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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,930 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #119

May 012015


  • 133,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 30 mph, the engine light illuminated. The vehicle lost power and decelerated independently. The vehicle regained power. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician diagnosed that the spark plugs, coil springs and the wire harness needed to be replaced. The failure recurred. The vehicle was then taken to a dealer, who replaced the electronic control module. However, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 133,000.

- Willow Park, TX, USA

problem #118

Sep 102014


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the rear interior power door locks failed to unlock when the key fob and power lock module were activated. The doors failed to unlock manually. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Brunsville, IA, USA

problem #117

May 132015


  • miles
Door actuators do not work by remote or when vehicle is placed in park. This possess a serious safety risk if in an accident or if the vehicle catches fire. Dealer said that they have had many complaints and have also replaced actuators on many different types of GM vehicles. I have already had one replaced under warranty and the other three went out shortly after warranty expired. This potential safety issued needs to be considered aggressively and in a timely manner before fatalities happen because of this problem.

- Atlanta, TX, USA

problem #116

May 092015


  • 47,000 miles


The door locks on this vehicle will not secure and must be secured manually when entering or exiting the vehicle, also unlocks and locks during driving.. very unsafe vehicle at this time due to these door lock issues. Not able to feel comfortable as much with this vehicle due to these issures. Please fix.

- London, OH, USA

problem #115

May 072015


  • 88,269 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the door locks would independently lock and unlock without warning. The contact stated that the doors would not unlock to allow exiting the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 88,269.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #114

Jan 072014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I own a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu that I bought brand new from a dealership. Approximately one year ago (2014) my power locks started failing. Primarily the driver's door and the rear driver's door, although the passenger side doors have failed on occasion. The locks will not unlock or lock, intermittently. The rear driver's door won't work at all anymore and you have to climb over the seats to manually pull up the lock. I notice this occurs more often when the weather is hot outside, and less frequently when it is cooler outside. This is a big safety hazard and I am afraid that if I get into an accident there will be issues in getting myself or passengers out of the vehicle safely. I only have 44,000 miles on the vehicle. This needs to be addressed as I see many many Malibu owners have filed a complaint with this issue.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #113

May 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


Passenger doors (front and back) stopped locking/unlocking. Although they click to reflect that it is attempting, it does not complete. I have read on countless sites that this is a problem for many 2009 Chevrolet Malibu's and voicing my complaint as well in hopes that GM is forced to deal with their growing and continued issue.

- Waxahachie, TX, USA

problem #112

Feb 012013


  • 48,000 miles
Power door locks do not work. I bought this beautiful 2009 Chevy Malibu used w 48,000 miles, I had it only 2 months before problems started with the locks. All locks will not open or close using the interior switch nor the key fob. If you manually open the lock by pulling it up and then start the car and put it in gear, the locks will engage automatically and lock the door properly. I checked online and everyone says the problem with the locks is the BCM connection and lack of dielectric grease.GM needs to also fix the power lock issue, it is very much well known on the internet. Anyway, checking forums it seems GM is aware of the locks failing consistently. We all owners of Chevy Malibu's have this issue with 2008, 2009, 2010 power locks that malfunction. This is a safety issue since the doors can lock and unlock at random times. I have owned Chevrolet autos for 40 years and never had one actuator go out so 4 at once is obviously a manufacturing defect and should be covered by Chevy. This is also a safety issue. I always have to roll down the windows just to open the door for my kids or anyone who is going in the back. Its very annoying and I just about had it with the Malibu even though the car drives nice it getting irritated. I don't have money to fix this problem.

- South San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #111

Feb 062013


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving at approximately 50 mph, the vehicle made an abnormal noise. The steering wheel seized and the power steering warning light illuminated. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 100,000.

- Bigrock, IL, USA

problem #110

Mar 132015


  • 127,056 miles
While driving on city street going maybe 35 mph my 3year old who was strapped into his car seat in the backseat began to choke. I immediately pulled over and got out to go to his aid but I couldn't unlock the back door. I panicked and had to try to climb through the small space from the front seat to the back but could not quickly get my choking child out of the car. Later that day I checked the door locks after calming down and I am not able to lock or unlock the doors.I noticed clicking noises but never paid any attention to it as it was not a concern until I could not free my chocking child from the back seat.I just purchased the car used last month. After review the locks on this car is a know'N common problem that is a safety concern. My helpless child was locked in.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #109

Feb 022015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


Abrupt power-steering failure. The steering wheel turns and jerks (shutters back and forth) on its own while the car is at rest at a stoplight or stop sign. Took to Chevy dealer and they advised me there is a recall for this issue but my VIN and part# are not included as of now. Dealer told me it is due to faulty positioning sensor part # 23232310 sensor ki.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #108

Mar 032015


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the traction control and ABS light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure was 86,000.

- Ponawanda, NY, USA

problem #107

Feb 022015


  • 115,000 miles
Service ESC light comes on &power steering goes out. Happens over and over randomly. Dealership told me it was a battery issue since the power steering is electrical, however I replaced the battery and the issue persists. After searching the internet I saw a ton of other Chevy Malibu owners have the exact same issue.

- Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #106

Feb 262015


  • 152,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while making a left turn at 4 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact stated that ESC off was displayed across the message board. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000( electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The failure mileage was 152,000.

- Columbia, IL, USA

problem #105

Feb 022015


  • 150,200 miles
My 2009 Malibu lost it's electronic power steering, and I now have to steer it manually, which is hard for me. My car was on a recall list on 4/2014 but I never received any notification and when I called GM they said there was no recall for my car. My cousin, who is a mechanic, got the recall info from the site alldata repair S3000. I would like to know if my car is on the recall and what I need to do.

- St. Ignace, MI, USA

problem #104

Feb 052015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
I was driving home with my children in the car and my electrical power steering locked up and nearly caused an accident. Happy that everyone made it home safely, I then tried to find probably causes in to what is the cause and what I can do. I saw nothing but GM recalls for 2008 -2009 Chevy Malibu's that are having this problem. No one can help but the dealership, so I drove down to the dealership on a Saturday, and asked if anyone can take a look at the issue, and the gentleman was short and rude, as if he did not want to help me. I practically had to beg for them to look at my vehicle. So I patiently waited for 3 and a half hours in the lobby. To find out that the power steering module is going bad. That it will cost $480. The guy charged me $95 just for a diagnostic, and I didn't get a warning that this will be a charge, on top of it he wanted to charge me $800 to fix other things on my vehicle, when my main concern was the power steering. I felt taken advantage of, and no one explained to me as to why this took place. I am thinking it must be apart of the recall. So I sent a letter to corporate about this experience. I spoke with an agent and a senior adviser. I cannot wait years later for them to decide that they missed a vehicle. So they did try to give me options to see if they can help with the cost due to the inconvenience I've been through with my children and how I was treated at the terry cullen Chevy dealership in Georgia. Hopefully they can cover half the cost so I can get this fix. I am currently driving dangerously on the road to get to and from work, and I have no other options nor extra money to get this fixed right now. I just do not understand how I can have the same issue in my vehicle and everyone else has a recall on theirs. Is this a normal ware and tare issue.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #103

Jan 042015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at 70 mph, the steering wheel seized. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the electrical power assist system needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #102

Mar 132014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 40,218 miles
I did not have an accident yet. There was a recall for my car. The information I provided above on March 13, 204 I took the car back to the dealer to have it fixed. But the problems are still happening..I took it back and they said it was just some water leaking on the electrical wiring and would need replaced. I did not have the money at the time but did take it to my local mechanic where he also put it on the computer and advised that there is no water leakage. I have another incident the other day where I lost power and almost got in an accident. My taction got disabled as well. I have an appointment at kenny ross in irwin to take it back so they can look at it again, but I don't trust them. The car was bought with low mileage and I go no where as I work from home, still has low mileage..I should not be having problems. The original recall repairs were never done...can you please advise what I should do in this ase.

- Harrison City, PA, USA

problem #101

Jan 012015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
There is a power steering problem as is goes off on the freeway while driving, as well as there is a recall on the break lamp turns on and off while driving. Attempted to contact multiple dealerships as they couldn't not find the issue relating to this problem.

- Castro Valley , CA, USA

problem #100

Jan 242015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 91,800 miles
The same day I brought my car to my local Chevrolet dealership for an oil change and a brake light malfunction recall, I had the first occurrence of the issue. While on the highway, a chime sounded, and the information display on the dash showed power steering and service ESC. The power steering was turned off, and turning the steering wheel became extremely difficult. When I turned the car off and back on, the problem was gone. However, after driving for a few minutes, the same chime sounds, same errors come up, and power steering shuts off. This now happens every time I drive my car. I found out that there was a recall for several GM vehicles, including some 2009 Malibu, for an electric power steering (eps) issue. In the recall, the description they give matches my issue perfectly. However, my specific 2009 Malibu isn't part of the recall for some reason.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

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