Notes: The 2005-2007 Pathfinder appears to have a widespread defect where coolant leaks into the transmission, causing transmission failure around 90,000 miles. Repair costs are typically upwards of $3,500.

According to the New York Times & a class action lawsuit, the defect actually extends through 2010 model year. More info here.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,482 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.

2006 Nissan Pathfinder steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Nissan Pathfinder Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Aug 012016

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,200 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving 10 mph, the engine stalled without warning and the steering wheel seized. In addition, the brakes failed, and the slip, engine, and edc indicators illuminated. The vehicle was able to be restarted without hesitation; however, the failure recurred on several occasions without warning. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The failure mileage was 113,200. Updated 10/18/16 the consumer was informed the cam sensor needed to be replaced, updated 10/31/16.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

problem #33

Jul 152016


  • 1,106,674 miles
Had to have steering column replaced due to it breaking and causing hard steering and no control of wheels. Barely made it home. Also the transmission had to be flushed and by passed due to cooler getting water in transmission. Both of these are safety items and Nissan dealer says not enough complaints about these problems. Cost me $3400 in repairs which had to be done due to safety reasons. The car was in motion each time on freeway and had to stop and get it towed to mechanic because it was unsafe to drive anywhere.

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #32

Jan 282016


  • 157,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While attempting to complete a left turn, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the radiator hose cracked and leaked fluid into the transmission, which contaminated the transmission. It was diagnosed that a component within the steering column fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 157,000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #31

Aug 162015


  • 180,000 miles


Vehicle stalled on highway/ was almost hit by tractor trailer

- Delmar, DE, USA

problem #30

Apr 092015

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Steering wheel all of a sudden became very difficult to turn regularly when driving/turning. Very difficult to turn in reverse. After doing some searching online it seems that their are several other vehicles recently experiencing the same issue. Please investigate this issue before someone gets hurt.

- Helotes, TX, USA

problem #29

Jun 032009

Pathfinder 4WD 6-cyl

  • 53,204 miles
I'm writing to request that NHTSA investigate a steering column issue on my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE to see if the issue falls under the steering column & passenger air bag fastener campaign #10V-115. The vehicle was bought new in 2006. The steering issue was first reported on 9/14/06 to a Nissan technician. I noticed when stopping the vehicle a squeaking noise coming from the steering column. The technician was not able to diagnose the problem. On 6/03/09, the vehicle was taken to another Nissan dealership technician for additional work and again the technician was asked to diagnose the problem. The vehicle was serviced on 8/2/13, at a different Nissan dealership and again the technician was not able to determine the squeaking noise or why the steering column was loose. Please understand that all three services mentioned above were completed at Nissan dealerships and the services were within the warranty on the vehicle. In late summer 2014, I noticed the steering column being very loose. On 09/11/14, I alerted a Nissan service department again of the problem. At this time, the vehicle was 3,000 miles outside the extended warranty. The steering column issue continued and on 11/7/14, I took the vehicle to a local Nissan dealership for more steering column testing. The technician concluded that the vehicle"S power steering rack is breaking apart. I sought a second opinion and the service technician concluded that the steering column assembly is failing. After eight years of inquiry the issue is now diagnosed. Steering column - it is too loose and when turning to the far right or left it makes a clacking noise. If NHTSA, determines that my vehicle"S issues fall under the steering column & passenger air bag fastener campaign #10V-115, then I would like for a local dealer to repair the vehicle at no charge to me. Please formally investigate this issue.

- Dale City, VA, USA

problem #28

Mar 262014


  • 85,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving 2 mph, the steering wheel seized and the traction control, check engine, and the ABS warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #27

Apr 212014


  • 11,100 miles
Car started rumbling very erratically at high speed. Had I not had good grip on wheel it would of been bad for my family or others. Glad it didn't fail completely leaving me powerless on highway. I believe this will result in deaths or serious accidents. Not to mention thousands in repairs. Had radiator replaced last year due till same problem. Something needs to be done. This always happens right outside if the extended warranty.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #26

Nov 102013


  • 65,250 miles
Our 2006 Nissan Pathfinder sits in the garage with very little use. We went to drive it Sunday November 10, 2013 when my husband noticed the steering wheel was moving side to side. Seems strange for a vehicle with such little use to have this kind of problem. Then I started looking up recalls but was not happy to see the same problem with other Pathfinder owners and yet no recall from Nissan.what is it gonna take for Nissan to react on the problem with the steering on the 2006 Pathfinders.

- Pinellas Park, FL, USA

problem #25

May 082013

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 104,900 miles
My wife was driving with my son and daughter on freeway doing 65mph when the truck began shaking all over scaring not only here but the children then the car began to smoke obstructing her vision in moderate traffic she had to pull to the side of freeway almost hitting the right side freeway divider further traumatizing her and my kids. Thankfully they made it safe. Hopefully it doesn't happen to any other family's.

- Stanton , CA, USA

problem #24

May 042013


  • 90,000 miles


Steering wheel all of a sudden became very difficult to turn regularly when driving/turning. After a couple weeks the steering column became very loose and caused the steering wheel to wobble. When turning the wheel I would notice a severe grinding sound. Upon detailed online research the same occurrence has happened to several 2006 Nissan Pathfinder owners with similar mileage. After taking my car to the Nissan dealership for further investigation we have found that Nissan has issued a service part to correct this issue. My repair will cost an upward of $1300. I feel that Nissan should make this issue a recall as the dealership informed me that if I continued to drive the car the steering wheel would lock up and potentially cause a hazardous accident!! this is a severe issue for myself and others.

- Athens, GA, USA

problem #23

May 312012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 104,613 miles
Soon after purchase when I was traveling between 45 and 55 miles per hour it would feel as if the wheels had locked up but the car was still moving. This problem evolved until it would feel as if you were traveling over railroad tracks, then it started shuddering at anywhere between 45 and 60 miles per hour. Now it actually loses speed until it falls down to about 30 and then it will kick back into gear and I can speed up again. This has happened several times while driving on the interstate. Took it the dealer when I first started having problems a year ago and they could not duplicate the problem and said that there was nothing wrong with the car. Took it back today and now they say it is a known problem with this particular model due to a design flaw. This car should have been recalled from the beginning. Lemon law should apply.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #22

Dec 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
I am a mother of two elementary school children. I drive them to and from school each day. During these trips and other daily errands, my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder violently shakes at random throughout the drive. This causes me to be fearful of not being able to control the vehicle, especially when I am transporting my children. The steering wheel visibly shakes and the vehicle feels as of we are riding over rough terrain. Apparently this is happening with a good majority of Nissan vehicles now, and that is very frightening for them to be on the road. I feel a recall is needed to save a life.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #21

Nov 012012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Steering wheel wobbles up and down and side to side as if it was loose. Searching the internet I found many complaints up to the point where steering becomes disabled causing accidents. Regardless of my findings in the internet, there are no recalls from Nissan to address this issue.

- Zionsville, IN, USA

problem #20

Oct 012012


  • 64,250 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while traveling 35 mph the driver attempted to change lanes and noticed the steering wheel felt loose. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic and was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 61,250 and the current mileage was 61,270. The VIN was not available.

- North Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #19

Sep 272012


  • 74,300 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn and required excessive force in order to continue driving. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was turned off. The vehicle was restarted and resumed with the faulty steering. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician informed that the upper steering shaft column bearings contributed to the steering malfunction. The upper steering shaft column was being replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 74,300.

- Hamilton Township, NJ, USA

problem #18

Jun 272012

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 82,500 miles
Vehicle shakes and transmission slipped when driving. Dangerous in traffic. Took to amoco and told the transmission fluid is mixing with the radiator and both failed. Cost over $4,000 dollars to fix or it is utterly useless - just over 82K miles. Investigation shows dangerous trend for safety and complete product defect, with years of foreknowledge by Nissan. Driving is dangerous since the vehicle doesn't accelerate consistently and steering violently shakes.

- Star, ID, USA

problem #17

Dec 292011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. While driving approximately 40 mph, the steering wheel became extremely loose and began to shake with an excessive vibration. The vehicle was inspected by two different independent mechanics who informed the contact that the steering column would need to be replaced. The vehicle was also taken to an authorized dealer for a third opinion and they advised that the steering wheel spiral cable kit would need to be installed. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000. Updated 7/18/12 the U-joints were replaced, but the steering problem continued. Updated 07/31/12

- Clinton, MA, USA

problem #16

Feb 132012


  • 142,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph and making a turn, the steering seized and became extremely difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they advised that the power steering shaft failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they advised him that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The failure mileage was approximately 142,000.

- Benton, MS, USA

problem #15

Dec 142011

Pathfinder 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I have noticed that my 2006 Nissan Pathfinder which I bought in September of 2011 has been going bad I can move my steering wheel left to right and it wiggles it also wiggles up and down which is not normal and the steering is not right. It is hard to turn and sometimes it does not want to turn. I can move the steering wheel and jiggle it. I took it to Nissan and they say a bolt in the steering column is stripped and they cant tighten this. I have done some investigating and there has been people complaining of this issue since 2006. Why is nothing being recalled this is nothing that us owners have caused or did it cost me $900 to fix this issue.

- Agawam, MA, USA

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