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 6 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Dec 122012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles


The steering wheel lock will malfunction without any indicator rendering the car unable to start.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #41

Mar 092013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 40,400 miles
The steering lock module stopped working. I was unable to start the car, the steering wheel and brakes were locked. The keyfob battery was fine, as was the car battery. I hear that this is a known issue with 2009 Nissan. I just bought the car 7 weeks ago. Had to have it towed to a dealer. They diagnosed the problem. Have to wait 3 days for the part. Total cost - approx $900.

- Halifax, MA, USA

problem #40

Feb 212013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I had just stopped by another office in minneapolis to pick up a piece of equipment. It was my last order of business of the evening. I was about 30 minutes from home. I went back out to my car and it would not start. I spent about 2.5 very stressful hours trying to get it started. I had my 17 year-old bring me my other fob, I replaced batteries in the fob, I looked up problems in the manual. I had to have my car towed back to the Nissan dealer. To my dismay, they told me it was a common issue and it cost $850 to fix. Since that day, I have been researching the internet to read about similar problems and it turns out they are everywhere! Nissan Maxima, Altima, 370Z...all 2009 to 2010 model years. Nissan needs to recall and give me my money back!

- Coon Rapids, MN, USA

problem #39

Feb 242013


  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that after shutting her vehicle off the steering column would not move up or down. The contact then restarted the vehicle and the steering column dropped lower than normal. The vehicle was later taken to the dealer. After diagnosis, they advised her that the steering column fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 55,000.

- Central Village, CT, USA

problem #38

Feb 152013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 50,177 miles
In my travel to work I arrived at the local gas station to fuel up. Afterwards, I got back in and tried to start my car and it would not start. The "key indicator" was the only light that was showing on the dash and the work "lock" was showing on the push to start button. I end up having to call a roll back to tow my car to the nearest Nissan dealership which is out of state and caused me $200. Once I arrived, the Nissan employee told me that it was the car lock steering that was preventing the car to start and that it was going to cost $866 to repair. I had to option but to pay because I need my car to go to work. I have researched this problem and discovered this has happened to several other people that own Nissan Maxima's and other Nissan makes. This part should be recalled because it's frequently happened to others resulting in all being stranded. I had no indication that this was going to happen. It happened sudden.

- Temperanceville, VA, USA

problem #37

Jan 222013


  • 84,000 miles
Went into the store, came out and my car would not start. The key symbol kept showing up, steering column was in the locked position & the brakes were locked as well. Had to get the car towed to local Nissan dealership where they informed me after some diagnostic tests that the problem was the steering lock mechanism. This is a part recalled on the 2009 370Z & gtr Nissan models but not for the Maxima or Altima. This is a huge safety concern & luckily I was somewhere close to home otherwise my son & I would have been stranded in freezing cold weather. Nissan took this part out of their 2010 models so it obviously is a faulty part. Kind of shady that they have not recalled it yet, especially with this being a huge safety concern.

- Fort Drum, NY, USA

problem #36

Feb 042013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 50,532 miles


Upon attempting to start the car, ignition would not change from "lock" to "acc" or "on". intelligent key warning lamp was lit steady on dash. Steering wheel column was not locked. All power and other functions worked (lights, door locks, etc). Battery is fine. Dealer found steering lock control module part 48700-9N00A faulty and replaced with steering lock control module part 48700-9N00B. Similar part on Nissan gtrs was recalled, part number 48700-jf00A or 48700-jf00B, being replaced by 48700-jf00C same part number is failing for Nissan 370zs as well, same years and same part number 48700-jf00A or 48700-jf00B, yet they are not being recalled. This problem is also occurring in Nissan Maximas and Nissan muranos in all models of Nissan this part was removed in mid 2010 due to consistent failure. The part costs approximately $500 from Nissan, is usually out of stock and back ordered, and costs another $400-$500 to be installed at a dealer. There should be a make-wide recall for all models for this part. Failure of this part strands the driver with no warning of impending failure. How can aelectronic part mounted inside the passengers compartment fail so often at less than three and a half years of service?

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #35

Jan 312013


  • 28,600 miles
Car was turned off and parked in a parking lot for 3 min. While I went to the atm machine. When I returned to the car it would not start. Warning light would come on, so I checked the owner's manual to look up the signal and it was the steering lock. Had to call a tow truck to have car towed to dealers for repair.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #34

Feb 072013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Parked at grocery store. On return key not recognized by keyless push starter. After 2 hours of trying to start engine in minus 15 degree celsius, I called for a tow truck and waited for another hour. Towed to Nissan dealership. Left on lot as it was after hours. Next morning Nissan technician advised steering lock module. $605 to replace.

- Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, NY, USA

problem #33

Jan 182013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Car is stranded because the steering wheel lock is faulty. Looked it up and Nissan has a faulty part that is in several cars and they are letting people get stranded and charging them $1200 dollars to fix the issue. Should be a recall issue. Here is lots of background

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #32

Jan 172013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 54,671 miles


I was stranded in a parking lot with freeezing temperature. Nissan had to replace the steering lock assembly to the tune of $800. It is a part that has been recalled on the gtr. It has been documented on the 370Z. They have done nothing on the Maxima or Altima. Owners of the 2009 are told to remove the fuse to take this part out of the equation and not get stranded. Nissan has replaced this part on 2010 vehicles and newer. They should reimburse anyone who has to make this repair. It is a part that is not necessary in this vehicle. Proven by Nissan having their techncians remove the fuse in 2009 Maximas, Altima, 370Z and gtr. The faulty part has been proven to exist in the 2009 gtr, 370Z and Maximas. Nissans changing of the part in 2010 and newer vehicles is a direct admssion of their guilt.

- St. James, NY, USA

problem #31

Jan 242013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
The steering wheel lock malfunctioned stranding my in a parking lot without any warning. The automatic lock mechanism locked the wheel and did not allow even allow me to start the car. When looking this up this is a very well known problem for several different Nissan models. In fact the exact same part as already been recalled on two different models. Apparently there has not been enough complaints on the Maxima for them to find this an issue forcing them to address it like there were with the others. I called Nissan and they agree that the exact same part was recalled due to safety concerns but not on the 2009 Maxima because the government has not made to recall it yet. So I just got stuck with a 1000 bill by the dealer to fix an unnecessary steering wheel lock column which is known to be faulty and has been recalled but not yet in this exact model. This is outrageous. This needs to be addressed soon.

- West Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #30

Dec 232012


  • 37,600 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The test results showed a faulty steering lock unit which caused the failure. The dealer replaced the steering lock unit. The failure mileage was 37,600.

- Washington D.C., DC, USA

problem #29

Jan 082013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
On the morning of 1/8/13 I drove my 2009 Nissan Maxima to my commuter parking lot, and realized that I didn't completely park in my space after turning the car off. I proceeded to start my car with the push stop/start but nothing happened. As soon as I realized my vehicle wouldn't start, I became very upset because I just purchased the vehicle last January and only had a powertrain warranty that was still active. I immediately contacted the service department of the Nissan dealership I purchased the vehicle from and complained, while crying lemon law. The service technician attempted to help me start the vehicle while over the phone and after realizing what the issue may be, he explained that there is a common issue with the 2009 Nissan Maxima's that he believes the computer module in the steering column had gone bad. I asked if Nissan had recalled that part since it was a common issue, his answer was no and informed me it's going to cost around $750 just to purchase the part, and with labor around $900-$1000 to repair. I said if this is a common issue with my model, then why didn't Nissan recall that part. The service technician had no explanation other than mentioning, it hasn't happened to enough people yet which I feel is completely absurd! this is a huge safety issue as my vehicle wouldn't start without any indication, or warning beforehand. Please help!

- Tobyhanna, PA, USA

problem #28

Jan 062013


  • 57,250 miles
The steering column locked up and would not start the car. The electric lock failed to unlock sending error message to the BCM. The car completely locked up and would not start. There was no warning this would happen. It is my understanding that Nissan knows this component is a problem and even recalled it on other models, but not on the Maxima. Its an exteremely expensive fix and should be recalled if they know it is a problem. I got stranded in bitter cold temperatures with a 2 month old baby. This part needs to be recalled.

- Midvale, UT, USA

problem #27

Dec 192012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 20,768 miles
I parked my car, to pick up something from the store, and when I came back to start my car, it would not start. I checked on and saw that this is a common problem, because of the steering wheel lock. I had to get my car towed, because I was stranded, and now waiting for the diagnosis for the issue, from Nissan repair shop.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #26

Dec 202012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 33,022 miles
Steering/brake lock failed to disengage with attempted engine start up. Key indicator light and security lights flashing on dash. Steering lock required replacement after car was towed to nearest Nissan dealership. This repair was not covered under warranty which had expired 7 month earlier. On line research would suggest this is a fairly common occurrence; a Nissan service bulletin has apparently be published for this issue as it was referenced by the service department providing the repair.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #25

Mar 012012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Steering component - telescope and tilt function: 1. the steering column telescoping function stopped working and can no longer be adjusted leaving the steering wheel in a locked position. Potential for injury if the steering wheel cannot be moved far enough away from the driver if the air bag deploys during a frontal crash. 2. steering wheel tilt function stopped working and can no longer be adjusted leaving the steering wheel in a locked position. This also poses a potential for injury if the steering wheel cannot be adjusted up or down to properly accommodate the driver if the air bag deploys during a frontal crash.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #24

Dec 172012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 46,500 miles
On December 17, 2012 I had driven from my house to the gym. There was no issue with my car and when I went to leave my car would not start. My Nissan Maxima has a push start ignition and when I pushed the button nothing happened. In the display it kept indicating the yellow key light and the red key security light. I had the car towed to the local Nissan dealer who told me the steering lock assembly had failed. If I wanted this fixed it was going to cost me $800. I asked the service department if this was a common failure at the mileage the car was at and I was told it was not common. Researching the problem it seems that this issue occurs regularly for a 2009 Nissan Maxima around this mileage range. I was told the warranty does to cover this and it had expired a year earlier. I believe if this is a common problem then it should be a recall item.

- Danville, NH, USA

problem #23

Dec 112012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Steering wheel lock/ignition part failed just out of warranty. Part# 48700-9N00B.

- Granger, IN, USA

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