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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 7 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #59

Jul 042014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


The door locks began locking and unlocking while vehicle was running and in park. After turning ignition off and then back on, door locks continued locking and unlocking while driving as well. Then, the door lock switch on driver's door stopped working. Last time this issue started and continued with key fob no longer working, and only way to lock doors was manually and unlock driver's door with key and manually unlock remaining doors. Dealer replaced door lock actuator and key fobs to fix problem. Why is this happening again and within a few months of already having been fixed once" is there a recall for this" I do not want to pay for same repair repeatedly.

- Harlan, IA, USA

problem #58

Dec 012013


  • 53,694 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the brake lights illuminated while driving at various speeds and would dim when the brake pedal was depressed. The dealer located a failure code at the brake pedal position sensor. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer stated that the VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The failure mileage was 53,694.

- Odenton , MD, USA

problem #57

Mar 102014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 59,575 miles
While luckily driving on city streets around 35mph the "power steering needs servicing" light came on. Thought it might need power steering fluid and was told my model didn't use fluid - it was all electrical in the steering column. Since it was still under warranty I took it the next day to the Chevy dealer who sold it to me and was told it wasn't covered at a cost of over $600.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #56

Jul 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles


2009 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle faulty ignition switch recall. The consumer stated on one of two occasions, he lost power to the vehicle. He was able to re-start the vehicle. On the second occasion, when the vehicle stalled, he side swiped a parked vehicle, causing damage to both vehicles.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #55

Jan 012013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
Brake light turn on without braking, brake lights don work while braking, traction control becomes disabled, cruise will not activate, will not come out of park.

- Ransomeville, NY, USA

problem #54

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 #53

Jun 222014


  • 61,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the doors would sporadically lock and unlock independently in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing, but not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 61,000.

- Lyman, SC, USA

problem #52

Jun 132010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the brake lights had an intermittent short circuit. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who diagnosed that the brake pedal actuator needed to be adjusted twice; however, the failure recurred. The power locks failed and don't work from the inside of the vehicle. The contact was not included in NHTSA recall campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The vehicle was scheduled to be inspected and repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000. Updated 09/16/14 the consumer stated he believes the BCM is faulty beyond a bad connection; causing the power locks to malfunction. Updated 1/15/15

- Brecksville, OH, USA

problem #51

Jun 122014


  • 50,000 miles
Having problems with 2009 Chevy Malibu lt. Brake lights stay on constant, and turns off when brake pedal is pressed. What ever the problem has effected the traction control and cruise control. Been to dealer twice. First time they put in a new brake switch and said it was faulty and put some gel on some connectors "250$" week later having same problem. Took back to dealer. Know there replacing wiring and connectors saying its a wiring issue "645$"...

- Groton , SD, USA

problem #50

Jun 062013


  • 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 could only be unlocked manually. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Walmut Ridge, AR, USA

problem #49

Jun 082014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 138,000 miles


Car is having electrical issues locks going up and down without pressing power button car also alarming off also have taken care to be serviced for misfiring and jerking when driving.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #48

Nov 012012


  • 35,000 miles
Malibu has had a couple of different problems. While driving the electrical panel including warning lights would flicker on and off along with the vehicle losing power. Multiple times the vehicle was taken to a local dealership who ultimately told me a grounding wire had some problems and they fixed the issue. The vast majority of the problems were solved with that fix. Since then the vehicle has had issues with the steering. While driving the steering wheel will move itself back and forth. The problem is not all the time, and very random. This usually happens within the first few minutes after the start of the vehicle. When moving the steering wheel will wobble back and forth even with both hands on the wheel.

- Torrington, WY, USA

problem #47

Jun 032014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
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 #46

May 142014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
While night driving at 55 mph on a busy, wet highway, I noticed in my rearview mirror that the center brake light had illuminated on my car. I checked to see if the pedal was stuck by lifting it with my foot; it was not stuck. Then I quickly tapped the brakes - the brake light went off only to re-illuminate seconds later. I quickly exited the highway as motorists were beginning to beep at me. I continued to press and release the brake pedal on the off ramp, only to receive the same response from the brake light system. While driving, the brake light would stay on; upon slowing or stopping, the brake light would go off. I have looked at this issue online and see that this is a common complaint from owners of the 2009 Malibu. A recall has been in question since March of 2013; I stress that the NHTSA needs to address this issue, as the malfunction is severe enough to cause fatalities.

- Southington, OH, USA

problem #45

Apr 252014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Door will not open. I was locked in my own car at the gas station. I manually pulled up on the door lock and still couldn't get out. I rolled the window down and pulled on the outside door handle release and nothing. After pushing every button several times and putting the car in and out of park I finally managed to get out. 2 days later the same thing happened but I was outside the car. I had to crawl from the passengers side to get into the drivers seat to get to work. Since the door locks were acting up I pulled the fuse and decided to do it old school and use the key to lock and unlock my car. Good idea until I was leaving work and the key wouldn't open the door. Great!!! hey, I will just unlock the passenger door and climb in. Did you know there is no place to insert a key to unlock the door on the passenger side" I do now. After much cursing I managed to get in using the key but then the door wouldn't close. Oh my god I thought. I had to use 2 bungee cords to hold the door close so I could drive the car 25 miles home. I didn't mention that the back door quit working over a year ago did I" I think it is time for a recall. Being locked in your car in not a good thing. Imagine if the first responders couldn't get you out of your car if you were in a accident because of faulty door actuators. I see multiple complaints of this defect and now it is time somebody has to step up and do their job and address this issue. Apparently somebody has to die first and sue everyone involved to make something happen.

- Trempealeau, WI, USA

problem #44

Apr 022014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
While driving door locks continually go up and down and while parked door locks open and close until we took fuse out to stop. This is a safety hazard can't open door while its doing this and can't lock doors, because they start going up and down again, afraid will drain battery or cause an accident because of this distraction.

- Furlomg, PA, USA

problem #43

Apr 252012


  • 24,000 miles
Rear passenger side door does not unlock unless manually unlocked. Vehicle was sold to me used by Cadillac West of las vegas. Upon selling of the vehicle, I was told this was a malfunction and the dealership would fix this. Tried calling once and they refused to do so, saying it was GM's issue. Figured they just sold it "as is", wasn't aware that this was so common.

- N. Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #42

Mar 262014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 58,428 miles
The electronic power steering failed while driving on highway, causing loss of normal steering control, making the vehicle difficult to steer. Vehicle had to be moved out of traffic and restarted to reset the failure. Loss of steering and ESC. Error code later determined to have been CO545 (steering torque sensor).

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #41

Mar 262014


  • 27,610 miles
Rear right door (rear passenger) lock failing to open. Started to randomly open and now it's totally dead. If the door fails to open getting my kid out of the car in an emergency can be impossible even for other passengers sitting on the back. This needs an urgent investigation. A lot of owners have the same issue and surprised to see a lot of complaints here as well regarding the locks/actuators. GM is aware of the issue about actuators failing consistently too, in some occasions they have made the replacements free of charge or at a discounted price.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #40

Mar 142014


  • 110,000 miles
I was driving at highway speed (approx. 75 mph) the steering wheel began to shake and the traction control to turn on and off. Then suddenly I had no power steering. This happened to me at night and suddenly, with our any warning. It is concerning to me that this problem has not been recalled! I found it to be extremely challenging not to loose control of the car since I had been traveling comfortably at 75mph, then suddenly had no power steering. I cannot stress the danger of this occurrence and the possible unfortunate outcome had my wife been driving with my kids in the car. This needs to be recalled not wait until it has cost someone their life!

- Fenton, MO, USA

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