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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
44,419 miles
Total Complaints:
15 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. manually operate locks (6 reports)
  3. replaced actuators (2 reports)
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2009 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #15

Mar 052014

Malibu LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,100 miles


Rear door lock started to malfunction about 2,3 weeks ago. Sometimes the lock will work fine and in other occasions not at all. After pulling a fight it finally died and we have to manually unlock the door to get my little kid off his chair and ultimately off the car. But this is just a pain in the rear! What happens if in an emergency I need to get my kid out and stupid lock does not work?

Anyway, checking forums it seems GM is aware of the locks failing consistently - more exactly the actuators - and in some occasions it has made the repairs free of charge. Not sure if that is directly from GM or the dealer out of goodwill but GM definitely knows about this. Called Chevrolet customer care service to see if I could get more info on that since I am just out of bumper to bumper warranty and I am trying to save myself $90 diagnostic for an issue I already know what is the cause and still have to pay on top of that for a manufacturer defect. Got kicked back need to take my car in to the shop. I just might fight a bit and get it fixed myself.

- , Salem, OR, USA

problem #14

Jul 152012

Malibu LT 2.4L Gas

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

On occasion the passenger door's lock only depresses/open partially. Locking/unlocking manually was the work-around, but now the power lock feature seems to be functioning.

- , South Jordan, Utah, USA

problem #13

Jul 012013

Malibu LS 2.4L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

2009 Malibu, 60,000 miles. Driver side door lock began failing 2 years after purchase. Dealer replaced it for less than $50 due to partial warranty. Passenger side front and passenger side rear locks started acting up in 2013. Symptoms included passenger getting trapped in front. Door would not open from inside or outside. Had to play with locks for 10 mins before it would work. What an embarrassment. 2nd occasion passenger in rear could not get out. Had to manually push in and pull out lock with window down multiple times. 3rd occasion happened where passenger door would not latch. multiple tries to lock and unlock and retry closing door before it would latch. I took it to a local dealer. Dealer recommended replacing lock actuators for $365 per door. I told them not for that price. I called GM and complained to their service department and the person there was going to talk to dealership to see if they will do it for less. I thanked her for that, however, recommended GM really needs to investigate this for Recall. Too many complaints about this issue. How many people will have to get injured because faulty GM parts. She said she would escalate it to her regional manager. Whatever that means.

- , Oakland, MI, USA

problem #12

Sep 012012

Malibu LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,300 miles


My 2009 Malibu (33,300 mi) door locks stopped working intermittently at first then within six months, they all quit working. I only noticed the drivers side because I don't have passengers very often. After taking my car to the dealership, I found it was all the actuators in all four doors. This has to be a manufacturer defect, especially I see how many others have the same problem. This is a very expensive repair. While searching for this issue, I noticed there were more complaints under the 2008 model than the 2009 model but my car was put in service July of 2008 so I believe the actuators installed from that time period are defective on both model years. 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.

- , Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #11

Dec 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

driver side door lock wont release have to fold front side all the way down to reach lock. While my granddaughter is in her seat it sometimes pinches her leg. I cannot hear solenoid even actuate inside door. I heard the other doors upon actuating the door lock and unlock.Occasionally the driver side back door lock will come up high enough to unlock.

- , Greenwood, Indiana, USA

problem #10

Mar 102012

Malibu LS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Less than 6 months after I had my Malibu the remote broke and I have yet to replace it. I thought it was the battery but everyone in the parts department said, "Once you open it up it's not going to work", I was past pissed. Next, the wiring on the driver side headlight shorted and burned the wires. The bright lights worked, but not the dim. So I spent close to $200 on a headlight. I had problems at the dealership so I called the General Manager, it was a mess. Since then, I had to replace the other headlight so I found it online and found someone to put it in. It's all plastic! Oops, I forgot, the radio had to be replaced when I bought it. Next, the rear brake light is on while driving, but goes off when I stop, WTF! While driving down the road the door locks, lock and unlock at random and now I can't lock the doors unless I walk around to all 4 and lock them. The button on the driver side stopped working so I had to reach over to the passenger side now it doesn't work. I bought this car because I loved the look and to help my neighbors and friends whose lives depend on this Company. But then I realized, whoever assembled the plastic light fixtures, didn't care about me. The worker at GM who installed the headlight assembly, didn't care if it caught on fire and hurt me or my children. The employee who does the electrical wiring doesn't care if the wiring lasts 6 days or 6 months. I'm sorry GM, but I pay a carnote and insurance and try to take care of my home, but I don't have money to constantly put into a new car. You push us to buy these cars but no one's pushing you to build a quality vehicle, something has to change. Before this and you can check with the DMV, I owned a 1990 Honda Accord and 2000 Infiniti I30. The battery in the Infiniti lasted close to 4 years. The Honda ran for 19 years until the timing chain broke. This is what working class people need, more value for our dollar. This is what's real, but then again, who am I?

- , Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #9

Apr 172012

Malibu LT V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles


I bought this 2009 Malibu LT at almost 19,000 miles and everything looks like it work but as soon as 1 week goes by the both the back doors quit locking and unlocking. Sometimes it will unlock on one side but than it won't lock and sometime it just won't do anything. 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.

- , Riverside, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 102011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

I bought this beautiful 2009 Chevy Malibu used w 47,000 miles, I had it only 2 months before problems started with the locks, the keyless entry wouldn't open the locks it sounded like they were unlocking but I had to still use the key and manually open the other doors to let the kids in, then keypad quit working and now when I push the unlock switch from the front doors will not unlock, this is a real pain I have to roll down all the windows , because the locks are located at the farside of the door you cannot reach thru the front to unlock the doors,,the the doors randomly lock and unlock themselves I am constantly checking and rechecking to make sure they are locked it's not a pleasure owning this car, this is my first Chevy and unfortunately my last!

- , Orlando, FL, USA

problem #7

May 092012

Malibu LT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,500 miles

My wife and I could not unlock the power doors from inside the vechile! We had to crawl out the driver side and passenger side windows to get out. I tried shifting the the transmission into drive and back into park, pulled up and down on the lock to open the door manually, tried the power lock switch and even tried the key to no avail. Luckily our entrapment did not involve a life or death situation. Funny thing is after playing with the key and remote I got the drivers side door to unlock. Then the door would not latch when closed. Can you imagine what could happen if the door swung open while on the road or going through traffic? This problem needs to be reported to the NTC. IT'S UNSAFE. The car is going to the dealer in the morning. Question is who pays for the repair? And what is causing the problem?

- , Berlin, NH, USA

problem #6

Nov 012011

Malibu LS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

Locks won't work!!! Haven't for a couple of months!!!

- , Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #5

Jul 212011

Malibu LT2 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


ever since we bought the car we have had this same problem. the rear drivers door wont lock. not to mention a service airbag soon light, dash lights dimming, and problems with the keyless entry/ remote start. This car has only 45,000 miles on it now and it has had more problems than my mid 90's chevy pickup with 245,000 miles on it. I am chevy all the way but this thing is a pile.

- , Inwood, IA, USA

problem #4

Jul 012011

Malibu ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles

at 44000 miles my door locks started to lock and unlock by themselves? the switch on the remotes would not work and even when i got out of the car you could hear the locks trying to lock or unlock? I finally had to pull the fuse for door locks which is located by the center console on the passanger side. now my auto locks cant work and neither will the auto start, but at least when i pull the car in the garage it wont lock itself or unlock itself at the mall! today my wife said the seatbelt wont come loose so you cant use it?? also on the door locks from 19000 miles the key remote would not unlock one of the rear door locks? Im sorry, I have always been a chevy person..........never again!!! they are nothing but junk. I also have a chevy tahoe, many electrical problems, too many to mention. can u say lemon???????????

- , Peculiar, MO, USA

problem #3

Aug 162011

Malibu LT 2.4L, 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,846 miles

Not too reassuring. Have had 2 door locks malfunction (you think it's locked but it's not) in less that 3 years/36,000 miles.

- , DeLand, FL, USA

problem #2

May 062011

Malibu LT 2.4L, 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,544 miles

A safety issue. You hear the "lock" sound but the driver side rear door doesn't lock. I'm not sure how long it was broken before I noticed it.

- , DeLand, FL, USA

problem #1

Mar 052011

Malibu LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles

I decided to buy a chevy after owning hondas to "buy american". At around the 50,000 mile mark the door locks started messing up. When you put the car in park it sounds like they unlock, but a lot of times they don't and you have to pull up manually on lock to open the door. Also when you try to lock doors with the key fob, the locks go down appearing to be locked and even sounds like it's locking, when you pull on the door handle it's not locked! I'm afraid to leave anything of value in the car. Who knows if it's locked or not. I know someone else who has a 2009 Chevy Malibu with the same problem. There has to be many more complaints on this.

- , Litchfield, IL, USA

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