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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,242 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Apr 022012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 0 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

At first, only the ESC light would come on and the car would begin to miss and skip. Took to the dealer, they "could not duplicate". happened again, this time all the electronic lights (ESC, power steering, traction control, brakes, etc) would light up and blink. When this is happening, the car will jerk and misfire, and slowly picks up speed while jerking. As soon as the lights go off, the card drives perfectly fine. Took to dealer again, was told that they saw all the codes, but could not find any problem, cleaned the wire leads and that was that. Several weeks later, started up again. This time, all the lights come on, nearly every electric light warning you can think of, and all of the gauges drop to zero. The car jerks into gears, sometimes the power steering doesn't work, very hard to turn, and on top of that, the air conditioning stops working. It's so random and intermittent, as soon as the service ESC light goes off (along with all the other warnings). The car drives like its brand new, air works perfectly fine, power steering works perfectly. The sad part about it is that I had taken my car in a couple times, while I was still under warranty, and the dealership, 'could not duplicate, couldn't find problem, now it is happening more often than naught, especially in warm weather. This very cold winter, the problem did not occur not once, as soon as the weather warmed up, the problem occurs. Sometimes everyday, sometimes it'll go a week and the car drives perfectly. Only when these lights come on, does the car begin to misfire, jerk, air stops working. This is a very odd problem, and I have seen several stories on the internet of other folks having this same problem with Chevy Malibu. This should definitely be a recall issue; the potential for harm is great, esp, when these lights just pop on while driving the expressway or in bad weather.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #26

Mar 242014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
My power steering and service ESC light would come on. My steering wheel would lock up. GM stated they would not reimburse me for my issue even though there is an recall out for the same issue.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #25

Oct 282011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
My brake light would come on for no apparent reason then goes off when I touch my brakes. This has happened at least 6 times that I know of. Also, my stability control light comes on once every couple of months and said it needs maintenance. When I call the dealership and the run my VIN they say my car is not listed.

- New Palestine, IN, USA

problem #24

Feb 142014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 112,873 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving and my ESC light came on and I had a difficult time steering my car in the worse traffic I could be in. I was lucky enough I got off the side of the road before I hit someone and put it in a ditch. Also, lucky enough it was me driving and not my 16 year old daughter. I called the dealer and they got me right in to get it fixed, but I had to pay for it out of my own pocket. However, when I contacted GM I was told I would be reimbursed for this and I would get a letter as of April 28th. I noticed it was moved to May 28th and as of today I have still yet to be notified" does someone have to be injured or killed to get an actual response from someone" updated 1/9/2015

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #23

Oct 142013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
My wife was driving and the "service ESC / service traction" came on, on my 2009 Chevy Malibu. There was a slight roughness on the engine. We took it to the dealer and they said they could not find any problem withthe vehicle and we paid the diagnostic fee. It has appeared several times after that but not often. I called Chevrolet about it and they said that there is no recall on my vehicle. I saw a recall ( recall id 103629) on electronic stability control for 2009 Chevy Malibu but they said my vehicle was not included on the recall list. My main concern is the safety of my family and my wife. I have read several concerns of people who own this vehicles and what happened with them.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #22

Dec 102013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
While driving at 70 mph with cruise control engaged, the third brake light in the rear window would randomly come on causing the cruise control to shut off. Soon after this happens I get warnings on the dash to service the ecs and traction control system. It has been getting gradually worse and with the brake light activating, could cause drivers behind me to think I am stopping when I am not. This problem was mentioned in an article in usa today a couple of weeks ago, that GM will be issuing a recall for.

- Oak Park, MI, USA

problem #21

Jun 032014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

After filing two complaints with you, and receiving a recall alert from you, I am being told by GM that my vehicle, a 2009 Malibu built between the years specified in your recall notice, is not included in the recall you alerted me about. How is this possible? the referenced recall # 14V252000, as he experienced the same malfunction, as described in the recall. The consumer has invoices, that date bate to 2011, where he had to take the vehicle, back to the dealer several times, for an inoperable cruise control and ESC lighting illuminating. Updated 07/16/14

- Pleasant Prairie, WI, USA

problem #20

Apr 142014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
When driving the alert will sound alerting that engine power has been reduced. The electronic stability control is then turned off and traction control is lost. When the accelerator is pushed it hesitates before accelerating.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #19

May 212014

Malibu

  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and there was a delay in response. In addition, the ESC active warning light illuminated. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and advised that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The approximate failure mileage was 135,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #18

Aug 152012

Malibu

  • 37,000 miles
Hello, my car's service traction and service ESC light turns on intermittently. When this happens the brake lights behave in the opposite way, I.e. they stay on during normal driving, turn off when I press on the brake pedal, and turn back on when I release the brake. The cruise control does not work whenever this happens. I do not experience anything different while driving and I believe this is a sensor/circuitry issue. I had this repaired at the dealer the first time (August, 2012) where they performed the tsb fix of adding grease to the ESC connectors. This problem has recurred several times, and I even had the brake light switch replaced, and it now occurs whenever it rains. I read through the forums and news websites and found that this is a common problem in a lot of Chevy vehicles. This is a serious issue as it might lead to accidents when someone driving behind my car sees that the brake light turns off when I press the brake pedal. I would like GM/Chevrolet to help me out here and fix this issue without making me pay for it but they have not responded positively. The dealership charges $130 just for doing simple diagnostics. But this issue is something pretty common to a lot of Chevrolet cars and is not a wear related issue. This is an defect that is a safety risk that needs to be addressed. GM or Chevrolet should take responsibility to fix the issue.

- Libertyville, IL, USA

problem #17

Mar 132014

Malibu

  • 127,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving the elec. Stability control light came on and steering became difficult due to the power steering assist motor giving out. When this happen, the steering wheel would inadvertently move back & forth. The sensor in the motor and in the lower steering column both went out. This was an extremely expensive repair not to mention that I was traveling down a busy interstate and could had a severe accident.

- Shelbyville, KY, USA

problem #16

Jun 072013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
ESC light stays on has been replaced 3 times. Causes traction control not to work properly also brake lights fail to work or will stay on and or stay off. Have reported to Chevy dealer in traver city Michigan they say nothing is wrong.. but something is wrong... or not right I never know if my tail lights or brake lights are going to work and traction control...

- Swartz Creek, MI, USA

problem #15

Dec 172013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 81,652 miles
Re-occurrence of a prior complaint. Driving my vehicle on a local highway when the service traction and service ESC displays came on. Car began to sputter as though it were going to stall. Coasted to the side of the highway, and after idling for a minute the displays returned to normal. After driving about 2 miles further, it happened again. It continued to happen throughout the rest of my drive. The next day, it ran fine for about 10 miles or so, and then began stalling again and began to lose some braking and steering. Last time this issue occurred, the brake lights also locked on leaving the drivers behind me thinking that I was braking. Last time these alerts were displayed my vehicle died completely and had to be serviced. Now, it seems to be progressing towards the same result. GM will not acknowledge that there is an issue, but hundreds of Malibu and HHR owners since 2008 seem to disagree. I once again contacted the dealership that gave me the explanation of it requiring hundreds of dollars to diagnose. Seeing that this has been occurring for at least 5 years, I would imagine that GM is aware that there is an issue. Unfortunately, it always seems that it takes the death of several drivers before there is a response. One driver in a printed chat with a GM rep stated that the issue caused his vehicle to crash due to the loss of ABS and power steering, and his airbag failed to deploy. Isn't a loss of braking, steering, air bag, brake lights and acceleration a safety concern?

- Comstock Park, MI, USA

problem #14

Apr 172013

Malibu

  • 69,747 miles
Driving on a stretch of highway at 55mph, my service traction and service ESC lights came on. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering, braking, and the vehicle began to stall. Vehicles behind me started braking. Upon guiding my vehicle to the side of the road, it stalled out. When I walked to the rear of the vehicle, I saw that the brake lights were locked in the on position, so drivers behind me would have perceived my vehicle as stopping. After a few minutes I was able to restart the vehicle, but it still was very sluggish and the brake lights remained on. I contacted a local dealership and they said to bring it in because it could be caused by many factors and could cost thousands of dollars to diagnose and correct depending upon the issue. I limped my vehicle to a local garage that told me the same thing, but was able to narrow the issue down to a faulty map sensor. My vehicle had to be pushed into a service bay because it no longer would run at all. The map sensor was replaced and the vehicle has run fine. My concern is that there are a lot of these issues with both Malibu and HHR owners since 2008 thru 2011, yet it has not been addressed. Loss of steering, braking, acceleration and locked brake lights are a safety issue.

- Comstock Park, MI, USA

problem #13

Jan 022012

Malibu

  • 57,000 miles
I own a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. When driving at various speeds, the service traction, service ESC and ESC off warning lamps illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician advised that the body control module was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 57,000 and the current mileage was 67,000 plus. When my foot is on the brake the brake lights go off. Upon taking foot off the brake the brake lights stay on.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #12

Aug 082013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Malibu brake lights stay on while driving then when I press my brakes the lights would go off no one knew when I was using my brakes. This was brought to my attention when I was on a major hwy/speed limit 70 mph when all of a sudden traffic was stopping. The cars behind me were coming at a high speed, but luckily the car directly behind me just short of crashing into my rear missed me.. he got out of his car while the traffic was stopped and approached me to let me know I had no break lights and he also noticed that prior to stopping my break lights were on. In the meantime I had warnings pop up on my car service traction/ESC service. Well of course, my car was taken to a shop where it showed a break switch needed to be replaced and switch brake needed to be calibrated by the dealership. The car was taken to the dealership and the break switch failed when they performed brake position calibration. The gentlemen said that the switch could be bad even thou it was a new one that was purchased from the dealership. They replaced it again and re-calibrated and afterwards said everything works well. Within two weeks the problem with breaks are still there. There is a major problem we have with the 2009 Malibu. I"M just lucky I"M still alive. What upsets me the most is the problem is there, but dealerships want to keep replacing parts and charging you $$$$ for something that needs to be recalled before someone gets killed!

- Mullins, SC, USA

problem #11

Jan 242013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
While slowing down while attempting to come to a stop the warning system came on to service the stability control and traction control. This seemed to reset when ignition turns off but comes back at any time. Took it to a mechanic shop and after several attempts a code came up and they replaced the brake positioning switch. This worked for 3 months when again the warning notice came on. Took it back to the shop and they replaced the switch again figuring it may be defective. That worked for only 3 weeks when it came on again. Also while this warning notice comes on the cars brake lights stay on but go off each time the brakes pedal is applied and comes back on a few seconds after my foot is off the brake so from the rear of the car it looks like I am stopping when I am actually moving and looks like I am going while actually stopping. So far my shop can not find the cause. They say it keeps coming up with the same code.

- St. Cloud, FL, USA

problem #10

Aug 092010

Malibu

  • miles
While driving, the car will appear to think that the brakes are being applied. The brake lights will all activate, and cruise control will cease working. When the brake pedal is depressed, the brake lights turn off. The brakes still stop the car, but the lights and cruise control appear to be not calibrated to the brake sensor. Also, sometimes 3 warnings appear in the dash display: ESC off, service ESC, and service traction, though it is not necessary for the problem to occur. This happens very intermittently, but once it starts, it usually doesn't go away. I've had the problem repaired about 6 times, but it keeps coming back. I am out of options, as the repairmen seem to not know what is wrong with the car.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #9

Jun 082012

Malibu

  • 54,131 miles
The vehicle began to display a "service traction/ESC" message on the hud. Brake lights would come on randomly and stay on, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours. As a result of brake lights being on, cruise control was not functional. Had a sensor replaced which temporarily resolved the issue. The problem has returned 53 weeks and 17,000 miles later.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #8

Jun 052013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 48,300 miles
Hello, my car's service traction and service ESC light turns on intermittently. The brake lights behave in the opposite way, I.e. they stay on during normal driving, turn off when I press on the brake pedal, and turn back on when I release the brake. The cruise control does not work whenever this happens. I do not experience anything different while driving and I believe this is a sensor/circuitry issue. I read through the forums and news websites and found that this is a common problem in a lot of Chevy vehicles. There is a tsb on this issue and recalls for a few cars. This is a serious issue as it might lead to accidents when someone driving behind my car sees that the brake light turns off when I press the brake pedal. I would like GM/Chevrolet lo help me out here and fix this issue without making me pay for it but they have not responded positively. The dealership charges $110 just for doing simple diagnostics. But this issue is something pretty common to a lot of Chevrolet cars and is not a wear related issue. GM or Chevrolet should take responsibility to fix the issue. My car is out of 3-year warranty but is still within 5-year warranty (bumper-to-bumper). I hope that an action will be taken and my car will be repaired and/or I will be reimbursed for the repair expense. I found many articles on this issue and a few of them are copied below. www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/12/GM-recall-feds-midsize-Chevrolet-Malibu-Saturn-aura_N_2862354.html www.chevymalibuforum.com/forums/archive/index.php/T-2942.html www.autoweek.com/article/20130313/carnews/130319942 [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Marlton, NJ, USA

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