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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
55,391 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.

2008 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Jun 092014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


Someone following me to work informed me my brake lights were on as I was driving on the highway but when I stopped at the street light, they would go off. Now my engine light is on and the warning to service my traction control and ESC system is on. The cruise control isn't working properly all the time. I googled the brake light issue and found a recall for my year of car that can cause my other issues. I called GM and was told by [xxx] that my car is included in this and transferred me to the nearest dealer to make an appt for my car repairs. The dealer said there isn't a recall for these issues but I am under a recall for the power steering recall! they do not have the parts but I can keep calling and checking. I then called GM back spoke to [xxx] who advised there isn't a recall for the brake light yet. It is upcoming soon they are in the first stage of this. No time frame when it will happen. I asked what do I do in the meantime with this unsafe car. She said I can get it fixed at my expense. I questioned if I would be reimbursed once they issue the recall. She answered no promise they will. Later that day the dealership service manager called saying GM told him to call me! we could make an appt to check my car, pay out of pocket, keep receipt, and if the recall includes my parts, I will be reimbursed or I can try to hold out for recall. I am beyond frustrated. I'm under an active recall but no part to fix it and this other in beginning stages. This light issue happened to me in October 2013. I bought a new brake switch, had it replaced by a certified mechanic. Now months later I have the same brake light issue but also my cruise control, ESC warning and traction control. The best part when I asked [xxx] at GM what if I am in an accident because you are dragging this out. She replied you should call us back after your accident. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6). Updated 1/14/2015

- Sherman, IL, USA

problem #12

Jun 062014


  • 50,024 miles
The brake lights come on with my foot off of the brake pedal. When I do apply the brakes the brake lights go out. The cruise control and the stability control will not work. I contacted my local dealer and they said there is no recall on my vehicle the dealer is [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #11

May 132014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
Incident has occurred several times at various speeds in the last few weeks. When the gas pedal is pressed the engine feels like it skips a beat/stalls for a second or two, the check engine light comes on then off, the dashboard reads: "service traction/service ESC". during research of the dashboard message, we learned that the vehicle performance may continue to deteriorate potentially dying while in operation. We have not experienced that. Further we learned that there is a recall issued 5/14/14, number 103518, called electronic stability control. There are several other recalls for this make and model with technical details noting a fix to the electronic stability control as the solution - all issued on 5/14/14. However, upon inquiry of General Motors, they noted our VIN was not affected by the issue noted in the recall. We are concerned that the recalled vins may not be a complete list as we are clearly experiencing the issue. The recall notes that the defect increases risk of a crash. We are unsure of how to proceed as GM noted parts for repair are not yet available.

- Baton Rouge , LA, USA

problem #10

Jan 302014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 96,988 miles


The car started jerking and the engine light started blinking. The service ESC and traction lights came on. Then the ESC and traction off lights came on and the engine light is still on. The jerking continues to happen at 40mph and at 65mph.

- Marion, AR, USA

problem #9

Feb 112014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
While maintaining speeds around 35-40 mph. The engine seemed to try to cut out and lose power. The service ESC service traction control light came on the dash. The engine was trying to cut out. Later in the day starting out at a stop light the engine stopped completely and I was stuck in the intersection. I was able to get the car to the side of the road. It restarted after about 5 minutes. I took it to a dealership and they fixed a few things. A few days later the same thing happened again while on a side road. I could not get the car restarted again and had to get the car towed. The dealership replaced a few more parts and said it was ok. After it happened for a third time I told the dealership to keep it until they get it running properly. The car works but it still feels like the engine wants to cut out sometimes but not as bad.

- Enola, PA, USA

problem #8

Jun 182013


  • 92,000 miles
06/18/2013 sudden onset of steering pulling to the rt and popping @ brake pedal & steering wheel. Svc: Rotate & balance * did not fix problem. 06/23-service traction/traction off on dic. Svc: Scanned for codes-told to bring back when display on dic. 07/22 brake light out. Svc: Replaced bulb. 07/23 scanned for codes 3 times, checked battery/alternator. 09/11 brake job, turned rotors, ran scan, pulled BCM (passenger side) checked for fretting corrosion. 09/19 service traction finally on dic- replaced brake light switch, reset codes. 57 miles later warning back on. Scanned for codes-multiple codes. 09/20 ran scan while driving (svc traction not on dic)- multiple codes * recommended contact Chevrolet to be diagnosed - too many codes. Called chev. Customer service- referred to dealer. 10/03 @ dealer: Cs request scan for codes - has stabilitrac-tcontrol on-brake light on but press brakes and lights go off-diag only perf diag test ebcm code C056100 BCM code C0277 00. *replace bpp sensor, clean apply dielectric to BCM conn., relearn bpp sensor and clear codes. $212.23. On same wo: Cs: steering will pull or twitch lft to rt **perform spec. Policy 10183 steering assist. $0. */21@7:30am transporting my 2 disabled children to school, took rt and completely lost steering. Called for tow to dealer**cspower steering light comes on-steering tightens up-won't steer-then light goes off and steering comes back on. Perfdiag test code C0545 diag ps. Replace column & setup position sensor turning & torque sensor $763.08. * not fix steering popping & pulling. Called dealer in Nov. Wanted $65 diag. Fee. 02/02 took to independent shop: Lubed intermediate shaft per tsb did not fix. 02/11 svc traction back on!!! called dealer, told to bring in when on dic to scan for codes - really! wanted another $65.cannot afford to take into dealer. 04/03/14 steering popping and pulling! unsafe car!!!

- Opelika, AL, USA

problem #7

Oct 192011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 32,579 miles


I first experienced a problem October 2011 when the dashboard message indicated service traction and service ESC, I took my car to an independent garage where they put dielectric grease on the BCM connectors. They stated if the problem continues, I would have to go to a dealer for the BCM to be reprogrammed. While this fixed the problem of my service brake lights coming on without touching my break pedal and then while breaking no break lights come on, the fix only worked temporarily. I took my car to a dealership, because like others have mentioned, when you shut the car off it clears the message until you are no longer at the garage and it comes back on. I too took my car back to the dealer and did not shut the car off. The service writer saw the messages which were, service traction and service ESC. The first time I visited the dealer was on June 1, 2012, their report states code C0131 ABS traction control system pressure circuit. I had this problem fixed on June 25, 2012 in which they replaced and calibrated brake pedal switch, greased BCM connector, cleared code, road test, replace brake light switch for a sum of money. This has not fixed my problem to date. The problem is especially persistent during damp and wet weather. It is an uneasy feeling driving because it happens at random times.

- Perkiomenville, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 202012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Started the car to come out of a parking spot, heard humming/rattling noise. Steering wheel started to vibrate then would do rapid half-turns by itself, jerking left and right. Shut the car off and restarted. Seemed ok for first few minutes then started again. Got on the road, driving about 35-40 mpg on highway and it became uncontrollable. Could not keep it straight within the lane. Almost hit a car in the lane on my right! pulled up to an auto shop near by. They test drove and experienced the issue but explained that with these cars, the technology in them is too advanced and would have to be taken to a Chevy dealer. Mechanic explained that the matter is quite hazardous and it would be a huge risk driving it now. Single mom driving 45 minutes from home with 2 minor children. Had to get a tow truck to get back home, 45 minutes away. $$$!! had this vehicle for 11 months only. Prior to this issue, had door locks issues as I've ready on other threads and also currently experiencing issues with faulty tire pressure sensor as well. Nothing but problems with this car since I've had it. This is my first and very last Chevrolet!!

- Tullahoma, TN, USA

problem #5

Mar 202012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 51,700 miles
I just pulled on and started to drive on a winding dangerous mountain road -not yet accelerating 40mph- when all of a sudden my steering wheel would not let me turn, almost frozen, and I am into a right curve! I was fighting the wheel to gain control for what seemed minutes but was actually seconds as I slowly put on my brakes while I tried to regain control of the wheel (mind you I am in rush hour traffic on a mt. Curve, a concrete wall to my left, a rock outcropping on my right, no shoulder, guardrail begins where the rocks end. When I finally regained control, I still had a hard time steering; steering was unpredictable...intermittent shaking of the steering wheel/sometimes felt like I had lost a bolt on my right rim (for those who did at one time you know what I am talking about)/I had a shimmy on the right like something was not connected/all of a sudden I felt like there was no power steering or control at all (hard to turn the wheel-took some muscle), just not right. My car used to have such control- turn on a dime barely touching the wheel. This steering issue has happened before and mentioned to my mechanic at an oil change but they didn't find anything, even hooked up to the diagnostic machine and everything checked out, wallet lighter. I actually thought I was going out of my mind then read other people were having the same kinds of problems. If this is a known problem, why has it not been recalled" for the mountain that I have to drive every day to and from work, this could prove very dangerous-life threatening... I do not feel safe in my own car I have only had nearly a year now nor have the funds to spend on costly repairs. I am ready to take the bugger back and demand my money back and get a more dependable vehicle. I am done spending money- why this is happening? why no answers or fixes" worse yet, "everything check out okay" when it keeps happening!

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #4

Jul 012011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
This vehicle is having issues with the brake lights illuminating without pressing on the brake pedals. When the brake lights come on by themselves, trying to use the brakes when needed (ie slowing down, stopping) shuts the brake lights off, which could cause a major safety issue for the persons in the vehicle as well as persons in other vehicles around my vehicle. It also takes what seems to be some force to make the brake lights come back on. Sometimes shutting down the vehicle and restarting it solves the issue for a short period of time. The vehicle is also having a cruise control issue, which I am assuming is directly related to the above problem. The cruise control does not want to stay engaged when turned on. It seems this only happens when the brake lights illuminate by themselves. This is also another safety issue for the persons within the vehicle. This vehicle is also having an error that comes on advising that the traction control is off and to service the ESC soon. This light comes on for no reason that I can determine. The error code that comes on is C0131. I have searched the internet and have multiple people (more than 50 at this time) that I have found that are having the same exact issues. This is a very high safety concern, that I am unsure on why this hasn't been recalled as of yet. I can imagine there are way more people out there who have just had this issue fixed on their own instead of taking their time out to report to the NHTSA for their review. I would appreciate some sort of contact to be made by this department to myself. Thank you for your assistance in these safety issues.

- Hamel, IL, USA

problem #3

Jul 052008


  • 12,785 miles


Have had two accidents in this vehicle both front end collisions and the airbags never deployed. Also the rims are no good tires keep loosing air.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #2

May 162008


  • 300 miles
Service traction light came on and acceleration was decreased, could not go over 50 mph. Towed to dealer & they say a module caused the brakes to stick. Said they have to replace 2 brake rotors and brake pads and the module is on national back order. They've had it for 9 days now.

- Branson West, MO, USA

problem #1

May 162008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 876 miles
Driving on divided highway, suddenly the warning light for emergency stability control/traction control came on. Driver's information center then indicated that both needed servicing, then advised "engine power reduced". managed to "limp" home driving the car. While driving to dealership for repair, same thing happened (but not on a divided highway). Dealer fixed it, claiming "traced problem to wiring harness, chaffed and rubbing on transmission bolt - repaired harness & rerouted harness." Car had less than 900 miles on it. Maybe our car was unusual, but I'm thinking if we had a problem with the wiring harness rubbing against a transmission bolt, so badly that it started shorting out in less than 900 miles, there are probably thousands of other 2008 Malibu at risk of the same thing.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

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