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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,644 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 5 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #120

Dec 022013


  • 100,100 miles


Safety issue. The car went dead several instances at stop sign, when making a turn, and while driving. On July 2, 2014, I did contacted GM at 800-222-1020 about the ignition switch recall for Malibu 2003 and they told me that I would receive a letter to take to a GM dealer but I never received it. I did call then again and now I was told that the VIN was not being recalled. Yesterday, I did replace the ignition switch as I can not risk a major accident or loss of life. If you send to my address a self-stamped envelope I will send you the ignition switch that was replaced so you can make your own opinion. I am very upset of this game with the life of the consumers, I read NHTSA recall number 14V400, but I suggest that you google: Theft system Chevy Malibu 2003 and see the truth, so how can this happen after the Ford Explorer" who regulates this mess with the ignition switch"

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #119

Aug 012014


  • miles
Driving car on highway when it powered down, turned off, lost power steering, etc. Had to pull over, stop car, and restart it. Prior to this, had been driving it in town on side street and the same thing happened.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #118

Oct 142013


  • 71,542 miles
Car wouldn't start at shopping center, had it towed $50. Mechanic said it stared right up, nothing wrong. 6 months later, after work, car wouldn't start again $50 tow. Mechanic said car computer issue 1,000 fix! 2 months later same issue when leaving for work, towed again 50.00! $500 later I figure maybe more people are having the same problem so I got online and found out it's an anti theft/not recognizing key issue. We shouldn't have to pay that much money to try to fix an issue that is known about and not recalled because not enough people have died!

- Jackson, CA, USA

problem #117

Jul 162013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


I have had three incidents related to the ignition system. The first time, the anti-theft light came on and after driving and then parking the car, I could not start it. The mechanic told me the ignition may have been worn. He replaced the key cylinder and of course the keys. The car was fine for almost a year when the same thing happened. I tried a different mechanic and was told he could reset the computer so as to change the anti-theft alert. I was told that it could happen again but he felt if I replaced the ignition system($300) that it would solve this. I decided to wait. Now the light came on again and within a day or two the car would not start.I had him reset the computer again. I have been told by someone with GM that this is not related to the recall. Both myself and the mechanic believe it is related. I would like GM to cover this repair and all the towing and other fees for having my car back on the road.

- Manteno, IL, USA

problem #116

Aug 132013


  • 90,000 miles
2003 Malibu owners manual states that the ignition switch may shift the car off for no reason. It shuts the car down by shutting off the fuel pump.this resulted in the fuel pump breaking on my car. Since Chevrolet knew about the faulty ignition switch, this is why they put the info in their owners manual. Chevrolet must take responsibility for costs incurred by owners who must repair fuel pumps and ignition switches.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #115

Jul 202006


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated the vehicle failed to start when the key was inserted into the ignition. The contact mentioned that several attempts had to be made before the vehicle started and the theft system warning light illuminated intermittently. The problem recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the ignition switch malfunctioned causing the electronic chip in key lost communication with the electronic module control. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The manufacture informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in any recalls regarding the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Wey Mouth, MA, USA

problem #114

Jan 012005


  • 240,000 miles


The contact own a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the repair failed to remedy the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the ignition switch was replaced on three occasions. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system). The approximate failure and current mileage was 240,000.

- Byron , MI, USA

problem #113

Jul 022014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
This anti theft lamp is on in my car and I cannot drive. Have a husband who had a stroke and I need to be at the hospital this is horrible. Driving during the first week of the month in a 40mph zone the car turned off and that anti theft lamp was on, I was able to put the car in neutral and avoid an accident very scary situation. Last night I could not get home and was stranded after stopping the vehicle and it would not start. Car towed home today and this lamp is still on. I am being told that it is probably the keys, there are 3 keys all of which are no longer working. I have been able to drive utilizing putting the key to the on position waiting 10 minutes and the car will start well this time it is not working. Realized a few weeks ago after locking the doors on the car you would hear a beep like I had a keyless entry which I do not have. Help this is extremly serious I cannot drive my vehicle and I need to when are they going to issue remedies for these horrible problems we are having with these vehicles.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #112

Sep 122013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 40,054 miles
Loud noise. Replaced starter assembly.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #111

Jun 032013


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, the anti-theft warning light illuminated intermittently. In addition, when the air conditioner activated the air flow did not properly circulate through the vents. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 63,000.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #110

May 152014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 66,237 miles


My check engine light has been coming on and giving me problems. Just took it in to my car repair they said now its shows air bag error also. They want to change out the ignition switch. This car has had nothing but trouble with only 66 thousand miles! now the air bags probably wont work when needed. I want this fixed on the ignition recall. Every time I pull up to my home after driving this car I am just waiting for it to start on fire as nothing seems to work like it should.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #109

Apr 012013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
When trying to start car, often the theft kill engages. I have to wait 10 minutes with the key in the ignition start position before it will start. Can this be associated with the cars that turn off while driving?

- White Haven, PA, USA

problem #108

Jun 242014


  • 58,800 miles
There are multiple electrical issues associated with this vehicle. So much so that the fact that GM has not instituted a recall is beyond my belief. It must be because there are so many issues to rectify, it is not cost effective for them to do so. So put everyday lives at risk instead.these issues have been intermittently ongoing just before the car hit 50,000 miles or so. It started with the anti theft system. I can't tell you how many times I've had to reset the car alarm in order for it to start, during the warm summer weather it's an abomination. Sometimes I must reset it 2-3 times a day. Next is the hazard light it intermittently clicks incessantly. During this time it's a crapshoot if your turn signals work. I've had to remove the hazard light from its housing in order to manipulate it to get turn signals to work when it's clicking. Also the vehicle chimes at times when I'm driving. It's the type of chime you hear when you leave the key in the ignition and have the door open.this is less frequent then the hazard light clicking but an annoyance just the same. I've also have had a situation on way to employment and the car lost power. Luckily no accident resulted. Whether this was due to similar issues associated with recent the GM recalls presently or associated with my current issues, I do not know. I do not let anyone else use car and minimize my use of it as well. Luckily my job is local but I do wonder if my safety's compromised every time I get into this vehicle.

- Levittown , NY, USA

problem #107

Jun 192014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
6-10-14 no crank start, had to reset security systems code B2960 and P1626C Firestone 312-787-8828 store#026514 Chicago, il 60610 6-19-14 was diving on lake shore dr got on off ramp and the car just cut off no power it did start back up but lucky it didn't happen went I was going fast.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #106

Jun 122014


  • 105,000 miles
Subject vehicle hit a large pothole on us interstate; theft deterrent warning light illuminated. Stopped vehicle, turned off car. Restarted car, theft light off, resumed course/speed to final destination. Approximately 5 days later, after only local city driving during these 5 days, car would not start while parked in home garage. After attempt at jump start, had car towed to local garage where technician diagnosed issue as "car went into theft mode." Technician reset and cautioned that subject vehicle may need new ignition control. This is third or fourth time theft deterrent warning light has engaged over the past 3 years, but only time car has shut down and not started. Still using original key, although I have subsequently removed it from key chain to avoid recurrence.

- Anderson, IN, USA

problem #105

Nov 172012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 6,500 miles
The car was purchased in November of 2012 in Washington. On the drive from Washington to Missouri, the car would not start after the engine was off. After waiting three days for the mechanic in a small South Dakota town, he "fixed" it in ten minutes. The "solution" of keeping the engine on for ten minutes, turning to off, and then starting it again is only a temporary fix to a very real problem. This problem is so real and obvious that the ten minute solution is included in the owner's manual (why that instead of fixing it, I'm not really sure...) the problem has persisted intermittently for the last year and a half, anywhere from two to eight times a month- until this last month. I began keeping track on a calendar the number of times the car would fail to work - 26 times in five weeks. This is beyond annoying. The problem would be even worse if it were not for the fact that I am a teacher and the last week of school was the first week in these five weeks. Now that I am out for the summer, many days now I stay at home, thus reducing the chance of the car failing to work as I am not using it. That last week of school, it "stalled" every single day. Two days ago, it quit working four times in one day. I have been late for work, church, and other obligations. I have been stranded in dark parking lots late at night. Alone. This is not a problem anyone should have to worry about. I drive as infrequently as I possibly can now, and was fervently praying that my car would start after filling it up with gas this morning. This is a known problem. I was hoping the most recent recalls would affect this car and when typing "2003 Malibu recalls, " into a search engine, while no recalls were shown, web site and forums aplenty all came up, with multiple complaints about this singular problem of this singular car. It is a known safety problem. Why is there no recall?

- Bremerton, WA, USA

problem #104

Apr 282011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch and fuel pump repairs. The consumer stated the passlock sensor had to be replaced, because the vehicle would not start. Also, the fuel pump was replaced, because gas was not going from the tank into the engine, the cruise control occasionally would not work, the service engine light would come on intermittently, and electrical components, such as the radio and windows stopped working.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #103

May 152005


  • miles
Started in 2005 when car was bought used, auto theft system light will come on and soon after car will not start did this for 5 years straight off and on then completely stopped for 3 years now has started back up in 2013. This is very annoying afraid car won't start when needed for an emergency. Also when put into park key will not come out until you mess with shifter and you hear the click of it going into park.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #102

Aug 072013


  • 135,000 miles
Turn signal switch does not work all the time will also make the turn signal sound when not using it and if you let it go to long before getting a new one it starts to smoke I have replaced it two time and it is out again.

- Findlay, OH, USA

problem #101

Jan 262012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The first time this happened I tried to start my car and it would not start and ended up having it towed to a garage hundreds of dollars later to find out it was an theft system part that needed to be replaced. So we did that then the same thing started happening again. I got out the owners manual and was reading about turn the key for 10 minutes. Well this has been a on going problem for some time now. It was not until I starting reading all these thing on the internet to realize this is a major problem and that I am not the only one. My vehicle you never know when its going to start or not so in the morning I have to go out earlier then usual just in case I have to turn the key for 10 minutes or not. The scary part is reading all these people that have been driving and the car just stalls out on them. GM what is it going to take for other lives to be taken before you realize this is a major problem. My car has been a great car other then this problem and it still is a great car. Just if the this theft system problem would be fixed. Come on GM step up to the plate and do what's right do the recall and get this fixed so we can go on with our lives. Thanks

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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