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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,118 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Dec 242014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


Check engine light came on, reduced engine speed, low traction lights came on, and could go over 40 mph. We stopped and let it sit for appx 5 minutes, and were able to drive it home. My son has an automotive computer we were able to hook up and it read the mass air flow sensor. We removed it and cleaned it with mass air flow sensor cleaner and replaced it. As soon as we started the car up, the check engine light went off. The car drove fine until 2-7-2015 where the exact same thing happened at appx 74,700 miles. We took it in to the dealership (coughlin automotive in circleville) on 2-14-15. They tested it and it showed the code P2135 #pip2019 they checked connectors for corrosion & damage, but found nothing. They ran the throttle sweep test. It tested ok. They cleared the code & drove & couldn't get it to do it again. They said they just can't replace parts because they cost too much, not knowing exactly what the issue is. They said if it happens again, to bring it in. My wife drives this car every day to columbus Ohio during rush hour, on state highways. I'm scared this is going to happen again during rush hour and something bad is going to happen like a serious accident and or loss of life to someone. So, does GM think parts cost more than a loss of life because of this issue"????"

- Stoutsville, OH, USA

problem #29

Feb 022015


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 65 mph, the engine shook violently, the "reduced engine power" message appeared, and the vehicle would not accelerate. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Spencer, TN, USA

problem #28

Feb 202014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu experienced problems associated with the electronic stability control and was not drivable. The consumer experienced a problem associated with the electronic stability control/ the check engine and ESC lights illuminated. The vehicle would loose acceleration and the ability to accelerate while in motion. The consumer believed the problem she experienced, was the direct result of recall 14V252000. The consumer was informed, the repair that was performed, was not covered by the recall.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #27

Jan 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


During the deep winter we had in detroit starting last Jan - the car reduces speed and engine power reduced/service ESC/service traction message comes- this happen endless times and stopped in Feb 2014 then began this past week Jan 8th, 2015 and continues to do so. The car will start shaking violently and drops speed and power eng reduced message comes - even traveling at 70 miles with 2 children inn the icy, snowy roads of mi. I have been lucky nothing happened yet but looking at the Chevy forums and others, this is a Chevrolet/GM defect that needs a recall. The dealerships are aware that there is a throttle body issue but we all can do is incur the cost to diagnose how exactly to solve this issue. GM needs to be held accountable before someone dies on the roads.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #26

Aug 262011


  • 3,400 miles
The engine keeps reducing power the engine light comes on after the car engine power reduces especially when the car sits idle warming up.the throttle body must be a defective component part of the car I took it to my mechanic he did a diagnostic tests and the codes said throttle body.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #25

Dec 232014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 72,520 miles
I was driving home from being out of town on 10/15/13 while driving on the freeway while driving about 80mph when out of no where the car started to shake and vibrate then the "traction light, service ESC, engine power turning off and car went from going 80mph to 10mph on the freeway, while a big diesel truck was behind me in which I was to be able to pull to the side to avoid being rear ended by the diesel, in which I had my 8 yr old daughter in the car and other family members. On December 23,2014, the same thing occurred while driving the car at 60mph it reduces speed to almost zero mph, shakes with the "traction sensor light and "service ESC engine power turning off comes on and the car stalls! leaving me stranded and having the vehicle towed again! the first time this occurred the dealership told me since the engine light wasn't on anymore it would be difficult to diagnose!? I continued to drive the car until the second incident! I called 2 Chevrolet dealers in fresno, ca I was told they haven't heard any complaints, which is astounding because after reading the numerous complaints on this website of others having the same issue with the same car is unbelievable until there's a law suit!

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #24

Sep 272014


  • 71,000 miles


As I was driving my 2011 Chevy Malibu home to tulsa ok from Arkansas my car dropped speed, I lost my power steering, the reduced engine power light came on, service traction ESC light came on too. When this happened I was on the highway driving 65 mph and then the car lost speed down to 15 mph. I was almost hit on the highway. I made it off the highway and stopped at a store but could not figure out what was wrong. I made it home barely and the next morning my car started and I've had no problems until Monday Dec. 22nd when I was leaving work to go home the same thing happened. I stopped and turned my car off for a little while then when I restarted it was fine. Had no more problems until christmas eve when my fiancéE and I were headed to Texas to be with relatives. We had to pull over about 5 times due to the car having the same issues. My fiancéE looked under the hood to see if he could figure out what might be wrong and all he found was that our battery cables were loose on one side. We finally decided to stop and buy a new battery cable. We made it to Texas and had no problems until we were headed back home from Texas. We made it about halfway home when we had the same problem. We had to pull off the road about 15 times total. Each time we just turned the car off for a moment. We would get back in the car and make it about 10miles down the road when the same issue started again. My fiancéE finally thought maybe our battery was going bad. We stopped and bought a new battery for $120 and replaced it. At first we thought this fixed the problem but only made it about a mile when the problem happened again. We would pull off the road and turn the car eoff and it would run good for a mile or two and we would have to pull off the road again. We didn't think we were going to make it home but we finally did.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #23

Nov 012014


  • 85,656 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, the service ESC and the traction control warning lights illuminated. The contact mentioned that there was a sudden increase of engine rpms. However, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was able to restart but the failure progressed over time. Several months later, the contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was serviced under the recall and the technician stated that the cam shaft position actuator solenoid valve needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who diagnosed that the throttle body assembly would need to be repaired. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 85,656.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #22

Aug 052014


  • miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle sudden acceleration. The consumer attempted to slow the vehicle down by apply the brake, but to no avail. As the vehicle continued to accelerated with RPM's reaching 7.5 with the engine light on. She attempted to slow the vehicle down by driving along side of a cornfield in the grass which was also unsuccessful/ it was at that point she shifted the gear into park, which jolted her sideways. The vehicle then skidded until she stopped on an incline in an area near the cornfield.

- Ogdensburg, NY, USA

problem #21

Mar 012014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle body control module connection system recall notice. The consumer stated the dealer did not inform him of any recall. The vehicle would not start. Each time, he went to the dealer, they stated nothing was wrong. On once occasion, in March 2014, the vehicle accelerated on its own. The consumer voluntarily surrendered the vehicle to the bank.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #20

Aug 272014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The contact stated that the dealer was contacted twice and was informed that the part was not available. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. The VIN was not available.

- Statesboro, GA, USA

problem #19

Aug 062014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 70,450 miles
On August 6, , 2014 I had taken my 3 kids to the lake @ dreher island state park. Upon getting ready to leave I put on brakes to see what my son asked me.for no reason the car started moving forward & I couldn't get it to stop get the wheels to turn as it was very hard & pushed the emergency brakes & it kept going till it went in the ditch on a concrete terracotta causing it to bend a piece of what was told to me the a frame & under the front end! I called the dealership & told it wasn't possible. Before this happened I could park my car & the engine would act is if it was trying to go w/O me mashing the gas or anything then idled down repeatedly acted as if it was going to shut off! I've even had 2 buy 2 new batteries, fixing to buy another! they said a connection was causing the battery to be drained & cells killed. On the interstate 2 days ago I had the cruise control on, for no reason it started losing speed then would start catching back up on it's own & I turned it off! the motor made a screeching noise! I have no idea what's going on! even my tail lights wouldn't come on last night until I mashed the breaks a few times, cut off the lights, & restarted the car! my major issue is now I'm going to have to file a claim for the incident & I had no part of being @ fault & can't explain what happened! it still idles wrong & the cruise control light comes on @ times w/O me touching it! I'm beginning to worry about the safety of my children as well as myself, but especially my kids! what can I do? please help me as this can't be normal! so far the engine light has came on, power steering light, air pressure light, & @ one point a red light came on & went off before I could see what it was! if you could do anything@ all to help & assist me I would be truly grateful! all I'm told is parts aren't in to fix some kind of recall, but what I don't know! thanks & god bless!

- Newberry, SC, USA

problem #18

Jul 162014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Currently there is a safety recall number 13036 on my vehicle. I was directed by GM to take my vehicle to the nearest dealership and have a diagnostic test ran on the vehicle for potential problems with the wiring harness. When the vehicle diagnostic test was done there were no issues found in regards to codes being displayed. This test was not the test that was supposed to be done according to a GM representative since they have no information on the recall itself, other then what was listed in the recall letter. When I expressed my concern for the safety issues since I have been experiencing them all along I was told I would have to drive the vehicle until parts were available. I was also told that the vehicle was safe to drive, regardless of the potential for an increased risk of a crash due to the circumstances of the recall. I also did not receive any information in regards to the test that was performed on my vehicle by the dealership, which I was told by the GM representative was also incorrect. II was originally told by a GM representative that the parts were also available regardless of what the letter stated and that I should disregard that portion of the letter. This was also determined to be false as the parts are not available until mid August according to a GM rep at a later date. As of yet there has been no resolution to the issues I have experienced while driving and parked. These issues include the increased travel needed to stop the vehicle as well as the ecs being displayed as not functioning while parked and driving. Although my wife and I both have expressed our concerns with the vehicles safety and its current issues GM has failed to provide any resolution to the problems or the issue with the recall, when they could simply authorize a rental or service loaner rom the dealership.

- Girard, PA, USA

problem #17

Jun 112014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing the failure mentioned in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). While driving, the vehicle decelerated and would not accelerate past 5 mph. In addition, the ESC warning indicator illuminated. The dealer stated that the ESC failed. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #16

Dec 302013


  • 77,400 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated when she started the vehicle the engine power reduced warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle lunged forward and stalled. The dealer replaced the throttle body. The failure recurred and the warning light (ssible) illuminated. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 77,400. The VIN was not available.

- Merrinett Park, IL, USA

problem #15

Dec 202013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
This has happened to me 6 times now. The first time this happened, I was about 70 miles outside of atlanta going 70 mph on the highway surrounded by 18 wheelers. Suddenly my traction light and service engine light came on and the reduced power notification came on, the car slowed to about 10 miles an hour very suddenly and the car was shaking violently. The 18 wheeler behind me could not stop fast enough and the only reason I was not hit was because I was able to veer onto the shoulder. Terrified, I sat on the side of the road for several minutes after turning the car off. I started it again and it began driving normally, but the service engine light stayed on. Since I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere and it was extremely dark, I got back on the road again to get home. I made it to atlanta, but the same thing happened again when I was entering the city on the loop. I basically coasted home. Since then, this has happened 5 more times. My car is currently at jim ellis Chevrolet in atlanta where I left it last night. Need immediate help. My entire story can be found on this forum. my posts are under [xxx]3. I am hoping for some sort of resolution so I will not have to retain a lawyer.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #14

Nov 062013


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving approximately 65 mph the check engine and traction control sensor lights illuminated and the warning "engine power reduced" was displayed. The contact indicated that the vehicle speed was reduced and would not accelerate past 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the throttle body position sensor was faulty. The sensor was replaced and the defect was remedied. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Southerland, VA, USA

problem #13

May 082013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I purchased my 2011 Malibu in April 2012. Initially, I was experiencing power surges upon breaking. I was slowing down to come to a complete stop and my car would surge forward before stopping. The dealership replaced a sensor. I'm still experiencing the surges occasionally. The next time I took it in because I was getting a lot of noise and vibration when driving on a rough a surface. The dealership replaced the steering column. It was fine for a year, now that problem is returning. During the winter 2013, my rear defrost stopped working. I took it in and was told that the rear fuse block was melted and it will cost $535 to have it replaced. And another $230 to have the driver's side seat belt replaced---- it doesn't connect securely without fiddling with it. I think there should be recalls issued on all of these problems because I have read blogs and others are having the same issues, and they are all related to the safety of the vehicle.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #12

Feb 012014


  • miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle goes into "limp mode" while driving. Engine light, low traction warning and engine power reduced light would display. The consumer stated the vehicle would automatically and instantly lose power down to 25 mph. The vehicle would shake rather violently. The incident occurred over a period of 2 weeks. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and a diagnosis revealed 2 error codes. The throttle body and the screen on the exhaust camshaft position actuator solenoid valve was restricted and needed to be replaced.

- Wilmington, OH, USA

problem #11

Feb 252014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 47,300 miles
I was driven in highway 40 mph suddenly I lost control of the cars' speed because the engine stopped responding to its normal functions. This ultimately lowered my speed down to 11 mph. This almost resulted in me getting involved in a high speed collision with the vehicle behind me.

- Niles, IL, USA

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