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:
25,700 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Nissan Maxima Owner Comments

problem #6

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 #5

Jan 302014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 14,650 miles
As I was exiting the freeway going to make a left turn onto an overpass, the steering became very hard to turn almost causing me to go straight ahead hitting the wall of the overpass. As I came to the next stoplight a few feet ahead to pull over into the gas station I could barely turn the corner. Fighting with the steering I manage to pull the car over and contacted my dealership where I purchased the car. They sent a tow truck to pick up the car on 1/30/2014 and was diagnosed with a failed power steering pump. It is now 2/18/2014 and not only did I not get my car back from repair, their is not even an eta on when the part that is needed is going to be in stock. Dealership service department informed me that it looks like it is going to take approx a month to get the part in stock. I find this very unacceptable.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #4

Feb 062014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
On 2/6/2014, when exiting highway, I loss power steering. Dropped car off at dealer on 2/7/14 and was told that power steering pump has to be replaced because it failed. Contacted dealer for an update on 2/12/14 and was told part was on backorder with no eta available. As of 2/16/2014, not sure when my car will be fixed.

- Neptune, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jan 162014


  • 35,000 miles


Total and abrupt failure and loss of steering while driving.

- Cranberry Twp, PA, USA

problem #2

Jan 162014

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 21,482 miles
I was driving on RT41 near Chicago in the middle lane at 65mph and tried to change the lane to get into left lane from middle lane, right then when I turned the steering slight left to change lane, it felt like the steering of my car got locked. My car was inches away from colliding into concrete barricade, I had to wrestle with the steering to avoid that crash and pulled the car on the shoulder. I might have got killed because of this. This is really a very serious issue. Dealership informed that the power steering pump failed. My car is at dealership since then and today is 2/1/14, I was informed that the pump is on back order until first week of March, so my car will sit at the dealership for almost two months.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #1

Jul 192012

Maxima 6-cyl

  • 20,117 miles
Today I found my Nissan Maxima 2009 making a repetitive grinding sound. Upon investigation I discovered that it was the motor for the adjustable steering wheel column. It is currently stuck in the highest position and it is extremely clumsy to drive and blocks vision to the instrument panel. In researching the repair I discovered that this is an incredibly common event and feel a recall is in order. Please investigate the frequent nature of this repair.

- Conroe, TX, USA

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