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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,269 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.

2011 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #100

Oct 272016


  • 135,000 miles


Fire in trunk started at rear fuse panel. Driving at 35 mph in drizzle, trunk ajar message lit, stopped to check it & engine stalled as I pulled off the road, found the trunk securely latched, and could't open it with key fob or button in cabin. Then saw paint turning brown (scorching) at rear corner panel at location of rear fuse panel. By the time fire dept. Arrived the cabin and trunk fully engulfed - total loss.

- Parsippany, NJ, USA

problem #99

Aug 112015


  • 125,333 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving various speeds, the vehicle shook violently and the ESC and traction control warning indicators remained illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 125,333.

- Erin, TN, USA

problem #98

Jul 142016


  • 103,835 miles
Battery light coming on. Dealership diagnose bad alternator. Installed new alternator. Two weeks passed, all dashboard lights come on, lost power steering, while driving. Car towed in. Dealership found fusible link burnt on alternator, which caused first alternator to go bad. $25 part.

- Burton, MI, USA

problem #97

May 012016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 40 mph, all the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated. The contact mentioned that the failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Licking, MO, USA

problem #96

Jun 262016


  • miles
My car has been having problems all year. I called and spoke with someone who in return was suppose to call cannon motors in oxford, ms to have the front head light on the driver side fixed because it was on recall. My father has replaced it 3 times and it keeps going out so the car was taken to cannon today and now its a different story. They was talking about charging $75 then they changed it to $500 to fix a headlight. I know the is an electrical problem going on with my car.

- Oxford, MS, USA

problem #95

May 252016


  • 34,000 miles
Power steering failed while driving. This happened in a curved part of the highway at ~45 mph. Was able to make the drive home which was ~2 miles. Restarted the car at home and everything worked fine until 5 days later - same problem. Service ESC and power steering illuminated on dash.

- Midlothian, TX, USA

problem #94

May 072016

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 72,542 miles


I have been experiencing issues with my 2011 Chevy Malibu. I was driving down the road when suddenly the motor started violently shaking and the dashboard information display would flash, "engine power reduced, service ESC, service traction control, air bag lights and check engine light came on". this was an intermittent issue, it can sometimes go weeks/months without issues, but then out of nowhere it will start happening again. Sometimes shutting the car off, waiting a few moments, and restarting would usually get it running correctly again. However, other times it will remain for several days. The issue has been becoming more frequent and staying longer as time goes on. When I started seeing the issue I looked up online to see if other people were seeing similar issues and found hundreds of people with the same year, make, model car having the same exact issue. I have seen issues started at 50K miles and up, but mine started doing this at approximately 72K miles. This issue has almost caused me to get in several accidents, and I believe this should be recalled as this is a major problem. Here are some of the websites at which I found people sharing their stories of the same exact issue. I have included a couple of images of a couple of the dash messages please help the most recent incident occurred 05/07/2016 but has been happening intermittently for a year or two, it started at 72542 miles but most recent happened at approximately 92K thank you

- Somerset, WI, USA

problem #93

Apr 112016


  • miles
Car when started steering wheel locks up all the lights start flashing, locks start to unlock and lock themselves. Engine lines comes on hard to move forward or backwards.

- China, MI, USA

problem #92

Feb 132016


  • miles
I am having problems with the ESC the service ESC light keeps turning on and the car starts to jerk and they say mine isn't in recall but other Chevy Malibu are from the year 2003-2012 I thi they need to look into this further because mine is 2011 but not in the recall

- Goshen, IN, USA

problem #91

Mar 162016


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 65 mph, the air bag warning light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the air bags needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 68,000.

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #90

Feb 162016


  • 119,200 miles


Received messages of: Service ESC, service traction, service air bag, eng pwr reduced, engine disabled this morning while driving to work. Engine lost all power, had to pull to side of road to try and turn the engine off and on, until I received the engine disabled message and after that the car would not start. Had to have the car towed to nearest dealership.

- Jackson, MN, USA

problem #89

Feb 142016


  • 88,258 miles
First, I had to jump the car to start it. Cold morning but the battery was only 3 months old. Driving from downriver mi area all expressway to grand rapids. Just entered grand rapids area when I had to reduce speed from 75 to 60. Car would not accelerate back to original speed. Cruise control had been engaged. Problem resolved itself but 15 minutes later the car went from 75 to 25 mph by the time I had exited the freeway and stopped the car. The car would not accelerate and the pedal was to the floor. The traction control light went on as did messages:reduced engine power, service ESC, and the check engine light went on. The engine light stayed on. I was able to turn car back and accelerate but the check engine light stayed on and the engine felt like it chugged a bit. When I stopped at intersections, the car felt as if it wanted to stall. Mileage is 88,258.

- Wyandotte, MI, USA

problem #88

Jan 012016


  • 100,700 miles
Car lost power at 65 mph than reduced power and engine light came on turn car off after trying to coast to ta stop with cars and trucks flying by honking there horn and flicking me off and I was helpless the cars motor was shut off because of the power reduce and ESC than the traction control can on too all need to be serviced fine but than it did it all again after I got everything fixed and then the throttle body had to replaced again and peddle sensor and traction control sensor and still does it the car is trying to kill me and the new mechanic I took it to said he sees this a lot and its sometimes hard to fix because it comes back and than I read online the same thing I thought he was trying to get more money out of me why wont Chevrolet help GM help government needs to step in and make these car places fix this stuff befor a lot of people get killed

- Osceola, IN, USA

problem #87

Jan 232016


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. When the igniton key was turned, a loud clicking nose emitted and the engine failed to respond. In addition, the front driver and passenger side power door locks activated independently. The RPM gauge and speedometer fluctuated continuously. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 62,000.

- New Baltimore, MI, USA

problem #86

Jan 222016


  • 59,250 miles
30 minute drive to work, in rain at approximately 32 degrees, vehicle was running good until I pulled into a parking spot and an error message appeared (reduced engine power). I later left and the service engine light remained on. I then received an error message (service ESC) and later again received the (reduced engine power) while on the highway. It was snowing during this time. I was unable to fully accelerate but it felt as though the acceleration was not running well. I researched this issue and discovered many people/ Chevy Malibu owners having the same issue with no resolution; even after taking to dealer on many occasions. GM needs to recognize this issue and discover a resolution.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #85

Jan 192016


  • 79,000 miles
My 2011 Malibu while on the highway through a sensor code for multiple problems the first stating reduced engjne power, then service ES, service traction, service airbags etc... probably 8 codes. At which point on the highway I could no longer accelerate above 40mph creating a very dangerous situation for me. The car was jerking and shaking and the RPM was reving up between 500 and 1500 even after I stopped. I turned the car off fearing damage to the engine and called myhusband. He asked me turn it on again so I did and although it was now idling normally the engine light remained on. He suggested I continue my commute. I pulled back on to the highway and experienced this same dangerous problem 7 yimes between jackson mi and lansing mi. We took it in to a repairshopand they assessedwhat they could stating that it appeared to be a throttle body issue but they would have to take it apart to look at it. The mechanic also statedthat many of the Chevy made vehicles have had this problem and he was very surprised that therehad not yet been a recall on the part.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #84

Nov 252015


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 15 mph, all the warning lights illuminated and the vehicle began to lose power. The contact also stated that the power steering seized intermittently. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 115,000.

- Marion, NC, USA

problem #83

Jan 082016


  • 0 miles
After reading the many many comments here, I can say I'm lucky. Fortunately, I was not driving my car when things went haywire. I returned home from work today and my vehicle was fine. I had to run a few errands but when returning to my vehicle, I noticed this: Vehicle wouldn't start. Fast clicking sound when attempting to turn over. Doors locked and unlocked by themselves during this time. Service ESC, service traction, and ESC off appeared. Vehicle has yet to start and now have no power whatsoever throughout the vehicle. Very odd that this is not a current recall. Help?'

- Nevada, TX, USA

problem #82

Nov 182014


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 65 mph, the ESC warning light illuminated and the vehicle lost power. The failure recurred in cold weather numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine management and ignition sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Sheep Spring, NM, USA

problem #81

Jan 052015


  • 105,000 miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu has experienced numerous occasions with "hiccups" (temporary loss of power) while driving followed by flashing warning light of traction control then followed with "service ESC... service ECM... ESC off". service engine light also came on and stayed on. By the time we took the vehicle to GM service the engine service light was off and they could not duplicate the problem or get a code but recommended a new ECM. Problem occurred again and returned back to GM service with same result and recommendation. My wife commutes 1.5 hours per day and also drives our 3 children to school each day. After having the vehicle continue with these issues, the vehicle finally stalled completely, on 2 separate occasions, in heavy traffic but would eventually start and run again. She did not feel safe and would no longer drive the car so I drove the vehicle one week each day to work to witness the problems myself. Every single day while driving the vehicle would flash the same error codes on each trip to and from work finally, on the way to the GM service department, the vehicle died in the middle of busy traffic and I had to have it towed. A new ECM was installed (with a cost of $650+) and within two days of driving, the exact same problem has occurred. GM service sent a tow truck and I await their next attempt at fixing this vehicle.

- Brainerd, MN, USA

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