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 1 of 4)

problem #68

Jan 032017


  • 113,000 miles


The steering wheel lock locks and doesn't allow you to start your vehicle. This is very dangerous as I live in Minnesota and had the sterrring lock trigger which left me stranded in fridged temperatures. This is a safety issue as it happen with out notice and could cause harm or death by not being able to start your vehicle. This happens when the car is placed in park and the ignition is disengaged.

- Farmington, MN, USA

problem #67

Dec 282016


  • 68,493 miles
Stopped at conveniance store and shut car off. Tried to restart car and it won't start. Had it towed to the dealer ship where I bought it. Found that it was the steering lock that had failed. Cost to replace was 1300 dollars. Found out this is a high failure part and should have been recalled.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #66

Dec 112016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that there was a progressing failure in which the push button start failed to function. The contact indicated that the ignition lock mechanism internally malfunctioned, which prevented the vehicle from starting on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for further diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #65

Dec 102016


  • 98,000 miles


The electronic steering column lock went out and I was unable to start my car. I had to have the car towed to the dealership for which I had to pay $1,100 to get a problem fixed I never even heard of. There was an extended warranty on this part that "expired" a year and a half ago. Nissan never recalled this part that is clearly a problem.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #64

Nov 192016


  • 80,000 miles
Steering lock module failure causes car to lock ignition and prevents starting. No failure warning before car becomes disabled. Web search reveals this is a common problem and should be covered under recall. Nissan refuses to acknowledge this problem covers multiple years and models. No notification from Nissan warning this problem was occurring over several years. Over $1000 to repair. My vehicle left me stranded when I stopped at a overlook on afton mountain. Required towing to nearest dealer for repair.

- Beaverdam, VA, USA

problem #63

Nov 142016


  • miles
I went outside to start my vehicle and it wouldn't start..the steering wheel is locked and I can't get it unlocked..the steering wheel symbol with 2 up and down arrows on both sides of it lights up on the dash and a red flash in car symbol with a key in the center of it is on along with the lock word on the push won't go past the lock button when I try to start it.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #62

Jun 132016


  • miles


My 2009 Nissan Maxima is no longer starting and the brake and steering wheel have locked. It does not recognize that I have a key even though I do. Any attempt to start the vehicle results in a sporadic tick tick or screeching type noise for lack of a better word.

- Lombard, IL, USA

problem #61

May 092016


  • 88,000 miles
Escl part is defective. Makes car completely inoperable. Manufacturer knows original part is defective but no recall. Extended warranty has expired and now part cost has doubled. Part was $380 but now is $680 with a slightly different part number. Cost doubled after warranty expired!

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #60

Mar 172016


  • 109,600 miles
Steering lock box repair. Extended warranty was issued & needs to be extended indefinitely. This is a manufacturer defect. Consumers will experience this inconvenience at different lifecycles of the vehicle & should be given the same reimbursements/courtesy as other 2009 Nissan Maxima or Altima owners.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #59

Feb 202016


  • miles
Electronic steering column lock. 41.4 K miles on car. Parked car, went to start, key light went on and the car was immobilized. Towed to dealership, filed a report with Nissan. Warranty extension specific to this issue no longer available by 6 months. $1,071 repair denied by Nissan because it was out of warranty. Could have been major safety issue if I was stuck in a remote location.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #58

Feb 112016


  • 53,000 miles


Stranded twice car will not start because of steering lock module not releasing allowing the car to start.

- Erlanger, KY, USA

problem #57

Feb 042016


  • 71,000 miles
The steering wheel lock unit failed making the car not start leaving my wife stranded at a convenience store on a cold night. Nissan knows this is a widespread problem but is still letting its customers foot the $1000 bill for their poor design. It is a safety problem when it leaves my wife stranded!

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #56

Jan 312016


  • 75,000 miles
Luckily in the driveway after loading car for food bank delivery, I tried to start but no light asking to press foot on brake to start came on was my first clue something was wrong. Key locks/unlocks/open trunk/alarm works but will not start engine. "key warning light" comes on. Tried both keys but nothing. Disconnected/reconnected battery without success. Steering wheel is unlocked. Insert fob to try & start manually but nothing. My neighbor is a local mechanic & came over to help. Stumped him so I guess I will be calling to get a tow to dealership in the morning after unloading food bank donations! after reading several hundred complaints about this issue in just a matter of few minutes, I am sure there are hundreds of thousand Nissan unsatisfied customers who have had to deal with this. Step up Nissan & do the right thing. I do not have $1000 to fix this problem. We also have an Altima so wondering when that will go too. No more Nissan for us!

- Jamison, PA, USA

problem #55

Jan 132016


  • 108,000 miles
I was never notified that my 2009 Nissan Maxima has a malfunction called steering wheel lock failure. My car was on a city street when it would not start, it would not recognize my keys fob, and I was not able to start the car with the push to start button. Nothing happened. Nothing on the dashboard would show. I had my car towed to the Nissan dealership and this malfunction is costing me a lot of money. I did some research and this malfunction is something that a lot of people have complained about and I don't understand why this is not something that would be a recall. If this was a recall, then I never received a recall letter because I would have got this fixed a lot sooner before it happened to me.

- Ridgefield Park, NJ, USA

problem #54

Jan 042016


  • 107,000 miles
When trying to start the car, it fails to start. Steering has failed, not allowing the car to start. This issue has appeared twice on my car in 7 days. Thanks to I have been able to limp my way. I took the car to my local Nissan dealer, and the diagnosis was determined that steering lock has failed. They told me that that with parts and labor it would be $1,500. I researched this issue online and found pages and pages of online forums with people complaining about this issue. I called 1-800-Nissan they reviewed the case and offered me nothing in return. Nissan knows this is an issue; it should be a recall; however, they are doing nothing to rectify the problem. Nissan please fix this problem.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #53

Dec 072015


  • 11,100 miles
Got off of work and I tried to crank my car and it wouldn't start. The key symbol was on but that's I got it towed to local mechanic through my insurance and I payed 35. They couldn't find the problem so I had to get it towed the car lot where I bougjt it from and it cost me $125. I've since did research and it seems that a lot of people has having the same problem and paying over $1, 000 out of iam waiting for my leinholder to tell me I owe them $1, 000. I really like my 2009 Nissan Maxima but I will not buy another one

- Piedmont, AL, USA

problem #52

Nov 112015


  • 62,000 miles
I was driving along a highway at 50 mph. When the steering wheel suddenly fell to my knees. This car has a retractable steering system. I was able to steer the car safely to the side of the road. I did not drive the car. The steering wheel was then able to be pushed back into the driving position. I brought the car to the dealership today, and they told me that the two electric motors in the steering column were defective (had to be replace) the cost woulkd be $2,000. The car has just 60,000 miles.

- Stoughton, MA, USA

problem #51

Oct 052015


  • miles
The steering column is lock and the car won't start using the intelligent key system. This was a problem with many car owners and Nissan issued an extended warranty which allowed for owners to have their car repaired if this issue happened within the warranty period. I purchased my car used and didn't experience this problem until after the extended warranty expired. I feel Nissan should have recalled all cars of this model to correct a problem that is clearly due to poor manufacturing. The recall would have costed more money, but it's the right thing to do.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #50

Jul 192015


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that after parking, the vehicle did not register that the key was in the ignition. The vehicle had to be towed to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the gear lock module malfunctioned and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 109,000.

- Carteret, NJ, USA

problem #49

Aug 312009


  • 500 miles
When I am driving the car, with a passenger in the front passenger seat, air bag not on sign will illuminate. This happens on a daily basis. I never took it in and it still happens now. It became oblivious to me because I didn't make time to have the problem corrected, seat belts are fastened and the light still comes on. There are times when the radio completely dies and in a hurricane situations we rely on the radio for weather and highway condition updates. This is a current problem.

- Vacaville , CA, USA

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