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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,463 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 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Aug 182014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles


On numerous occasions, when I'm approaching a yellow light and/or a car that's in front of me while only driving approximately 20mph, when I attempt to apply my brakes I have to apply a lot of pressure to get my car to slow down and it honestly feels as though my car isn't going to stop. I would hate to be driving my car one day and my car doesn't stop and I'm involved in a car accident that leaves me severely injured or takes my life and/or someone else's life as well. Also, many times I have to apply a lot of pressure to my gas pedal in order for it to accelerate and actually move. I understand that my vehicle has been recalled and the dealer is waiting for GM to provide them the parts in order to repair my vehicle, but I don't think my life should be at such risk while waiting for GM to receive parts. Am I suppose to just keep driving around hoping my car doesn't give out on me in the middle of the road even though there is a known extreme safety hazard with my vehicle" my life is more valuable than that. Could I be provided a rental vehicle until GM provides the parts to repair my vehicle? or could I be refunded for my vehicle? seeing that there has been numerous car accidents and serious injuries related to this particular defect within the vehicle, I should not be driving my vehicle until it is fixed. Otherwise, I could be the next person involved in a serious car accident. So in closing, I would like to know if I could be placed in a rental car until my car is repaired or refunded for the price of my vehicle"

- Prattville, AL, USA

problem #17

Jul 192014


  • 8,500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number:14V252000 ( electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control) and stated that the part needed was unavailable to perform the repair. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Sanford, NC, USA

problem #16

Aug 182014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 39,200 miles
At approximately 9am on Aug 18, 2014, the brake system started to fail. Driver noticed that when brakes were applied it make a loud noise coming from the front end of the vehicle. Issue continued for the next few miles where it took an excessive amount of pressure to get the brakes to engage. Pedal goes almost all the way down to the floor to get any braking action.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #15

Aug 052014


  • miles


My car was involved in an accident where my friend applied the brakes and was forced into hydroplaning into a barrier, another vehicle and a person. My airbags did not deploy as the sensor was not hit nor did the onstar become alerted that the vehicle had been in an accident. After fighting with insurance companies, my car was totaled then declared not totaled, and repaired. I received the notice of a recall much later after the car was in the accident.

- Lake Stevens, WA, USA

problem #14

Jul 102014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 43,540 miles
My son was driving my car down a two lane highway. It had been misting rain and the road was slightly damp... approaching an intersection he reduced his speed to approx 40 mph. Two cars ahead of him slammed on breaks when the light changed to yellow. This caused a chain reaction... cars sliding to prevent hitting the first car. My son said that he was breaking very hard when the anti-lock breaks engaged... they pulsed 3-4 times and then released which shot him straight into the back of the truck. He said that he was pushing the break as hard as he could when this occurred. The air bags did not deploy nor did the automatic crash response system work. I called on star to see if the system even shows a crash and it doesn't. I think that considering the crash bent the frame in the front end and is in excess of $6,000 you would think the sensors would have picked up on something. After the crash I contacted my dealer to ask if there were any recalls on this issue and was told there were not. I am very thankful that this crash did not result in a more serious injury / death.

- Callahan, FL, USA

problem #13

Jul 242014


  • miles
TL - the contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (service brakes, electrical, etc). The contact stated that the parts to complete the recall repair were not available and the contact was concerned of the safety hazard involved. The contact wanted to know when the parts would become available and stated that it was abnormally long for recall repairs. The manufacturer was made aware of the delay. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 212014


  • 19,264 miles


I was reaching out to you because of this recall letter that I received on my car. Recall 13036. I believe that I was sold a lemon. It should not be my responsibility to cont. To make payments on a car that is not at the quality that I believe I was purchasing it at. I would like to see one of two things done. You guys take over the payments until this car can be repaired or I be upgraded to a 2013 at no additional cost to me. The law requires a manufacturer to repair the defect, replace the vehicle, or refund the purchase price of the car minus the depreciation. I've been to the dealer they said they could not repair it because they have no parts and GM does not even know when they will get the parts. I should not have to put the safety of my family in danger because of this recall it's unfair to me as a consumer. Can you please contact me asap. Thanks

- Rahway , NJ, USA

problem #11

Jul 112014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
Driving and car had severe electrical problem that caused the car to randomly stall while driving. We lost power steering and power brakes. The instrument panel starting going crazy displaying all lights, saying device ESC and the doors locked and unlocked. The engine stalled and transmission started jolting around. The car would not turn back on after turning it off. Took the car to starling Chevrolet to get it fixed the following Monday since closed Sunday. Before taking to the dealer took the car to auto zone to check the battery. Autozone stating battery was great. Chevrolet didn't look at the car at all Monday, and Tuesday stated we need new battery. I advised of auto zone reading and was told autzone was wrong. Picked up the car Tuesday after having a brand new battery put in for $270. Today is the following Friday and the car did everything again while driving and will not start. Now I have to tow the car to Chevy again.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #10

Sep 302013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
When I purchased this vehicle from mac haik Chevrolet in 2012 with 30miles on it. It drove great for the first 3 months. Then when I would reverse the car to leave I would here a noise on the right rear of the car. So I took off thinking it was the rain that caused the noise on the brakes. Then sometimes I would hear it when I start slowing down. I took the car to the dealer ship they told me nothing was wrong with the brakes. So I left every morning I would hear the same noise for the next 6 months I took it to a garage where they check the brakes for free. They looked at the right rear brake rotor and they told me it had a groove on the rotor caused by something with the brake system. It could be a bad brake pad. They told me to take it back to the dealership so I did. All they told me was it's not that bad and that there's nothing they can do about it. I had the garage check the rest of the brakes they had no grooves at the time I took it in. It's 07/16/2014 and still have the same problem. I called them to see if there is a recall on my vehicle and they said no. Please help me or let me know what I can do.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #9

May 012014


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the electronic stability control and the service traction warning lights illuminated and the chimes sounded. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred on five occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who re-calibrated the brake pedal pressure sensor. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake pedal needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 12,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Jun 152014


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph and while pressing the brake pedal to slow the vehicle down, the electronic stability control sensor light suddenly illuminated and the brakes failed to engage. The contact indicated that once the ESC sensor light turned off the brakes operated as normal. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #7

Nov 142013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
My engine light came on, so I shut the car down and restarted, engine light went off, however when I pulled out of parking space, I noticed a grinding sound coming from the front of my car, then my breaks starting squeaking really bad. Now I constantly hear that sound when starting my car in early mornings, the squeaking is constant. Also my radio and defrost goes in and out, my radio shuts down by itself and then returns on, my back defroster doesn't seem to work, when it rains, my back window is not defrost, so I can't use my back window for viewing when we have heavy rain or extremely cold weather.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #6

Apr 152014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Was driving on lake shore driving when I had to slow down only to have to push the bakes down to the floor and that should not be. This has happen a lot and I have not had this vehicle for a year yet. Now I'm scared to drive my car.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

Mar 122014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
On two separated occasions I have had to make a hard stop. After these stops my brakes become very soft and low. I could not drive on freeways or highways because my brakes were too weak and too low to stop the car at those speeds.. after the first occasion in March, the brakes were unable for a week before they reset to normal use. After the second occasion (happened first week in April 2014) the brakes were unable and did not reset to normal until May 5th 2014. The fact that my bakes are defected puts me and my passenger, and other drivers at risk, and not knowing when and where this may happen again makes me very nervous knowing I may be in harms way at any time. If you have any suggestions for resolving this problem, please let me know.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #4

Jul 012012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
I was driving home from work with my wife in the passenger seat and upon approaching a red signal at an intersection I felt a vibration under my foot as I came to stop. I thought it may have been uneven road conditions or something in the road and disregarded it. Later that day, I felt the same vibration as I had stopped and heard a noticeable grinding noise. I went to the dealer where I had purchased the vehicle to have it inspected and they could not duplicate the issue, nor could they find a root cause. Over the course of the next 8 months, the vibrations had gotten worse and more frequent. The vehicle has been serviced 5 times for the issue and the problem still exists worse than ever. One dealer, which I have returned to on multiple instances for this problem, was able to duplicate the issue, smell a noticeable aroma of burning brakes, identify I had a serious brake problem, but were not able to determine the cause for the failure, thus not correcting any faults. It has progressed to the point where the pedal will go almost down to the floor before the brakes will engage. It has almost caused several accidents due to the failure and the vehicle is no longer safe to drive. The mileage of the first failure was about 6000 miles and it currently has 16,000 miles on the vehicle with no resolution. Several online searches yield the same issue on the 2008-2012 Chevy Malibu as well as the 2008-2010 Saturn aura which share the same platform.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #3

Jul 062012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 1,100 miles
Vehicle (2012 Malibu) was purchased April 2012 - starting July 2012 vehicle would stall going down the road, with loss of engine, power assist steering and power assist brakes. Dealer replaced numerous modules, but it occurred again in Sept 2012 (3 times) then again in January 2013. Two body control modules have been replaced, engine control modules, two power steering modules, onstar module, transmission control module, etc. Unintended power steering assist occurs such that within approximately 5 seconds while driving down the road, power steering comes in and out as module fails (along with engine and transmission). Very unsafe to drive. Dealer would not replace vehicle and GM states they stand by last repair. It has been repaired 6 times now, but we refuse to drive vehicle, as we believe there must be a short somewhere. They keep stating it is defective modules and they just keep replacing them. Please see youtube videos: "2012 Chevy Malibu - unintended power steering assist failure mode"" "2012 Chevy Malibu dangerous electrical problem - any ideas""

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #2

Dec 012011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,800 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while traveling 15 mph, he tried to apply the brakes at which time an excessive amount of effort had to be applied and a loud cracking noise could be heard coming from the front end. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where the failure could not be replicated. Several repairs had been made to different components of the vehicle but to no avail. The manufacturer was contacted about the issue. The failure mileage was 1800 and the current mileage was 13,100. Updated 2/15/13 the consumer stated the failure was replicated around 10/3/12 by service manager and their mechaniccould not find the cause. The general manager advised the vehicle was safe to drive. As of 1/17/2013 the vehicle had not been repaired. Updated 02/20/2013

- Reader, WV, USA

problem #1

Aug 012012


  • 2,255 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the emergency brake foot lever failed. The contact mentioned that when the foot lever was depressed the emergency brake would not engage. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the emergency brake lever. The remedy failed to correct the problem. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 2,255.

- Winter Park , FL, USA

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