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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,069 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.

2006 Nissan Maxima steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #14

Nov 172016


  • 5 miles


My 2006 Nissan Maxima is shifting gears on its on as if there is a transmission problem. The steering wheel keeps shifting to one side the guys at the wheel alignment place told me it's the rack and pinion. They also informed me that the rack and pinion goes out very fast and the part is about 400$. the gas light and the light that tells you that you need coolant has been on and stays on. The car is not running hot and my car has a full tank of gas.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 022016


  • 162,000 miles
I was driving down the interstate, going around a curve, the wheel stabilizer turned on for no reason. I could not regain control of the car. The wheels locked up and I got slammed into two concrete walls and a diesel truck as a result. None of the airbags deployed.

- Attalla, AL, USA

problem #12

Jan 062010


  • 97,000 miles
I was at the light waiting to make a left turn into my neighborhood and as I got a break to turn in front of traffic my car jerked and cut off. My 2 year old and 3 year old was also in the car I was terrified and now scared to make a turn in front of traffic bc my car may cost me and my kids our life car isn't safe to drive like that.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #11

Nov 022013


  • 85,000 miles


Have taken the vehicle to the local Nissan dealership several times to have issues diagnosed and they would state there is nothing wrong. First started with having low and dirty oil and making a weird noise even after it has been serviced. Took the vehicle to a different place that the Nissan dealership said we should go. Their oil solution of royal purple synthetic oil did not work. Talked to the place where the vehicle was bought and because the warranty was expired they were unwilling to help. The vehicle currently has almost 108000 miles on it and have only owned it a year. I am afraid to drive the vehicle because of the hard shifting when driving and the slamming of the head against the head rest. It will slam into second, third and even fourth gear once it gets warmed up and take several seconds for the vehicle to engage and adjust the speed. I experience jerking coming from the rear while driving and recently while going from speed limits of 45 to 30 I felt a lose of power like it did not want to go. While parked it also slams into reverse and the first. I have a young son and this vehicle is defiantly not safe for him to drive in. I was told to replace the solenoids, timing chains, and to put a kit in it for the shifting issues. I also need to get an alignment done to address the shaking when going over 55mph. At this point the motor mounts probably need to be replaced. I'm still making payments on this vehicle and all warranties are expired. The air bags are also malfunctioning and the lights blink on and off this will cost up to a $1000 to have fixed. The check engine light also comes off and on but no codes show up. The RPM gauge gets stuck at 3 and you have to go over 40mph to get that gauge to work. Really don't want to have an accident because of the issues with the drive train and transmission.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 152013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
When turning the steering wheel the vehicle make a whining, then a grinding noise, along with difficulty steering. Had it checked (thinking the power steering pump) was told it was the pump, the high pressure hose, and the rack and pinion and that this is a typical repair on vehicle of this age. Replaced the rack and pinion, and the hose, and still having issues. I have and have had several cars Japanese, american, and german some with twice the mileage and never had a problem of this nature. Checked the Nissan forums and this is common with vehicles of this vintage, murano, and Altima with a 3.5 liter V6. Regardless of its commonality, its still of safety concern and deserves attention.

- Florence, AL, USA

problem #9

Oct 162013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 36,087 miles
While casually driving, hands on steering wheel, foot on accelerator, asphalt road slightly damp but not wet, on a two way street with no reason to expect a sudden crisis, the aba brakes on my 2006 Maxima suddenly locked throwing the rear end of the vehicle into a slide facing oncoming traffic which at this time there happened to be none. When I felt the sudden action, which was like I had run into an invisible wall, I then hit the brakes attempting to stop the vehicle. The steering wheel seemed to float with no control of the direction headed. The car continued to accelerate instead of braking. This sent the vehicle back across to the right side of the road into a concrete curb and over into a grassy area before the car came to a stop. Only exterior minor damage from hitting a small sign post. Had it immediately towed to the dealer who road tested it but found no reason for the incident. They said there were no computer codes for what happened. I spoke to the service manager and called Nissan to explain what happened. They had no clue for why. I am still afraid to drive this car in heavy traffic for fear of a repeat. With such low miles and in the garage care over the years it is not time to trade it in.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #8

Nov 112013


  • 101,823 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Maxima. The contact was reversing into a parking space at 3 mph when the wheels became unresponsive. The contact was able to turn the steering wheel but the wheels would not move. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was informed that the steering gear was damaged. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 101,823.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 012011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
I was first told that the cataylic converter was gone, had that replaced, then was told 2 motor mounts were gone, had them replaced and still have the same problem, with the car jerking with a hard knock into 1 and 2nd gear and now it is accelerating while driving and jerking into gear. Nissan needs to recall the transmission on these 2006 Maximas there are so people having the same problem.

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #6

Sep 162009


  • 28,000 miles
I have a 2006 Nissan Maxima SE that I bought new in Jan 2007. Several months ago I replaced the oem tires because I was old they were worn out and were the cause of steering wheel vibration above 60mph. I replaced the tires and front brakes/rotors at my Nissan dealership and the vibration was reduced but still noticeable. It gets worse with cold temperatures. They have inspected the struts and engine mounts and say there is nothing wrong with my car but the vibration is still there.

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #5

Jul 072009


  • 38,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Maxima. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle suddenly pulled to the right and the contact crashed into the vehicle next to him. The contact's vehicle flipped over several times. She sustained injuries to her left arm. No one else was injured. A police report was filed. The vehicle is currently being diagnosed by the contact's insurance company. Prior to the crash, she noticed that the vehicle would stall while driving at any speed. The current and failure mileages were 38,500.

- La Mesa, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 052006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles


Vibration in front end since new. Steering wheel vibrates at approx. 70 mph. Left at dealership five times, had tires rotated and balanced. I am picking it up tonight. They said the tires were not balanced correctly.

- Berkely, MA, USA

problem #3

Apr 152006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,500 miles
Purchased vehicle in November 2005. Tires were rotated for the first time in April 2006 service. Since that time I have experienced excessive vibration in the steering wheel at a constant speed of 55mph. Excessive vibration in the steering wheel is experienced at speeds between 45mph to 60mph. Excessive vibration stops in the steering wheel and begins in the right front passenger seat at speeds that exeed 60mph. Returned vehicle to dealership on several occasions where the problem was unresolved. Technician advised me that the problem may be a defective tire. Made contact with Nissan corporation of America (ref# 5602757)where I was advised that there were no reported complaints, recalls or defects recorded. I was advised to return to local area dealership and speak with the service manager. Making contact with the service manager was unsuccessful, even after leaving message. February 2007 contacted Goodyear tire per the advice of the dealership technician and replace alleged defective tire at cost to me. To this date, the problem still exist.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #2

Aug 252006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
: the contact stated on reversing the vehicle out of a parking space, the front end was not clear of the curb. When drive was engaged and the accelerator was depressed, the front left bounced over the curb. As this happened, a metallic bang was heard, then the vehicle accelerated forward out of control. The steering would not respond and the vehicle drove over another curb knocked down a sign post and then on impact of a stone pillar, causing all airbags to deploy. The weather was dry and clear and the parking lot was asphalt. A police report was taken, property damage was incurred and the contact was injured and taken to the hospital. The vehicle was towed to the police impound, the contacts insurer was notified and pictures were taken. The service dealer and manufacturer were not notified.

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #1

Mar 282006

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45 miles
Shimmy in steering wheel from the day I got the car.

- Commack, NY, USA

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