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!


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,302 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2010 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #54

Feb 232015


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while attempting to start the engine, the key warning light illuminated and the engine failed to start when the automatic push button was pressed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock mechanism failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 84,000.

- Granada , MS, USA

problem #53

Feb 182015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I went to start my 2010 Maxima and it wouldn't start. I thought it was the battery, so I changed it. No difference. Then I saw that the key indicator was lit on my dashboard. So I checked my key fob, it was fine. Then I began to google the issue and saw that there was a recall on the 2009 Altima/Maxima's on the electronic steering column lock (escl). I read that owners of Maxima's would remove the bottom dashboard and jiggle or tap the escl and the car would eventually start. I tried this remedy, and it worked...temporarily. The light went off but the very next day it came back on. I was hesitant to start my car after the incident. The car started but the light stayed on. I assumed that there was an electrical issue, but since the car started I went on about my daily routine. Then it happened, I was away from my home, on a date, in the snow, and it wouldn't start again. There I was trying to start my car without tools in the snow!! there are countless complaints about this issue on the internet. Many have gone unresolved, and there are many unsatisfied Nissan owners out there. I love my Maxima, but I am very unsatisfied with Nissan and how they have handled this issue. Especially since they admitted fault with the 2009 model, yet new models still have the same issue. I contacted and filed a complaint and was told that they we're sorry but that they would not assist me.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #52

Feb 212015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
Car suddenly would not start....start button could not be pressed. Had tow to Nissan and confirmed it was the steering lock control unit. They want $1000 to fix it! it only has 31000 miles. It was purchased in Sept 2009 and the 2009 model warranties were extended! I'm furious!

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #51

Jan 232015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


The electronic steering column lock (escl) failed on my 2010 Nissan Maxima. Nissan wants over $900 out of pocket to replace the part although this is a documented problem in many different models and years of Nissan vehicles that use the same part. There is no recall or reimbursement program in place as this time. There is for the 2009 Altima and Maxima but not the 2010 models even though they use the same part. My car functions completely fine but without this part being replaced I cannot start my car. Something needs to be done about this immediately.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #50

Feb 112015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I have 2010 Nissan Maxima sv. Stopped by for gas and the start button did not respond. Read online and found potential steering lock issue. Called Nissan consumer service before contacting dealer. Say have to bring to dealer to diagnose. Nissan consumer totally useless. Confirm and did not help. Say there was a campaign for recall on steering wheel lock failure but does not applies to my vehicle. I asked at least help on the cost or discount on parts since it's manufacture defect. They say no. Have no choice. Paid 110 to tow to dealer and 900 bucks for part and labor to fix out of pocket. Not happy consumer. Hopefully if we get enough complaints in.. Nissan will do mandatory recall if we get government involvement. Please every one with similar issues file the complaint reports.!!!!

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #49

Feb 142015


  • 77,000 miles
My wife went shopping before the blizzard, came out car wouldn't start, I hear this is a common on this year of car.

- Fall River, MI, USA

problem #48

Feb 042015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 31,905 miles


My car would not start was able to open the doors to the car but could not start the car. Car was towed to Nissan service station was told the steering lock had to be replaced for internal failure and it was no longer under warranty. $899.67 dollars later and as I'm leaving the service station I'm told my warranty was up by a few days and also Nissan had extended the warranty for 2009 models but not 2010 models this is a copy taken from released in 2013 (Q1.what is the reason for warranty extension? a. to ensure customer satisfaction. Model year 2009 Altima and Maxima vehicles are equipped with an electronic steering column lock (escl) unit that locks the steering wheel when the vehicle is parked and the ignition is turned off to help prevent theft. Nissan has determined that on a small number of vehicles, due to a manufacturing irregularity that has since been corrected, the escl may malfunction after the steering column is locked and could prevent the engine from starting.what will be the corrective action? a. Nissan will extend its new vehicle limited warranty coverage for the affected part numbers from its original duration of 36 months/ 36,000 miles to 72 months/unlimited miles ) I investigated on line and there are many complaints by owners with 2010 models that have this same problem Nissan admits to a manufacture problem how can they not be responsible for replacing it free of charge for all 2010 with the same problem.

- Flushing , NY, USA

problem #47

Jan 272015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
The electric steering wheel lock mechanism failed. Nissan knows this is a faulty part issue. They issued a recall for 2009 Maximas. They changed the part out in late 2010 models. However, those of us with early 2010 models are out of luck. We do not fall inside recall and we did not get the new part so all of us with failure have to pay to have vehicles towed to a dealership and pay $1,000 ($700 parts & $300 labor) for the repair. The vehicle literally will not even start. You cannot even get it into neutral so not sure how it can be towed. I am second owner and have less than 40,000 miles on car. I love the car and was thinking about getting a second one for wife to drive. Will not buy another Nissan nor recommend that anyone else do so if this is how they treat the consumer! I want this faulty part fixed free of charge!

- Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #46

Dec 242014


  • 70,000 miles
Electronic steering column lock - (escl) failed. Car will not start. Key fob is operational. Known issue with 2009-2010 Nissan. Units are defective, Nissan not willing to take responsibility for 2010 parts. Failure will happen instantly, and will leave you stranded anytime anyplace. Vehicle has to be towed to dealership for repair. Repair cost is >$1,000

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #45

Jan 052015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I tried to start my car this morning but the car would not start. There was yellow light that said key and when I tried to depress the brake nothing happened. There was an extended warranty for the 2009 Maximas for the same exact issue that I have - its due to the steering column locking. No extended warranty was given for the 2010's which is wrong because clearly there still a problem with the steering column that was not fixed for the 2010 models but Nissan stated that is was infact fixed and no warranty/discount/etc will be given for the 2010S. I will have to pay over $1000 for faulty design due to Nissan. Never buying another Nissan again!

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #44

Jan 042015


  • miles


I went to turn on the car and it wouldn't come on but had a yellow key light on the dash. Key fob would work to lock and unlock the car, but the brake wouldn't depress, and could not shift. Looked for possible solutions online and found numerous issues for the same problem with the steering lock. Warranty only covers 2009 Nissan Maxima.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #43

Nov 212014


  • 97,000 miles
I own a 2010 Nissan Maxima on November 21, 2014 after leaving work. I notice a yellow indicator light on my dashboard. Initially I thought my key fob had a weak battery, so I called my brother to pick up my extra valet key. However that did not work, I was eventually towed to the Nissan dealership where my car was diagnose for a failure in the electronic steering column lock (escl), as a result of consistently trying to start the car my battery failed too. Consequently, I had to pay for the escl part and a new battery, I was out of pocket $1286 due to the warranty do not cover the escl part in 2010 Nissan Maxima"S. I contacted Nissan North America Consumer Affairs and was denied a reimbursement due to being out of the warranty protection 36 months/36,000 miles. After further research I see this is an ongoing issue with several consumers. I will be doing my due diligence to ensure that this matter is more than just identify by Nissan but that a reimbursement plus extended warranty is awarded to all 2010 Nissan Maxima"S owners that can provide proof of this matter.

- Saint Louis , MO, USA

problem #42

Dec 152014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
My vehicle has been properly maintained, I have consistent service receipts. I pull into my driveway, cut my car off and walk into my home, as I always do. I come back approx 3 hours later, and my engine will not start. There is a "key" light on. My battery is not dead, all other electrical functions seem to be working fine. However my engine will not start at all. I must have it towed.

- Morrow, GA, USA

problem #41

Dec 142014


  • 68,000 miles
2010 Nissan Maxima (electronic steering column lock) issue. After starting my car and driving 5 minutes to the gas station, I turned off my car and went inside the gas station. When I came out to start the car, I saw little indicator on the dash that looks like a key. I also see an indication, instructing me to remove my key fom from the dock. All and all my car will not start, and after research I seeing that loads of other are having the same issue.I'm expecting Nissan to not cover this. My car has been towed to the local dealership for repair. I strongly agree that this issue should be covered under a recall, since it's the exact same issue the 2009 models are having.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #40

Dec 082014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
We own a 2010 Nissan Maxima manufactured in 2009. We bought the vehicle new in January 2010. On Monday, my car refused to start. After conducting some research, I discovered our vehicle has a defective escl which is leaving people stranded because their car won't turn on and neither will any accessory function there are hundreds upon hundreds of complaints on the internet from loyal customers who have spent $700 to $1600 fixing this problem. 2009 models are now part of an extended warranty program to replace this part. My vehicle is not part of that extended warranty even though it is the same exact part. Yesterday, I called Nissan of America to request that my vehicle be added to the extended warranty program. The employees informed me that I could take my vehicle to the Nissan dealership for repair, pay the bill and then submit for a "good will" reimbursement that may or may not be granted after an undefined evaluation period. Later in the evening, I spoke to a supervisor after she called. Again, I received the same information. After 25 minutes, I finally got it bumped to the executive department for consideration of my request for appeal. Frankly, I fully expect to have the same response tomorrow. I have not been on the phone dealing with this issue for almost an hour and a half. Nissan want me to get the car fixed first and then submit a reimbursement that may or may not be granted. This is not acceptable. Adding my VIN to the extended warranty program will solve this issue. The bottom line is I am respectfully requesting that my vehicle be immediately added to the extended warranty program to replace the escl and for my tow bill to the dealership be reimbursed. This is a safety issue as it is leaving motorists stranded because they can't turn their car on, can't roll down the windows, and can't turn on any accessories.

- Charles Town, WV, USA

problem #39

Nov 302014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 65,950 miles
I had driven my car to church, everything was fine. After chruch, I got in my car and it wouldn't start. Nothing would work. The keyless remote would unlock the doors but when pushing the start button nothing happened. The auxiliary didn't even work. I had to have the car towed to a mechanic. After running diagnostics on the car, I was told the car had to go to the Nissan dealership due to Nissan doesn't release all coding. Another tow bill to have the car taken to local Nissan dealership. Diagnostics ran on the car and it was the "electronic steerling wheel lock". this is part of the security/anti-theft mechanism that is located in the steering column. It had to be replaced at owner's expense. This is known defect in 2009-2010 Nissan Altima, Maxima and 370Z. The owners have no warning before this happens. You are total stranded at that spot. After googling this problem, I have found multiple complaints and that Nissan is not accepting responsibility. This part is now been "redesigned" so that this isn't happening.

- Wrightsville, GA, USA

problem #38

Nov 232014


  • 39,273 miles
Came out of the store and the car would not start. Got the car tow to the Nissan dealer on Monday November 25th 2014. The dealer said it was a internal short in the steering lock that cost me $950 to repair.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #37

Nov 192014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
I was at work, went to get into my car and couldn't start it up. I noticed the "lock" was on and the key light. I called my husband and he didn't know what to do. My husband came and picked me up and fortunately where I bought my car is right around the corner from my job. We went into ganley Nissan in mayfield heights, oh and they told me to try the key port. I placed my key into the key port, still nothing. I spoke with the service people at ganley and they told me that they will check my extended warranty, but this was only covered on Altima's last year and not Maxima's. my question is why not! this is fraud as far I am concerned. How can these big industries get away with this nonsense, selling us products that does not last, and then we have the service industry capitalizing on this. It is not fair, and this is a big bummer on my thanksgiving/christmas holiday if I have to come out of my pocket for something that Nissan should be taking care of. They have enough complaints for Maxima as well to do a recall, or be fair and pay for these repiars. This is not right! I loved my car until yesterday!

- Richmond Heights, OH, USA

problem #36

Nov 192014


  • 57,000 miles
Car parked at my employment parking lot and will not start because the steering wheel locked and key intelligent key light is on. Key does not work. This has been a problem with Nissan for years, and Nissan wants to charge me $100 for diagnostics when they already know what the problem is and how to fix it. Complaint: Vehicle won't start; Nissan's failure to recall this problem and have it corrected; failure to start with steering wheel in lock position and intelligent key does not work. The intelligent key is not that intelligent!

- Richmond Heights, OH, USA

problem #35

Nov 192014


  • 74,000 miles
After getting back into my car after dinner, my car would not start. The steering wheel moves, but the brake pedal was locked. The push ignition switch would only go in the "lock" position. The "key" icon was lit up on the left side of the dash. Putting the fob key into the slot (the back up way of starting the car) also did not work. From what I read on line, many 2009-2010 Nissan models have had this problem, which has been attributed to a steering column lock mechanism that doesn't disengage. I imagine this will cost me about 700-1000$ to fix, not to mention the cost to tow the vehicle to the Nissan dealership.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

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