2019 Nissan Maxima Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brake and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 Nissan Maxima is a sleek sedan that stands out in a world with minimal passenger cars. The Maxima has been a popular commuter over the years. However, the automaker claims it is actually a “four-door sports car.” For it to offer the performance it suggests, it shouldn’t have defective service brakes and a malfunctioning powertrain as customers are describing.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Nissan Maxima

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Exterior Lighting
Power Train

Problems with the Automatic Emergency Braking System (AEB)

Stopping a vehicle is priority number one when it comes to keeping occupants safe. Yet, this Maxima is struggling to provide this basic function safely.

One NHTSA complaint says, “I was driving down the highway and my dash lit up red and the braking system automatically activated causing an abrupt stop. There were no objects in the road and all other vehicles were in safe range, nowhere near my vehicle. This is dangerous and could have caused a fatal accident or serious injuries. This has happened to me twice and I purchased my car brand new 6 months ago.”

Another safety concern is a current recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 19V654000. Over a million vehicles have a backup camera that isn’t displaying the proper image. Without this image, drivers are more likely to cause an accident. Maybe owners driving a “sports car” don’t need to see behind them because they are only focused on going forward as fast as possible. Who needs to back up anyway?

Problems with the Transmission

The powertrain of a vehicle is essential to proper function. It contains all of the parts that transmit power from the engine to the wheels, yet the Maxima is struggling to perform on this front.

One Edmunds review states, “We loved this car until the problems just kept mounting. It has been in the shop numerous times (oil leak) took 3 days to find and fix. At least four factory recalls, which were fixed. The latest a bracket holding the muffler up broke, $200 fix. Drove it home the emission light came on. Went back to the dealer $875.00 to replace an oxygen sensor but that wasn’t the only problem. A transmission code pops up. Needs a new transmission the CVT is slipping.  That is at least covered by the drivetrain warranty.  The car has 43k miles. Garaged, no dirt roads, very little city driving mainly hwy, no abuse. I have had 2 Maxima’s, 2 Altima’s. and a 350z. Done with Nissan.”

Nissan is fully aware that there are powertrain concerns. Among the many communications, Service Bulletin #NTB17-039k says that customers are reporting a transmission judder. This shaking, shuddering, bumping and vibration is making the drive uncomfortable for occupants but could also be caused by a major powertrain malfunction. Most Nissan owners weren’t aware they were signing up for this type of ride and might have opted for something different had they been fully aware of. In fact, driving in the Maxima might as well be considered like riding a thrill ride for the number of harsh movements provided.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Nissan pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Complaint Data

DateJun 21, 2022
The contact owns a 2019 nissan maxima. The contact stated while driving 60 mph, the oil level warning light illuminated and the vehicle started smoking under the hood. The contact checked the oil level and notice there was no oil in the engine. The contact added engine oil however, the smoking continued. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact stated that the spark plugs and intake gasket were replaced; however, the vehicle continued to smoke and the oil level remained low. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was informed that the engine needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and confirmed that the engine needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 70,000.
DateMay 01, 2022
The lug nuts on this vehicle are covered with a thin stainless "cap". This cap can, and was, easily damaged and deformed when attempting to remove it to change a tire. The stainless steel "cap" was able to rotate without rotating the lug nut it was covering. This made it impossible to remove the wheel. This is a very poor and dangerous design as a driver can be stranded with a flat tire and no way to remove the lug nuts holding the wheel to the vehicle. The vehicle had to be towed to a mechanic who had to cut away the cap and remove it from the covered lug nut before the lug not could be removed.
DateMar 28, 2022
While driving on a windy day at approximately 55 mph, the hood popped up on the maxima. The secondary latch prevented the hood from rising more than a couple of inches so no damage occurred, but had the hood come completely open it could have been a disaster. The car was pulled to the side of the road and the hood was closed tight. The hood was last opened when being serviced by my nissan dealer. This is the first time this has happened and the car was driven home (approx 15 miles), under the same windy conditions, without incident. It has not been inspected by the dealer yet.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings, Unknown Or Other
DateJun 27, 2021
The warning light for aeb lights with ifc is on won't go off and radio turns up loud on its on and volume goes out and usb port in front has stopped working. Radio has done this several times. Normally resetting radio will fix radio problem but it's not working now. I don't know why the aeb light is on.
DateJun 08, 2021
We were traveling on a lightly crowded highway when all at once the car shuddered, tire and warning lights came on, noise and vibration levels increased dramatically. I managed to pull over and then off the highway in order to replace the damaged tire with the donut spare. The roadway was clear, and we did not run over any objects. The tire was utterly flat. It had failed instantly, as opposed to a leak. The attached photo shows that the inner sidewall of the tire failed simultaneously, in multiple places. Note!!! Earlier batches of this same brand/make/model tire have already been recalled! The tires on my car were made 3 weeks after the listed dot batch week end. The recall period needs to be extended.
CategoryService Brakes
DateMar 21, 2020
I was driving down the highway and my dash lit up red and the braking system automatically activated causing an abrupt stop. There were no objects in the road and all other vehicles were in safe range, nowhere near my vehicle. This is dangerous and could have caused a fatal accident or serious injuries. This has happened to me twice and I purchased my car brand new 6 months ago.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateFeb 27, 2020
Radio head unit cuts out randomly not allowing sound to the speakers. Have to continually reboot radio, often times more than 3 times, for it to work. It happens when stationary, still basically at any time
CategoryEngine, Exterior Lighting, Structure:body
DateFeb 22, 2020
Driving north on biscayne blvd 167th st north miami fl car drastically went to right and went on risking and hit poles and air bags came out I had no control of vehicle it was mechanical defect I called prior to rental saying something is wrong but no one listened.*dt*jb*dt consumer received a letter stating vehicle was sold as a salvage.*jb
CategoryPower Train, Service Brakes, Steering
DateJan 25, 2020
Headlights disabled in rain car varied right drastically and in park it still go in motion *ln*jb
CategoryService Brakes
DateOct 24, 2019
When driving down the roadway the vehicle automatically stops. I purchased the vehicle brand new this year and this instance with the braking has occurred 4 times. The abs light came on and would not go off. I've taken it to the dealer and they replaced a sensor. The abs light is now off and it has not 'phantom braked' or 'falsely activated' since but I a worried that if and when it happens again I may be in traffic and cause a collision or even worse hurt, harm, or even death to myself or other. There is 2 others in my office that have purchased 2019 rogues this year and have had the same issues. Nissan needs to remedy this situation and do so quickly.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 31, 2019
The infotainment and navigation system - including audio - is an exceptional hazard. Nissan north america does not care. Multiple conversations - and cases - across multiple model years have resulted in nothing. While in motion, the audio system comes on, carplay starts and stops, and the vehicle is a regular distraction-laden, unsafe, untested platform for failing owners. Usb ports stop working and short out. System reboots. Audio comes on at blaring volume.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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