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 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #82

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 #81

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 #80

Feb 022015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 89,427 miles
Ntb09-094 steering column comfort adjustment the steering column power adjustment (tilt or telescope) does not work or makes abnormal noise when operating the switch. Although it is known problem and defect it is not covered by any warranty.

- Houston , TX, USA

problem #79

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 #78

Aug 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
In August of 2014 I got in my car, 2009 Nissan Maxima, started it. Memory is set for my drivers seat. Seat set as normal. Steering/tilt did not move as it is set to my position. Did not move in, out, up nor down tried to set it, did not work manually either. Took my car to dealer, they said the motor has gone out in steer/tilt and it will cost close to $500 to get fixed.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #77

Nov 302014


  • miles
Today I got stranded, my 2009 Nissan Maxima wouldn't start due to my steering wheel being locked and wouldn't unlock. Tried everything the manual stated and nothing worked. Now I have to take it to the dealer where I'm going to get charged a lot of money for something that the dealer should pay for. I did some research and found out that Nissan is aware of this malfunction but does not place a recall on it. My car isn't even paid off yet and I'm having an issue with it. I don't understand? I bought my car brand new in 2009 and is well maintained with low miles. Nissan should put a recall on this problem, it can be dangerous.

- Tulare , CA, USA

problem #76

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 #75

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 #74

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 #73

Jun 192013


  • 76,545 miles
Was driving and steering wheel started grinding and moving. Took to dealership and cost over $800 to replace two motors steering wheel. They turned it off so it stopped moving on it's own. Still making grinding noise. They need to issue a recall as this has happened to hundreds of cars and is causing accidents. Shame on Nissan for just wanting to collect the money, because you can't even order the parts on your own to have someone else repair.

- Nottingham, MD, USA

problem #72

Oct 142014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


Went to turn the car on and the breaks were stiff and the steering wheel didn't want to turn. Apparently my steering wheel locked for no reason. This has been a big problem with the Nissan max. And they refuse to have a recall and expect me to pay for it out of pocket.

- Jacksonville , NC, USA

problem #71

Sep 152014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Tilt motor and telescoping motor ceased to work. Grinding sound when using the 4 way rocker switch to telescope or tilt the steering wheel.

- Lucas, TX, USA

problem #70

Jan 152013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 57,600 miles
Steering wheel tilt motor failed, grinding gear noise and when preset button is pressed, steering wheel goes all the way down. Pushing the up control for tilt only produces gear grinding noise, steering wheel will not go up.

- Winnebago, IL, USA

problem #69

Jul 292014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
The steering wheel column is locked in the down position making it very difficult to steer with the wheels hitting my knees and extremely hard entering and exiting the vehicle. I am unable to adjust the steering wheel column at all. There is a very loud grinding noise coming from the column, which seems to be the motor or electrical component/ gears.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #68

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 #67

Jul 142014


  • 0 miles
There was an open recall on the the struts I purchased the care from alantic Nissan September 2009. I took the care to get checked out and was told that the origanal struts were on the care yet alantic Nissan said that they proformed the recall December 2009. My spouse and I did not take the care to get this done because we were not aware never told that there was a recall. The campaign #09V358000. I only found this out because at service in Nissan 112 I was told. I was told the Nissan is not required to tell consmers about recall NHTSA is requirded to do so. If so was I not informed that the tranmisson coverage was changed to 120,000 the steering was recalled and motors in the seat.

- Brentwood, NY, USA

problem #66

Jun 172014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 57,285 miles
Motor in steering column failed and caused the steering column to jerk and make a grinding noise when ever the steering column moved or when the door was opened. Nissan had a service and technical bulletin (ntb09-094) on this item dated September 23, 2009. So this has been a known issue and no recall has been done on this. I even have an extended warranty and in my warranty it states it should be covered by Nissan and they refuse to cover it.

- Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #65

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 #64

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

problem #63

Feb 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 59,500 miles
The engine would not turn over or start and the steering wheel is locked. A small yellow key appears on the left side of the left instrument dial. The intelligent key does not engage. Web research indicates probable steering lock failure. The car was towed to nearest Nissan dealer today Feb. 5 who confirmed that steering lock has failed. The dealer service personnel tells me the replacement part is on back order, none of the other dealers in the Washington DC area have one. Technically it may not be a safety problem requiring a recall but if you had this problem on the shoulder of an interstate highway or sitting on the tracks at a railroad crossing it could be very dangerous. Now we will need some experience in order to trust the car to operate correctly in a safe manner. I am glad we have another car that is working correctly.

- Washington, DC, USA

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