Notes: The 2010 Nissan Maxima is a very good reliable vehicle. Beware of Maximas from 2009, and 2004-2006 though.

The 2009 Maxima has an expensive problem where the steering lock prevents the car from starting, & costs upwards of $1,000 to fix!

Nissan Maximas from 2004-2006 have a widespread transmission defect, but judging from our complaint data, Nissan fixed the transmission problem starting with the 2007 model.

For the 2010 Maxima, so far so good!


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,140 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.

2010 Nissan Maxima drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2010 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 112016


  • 119,700 miles


While driving the car to southern cal, the service engine soon light came on. The car would not go above 2000 rpms periodically. I parked the car for 1 - 2 hrs and it seemed to start working again. Once home, I headed to the mechanic the next day and the transmission slipped completely. I should have stopped and called Nissan on the highway because once I made it home the odometer was above 120,000.

- Wildomar, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 072015


  • 63,000 miles
I went to start my vehicle and an orange light that read "key" popped up on the dashboard. On my ignition button the "lock" word was luminated. My vehicle would not start, nor turn on electrical systems. I was stranded from picking up my daughter, which caused chaos and unnecessary obstacles that could have been a safety issue. My vehicle was in the off position, parked after only 2 hours after last use. Schools can call child protective services if you do not pick up your kid by a certain time. That proves that if I didn't find a way to get my daughter picked up in a timely manner she would've been in danger. Thank god I was in front of my home when this happened because I could've been in a hostile neighborhood, in the cold, with no heat. The piece in question that was the problem... quoted by Nissan is the "steering lock." This piece has been recalled by Nissan in the earlier models, but apparently not for my vehicle. (which is the year after the one that is recalled) apparently they didn't fix this issue. What if I was someone who needed to be home to take medicine at a certain time, or I didn't have a phone to tell the school where my daughter is waiting for me the issue, or my wife was in labor? this piece is an unnecessary hazard and needs to be fixed.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #3

May 112015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
My engine light came on yesterday morning car was stalling a little was driving in my neighborhood when my car started slowing down once I put my foot on the accelerator it started to make noises like a motorcycle and wouldn't move fast. Car stop on my street and we had to push it into my driveway. Now when I crank my car it makes the motorcycle noise for a few seconds and then goes away. Can't drive it but can change the gears with ease. Took it to a shop and stated that it is the transmission.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #2

Feb 012011


  • 44,000 miles
Cvt Nissan 2010 Maxima problems & issues ----these are recorded problems with Nissan's new cvt transmission on Nissan Maxima 2010. The cvt exhibits lost of power, high RPM, loud whining noise, and cvt gets stuck in 6th gear (won't down shift) in manual and drive mode. The car will not accelerate at high speeds and gives a P1778 code (other codes as well).. this cvt transmission sucks. I took it to four dealerships. I was told nothing is wrong. The car was finally diagnosed with "check engine light on". the error code 1778 &. four other codes were pulled in total. The overall diagnosis is "complete cvt transmission failure"I contacted Nissan Consumer Affairs. The code occurred at 44K, 65K, 85K miles, and 94K miles, and each time it was undiagnosable since the check engine light did not stay on. I was able to get this diagnosed with a check engine light on at 124,000 miles. At Nissan Consumer Affairs I spoke with megan, juanita and then callia from the executive branch (so she says - she was a telephone representative). All of these Nissan reps have no knowledge of Nissan engines or cvt's. Consumer Affairs refused to believe that the dealers refused to acknowledge the problem exists, even despite the tsb's, warranty extension, numerous customer complaints, and my numerous calls over the past two years to Nissan Consumer Affairs. All in all they did not even acknowledge the ongoing issues with the cvt. These Nissan dealers, Nissan service departments, and Nissan Consumer Affairs are crooks --- I would advise anyone to not buy Nissan cars. If you do have to buy a Nissan beware that they will try to rip you off at every diagnosis and decision point on their part. I am very sorry to say. I used to think Nissan was a good company.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #1

Aug 312011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
Nissan Maxima 2010 - sport edition. The cvt transmission exhibits severe lose of power on 75mph roadway driving between phoenix and flagstaff Arizona, up elevation. Lack of power is present in heavy traffic as well. On 75 mph highways the cvt begins to whine, the engine has high RPM, loud whining noise from cvt, and car gets stuck in 6th gear in both manual shift mode and drive mode. The vehicle will not accelerate or maintain speed with other vehicles at the posted 75 mph speed limit. The vehicle will not give a code but once gave a P1778 code - faulty solenoid or step up motor. This issue occurs frequently within city driving as well, in addition to high speed highways on long drives over hilly roads climbing up elevation. In city driving the cvt will not respond when the gas pedal is depressed leaving the vehicle in the center of traffic when entering a busy highway. At other times the vehicle is able to accelerate dramatically (normal) to the speed of cars on a busy main street (55mph). And, then suddenly the car just lacks power when entering a busy 3-4 lane street (55 mph) and you find yourself in the middle of busy 3-4 lane street with approaching oncoming traffic. The vehicle is barely able to get itself out of the way at full throttle. The problem has been getting progressively worst and did not occur when the car was purchased new. Cvt fluid was changed at 44,000 miles prior to Nissan recommendation. This cvt transmission sucks and the dealerships are giving customers a hard time since the problem doesn't not give a engine trouble code. The code P1778 eventually is cleared from the computer on its own when it does occur. The problem with this cvt transmission persists and is a major safety issue because the vehicle will suddenly fail to accelerate and maintain the posted speed limit during city driving and on high speed highways.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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