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

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2009 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 3 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #102

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 #101

Jan 032016


  • 121,000 miles
Key indicator lock light came on. Car would not start completely disabled. Did research to see if others have had same problem on youtube and this site to find that multiple people have had same issue. Had vehicle towed to dealership $1,100 estimate!!!

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #100

Jan 012016


  • miles
I pulled into my mother's driveway stopped the car to run into the house for about an hour. Went back to start the car and it wouldn't start. The yellow key indicator light came on as if it wasn't recognizing my I-key. Was told by Nissan dealer this was steering lock malfunction common in the vehicles. Was given a quote of $900 not including towing. Contacted Consumer Affairs upon seeing that this was a common issue to insure I wasn't covered by any warranty etc. No was the answer to that. I find it disturbing that Nissan is aware of this issue and is ok with leaving consumers stranded in possibly undesirable or unsafe situations. I am a 2nd time Nissan owner but after how this is being handled this will be my last Nissan vehicle. I was told to take the vehicle to Nissan for diagnostic because a case could be opened by Consumer Affairs to possible assist with the payment but they only assist more reliable customers, which they didn't feel I was since I hadn't been going to Nissan for my services. I purchased this car second hand and was not under warranty. I went more cost efficient routes for servicing as the one time I tried to contact them for assistance in the past staff was rude. I just can't believe I am left int his position for a know issue with no assistance from the company.

- Paducah, KY, USA

problem #99

Dec 062015


  • 57,000 miles


Upon successfully unlocking the car, the push ignition failed to respond and the car would not start. The keyfob was able to lock and unlock the car, even set off the panic alarm but pressing the ignition button would not move the car out of "lock" position. The car had been parked for about 1.5 hrs before having been driven several miles. Upon diagnosis by a licensed mechanic, the electronic steering lock module was found to have failed. On further online research, it was learned that this part is susceptible to failure and it is common to find many 2009 Nissan owners of several models (Altima, Maxima, 370Z) to have had this problem, within and outside of warranty.

- Sandy Hook, CT, USA

problem #98

Dec 172015


  • 74,000 miles
While traveling West on the pa turnpike, my steering wheel just dropped to the lowest position!! scared the hell out of me. I ended up getting the car to the shoulder of the road. I was able to get the steering position up at little to stay and lock. Drove the car back to my local Nissan dealership to tell me that the motor for the steering wheel tilt and/or telescopic needs replaced!! what a freaking nightmare...$800 plus dollars for repairs plus tax!! what a crock of bull!! I see that this is happening to a lot of Nissan owners!! why isnt the government doing anything!! not until somebody has a fatality accident!!

- New Salem, PA, USA

problem #97

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 #96

Dec 082015


  • 65,000 miles


Car was parked. Car will not start steering locked

- Hudson, FL, USA

problem #95

Nov 232015


  • 85,000 miles
I was stranded at work due to my steering wheel locking device would not unlock. Nothing we tried worked. Had my car towed to dealership to find out that this is a major issue with other owners. No recall on this safety issue at this time. Nissan gave an extended warranty instead but did not make all owners aware. I was never notified of this issue. Dealership repaired the device and I have a bill for $906 that is not covered under warranty because it expired June 2015.

- Bessemer City, NC, USA

problem #94

Nov 212015


  • miles
Takata recall this whole steering lock situation is an absolute outrage. Apparently Nissan does not feel they are responsible for paying or replacing this defect. I know they've lost my business. I feel as well as many others this should be a recall. I am not the only person who has complained or had this problem. It is hundreds of dollars to fix and after reading there are tons of cases identical to mine. I had to leave my car unattended at our local jcpenney's for two days and two nights because the vehicle completely locked up.

- Hutchinson, KS, USA

problem #93

Nov 142015


  • 0 miles
Unable to start car due to streering is locked. No power to turn on any accessories.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #92

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 #91

Oct 242015


  • 58,000 miles
Unable to start vehicle, steering column won't unlock. Occurs when vehicle is parked. Seems to be a well known issue with the steering mechanism unable to properly signal the BCM. Stranding the driver.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #90

Oct 242015


  • miles
I have not had the car long enough to pay the taxes and the steering locks. Warranty will not cover this is a mess over $1100 to repair. I was going to get my aunt picture copied for her wedding she is deceased. I didn't get the picture and I missed the wedding waiting on the tow truck. Really 😡 upset with Nissan I don't think I will be buying another one ever. Many people has had this issue yet Nissan will not fix this issue. Very dissatisfied customer

- Gray Court, SC, USA

problem #89

Sep 292015


  • 100,000 miles
I got in my car tried turning it on and it would not turn over at all. I knew it wasn't the battery because all lights were on and fob still worked. When I put the actual key in slot it gave the missing key light. I had to have it towed to Nissan where they told me it would be 1100 to fix the steering wheel lock. After researching online I saw a lot of the same complaints, and that Nissan had issued an extended warranty. After calling Nissan Consumer Affairs they informed me that my warranty had expired 4 months ago but that they would escalate to see if they would cover a portion. After being strung for three days, they decided that they would not cover any of the cost. They also informed me prior that normal protocol was for Consumer Affairs to call the dealership where the car was which they never did for, I just got an automatic no!

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #88

Sep 012015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
2009 Nissan Maxima. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle steering wheel lock malfunction.

- Norcross, GA, USA

problem #87

Aug 202015


  • 65,329 miles
Daughter drove car home from school. Went to leave a couple hours later for volleyball practice and the car was completely frozen. We could not depress the gas pedal and there were 2 lights on the dashboard that kept flashing. One was red and had a key symbol in it and the other was orange and said the word key in it. The car was stuck in the garage, could not even move it into neutral to be towed, had to get the towing guy to go get another mechanic to use a screwdriver to release a mechanism that would allow them to put the car in neutral so they would not have to "drag" it out of the garage. Ended up being the steering lock with a cost for parts of $684.87 - total cost with labor $964.76. We were informed that this particular part had an extended warranty put on it that was good through may of 2015. Didn't matter the mileage on the car, apparently it was only a time issued warranty. So, once may came and went - you paid for your own part. We are curious as to why this was not made a recall verses an extended warranty situation. We are now out $1000 for something that Nissan knows is a problem, yet has not done the proper thing by issuing a full recall for this problem.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #86

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 #85

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 #84

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 #83

Mar 072015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 60,045 miles
Went to store this morning to get coffee, got back in car and it would not start. Indicators suggest no key and one suggest key in car. Cost me $75 to have it towed and just found out it will cost $1,000 for repairs. Very upset and would like Nissan to make this a recall.

- Bensalem, PA, USA

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