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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,226 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.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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2012 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

Sep 012016


  • 52,000 miles


Several systems have been affected. The systems affected are the radio controls on the steering wheel, the power steering, the traction control and the rear defrost. There seems to be a short that goes from system to system. Modern Chevrolet in winston salem, nc said it was a short in wires on the steering column that was causing this. There are three recalls that would deal with this. The recalls are for steering, traction control and finally wiring. Both modern Chevrolet and Chevrolet corporate have said my vehicle is not covered due to the VIN #. I do not see where that matters. If a part is bad then all vehicles that part is used on should be covered no matter what. The steering was the most affected. The power steering would go out and it was very difficult to steer the car. This happened on several different occasions.

- Welcome, NC, USA

problem #35

Sep 122016


  • 75,000 miles
While in motion more than two dozen times on city streets, on busy highways and while turning in a busy intersection with children in the car. 2012 Chevy Malibu stops while in motion on the above stated streets, highways and intersections. Read where someone beat on the rear fuse box then car starts so I tried it and it works for a little while but doesnt solve said problem. Checked battery. Battery is good. Check engine light and ESC light stays on. ESC light only goes off at high mph. Have to let car sit for awhile to start before knew about fuse box trick. Someone that tried to help me get off middle of busy street said it sounds like a fuel delivery problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #34

Aug 012016


  • 101 miles
My Chevy Malibu 2012 started giving me safety issues, I have had the car for 4 months, I am currently financing the car thru bridgecrest (drive time). I will be in motin going the speed limit on a highway, in the city, on country roads bacially anywhere and the car will shut off and lock down, the key will still be in the "on" position but everything else cuts off as in all lights, the engine, the doors will lock and I will put it in park, put the switch in the "off" position and sometimes it will crank right back up and other times it wont. Sometimes when it cranks back up it will drive for a few seconds and then shut off again. Does this 5X in a row sometimes. When the car is cranked and back in motion a warning sign of a pad lock and a car pops up and will eventually go away. Unknown

- Liberty, NC, USA

problem #33

Jul 232016


  • miles


In Sept 2014 they had to replace the whole steering column and sensors because service ESC and traction light was on after twice I took it to the dealership it got fixed and know guess what it's on again.but not all the time is becoming more frequent. I have the powertrain warranty left but they say it is almost always never covered on that and the parts they put on in 2014 the warranty is expired on those. I have not had it tested yet but this is uncalled for. I have had recall after recall on various things. From what I have seen online there should be one on this also. I think next car will be older car and I will just work on it myself.this has been going on for about a month now.

- Big Stone Gap, VA, USA

problem #32

Jun 092016


  • 51,048 miles
Recall 13036. Had recall work done 11-04-14. On 6-17-16 had exact symptoms described in the original recall notice. Dealer (kerbeck Chevrolet of atlantic city, NJ) checked and said only needed to reprogram ecbm and recalibrate brake pedal position, paid $143.59. Car made it 1 mile then same problem. After trying several parts which had to be ordered final bill was additional $455.71 I feel the repair should have been covered under recall but GM said it was up to the servicing dealer whether repair qualified for coverage! I feel this is a conflict of interest to have the dealers service department make the call. I'm hoping to be reimbursed for all repairs due to this same problem. Also dubious as to whether all the parts were need! I also wanted to go on record about this in case other people run into this problem. Please let me know if I need to address this problem to any other Agency as well. Error codes showed up while operating vehicle.

- Galloway, NJ, USA

problem #31

Jun 252016


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving various speeds, the electronic stability control and traction control system warning lights illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #30

Jun 252016


  • 98,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while making a right turn at approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver as the ESC warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Great Falls, MT, USA

problem #29

Jun 092016


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 20-25 mph, the vehicle experienced a loss of power steering and the ESC and power steering warning indicators illuminated. The power steering functioned normally after a brief period of time. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 136,000. The VIN was not provided.

- Plumas Lake, CA, USA

problem #28

May 212016


  • 120,000 miles
I had a problem with my 2012 Chevrolet Malibu 2 times now in the past 2 weeks. The car begins to idle extremely rough and looses nearly all of the engine power as if it is running on 1 or 2 cylinders. The service ESC, service traction and engine pwr reduced notifications display on my dash as pictured. I turned the car off and let it sit and then restarted the car to find it runs perfect and has no warning messages or symbols on. This is a very serious safety problem that GM needs to address. I searched this issue online just to find it is very common and nobody provides a fix.. I really wish that I had never purchased a GM vehicle.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #27

May 162016


  • 111,100 miles
I was driving at 60 mph in cruise control on a straight road. An ambulance was heading towards me so I stepped on the brakes to slow down and pull over and the car accelerated very quickly. This was a very dangerous situation because I was moving towards the shoulder of the road because of the oncoming ambulance. I had to turn off cruise control to be able to apply the brakes. The brake lights are also not coming on when I apply the brakes. The problem with the lighting happened previously and was repaired on 04/28/2015. I thought the problem was included in recall #13036 but I was told that it was a problem with the brake switch and was not part of the recall however when I look up the recall numbers on my vehicle this recall number does not show up as still needing to be done. I paid for the repair and I am now having the serious problem of the brake lights not working again plus the even more serious problem of the brakes not working when I am in cruise control. I do not know how to proceed with having this problem corrected. The recall problem has not been repaired correctly or there is another problem that is occurring. I have attached a copy of my receipt of the repair that was done on 04/28/15.

- Ellenburg Depot, NY, USA

problem #26

May 022016


  • 45,000 miles


When slowing down, or parked with car running, the RPM bounces from 1-2 rpms. Light on dashboard says "service ESC". and the traction control lights come on briefly. Problem is, this was a recall in 2014, I took it to the dealership where I bought it, had it repaired. Now, almost a year later its acting up again! I called the dealership, they said now I'm responsible to fix it. I feel if they didnt fix it the first time, they should fix it again. It may have been a faulty replacement part for all I know. I still have 2 years left on the payments, now looking at electrical repair"?" its a safety hazard, and should be covered if there was a recall on it, and should remain open.

- Angola, NY, USA

problem #25

Mar 112016


  • 94,000 miles
When driving, at low speed in the city, or on the highway at speed, power steering and power brakes intermittently fail without warning (according to the repairing dealer, vehicle is unsafe and should not be driven); dash gauges go on and off; traction control and electronic stability control turn own and off without warning; dash lights go on and off without warning; bells and buzzers ring; door locks cycle, and theft deterrent warnings illuminate. Dealer has attempted multiple times to repair it by replacing the body control module. It is at the dealer service department now, has been there for a full week and at this point is still unsafe

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #24

Jan 172016


  • 88,000 miles
Driving on highway and service ESC light came on and car started losing power. Dealer said it was a faulty steering angle torque sensor.

- Amery, WI, USA

problem #23

Oct 122015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the service electronic stability traction control warning light flashed as the vehicles speed reduced. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was parked at the contacts residence. The vehicle was also included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V269000 (seat belts) but the part was not available and did not indicate a time frame that the parts would become available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #22

Jan 022016


  • 46,000 miles
Driving down the city road at 55 mph, I heard three bells and on the dashboard it read "service ESC...service ESC...traction control off" the vehicle then simultaneously began to reduce engine power and the steering wheel locked and became unlocked within seconds. This caused swerving and a near accident. I see recalls for this issue but the VIN does not show an open recall for this issue.

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #21

Dec 072015


  • 92,000 miles
Hard to shift out of park and the traction control disable comes on and the brakes lights will quit working and the stability control shuts off while driving down the road. I researched and I see there was a recall for all this. Recall # 14V252000 is all the same symptoms I am experiencing and I called the dealer and they said my VIN is not listed. This needs to be taken care of I was almost rear ended twice due to the brake lights not working when it acts

- Onalaska, WI, USA

problem #20

Dec 012015


  • 45,400 miles
When I started my car this morning, it was rumbling and sounded very loud, when I got in the car the service engine and traction lights were both on. The message read to service ESC. It also stated that I had reduced engine power. I drove to work (3.5 miles). The car crawled along finally being able to get up to 40 mph. I had to stop at a major intersection where 2 highways intersect. While stopped, my car lunged out into the center of traffic. This is not acceptable and was a frightening experience. Thank god I didn't have my 2 sons with me. Once I arrived at work, my car wanted to again lunge forward as I tried to park it. I've read online where many Chevrolet owners with cars the same age and similar miles are having the same issue. I only have 45,000 miles on the car. I'd like to know why there isn't a recall on this very serious and potentially deadly issue. There are several semi trucks that are traveling the highway I had to cross this morning. GM is lucky this isn't one of my family members reporting a deadly incident to the media. This must be addressed by GM before there are casualties and life lost. I will be awaiting a prompt response.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #19

Mar 112015

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact had the vehicle repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control); however, the failure recurred. While driving approximately 45 mph, the traction control warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the BCM module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 22,000. Updated 02/12/16 the consumer has since sold the vehicle. Updated 02/22/16.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #18

Oct 272015


  • 60,000 miles
Power ESC, traction control, reduced power to engine, and tire lights all came on. Car would not go over 30 mph. Car was hesitating and cutting off and once placed in drive car took off by itself with rpms at 3 and same with reverse, I took foot off brake and car took off in reverse with rpms a bit over 2. air conditioning will not work steadily and its been to a few shops and brakes will not work properly and they have been changed twice.

- Morton, MS, USA

problem #17

Oct 162015


  • 66,000 miles
A couple of months ago, I was driving. 10mph or lower and all of a sudden my cars ESC turned itself off. I had difficulty steering it and veered off the road. Thankfully I was able to regain control. I reported it to the dealer, and when my car went in for it's 3rd recall in 2 years, they looked at it. They told me they could not get the problem to duplicate. Then today, as I was parking in NY driveway, I started rolling my windows up when I noticed they were particullary slow. I put the car in park, turned my car off, but the key back in and tried to restart it, only to hear clicking and my steering wheel to be completely locked up. Alot of indicators came on, including the cars security indicator. My car is at 66K miles, but we do routine maintenance and it has never been involved in a car accident.

- Gatesville, TX, USA

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