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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,540 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #13

Jan 262015


  • 61,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the steering failed on the vehicle. The failure caused the contact to drive into a snow bank. The contact stated that the power steering light illuminated on the instrument and the traction control light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact stated that the failure prevented the vehicle from being steered. The contact spoke with the manufacturer and was informed that the electronic steering module was not under recall and that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system) even though the body control module needed to be replaced. The contact received this information from a senior safety supervisor from GM. The failure occurred four times. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 61,000.

- Lewiston, ME, USA

problem #12

Feb 182015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 76,800 miles
Vehicle has random loss of electronic steering assist, which leaves no power steering. Also service ABS, ESC and traction warning lights, eps causes vehicles steering wheel to shake without vehicle being in motion. GM recalled thousands of Malibu's in Feb. Of 2015 for eps issues but my year is not included. Coincidence? highly doubtful. Vehicle it's scheduled for diagnosis on Wednesday. Car was repaired for an earlier recall concerning brake systems.

- Bismarck, ND, USA

problem #11

Aug 122014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 51,250 miles
While driving the power steering would turn off and it is very difficult to drive (steer). The problem is that it has electronic steering control module which warms up and cuts out the power steering. It will display "power steering service ESC" and symbol comes on. This is an unexpected ongoing problem like in the morning it will be O.K. but late in the afternoon it could happen while driving.

- Vail, AZ, USA

problem #10

Oct 112014


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owned a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while making a left turn, another vehicle crashed into the rear passenger side of the contact's vehicle. The contact stated that the steering wheel and steering column detached from the vehicle, which landed on the contact's lap. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact was concerned that if the steering air bag deployed, he would have sustained possible fatal injuries. A police report was filed. The front passenger sustained back bruises that required medical attention. The vehicle was towed to an impound lot. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,000.

- Craesson, PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 112014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
I was rear ended and the steering wheel and shaft completely dislodged onto my lap.the air bag did not deploy. I was pushed approximately 150 ft. And there was no way I could have steered if there was another vehicle coming up the highway. If airbag would have deployed there would have been serious injury to myself.

- Cresson, PA, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Apr 252014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles


Started my 2012 Chevy Malibu up and power steering light came on and also service ESC. Car had no power steering. This was after the first night of events I was at. So I drove it to the hotel I was at. Found out when trying to correct the problem that it has a electronic power steering. Drove it to a dealership but they couldn't service it on the weekend. I was 3 hours from my home at an event. So I drove it back to my hotel with no power steering. So I drove for roughly an hour with lights on and no power steering. Then was about to head to the day two of the event about 5 hours later and everything works again. I don't know what I need to fix on it at all now. My girl friend was driving when the power steering messed up and she never has lost power steering before and she couldn't even turn the wheel. So I had to drive it for her.

- Robinson, IL, USA

problem #6

Dec 132012


  • 24,000 miles
I was heading southbound colerain.. as I was going through a green light this young lady kept on coming at me and I slammed my brakes on and move my steering wheel in a hard way to avoid her hitting me and also last year slamming my brakes to avoid hitting a car infront of me that there was an accident on 75 South bound in Kentucky my steering wheel has some play in it.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #5

Jan 152014


  • 36,999 miles
07/2013 service ESC msg and symbol came on, dealer unable to find 01/07/2014 same 01/15/2014 again, GM paid half of the repair, because the first time it happen and was notice by dealer, I believe GM should paid the whole cost, as this is a safety issue, effects steering and stabilization of the vehicle.

- Burtbarnett, TX, USA

problem #4

Jul 012013


  • miles
I purchased the car in March 2013. It only had 18,000 miles on it. While slowing, such as exiting the interstate, as the car down shifts, it down shifts hard. Especially going from 3rd gear to 2nd and then 1st. It seems to have a slight delay when trying to pick up speed. More so when you have slowed and then sped back up, like when someone is turning and you have to slow for them. There is an awful noise in the dash around the steering column. If you are on a gravel road, it sounds like the dash/steering column is going to fall onto your feet. Its a rattle type sound.

- Ripley, WV, USA

problem #3

Feb 292012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 11 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the front end of the vehicle started to wobble at 55 mph and above. The contact also stated that the dealer did an alignment four times and replaced the steering column once but the failure recurred. The rear right wheel had been leaning outward from the time the vehicle was purchased and had not been corrected by the alignment. The failure mileage was 11 and the current mileage was 19,500. The consumer stated from the day she purchased the vehicle, the steering was difficult to control. As time went on, the problem became worse. The vehicle was wobbly, choppy and careening. It was difficult to control on uneven pavement roads and streets and extremely difficult to maintain at 55 mph and higher. Each time the consumer went to the dealer, the vehicle was out of alignment. At times, the steering was very loose. Also, the shifting was erratic and lagged. It lagged from stop signs. It often failed to down shift to gain power needed on highway upgrades. When the consumer attempted to pass semi-trucks on an uneven pavement on the interstate, the vehicle pulled to the right, jerked to the left with almost an uncontrollable shifting and swaying. If there were curve, the vehicle would dangerously swing wide out into the curves. The steering wheel, would then freeze up and would become difficult to turn and steer safely. On one occasion, while driving on the interstate highway, the consumer had just passed a semi at a speed of 70 mph and as she was returning to the right lane, the vehicle stuttered and started to stop. She pushed the accelerator pedal to the floor and there was a dangerous lag before enough power came to the vehicle.

- Stevensville, MI, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Jun 192012


  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the driver was driving 10 mph when a clicking sound emitted from under the hood and the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 500 and the current mileage was 550.

- Ocala, FL, USA

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