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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,129 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2001 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Oct 082015


  • 90,000 miles


Was told the subframe rusted out and broke off from rack and pions. The wheel wont turn and lost all functions

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #23

Jul 062015


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 5 mph into a parking space, the vehicle became very difficult to steer. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the rack and pinion had completely rusted off and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000. The VIN was not available. MA 10/25/15

- Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #22

Nov 302014


  • 178,000 miles
Vehicle became difficult to turn to the right. After having it looked at by a mechanic the entire steering cradle is rusted and has become detached from the frame. Upon turning the steering wheel to the right the power steering box shifts approximately two inches. Currently the car has not been repaired. The sub-frame is also rusted and cost for repair is currently unknown. After reading multiple complaints online and on this site this problem seems to be very common and GM should be held responsible.

- Gloucester, VA, USA

problem #21

Feb 102010


  • 154,392 miles


While driving on a highway after going over a pot hole the car turned off. After shifting into neutral and pulling to the side of the road I put it in park and started it back up. It started up fine but when I started driving it was very hard to make turns. After taking it to a mechanic they said the power steering went out and it needs a new rack and pinion and new power steering pump. They said it could be related to an ignition switch recall so I called GM. They said the ignition switch was covered by a recall but not anything related to the power steering.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #20

Mar 152014


  • 180,744 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. As a result, the contact crashed into the rear passenger side of another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was repaired, but the results of the diagnostic testing were unknown. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 180,744.

- Lake Wales, FL, USA

problem #19

Aug 162012


  • 119,241 miles
After experiencing numerous steering lock up and key not turning in ignition (locked up) my Malibu would not budge out of the lock position when inserting key. I had to call a tow truck and since the key would not turn in ignition the Malibu had to be dragged onto tow truck with wheels locked. Car was towed to dealership at the cost of $70. At the dealership the Malibu had the ignition lock cylinder and case replaced and reprogrammed theft system at (labor) $247.50. The cylinder kit was (parts) $225.90 and subl code new cylinder was (other) $20 for a total of $493.40. With misc. Charges of $5 and sales tax at $29.90 the total was $528.30. Add the additional $70 towing expense and total is $598.30. I believe I am entitled to reimbursement for my expenses as this has been a recalled vehicle. I experienced on numerous occasions a locked ignition and steering which caused me to have to sit and try and try to get my key to turn the ignition. Many times I was late for work/school as I could not get the key to turn. I had to call friends and family for rides.

- Gillette, WY, USA

problem #18

Apr 232014


  • 87,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the power steering malfunctioned and the steering wheel seized. As a result, the vehicle crashed into ditch. The contact sustained an injury to the forehead and it was unknown if a police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified about the failure. After the failure, the contact received a notice for NHTSA campaign 14V400 (electrical system). The approximate failure was 87,000.

- Middle River , MD, USA

problem #17

Aug 012013


  • 110,000 miles
This 2001 Chevy Malibu had the rack and pinion break free from the engine cradle due to frame corrosion. The car is now undrivable and needs new engine cradle (front frame). This is a safety issue and the frame should not rust on a car in a place that could kill somebody. Bad design. Poor quality. Never buy a GM....ever.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #16

Nov 022012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
My wife was driving through the college parking lot at approximately 15 mph. When she went to turn the car in a turn lane she had no control over the direction of the car. She ran over a curb with the car before coming to a stop. The local auto maintenance shop said the steering mechanism broke in the front causing loss of control. Because of this she ran the curb and broke off the left front wheel. After reading the almost 600 complaints on here my problem seems to be a very... very common one. I called the local Chevy dealer and Chevy. They both told me sorry, but sorry. They couldn't do anything for me. "I" broke the car. They are ignoring huge safety issues with the 2001 Malibu. My wife could have been on the interstate and this happened. She could have died, and I would have brought Chevy down in court. Basically, Chevy needs to grow a pair and man up by fixing these real issues that are putting peoples lives in danger. Chevy is a great example of what is wrong with America today..... corporate greed at any expense so people can make copious amounts of money without worrying about making a great product or keeping consumers safe. I will never... never buy another Chevy. They do not stand behind their products at all. What a shame for an "american" company. Oh wait, they are own by the U.S. government and Fiat. Aka not american anymore.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #15

Oct 212013


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the steering wheel seized as the brake lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #14

Sep 242013


  • 170,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the steering wheel failed causing the vehicle to shift to the left. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000.

- St Clairesville, OH, USA

problem #13

Sep 032013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 106,800 miles
I was driving down the road at 30 mph and heard some popping in my left front tire. I then noticed that I could not turn my steering wheel to the right. It took all of my strength to get it to turn slightly and the more I tried to turn the wheel, the louder the popping sound got. I was no longer able to steer my car. Thankfully I was able to drive into the parking lot of monro and they were able to take a look at the car and told me that my sub frame steering rack completely cracked and that the car was no longer drivable. He said I was very lucky to have not been in a serious accident considering this was so sudden. I had my car inspected a month ago and it passed with shiny stars. It was in fantastic shape and is now undriveable.

- Avonmore, PA, USA

problem #12

Sep 102012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 109,740 miles
I had my car tow to a auto services center cause it would not start, the tech told me it was the starter but said there was another problem the sub frame very rusted and the engine could fall out anytime. They replace the front sub frame, outer tie rod end, sway bar link kit, the cost was $927.39. Is G M responsible and can I be reimburse for my cost.

- Northford, CT, USA

problem #11

Jul 042012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
I was going from eb I294 onto sb IL394 when the car suddenly changed lanes, it was late and there was very little traffic, so no accident happened, I got the car to a repair shop and they told me the front end cradle that the steering rack mounts to has rusted out, causing me to have very bad steering, and when it happened it bent the steering rack and the tie rod ends. The repair with a salvaged rack was $1800, I am very disappointed with this car because it has no other rust. I was told by the repair facility this is very common on Chevy Malibu, Ford vans, and suburu outbacks.this is terrible the manufacture would sacrifice peoples lives to save a few dollars!

- Oak Lawn, , IL, USA

problem #10

Feb 162012


  • 146,000 miles
I went to start the car and it wouldn't start. The theft light came on and wont go off. I only had the car for two days and this happens. I don't have the money to take the car to the dealership or get another car. I lose my job in a week due to the place closing down.

- Elkhart, IN, USA

problem #9

Dec 122011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 5 mph, the contact attempted to make a left turn while depressing the brake pedal and a hissing sound was heard from the steering wheel. The steering immediately became difficult to maneuver. After depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle regained steering. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000. Updated 1/20/2012 updated 01/25/12

- Kittery, ME, USA

problem #8

Nov 212011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Steering became stiff to turn when making a right turn. Upon investigating the problem, we discovered that a thin mounting tab on the front cross member where the steering box was attached to had rusted away leaving the steering box hanging free. I have seen many internet complaints with this same problem.

- Cheektowaga, NY, USA

problem #7

Jul 152011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn when the power steering failed. The driver lost control of vehicle and veered to the side of the road. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic who advised her that the right side K-frame was fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 77,000. Updated 09/21/11 the consumer stated when she hit a pothole, she lost the ability to steer the vehicle. The engine cradle, steering rack and inner and outer tie rods had to be replaced. Updated 09/27/11

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 302010


  • 89,677 miles
Car suddenly began steering hard to the right and made clunking noises when the steering wheel was turned. Discovered that the left side mounting bolt of the steering rack ripped through the rusted out frame cradle, leaving the rack attached by only one bolt. This allows the rack to pivot upwards instead of properly steering the vehicle. The right hand mount is also very rusted and is nearing failure. Car has not been repaired at this time, since the entire front frame will need to be replaced.

- Iowa Falls, IA, USA

problem #5

Apr 042007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving at 55-60 mph on March 4, 2007 the steering wheel began to automatically turn on its own and a fraction of the steering wheel became detached. While depressing the brakes the contact struck a brick wall. The vehicle and contact were unharmed. The vehicle was towed. The current and failure mileage were 87,000.

- Hueytown, AL, USA

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