Notes: The 2004-2006 Nissan Maxima has widespread transmission problems. It starts with the vehicle jerking when shifting, & progresses to full-blown transmission failure.

Maxima owners report spending $3,000 to replace the transmission, typically around when the odometer hits 100,000 miles.

There's a class action lawsuit filed in late 2011, & it is still in the "discovery" stage. Apparently, these things take time ... far too much time.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,278 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.

2004 Nissan Maxima body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Oct 302014


  • miles


I'm experiencing the same as everyone else with the 02-06 Nissan. My floor boards are rusting out and these complaints are all over the internet. I'm amazed that this can be ignored

- Clover, SC, USA

problem #25

Apr 292015


  • 138,000 miles
The floor panel on the passenger side is rotten through and it fail the safety inspection. I am disabled and can not get under the car to take photos.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #24

Apr 292016


  • 138,000 miles
Rust in the floor board on the passenger side. It fail the state of nh safety inspection. This should not happen, my teachers showed that the Nissan Altima had the same problems.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #23

Dec 292015


  • miles


Drivers side floor pan rusted from the inside out with the rust radiating from a drain plug. Floor pan design allows water to pool internally and rust from the inside out.

- East Norriton, PA, USA

problem #22

Jan 312015


  • miles
I took my car in for an inspection, found out that the floor on the passenger side had rusted from the inside out and there was a good size hole. It cost me a couple hundred to fix because it wouldn't pass the inspection. The next thing was the slack timing chain, the car sounds like a truck. I've been told it would cost up to $3000 to fix. Then the biggest safety issue is the transmission, this one is really concerning. The jerking, bucking, kicking, clanging, the seconds of hesitation between drive and reverse and then suddenly it engages and the kick could give you whiplash. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a rodeo. When the car sits for awhile (overnight) there is no issue with the initial start but once it warms up that's it. You can't accelerate properly once the car slows down, or is making a turn, going around a bend or comes to a stop because it drops out of gear, then there is the hesitation and at that point it just revs, this happens 2 or 3 times before it engages again then there is a massive bang and the car lunges forward, by then the traffic is right under your rear bumper. After this happens a few times there is no more acceleration, the pedal has to be pushed to the floor for the car to move. The engine light came on a month or two ago and hasn't gone off. This is a real dangerous, safety issue. A few days ago another issue appeared, I cannot open the driver side door with the remote door opener or the electronic door opener on the inside of the door. At this point I've read many complaints about these issues, they are all manufacture problems but the timing chain and transmission is the biggest when it comes to safety because you do not know when the car will stop. Why hasn't Nissan done a recall"???" there are enough complaints.

- Orlando, FL, USA

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problem #21

Oct 092015


  • 90,898 miles
Transmission jerks, slips while driving also banging sounds when you change gears this has been happening for awhile I had transmission fluid flushed, had the engine speed sensor replaced, now I was told I need transmission replaced 90,898 miles had to replace under car body because it rotted out

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #20

Dec 142015


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact discovered that the driver and passenger side floorboard of the vehicle was rusted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Brooklyn Park, MN, USA

problem #19

Jun 262015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,328 miles
I noticed a smell when I was driving a couple weeks ago, so I took my 2004 Nissan Maxima into a local mechanic that I trust on 6/26/15. After putting the car in the air, it took him two seconds to note the problem: The floor panels on the front passenger and driver side are completely rotting/rusting through from the inside out. You can see my carpet through the bottom of my car on the driver's side. Mind you, there is no history of flood damage to this car (I paid the $40 for a carfax to find out), and I live in Tennessee, where we do not get enough snow for salt to cause any damage. I've done an amazing job taking care of my car and am highly disappointed with this situation. I've also done my research and have noticed multiple complaints on this issue on the NHTSA website, so I know I'm just one of many 2004 Maxima owners with this problem. This problem is an immense safety hazard. I was told I might be able to drive my car safely for another month or two before I risk my seat falling forward with me if I brake too suddenly. With as many customers who have had this problem and the fact that the damage begins localized on both the driver and passenger sides, respectively, this appears to be a structural defect in the 2004 Maxima that needs to be corrected to ensure the continued safety of these cars' drivers.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #18

Jun 272015


  • miles
I just bought a 2004 Maxima on August 2014.just brought the car for a oil and the mechanic told me that a have a rotted floor panel an the passanger side.went on line and notice that I was not the only person with this problem.can you help? I dont feel safe in this vehicle.I have children and iam afraid that this can cause a accident.

- Southbridge, MA, USA

problem #17

Nov 082014


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While having the vehicle serviced, the technician noticed that the front passenger side floorboard was corroded. The floorboard was replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 89,000.

- Long Pond, PA, USA

problem #16

Aug 192014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


The underside of the car is rusting away, a hole about 12 by 12 inches and increasing beneath the passenger seat. It may fall through one day.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #15

Jan 102014


  • miles
Woke up to a horn steadily beeping, went to my window to see what was going on and I see flames shooting about 15 ft high and knew my neighbor's car was on fire, after the fire the owner told me he had not driven the car that day, and that it melted the dashboard and quickly destroyed interior and engine compartment of the car, there could have been fatalities or injuries as the car had a full gas tank, and luckily did not reach gas tank, but if it had there would have been major property damage to several homes, and many lives put at risk.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #14

Oct 222013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
While vehicle in for routine service, the technician pointed out significant rot to front passenger floor board on the undercarriage of the vehicle.

- Worcester , MA, USA

problem #13

Aug 142013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I have extensive rust through on both driver side and passenger front floor pans. It appears there was originally a double layer of metal and both layers are rusted with large holes in them. The car is beyond the five year rust through warranty but this really is severe and difficult to notice since it is under the car. The rust does not appear to be from the outside but appears to be from the inside out. I do not know what would cause the rust to begin from the inside but seems to be a design defect to me. I will take this up with Nissan as I bought the car new, but I doubt they will offer to stand behind this, since this is extremely dangerous as it is possible for fumes or road debris to come through the carpet and into the passenger compartment. I am not certain what the mileage was when this began but this amount of rust did not begin recently. I suspect may Nissan Maxima's are affected by this problem and there should be some sort of safety notice to current owners to make them aware of this problem.

- South Deerfield, MA, USA

problem #12

Jul 062013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the passenger's side floor panel was severely corroded. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the floor panel would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #11

Jun 222013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
Passenger floor board rotted out.

- North Chili, NY, USA

problem #10

Apr 242013


  • 110,000 miles
When having routine maintenance done, my mechanic informed me that the front passenger side floor board was rusted to the point where there was a hole enabling him to see the interior carpet from underneath. Upon researching this issue, it appears that I am not the only one experiencing this dangerous and costly structural issue. I will be contacting Nissan dealership and headquarters directly, although it appears that they have not assisted others and have turned a blind eye to this issue. I can't even believe that I have been driving with passengers in my vehicle who's feet may have gone right through the floor at any given time causing serious injury! Nissan needs to step up and admit that there is an issue here. It appears as though low grade, inferior materials were used on this vehicle. As others have also stated, the steering wheel has a tendency to shake when driving over 40 making it feel off-balance or not aligned when in fact the alignment is fine.

- Coventry, RI, USA

problem #9

Mar 082013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
Noticed a piece of metal hanging down from under the car on the passenger side front door. When I bent down, noticed that it was a piece of sheet metal from the floorboard. When I was able to get the car onto a lift, I noticed that the entire floorboard on the passenger side was completely rotted. I have noticed that on this website and many other pages on the internet, people have complained about this same problem, but Nissan hasn't made any attempts to do nothing about it. This poses many safety concerns beside the obvious foot going thru the floor or water coming up thru the floor, but also poses a safety concern of fumes making their way into the passenger compartment. We have owned this car since it was brand new and have always been very happy with Nissan and its reliability, but this isn't helping Nissan's cause.

- Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #8

Sep 192008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
My moon-roof is marked with AS3 dot 467 M078. Can some please tell me with is the same marking that in the 2004 recall.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 132011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The skyview roof in my 2004 Nissan Maxima is leaking water. During a hard rain when the car is sitting still for more than one hour, water will run through the interior lamps onto the interior. This is very annoying to the point that I hates when it rains. I have to place a large bath towel over the dashboard and gear lever to help prevent water and electrical damage! I also the back seat gets wet.

- Plantation, FL, USA

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