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 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #83

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 #82

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 #81

Dec 122014


  • 132,796 miles
The steering lock assembly is faulty in many 2009 and 2010 Maximas, as well as other Nissan. An extended warranty for 6 years/ unlimited miles was issued for 2009 Maximas only, even though Nissan knows that the same issue affects 2010 Maximas. Nissan has worked with other customers and reimbursed them for the faulty part they installed, but they were not interested in helping me because of the mileage on my car. However, if the same warranty was issued, I would have been covered since I still fall in the 6 year timeframe. Nissan should issue a recall for these faulty parts, or at least extend the same coverage to other Nissan since they know they installed a faulty part. I paid $869.17 for the part, $83 to be towed to the dealership since the car wouldn't start because of the faulty part, and $35 for a rental from the dealership. This was a very expensive issue to fix. Nissan should reimburse me for this repair since the part installed is faulty and it is known by Nissan that it is faulty.

- Owings, MD, USA

problem #80

Dec 212014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 59,500 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while attempting to start the vehicle, the start button was depressed and the key warning light illuminated. As a result, the vehicle failed to start after multiple attempts. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering wheel lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 59,500. Updated 01/2021/15 updated 01/26/15

- Weathersville, CT, USA

problem #79

Dec 192014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
I went to pick my child up from work at 1130 pm came back out and car wouldn't start. It repeat said lock..

- Oxford, MS, USA

problem #78

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 #77

Dec 132014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 137,000 miles


I have a 2010 Nissan Maxima. It was purchased about 3 months ago. As I was trying to leave work last week, the car would not start. There was a red key light on in the upper left corner of the dash. I called a local Nissan dealer and they told me that my key battery was more than likely just dead. After I replaced the battery, the car still would not start. I called the dealer back and they told me that my key may need to be reprogrammed and I would have to tow the car to the dealership. After being at the dealer for an hour I was informed that the key was fine, and the issue was with the steering lock assembly. The consultant told me the repair would cost $925.82. I was shocked that a $5 issue had jumped to almost $1000. I immediately began researching the issue, and was able to find a statement by Nissan North America (wbi/13-009) that admitted the part in question had been defective. Nissan extended the warranty for the 2009 models to 6 years/ unlimited miles, but why would they not do the same for all models with the same issue? the consultant advised me to call 1-800-nissan1 to request compensation for the repairs. I was told that my vehicle was out of the 3 year/ 36,000 mile warranty and did not qualify, even though it was the same part that malfunctioned. I was also told that if they decided to do anything in the future I would be contacted later. I find this to be unacceptable. I do not think consumers should be responsible for costs associated with parts that are known to fail repeatedly. I have come across numerous forums, websites, and videos that discuss this same issue. I feel that Nissan needs to take responsibility and actions to help loyal customers resolve this recurring malfunction that has left many stranded onside of the road. I hope that I will soon be reimbursed for this unexpected and outrageous expense.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #76

Nov 162014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 88,500 miles
My 2010 Maxima had a defective electronic steering column lock which prevented me from starting the vehicle and I had to tow it to the dealership. I was stranded on a major thoroughfare in cold weather with no heat for several hours as a result. The steering lock was replaced by a local dealership at a cost of $1000+. the 2009 Nissan Maxima model had the same exact problem. Nissan currently has a campaign to address the issue on the 2009 Nissan Maxima but refused to address the issue on my 2010 model after I've called them and submitted a case with Nissan Consumer Affairs. I've informed Nissan that this problem is also happening on a lot of 2010 models as per the 100+ complaints on the NHTSA website and various other internet blogs but nevertheless after a week of reviewing my case, Nissan refused to address the repair nor extend the existing campaign to the 2010 Maxima model.

- Randolph, MA, USA

problem #75

Nov 112014


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the key failed to turn in order to start the vehicle. The contact also stated that the steering wheel was difficult to turn when making a turn. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was repaired, but the failure recurred. The specifics of the repair were not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 42,000. Updated 2/24/15

- Palisades Park, NJ, USA

problem #74

Dec 122014


  • 104,000 miles
I went to turn on the car and it wouldn't come on. I replaced the battery on the key chip. I got the car towed to Nissan and they said it was a problem with the steering lock. Warranty only covers 2009 Nissan Maxima.

- Central Falls, RI, USA

problem #73

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 #72

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 #71

Nov 192014


  • 119,000 miles
My wife tried to start the car and discovered the key would unlock the door but the car would not start. After several attempts to jump the car I had to buy a new battery. When this wouldn't work I had it towed to the dealership. The dealership is now telling me the steering wheel lock is bad and it will cost $1200 to fix it. After some investigation it turns out this is happening to everyone with this year and make vehicle. Pitty Nissan refuses to fix a part which is known to be faulty and continues to put its customers in harms way. Please do not purchase a Nissan this is happening to everyone I know who has Nissan. Very scary situation if it went out while driving she could have died.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #70

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 #69

Nov 272014


  • 37,000 miles
I turned off my car at a gas station and was unable to turn it back on. The intelligent key light came on the dash and the car was unresponsive. The key would lock/unlock the doors but the ignition would stay on "lock" and not provide any sort of power including heat on a cold thanksgiving night.

- Bellerose, NY, USA

problem #68

Sep 012014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,162 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the key warning light illuminated and the vehicle stalled while traveling at various speeds and often failed to start. The contact also mentioned that the failure occurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who replaced the battery and the alternator but the failure recurred. The vehicle was then taken to the dealer who stated that the escl needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not available. Updated 1/23/15 the steering lock module was replaced. Updated 03/02/15

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #67

Nov 102014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
I went into my car and tried to turn it on only to see the yellow key light up on the dash along with my steering wheel locking up on me. So I call Nissan they try to give me a couple tricks to maybe get the steering wheel to unlock and nothing worked, so I had to get it towed in. There they said the electronic steering wheel locked on me and there was "no specific cause" as to why this occurred. And the real kicker is that my car is still covered under the factory warranty but this issue isn't included in that warranty so I had to pay over $900 to replace it. The part that baffled me is that this issue is covered under the 09 Maxima and 2010 370Z's warranty but the 2010 Maxima even though it has the same issue is skipped over for some reason.

- Palisades Park, NJ, USA

problem #66

Nov 192014


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that when starting the vehicle, an unknown warning light illuminated as the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the steering column lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 38,000.

- Cambria Heights, NY, USA

problem #65

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 #64

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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