ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. Notes: The 2012 Nissan Maxima is a very good reliable vehicle, continuing a stretch of good model years from 2010. 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 2012 Maxima, so far so good!


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,658 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.

2012 Nissan Maxima engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #6

Dec 252013


  • miles


Everytime I drive the vehicle they┐re a clunking noise when the it reaches 35 mph. Also when I start the car they┐re a different idling noise, I┐M not sure how if it's the exhaust system or if they┐re a loose bolt that's causing this. When to Nissan numerous times and they couldn┐T fix the problems.

- Ozone Park, NY, USA

problem #5

Dec 162015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Maxima. While driving various speeds, the vehicle would vibrate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that two of the motor mounts failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage and VIN were unknown.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #4

May 062014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Released brake, started rolling forward to cross traffic, step on accelerator and nothing happened. No engine rev or anything. Pumped accelerator many times and finally engine engaged. Nearly causing passenger side to be hit by oncoming traffic. This has happened in similar situations with both my wife and myself driving.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #3

Jul 152014


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Nissan Maxima. While driving various speeds, the contact noticed an abnormal smell of antifreeze coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 33,000.

- Lincolnshire, IL, USA

problem #2

Mar 082014


  • 42,950 miles
While driving my 2012 Nissan Maxima, I was slowing to a stop at an intersection. The car unexpectedly stalled due to a problem with the power steering pump. I was luckily able to push the brakes and emergency brake to get the vehicle to stop. After stopping, I restarted the car, and was without power steering after that. I have read online that there are many other 2012 Nissan Maxima owners who have had similar problems, others reporting the loss of power steering at highway speeds, which could lead to serious crashes or worse. My car is outside of Nissan's factory warranty, but given the car is only 2 years old with 43K miles, it seems it is still far to new to be having a problem such as this. Based on the comments online, it would be in Nissan's and the public's best interest for Nissan to issue a recall on the power steering mechanisms.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 212013

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
I was driving South of the NJ turnpike I heard a loud boom sound and vibrations on the accelerator I looked in the rearview mirror and saw debris and a cloud of smoke. Smells of something burning also there was a tremendous amount of smoke coming from underneath the hood of my car. I immediately started pulling over from the middle lane as I'm pulling over almost causing a major accident the car went dead everything just blew out coast off to the shoulder almost killing myself and others. I immediately rushed out of the car and started running on the shoulder because I thought my car was going to blow up. I called roadside assistance and they called puleios tow truck of North brunswick NJ which was a horrible experience they towed me off the turnpike I had to pay $150 out of pocket for third party towing that I had no knowledge of no control of and no money! Nissan roadside supervisor[xxx]told me "that's your bill to pay and soon as you pay we will dispatch our tow tuck to take you to Nissan dealership. Where I had the car serviced." After the money was paid I still had to wait another 2 1/2hr. After being stranded from quarter to 9am. Just heartless for a customer who was almost killed on the NJ turnpike all from there manufacturer defect in the battery which exploded and blew two big holes in the engine. Diagnostic done by North plainfield engine is completely blown and the car is only 14 months old. Now how do you explain that! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Elizabeth , NJ, USA

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