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 3 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #103

Mar 292015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles


Steering wheel lock failure occurred. I could not start the car. Had to have the car towed to the dealership. I researched and this is a common issue with my make and model. For some reason Nissan is not recalling and replacing the defective part.

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #102

Dec 172014


  • 8,700 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated while in park, the steering wheel became stuck in the lock position preventing the vehicle from starting. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN number was not provided. The failure mileage was 8,700.

- Burlinson, TN, USA

problem #101

Mar 062015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I have 2010 Maxima and it has been working great. This morning, I started the car to warm it up for my daughter and turn it off for about 10min. When she was ready to leave, the car would not start. Car has power and door locks work fine locking and unlocking but nothing happens when you push button to start the car. Looks like many complaints about the same problem that is related to steering being locked and there is no way to unlock it. 2009 Maximas had the same problem and Nissan did a recall to fix it but nothing on 2010... why "?" this is a safety concern and needs attention asap.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #100

Feb 282015


  • 62,000 miles


Got into my vehicle to leave for work, brake was hard to push, steering wheel locked in position that it was in, push button start would not work. Tried both keyfobs with no change in status. Light on the dash that I hadn't seen before (a key with a rectangular box around it) changed batteries in both fobs with still no change. Was late for work and had to have my vehicle towed out of my own garage. After researching found that the steering wheel lock would not disengage, which in turn triggered the anti-theft security system and my car would not recognize my own keyfobs. There's no other way to start the vehicle, no general override switch or button of any kind. I had a vehicle that I could not use.

- Osceola , IN, USA

problem #99

Feb 242015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
On Feb 24, 2015, I got into my 2010 Nissan Maxima to take son to school and car would not start. After doing a host of troubleshooting (battery, fuses) nothing turned up. Had it towed to the dealership and diagnostic test determined the electronic steering column was defective. I did some research on this issue and discovered millions of consumer complaints about this issue. Nissan was well aware of problem and recalled the 2009 Nissan Maxima models, and extended the recall warranty til Feb 2015 to fix issue. However, they did nothing for the 2010 models. When you purchase a car, you are robbed at the dealership and robbed again of your hard earned minimum wage income due to shoddy workmanship that cost thousands. Lesson learned never buy a Nissan Maxima.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #98

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 #97

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 #96

Feb 172015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
I went to turn on my husband's 2010 Nissan Maxima this morning, and it didn't turn on. The brake pedal was hard to push, and the start button didn't do anything but illuminate the "lock" light above the start button. I pulled out the owners manual to see what the problem was, and once I followed the instructions that were in the owners manual to unlock the steering wheel, nothing happened. I had to call a tow company to have the car towed to the nearest Nissan dealership. The service advisor that assisted me said that is would be covered by the "Nissan extended warranty" that they had for this specific issue (steering wheel lock) but then when I called later to get an update, she advised me that unfortunately my car did not meet the warranty criteria, whatever that means. After doing some research online, I have noticed many 2010 Nissan Maxima's having the same issue, so as to why they only cover the 2009's is beyond my understanding. This is a serious issue that I hope Nissan can correct for the 2010 Maxima owners.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #95

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 #94

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 #93

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 #92

Feb 052015


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. When the contact applied the brake pedal to shift the vehicle into drive, the engine stalled and an unknown warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle did not restart. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock control unit failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,000. Updated 04/06/15

- Pawtucket, RI, USA

problem #91

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 #90

Jan 142015


  • 70,000 miles
Could not start my car the morning on 1/14/15. Had car towed to dealership who stated the steering lock mechanism needed to be replaced and this was a known Nissan issue. However, my year and model was not covered under an extended warranty as some 2009 models were for the same issue. Called Nissan and they would not cover the replacement unless this became a known issue on 2010S as well, and a recall or extended warranty was issued.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #89

Jan 092015


  • miles
My boyfriend and I were driving. We parked the car to get out and we turned the car off. We forgot to close the sunroof and went to crank the car back up to close the sunroof but it would not start. We had no clue at first what was wrong. We called Nissan. They told us we would have to bring the car to them. But stated it could be the battery in the car or the battery in the keys. And also it could be the key lost programming with the car. So we went and bought batteries for the keys and also sent and bought a battery for the car. And still no luck. Then we called the locksmith out to reprogram the keys. Still no luck. Lots of money already lost. We then began to search the internet. Came across so many complaints of the same issue. I went to Nissan talked to service department. I was told I had no recalls in my car. That they would have to hook it up to a machine to determine the cause of the problem whuchnis 105 dollars and still I would have to pay for getting it fixed. In was very upset. I told them many people are complaining about this same issue. My boyfriend also called Nissan affairs. We were told the same thing again. This is a safety issue. What if a child N mother break down over this and get robbed or even killed cause there car would not crank over Nissan ignoring there customer issues. This is there problem. And they need to fix it. There are too many people complain in I about the same issues for a recall not to be placed. The customer service is horrible. You care more about there money than there customers and their safety. I also was told they no longer use this part model because it is defective. I will never by from Nissan again. I will go to the news paper and the news about. Nissan and how they will not help their customers on a part that is defective and will not recall.

- Bolivia, NC, USA

problem #88

Jan 282015


  • 48,000 miles
Steering lock malfunctioned and vehicle will not start. Dealer states no recall but extended warranty which mine expired a few months ago. This should be a recall!!!!!! they know it is an issue on all 2009-2010 models and should have them all fixed considering they no longer use the same steering lock mechanism. Car will not start until piece is fixed.

- Rahway, NJ, USA

problem #87

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 #86

Jan 122015

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 77,206 miles
My car was completely disabled after multiple attempts to start it with the steering wheel lock indicator light on. Had to get my car towed to the dealership closest to me since I had no other option because it would not start. The tow truck driver needed to manually put my car in neutral because it was not in a convenient location to get it on the truck. Not sure what I would have done if I had parallel parked it at work since clearly there was no other way turn it on and move it. Since my car is a 2010, Nissan customer claims rep. Refuses to do anything since it wasn't a 2009 model which had a recall for the same exact part. Apparently they used a "different manufacturer" even though my car was built in the year 2009. Obviously this is a fault in the design of this part since not only one manufacturer but two are causing this issue in 2009 and 2010 models. Apparently they do not feel as though they are responsible despite multiple complaints and do not care about customer satisfaction. I had to take my car to the closet dealership service department which charged me $967.50 to get it fixed with the hopes that Nissan would own up to their faulty equipment. I could have taken it to my mechanic who would have done it cheaper, however this is clearly not something I should be responsible for paying. I think it's completely ridiculous that Nissan hasn't done anything about this since they clearly acknowledge the issue and have reimbursed the 2009 model year owners. I will not be recommending anyone buy their cars until this issue has been resolved. Every time I get in my car, I will be bitter about driving it and will never purchase another one. In fact I had almost talked a friend to swapping their 98' Maxima to a newer one by talking about all the great features such as heated steering wheel, navigation, back up camera etc. Now they're looking at other options.

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #85

Jan 102015


  • 55,000 miles
I went to start my car and it would not start. The key fob worked and lights inside car would turn on. When I pushed on brake and start button, nothing happened. I took the car to dealer and was told the steering wheel lock mechanism was broken and needed to be replaced. I was told the exact same part on 2009 models had a recall, but not 2010 models. It seems to be that the units themselves are faulty and should be replaced by the manufacturer as defective since I have read multiple complaints regarding this issue.

- Hoboken, NJ, USA

problem #84

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

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