Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,257 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.

2009 Chevrolet Malibu body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #15

Jun 172015


  • 19,850 miles


Rear door power locking mechanism fails to actuate. Fails to lock passenger door when driving, fails to unlock in the event of need to quickly exit. Locks are difficult to access manually.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #14

May 012014


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at a very low speed, the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn. The contact had to apply force to the steering wheel in order to turn the vehicle. The power steering and service ESC warning lights displayed across the message board. In addition, the contact stated that all doors failed to lock and unlock electronically. The contact had to manually lock and unlock the doors. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) however, the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Watson, AR, USA

problem #13

Jun 102015


  • 95,000 miles
I was reended sitting at a stop light. About the same time that happened, my door locks started acting up. I've never been able to lock the doors on the inside of the car, before getting out. I've always had to use my key fob. I have googled the issue, and according to what I have found, for all 4 doors it will cost around 1600 dollars to fix. I think this should be a recall, simply because I've had to have people crawl over seats just to get out because the doors wouldn't unlock. If it sits out in the sun, they will either lock and wont unlock, or they wont lock at all. Is this not a safety issue" someone being locked in their car???"

- Lewisburg , KY, USA

problem #12

Mar 152015


  • 75,000 miles


Attempted to unlock passenger doors from driver door panel switch when the driver rear door lock failed to open. This occurred intermittently until it completely failed about 3 months later in which time the other doors began having the same issue progressing clockwise around the vehicle. If door lock-unlock is cycled more than twice, 3 (non-driver) doors fail about 95% of the time. This failure occurs both when the door is locked and unlocked. Ref: Cfr 571.206 S4.3.1

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #11

Jul 012014


  • 70,000 miles
Rear door locks just quit working, doesn't work with key fob or inside switch.

- Ira, MI, USA

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problem #10

Sep 192012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
My daughter rear ended another vehicle, hard enough for her passenger to hit her head on the dashboard and do a lot of damage to the front end of the car, no one was injured other than her hitting her head pretty hard. However, the air bags did not deploy.

- Gray, LA, USA

problem #9

Aug 042014


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that water was leaking into the rear passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #8

Jun 152013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Suddenly the door locks on the drivers side of the vehicle, front and back, began working intermittently.the remote key fob does not work, and the manual button to lock and unlock the doors does not always work. The locks only partially lock, resulting in the doors being able to be partially pulled open from the outside. Sometimes the two locks on the drivers side do not lock at all. Also, the electric windows started malfunctioning - the passenger window cannot be raised and lowered from the drivers side. This appears similar to a recall in the news covering door lock malfunctions in other GM vehicles, but the 2009 Malibu is not included in the recall as far as I can tell.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #7

Feb 252014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I was traveling wb ih-30 West of E. grand ave in the hov lane. A car was stopped in front of me due to heavy traffic. I was coming to a stop. A truck rear ended me due coming into the hov lane very fast, made contact with me from behind knocking me into the car in front of me. When the truck hit me, he smashed the whole back end forcing the back windshield to break and my face hit the steering wheel causing severe bruising around my left eye. My air bags did not deploy when the truck crashed into me.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #6

Feb 192014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
The driver's side door latch failed to open. Neither the inside nor outside handles worked. There was no accident, abuse or indication of imminent failure. It was extremely difficult to exit the vehicle; my daughter needed to crawl across the console. Would be even more difficult (perhaps impossible) in an emergency situation. I searched the Chevrolet owner forums on the internet and found many people with the same problem going back years. Dealer service personnel knew of the problem; offered to waive usual $108 diagnostic fee for repair. Chevrolet customer assistance agreed to pay $37 towards necessary correction if I paid the first $200.

- Kenmore, NY, USA

problem #5

Jun 262013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles


I've had this terrible smell in the car so I went exploring to see what it could be. I opened the trunks and noticed some mold so I lifted the liner and my wheel well was filled up with water. After some more exploration, I found the floorboard in the back seat to be sopping wet.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #4

Apr 102013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
I was driving to work April 10th & I was side swipe by an 18 wheeler dump truck starting on my driver side passenger door. My front end was hit by the nose of the dump truck, I was spun 180 degrees slammed into a school bus to which the truck squashed me up against the bus dragged me up the Q bridge leaving me there with no air bags deployed or onstar alert! my concern is I have front & side airbags & I am not sure why none of them went off. My car was towed away & I was unable to drive it away & is now totaled!

- West Haven, CT, USA

problem #3

Feb 262013


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the driver's side door could not be opened. The contact had to pull the door handle several times in before it would open. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 54,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Rutherford, NJ, USA

problem #2

Dec 012010


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the driver side door failed and could not be opened automatically or manually. The failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the dealer lubricated the door, but the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer advised the contact to take the vehicle back to the dealer to be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 44,000 and the current mileage was 68,858.

- Akron , OH, USA

problem #1

Aug 252011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Condensed water from my cars air condition is draining inside the vehicle and accumulates behind the right passengers seat on the floorboard. I have notice it when the water was about 1 inches high. After cleaning the drain pipe, which is very hard to get to and $150 later, the problem is solved for a day. I feel that the system is not engineered correctly and is allowing mold, mildew, and algae to grow in my car. Driver and passenger are breathing contaminated air in a closed in environment.

- Newhebron, MS, USA

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