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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,500 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 172014


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Nissan Maxima. While driving approximately 60 mph, the air bag warning indicator illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Sneads, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 112012


  • miles
My 3 girls and 1 of their friends were in my vehicle and they were ran off the road and the car went off the road into an embankment. The driver side air bag did not deploy but the passenger side air bag did and it broke my daughter's nose. I contact Nissan about the airbag not deploying and was told it all depends on where most of the damage of the car is (all of the damage was on the driver front side). Everyone was taking to the er and the daughter with the worst injury was referred to a specialist because of the impact and because the airbag shattered the inside of her nose into pieces it was nothing to do to repair. My daughter plays basketball and I couldn't even get a nose brace for protection. This was a terrible experience for the girls and I wish no parent will ever have to experience anything like this. I saw the story on the cbs evening news (aired 10/2/14) where the long lady is suing Honda because of that what airbag did to her). Airbags appears to do more harm than good. Although my car was a total lost, I am thankful that the girls are still alive.

- Winnsboro, SC, USA

problem #4

Sep 232011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
My complaint is not about a part failing, but in Nissan's response to replace a part. My 2004 Nissan Maxima was involved in a collision where the side airbag deployed. In the repair work, the airbag module needs to be replaced (ordered). The part was ordered on Oct. 12, 2011 and after more than two months of the part being ordered, the part has still not been produced by Nissan. First I was told it was a back-order issue, but then I lost my patience after 2 months and called Nissan corporate, I was told that it is a component distribution issue, which tells me absolutely (wait for it) nothing. The most frustrating thing for me is that I am being told that the delivery of the part is indefinite, so my car sits at the collision shop basically in limbo. I have researched and cannot find any recall information for my vehicle relating to this part. From what I have been able to gather, there seems to be an issue with the testing of the part, therefore the part is not being produced. In my opinion this is discreetly being kept quiet and disguised as a back-order issue by Nissan. I see recall issues for this part for the Altima, but not the Maximas. It seems like this is a bigger issue than Nissan is willing to acknowledge. I am trying to find all avenues to make this complaint about this matter and hope that it registers.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #3

May 062011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


On May 06, 2011 I was involved in a major car accident. My driver airbag did not deploy and the passenger airbag where no one was sitting deployed. I was 8-months pregnant at the time of the accident and due to the airbag not deploying I sustained injuries to my stomach almost causing a early labor (pre-mature) I was fortunate that the doctors were able to stop my baby from coming. If my airbag would have gone off properly it would have prevented my stomach from hitting the steering wheel. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs and they told me that it is "normal" for a airbag to not deploy when in a major car accident. I want to make sure this is correct because I paid for this product to work.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 172006


  • miles
2004 Nissan Maxima all features had locked up. Consumer tried to fix the problem, when trying the car jumped out of park and rolled down the driveway hitting a Taurus and a trailer. Airbags did not deploy. ***** the consumer was injured and as the vehicle was rolling down the driveway a family member, which the vehicle nearly missed fell backwards and broke her wrist. The consumer stated there was no reason for the gear shift to lock or for the vehicle to jump and roll. The vehicle had been placed in park and the parking brake had been pulled prior to the incident.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

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problem #1

May 042006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,000 miles
May 4, 2006 I was traveling on West academy/green St. Northbound. The clutch had just been replaced for the second time and it malfunctioned again. (it literally sucks to the floorboard with no play to disengage to neutral, this had happened to my husband twice prior, I panicked didn't see the red light or stopped traffic and slammed into the car stopped in front of me at an estimated speed on 40 mph never hitting the brakes. The damage to the car was severe with an insurance pay out just shy of $10,000 dollars. The damage was only to the front of the car, no airbags deployed (there are eight airbags in the front passenger compartment) I was restrained by the seat belt. It was not enough for me not to be injured, I hit the steering wheel and gear shift causing severe bruising to my arms, legs, chest and a bump on the head.

- Gainesville, GA, USA

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