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 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Jan 292014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


Yesterday I went into a store, came out to find out my electronic steering lock went up without warning. Its a widespread issue and is happening to 1000S of people. I been told Nissan is fully aware of the issue, but is only going to take care of the 2009 models. I don't understand how a major company such as Nissan would know about this and not take care of everyone having this issue. It's not a driver error, it's a factory error and Nissan should take full responsibility. The dealership I had it towed to says it's 900 dollars to fix and the part is on back order and they aren't sure when it would even come in. What am I supposed to do here? I don't have 900 dollars. This is my only means of transportation and I could be out of my vehicle for month's. I have been a Maxima lover since I can remember. I've had 3 Maximas. It's sad to say I will never purchase another Nissan again.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #13

Dec 192013


  • 88,000 miles
Today when I into my car and the car wouldn't start. I noticed the yellow "key" indicator is on, and the intelligent key will only lock and unlock the doors. I tried to start the car by placing the intelligent key in the manual start port, but the push button ignition stays ("reads") in the locked position, and the lcd shows an image that appears to be telling me to pull the key out of the port.the steering wheel itself is not locked, however. I can actually move it back and forth, but the brake pedal will not press very far down. After goggeling several threads came up about other people who have a 09-10 Maxima have the same issues but Nissan is doing nothing about it. Said to say it sounds like they know this was going to happen but they don't care about the life of their consumers. Im a single mother of 2 and im so hurt about the lack of quality Nissan is making.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #12

Dec 142013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 87,192 miles
Steering lock failed causing me to be stranded. Car would not start, but lights and door locks worked fine. Had to have the car towed to dealer and repaired. This is a known issue with Nissan. They refund 2009 Maxima owners but refuse to refund the 2010 even though it's the same part.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #11

Dec 132013


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the engine failed to start. The key warning symbol was illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #10

Nov 272013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 55,444 miles
Purchased vehicle November 2012 everything work fine parked car went to bed woke up next day car would not start, intelligent key open and lock doors, horn honks good, key symbol on dash showing steady, push button start symbol states lock, bought new car battery, new intelligent key battery still wont start. Called dealer, service tech states known problem as steeling mechanism locked. Had to pay to tow vehicle to dealer. End of story cost $857 to fix plus $200 for the tow and Nissan wont assist in any kind of way. Dealer tech says I have 1 year warranty on work but this can happen again at any time. I find this to make the vehicle unreliable in all kinds of ways even life threatening. After doing some research this is a very highly common issue which Nissan is well aware of. My family and I own many Nissan vehicles and after this we as family will no longer purchase Nissan vehicles. I don't understand how there isn't a recall or extended warranty on this issue.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #9

Dec 032013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 59,842 miles
I bought a 2010 Nissan Maxima 2 months ago. I drove it to work this particular day and everything seemed fine but when I tried to leave to go out for lunch, my car wouldn't start. I thought maybe it was the battery, but all lights worked perfectly and horn was still blowing. Called three Nissan dealerships in my area to get advice on what the problem may be, they all suggested that I may need a new battery in the fob. The fob was still working to unlock and lock the car so obviously this wasn't the problem. Still I tried for hours to get the car started and was not able to. After being stranded for hours, I had leave my car. The next day, I had to get it towed to the dealership, where they told me this was a common problem (yet they didn't suggest it when I called). The electrical steering control unit had gone out or malfunctioned. They had the replacement part in stock and had my car repaired the same day, which cost me $815.52. After researching the problem I found that this was a common problem and an extended warranty was actually issued for the 2009 Altima's for the same exact problem. I called Nissan and they were happy to open a case for me and forward it to the corporate office to see if I could get reimbursed since this is a common and known problem. A representative from Nissan called me back the following day and informed me that they are not issuing a extended warranty or issuing refunds for the problem. If this is a known problem why hasn't it been recalled and why won't Nissan take responsibility for the problem" I think that this should be investigated because there was no warning in my case and many other complaints I have read. What if the same thing happens to the "new" part" I'll be stranded again, need towing again, and have to pay for a known, uncorrected problem again.

- Plaquemine, LA, USA

problem #8

Dec 032013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


Went to start my 2010 Nissan Maxima this morning for work and it would not start. The yellow key light indicator was lit on the dash, brake was hard to press. The car would not change from "lock" mode to "acc" or "on" position. The car would not start, doors would unlock with the fob but the car would do nothing else. Reading the manual, I was able to tell what the indicator light meant. While waiting for the tow truck to arrive I searched the result and was shocked to see all the complaints on the same malfunction and how this has not been labeled as a recall due to the high volume of complaints. Basically the steering wheel control lock will not disengage leaving you stranded. There has been a recall on the 2009 Altima and Maxima but not the 2010 which uses the same part. From what I have read the repair cost run around $800-$1000. Waiting now for the Nissan dealership to call me back.

- Hope Mills, NC, USA

problem #7

Dec 032013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
I parked my car and went inside my inlaws with my 2 year old and 3 week old. When I went to leave my I-key warning light was on. The key opened the doors but the brake was locked and the vehicle wouldn't turn on. After looking online and checking the batteries in the key fobs I discovered this was a problem with the escl (electronic steering control lock). This is a known issue for Nissan produced in 2009. Nissan actually extended the 2009 models warranty for this part. My vehicle was produced in 2009 but is a 2010 model and not covered by the extended warranty. The repair for this is about $800 and should be covered under warranty. Nissan is ignoring this issue in 2010 models which is unacceptable. Had I been anywhere else this issue could have been much worse with me and my two kids stranded.

- Roanoke , VA, USA

problem #6

Nov 302013


  • 62,000 miles
Stopped at grocery store, went in for around 5 minutes, came back out and car wouldn't start. The key fob would lock and unlock doors, head lights would come on but when pressing start button, nothing. Paid $50 to have it towed to nearest Nissan dealership and it sat until Monday. After the dealership looked at it, they have notified me that it is the electronic steering control lock module. Labor and part would be $653.58. This is extremely common in the Altima and Nissan even extended the warranty on this part only and are currently covering costs for this part to be replaced in Altima. It's a shame to pay this much for a vehicle and can't even get it to run due to Nissan's faulty parts. And why would Nissan cover the part on an Altima but not on a Maxima even though it is the same exact part?

- Stanford, KY, USA

problem #5

Nov 202013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I was on my way to work when I stopped at the bank to make a transaction, when I returned to my car it would not start. Mind you it was cold and dark. I spent 3 hours freezing me butt off trying to figure out what I did wrong not realizing it was Nissan that is actually at fault. So basically I'm out of a days pay at work, have to pay for a tow truck to take my car back to my home because it dealer I closed, then pay for another tow truck in the morning to take my car to the dealer then pay to fix a problem that should have been recalled the same time they recalled the GT-R for the same parts and same issues. As a loyal customer I am very disgusted, irritated, and tired of these avoidable inconveniences.

- Cambria Heights , NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 242013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles


The car would not start. A light suggesting the battery in the key was dead came on. I replaced the battery of the key and the car still wouldn't start. Others have suggested it is a steering wheel lock issue that is happening on other Nissan manufactured around the same time. I was stranded.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #3

Sep 222013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
My car won't start because the steering control lock will not disengage thus making the car inoperable. Even with a new key fob, the car does not recognize this and will not change from "lock" mode to "acc" or "on" position. Basically, my car thinks I'm a thief. I have researched this and numerous people have had this issue with 2009 and 2010 Nissan that have a push start with this steering control lock. I called Nissan to discuss the issue and see if they would extend my warranty but they declined and forced me to make a claim after getting the car towed and serviced which could be anywhere from $700-1000. I am very skeptical about getting any money back from them and am interested in taking legal action should they not take care of this matter as it is a manufacturer malfunction and has nothing to do with wear and tear of vehicle. Which, btw, the vehicle is in great shape and has had regular maintenance checks so makes this even more frustrating.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #2

Jan 042012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I'm unable to turn on accessory ignition or start car due to defective steering wheel lock mechanism. Part #48700-JK000. Manufacture is unable to supply me with a new one. This is a known issue by Nissan motors, not just for Maxima, but all intelligent key models. Currently can't even roll windows up.

- Wasilla, AK, USA

problem #1

Feb 132011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,800 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact attempted to lock her vehicle with the keyless alarm system but was unable to do so. She entered the vehicle and then attempted to start the vehicle but there was no power. The vehicle was towed to the dealer but they were unable to duplicate the failure. Approximately one day later, the alarm suddenly sounded without warning. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer but they were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer took a complaint for the contact and advised her that they were unaware of the issue. The current and failure mileages were approximately 9,800. Updated 3/21/11 updated 04/25/11

- Matawan, NJ, USA

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