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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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1998 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #81

Jun 182002

Malibu

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Dear Ms. Radley and Chevy, I am quite sure that you are aware of the numerous consumer complaints and problems associated with the brake system of the 1998 Chevrolet Malibu, but just in case I will expounded on the issue. My wife purchased the vehicle from your dealership on 22 Aug 98. Shortly thereafter we noted several significant problems with the brakes grinding and squeaking. The following are dates that the vehicle was brought in for brakes problems: 02/04/99 - 8K milesms. Radley, that makes a grand total of ten times the car has had noted brake problems with no resolution to the problem. There is a definite manufacturing problem with these brakes that I expect fixed. I had expressed concern over this issue when the brakes and rotors had to be replaced at 20K miles, apparently no one cared then as now. I have spoken with Chevrolet consumer complaint division, jeff merritt and ike chris about this problem at length and I must say the total lack of responsibility grows more evident. I have been told everything from driving habits to lack of service. This patronization is infuriating. The bottom line is Chevrolet knows full well that they placed a braking system designed for a Chevy cavalier on the Malibu. Do not try and tell me that it is normal for rotors to warp and go bad every 20K miles; I do not accept that answer. When I called several garages and ask what vehicle requires the most brakes service and replacement rotors  the answer was Malibu and Alero. I called seven different shops in the area and two other Chevy dealerships and received the same answer at each place. You may want to note the following complaints files at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office Of Defects Investigation, consumer complaints database. As of when I researched the database I discovered 865 consumer complaints 365 of which are brake related.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #80

Mar 082001

Malibu

  • miles
5 months after I purchased this vehicle, the brakes would "squeal" when any pressure was applied. Took the car to dealer to be checked out. The pads were worn and the rotors were at/below min. Thickness. Rt $25.04 & lt $24.66 mm. Minimum thickness being 25.0mm. Pads & rotors were changed and now here it is a little over a year later and I'm now getting a grinding noise and when I get to a complete stop, the whole car feels like its just going to fall out from under me. Will be taking it in again to be checked out but will be placing complaint with manufacturer, dealership, & state dcca.

- Wailuku, HI, USA

problem #79

May 032002

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
I have gotten my pads, rotors/calipers fixed and cleaned twice at over 700 dollars and my ABS light is constantly on and I have only had the car six months I have taken it to 2 mechanics and now I can hardly stop the car. Please get back with me asap I don't know what to do. Thank you.

- St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #78

Feb 142002

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Same problem that many hundreds of others have reported to NHTSA in the past (including myself on a previous occasion). Just out of curiousity, how many reports do you have to get before some action is taken? there is a design defect in the brakes on the vehicles from 1997-2001 (at least -- search your db). After having any service work done that requires removal of the tires, the rotors will warp after about 6 or 10K miles and both rotors and pads need to be replaced. The vehicle experiences excessive brake pulsation and shaking (vibration) in the front end. Maintaining control of the vehicle when trying to stop from a higher rate of speed (at or above 45mph) with this vibration is challenging at best. My car is out of warranty now, so Chevrolet will not do anything. The last time I took it in for this, the dealer blamed it on my tires, turned the rotors and that was it. I got new tires as he said, and I still have the problem. His reason for not replacing the rotors and pads at that time was because I was almost out of warrenty and he knew the problem would occur again and he would be responsible for it. If NHTSA cannot do anything about this problem, please direct me to someone who can. Thank you.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #77

Nov 012000

Malibu

  • miles
Since I have owned this car I have had to change the brakes 10 times. I have had to replace the rotors twice. I have had to replace the calipers on both sides in the front and the wheel bearing on the passengers side once I have had repeated problems with the brakes since I purchased this car. In August of 2001 I had to replace the head gaskets as anti-freeze was leaking into my oil. My anti-lock brake light will come on out of the blue while traveling at speeds of 50 mph I am becoming very concerned about this matter. I have spoke to about 35 Malibu owners and they are all having the same problems. One owner had only 10K miles one her car at the time her brakes failed.

- St. Johnsbury, VT, USA

problem #76

Jan 142002

Malibu

  • miles
My 1998 Chevrolet Malibu has just over 40,000 miles on it and I just had to replace the brake pads and rotors for the third time (the first time was in September,1999 and the second was in April, 2000). This feels excessive to me, but Chevy says it's normal wear and tear (strange that in having cars for the last 18 years I've never replaced them). I've tried to approach this throught the dealer and GM as well, but I get the blow off each time. It took 3 phone calls to Chevy to find out about your website. They keep saying there's no problem with the model, but your somewhat "secret" website lists 123 people with the same complaint. If I call to have the car serviced for brake problems, the service rep has even guessed before me saying, "let me guess...a 1998 Malibu?" obviously the problems with the brakes are widespread if they can guess the make of my car. Although nobody in my family has been hurt yet, I hope something is done before that point is reached. Kris fitz.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #75

Aug 052001

Malibu

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Brakes need to be serviced for 4th time, this is a major safety issue.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #74

Mar 012000

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle making squeaking noise when coming to a stop, consumer was advised by technician that front brake pads were due for replacement and front rotors were worn out, lubed caliper slides and set caliper clearance, inspected cleaned and adjusted rear brake shoes.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #73

May 032001

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
At various speeds brakes applied and vehicle would shake, and jerk steering wheel out of driver's hand. Took to dealership, and had rotors refaced/turned and resurfaced. Also, had new brake pads due to warped rotors.

- Hazaard, KY, USA

problem #72

Dec 161998

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When applying brakes they were making noise. Dealer replaced pads twice and calipers once. Brakes making noise again at this time. Braking distance is normal. ABS light illuminated.

- Dysart, PA, USA

problem #71

Apr 062001

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Recurring warped rotors after tire rotations; only ~38,000 miles and problem has occurred 3 times already; first 2 times, dealers replaced rotors and pads; 3rd time (vehicle out of warrenty) dealer says bad tires are the cause, but resurfaces rotors anyway- symptoms disappear with no change to tires (only difference is resurfaced rotors), so how can it be bad tires. Problem symptoms are always the same; severe pulsation when applying brakes above ~60-65mph, and severe vibration in steering wheel. Brakes are an important safety component on automobiles. Please take some action regarding this problem -- obviously I am not the only one experiencing these problems, and at least some dealers do not appear to be being completely honest here.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #70

Apr 102001

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
Front brake pads and rotors are prematurely wearing, cause unknown. The dealer replaced the brakes free of charge but could not explain why the brake failure keep on happening. This was the third failure.

- Nottingham, NH, USA

problem #69

Mar 172001

Malibu

  • miles
Returned to selling dealer 06/13/2000, 18121 miles for repair of brake pulsation, especially violent at interstate speeds. Brake rotors were resurfaced and pads deglazed at my expense. Complained to service manager about being charged for repair on a car with 3/36 bumper to bumper warranty. Was told brake warranty was only 12/12000. Called Chevrolet and lodged a complaint, followed by a letter on 06/16/2000. Chevrolet rep gave me a complaint file #, C00624109. Now at 26000 miles, brake pulsation has returned. I have no reason to think this will not be constantly reocurring. At highway speed this is a safety problem. The steering wheel will shudder violently. I feel confident that some reengineering is possible and should be required.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #68

Dec 202000

Malibu 4WD

  • miles
My Malibu has had both front brake shoes replaced twice. The rotors and calipars replaced the altinator replaced. Now the coolant system is leaking all over the engine. The passenger window will not roll down everytime. The dashboard is loose and rattles. My A/C light in car clicks on and off. The left tailight burned out twice. That's all that I can think of right now.

- Haltom, TX, USA

problem #67

Feb 222001

Malibu

  • miles
With 58000 miles, the rotors have been replaced four times and I'm now on the third set of brake pads. Brake pedal travels almost to the floor, and even at a stop, with brand new pads and rotors, the car still lurches forward a bit as if the brakes can't completely stop it. Chevrolet agreed to replace the rotors for 100000 miles because I filed a formal complaint, however this time I took it to an independent garage who put heavy duty rotors on to see if that will help. Even that mechanic states that the brakes do not seem adequate for the car.

- Batavia, NY, USA

problem #66

Feb 272001

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
Premature wear on brake pads and rotors. When brakes were applied there was a loud grinding sound. Dealer has replaced rotors and pads.

- Pfafstown, NC, USA

problem #65

Feb 202001

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
Every 7000 miles vehicles brakes cause excessive vibration. Dealer replaced rotors and pads at least 6 times, and problem keeps occurring.

- Cherry Valley, MA, USA

problem #64

Feb 142001

(reported on)

Malibu

  • miles
Premature wear of brake rotors and pads. When brakes are applied they pulsate and cause vehicle to vibrate. Dealer has serviced/ replaced rotors and pads eight times. Original and after market manufactured parts are defective. Manufacturer has been notified.

- Mineral, VA, USA

problem #63

May 012000

Malibu

  • miles
When braking from freeway speed of 50+ mph vehicle and steering wheel shook violently, making vehicle control difficult. Rotors and pads were replaced on Sept-1999, the problem returned, rotors and pads replaced Feb-2000, the problem returned.

- Muskego, WI, USA

problem #62

Dec 012000

Malibu

  • miles
Had alignment done and wheels rotated and still had vibration when braking. Car won't start completely shut down on the road unexpectedly 3 times in 1 week. Loud noise in rear of car when traveling.

- Valleyview, TX, USA

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