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:
1 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,859 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.

2005 Nissan Maxima electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

Feb 182010


  • 77,158 miles


Improper braking function with ABS in 2005 Nissan Maxima - started with noise and "soft" brakes. It continued to a point where the ABS was incorrectly being activated (even when the car was off). It seems to be related to a speed sensor in the wheels. This controls the ABS activation and the speedometer/odometer. The speedometer has stopped working. And due to the ABS being under constant strain, the ABS control module is going to have to be replaced.

- Camby`, IN, USA

problem #8

Jun 232009


  • 67,000 miles
On June 23, 2009 my 2005 Maxima was parked in an enclosed garage within my home. On that same date I attempted to enter my vehicle and was greeted with an extreme amount of smoke upon opening the driver's side door. No fire was occurring, so I opened all car doors and garage doors to clear the smoke. When the smoke cleared I discovered my car had, at some point in the prior 8 hours, had an interior fire and had luckily self-extinguished. The fire seemed to originate near the fuse box, located to the left of the steering column, on the under side of the dash. The fire melted the fuse box and surrounding dash area, spreading around the underside of the steering column to just above the ignition on the dash. No police or fire emergency services were called as the fire was out. My insurance was immediately contacted and a tow ordered to take the Maxima to the nearest Nissan dealership. I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs to advise them of this fire. After a few weeks they communicated that Nissan would not investigate the fire. My insurance covered the cost of the repairs and the repairs took place. Upon completion of the repairs the dealership discovered when they tested the lumbar switch, that it was overheating the fuse panel and that it would need to be replaced. My insurance was contacted to come out to the dealership to assess the new discovery. The insurance adjuster, service manager, and service technician met and agreed that the cause of the fire was a pinched lumbar switch and it needed to be replaced. I paid the cost of the switch as insurance only covers damages. The lumbar switch was recalled in 2006. My lumbar switch was repaired in April of 2006. The recall states the lumbar switch wiring could become pinched and cause a fire. I asked both the dealership and Nissan Consumer Affairs to refund and investigate my fire and it's association to the recall. At this time neither is cooperative and refuses to assist or investigate.

- Greenwood, MO, USA

problem #7

Jun 232009


  • 69,000 miles
My 2005 Maxima had been parked in my garage when an electrical fire occurred near or in the fuse panel. We do not know when the fire occurred. The fire had somehow contained itself and self-extinguished. The car was sealed so we assume it ran out of oxygen as the smoke did not leak to the garage. The lower dash panel on the left side of the steering column appears to be the initial fire. As I am not an expert, I can only assume the housing for the fuse panel would relate to the cause of the fire as this is where most of the damage occurred. The fire melted that panel to the floorboard and spread around the steering column, around the ignition and slightly up to the upper dashboard (right side), again causing the dash to melt. Prior to the fire the driver's side power seat would not engage any movement. I had not attempted to fix it as I rarely, if ever, move my seat. This had occurred approximately 4-6 months prior to the fire. Another electrical issue the car had prior was the seat belt light indicator would remain on when the driver's side seat belt was indeed buckled. I do not know if these electrical issues relate to the electrical fire. I did however find another report on NHTSA involving the same type of power seat issues and similar electrical fire to the same make, model and year of my Maxima. At this time the Nissan dealership is not sure how the fire started and is not claiming Nissan liability. I am concerned the dealership will not investigate the cause of fire and replace the damaged components of my car with the same potential electrical fire hazards. I feel this fire should be cause for investigation as my Maxima appears to be at least the second Nissan with the same exact electrical issues and fire.

- Greenwood, MO, USA

problem #6

Jun 272009


  • 172,000 miles


2005 Nissan Maxima, on June 27th gauges all went to negative, fuel gauge showed empty, temp showed cold, tach and speedo did not work, A/C did not work, turn signals inside did not work but outside did. Partial sunroof operation. Kept car in garage, got in car on June 29th to take to dealer, noticed unusual smell, 10 min. Later smoke came pouring out of center dash. Immediately got out of car and disconnected battery. Had towed to dealer, said that they would replace gauge cluster and A/C metering amp, looks like it short circuited by coin that somehow made its way into a vent creavis of the sealed circuit board. We have had 170,000 miles of basically trouble free driving but I am really concerned because they cannot guarantee that this solves our problem. As you can see my wife drives alot of miles in this car with 8 hour trips to Florida every 6 weeks. Not sure how she would react to a smoke filled cabin and would be concerned if she could get out if it happened again and flames up. The dealer said it would never really catch fire. Had issue a few weeks earlier where the car shifted strangely, it would often not start and the car would not start unless the A/C was turned off. The suggested a transmission fix, new catalytic converter and a new battery. We could only do the battery at that point. I can't help to wonder if the computer gave false reading because of the recent problem.

- Statesville , NC, USA

problem #5

Feb 052008

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima sl caught on fire under the dash board on the driver's left side on 2/05/08 at approx 12:00 that day. After returning from a short drive, I smelled smoke. Upon parking in my driveway and exiting the car we notice fire coming from under the dash board. Once we extinguished the flames and called the fire dept we realized the source appeared to be in the area of the fuse housing area. I've had a recurring problem with this vehicle for quite some time. My service record is quite extensive on the electrical problems associated with this one vehicle. The latest being 12/28/07 when I had my vehicle in for servicing for the driver seat failure to move. My vehicle was returned to me on 12/31/07 and the seat was operable then, but I was told by the service tech that they weren't sure if the problem was solved but it was working at the present time. As an ensuing result I was unaware I was driving a vehicle that could of went in flames when being driven. I've attempted to contact Nissan Corp and have been unable to make contact with anyone other than the rep that took my information on 2/8/08. I've also attempted to contact the owner of the local Nissan dealership where I purchased my vehicle and haven't had any luck there either. My vehicle is currently at ray bryant Nissan dealership to be repaired, again, post the fire damage. This is the same dealership I've been bringing my vehicle to for al of the problems that have existed with this car. Any help and guidance you can offer me with this matter will be greatly appreciated.

- Marrero, LA, USA

problem #4

Jul 312006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Nissan Maxima. The dealer repaired the vehicle under NHTSA campaign id number 05V512000 (seats:front assembly:power adjust). Since the repair was performed, the vehicle has begun to fail and the engine shuts off. The dealer stated that they replaced two wires under the driver's seat. The vehicle was at the dealer for over thirty days. The contact observed that the mileage increased by more than 1,300 miles and the carpet was dyed a different color. She also noticed holes in the sunroof slider and discovered that the dealer ordered a replacement without her knowing. The dealer stated that since she was dissatisfied with the repairs, they would have the manufacturer replace the sunroof liner. The dealer also ordered a part for the steering column and replaced the battery. While driving approximately 35 mph, the brakes began to fail and the contact was unable to shift gears. The battery would not hold a charge and the engine shut off. The vehicle was not able to be restarted. The service manager stated that they would not assist her in repairing the vehicle. The current mileage was 125,000 and the failure mileage was unavailable.

- Coconut Creek , FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 152006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles


I locked the car with the remote and the car just kept arming itself every 5 minutes. I was also driving the car and it just lock by itself. I find this to be very dangerous because the remote is not being used and the car is just arming itself every 5 minutes. Also the car is making noise and the car is not even two years yet. It was purchased brand new and I am quite fed up.

- St Albans, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 132006


  • miles
The consumer took the 2005 Nissan Maxima to the dealer for electrical problems and was told of a pending recall (05V51200) concerning the power front seat. The recall work was performed but the consumer was concerned about the work not being performed prior to delivery.

- Madras, OR, USA

problem #1

Jan 142005

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40 miles
I called on 1/31/05 and filed a formal complaint for my 2005 Nissan Maxima. I have not heard back from anyone as yet and I am wondering how I need to proceed.

- Rockville Centre, NY, USA

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