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Nissan's flagship midsized sedan was redesigned and much improved for 2000. Since then, it has been one of our higher-rated family cars. The Maxima's ride is quiet though a little stiff, and its handling is secure but not agile. A spacious, airy cabin includes supportive front seats and roomy rear seating. Fit and finish are good, and reliability is among the best in class.
Alerts
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
NA
The 2002 Nissan Maxima has been recalled 7 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
00*
01
02
03
04*
05
06
07
08
09*
10
11
12
13
14
15
16*
17
18
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS
May 15 2015
In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants potentially resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain model year 2001-2003 Nissan Maxima, 2002-2004 Pathfinder, 2002-2006 Sentra, 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4 and I35, 2003 FX35 and FX45, and 2001 I30 vehicles. Upon deployment of the passenger side frontal air bag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture.
What should you do:
Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall began on June 15, 2015. Owners may contact Nissan customer service at 1-800-647-7261. Note: On December 18, 2015 Nissan informed NHTSA of an amendment of this recall to remove 2004-2005 Infiniti FX35 and FX45 vehicles.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V287000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1090569
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:HEADLIGHTS
May 11 2009
DECREASED LIGHTING VISIBILITY MAY RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
DOPE, INC. IS RECALLING 42,540 COMBINATION CORNER AND BUMPER LAMP ASSEMBLIES OF VARIOUS PART NUMBERS SOLD FOR USE AS AFTERMARKET EQUIPMENT FOR VARIOUS PASSENGER VEHICLES. THESE HEADLAMPS FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, "LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT." THESE LAMPS DO NOT CONTAIN THE REQUIRED AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS.
What should you do:
DOPE, INC. WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER A FULL REFUND FOR THE NONCOMPLIANT COMBINATION LAMPS. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 28, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT DOPE, INC. AT 1-626-272-1798.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON VEHICLES PRODUCED BY THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER.IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF YOUR AFTERMARKET LAMP ASSEMBLY IS AFFECTED BY THIS NONCOMPLIANCE, PLEASE REVIEW THE LIST OF MODEL NUMBERS PROVIDED TO US BY DOPE, INC.THE LIST CAN BE FOUND UNDER "DOCUMENT SEARCH" LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SCREEN. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09E025000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 42540
EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Apr 07 2009
DECREASED LIGHTING VISIBILITY MAY RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Summary:
SABERSPORT IS RECALLING 16,270 COMBINATION CORNER AND BUMPER LAMP ASSEMBLIES OF VARIOUS PART NUMBERS SOLD FOR USE AS AFTERMARKET EQUIPMENT FOR VARIOUS PASSENGER VEHICLES. THESE HEADLAMPS FAIL TO CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 108, "LAMPS, REFLECTIVE DEVICES, AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT." THESE LAMPS DO NOT CONTAIN THE REQUIRED AMBER SIDE REFLECTORS.
What should you do:
SABERSPORT WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND OFFER A FULL REFUND FOR THE NONCOMPLIANT COMBINATION LAMPS. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON MAY 11, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT SABERSPORT AT 1-909-598-7589.
For more information:
THIS RECALL ONLY PERTAINS TO AFTERMARKET REPLACEMENT EQUIPMENT AND HAS NO RELATION TO ANY ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT INSTALLED ON VEHICLES PRODUCED BY THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER.IN ORDER TO DETERMINE IF YOUR AFTERMARKET LAMP ASSEMBLY IS AFFECTED BY THIS NONCOMPLIANCE, PLEASE REVIEW THE LIST OF MODEL NUMBERS PROVIDED TO US BY SABERSPORT.THE LIST CAN BE FOUND UNDER "DOCUMENT SEARCH" LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR SCREEN.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09E012000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 16270
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Nov 17 2003
THIS COULD CAUSE THE "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" WARNING LIGHT TO COME ON, CREATE A NO START CONDITION, CAUSE REDUCED ENGINE POWER, OR CAUSE THE ENGINE TO STOP RUNNING WITHOUT WARNING DURING VEHICLE OPERATION, WHICH COULD RESULT IN A CRASH.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE CIRCUIT BOARD FOR THE CRANK POSITION SENSOR OR CAM POSITION SENSOR MAY HAVE AN IMPROPER SOLDER JOINT DUE TO SOLDER DEFORMATION CAUSED BY HEAT STRESS ACCELERATED BY THE EXISTENCE OF FLUX RESIDUE DURING THE SOLDERING PROCESS.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE CRANK POSITION SENSORS. CAMSHAFT POSITION SENSOR(S), AND IN SOME CASES, THE VARIABLE TIMING CONTROL SENSOR(S). VEHICLES INVOLVED IN A PREVIOUS RECALL CAMPAIGN, 01V357, ARE ALSO INCLUDED IN THIS NEW CAMPAIGN. THE REPLACEMENT SENSORS USED IN THAT CAMPAIGN ARE ALSO AFFECTED. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN ON DECEMBER 22, 2003. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261 OR INFINITI AT 1-800-662-6200.
For more information:
NISSAN RECALL NO. R3022/INFINITI RECALL NO. R3021.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03V455000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 630000
SUSPENSION:FRONT:CONTROL ARM:LOWER ARM
May 30 2002
THIS CAN CAUSE A KNOCKING SOUND AND ABNORMAL STEERING. THIS COULD RESULT IN DIFFICULTY CONTROLLING THE VEHICLE AND INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE PIN AT THE END OF THE FRONT SUSPENSION TRANSVERSE LINK (LOWER CONTROL ARM) COULD BREAK WHERE IT IS MOUNTED TO THE FRAME.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE TRANSVERSE LINKS ON THE LEFT AND RIGHT SIDES WITH NEW ONES. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN JULY 29, 2002. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261 OR INFINITI AT 1-800-662-6200.
For more information:
CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 02V146000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 90500
VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL
Feb 12 2002
THIS WILL CAUSE THE ENGINE MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP TO COME ON AND THE ENGINE SPEED TO BE SEVERELY LIMITED. IF THIS OCCURS UNEXPECTEDLY, IT COULD LEAD TO A CRASH.
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH AN ELECTRONIC THROTTLE CONTROL SYSTEM, THE STOPPER FOR THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL WILL PREVENT EXCESSIVE MOVEMENT OF THE ACCELERATOR POSITION SENSOR. IF THE DRIVER APPLIES OVERLY EXCESSIVE FORCE TO THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL WHILE AT THE SAME TIME PUSHING IT TO THE RIGHT, THE PEDAL CAN "OVER TRAVEL" DUE TO THE DESIGN OF THE PEDAL STOPPER.
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSTALL A NEW ACCELERATOR PEDAL STOPPER. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN MARCH 11, 2002. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261 OR INFINITI AT 800-662-6200.
For more information:
ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 02V043000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 39000
POWER TRAIN
Jan 11 2002
Summary:
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH A TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM, THE ODOMETER IN THE SUBJECT VEHICLES REGISTERS DISTANCE IN KILOMETERS INSTEAD OF MILES AS IS SPECIFIED IN THE DESIGN. THE ODOMETER DOES NOT HAVE A LABEL THAT INDICATES "KILOMETERS" OR "KM" AS REQUIRED BY FMVSS NO. 101, "CONTROLS AND DISPLAYS."
What should you do:
DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE ODOMETER TO DETERMINE IF IT IS CORRECT AND, IF NOT, WILL REPLACE THE SPEEDOMETER/ODOMETER ASSEMBLY. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN DECEMBER 12, 2001. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261.
For more information:
ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 02V010000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 843
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