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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,471 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 miscellaneous problems

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2005 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #17

Dec 212016


  • 169,000 miles


My transmission just failed for the second time after being replaced the first time by Nissan as it was under warranty. It was regularly flushed/ serviced. There is a major issue with the transmission itself and Nissan must do something about it.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #16

Sep 082016


  • 206,000 miles
My car has given me trouble since about a month after I bought it. I bought it used, but have been told Nissan are very reliable vehicles even with high mileage. It will not excel forward at any speed until it gets up to 40mph after stopping at a light or stop sign. It is a disaster in waiting. I drive early in the morning and at night for work. I am afraid someone is going to plow into me because I am not moving fast enough. The transmission jerks bad enough to jerk my head back whenever I put it in reverse. I am afraid to drive it anymore! this has been ongoing for more than a year. I quit driving it a few weeks ago due to the jerking of the transmission when I put it into reverse. The date below is the last day I drove it.

- Bay Saint Louis, MS, USA

problem #15

Aug 262016


  • 225,000 miles
At a red light, car stalled, took a few seconds to restart. When trying to accelerate, it revs like it has a strain; not going anywhere fast, until it gets to 40 mph. This has happened several times. We have changed the fuel pump, alternator, and battery. Each time we changed a part, the car would be fine for a few months. I am afraid when this happens that someone is going to plow into me because they can't stop in time as my car is going too slow. My husband seems to think it's not as much the transmission as maybe something electrical. Nissan should be responsible for this seeing as there are so many complaints about the same thing. Someone is going to be killed or probably already has, but no one can tell what the cause of the accident if the driver is dead! I love the car and would buy another Nissan, but I will research them first! I am glad to see it is not my imagination about the car jumping while accelerating. It seems to only do it when I am driving, but it stops jumping when I take my foot off the accelerator.

- Bay Saint Louis, MS, USA

problem #14

Jul 262016


  • miles


Transmission issues.rough shifting, high revs when traveling at 25 mph. After an abrupt stop the car will remain in a higher gear when moving from a stop, and will sometime throw a service engine soon requires the car to be turned off and restarted to get car to reset to its correct gear.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #13

Feb 122016

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 175,000 miles
"tamara inflators" seat belts didn't lock or light did not come on. Smashed body all the way to back seat bottom to ground. Engine was idling very high felt/sound as if we were going 60 but only was going 40. No air bags came on. Brakes grinding. Back window blew out and tires flat in back.. windows slow on drivers side. When the sheriff Tahoe hit us at 80mph on U.S. 40 greenfield in was in the shop at J&M truck an trailer on the West side of indianapolis having the oil leaked fixed and tires all fixed and rotors and lights by [xxx] a couple months prior. I had my little girl in the back seat as well where sheriff hit and ran. I uploaded a before and after picture. VIN#[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Greenfield, IN, USA

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problem #12

May 152015


  • 92,000 miles
Transmission slips and breaks motor mounts. Tore up the transmission and almost caused numerous wrecks. Slips from driving from the start. Isn't always slipping but when it does it's bad. Worse in street than on highway.

- Deer Park, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 012016


  • miles


Nissan asked me to pay a diagnostic fee of 190$ and then they say entire transmission to be replaced Nissan Consumer Affairs is not helpful as well worst company

- Union City, NJ, USA

problem #10

Apr 192015


  • miles
Car jumps when switching gears or putting your foot or taking it off gas

- New York, NY, USA

problem #9

Jun 062014


  • 100,000 miles
Transmission jerks hard as it is put in the D position and again between first and second gear. According to Nissan, there are no recalls on the transmission. However, I am finding numerous complaints on car sites and blogs of owners with the same issue.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #8

Nov 012015


  • 106,000 miles
Transmission failure after faultier why they don't take responsibility is no only one ca every single owner of Nissan Maxima is having this issue from 2002 to 2006 Nissan Maximas

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 062014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles


The 2005 Nissan Maxima (and other models during this year) has a valve body defect and the company refuses to recognize and recall the problem. This part helps the vehicle with shifting through gears. As it stands right now every time the vehicle goes from first to second gear, there is a huge vehicle jerk (similar to being in a rear end car collision). The vehicle also jerks when going from second to first. At times, the car even delays in shifting putting the driver even more at risk there are many consumers that have the same problem. The valve body is such an issue that there is a pending lawsuit against Nissan for this problem. Driving with a defected valve body is an enormous safety issue and Nissan feels it is not their issue to deal with.

- Palm Harbor, FL, USA

problem #6

Aug 222013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
I have an 2005 Maxima 3.5L sl. It has been jerking going into second gear when accelerating and also during deceleration. Only when I slow down under 20mph, then press the gas @ about 17mph appx. Then it shifts hard. The transmissions is not wanting to go into 2nd and 3rd gear. Then when it does it jerks really hard which is now messing up the motor mounts.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #5

Apr 082013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
While driving the car in town the car started jerking erratically, launching forward, hard jerks, car shaking like crazy, smell burning smell in the car, I almost hit other cars due to my car jerking forward. I was frightened... the car is very unsafe to drive to say the very least. It doesn't matter what speed you are driving, it jerks and launches forward at will. My children could have got seriously hurt riding in this car. I paid close to $800 toget this car fixed in may of 2013, only to have it all happen all over again as the Nissan corporation knew of defective transmissions in the Nissan maxiamas. Yet, they continue to sell these "death traps", to citizens.. this is an atrocity, what the Nissan corporation has to done it's consumers.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #4

Aug 052011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I own a 2005 Nissan Maxima SE that now has 73000 miles on it. I am encountering a problem that seems to be with the transmission, when checked for transmission problems nothing seems to show up and no lights are on. The car bucks or jerks when driving and when changing gears. It scrubs as if it 's struggling to pull (which is very dangerous) happened to me while entering the interstate this week and I was in tears because I was in fear for my safety. The car has been having these issue since around 66000 miles. I've gone on line and find out that several consumers are having the same problem and are at a loss as to how to resolve since it doesnt show up as a transmission problem and to have a car (purchased brand new) to start having transmission problems at such low mileage is not expected. There should be a recall on these cars and Nissan should have to fix this problem before serious injury to their consumer is encountered. When I went to a Nissan dealership to try and talk to them about the problem and they just brushed me off and said they would have to look at my car and put it on the machine for a cost of over $100. This I fell is useless since I've already had it checked and online consumers are saying that no transmission code shows up on the machine. The trasmission fluid was flushed since my machanic said he didnt see anything wrong with the transmission as an attempt to solve the problem but that did nothing for the problem.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #3

Apr 042011


  • 115,000 miles
Transmission shifts hard. When in park to drive hesitates a few seconds than roughly shifts to drive. Hesitates when car is driven for long periods of time. Sporadically has issues that appears to be the transmission. Have gone to several shops and have been told many things. Reading all the forums this is a factory defect that should be recalled. I have only had the car for over a year. The manufacturer should be liable!!!!

- Tolleson, AZ, USA

problem #2

Oct 152010


  • 85,000 miles
Transmission. Undocumented flaw with this transmission. Transmission slips out of gear during regular driving. Very hard jerky shifts.

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #1

Mar 262010


  • miles
My 2005 Nissan Maxima started to shift extremely hard. Not only that but in traffic it can be very scarey almost causing you to hit the vehicle in front of you or being almost hit in the rear because the transmission gets stuck and then shifts extremely hard. This vehicle is used to Transport my kids. I cannot afford to fix Nissan mistakes. Times are difficult financially right now. Nissan should be held accountable for there mistakes. They should not be allowed to sell vehicles that are not reliable. Please help us with this situation. It not only put my children in danger but it has taken a financial tow on my family. Nissan needs to fix this!!!

- Rome , GA, USA

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