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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,860 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.

2001 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #74

Mar 012015


  • 121,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V400000 (electrical system); however, the contact stated that it took several attempts to start the vehicle after the anti theft warning indicator intermittently illuminated. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start until after the anti theft warning indicator was no longer illuminated. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 121,000.

- Cochran, GA, USA

problem #73

Dec 012010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
I went outside to crank up the car and it would not start. It would crank but would not start and the anti-theft light would flash. Researched the internet for possible causes and was advised to put the key in the on position for about 10 minutes to bypass the theft system. It seems as if the theft system kicks in and kills the car so that it will not start. This has happened several times. I am always able to get the car to start after about 10 minutes of it being in the on position, but there is clearly an issue with the wiring as this is a common complaint on the internet about these cars.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #72

Jan 202007


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. While the contact was driving approximately 35 mph, the anti-theft security indicator illuminated and the engine completely stalled. After waiting for one hour, the passlock system was reset and allowed the vehicle to resume proper operation. The failure occurred four times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #71

Sep 202009


  • 140,000 miles


I have a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu with the anti-theft system/passlock problem, that turns the car off while I am driving on the highway at 55 mph (or any speed for that matter). In fact, it simply turns off whenever it likes. This morning turning onto a highway, it stalled as I turned and I was almost hit by a truck had the truck not moved out of the way. I could not move because my power steering did not work due to the car shutting off. The mechanic I took it to said he's replaced hundreds on all kinds of GM cars, and that he was surprised it was not recalled. After researching this, I have found thousands of posts of people complaining about the identical issue! this is incredibly frightening and has happened to me on more occasions than I can count! it happens at least once a day.

- Hampton Bays, NY, USA

problem #70

Sep 022009


  • miles
I have a 2001 Chevy Malibu and I have had multiple issues with the passlock system. I have spent numerous hours, and a large amount of money trying to figure out the problem and get it fixed. I know now that this is a very common issue and wonder why there isn't a recall for the said part.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #69

Apr 292009


  • 94,930 miles
Two months ago we bought a used 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. Two days after was sitting, stranded because of a malfunctioning passlock system. The first time it malfunctioned I turned the key and the security system light blinked so I waited 10 minutes and it cranked after it reset. We took it to our local dealer and they replaced the ignition switch at a cost of $470. The very next day I get stranded at the gas pump only this time the security system light comes on solid for 5 seconds then goes away. No other lights on my panel other than the mileage shows up. I sat for two hours waiting and trying to crank it before getting a ride home. Went back the next day and it cranked right up. Yesterday I was stranded again only this time the thing went dead. It cranked right up and then after a second or two went dead again. Went to re-crank and the security system light only comes on for a couple of seconds and no other lights. I sat for two and a half hours trying to crank that thing and finally had to call the police to give me and my two children a ride home. We went back this morning and the evil thing cranked right up. We drove it home and it's sitting in our drive looking innocent as ever. It will crank 20 or so times before the passlock kicks in again. This car runs great and I have no other complaints other than the passlock system of the !@#$%!!!!

- Hiddenite, NC, USA

problem #68

Apr 042009


  • miles


My theft system light came on and the vehicle would not start. This happened 3 times about a week apart each. I ended up replacing the ignition lock cylinder and relearn. The repairman indicated he has seen this issue on a number of Malibu. Sometimes using a different key fixes the problem. Not in my case. Similar complaints are logged on internet chat rooms.

- Lakefield, MN, USA

problem #67

Feb 082009


  • miles
2001 Chevy Malibu theft system, my car will not start.

- West Valley, UT, USA

problem #66

Sep 042008


  • 73,000 miles
Theft system warning light comes on and will not let car be restarted until I leave key in started switch for 10 minutes.

- Danville, VA, USA

problem #65

Jun 172008


  • 103,561 miles
Anti theft pass key car will not start due to theft protection kicking in have to reset everytime I want to start the car.

- Church View, VA, USA

problem #64

Jun 042008


  • miles


I have a 2001 Chevy Malibu. The anti theft system light keep coming on causing me to wait for 10 - 15 minutes for it to reset. Causing me to go back to dealer to get my key reprogram. A very expensive job. I've not had it done yet. I've researched this and have found out that this is common among Malibu owners. What can we do to have GM recall our car to fix this problem. This problem last occurred on June 4, 2008. I've had this problem for awhile.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #63

May 052008


  • miles
The anti-theft system on my 2001 Chevrolet Malibu frequently activates for no apparent reason, causing a ten minute waiting period before the car will start. This device does more harm than good and leaves me stranded in undesirable areas to in which to be stranded.

- Philpot, KY, USA

problem #62

Apr 302008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 80,744 miles
GM passlock system is failing in the vehicle. Problems incurred are: No-start and engine shut-down while in operation. Sudden loss of power in vehicle is serious safety concern.

- Kenmore, NY, USA

problem #61

Apr 202008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased my 2001 in 2003 and has never given me any problems. But at the end of March my Malibu would not start. I had it towed and got a full tune up and it ran for about a week before it started skipping. I took it back to the mechanic and he gave the car a transmission flush and it ran for about a week. Two days later while I was driving the car it cut off, I was able to restart it but then Sunday morning 4/20/08 it would not start. I called my mechanic and he noticed that the anti-theft light was blinking and indicated that the system had locked me out, and that the ignition no longer recognizes the chip in the key. I have read online that several owners have been experiencing this problem. I am anger that General Motors has not taken ownership of this very serious problem this problem and issued a recall. My car has 41,000 mi and I should not be having problems like this. This is not relevant to wear and tear this is a defected product and a safety issue that warrants the attention of the manufactures and owners who are having problems with their vehicle. This could possibly prove to be fatal if the car suddenly stops in the middle of traffic on the street or highway like my car did. My husband and I were lucky this time. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, and was contemplating trading for the newer 2008 model, not anymore.

- Irvington, NJ, USA

problem #60

Mar 262008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,062 miles
Problems with anti-theft system. Car would not start. Have had to have car towed to dealership twice and had the ignition pass lock changed both times within a 6 month period. The third time it happened was one day before the 1 year guarantee on the parts and labor of the previous replacement ran out. Had car towed again. This time they said it was the wiring harness to the pass lock. They said it was corroded and they replaced it but I had to pay for it since it was not the same part as the pass lock part they replaced twice before. Naturally I have no way of knowing whether the wiring harness corrosion was the real problem on the first, second or third time. They never reimbursed me for the tow on the second replacement that was under their warranty either. Tow truck driver told me that this was an almost everyday occurrence for him on GM vehicles that he towed. Recall and reimbursement seems to be in order.

- Salinas, CA, USA

problem #59

Feb 222008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cannot start engine because of anti-theft system.

- Waxahw, NC, USA

problem #58

Aug 302007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,149 miles
Theft device replaced in ignition switch twice in just over 2 years, both repairs over $300+. last time it failed while driving down the road, ignition just shut off. Had to tow to dealership to repair. Wife luckily got car stopped and someone helped push out of street. I see this complaint a lot. Sounds like it should be a recall just like the rest of the junk that is failing on these models. I will never buy Chevrolet again.

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #57

Apr 202004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
I am a single mom of two, and am frustrated that all of my savings have gone into this money pit. I have replaced the intake manifold twice, and its going out again! I have replaced the water pump, heater core which are dying, and the theft system twice. I have had a fuel leak by my engine and had it enter inside my car and its doing it again, my ABS brakes only work when they want, and these are just a few of my complaints!

- Johnsburg, IL, USA

problem #56

Jan 232008


  • miles
Anti-theft light comes on then the car just wont start. Had many sensors, as well as ignition switches, replaced. At my cost! had to be towed, pushed, and pulled, too many times to count. Wont ever by a Chevy again. Ever!!!! if you own a 2001 Chevy Malibu, sell it trade it. Whatever you do get rid of it. Save yourselves! a lot of money too.

- Monrovia, CA, USA

problem #55

Oct 012007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,520 miles
Ignition switch / passlock anti-theft system prevents vehicle from starting about 70 percent of the time.

- Los Osos, CA, USA

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