Notes: We don't recommend the 2009 Maxima nearly as highly as the 2007-2008 Maxima, because NHTSA complaints show a pattern of the steering lock module failing.

When the module fails it prevents the car from starting, & Nissan dealers charge over $1,000 (!!) to repair it. Nissan recalled the module on some other 2009 models with the same steering lock problem, but for some reason they left out the 2009 Maxima.

If you're thinking about buying a 2009 Maxima, instead consider a 2007-2008, or 2010 (or newer).


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,381 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.

2009 Nissan Maxima electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #48

May 152015


  • miles


I attempted to start my car as I left work one afternoon and it would not start. The push start button was in the lock mode and the picture in the dash indicated that my wheel was locked, while my ant-theft light flashed continuously. I made several different attempts for hours to unlock the steering collar myself and start my car, only to fail over and over again which lead to me having it towed to a local Nissan dealership, the next day. The dealership ran a diagnostic test on the car and told me that I needed a new steering lock box, which typically does not go out on cars like mine (2009 Nissan Maxima). This seems to be a manufacture defect but I am being charged at least $1000 to fix this problem, with no fault of my own. Will you assist me in resolving this problem?

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #47

Apr 172015


  • 209,057 miles
Came out to my car; car wouldn't start. Push start/stop button in "lock" mode; key light indicator flashed; anti-theft light in "steady" mode. Called niss. Roadside asst. To be told that it would be $82 for towing to the nearest dealership after only wanting help with battery testing. I put the towing on hold. Called the nearest niss. Dealership directly. Was told that it may be the key fob batteries. My daughter and I walked home for close asst. To drive to niss. For new key fob batteries. Returned back to my car to test the key fob with no luck. Doors lcked/unlcked, windows let down; didn't let back up; it was raining! used my own jumper cables for battery testing. Not the battery! lights worked. My battery was brand new and recently purchased. Contacted my ins. For overnight tow to Nissan. Researched on the issue and came to the steering column unit failing often. Nissan ext. Warranty is 6 yrs/unl. Mileage; was relieved. Nissan worked on my car from 7:21A to 3:40P. Told me the steering column unit was out of warranty last yr. Only had the car for 5yrs! took Nissan 5hrs for a diagnostics on my car saying my battery was dead; need to swap it out with theirs to run the test. My battery was brand new! 1hr. Later, diagnosed as faulty steering column module. Contacted niss. Consumer Affairs and escalated to regional. Niss. Gave me a price of $1071 to fix. Told Nissan I would try to fix the module myself and have it towed to where I originally bought my battery due to existing warranty. However, towing was too expensive and fixing it myself would prb not work. Spoke with service mgr. Who said they could charge me for swapping out batteries but will only charge me $1027.98. Total ripoff and Nissan lied about my battery results. Took it to my orig. Shop; ran the battery; was in good condition and fully charged! want a full refund; should be a recall!!!! lost a customer!!!!

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #46

Apr 022015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 75,600 miles
Car does not start. Difficult time getting into the car while using my key fob. When I push the ignition button there is no nose and no lights. Tried jumping the car for 15 minutes with no success. I was told by the Nissan dealership mechanic that it is the steering lock system. This is going to cost me for towing and labor and parts. Money I do not have. Reading up on this problem tells me that there should have been a recall.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #45

Feb 192015


  • 133,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and all the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the steering lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 133,000.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #44

Feb 102015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
I get in my car by opening the doors with my intelligent key (in other words, the battery isn't dead). Once inside the car, the key light blinks on even though I had the key in my hand. I can't start the car or even press the brake in, the car won't go into acc mode because it doesn't detect the key (again, I'm able to lock, unlock doors, open hood and even sound off the alarm through the same intelligent key..?).I put the fob into the slot and it flashes to eject my car will not start and my windows are stuck down...I went to get my other key fob and still doesn't read the my car is stuck and I can not drive it...soooo what I have tried to do was beating on the steering column, making it tilt and all over N over and nothing... unplugging the battery for over 30 minutes in hopes of 'restarting' the alarm system putting in the intelligent key into the slot where the key goes (off the left side of the steering wheel)..still key light blinks indicating I need a looking this up there are alot others with this problem with a 09-10 Nissan Maxima and the gtr has same issue and a recall was done on can we please get a recall on the 09 Nissan Maxima so this can be solved for myself and others?

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #43

Dec 222014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
I was at the gas station getting gas. When I went to try and start it up the car ignition remains in the lock position. The car will not do anything. In the far left console the key symbol remains lit on the dash board. The key remains lit on the dashboard. I have been reading different forums and it said that it is the steering wheel lock. My car will not start at all and I even changed my battery out.

- Little Elm, TX, USA

problem #42

Jan 162015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 76,200 miles


2009 Nissan Maxima, purchased new--key fob light indicator illuminated on dashboard, car won't start, brake lights work, key fob unlocks doors and trunk. Warranty expired about 1K miles ago. I was told that the steering lock part, which may repair/solve the matter is about $1200. I am repulsed and utterly disgusted. Prior to this matter, the tilt feature [for steering wheel) on the car ceased to work.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #41

Jan 042015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 82,500 miles
The car - a 2009 Nissan Maxima in excellent condition - would not start at all - no turn-over, no electrics, I.e. the automatic windows could not be rolled up (during ice storm), only an unfamiliar "key" light lit up on the dash board. Car could not be towed: Aaa said it appears to be "steering wheel lock failure", approximately $700 - $1000 to repair...

- York, ME, USA

problem #40

Dec 282014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Went to the supermarket and the car would not turn back on. The key light on the dash board is lite but the car is in lock mode and doesn't allow the car to turn on. It seems that the car isn't recognizing that the key is near to allow it to be turned on. I think there should be a recall on this issue. I've seen hundreds of people with the same issue. I don't have money to fix the issue or get it towed. The car is still in the supermarket parking lot. This is a nightmare. Nissan should take full responsibility for this issue and fix all of these cars free of charge.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #39

Dec 072014


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while attempting to start the vehicle, the key sensor light illuminated and the vehicle would not start. The contact notified the dealer who indicated that the intelligent key security system had malfunctioned. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 82,000.

- Harvey, LA, USA

problem #38

Nov 212014


  • 75,000 miles


Nissan intelligent key was not communicating with engine start function. Yellow key light was on, key would unlock and lock the car, but it will not start. Suspected issue from reading all other Nissan Maxima owner forums is that it is a steering lock failure. Had tow truck take our car to the nearest car max Nissan dealer where we purchased the vehicle back in September 2012.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #37

Nov 022014


  • 32,000 miles
Reaches a normal beverage center in my Nissan Maxima 2009 and went out in 4 hours when not lit it wanted to turn on my car, the screen showed two intelligent keys warning lights Nissan and security indicator, the key worked properly, the lights of the car too, the problem is just not turned on at all, I went to Nissan dealership and are charging me 1400 usd to fix my car and I see I'm not the only one with this problem in 2009 Nissan Maxima is very common to have some guarantee should the damaged piece, I need help with my car.

- Lawrence, MA, USA

problem #36

Nov 072014


  • miles
I have had several complaints with my 2009 Nissan Maxima, first I keep having to replace the battery which I received a new battery from the dealer in January of 2013 with an 84 month warranty, well today the battery died again. I have had issues with the steering column since I purchased the vehicle in August of 2008. The first time steering column locked and the vehicle had to be towed to dealer and was replaced under warranty. It was replaced again the next few months and I was told it was the battery and then several months later stopped working again the up and down function. Second the vehicle suspension was supposedly replaced due the recall...but I was told recently by dealer that it need to be replaced again and they were trying to charge me over $1200 for a recalled item. Which I refused to pay.

- Camp Springs, MD, USA

problem #35

Aug 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
I have an automatic door lock that is malfunctioning. It is currently on the driver side door only but from what I have read online, I expect to begin happening on other doors as the actuator's begin failing. Normally this may be a simple annoyance but since this vehicle uses a key fob it is not possible to quickly unlock the driver side door and there is no way to quickly secure the vehicle. There are several instances where either of these situations could put the someone at risk and in harms way, especially if the driver is relying on the safety mechanism to ensure children do not accidentally open a door that has not been properly secured while traveling. The locking and unlocking of a vehicle is intended and designed to keep the vehicle, it's contents, and it's occupants safe and is heavily relied on in today's environment. I have seen estimates to repair this issue from over $500 to almost $2,000, a fairly expense repair for the vehicle owner but a fairly inexpensive cost for the manufacturer. Although this may seem like a stretch to call this a safety issue but for what other purpose are door locks intended? it is my request that the manufacturer issue a recall for faulty door lock actuator's.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #34

Jul 252014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Tilt and telescopic motors both failed locking the steering wheel in an awkward and uncomfortable position for driving. Motors continue to try and run thus depleting the battery of energy while the car's engine is off.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #33

Jun 092014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
The car has power. All electronics seem to work, however, when I depress the brake and push the ignition button the car will not start. The first time I try to start it, it will turn over very slowly. Then every time after that, it will give me a metallic clicking sound but will not turn over. I went through the cold and hot start up procedures to no avail. The car still has power, I.e. if I place the button to the on position everything will turn on electronically, but the car still will not start. I have had this problem for several months now. The battery is an interstate battery and has been tested as good. The only time the car will start now is if I get a jump.

- Riverview , FL, USA

problem #32

Feb 212014


  • 49,000 miles
I stopped at a store for about 5 minutes. When I returned to my car to leave, my car would not start. The anti theft and the yellow key symbol was blinking. The steering wheel would not lock so I could press the brake pedal to start the car. My car had to be towed to the dealer. They found that the steering lock assembly was faulty. The part was covered under the extended powertrain warranty. I am a female and I was along. This could become a dangerous situation and I think the 2009 Maxima should be a part of a recall that is for the 2009 Altima as well. The same problem!

- Fayetteville, GA, USA

problem #31

Mar 032014


  • 34,000 miles
On 3/3/14 my 2009 Nissan Maxima would not start. Symptoms of this issue - key recognized(unlocks and when inserted into key fob port there is a notification) - pressing start button does not work, locked remains illuminated(eg acc and on do not activate) - Nissan intelligent key warning light - all lights come on in the car - brake lights work - electronic seats still move I experienced a dead battery just 3 months earlier so I was sure this was not the issue. Plus I had a new battery. I googled a combination of the symptoms with my model/year and many links came up. Turned out to be the "steering lock failure" which was under a extended warranty. 5 years or 72 K miles. Worst part of the experience was dealing with the people at the midway Nissan on bell road dealership in phoenix. The experience left me knowing that they care more about making money today than earning return customers. Luckily they warranty paid for everything. But they were willing and ready to screw me over.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #30

Feb 092014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 63,773 miles
My 2009 Nissan Maxima does it seem to read my key anymore. It has a orange light on the top left corner of my dashboard. The car obviously recognizes the key for I am still able to lock and unlock my car. It will not turn over at all. When I press the push start button, the only light that comes on is the lock light. It all doesn't make any sense at all. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary. One second it was working, another second it wasn't. I find this highly inconvenient that Nissan service departments at the dealerships only provides aid mondays though saturdays as if people only have issues with their cars on Monday through Saturday. There should be a 24/7 help hotline at least. This is my second issue with this same exact problem. The first time I was told that it was a dead battery in my key fob. I went to get a new battery for it and it still didn't work. It's almost like it works when it feels like it.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #29

Feb 062014


  • 37,000 miles
I returned to my parked car after commuting on the train home from work and tried to start the vehicle. It was a bitter cold evening and the temperature was approximately 3 degrees. When I tried to start the car, the key icon showed up on the left hand side of the instrument panel and the steering was locked and push button ignition did not start the car. The brake pedal was very stiff and did not "give" when depressed. Also, I couldn't get the car to shift to neutral to move it when my husband arrived to see if he could determine the problem. I had the vehicle towed to a repair shop and they said it is a Nissan problem and the part is on an extended warranty because of the well-known and ongoing issues. I am in the process of having the car towed to my Nissan dealer to have them inspect it and repair it. They are instructed to search for any recalls or warranty when entering the VIN number. I've searched the internet and it seems like a very common issue. Even the towing company driver said he tows about 3-5 Nissan a week with the same issue and it's very common, as it happens all of the time. I'm hoping they have this part on recall or have it listed on an extended warranty repair. My 2009 Maxima has 37,000 miles on it.

- Lemont, IL, USA

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