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:
63,282 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2010 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments (Page 2 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #123

Nov 032015


  • 68,431 miles


Unexpectedly the 2010 Nissan Maxima wouldn't start. I then check this website, and find a ton of complaints about the same issue! the electronic steering lock control! I don't understand how Nissan isn't held responsible for this faulty part. I paid almost $40,000 for a car that won't start. This can happen without any warning. My issue occured with my 4 month old son in the vehicle while everyone else I knew was at work. This is completely unacceptable! this same part number was recalled in previous years for the Maxima! the vehicle was stationary after stopping at the bank to make a deposit. Will someone please hold Nissan responsible for this ongoing issue!

- Drexel Hill, PA, USA

problem #122

Dec 142015


  • 80,000 miles
Unexpectedly, after driving one kid to school this morning, vehicle (stationary) would not start to drive my other kid to middle school. The 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 prevents the vehicle from recognizing my key (fob), no regular key is issued, just button start. In my vehicle the escl may malfunction after the vehicle is locked and could prevent the engine from starting. Still waiting to hear the dreadful call from the dealer (have to be towed and I am not even done making payments for my 2010 Maxima) to see what the damage will be or if covered under an extended warranty. Not because the vehicle is in park, means it is not a safety issue. If you are stranded with a non reliable car, it is a safety issue, it can be in the middle of the mountains or the middle of a desert, no way to start a car if no mechanic key is issued and the only option, the fob, is not recognized by your own car.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #121

Dec 092015


  • 78,000 miles
Steering wheel lock system works with fab turning on vehicle disengaged and the wiring was determined to be the culprit and without the repair of $950 the car will not turn on. The vehicle was running just fine 1 hour prior to locking me out and causing many of hours with aaa diagnostics, then towing to 2 separate locations and I asked the dealer if this is a routine issue it seems extreme and a manufacturing defect that could have caused serious injury or death resulting if it happened when on the road and not in my garage to quote their response was no it wouldn't of done it while driving but it could of deserted you in a location other than your home causing you even further inconvenience. The vehicle is only 5 years old, I maintain it by operators manual, I cannot explain how upsetting it is to have a vehicle with the "auto theft" selling point be a faulty manufacturing of the ability for owners to start their vehicle. The random stop working is very concerning because the steering wheel cannot move. Its definitely a vehicle that should be recalled for this situation.

- Cranston, RI, USA

problem #120

Dec 012015


  • 85,880 miles


I drove to a friends was out of the vehicle about one hour.the vehicle was parked still. I returned to the vehicle and it wouldn't start. I call roadside assistance and got a tow to Nissan dealer. I was told I had to pay $115 diagnostic fee. Then they told me that it was my steering lock unit and it would cost me $1109.09.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #119

Nov 292015


  • miles
Tried turning on my vehicle and the steering wheel was locked. Cannot start my vehicle, the brake is not working and the steering wheel is locked.

- Hidalgo, TX, USA

problem #118

Nov 192015


  • 54,053 miles
It is shame!Nissan need to recall their max 2010 today it is cost me 1073.40$ my car 54,053 mileage, I went to work whit my car and off to day my friend pick me up because I am unable to turn car on lock steering lock my day tow truck pick up the years a go suspension and wheels give me problems to.I am not going to buy a Nissan aging they're losing customers.

- Lindenhurst, NY, USA

problem #117

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 #116

Oct 142015


  • 83,000 miles
My 2010 Nissan Maxima experienced the steering lock failure and could not start the car. This, as I have been reading, is common and it's going to cost over $700 to fix. This is bs Nissan!

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #115

Oct 052015


  • 136,000 miles
Tried to start car key light came on, brakes were hard to press ang igntion would not start only lock would showup on the push to start button now car is sitting and have to get towed. The car was stationary was getting ready to go to work after stopping at a school.

- Whatley, AL, USA

problem #114

Sep 282015


  • 68,000 miles
The steering mechanism failed on my 2010 Nissan Maxima. Based on short research I have found this is a common problem with this year/make/model. Nissan should be recalling this part.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #113

Jul 132015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed and the front passenger seat, steering wheel, and entire vehicle began to shake violently as the vehicle accelerated independently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #112

Nov 012013


  • 33,000 miles
What we are experiencing with our 2010 Nissan Maxima very closely aligns with the symptoms of the recall campaign issued in September 2009 for the 2010 Maxima. Nissan has been notified, however, they insist that my VIN number is not a part of this former campaign. I struggle to believe this as it's just too ironic that everything aligns with the former. We experience 3 problems with the suspension and steering. 1.) at minimal speed mainly at initial acceleration, when turning slowly, and when braking at slow speeds you feel a jolt in the steering column and can hear a thud or clunk in the front passenger side. 2.) when the car reaches approximately 60 mph, the steering column bounces erratically and 3.) both at low speeds and high speeds the car pulls/veers to the right. This issue has been going on since I purchased the vehicle in 2013 and continues to occur. I have brought the car into a Nissan-authorized dealer and they say nothing is wrong. I have brought the car into the Hyundai-authorized dealer where I bought the car from and they say nothing is wrong. I have brought the car to 4 additional, independent mechanics/technicians and they also cannot get to the "root" of the problem without having the car for an unrealistic amount of time for diagnosis. I have already had to purchase a lifetime alignment and balancing package from a local repair shop as well as I had purchased new wheels and tires thinking that was the issue. Regardless of what I do or where I take it, the issues continue. I am very concerned and cannot drive at ease knowling there is something wrong with the steering and suspension. I also have a 4 year old child whose safety I am concerned with when she drives in our Maxima with us. Nissan didn't seem to care about my concerns, they simply told me my VIN doesn't align with the former campaign and then sent me on my way. Someone, anyone, please help

- Carpentersville, IL, USA

problem #111

Jul 302015


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the power steering light illuminated indicating a failure and stayed lit as the failure progressed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who replaced the electronic steering wheel lock switch. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #110

Jul 172015


  • 60,800 miles
After work on 7/18/15, I went to my car to go home, but as I stepped on the brake and pushed the start button, I got nothing - not a peep from the engine - so I tried a few more times, but to no avail. I called aaa, thinking that my battery was dead (even though I'd just purchased a new one recently), but the jump didn't do anything to my car. I called home and had my back-up fob brought to me, thinking that perhaps the battery from my main one was dead, but the second one didn't work, either. Nor did either of them work in the port that's located in the bottom-left portion of the dashboard, so I got a ride to the local Nissan dealership where some salesmen gave me suggestions of what I should do. When I told them that I'd done everything that they mentioned, they said that all that was left to be done was to have my vehicle towed to the shop, which I did, but since it was a Friday and nearly 6:00 pm, my car wasn't going to be looked at until Monday afternoon. While waiting for the tow truck to arrive, as well as over the weekend, I did some searching online and found out that this was not an uncommon problem, not covered by any extended warranties, though I read that this problem occurred often enough with the 2009 Maxima that Nissan issued an extended warranty to cover this repair, so I don't see why this problem shouldn't also be included, as well. Nissan, you're losing yet another customer...

- Burlington, WA, USA

problem #109

Jun 202015


  • 90,320 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. While at a complete stop, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle the following day. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock module was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,320.

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #108

Jun 042015


  • 89,000 miles
My 2010 Nissan Maxima experienced the steering lock failure. It leaves people stranded when the steering lock anti-theft mechanism fails. The steering wheel is not locked but the vehicle will not start. The steering lock device fails to fully disengage so the smart key system does not recognize the key. This may not cause accident, but it can strand a person anywhere at any time leaving them with the towing fee and anywhere from 700-1000$ in dealership fees. I drove my car to work and back and forth for lunch. At the end of the day it failed to start due to what I later found out was the steering lock device failure.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #107

Jun 022014


  • 50,000 miles
The steering column can be adjusted to a user's preferred position. I have experienced a gradual "falling" of the steering column position. I can readjust using the electronic adjustment lever, however it will again "fall" in position, blocking the view of the speedometer gauge. The change is so gradual that it is not noticed until it blocks the speedometer, which if that occurred at the wrong time, could cause a driver to inadvertently travel at an unsafe speed, and lead to an accident.

- Waxhaw, NN, USA

problem #106

May 182015


  • 56,600 miles
2010 Nissan Maxima...the car ran fine all weekend but Monday morning the car would not start... there was flashing red key light.... with clicking sound. Research on internet indicated that this is due to steering lock and my dealer advised me to tow the car to them. 2009 Nissan models have similar issues and Nissan has a recall but there is none fro 2010.... thought the problem are exactly the same.

- Palatine, IL, USA

problem #105

Apr 232015


  • 94,006 miles
I went out to my garage to start my 2010 Nissan Maxima to head to work and it would not start and flashed the key light on my dash. So I thought my remote had failed so I got my second remote and still nothing. Luckily I had my truck to get to work that day. I had my Maxima towed to Nissan and had to pay $934.40 out of pocket. I was told that Nissan covered some 2009 Maximas with the same issue but not the 2010 years. Such a (inconvenience) I really wish Nissan would take care of this.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #104

Jan 232015


  • 36,000 miles
After driving my vehicle to the post office and parking I proceeded to restart my vehicle and exit the lot. The steering column locked and the car would not start. The model of my car is push start with no other alternate option. I was forced to have my car repaired by the dealer totaling over $1100 and no assistance from the manufacture who has had numerous issues in the past for the same mechanical error. My vehicle is a 2010 Maxima and Nissan has so far only issued a warranty extension for 2009 editions which had the same error.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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