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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,469 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 steering problems

steering problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Nissan Maxima:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #122

Jul 292016


  • 87,000 miles


My 18 old sons car just hit 87000 miles and the steering lock mechanism has failed. Not only is this a $900 repair but it is a reoccurring problem with Nissan vehicles. My son was stranded in a parking lot at 12am. This has occurred 3 times while his car is off. He is unable to start it. Had to have it towed 3 times with the dealer saying it was a battery problem. Had the battery replaced. Nissan admits there is a steering lock problem and that the recall period ended in Jan 3016. My son is 18 and just bought the car from a reputable major car dealership in town. Anytime a driver is at risk in a parking garage or lot or freeway with a car that had this notable problem it is a safety concern.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #121

Jul 262016


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and the "indicator key not being recognized" message appeared. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock module failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #120

Jan 012016


  • 130,000 miles
Steering lock malfunctions stranding the driver in possibly dangerous locations or hours. Had to tow to dealer and pay $1094 for repairs

- Paducah, KY, USA

problem #119

Jul 142016


  • 110,000 miles


Steering wheel lock problem-I was not aware of this problem and was not able to benefit from the extended warranty. I was stranded late in the evening and was not able to get home and did not want to leave my car. My car was parked and would not start. The experience was traumatizing.

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #118

Jul 102016


  • 92,000 miles
The escl module went out on my Maxima. From what I have been reading in many, many Maxima forums, this is a common problem with the 2009 Maximas'. in fact, many forums discourage buying the 2009 and suggest earlier models. Currently, my automobile is disabled at the mechanic's shop with a repair fee of $1070.

- Forrestville, MD, USA

problem #117

Jul 072016


  • 65,357 miles
I just purchased the car (from an Audi dealership) about a week and a half ago (as is) and was not aware of the steering problems I've now researched. There was this weird growling noise coming from the steering wheel, it would eventually stop but it was disturbing. My sister and I took the car to the dealership and learn of that it was the telescopic steering column and two motors needed to be replaced. The dealership quoted about $900 to fix it. As a college student who just spent the money to purchase the car... I just can't afford it. However, I understand just how serious and dangerous the problem is. The possibility of the wheel locking is not only a safety issue to me and my passengers... but to others on the road as well. I'm not sure why a recall hasn't been issued by Nissan as they are aware of the problem. It also seems like a reoccurring issue with 09 Maxima owners across the board. Nissan evan issued a memo, but nothing more? this is too dangerous of a situation to ignore. There are lives at risk.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #116

Jun 272016


  • 98,000 miles


Steering wheel locked, shift wont work, brakes wont engage...never notified regarding Nissan alert which is posted on their doi get my car fixed...carwont start and cant get towed out of garage

- Taunton, MA, USA

problem #115

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 #114

Jun 082016


  • miles
My car was parked and wouldn't start when I went to crank it. I thought it was the battery but upon installing a new ine, the car still wouldn't start. I had it towed to the Nissan dealership and was told it's the steering wheel column and it would be $1000 to repair.

- Dothan, AL, USA

problem #113

May 202016


  • 123,300 miles
Steering lock malfunction

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #112

Mar 302016


  • 94,800 miles


Shut the car off went in the store for a short time came back out tried to start the car and nothing happened steering wheel was locked and would not move. Had it towed to one garage they couldn't fix it so had to have it towed to a Nissan dealer they told they had fixed four in the past couple days at harbor Nissan seems to be a big problem that Nissan should take care !!!! could have been stuck in the middle of nowhere Nissan owner's need help with issue !!! because they aren't helping !!

- Union City, TN, USA

problem #111

Jan 112016


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. When the contact arrived home and turned off the vehicle, the steering wheel did not lock into position. The contact stated that the steering wheel would not move. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 24,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #110

Jan 082016


  • 83,000 miles
The steering lock control on the vehicle failed causing the car to become disabled. The steering wheel would not turn and was locked in place, additionally the vehicle was stalled and would not restart. Fortunately the incident occurred in a parking lot had the steering lock control failed while driving a significant accident would have likely occurred as the driver would have lost steering control. The car had to be towed to the Nissan service shop for a repair costing nearly $1000. This was a known safety issue for Nissan as they extended the warranty for this part however my vehicle's control unit failed after the warranty expired. After online research I discovered many other Nissan owners have suffered the same safety failure on their vehicles. It is an obvious manufacturer safety defect that needs to be recalled.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #109

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 #108

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 #107

Feb 122016


  • 94,000 miles
The steering control module has failed, and will not allow the vehicle to start. Seems to be very common issue, and the same part and part number has been recalled on there other model cars, but not with this vehicle, when this part fail it will leave you stranded and not be able to start the car with the steering wheel possibly locked in place.

- Lowell, MA, USA

problem #106

Jan 242016


  • 71,162 miles
Steering lock actuator failure. The car would not start. Had to have it towed to a Nissan dealership and the part replaced for $1,330

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #105

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 #104

Jan 082016


  • 114,000 miles
Steering wheel lock - ignition lock assembly failure. I purchased my 2009 Nissan MA xima in Nov 2012 and my car has been running pretty good until the dreaded day when I was stranded because my car would not start. I had my car towed and I was told that thevsteeringbwheel lock assembly needed to be replaced $1189. I don't know about you, but im not made out of money. After a little research I discovered that this problem has been happening since 09. This is outrageous and Nissan should have owned up and fixed this problem along time ago. This is unacceptable and there should be a recall and not just a bulletin. There is a problem and nissa needs to fix there wrong, instead selling cars knowing that there is a problem. A recall needs to be issued and Nissan needs to do the repairs immediately with no charge to their customers.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #103

Mar 102015


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the security warning light illuminated intermittently causing the vehicle not to start. The vehicle was towed numerous times due to the vehicle being unable to start. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock control unit needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 84,000.

- Newnan, GA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?