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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,070 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 1 of 2)

problem #32

Apr 302013


  • 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 #31

Oct 212011


  • 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 #30

Jan 152013


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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

problem #24

Nov 242013


  • 53,896 miles
While driving on the highway, my car lost power. Several vehicles almost struck me on highway, very very, scary experience.. during driving, following messages appeared: 1)eng pwr reduced 2)service esc 3)service traction 4)esc off 5) service airbag. I also noticed the car shuddered extremely bad. The rear brake lights illuminated while I was not compressing the brake, and I had no acceleration. After pulling to the side of the road, the brake lights turned off. The RPM jumped between 3000-4000. After turning the car off and letting it sit for approx 5 min. The warning messages disappeared, however ses light remained. 2 codes presented today. 1)C0242 2)P2135. Will be contacting customer care, and taking car to dealer tomorrow. Extremely unsafe driving conditions. Not alone, many people have same issue. Car still randomly illuminating for service airbag. -----------------------www.youtube.com/watch?V=mytmb6qod4Y.

- Metheun, MA, USA

problem #23

Nov 232013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 59,632 miles
Cpo 2010 Chevy Malibu @59K no known issues prior to explanations about 3 days ago I took my car in for new tires and had a mech check a clicking noise that I noticed when I would place the car in drive and begin to move. He stated that the noise was coming from where my cv enters the transmissions and believes there is play within a gear somewhere internally. I called the Chevy dealer and am due to bring in the vehicle tomorrow.... now here is the problem. While driving my car on the highway last night this random issue. The following warning lights came on: Engine light traction control light followed by the following warning messages: Eng pwr reduced service esc service traction esc off the car began to shudder as if it wanted to die. Along with this, I had no acceleration and thank god I was able to get to the side of the road as when this happened I was exiting a tunnel onto a bridge. After pulling to the side of the road I shut the car off and restarted it. All the lights continued to show, and the rpms jumped as seen in the attached video. www.youtube.com/watch?V=mytmb6qod4Y&feature=youtu.be I again shut the car off and waited about 5 min. After turning the car back on, the only light that remained on was the engine light. I gathered these codes this morning. C0242 P2135 -tps this is the second car in 2 years I have bought from this dealer, herb chambers of danvers, and this is the second car to have a transmission issue, on top of whatever else its doing. I still owe well over $10,000 on this car. I have not even had this car 9 months. I can tell you I am a grown man in tears because I work 44 hrs a week in a career I spent alot of money training for and now am having massive issues. I cannot afford to lose my job and the dealer could seem to care less.

- Metheun, MA, USA

problem #22

Jul 092013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


I went to leave one morning and my car would not go into gear. Only when I pressed the brake pedal completely to the floor would it finally move into drive. After driving it a day or two my service traction and my service esc lights have been coming on since July. And now today my cruise control stopped working an also my brake lights are not working correctly. When the car is in park they are off and will not come on. When the car is in drive they are on constantly.

- Belleville , MI, USA

problem #21

Aug 162012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
The brake lights on our 2010 Chevy Malibu, turn on while driving but turn off when the brake pedal is pressed. After tapping the brake pedal, the brake lights then stay off for approximately 4 seconds, then illuminate on their own again. When this occurs, the cruise control does not work and the service esc and service traction warnings are displayed. This problem occurs intermittently and for varying periods of time.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #20

Oct 022013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 80,480 miles
Brake lights stay on even when pedal is not pushed. When pedal is pressed lights will flash off, brake lights basically working in reverse. I have to turn the car off for the lights to shut off. Almost was rear ended this morning due to brake lights not working properly.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #19

Jul 192013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 49,700 miles
This has happened 2 times, once a few days after purchasing the vehicle June 2010 at 400 miles, and then again on 7/19/13 after the issue was supposedly fixed by dealer.I was assured by the service department that this would never happen again after the repair in 2010, it did. This vehicle stalls while driving. On 7/19/2013 I was traveling on the garden state parkway in traffic and the car suddenly stalled. Everything went blank, the engine cut, no power steering, no instrument panels, no electrical what so ever. Thank goodness I was able both times to coast on to the shoulder on the highway without consequence, but without turn signals, hazard lights, access to on star or the ability to hand signal as the windows are out. After being essentially powerless, the car does turn back on after it resets the internal clock to 1/1/2009. Someone is going to get seriously injured or killed if this is not resolved, I was lucky to have not been hit both times. I am frightened that this will happen again and my job relies on me to travel long distances. This car is a death trap.

- Landing, NJ, USA

problem #18

Jul 182013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 50,157 miles
It was raining and my windshield wiper blades were on.immediately the blades stop working. L almost hit the fence because L could not see. My car is just 3years old, L do not understand why the blades will stop working.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #17

May 012013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
My brake lights are faulty. They remain on while I am driving.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #16

Oct 162012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
The brake lights will go on for no reason while I am pressing the gas and then when I press the brake, they will shut off. As well as when I turn on the hazards, my traction light will switch on and when I turn them off the light stays on saying "service traction" and then the left tail light blinker shorts out and pretends like it is going out and will blink rapidly. Then when the brake light issue is happening my cruise control will be faulty. There is a short or something happening with the wiring, it has been bad for a while now. I haven't gotten around to actually doing anything about it until I read this: www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/12/GM-recall-feds-midsize-Chevrolet-Malibu-Saturn-aura_N_2862354.html.

- Newton Falls, OH, USA

problem #15

Apr 182013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
I drive in the city, an hour to work, single female on a budget and my car has been in the shop 3X for the same problem with no fix to it. I am furious, sick to my stomach and sad all at the same time. There are three issues that appear to be related: 1) brake lights come on when brake pedal is not being depressed, and stays on, and/or does not come on when brake pedal depressed. 2)"service traction" and "service esc" warnings come on and remain on. 3) cruise control stops working. You can have one, two or all three of these events happening at the same time. Any of the three can occur first. They can occur each time the car is driven for some weeks, then not occur at all for a few days or occasionally even weeks. Can occur after driving for a few minutes, sometimes after an hour or more of driving. Seems to happen in all kinds of weather conditions, hot, cold, wet or dry. Has been happening intermittently for over a year now, and now seems to happen more often and for longer periods of time than when first began.

- Monroeville, PA, USA

problem #14

Apr 182013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
Turning left into parking space, steering locked & warning light on. Turn car off, restart, no warning light & power steering works. Doesn't happen again for 2 days. Then flat tire warning light, ABS warning light & air bag service lights on. Turn car off. On restart ok. 4/20/13 power steering locks. Call dealer for service appointment. 4/24/13 turning left to dealer, power steering locks. No warning light. Don't turn car off "power through"& steering unlocks & works. Service tech advises there were 15 codes, some reporting "communication errors". cleared all codes. Test drove car, found no problems. Drove home - approx 50 mi - no problems. 4/25/13, approx 5 mph turning right to driveway, almost shuts itself off. Door locks on/off, on/off. 4/27/13, in parking lot. Start car, put in reverse. Car turns itself off. Restart -- runs rough about 10 seconds. Back up, power steering locks. Don't turn car off, again "power through" & steering works.

- Roscoe, IL, USA

problem #13

Mar 252013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 79,547 miles
I have a 2010 Malibu and recently took it too the dealer for a service air bag light and they informed me of a electrical problem that was supposed to be corrected under a recall, however now there saying I need to replace the driver side seat air bag and the passenger seat module. These air bags are a safety issue and there are many 2010 Malibu owners experiencing the same problems and the dealer wants to charge $1245.87 for repairs and cannot say why the failure happened. A vehicle of this age should not have air bag failure. There needs to be some sort of investigation on to why these air bags and seat sensors are failing for no apparent reasons beside the poor or cheap quality of the products there installing. I think that GM needs to stand behind there cars and trucks and not brush off such a huge safety risk. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Clarion, IA, USA

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