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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,639 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Nov 032014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles


I was driving the Malibu on the highway and the steering wheel began shaking and the dash board indicated that the power steering was out and that the ESC must be serviced. I took the car to Chevrolet and was told that there is a recall on this issue but my VIN was not covered. The mechanic said that my issue with the Malibu is the same issue that is currently listed as a recall for other Malibu (s) of the same year. This has happened many times. I searched for this issue with other Malibu owners and learned that this is a common issue. This is very dangerous and scary especially when driving on the highway. I have high mileage because I drive 160 miles to work each day. Please add my car VIN to the recall list.

- Ypsilanti , MI, USA

problem #19

Jun 012014


  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the power steering failed and the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician stated that the power steering module needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 18,000.

- Montcalm, WV, USA

problem #18

Sep 072014


  • miles
While backing up; steering wheel locked up on the left side; dashboard screen read power steering malfunction; service soon; the dealership states part is not under recall; but other readings have suggested that it is; on July 25,2014; I was involved in a collision that occurred while making a left turn......on 9/8/ ; steering completely lock and made turn extremely difficult.

- Butner, NC, USA

problem #17

Sep 262013


  • miles


My service ESC light kept coming on and I took the car to the dealer and they didn't know why it was on other than some kind of glitch and they made it turn off. In July of 2014 I got the safety recall letter and have yet to hear anything. The light us on again and steering is funny and other lights are coming on for no reason. Tells me my tires need air and they do not! my children ride in this car!

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #16

Sep 052014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 22,500 miles
Approaching a left turn lane when power steering failed and I could barely turn the wheel to get through the left turn. Very difficult to steer car to drive the 1 mile back to home. I see on the recall list many GM cars with power steering failure recall but not my year and vehicle. I don't think they fixed the problem and my car should be added to the recall list.

- Northglenn, CO, USA

problem #15

Feb 212014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 53,298 miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to the powertrain components warranty coverage and requests reimbursement for repairs. The consumer included the invoice for the power steering high pressure hose, that had to be replaced, because it was leaking.

- Vermillion, SD, USA

problem #14

Aug 012013


  • 34,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the steering wheel seized making the steering wheel difficult to maneuver. The contact also mentioned that while shifting into reverse, all the warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel and the engine stalled. The vehicle was able to be restarted. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact was aware of NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control) but did not confirm if the vehicle was included. The approximate failure mileage was 34,000.

- Sugarhill, GA, USA

problem #13

Jun 052014


  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving at unknown speeds, the steering wheel became very difficult to turn. The contact indicated when the failure occurred, the electronic stability control and the power steering sensor lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 31,000.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #12

May 142014


  • miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle power steering loss while driving.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #11

Jun 042014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Have heard a clanking/clunking noise in steering since vehicle was purchased in Nov 2013. Not always but on occasion and it became a normal driving noise in the vehicle after several people tried to diagnose what I was hearing and feeling in the steering. Noise became louder the last couple weeks and 4 days ago it made a loud banging noise and was difficult to turn in either direction. No noticeable change in control at this point just seemed a little loose. Yesterday while driving on the interstate at 70 mph on a S curve, as I attempted to steer the car right to follow the curve midway I noticed it was not responding and continued to cross the lane I slowed my speed by pressing the brake lightly and the car began to respond to my steering I exited the interstate and stopped. I laid under the vehicle and used my foot to turn steering wheel back and forth. It was loud resistant and had minimal response to half turns of the wheel. I am almost no longer in control of the vehicle and its getting worse with every slight turn of the wheel. Im afraid that if I hadn't known that driving the car in these conditions is dangerous I may have continued to do so and eventually crashed. What is so frightening is that the majority of people who operate a vehicle think that little noises like this one started as aren't anything major. With the lack of vehicle knowledge things could easily progress into serious injury or fatality's. I have 3 kids under 10 and a crash at any speed after loosing steering control could kill driver, passengers, pedestrians other innocent people. Something needs to be done.

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #10

Apr 172014


  • 38,910 miles


When driving at any speed and you make a right there is a notice sounds like coming from right wheel and rubbing noise in steering wheel. When parking and turning the steering wheel makes the rubbing sound. Took the to the dealership on a Tuesday got oil changed and was told warranty was over and need brakes and fuel and throttle body service. Went back to same dealership on Thursday charged $85. To tell me that steering gear and rack needed to be replaced for a price of over $800. I declined service since not equipped for a bill like that since the car is so new. I brought the car brand new December of 2010. This is clearly a safety issue and something of this magnitude should need replacing in 3 years. I have seen multiple complaints from other Malibu owners so this is clearly a defect with the manufacturing of the vehicle. Please recall!!

- Wilmington , DE, USA

problem #9

Aug 012013


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that after starting the engine, the steering wheel became very difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact indicated that the failure occurred twice. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 30,000.

- King George, VA, USA

problem #8

Apr 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2011 Malibu 4dr sdn lt, that has a rattle in the steering column and it also seems to be reproducing the same noise when driving at lower speeds in parking lots and in city traffic at speeds under 30 mph on course roads/pavement. Took to dealer and they fixed per notice #PI0372. That notice advised the dealer to put two additional wave washers to the brake pedal connector pin where it connects to the power booster pushrod. Guess what, I picked-up my car after 6pm & everyone in service had gone home..the noise still exists. Obviously if the repair tech had taken it out for a test drive and listened he could have heard and felt that the noise was still very prevalent. Now I must take some more time off from work and return to the dealer and go thru this all over again.has anyone else had any similar complaints about the steering rattling and or feeling loose on their Malibu 2011 ??

- Castleton, NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 242013


  • 35,000 miles
The electronic steering went out....the car was pulling to the left...raining...barely made it off the road without an accident....took to the dealer and the dealer replaced the motor.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Feb 212014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
First noticed a tick in the steering as I was driving on the highway. No message appeared on the dic yet. A couple days later, turned the car on and noticed no power steering and a message showed up that read "ESC failure" which upon my understanding is the electronic stability control. Turned key off and back on and no message and had regained power steering. This happened a few times on and off for a couple weeks but never lost power while driving so put off because I figured it would be costly to take to the dealer. Now, after a couple weeks, the steering wheel would jerk and twitch constantly driving and parked. Had it fixed March 7th and cost me $800. Had to replace the whole thing I was told. Was hoping it would be just a sensor or motor. If that is true, it's a poor design. After seeing all these issues, one would think there would be some kind of recall, but I guess someone has to die for that to happen.

- South Beloit, IL, USA

problem #4

Jul 152013


  • 35,000 miles
Driving down two lane road at around 45 to 50 mph, light rain.....puddles on uneven surfaced road started to gather, car started to hydroplane and wanted to go left into oncoming traffic on left....tried to move car to the right to avoid accident.....slowed way down and turned off road into parking lot. Took car for repair and the steering motor was bad and replaced.

- Mind, IL, USA

problem #3

Mar 082012


  • 28,000 miles
I purchased my car in Feb. Of 2012 as of today my car has been in the shop 10 different times for the same thing. The steering vibrates when you drive and it loses power when shifting. Then, I had to get a new motor in the car May 2013, then it was rattling again so I took it up there. They told me that the transmission problem was that it needed a program upgrade and that I had to pay out of pocket $60.70 for this upgrade. Two days later the whole car shuts down on me and they are now saying that it is an app module and it needs to be re-programmed. I am tired of paying all this tow bills and fees for a car that does not run and it not safe for my kids to ride in.

- Valmeyer, IL, USA

problem #2

Nov 252011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 6,800 miles
This problem occurred first in November 2011. The engine stopped, there was no steering, service ESC, the engine light came on. The vehicle was restarted but would not move when put in gear. Today is the second time this same problem has occurred. Chevy said the problem was repaired in November, but now it's back. The Malibu is back at Chevy for the second time for this problem. We experienced another incident 2 weeks ago but after starting the car again the problem was not there and has not surfaced until now. I certainly hope this problem is resolved this time for good. I feel very uncomfortable pulling into traffic.

- Bentleyville, PA, USA

problem #1

Nov 252011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 6,801 miles
As I was driving about 30mph on a Suburban rd. The Malibu jerked a couple of times then the (service ESC) light came on along with other lights and the car stopped moving. It also had a (car locked) symbol lit on the dash. There have been other similar complaints and there is no excuse for this. We pay good money to drive a new car so we don't have breakdowns, not to mention the possibilities of getting hit when this fault occurs maybe even being taken out of the population.

- Bentleyville, PA, USA

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