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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,527 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #16

May 012016


  • 65,000 miles


Airbag red warning light is flashing on dashboard when turning the ignition. This happens intermittently. I am afraid the airbag will deploy at any time even if there is no car crash. This has happened at least 2 times. Once when the car was sluggish and I had to turn it off at atop light because it would not accelerate over 40 miles and hour. The other time it happened just when I was starting the car. I

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #15

Feb 152014


  • 133,200 miles
The contact owned a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving at approximately 55 mph and attempting to merge into another lane, the vehicle crashed into two barrels. The air bags failed to deploy. The vehicle stalled. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a junk yard. The contact sustained a left knee, left ankle, and whiplash injuries that needed medical attention. The vehicle was destroyed. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V40000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 133,200. Updated 04/20/16

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #14

May 192011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall, steering and airbag malfunctions. The consumer was involved in an accident on May 19, 2011. She lost control of the steering which sent the vehicle in the opposite lane hitting another car. Her vehicle went out of control and ended up going backwards into a sign and then hitting two parked vehicles in a parking lot. The air bag did not deploy until after she hit the sign. The consumer stated she was unaware there was a problem with ignition switch. She stated she had several keys on her ring at the time of the accident.

- Tannersville, PA, USA

problem #13

Aug 292007


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and caused another vehicle to crash into the rear of the vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained minor injuries that required medical attention. A police report was not filed. The dealer stated that the ignition needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V400000 (electrical system). The contact was concerned that the remedy would not repair the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Euclid, OH, USA

problem #12

Jul 112014


  • 111,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the air bags in the vehicle failed to deploy after a head on collision. An injury was sustained and a police report was filed. The vehicle was not repaired or diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified. The speed was unknown. The failure mileage was 111,000.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

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problem #11

Jun 072013


  • 145,000 miles
I was traveling with the right of way at the posted speed limit when someone pulled into my path causing me to hit them. My air bags did not deploy and I took the full force of the collision into my chest.

- New Richmondo, OH, USA

problem #10

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 #9

May 212011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
Car veered off the road at approximately 45 mph. Crashed into a strawberry field and rolled multiple time ejecting driver from the car. Car sustained major damage. Airbags never deployed. Passenger may have grabbed at steering wheel causing the car to veer off the road.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 152013


  • 130,000 miles
I was traveling on a snowy/icy road when I lost control of my vehicle at about 50 mph. My vehicle went sideways until traveling into a ditch at which point the vehicle collided with a tree. The front end was completely destroyed and pushed the motor back a good 2 feet. My head slammed into the windshield and airbags were not deployed. The impact of the front end was just a little off center to the passenger side.

- Sparta, MI, USA

problem #7

Oct 312012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
While driving on the freeway I was rear ended and pushed into the center divider and bounced off only to be struck again from the rear. The front and rear quarter panels were damaged the frame was compromised. My complaint is that the airbags never deployed. I suffered back, arm, leg & knee injuries in the collision. The car has been totaled by my insurance company but I am still curious as to what happened to the safety air bags.

- Burbank, CA, USA

problem #6

Jul 022012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


My 2008 Saturn outlook's passenger side airbag indicator light shows 'off' even when an adult is sitting in the seat with the seatbelt on. I saw there was a recall for the 2007 model but not one issued for the 2008 model. I wanted to report this problem due to the seriousness if there is an accident and the bag is not functional.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #5

May 252008


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. On May 25, 2008, while driving 40 mph, the vehicle began accelerating faster than normal. The contact had to merge out of traffic. She could not feel the brakes working and sped through a stop sign. She drove into a parking lot to avoid crashing into other vehicles. The vehicle finally stopped when it crashed into an embankment. The front driver's side air bag failed to deploy. The vehicle was taken to the body shop to replace the driver's side door and headlamp. The manufacturer stated that an investigator would investigate the failure. They are currently stating that due to the body work that was performed on the vehicle, they will not investigate the acceleration failure, only the air bag failure. The contact has a back injury that was aggravated due to the crash. A police report was filed. The failure and current mileages were 24,000.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #4

Mar 092006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2003 Malibu sedan, and the alarm/horn has a defect. Last year we had a high power wind storm and my alarm blew for about 45 minutes (2 horns). They finally died down by themselves. My car was not hit by anything except for the high winds. I had to take fuse #43 out to make the horn stop blowing every time I started my car. My car need to pass inspection, but the dealership want to charge me $95 an hour, to do an exploratory deal on the car, to locate the problem. Another car repair company told me the cost would be $900, but could not justify, what they were going to do. They stated it could be the turn signal or it could be the fuse under my air bag on the steering wheel. No one can actually explain to me what's wrong, but they want to charge the heck out of me. I do not have that type of money for exploratory examinations on my car. I am quite sure the manufacturer know what the problem is with this Malibu, and can fix it without a problem. I can not afford this, I was not told the car had two recalls on it when I brought the car. I feel this is very wrong, I would have never purchase the car, if I knew of recall problems. Now I am stuck in the middle without a horn/alarm system. Since the dealership wanted to go into my steering wheel to check the fuse for $95 an hour, my air bag light comes on.

- Andalusia, PA, USA

problem #3

Jan 012003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Dealer refused to repair the air bag equipment in the 2003 Chevrolet Malibu stating it has a 1998 Malibu air bag system. Shortly after the consumer bought the vehicle air bag light came on and stayed on. The consumer had a factory warranty on the vehicle, so he took it to the dealership and the dealership told the consumer that they could not fix the air bag system problem because the air bag was from a 1998 Chevy Malibu. Consumer wants to know if it is against the law to have old car parts in a newer model car.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 032005


  • miles
Shortly after the vehicle was purchased the air bag light illuminated on the dash. The consumer took the vehicle to a Chevrolet who informed the consumer that someone pit parts in the vehicle that were not compatible with the air bag.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #1

Sep 042003


  • miles
While driving vehicle was involved in a collision. Air bags did not deploy, and seat belt did not restrain consumer.

- Beloit, WI, USA

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