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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
67,593 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 10 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #109

Mar 012012

Malibu 4-cyl Diesel

  • 110,000 miles


While driving down the highway at a speed of about 45 miles per hour, the steering wheel on my 2008 Malibu began to shake or vibrate while building speed. A power steering warning light came on. After pulling over, I turned the engine off and then turned it back on which seemed to reset the warning light. I knew about pulling over to reset the car due to an "airbag warning" light that has randomly come on ever since I purchased my car. Upon resuming driving, the power steering warning light came on again. It took pulling over and resetting it four times to get twenty miles down the road. It came on at various speeds. Upon heading home, the steering wheel in my car moved while sitting still with the motor running. It looked like someone was turning the wheel back and forth and up and down, but I was not touching the wheel. The power steering warning light came on while sitting still, so I shut the car off to reset it. It took three tries of starting and starting the engine to reset the warning light. I drove home on a curvy county road. The same power steering warning light came on five time in less than twenty miles at various speeds - no certain speed seemed to prompt it.sometimes I was going 20 mph and sometimes I was going 55 or 65 mph when the system failed. I had to stop in the roadway to reset the car. Each time, the steering became nearly impossible to turn and maneuvering the corners was not safely possible and since there was no shoulder, I had to stop in the roadway to try to reset the steering. The steering wheel shakes at various speeds and the power steering warning light continues to come on at various speeds or while sitting in park with the engine running.

- Cambridge, KS, USA

problem #108

Jul 012011


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel began to shake vigorously. The failure recurred intermittently when driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technicians were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #107

Jul 112011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Problems with my 2008 Chevy Malibu. Upon starting the vehicle the steering wheel shutters and noise comes from steering column. The "power steering" display message comes up. The owners manual refers to seeing the dealership for this issue, but they can seem to fix it for me. It can be cleared, but is very annoying to happen to your car everyday. This issue started roughly 3 months after I purchased the vehicle in March of 2011. There's no speed range that the issue occurs in. It happens randomly at any speed. While driving steering wheel shutters randomly, and steering becomes dangerous. Seems that you can only turn the wheel in exact 5 degree increments, which has almost cause several collisions with other vehicles. It seems this problem is evident in other Malibu models equipped with electric power steering, but I haven't seen a recall or service publications to remedy the issue. GM knows about this, but is deliquent in taking any action to fix permanently. Please help!

- Waverly, IA, USA

problem #106

Dec 132011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 65,500 miles


The steering wheel turns on its own causing a very dangerous situation while traveling at highway speeds. There has been many complaints on this with the 2008 Malibu and others with the electric steering motors. I know a few other vehicles with this same problem have been recalled and it is time for GM to recall the Malibu before someone is killed. You tube has a fine example of this problem if anyone cares to watch. The vehicle doesn't have to be moving for the wheel to move erratically back and forth. This should be a recall asap.

- Portland, IN, USA

problem #105

Jan 012011


  • 90,000 miles
The front of the car shakes when driven over 45 mph. When the steering wheel is turned the oil pressure light blinks and an alert sound briefly chimes. The car is not easy to steer. The service power steering alert appears randomly and goes away when the car is restarted. I have had the car realigned multiple times because the right front tire always wears quickly. There is an undiagnosed oil leak causing the car to smoke from the front passenger side.

- Euless, TX, USA

problem #104

Nov 012010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving 30 mph when the steering wheel began to vibrate violently. The power steering light illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 11,000 and the current mileage is 22,732. Updated 12/29/11 the consumer stated the incident happened again while driving 10 mph. The consumer stated she pulled over and parked, shut the vehicle off and waited 10 minutes before restarting it. She then noticed the power steering light was on. The steering wheel stopped shaking. Updated 12/30/11

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #103

Oct 072010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


The E-brake stripped out to a unable state after 50,000 miles. Now if the brakes fail I have no alternative to stop the car. The steering pops when turning from left to right and from start off after a stop this started at the same time.

- Winder, GA, USA

problem #102

Nov 132011


  • 68,245 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 45 mph, the contact noticed that the steering wheel began to shake slightly. The contact approached a stop sign and attempted to brake but the steering wheel began to shake vigorously. The failure was constant. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician stated that the steering motor and module assembly was defective and would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 68,245.

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #101

Oct 122011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 0 miles
I purchased a 2008 Chevy Malibu at matt blatt in egg harbor township in New Jersey approximately 5 month (March or may of 2011) with approximately 28,500 miles. I spoke with a service representative [xxx] in regards to the power steering problem that my vehicle was having. My steering was shaking out of control and I almost got involved in two vehicle accidents this week 10/19/11. I explained this situation to don, who stated that because I did not purchased an extended warranty on the vehicle I will had to pay for the service. I then proceeded to speak to the manager [xxx], who kindly sent me to the bennett Chevrolet on the same date and the problem was corrected. I own a 2008 Chevy Malibu with 30,700 miles. I also have a problem with the power locks which I was advised that I will have to pay for this. I believe that my complaint was handled very unprofessional by [xxx], because I was very specific that I was afraid to drive the vehicle and he stated we can towed your vehicle, but you will have to pay the fee. Again I was afraid because the power steering motor was damage and my vehicle was driving out of control. I'm requesting some type of compensation and I will like the power locks to be fixed free of charge. Remember my car only has 30,700 miles and when I purchased the vehicle I was advised by the salesman [xxx] that I had warranty for 100,000 miles or 5 years bumper to bumper. I will like someone to investigate this. Thank god I didn't have an accident due to the electronic power steering motor. I purchased in the past a 2 Chevy Impala and now a Chevy Malibu and I will never purchase a Chevy again. Again, this was a safety issue and was handle wrong by service representative [xxx]. the steering wheel shakes when vehicle is in motion and the the vehicle is not moving. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Pleasantville, NJ, USA

problem #100

Jun 012011


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the steering wheel would jerk abnormally. The contact mentioned that the vehicle would become hard to steer once the failure occurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the steering wheel had to be re learned. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,000 and the current mileage was 75,000.

- West Heaven , UT, USA

problem #99

Oct 142011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles


I have made this complaint before. It concerns the front wheel shakes, vibration. After getting tired of this I put the car on jacks removed the wheel and found the tie rod end ball nut to be loose and the ball joint to be frighteningly worn. I replaced the lower control arm and tightened the tie rod ball nut myself. The problem has completely disappeared. Funny the dealership couldn't figure this out.I think that other owners should be warned of this potentially fatal condition!

- Bowler, WI, USA

problem #98

Mar 012011


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu lt. The contact was driving 55 mph when the steering wheel turned independently and the vehicle traveled into another lane unexpectedly. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer but the manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 35,000 and the current mileage was 44,000.

- Danville, VA, USA

problem #97

Sep 022011


  • 103,487 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving 35 mph and at any speed the steering wheel began to shake violently causing the vehicle to move to the right and left instead of remaining inside the lane. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated the motor/module assembly for the electric steering was faulty. The repair cost was $800; however, the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and stated that they would notify her and let her know if they would repair the vehicle. The failure mileage was 103,487.

- Rockwood, MI, USA

problem #96

Jun 132011


  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that when driving various speeds, the steering wheel would wobble from left to right and would occasionally become extremely tight. The contact was concerned that the steering wheel would eventually fail and seize. The vehicle was not repaired and neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 57,000 and the current mileage was 66,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #95

Jun 302009


  • miles
Steering becomes erratic and 2 hands are needed to control the steering wheel. Steering wheel will shake on it's own at a complete stop. Upon moving forward, car becomes difficult to keep in a straight line. Car has been brought back to dealership several times to repair, only to have problem come back every few months.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #94

Aug 292011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 73,199 miles
Driving at highway speed of 65 mph the steering wheel suddenly jerked right and left without any warning. It jerked hard enough that it caused the car to unexpectedly cross into another lane. This has become an intermittent problem and may happen when idling or driving. GM notified on date of incident, 8/29/11, and awaiting response.

- Warner, OK, USA

problem #93

Aug 242010


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 50 mph, the contact stated the steering wheel locked, almost causing a crash. The warning light would illuminate intermittently. The dealer diagnosed that the electric power steering was defective and needed to be repaired. The manufacturer made an attempt to assist the contact with the repairs. The failure was not repaired. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 119,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Cadrz, KY, USA

problem #92

Jul 192011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
My 2008 Malibu has a power steering problem. On a daily basis the power steering becomes erratic and fails to react properly under normal driving conditions, usually at highway speeds. While stopped, the steering wheel will turn left and right on its own. When this occurs at highway speed control of the car is dangerous. Two hands are needed to keep car in lane and not cross the line into other vehicles. Problem began when mileage hit 45,000 miles. Occasionally, a chime will occur and indicate power steering in the display but by the time the chime occurs the steering problem is gone. This issue is consistent and intermittent on a daily basis. I have researched this problem for Chevy Malibu and have found that thousands of Malibu owners are experiencing this problem. This is not a problem caused by improper routine maintenance. This steering problem is a failure of a component in the steering assembly that is not subject to routine maintenance. This is a defective part!!! as a percentage of Malibu on the road that have this problem I would Venture that it is very high and the number is increasing. The electronic assist power steering in the I4 Malibu's is a road handling nightmare and GM has no interest in fixing this problem. I would expect a serious problem like this to be made a recall issue before there is a fatality and then GM and obama motors will be sued for reckless endangerment.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #91

Jun 012011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
Steering wheel randomly jerks right and left while driving. Is very "notchy" and difficult to return to the precisely desired position.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #90

Apr 252011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Back in April I started having problems with my driver side lock. It would get stuck. Sometimes the door wouldn't even open. I would press the button to unlock the door, and that wouldn't work. I would have to use my key, ans sometimes that didn't work either. I am still having problems with the lock, and pretty much everyday I have to use my key to open the driver side door. I was told to use wd-40 and that sill didn't help. The most recent event with my car is this loud vibrating noise that has been occuring off and on for the past two months. I'V had several people check it out and they say they can't find anything wrong. My car makes the noise while sitting in park, sometimes while I'm driving, or sitting still at a light. About a 1-1 1/2 months ago my wheel wou;D move back and forth. I went to have it checked out and was told that there wasn't anything wrong. My wheel moves more and more. It moves sometimes when I first start my car, while sitting a light, and at various speeds while I am driving. When I turn my steering wheel back in a neutral position sometimes it would turn the other way. Today my wheel was moving while I was drivng and my car started moving in the same direction. It was hard to control and it was very scary because I was on the highway. I'm so fed up with this car, and I totally regret buying it. I am probably never going to buy a Chevrolet again, even if Chevrolet's are all that I have ever owned.

- Dayton, OH, USA

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