Notes: The 2011 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 2011 Maxima, so far so good!


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,686 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.

2011 Nissan Maxima seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2011 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #15

Nov 172015


  • miles


My passenger side airbag list has been on for a year now. I am worried that if I have a passenger side they may get hurt because the airbag may not work!! it is highlighted the entire time the engine is running.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #14

Dec 052015


  • miles
The air bag light on the passenger side has been on for a few weeks now even though someone is sitting in the seat. It is on as long as the car is cranked.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #13

Dec 102013


  • miles
The vehicle was in motion. While turning steering wheel slightly left entering into a curve, the 4 tires of the vehicle did not follow the command given by the steering wheel. Please note that the steering wheel turned with great ease. While removing foot from accelerator, the car did not slow. The breaks were not working properly and caused the 2011 Nissan Maxima to collide with a fixed object. This incident did not occur at a speed fast enough to cause the severe injuries that resulted. The driver side airbag knocked me unconscious and I have no recollection from the moment right before "impact" to when the vehicle came to a complete stop. The children in the back seat were seriously injured. The 10 year old was wearing his seatbelt properly. The 3 year old was in a 5 point harness properly restrained. Recently, the office of ken nugent informed me that the back seat came loose during the accident which caused both children's severe injuries. The children in the back seat were not adequately protected by the vehicle due to the back seat unhooking during the accident therefore causing safety restraints to be inadequate and possibly even more harmful. I also want to mention that the left rear passenger airbag did not deploy where the 10 year old was. The vehicle is poorly designed to survive even a minor collision. I have not been able to access the vehicle since the accident and Georgia state patrol tore it up before I could even have it inspected. I do not know where the vehicle is nor am I able to get that information. Georgia state patrol documented that the air bag on the left rear side did deploy but that document is inaccurate because I am a witness. I pray that this information will be used to prevent any and all similar incidents from occurring. I pray that you investigate similar claims and find enough evidence to get these dangerous cars off the road.

- Winder, GA, USA

problem #12

Sep 042015


  • 27,500 miles


Passenger air bag off warning light was on while the seat was occupied with a passenger. This is the 3rd occurrence this week.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #11

Sep 282014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 33,018 miles
Front passenger side air bag shuts off and the status light illuminates even when the seat is occupied by an adult. This poses a potentially deadly result if the seat is occupied during a collision since the airbags will not deploy. This defect must be corrected or people could lose their lives or sustain serious bodily injury.

- Bixby, OK, USA

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problem #10

Jul 252014


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that he noticed that the passenger side air bag light illuminated intermittently while a passenger was seated in the passenger seat. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 38,000.

- Penmile, TN, USA

problem #9

Jun 252014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 14,051 miles


The contact owned a 2011 Nissan Maxima. While driving 35 mph, another vehicle stopped suddenly in front of the contact's vehicle. The incident caused the contact's vehicle to crash into a pole. The air bags deployed and caused the contact to sustain two broken wrists, a broken right leg, cracked sternum, massive swelling in right cheek, bruised left shoulder and arm, and lacerations near the eye. Medical attention was received and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a storage space and deemed as destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 14,051. Updated 09/11/14 the consumer feels the safety and structure of the vehicle from the firewall forward lacked reinforcement to absorb the impact. Updated 1/13/2015

- Ft Wayne, IN, USA

problem #8

Jun 252014


  • 34,000 miles
I hit a deer going 65 mph. None of my air bags deployed. My car sustained $12,600 in damage. I sustained a sprained neck and a sprained shoulder requiring a splint for comfort. I also sustained a possible pinched nerve in my neck and severe back pain.

- Mitchell, IN, USA

problem #7

Feb 132014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 26,022 miles
Every time there is a passenger in the passenger front seat the air bag off signal comes on. It doesn't detect anyone in the passenger seat.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 152013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available.the failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 55,200.

- San Jacinto, CA, USA

problem #5

Aug 012011


  • 50 miles


Since the purchase of my Nissan Maxima, the front passenger air bag sensor has been sensitive. It lights up indicating that the air bag is not engaged when I sit in the seat. I am a 125 lb woman. There is no indication of minimum weight to activate the airbag in the manual. This has been an ongoing problem since we purchased the car 2 1/2 years ago. We have taken it to 2 different dealers to check out the problem. They say there is no problem but I can't believe the car wasn't designed for a grown woman to sit in the front seat.

- Rockville , MD, USA

problem #4

Apr 012013


  • miles
My Nissan maximum air bag on the passage side goes off while driving. I reported it to my dealer and Nissan corporate office. I was asked if I had something in the seat that weighted 20 pounds. I weight 142 and the air bag light comes on and stay on for sometime 20 miles driving up to 60-70 miles per hour. I fell so unsafe. I bought this car Dec. Of 2010 and it has a little over 21000 miles on it. I have been driving Nissan for over fourth years. I have been very disappointed in Nissan responses. They referred me to there BBB Inc.. it was not a good result.

- Albany, , GA, USA

problem #3

Nov 272011

Maxima 6-cyl

  • miles
We purchased a 2011 Nissan Maxima in November 2011 and have a problem with the airbag light on the passenger side staying on while I am sitting in the seat. I weigh 115 lbs and am 5'1. I got no help from the Nissan dealership. I took my vehicle in several times and was told nothing was wrong with it. I talked with the service manager today and she told me that because of my size the air bag would do more harm than good so don't worry about it. I was unhappy with that answer and she told me she has done all she could do, that I was welcome to call Nissan and discuss the problem with them. I called 1-800-nissan1 and spoke with a representative that was helpful. He said the weight limit was 100lbs and I shouldn't be having this problem. He opened a case and said the service manager in our town would receive a phone call and also gave me a case number. I am hopeful that we can get this issue resolved.

- El Dorado, AR, USA

problem #2

Jul 212011


  • 2,200 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Nissan Maxima. The contact stated the passenger side air bag light would illuminate intermittently whether the seat was occupied or not. The contact was concerned that the air bags would not deploy in the event of a crash. The vehicle was taken to the dealer six times for the failure. The dealer advised that the passenger side seat needed to be "broken in" because the leather was hard. The contact called the manufacturer and they suggested the contact take the vehicle to another dealer. The contact took the vehicle to another dealer and the dealer could not find a problem with the passenger side air bag. There were no repairs. The failure mileage was 2,200.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 142010


  • 450 miles
New 2011 Nissan Maxima. Passenger side airbags sometimes fail to activate at all or activate only after driving several (12-15) miles with a passenger in the front passenger seat. Situation has occurred routinely since taking delivery of vehicle on 10/14/10. Consequently, front seat passengers are not protected by the airbag system. All passengers have been adults, ranging in size from 95 lbs, 5'2" to 145 lbs, 5'8". heavier passengers activate the airbags quicker. Selling dealer has examined vehicle and replaced the sear bottom cushion containing the activation device. Old part was retained by dealer. Problem still exists.

- Vass, NC, USA

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