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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Jan 242013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles


The steering wheel lock malfunctioned stranding my in a parking lot without any warning. The automatic lock mechanism locked the wheel and did not allow even allow me to start the car. When looking this up this is a very well known problem for several different Nissan models. In fact the exact same part as already been recalled on two different models. Apparently there has not been enough complaints on the Maxima for them to find this an issue forcing them to address it like there were with the others. I called Nissan and they agree that the exact same part was recalled due to safety concerns but not on the 2009 Maxima because the government has not made to recall it yet. So I just got stuck with a 1000 bill by the dealer to fix an unnecessary steering wheel lock column which is known to be faulty and has been recalled but not yet in this exact model. This is outrageous. This needs to be addressed soon.

- West Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #30

Dec 232012


  • 37,600 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The test results showed a faulty steering lock unit which caused the failure. The dealer replaced the steering lock unit. The failure mileage was 37,600.

- Washington D.C., DC, USA

problem #29

Jan 082013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
On the morning of 1/8/13 I drove my 2009 Nissan Maxima to my commuter parking lot, and realized that I didn't completely park in my space after turning the car off. I proceeded to start my car with the push stop/start but nothing happened. As soon as I realized my vehicle wouldn't start, I became very upset because I just purchased the vehicle last January and only had a powertrain warranty that was still active. I immediately contacted the service department of the Nissan dealership I purchased the vehicle from and complained, while crying lemon law. The service technician attempted to help me start the vehicle while over the phone and after realizing what the issue may be, he explained that there is a common issue with the 2009 Nissan Maxima's that he believes the computer module in the steering column had gone bad. I asked if Nissan had recalled that part since it was a common issue, his answer was no and informed me it's going to cost around $750 just to purchase the part, and with labor around $900-$1000 to repair. I said if this is a common issue with my model, then why didn't Nissan recall that part. The service technician had no explanation other than mentioning, it hasn't happened to enough people yet which I feel is completely absurd! this is a huge safety issue as my vehicle wouldn't start without any indication, or warning beforehand. Please help!

- Tobyhanna, PA, USA

problem #28

Jan 062013


  • 57,250 miles


The steering column locked up and would not start the car. The electric lock failed to unlock sending error message to the BCM. The car completely locked up and would not start. There was no warning this would happen. It is my understanding that Nissan knows this component is a problem and even recalled it on other models, but not on the Maxima. Its an exteremely expensive fix and should be recalled if they know it is a problem. I got stranded in bitter cold temperatures with a 2 month old baby. This part needs to be recalled.

- Midvale, UT, USA

problem #27

Dec 192012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 20,768 miles
I parked my car, to pick up something from the store, and when I came back to start my car, it would not start. I checked on and saw that this is a common problem, because of the steering wheel lock. I had to get my car towed, because I was stranded, and now waiting for the diagnosis for the issue, from Nissan repair shop.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #26

Dec 202012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 33,022 miles
Steering/brake lock failed to disengage with attempted engine start up. Key indicator light and security lights flashing on dash. Steering lock required replacement after car was towed to nearest Nissan dealership. This repair was not covered under warranty which had expired 7 month earlier. On line research would suggest this is a fairly common occurrence; a Nissan service bulletin has apparently be published for this issue as it was referenced by the service department providing the repair.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #25

Mar 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles


Steering component - telescope and tilt function: 1. the steering column telescoping function stopped working and can no longer be adjusted leaving the steering wheel in a locked position. Potential for injury if the steering wheel cannot be moved far enough away from the driver if the air bag deploys during a frontal crash. 2. steering wheel tilt function stopped working and can no longer be adjusted leaving the steering wheel in a locked position. This also poses a potential for injury if the steering wheel cannot be adjusted up or down to properly accommodate the driver if the air bag deploys during a frontal crash.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #24

Dec 172012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 46,500 miles
On December 17, 2012 I had driven from my house to the gym. There was no issue with my car and when I went to leave my car would not start. My Nissan Maxima has a push start ignition and when I pushed the button nothing happened. In the display it kept indicating the yellow key light and the red key security light. I had the car towed to the local Nissan dealer who told me the steering lock assembly had failed. If I wanted this fixed it was going to cost me $800. I asked the service department if this was a common failure at the mileage the car was at and I was told it was not common. Researching the problem it seems that this issue occurs regularly for a 2009 Nissan Maxima around this mileage range. I was told the warranty does to cover this and it had expired a year earlier. I believe if this is a common problem then it should be a recall item.

- Danville, NH, USA

problem #23

Dec 112012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Steering wheel lock/ignition part failed just out of warranty. Part# 48700-9N00B.

- Granger, IN, USA

problem #22

Dec 122012


  • 39,000 miles
The steering wheel lock issue is leaving Maximas stranded unable to start the car with these symptoms. What happens is when you try to start the car, without warning, the electric lock fails to unlock sending error message to the BCM. The car will not start in this case and will flash the intelligent key warning in the cluster. This is a known common problem with this model and a $1000 repair. It is obviously a design flaw. This should be a recall.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #21

Nov 252012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


I bought a 2009 brand new Nissan Maxima so I wouldn't have car issues for at least 4 or 5 yrs. 3 1/2 years later my stupid car left me stranded. I was dropping off movies (in & out) middle of the day with all my windows down when all of a sudden it wouldn't start. I noticed a yellow key light /symbol was on (left side) at first didn't worry called aaa they tried everything the manual said to do. With no luck called Nissan they said it sounds like its not recognizing the key and I had to tow it over. Now dealer says it has a internal failure in the steering lock assembly needs to be replaced. (fault code B2612) totaling $800 w/ labor. I declined service and to top it off my windows are stuck. (down) I'm mad/pist/frustrated don't think its fair that I have to pay $800 to start my car 3 1/2 year old car. Came home to get other quotes and complaints hoping someone else can help me. I found out I'm not the only one with this problem there's alot of Maxima owners with the exact same issue. My mileage was getting close to 30,000 and that's when this problem seems to happen. Nissan is eliminating steering lock 2010 models. Im very disappointed with Nissan thinking of trading in car don't want to deal with these kind of issues again. Someone please help!! not fair!!

- Costa Mesa , CA, USA

problem #20

Sep 202012


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact started the ignition, and noticed that the automatic tilt steering wheel locked in the lowest downward position and would not maneuver out of the adjusted setting after several attempts. The steering wheel malfunction caused difficulty whenever driving. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defective steering wheel tilt motor. The approximate failure mileage was 61,000.

- Oxford, MS, USA

problem #19

Oct 082012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 48,200 miles
Power tilt started moving and grinding on it own and stopped when the gears stripped out in the down position. The tilt motor has failed.

- Colonial Heights, VA, USA

problem #18

Jun 182012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 24,577 miles
We bought our Maxima brandnew in July of 2009. Loved everything about until this past June of 2012. Our first problem was some clitching electrical wiring. The outside mirrors wouldn't move up and down when we put the car in reverse. This would happen off and on while we took our trip out of town in June. After we came back my husband made a appointment to get it checked out, but because the outside mirrors were working again we just let it be and didn't follow up with the Nissan service department. In July of 2012 I was sitting in my parked car when I was ready to leave, I started my car only to hear this awful sort of grinding noise. I had a tow company come to tell that my battery was "dead". which I was surprised, because my car is just 3 years old and I only had 24577 miles on it. The towing company charged my battery for me to make it across the street to autozone, where I got a new battery. I remember the last time when I brought in the car for service, the lady was telling me that I needed to drive my car more often due to the battery being "low". which I thought was strange, I mean how inconvenient is that to have to drive you're car every day, because if you don't the battery just "dies" on you"! my last incident with my car happened this past Monday 09/17/2012 when I turn my car off, suddenly I hear again this awful grinding noise coming from the panel. Come to find out after I called the Nissan dealer that it was the steering column and that the motor need to be replaced and this is happening 2 months after my warranty ran out! I called Nissan dealer, they told me to bring it in. Seeing my car is 3 years me it should be a recall factory issue! and I shouldn't have to pay for it! they say this is a common problem" I don't think so! Nissan need to make this steering column a recall issue! because it is a dangerous defect.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #17

Sep 142012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 44,350 miles
The vehicle wouldn't start. 3 days later we found out that the vehicle is not starting because of the steering lock control unit. Dealer continues to argue that this part is not covered under the warranty. Based upon information found on the internet this is a frequent issue with the Nissan murano, Altima, and Maxima.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #16

Aug 102012


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. While parked, the contact attempted to adjust the steering wheel and was unable to because the steering column remained locked. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician advised that the motors in the steering column would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 46,000.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #15

Aug 172012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
We noticed a strange noise when we started our 2009 Nissan Maxima and realized it was the steering column making the noise and that it was having trouble going up and down. It would just keep trying to move until you hit the button on the side of the steering column. (the button where you adjust how you want your steering wheel.) within that day, the steering column tilt quit working. When we brought it in to the dealership we were told that the steering wheel tilt motor needed to be replaced. I was told that there are no recalls issued on this and we are out of warranty. The dealership said the only thing we can do is call Nissan and see if they will pay or split the cost of this repair as I pointed out that there seems to be numerous occurrences of this type of steering column failure. At this point I have called Nissan and have been issued a case number. We have paid for the repairs but are hopeful that Nissan accept at least partial responsibility and refund us some of the repairs...

- Chaska, MN, USA

problem #14

Aug 052012


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph the steering column failed, causing the contact to lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis. The contact was informed that the telescopic motor would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified, but offered little assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 33,000.

- Temple Hills, MD, USA

problem #13

Jul 142012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 33,500 miles
After starting my car I heard a loud grinding/whining noise coming from the steering wheel. The automatic tilt/telescopic steering wheel was stuck in the up position and failed to lower to the memory set position. The loud and distracting noise would happen every time I started the car and only stopped after manually trying to adjust the steering wheel, which did not work. The steering wheel is stuck in a position that so that I cannot see the gauges or speedometer properly which is dangerous when driving. After doing some research I have found this to be a common problem and Nissan should issue a recall to fix this dangerous defect.

- Centereach, NY, USA

problem #12

Jul 072012


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that upon entering the vehicle, the steering wheel was in a locked position and would not unlock. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnosis. The dealer stated that they needed to replace the gear box motor. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 36,000 and the current mileage was 47,000.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

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