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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,829 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #111

Jan 112016


  • 24,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. When the contact arrived home and turned off the vehicle, the steering wheel did not lock into position. The contact stated that the steering wheel would not move. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 24,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #110

Jan 082016


  • 83,000 miles
The steering lock control on the vehicle failed causing the car to become disabled. The steering wheel would not turn and was locked in place, additionally the vehicle was stalled and would not restart. Fortunately the incident occurred in a parking lot had the steering lock control failed while driving a significant accident would have likely occurred as the driver would have lost steering control. The car had to be towed to the Nissan service shop for a repair costing nearly $1000. This was a known safety issue for Nissan as they extended the warranty for this part however my vehicle's control unit failed after the warranty expired. After online research I discovered many other Nissan owners have suffered the same safety failure on their vehicles. It is an obvious manufacturer safety defect that needs to be recalled.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #109

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 #108

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 #107

Feb 122016


  • 94,000 miles
The steering control module has failed, and will not allow the vehicle to start. Seems to be very common issue, and the same part and part number has been recalled on there other model cars, but not with this vehicle, when this part fail it will leave you stranded and not be able to start the car with the steering wheel possibly locked in place.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #106

Jan 242016


  • 71,162 miles
Steering lock actuator failure. The car would not start. Had to have it towed to a Nissan dealership and the part replaced for $1,330

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #105

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 #104

Jan 082016


  • 114,000 miles
Steering wheel lock - ignition lock assembly failure. I purchased my 2009 Nissan MA xima in Nov 2012 and my car has been running pretty good until the dreaded day when I was stranded because my car would not start. I had my car towed and I was told that thevsteeringbwheel lock assembly needed to be replaced $1189. I don't know about you, but im not made out of money. After a little research I discovered that this problem has been happening since 09. This is outrageous and Nissan should have owned up and fixed this problem along time ago. This is unacceptable and there should be a recall and not just a bulletin. There is a problem and nissa needs to fix there wrong, instead selling cars knowing that there is a problem. A recall needs to be issued and Nissan needs to do the repairs immediately with no charge to their customers.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #103

Mar 102015


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the security warning light illuminated intermittently causing the vehicle not to start. The vehicle was towed numerous times due to the vehicle being unable to start. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock control unit needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 84,000.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #102

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 #101

Jan 032016


  • 121,000 miles


Key indicator lock light came on. Car would not start completely disabled. Did research to see if others have had same problem on youtube and this site to find that multiple people have had same issue. Had vehicle towed to dealership $1,100 estimate!!!

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #100

Jan 012016


  • miles
I pulled into my mother's driveway stopped the car to run into the house for about an hour. Went back to start the car and it wouldn't start. The yellow key indicator light came on as if it wasn't recognizing my I-key. Was told by Nissan dealer this was steering lock malfunction common in the vehicles. Was given a quote of $900 not including towing. Contacted Consumer Affairs upon seeing that this was a common issue to insure I wasn't covered by any warranty etc. No was the answer to that. I find it disturbing that Nissan is aware of this issue and is ok with leaving consumers stranded in possibly undesirable or unsafe situations. I am a 2nd time Nissan owner but after how this is being handled this will be my last Nissan vehicle. I was told to take the vehicle to Nissan for diagnostic because a case could be opened by Consumer Affairs to possible assist with the payment but they only assist more reliable customers, which they didn't feel I was since I hadn't been going to Nissan for my services. I purchased this car second hand and was not under warranty. I went more cost efficient routes for servicing as the one time I tried to contact them for assistance in the past staff was rude. I just can't believe I am left int his position for a know issue with no assistance from the company.

- Paducah, KY, USA

problem #99

Dec 062015


  • 57,000 miles
Upon successfully unlocking the car, the push ignition failed to respond and the car would not start. The keyfob was able to lock and unlock the car, even set off the panic alarm but pressing the ignition button would not move the car out of "lock" position. The car had been parked for about 1.5 hrs before having been driven several miles. Upon diagnosis by a licensed mechanic, the electronic steering lock module was found to have failed. On further online research, it was learned that this part is susceptible to failure and it is common to find many 2009 Nissan owners of several models (Altima, Maxima, 370Z) to have had this problem, within and outside of warranty.

- Sandy Hook, CT, USA

problem #98

Dec 172015


  • 74,000 miles
While traveling West on the pa turnpike, my steering wheel just dropped to the lowest position!! scared the hell out of me. I ended up getting the car to the shoulder of the road. I was able to get the steering position up at little to stay and lock. Drove the car back to my local Nissan dealership to tell me that the motor for the steering wheel tilt and/or telescopic needs replaced!! what a freaking nightmare...$800 plus dollars for repairs plus tax!! what a crock of bull!! I see that this is happening to a lot of Nissan owners!! why isnt the government doing anything!! not until somebody has a fatality accident!!

- New Salem, PA, USA

problem #97

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 #96

Dec 082015


  • 65,000 miles
Car was parked. Car will not start steering locked

- Hudson, FL, USA

problem #95

Nov 232015


  • 85,000 miles
I was stranded at work due to my steering wheel locking device would not unlock. Nothing we tried worked. Had my car towed to dealership to find out that this is a major issue with other owners. No recall on this safety issue at this time. Nissan gave an extended warranty instead but did not make all owners aware. I was never notified of this issue. Dealership repaired the device and I have a bill for $906 that is not covered under warranty because it expired June 2015.

- Bessemer City, NC, USA

problem #94

Nov 212015


  • miles
Takata recall this whole steering lock situation is an absolute outrage. Apparently Nissan does not feel they are responsible for paying or replacing this defect. I know they've lost my business. I feel as well as many others this should be a recall. I am not the only person who has complained or had this problem. It is hundreds of dollars to fix and after reading there are tons of cases identical to mine. I had to leave my car unattended at our local jcpenney's for two days and two nights because the vehicle completely locked up.

- Hutchinson, KS, USA

problem #93

Nov 142015


  • 0 miles
Unable to start car due to streering is locked. No power to turn on any accessories.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #92

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

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