp my way. I took the car to my local Nissan dealer, and the diagnosis was determined that steering lock has failed. They told me that that with parts and labor it would be $1,500. I researched this issue online and found pages and pages of online forums with people complaining about this issue. I called 1-800-Nissan they reviewed the case and offered me nothing in return. Nissan knows this is an issue; it should be a recall; however, they are doing nothing to rectify the problem. Nissan please fix this problem.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #53

Dec 072015


  • 11,100 miles
Got off of work and I tried to crank my car and it wouldn't start. The key symbol was on but that's I got it towed to local mechanic through my insurance and I payed 35. They couldn't find the problem so I had to get it towed the car lot where I bougjt it from and it cost me $125. I've since did research and it seems that a lot of people has having the same problem and paying over $1, 000 out of iam waiting for my leinholder to tell me I owe them $1, 000. I really like my 2009 Nissan Maxima but I will not buy another one

- Piedmont, AL, USA

problem #52

Nov 112015


  • 62,000 miles


I was driving along a highway at 50 mph. When the steering wheel suddenly fell to my knees. This car has a retractable steering system. I was able to steer the car safely to the side of the road. I did not drive the car. The steering wheel was then able to be pushed back into the driving position. I brought the car to the dealership today, and they told me that the two electric motors in the steering column were defective (had to be replace) the cost woulkd be $2,000. The car has just 60,000 miles.

- Stoughton, MA, USA

problem #51

Oct 052015


  • miles
The steering column is lock and the car won't start using the intelligent key system. This was a problem with many car owners and Nissan issued an extended warranty which allowed for owners to have their car repaired if this issue happened within the warranty period. I purchased my car used and didn't experience this problem until after the extended warranty expired. I feel Nissan should have recalled all cars of this model to correct a problem that is clearly due to poor manufacturing. The recall would have costed more money, but it's the right thing to do.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #50

Jul 192015


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that after parking, the vehicle did not register that the key was in the ignition. The vehicle had to be towed to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the gear lock module malfunctioned and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 109,000.

- Carteret, NJ, USA

problem #49

Aug 312009


  • 500 miles
When I am driving the car, with a passenger in the front passenger seat, air bag not on sign will illuminate. This happens on a daily basis. I never took it in and it still happens now. It became oblivious to me because I didn't make time to have the problem corrected, seat belts are fastened and the light still comes on. There are times when the radio completely dies and in a hurricane situations we rely on the radio for weather and highway condition updates. This is a current problem.

- Vacaville , CA, USA

problem #48

May 152015


  • miles
I attempted to start my car as I left work one afternoon and it would not start. The push start button was in the lock mode and the picture in the dash indicated that my wheel was locked, while my ant-theft light flashed continuously. I made several different attempts for hours to unlock the steering collar myself and start my car, only to fail over and over again which lead to me having it towed to a local Nissan dealership, the next day. The dealership ran a diagnostic test on the car and told me that I needed a new steering lock box, which typically does not go out on cars like mine (2009 Nissan Maxima). This seems to be a manufacture defect but I am being charged at least $1000 to fix this problem, with no fault of my own. Will you assist me in resolving this problem?

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #47

Apr 172015


  • 209,057 miles
Came out to my car; car wouldn't start. Push start/stop button in "lock" mode; key light indicator flashed; anti-theft light in "steady" mode. Called niss. Roadside asst. To be told that it would be $82 for towing to the nearest dealership after only wanting help with battery testing. I put the towing on hold. Called the nearest niss. Dealership directly. Was told that it may be the key fob batteries. My daughter and I walked home for close asst. To drive to niss. For new key fob batteries. Returned back to my car to test the key fob with no luck. Doors lcked/unlcked, windows let down; didn't let back up; it was raining! used my own jumper cables for battery testing. Not the battery! lights worked. My battery was brand new and recently purchased. Contacted my ins. For overnight tow to Nissan. Researched on the issue and came to the steering column unit failing often. Nissan ext. Warranty is 6 yrs/unl. Mileage; was relieved. Nissan worked on my car from 7:21A to 3:40P. Told me the steering column unit was out of warranty last yr. Only had the car for 5yrs! took Nissan 5hrs for a diagnostics on my car saying my battery was dead; need to swap it out with theirs to run the test. My battery was brand new! 1hr. Later, diagnosed as faulty steering column module. Contacted niss. Consumer Affairs and escalated to regional. Niss. Gave me a price of $1071 to fix. Told Nissan I would try to fix the module myself and have it towed to where I originally bought my battery due to existing warranty. However, towing was too expensive and fixing it myself would prb not work. Spoke with service mgr. Who said they could charge me for swapping out batteries but will only charge me $1027.98. Total ripoff and Nissan lied about my battery results. Took it to my orig. Shop; ran the battery; was in good condition and fully charged! want a full refund; should be a recall!!!! lost a customer!!!!

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #46

Apr 022015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 75,600 miles
Car does not start. Difficult time getting into the car while using my key fob. When I push the ignition button there is no nose and no lights. Tried jumping the car for 15 minutes with no success. I was told by the Nissan dealership mechanic that it is the steering lock system. This is going to cost me for towing and labor and parts. Money I do not have. Reading up on this problem tells me that there should have been a recall.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #45

Feb 192015


  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and all the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the steering lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 133,000.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #44

Feb 102015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
I get in my car by opening the doors with my intelligent key (in other words, the battery isn't dead). Once inside the car, the key light blinks on even though I had the key in my hand. I can't start the car or even press the brake in, the car won't go into acc mode because it doesn't detect the key (again, I'm able to lock, unlock doors, open hood and even sound off the alarm through the same intelligent key..?).I put the fob into the slot and it flashes to eject my car will not start and my windows are stuck down...I went to get my other key fob and still doesn't read the my car is stuck and I can not drive it...soooo what I have tried to do was beating on the steering column, making it tilt and all over N over and nothing... unplugging the battery for over 30 minutes in hopes of 'restarting' the alarm system putting in the intelligent key into the slot where the key goes (off the left side of the steering wheel)..still key light blinks indicating I need a looking this up there are alot others with this problem with a 09-10 Nissan Maxima and the gtr has same issue and a recall was done on can we please get a recall on the 09 Nissan Maxima so this can be solved for myself and others?

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #43

Dec 222014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
I was at the gas station getting gas. When I went to try and start it up the car ignition remains in the lock position. The car will not do anything. In the far left console the key symbol remains lit on the dash board. The key remains lit on the dashboard. I have been reading different forums and it said that it is the steering wheel lock. My car will not start at all and I even changed my battery out.

- Little Elm, TX, USA

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