Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

Print this page

3.0

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
47,428 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Chevrolet Malibu:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Mar 022010

Malibu

  • 107,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu. Whenever the contact drove the vehicle at various speeds, he noticed that the theft system light would appear on the dashboard and the vehicle would shut off. The vehicle could not be restarted for approximately 10 minutes. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 107,000.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #24

Feb 162010

Malibu

  • 125,000 miles
When trying to start the car the anti theft system light blinks and car will not start. Wait about 10 minutes and car will eventually start. This happens a couple of times a week. The problem has not been corrected.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #23

Jan 012009

Malibu

  • miles
1998 Chevy Malibu more and more often, when I start my car, the theft light comes on and I can not start the car until it turns off about 10-15 minutes later.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #22

Dec 062009

Malibu

  • miles

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

1998 Chevy Malibu has a notorious issue with the theft system. I have read 1000's of issue with this light coming on and your not able to start your car. Tons of people online with this issue. Chevy needs to take responsibility for this default in their vehicles. You pay money to support american auto makers but where is the accountability when the car no longer works. This is not a safety issue. But I think starting a car when you have purchased it is as important. This theft light comes in and you have to wait 15 mins or more for it to cut off to start your own car!!! Chevy dealers charge $600+ dollars to replace this sensor. The faulty sensor in Chevy vehicles are on tons of website and they are aware of this issue, but why has there been a recall !! you want to help the economy...helping.getting people to work on time is a great start. Next time, I'm going foreign. Japanese.....to many money hungry companies for me to support. I know better next time...if you google " theft system in a Chevy" there are nothing but complaints. There are also people giving advise on how to disable this because there is no way to start your car with this issue. I'm disgusted with Chevy....shame on them!!!!!!! a car that thinks the owner is stealing it.....what a shame!

- Altamonte Spring, FL, USA

problem #21

Apr 222009

Malibu

  • 186,900 miles
I have a 98 Chevy Malibu. The car was running fine until a couple of weeks ago when I went to start it. The theft system light was on and the car wouldn't start. After the light shut off it started and this happens alot. Everyone I talk to that has a Chevy seems to be having the same problem. The shop wants over $200 to fix it. I believe that the ignition tumbler is faulty and is set up to go bad so that they can get more money am very angry that this keeps happening to me. I have read over 1000 reports about people having this particular problem and Chevy needs to fix it.

- Superior, WI, USA

problem #20

Sep 122006

Malibu

  • 120,000 miles
Passlock system failure. Happens very frequently (three to four times a week) and car cannot be started for at least 10 minutes while the system resets itself. This problem was misdiagnosed several times by different (well-qualified) mechanics and wound up costing over 1500 dollars in unneeded repairs to the fuel pump and fuel line several times. GM is aware of this problem and refuses to do a recall.

- Dunkirk, NY, USA

problem #19

Apr 012007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Someone needs to look into the theft security system in these cars!!

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #18

Nov 302007

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles
1998 Malibu - theft system will activate for no reason and there is not a solution in the owners manual for this condition. If the internet search of 10 minute wait does not work, using another key, spraying the ignition switch with cleaner or kicking a tire - you will have to take a cab. There is not a way to disarm this system. I will not own another GM product because of this system and the inability to turn off my headlights.

- Hominy, OK, USA

problem #17

Oct 202006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have no clue what has caused the failure. I am using the same key that came with the vehicle. I have only been using it for the last year and a half. Theft system is causing me a big headache with the ten to twenty minute waits for the light to stop flashing so I can start the car again. I have not been able to repair the problem because it is so expensive to fix and my financial status is preventing me from being able to repair it.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #16

Oct 132007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Once or twice a week when I turn the key to start the car, it cranks but doesn't start. The theft system light starts flashing. After 10 minutes I can try again and it usually starts. I've found dozens of other complaints for this problem with this car. I've called Chevrolet (national 800 number) twice; each time they say they've never heard of it. I've called two dealers; they know what I'm talking about, but of course a diagnosis is still required.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #15

Oct 202006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

I own a 1998 Chevy Malibu and it is one of the thousands with the anti-theft passlock system error. My car continually reads an error in the theft system and cuts off the fuel for 10 minutes before I can start it again.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #14

Nov 032006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,500 miles
Electrical system:ignition:anti-theft controller the anti- theft system disabled the engine while the vehicle was being turned started. This anti-theft system has prohibited the car from starting two different times. Had to disable the anti-theft system in order to start car. Dealer could not fix this problem.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #13

Jan 122007

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,300 miles
The anti- theft system disabled the engine while the vehicle was being turned through an intersection. With the motor dead, neither the brakes nor steering were powered. Coasted to the far right lane out of traffic flow, tried to restart the engine, but to no avail. Called a tow truck but by the time they arrived, the engine started and ran. This anti-theft system has prohibited the car from starting four times in the last year. The dealer stated that they cannot fix this. They suggested I use a backup key, but I have tried several keys inserted both ways with no improvement. This problem has stranded the driver twice at work and on two separate occasions in mall parking lots, once late at night. The dealer says they can't find what causes the problem, and they cannot disable the anti-theft system as a work-around. This appears to be a very common problem with this car that only the manufacturer can solve.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #12

Sep 012001

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
I have had my lock core in my 1998 Chevy Malibu ls replaced about a dozen times since my car was around 30,000 to 35,000 miles. It started when the passive theft system activated in my car. I would be driving and all of a sudden it would come on. I brought it to a local dealership and they replaced it. They said that they could only follow the plans on how to fix it even though I mentioned to them that it more than likely was a short in the electrical system of the car. It happens every six to eight months where it won't start and the theft system light on the dash starts flashing at me. I called GM and they told me that I would have to sit in the car with the key in the ignition in the "on" position for up to 20 minutes. I live the upper midwest and if it was on a really cold or hot and humid day, that could be dangerous if you stay with your car. Is there any way to get it fixed and fixed right" or have GM stand behind their product"

- St. Louis Park, MN, USA

problem #11

Jul 122006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Anti- theft system engages for no reason. After getting in the car, we try to start it; it turns over, but will not start. I have tried several keys inserted both ways. I have been stranded at work several times because of this. I have been stranded several hundred miles away from home because of this. I have missed work because of this. It cost $ 180 every time to have it reset by the dealer. A new system is $450, but no guarantees it won't happen again. From reading web sites, this is a very common problem with this car.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #10

Jun 022006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
On countless occasions my 1998 Chevrolet Malibu failed to start because the defective anti-theft system prevents starting. I fear for the time when this system causes the engine to cease when I am driving and in danger of loosing control. I know that GM is aware of this problem--hundreds of complaints have been recorded online alone. Can't you persuade GM to correct and adress this problem before injuries and/or loss of life occur--to say nothing of the hundreds of dollars Chevrolet dealerships are charging affected drivers to attempt solving this problem.

- Tarrytown, NY, USA

problem #9

May 011999

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The anti-theft systems seems to be an anti-owner system also. Since 1998 when this car was bought new, the ignition cylinder or the ignition switch have been replaced 6 times. This has been because of one of two reasons. Either the key won't turn or the theft system light comes on and won't let me start the car. I drive over 50 miles each way to and from work and can't afford to get stranded for any length of time should I have to stop somewhere during my travels. It's only been two weeks since it was replaced and again the light is coming on.... at $300+ for each repair since the warranty expired, it's getting a little expensive. If the only thing that can be done is to replace a defective part with another defective part and that's not reason enough to investigate this and find a solution then what is? I really like the car but this is ridiculous!

- Charles Town, WV, USA

problem #8

Jan 062003

Malibu

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Lately the anti-theft system only seems to be working to keep me from driving. I have asked everybody what I can do to stop this stupid thing and I come up with the same answers. We can change the keys, put in a new ignition, a new ignition switch. All with the same results. It will not fix the problem. I don't see why Chevrolet will not recall the system and disable it some how. It used to happen just once in awhile now it seems to be happening about 2-3 times per month. Each time I am stranded for at least 15 minutes because that is how long it takes for the theft system to cycle through. I can remember at least 3 times that I have been stranded for over an hour because when the light would go off I would try to start it and the theft system light would start blinking again. Very frustrating. Other than the stupid theft system the car has been great.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #7

Sep 102001

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
My theft light came on as I was driving the car. I brought it into village Chevrolet and they switched out the ignition switch. (this has happened at least 12 to 15 times). They have replaced the iginition switch at least 4 times, the body control module once. At least five of those 12 to 15 times, I wasn't driving anywhere and I was using the original key that I got when I purchased the car brand new, I was attempting to start the car and the theft light came on solid. I called GM, and they told me to put the key in the on position for 15 to 20 minutes to reset itself. I live in mn, and this is totally unacceptable since we have weather extremes and I am a single woman, and this is my only mode of transportation. The last time that I brought it in for this, they cut a new key from my VIN to see if that would help solve the problem. It has happened at least 2 more times since that. I have called GM repeatedly, and they tell me that there is nothing that they can do. I am pretty sure that there is a short between the ignition switch and the starter. Is there anything that can be done"?"

- St. Louis Park, MN, USA

problem #6

May 042004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
Sometimes we start the car the anti-theft controller shuts the car down for a 10 minute period for no reason.

- Mooreville, MS, USA

Read the next 5 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?