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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,660 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #17

Apr 072010


  • 100,597 miles


This Malibu had blinker and interior lighting problems. The blinkers were either inoperative or worked intermittently. The interior drive panel lighting was either inoperative or worked intermittently. The panel would go black while driving at night so as not to allow the speed of the vehicle to be seen or anything else on the panel to be seen.

- Gillette, WY, USA

problem #16

May 232014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
I was traveling at 60 and took my foot off gas to decelerate and car wouldn't go less than 50. Engine RPM's wouldn't go below 2500. I could still stop car with brakes but this appears to be a constant problem and not intermittent like the person reported a few days ago. I checked the throttle linkage because I thought the non functioning cruise control could be affecting engine speed but neither cable kept the flap from bottoming out.

- Newport, WA, USA

problem #15

May 012014


  • 160,000 miles
Driving car at various speeds, will accelerate by itself while driving RPM >2000 when put in park RPM >2500. When brake for light and take foot off brake car will accelerate by it self I let it go up to 45 mph this problem is intermittent, I turn engine off and turn back on it will idle normally 1000 or less. No panel warning lights pop up.

- Edgewater, FL, USA

problem #14

Mar 142007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the engine stalled as the electronic throttle control warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle restarted on the first attempt and resumed normally. The failure occurred on several separate occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was unable to be diagnosed. The manufacture was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 12,000 and current mileage was 150,000. Updated 05/19/14

- Corinth, KY, USA

problem #13

Apr 022013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 161,730 miles
2001 Chevrolet Malibu suddenly accelerated while the brakes were depressed. While in park, the rpms jump randomly between 500 and 3500. When placed into drive the vehicle would gain speed to 45-65 mph on flat ground with foot off of brake and accelerator. Replaced throttle control sensor -- didn't solve the issue. Very disappointing, given that the car was always well maintained and that I recently changed transmission oil, spark plugs, battery, fuel pump, engine oil, a bunch of other parts and still have 3/4 tank of gas...

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 282012


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle abnormally accelerated to 80 mph as the engine rpms increased to 4,000. The contact had to coast onto the shoulder and turned the engine off in order to stop the vehicle. The contact then noticed smoke being emitted from the engine area. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who test drove the vehicle, but was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure recurred several times. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 82,000.

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #11

Oct 152005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


When we would just start the car it would rev up to between 3000 to 4000 RPM and it would stay that way. This was only one way that it would act up. The other ways were when you were just driving along and the car would start to accelerate on it's own. Both ways you had to ride the brake and ride it hard in order not to hit the person in front of us. We had it in to one dealer twice with nothing getting fixed. We took it to a different dealer three times, they randomly replaced different things (guessing) at our cost, but problem still persisted. We even took it in when it was revving up to 3000 RPM, while they were under the hood it even went higher! we were told to turn it off because they were afraid it would blow, but when we came back to pick it up they said that it didn't happen again and they couldn't fix it if it didn't do it for them again. They told us that the best thing for us to do was to trade the car in on a different vehicle, we told him that this thing is a problem that should be taken care of and not just traded in. We contacted GM and told them that this is a problem that can cause serious harm not only to my wife and myself but to others. GM did nothing to assist with the problem. They said that if the dealer couldn't fix it that they couldn't help us. They wouldn't even contact the dealers to see what the problems were. We have approx. 116,000 miles and it now has additional problems with the acceleration. We still have the car because we can't afford another at this time, but I feel like I'm driving a time bomb.

- Greenfield, WI, USA

problem #10

Jun 132012


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that after shifting into park, turning off the ignition and exiting the vehicle, it suddenly accelerated and crashed into a building. A police report was filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not inspected for the cause of the acceleration failure. The failure and the current mileage was 118,000.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #9

May 092009


  • 103,957 miles
Intermittent issue at start with vehicle rpms elevating to 3500, if put into drive the vehicle speeds to 45 mph. Happens at different times (cold, warm, hot). Have had iac and tps sensors replaced (2 times) and most recently the power control module. Each fix works for a few weeks, then issue begins again. Most recently fremont Chevrolet had vehicle for 10 days and could not get it to repeat; therefore, could not have computer read or provide problem and repair. No service completed.

- Newark, CA, USA

problem #8

Jul 142009


  • 158,214 miles
When I take my foot off the gas pedal my car keeps accelerating. From a stop it will accelerate to 45 mph without me touching gas pedal. On the freeway it keeps accelerating until I brake.this condition is intermittent and can be canceled by me turning off car and restarting the engine. I have a 2001 Chevy Malibu

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #7

Jul 012007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 65,676 miles


Approximately the first of July 2007 our vehicle began accelerating rapidly. My husband had to apply the brakes to stop the speed. Even with his foot off the gas pedal, it would accelerate up to 65 mph and he had to apply the brakes very strongly to slow it down. When he would take his foot off the brakes, it would continue to accelerate. This did not happen 100% of the time, but was more apt to happen after the vehicle had warmed up. It did not cause an accident, due to his careful driving. We took it in to the repair garage on 7-24-07 and they determined that the throttle position sensor was faulty and needed replacing which they did and we have not had any problem with it since then. We thought we should register this complaint in case other like vehicles have had this same problem.

- Easley, SC, USA

problem #6

Jul 012002

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The driver side floor mat slides back and forth. The floor mat blocks both the accelerator and brake pedals. The vehicle has not been inspected by a dealer. The failure mileage was 12,000 and current mileage was 41,000. Updated 3/5/08 the consumer stated the problem persists unless mats are repositioned with each entry and dealer advised consumer no other complaints about the defect. The consumer further stated to buy new mats at the tune of $48 to solve the problem. Updated 03/05/08

- Louisville , KY, USA

problem #5

Jul 282007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,450 miles
Was driving car just pulled off from a red light making a left turn and car started to pull forward then could not steer myself went off road almost into trees then jerked itself left pulling back to road and onto oncoming traffic then stopped was able to drive home slowly w/ hazards on. 2nd incident was driving and car started to pull /jerk forward fast tried to put on brakes and was very difficult to bring car to a stop almost felt like was not going to stop w/all my pressure applying to brakes was still hard to stop car. All 4 incidents were similar in that car kind of took off on it's own and was not controllable as far as steering or braking. This car is in local Chevrolet dealership for last few days for them to find/correct this problem our daughter is driving this car and it's not safe right now for her to drive. The dealership can not find the problem. First they thought anti lock brakes had a glitch, or the transmission, but car is not doing this when they take for short drives and they can not pin point this problem.,but there is most certainly a problem. I do not want my child to get hurt or worse driving this vehicle B/C no one can detect the problem. Also car had a burning rubbery/like a belt smell before at least 2 of these incidents. All belts check out ok. No problems. I have a relative that had a chev van that in last year or so car basically took off on it's own at a speed of 50mph. Could not stop vehicle was putting all weight pressure on brake car finally came to a stop. Prob wound up being a computer chip in transmission triggered the cruise control computer chip transmission had to be changed. Please check into this to see if related to our issue. Thank you.

- Monroe, NC, USA

problem #4

Nov 282003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,599 miles
My husband got in our 2001 Malibu backed it up, put it into drive, barely touched the accelerator, the car immediately took off in high throttle he could not figure out what was causing the acceleration next thing he knew the car was underneath his Chevrolet 4-wheel drive with a 6 inch lift kit. Car then pushed truck approximately 3 to 6 feet into a nearby oak tree causing car to be totaled truck to receive extreme damage as well. He called the police & reported the accident. I contacted GM they sent an investigator out to investigate the problem with the cars accelerator. The investigator hooked a computer up to the car that was supposed to record the last 5 seconds before impact, took some pictures, started the car to listen to the motor (he stated the car was stuck in high acceleration) moved some things under the hood (the gas cable) a loud clicking noise was made then the car was once again started & was fine. Three days later I received a call from GM advising me that the results found were that they were not responsible. I in turn asked for a copy of all information that was used in determining this decision including a copy of the pictures that were taken as well. I was told that the pictures were the property of GM & some information was as well but I could be sent a small portion of the information used in this determination process. A week later I received a letter from GM which read thank you for allowing us the opportunity to review the product allegation involving my Malibu, but our investigation revealed no evidence to support the product allegation. Therefore, GM is unable to assume responsibility for damages & they suggested that I resolve this matter through my insurance company. I later investigated this on the internet to find that GM has also been having some defects with this computer that records the 5 seconds before impact & that they have also had several complaints of this sudden acceleration which happened in our case.

- Many, LA, USA

problem #3

Jun 112002


  • miles
While trying to apply brakes the vehicle will accelerate. Consumer has to put vehicle in neutral position when applying brakes. Contacted dealer, and the dealer was not willing to do anything.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #2

Jun 292002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was going 60mph as throttle lost pressure and engine was hesitating. Problem was intermittent, and already been in to dealer 6 times. Fuel pump/ ground wires, and fuel filter were replaced to correct the problem that was still progressing. Dealer was contacted.

- Olney, MD, USA

problem #1

Aug 312001


  • miles
Car repeatedly fails to maintain set speed and accelerates rapidly without warning which almost caused several accidents. I had dealer look at the cruise control and they said this is normal on this model. I contacted Chevrolet directly (case: C04708022) and they agreed saying it was something I would just have to live with.

- Woolwich, ME, USA

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