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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,581 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.

2003 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #12

Jan 252006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


: the contact stated the ABS warning light illuminated and the dealership replaced the driver side wheel speed sensor. Six months later, the ABS warning light illuminated again, the dealership determined the passenger side wheel speed sensor needs to be replaced. Update 2/24/2006 - the consumer previous vehicle, a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu, also had the same brake wheel speed sensor failure.

- Bradford, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 242005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,000 miles
Anti -lock brake light (ABS) is on and the ABS sometimes activates when the using the brakes at a slow speed.

- Galway, NY, USA

problem #10

Jul 262005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,330 miles
2003 Chevrolet Malibu. The anti-lock brakes failed. The consumer states was driving 40 mph when this occurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealership, and they state there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. This problem happened twice.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #9

Jul 062005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


Vehicle safety issue: 2003 Chevy Malibu has been into the dealer three (3) times for brake repairs. First complaint I was told brakes needed to "wear in", car one (1) week old. Second complaint, soft and pulsating pedal with poor stopping, rotors were "refinished", vehicle mileage 6,800. Third complaint, vehicle uncontrollable when stopping at highway speeds, dealer advised that rotors have "excessive run-out" and inner pads are "low". cost to repair three hundred and fifty dollars ($350), vehicle mileage 30,000. Dealer and General Motors refuse to admit the brake wear is caused by a safety defect in the braking system. No repairs have been made and vehicle was released from the dealer and is now unsafe to operate due to uncontrollable steering while brakes are applied.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #8

Jan 012004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact states that she owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu ls. She purchased the vehicle in September of 2003. January 2004 she noticed a quivering pulsating brake problem. She took vehicle to the dealer, they cleaned the brakes and then they were fine. March 204 she took vehicle in for a regular Pennsylvania inspection and she had them check the brakes. They said they were excellent. May 12 2004 she had brake failure. The brake pads, shoes, and rotors had all burnt off the vehicle. So she had all of them replaced. She takes her vehicle in every four to five weeks for an oil change. Every other oil change she has brakes inspected, so it is about every 10 weeks. The last week of March she went in for another inspection everything, including the calibration on the brakes looked perfect. May 10th 2005 brake failure again, the brake shoes, pads, and the rotors burnt off again. The contact called three dealer in the pennsylavnia area and all the dealers stated that Chevrolet Malibu are known for brake problems. She called GM on May 10th, and they were only worried about how many miles on the vehicle she had, and told her to get brakes serviced more often. In a total of six weeks vehicle has burnt out the brake pads, shoes, and rotors.

- Pittston Township, PA, USA

problem #7

Apr 162005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,164 miles
Front brake failure. 4 repairs of machining / replacing rotors. Car has under 15,000 miles. Bought it new. Car shakes uncontrollably on highways when applying brakes. Steering wheel literally bounces 1.5 inchs in all directions. Service dealer keeps on replacing and machineing the rotors. Something is causing them to warp... my complaint is heard by deaf ears... help.

- Sturbridge, MA, USA

problem #6

Oct 222004

Malibu 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving consumer applied the brakes and pedal went to the floor. Consumer was unable to maintain control of the vehicle and hit a concrete barrier. Upon impact, both frontal air bags did not deploy. Driver and passenger sustained head and neck injuries, and were air lifted by a helicopter to the hospital. Vehicle was towed, and totaled by the insurance company.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #5

Apr 212004


  • miles
Consumer had to change brakes 3 times. While driving consumer heard a grinding noise in the front of vehicle. Consumer took vehicle to the dealer the first time, and they replaced the brakes. Then, brakes malfunctioned again, and consumer took the vehicle back to the dealer. This time they turned the rotors, and put on new brakes. The same type of noise was heard again. This time, when she took the vehicle to dealer for checking and repair, they replaced the master cylinder/calipers/ rotors, and put on another set of brakes on the vehicle. After consumer picked up the vehicle from dealer brakes still were not working properly. Consumer took the vehicle back to dealer, but was told by dealer it was just a matter of tightening up some screws.

- Calhoun, GA, USA

problem #4

Aug 202003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,375 miles
2003 Chevrolet Malibu brake pads and rotors need replacement after 8,000-25,000 miles due to rust and wear. Brakes were "excellent" at 10,871 miles, then needed replacement at 16,350 along with new rotors.

- Foxboro, MA, USA

problem #3

Oct 152003


  • miles
When the brakes were applied there was a delay before vehicle would stop. Dealer inspected vehicle 22 times, and problem still occurring.

- Selma, AL, USA

problem #2

Oct 102003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,100 miles
Complete front brake failure with no warning.

- Huntington, IN, USA

problem #1

May 122003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When the brakes were applied the vehicle vibrated and the pedal traveled to the floor. The brakes on the vehicle locked up when the consumer attempted to make and turn, and the consumer's vehicle hit another motorist.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

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