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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
15 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
18 / 2
Average Mileage:
64,592 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Jul 052016


  • 159,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 2 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and the air bags deployed inadvertently. The vehicle was towed to the residence. The contact sustained injuries to the left shoulder and laceration of the arm and left side which required medical attention due to the air bag deployment. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 159,000.

- Barnesville, OH, USA

problem #29

May 182016


  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle struck a deer. The air bags did not deploy, but the air bag sensor light illuminated. A police report was filed. The contact sustained a minor injury that did not require medical attention. The vehicle was towed to a tow yard and was later taken to a local dealer per the insurance guidelines. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 123,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Hornlake, MS, USA

problem #28

Dec 152014


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the passenger side air bag and seat belt warning lights were constantly illuminated. The failure occurred randomly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 90,000.

- Smyrna, TN, USA

problem #27

Oct 062012


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving various speeds, the passenger side headlight failed to work without warning. The contact stated that the bulb was changed; however, the failure recurred. The contact also stated that the air bag warning indicator illuminated and would not recognize if someone were seated in the passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Gloucester, VA, USA

problem #26

Sep 292014


  • 110,000 miles
First issue happened with the driver low beam not working then work again a few days later. The problem keeps going on from passenger and driver low beams. I've noticed the connectors were melted and changed them and they would both work for a few weeks then one would go out again. Second issue is the passenger airbag doesn't turn on when passengers are in the vehicle. It works sometimes but not everytime. Third issue is the passenger side door locks. The door locks work sometimes and again not everytime like they should. There's a lot of people reporting these same issues but nothing gets done unless it's out of our pockets.

- Homeland, GA, USA

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problem #25

Jul 242015


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator illuminated after the vehicle was started. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the air bag needed to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred while driving approximately 25 mph. The vehicle was then taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the coil spring needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was approximately 94,000.

- Marshville, MA, USA

problem #24

Sep 282008


  • 200 miles


The airbags deployed due to aggressive braking...

- Washington Dc, DC, USA

problem #23

Sep 242014


  • 113,400 miles
First issue noticed was passenger airbag not on while passengers are in front and rear of vehicle. The passenger airbag sensor works 50% of the time. Second issue started close to the same time as the airbag. When using the keyless entry or the electric lock buttons inside the car, it fails to lock or unlock the passenger side doors. After 30 minutes or so it will then lock the doors. The latest issue started on the 19th of November 2014 with the driver side lowbeam not working as like it's blown. The car has been sitting for two days since and now the lowbeam is working but, it's dim compared to the passenger lowbeam. I believe there's a short in the electrical system from manufacturer. There are many forums online about these issues online from other owners. This car has not had any aftermarket installations of its electrical components and the battery is new. Chevrolet needs to take the time when manufacturing their vehicles instead of cutting corners. Their customers safety should be valued better than worrying about sales. You would think after going under they would take the time to do things right the first time. I highly doubt I will ever purchase a vehicle manufactured after 2002 from Chevrolet due to all of the electrical components that fail or cause serious injury or death. Please fix these issues or lose a 15 year customer.

- Homeland, GA, USA

problem #22

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 #21

Jul 182014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 137,000 miles
Leaving my subdivision trying to make a left turn when I was hit on the driver's side passenger door, just shy of the driver's door. Side airbags did not deploy. Therefore, onstar did not contact me. I rec'd injuries and had to be transferred to hospital. Car was totaled. Person that hit me was going at least 45-55 mph.......updated 09-03-14 updated 11/7/2014

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #20

Feb 012014


  • 79,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph over an ice patch, the contact lost control of the vehicle as it spun in a 360 degree turn. The vehicle then stalled and proceeded to slightly crash, and slide against a guardrail. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed however, the front bumper and grill were damaged. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after the incident and proceed normally. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was able to be driven after the crash. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 79,000.

- Fenton, MO, USA

problem #19

May 022011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
The passenger side air bag shows off when the seat is occupied. All passengers are 110 lb and above. This happens less than half the time. My mother has a 2007 equinox with the same problem. The local dealership worked on it and then replaced the seat sensor but after a short time it started again, about three quarters of the time it shows off.

- Hamilton, AL, USA

problem #18

May 082014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I was stopped at a red light and a man who wasn't paying attention came speeding up and rear ended me he hit me so hard that my car hit the car in front of me and that car hit the car in front of him. 4 cars total. My airbags did not deploy and I am suffering from many injuries because of that. The man who hit me was going around 50 miles per hour. I believe with such impact that he hit me the airbags should have deployed. My face slammed into the steering wheel and hurt me very badly also I am concerned about the seat and the seatbelt. The seat I was in is all broken now due to the accident and I am also thinking that the seatbelt is also defective.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #17

Mar 072014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
While driving at 10mph after making a left hand turn my curtain side airbag on the drivers side deployed. There were luckily no injuries. The car filled with smoke, and my ear was ringing for 1 week. My hip was sore for a few days from the drivers seat airbag that deployed also. The road was clear, no pot holes, no rain. Snow or ice. It was a residential street. After supposedly investigating GM has not discovered any mechanical reason for the deployment. They retrieved all the information from the SDM and have stated that they want to purchase my vehicle back to research further. I am currently using a loaner car from the dealership near my home. GM has still not offered me a good enough settlement for me to purchase a new car.

- Medford, NY, USA

problem #16

Sep 142008

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 3,200 miles
On September 14, 2008 at approximately 12:30 am, the car I was driving suddenly went into a skid after which I aggressively deployed the brakes when the airbags deployed leaving me unconscious and not in control of the car. The car then hit the barrier and then a parked disabled car at a high speed. I was injured and the driver of the parked car was fatally killed. I went to prison for five years because no one would believe my story.

- Washington Dc, DC, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Dec 022013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 141,200 miles
The vehicle is experiencing intermittent problems with the passenger position sensing system which cause the passenger air bag system to become disabled, notwithstanding a passenger being seated in the affected passenger seat.

- Detour Village, MI, USA

problem #13

Aug 122012


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the driver was traveling 75 mph and crashed into the center median. The air bags did not deploy. The contact was not injured and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed by the contact's insurance company. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Prague, OK, USA

problem #12

Jan 062014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
Start car up for work at 6:15am an service air bag indicator light was on never was on before. As of jan5 2014.

- Ofallon, MO, USA

problem #11

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

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