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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,245 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.

2010 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2010 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #44

Jun 302014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 59,207 miles


Rear exterior brake lights stayed on while driving. Lights would go off when brake was slightly depressed and would come back on when pedal was depressed more firmly.

- Garrett, IN, USA

problem #43

Jun 242014


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would suddenly decelerate and the steering, ABS and traction control sensor lights would illuminate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The failure mileage was 52,000.

- Avon, IN, USA

problem #42

Apr 302011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
Multiple error messages appearing in dashboard electrical burning smell with dash computer giving out random error messages stating service airbag and service engine soon burned out my battery. Gear shift makes loud booming noise when putting in gear while driving car jolts and hesitates to shift gears. Chevrolet dealership refuses to check the car diagnostic without charging per module.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #41

Apr 202014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Car will alarm with "service escape" and "service traction" --- brake lights will then work opposite of what they should. When brakes are not being pressed they are lit but when brakes are pressed brake lights do not work. Happens intermittently but for several days at a time. Have also had cruise control engage itself while driving down interstate at approx 70 mph-- cruise control came on and sped the car up without it being set -- disengaged when brakes pressed.

- Hartwell, GA, USA

problem #40

Jun 022010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 83 miles
When we drive this auto in the rain, or after going through a car wash, the car goes into the "limp" mode and the service lights come on and remain on until the car dries again. Took it to the dealer the first time and was told that this is an inherent problem. We have had the car for 4 years and it still does that. We never drive it if we know it will be raining but am afraid that if we do drive it and it starts raining, that the car will just stop running. Neither I nor the dealer knows what is getting wet and causing the problem but it should be investigated. I spoke with [xxx] at GM customer service this morning and she said she has had other calls complaining about this problem. She does not know if anyone is investigating it or not. She asked if I had notified NHTSA and I said I had not. She confirmed that it might be a good idea to do that. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lawler, IA, USA

problem #39

Sep 182012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 21,500 miles
Following the recall fix for id#93696 I experienced the "service enc" warning. A short time later I began experiencing the "traction" warning coming on. I now have problems when trying to use the cruise control feature. And just recently I get a intermittent dinging sound, that sounds like the seatbelt warning, that comes on in spite of the seat belt being hooked securely. I have repeatedly brought these issues to the attention of the ruda Chevrolet dealership only to have them blow me off. I became persistent and contacted GM directly and they instructed ruda to replace the break pedal position sensor. However this fix has not made any difference. I continue to have the same issues. I am becoming increasingly concerned regarding the safety of this $27,000 vehicle. I understand that I may, at some point, also experience brake light issues as well. Something needs to be done. I am a pancreatic cancer patient who has to drive 2 hours one way to see my specialist. I have enough stress in my life!!!

- Apple River, IL, USA

problem #38

Jan 272014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 113,058 miles


I was stopped at a stop light when my car stalled. The cabin started filling up with smoke. The lights would not work. The trunk would not open. The locks would not work. The smoke was coming from the trunk. I had the car towed to the dealership. It was determined that the fuse box in the trunk was melting the junction box and main body harness. My insurance company picked up the claim and made repairs. There is now a recall on these cars for this type of failure.

- Gold Hill, NC, USA

problem #37

May 302014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I called GM and was told that my car was included on the recent recall issued May 14, however there are no parts available yet to fix. I was also made aware that this recall fix would only fix the brake lamps and that the other issues I.e cruise control, electronic stability control, and traction control are not a part this recall. I am issuing another complaint due to reading many other complaints of this same issue and that need to be addressed by GM. This is a potential dangerous issue that can cause serious injury, not to mention with the brake lamps staying illuminated and turn off when the pedal is pressed currently. There should be an immediate recall since the issues included in the recent recall will not be addressed and has made me a dissatisfied GM owner. I hope the NHTSA will further investigate complaints and pressure GM to completely fix these defects immediately.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #36

Apr 122012


  • miles
The brake light comes on when the brake pedal is not being pushed. It doesn't matter if the car is sitting in park or being driven on the highway, the brake light stays on when the pedal is not pushed. When the brake pedal is pushed, the brake light goes off. Not only does that happen but the traction control light on the panel goes off for no apparent reason and stays on. This is a hazard as I have had many close encounters. The first time of the incident my vehicle was under warranty and the dealer applied some kind of lubricant. It worked for about a year then the problem occurred again. I have had an independent mechanic look at the vehicle and he replaced the brake sensor which did not seem to solve the problem. When contacted the Chevrolet dealer where I purchased the vehicle they have told me I would have to pay the diagnostic fee. I explained about the vehicle recall and was told my vehicle was not under recall. What the hell!!! are they waiting for an accident to occur or death before they resolve this problem. I do not think they know what the problem is theirselves. Why should I have to pay them again if this isn't going to be resolved. I am really frustrated with them. Really need this to be resolved.

- Bellflower, CA, USA

problem #35

Mar 032014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 44,112 miles
Cruise control fails to engage or even indicate that it is on when the cruise control button and set - buttons are applied. The upper rear brake lights fail to illuminate when the brakes are applied sometimes.

- Hollywood, MD, USA

problem #34

May 052013


  • 35,500 miles


The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled multiple times intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who was unable to replicate or diagnose the failure. The contact continued to experience a short circuit in the instrument panel. The power steering failed and the battery was reset multiple times to no avail. The contacts VIN was not included in NHTSA recall campaign number: 14V047000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was notified of the failure several times and provided no remedy. The approximate failure mileage was 35,500.

- Leipsic, OH, USA

problem #33

Apr 302013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Power steering warning plus the check electrical system came on when we started the car, and the steering would not work. We were at the time in the North Carolina mountains. We turned the ignition off, tried again, and the power steering returned. Nonetheless this made for a scary trip down mountain roads. This failure did not occur again for several months. Then in the winter of 2013-2014 it began to happen more frequently. In April 2014 we told the Chevrolet service advisor who said to bring in the car while the steering was not on power. So we did with difficult steering in city traffic. The advisor diagnosed steering column failure. GM has offered to pay part of the price of repair. This offer came after extensive conversations with GM and the local dealer with whom we have done a significant amount of business.

- Pittsboro, NC, USA

problem #32

Oct 212011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 7,800 miles
Error 1. warning errors on dashboard state service ESC, service traction; noticed just after Oct 2011 purchase. Brake position sensor replaced. Problem still occurs on and off to this day (April 2014). Two services have not fixed this problem. Error 2. cruise control would stop working on it's own while at hwy speeds; noticed Dec 2011. Cruise currently (April 2014) will not engage at any speed. Error 3. brake lights will turn on without pedal depression at any speed and conversely when brake pedal is depressed brake lights will turn off; noticed Apr 2012. Problem still occurring on and off today (April 2014). The cruise control and brake light issues are huge safety concerns and with more than 20 almost identical complaints documented and at least one crash, why is nothing being done?

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #31

Mar 122014


  • 111,500 miles
At first I lost power steering when traveling high speeds on the highway. Now the power steering fails with just short trips around town. This is a huge safety concern, especially for my wife. She does not have the strength to turn the wheel at slow speeds. I do not want to pay accident surcharges on top of the repair bill for this issue. This power steering issue is documented all over the web and affects many models that have the electronic power steering box. There is a problem with the electric power steering box related to the electronic stability control (ESC) and the steering wheel position sensor. The steering wheel position sensor cannot be replaced at this time (or maybe never). The entire steering column must be replaced. This is at a very costly expense when a cheaper repair is an option. I researched a car owner who had to replace the steering column three times due to failure of the position sensor and there is no recourse for us consumers. Every 20,000 miles after warranties were expired. I am 50 years old and have only owned american made cars, just about all GM products. If this issue does not get resolved in a professional way I will be going to the Ford product. I hope I will not be forced to the foreign cars for the reason I will not return to GM if they do not stand behind their products. I am optimistic at this point I can remain a happy GM consumer. I research I have found the MINIcooper had the same issue of power steering failure. They stood behind their product and offered a 13 year or 200,000 mile warranty on the power steering module. this would be a very wise choice to offer this solution with the recent of the recall with the ignition shutting off while the car is operational causing fatalities.

- Millbury, MA, USA

problem #30

Jan 152013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I was traveling on a side road and the vehicle shut down completely. I was told this was due to a faulty throttle position sensor. Had I been traveling at a high rate of speed on a busy highway, it is likely there would have been serious injury. Chevrolet did not respond to my concern and I ended up trading in the vehicle for a non-GM product. Viewing the recent recalls for faulty ignition switch (that I realize was not the issue with my car) caused me to report this in the event others have had this issue and hopefully prevent serious injury or loss of life.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #29

May 102013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
The brake light comes on when the brake pedal is not being pushed. It doesn't matter if the car is sitting in park or being driven on the highway, the brake light stays on when the pedal is not pushed. When the brake pedal is pushed, the brake light goes off.

- Edgewood, KY, USA

problem #28

Nov 112013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Nov 2, 2013, security light comes on at start, won't turn off even after turning off, restarting. Light stays on approx. 1 hr., turns off after next restart. Nov. 10, 2013, hear "ding" - driving in stop & go traffic just before sundown. All lights on dash turn off, including radio. Turn car off & restart. No dash lights, no radio. Turn dash light knob "off" & then "on". lights reset. Nov 28, 2013, driving approx. 65 mph on interstate. Engine "chokes" for split second, but does not shut off. Less powerful "chokes" next 30-45 mins. Similar sporadic episodes continue -- last one March 1, 2014. Initially thought problem was bad gas/contaminated fuel. Changed to major oil companies first week of December. Hasn't solved the problem. Have notified the dealer. This is the second major electrical problem on the car. In April & May 2013, power steering shut-off, and various dash lights/door locks activated. Dealer finally installed entirely new fuse panel, and those problems haven't occurred again.

- Roscoe, IL, USA

problem #27

Jan 162014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 34,590 miles
On Jan 15, 2014, at 2pm, while driving 55mph on a dry road, the dashboard message center displayed a warning of "ice possible". outside temperatures at the time were in the high 30's. the next day, Jan 16, 2014, again around 2pm while traveling at approximately 55mph on a dry road, the dashboard message center displayed a warning of "ice possible" followed by a warning of "ABS failure" and then immediately by a "low power" warning message. Within seconds of the low power warning there was a complete loss of power. The dash board display went black, no flashers, turn signals, or lights. Steering and brakes were functional but without power assist. There was no response during four attempts to restart the car. There were no signs of any power available. The key was removed and re-inserted and when the key was turned to start everything worked normally. We drove it home without further incident.

- Honeoye, NY, USA

problem #26

Jan 242014


  • 42,000 miles
Driving on the highway when we got a power steering warning light and the power steering went out. We took the vehicle to the Chevy dealer where we bought it bill jacobs Chevrolet in joliet Illinois and they said the warranty was expired and GM refused to take responsibility for it. It had just over 40,000 miles on it. This is a safety issue and both the dealership and GM swept the problem under the table..oh, by the way they did charge us 1,200 dollars to repair it.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #25

Dec 282013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 73,737 miles
I was driving down main street in our town after just washing our 2010 Malibu and the car started to loose power, the check engine light came on and the engine started to run rough and started to reduce power. With the check engine light that came on, the service ESC, service traction, and eng pwr showed up on the display. I stopped the car and turned it off. It took about 5 minutes for the car to run correctly again. I took the car to an auto parts store and the code P2135 was showing. This is the 2nd time this had happened. The other time was on 10/01/2013 with 69,193 miles on it. I took the car to the local Chevy dealer and they put some dielectric grease on some connectors. I called the Chevy dealer again today for another appointment.

- Shenandoah, IA, USA

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