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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Jan 062014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 63,106 miles


The vehicle would not start or move due to steering lock assembly. Needed to be towed to dealer to be fixed. This should not happen to a three year old vehicle with 63000 miles on it this assembly should last the life time of the car.

- South Park, PA, USA

problem #22

Dec 292013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,734 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the steering lock had failed. The vehicle was being repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 48,734. Updated 02/11/2014

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #21

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 #20

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 #19

Nov 272013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 50,600 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that upon starting the vehicle, the key warning light illuminated. The contact mentioned the failure recurred on three occasions. On the third occasion, the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock unit needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 50,600.

- Mount Vernon , OH, USA

problem #18

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 #17

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 #16

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 #15

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 #14

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 #13

Nov 292013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 53,755 miles


Car would not start, bad electronic steering control lock. Recall on the Altima and Z cars but not Maximas with same problem.

- Willard, OH, USA

problem #12

Nov 052013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Electronic steering column lock failure of my 2010 Nissan Maxima. The car would not start and I was unable to drive it. This is a known problem for the 2009 Maxima and Altima and is now happening in the 2010 Maxima, however Nissan refuses to extend the warranty to the faulty 2010 models as well.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #11

Nov 152013


  • 38,876 miles
After parking the car, I left the car parked approximately 1 hour. The car would not crank, completely locked up. There was no warning prior to at all. As you can see this car only has 38,000 miles, not many at all. I question what would have happened if I were driving?? I searched the internet and see there are numerous complaints concerning this part on the 2009 and 2010 Maxima and Altima's. it also states the problem has been fixed with the 2011 up. In the meantime Nissan is making a fortune off their mistake. My cost, a tow bill and almost $800 service bill. I hope you can research the problem to see if it could possibly be a recalled item, as well as a safety issue. Thank you

- Piineville, NC, USA

problem #10

Nov 112013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 61,410 miles
My car was parked briefly while I went into a store to buy groceries..upon returning to my vehicle, I depressed the brake and proceeded to turn on the vehicle with the push button start. A yellow "key" symbol flashed in the dashboard and the car would not turn...I tried multiple attempts in trying to turn on the vehicle but the vehicle would not start...the car had to be towed to the dealership and my service advisor called me to let me know how much the repairs would be...she called me later on and told me that the steering wheel lock unit had to be replaced and would cost me $878.62...I find this to be highly unacceptable as this vehicle is only 4 years old and I am disappointed that I had to spend over 800 dollars to get this issue fixed....this is apparently a known issue and Nissan needs to refund my money and issue a recall.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Oct 172013


  • miles
I was at the store went in came out car wouldn't start had to call tow truck Nissan said steering column was locked and if part is not covered under warranty the part will cost $800 I haven't had this car six months. This is a Maxima 2010.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Jan 232013

Maxima 6-cyl Diesel

  • miles
I came out to my car and the steering was locked. I was unable to start my car which left me stranded in a parking deck. After spending $140 to have it towed to the dealer because they told me they could not help me unless it was brought in, they said that it was the steering lock control unit. They also said that the part was back order until sometime in February, but they didn't know when, and that it would cost $700+. after doing some research, I have discovered that this is a known issue for Maximas 2009+, 370Z, and GT-R models that all use the same faulty part. They are charging over $500 for the part and 4 hours of labor when it actually takes only 15 min to repair. This part needs to be recalled by Nissan. My service guy said that I am the 3rd person to have this issue just this week. Absolutely ridiculous!!!

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #5

Dec 082012


  • 98,000 miles
My vehicle would not start after I stopped at the store. My key light on the dash was on so I referred to the manual and it indicated a malfunction in the steering lock solenoid. After researching this I notice thousands of Nissan owners have had this same problem causing the vehicle to be stranded where ever you shut it off at. Then I had to get the vehicle towed where it cost me over $1000 to get it fixed. This should be a recall asap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #4

Nov 242012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
I purchased my Maxima 2010 that came with the sports package, used back in September of 2011. From the day I purchased the vehicle, the steering wheel was always shaken when I break on the highway from driving 60 miles or over. On November of 2012, my Nissan Maxima 2010 push start button would not start. I had to get it towed to a nearest Nissan dealer. They wanted to replace the whole steering wheel ($700) because their defense is due to wear and tear. Is this really possible on a fairly new car because my Honda, since 2004, had never had to have the steering wheel replaced. I have researched and found that there are many complaints about this issue on different websites. I would really like to know if this possible issue is due to manufacturer's side.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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