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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,764 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.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Jul 262013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


The car engine stalls, locks go up and down, panel lights go out, power steering is disabled, RPM gauge revs up to 7000+, then engine comes back on. This has happened multiple times nearly causing crashes and causing extreme anxiety. The service department says no error is stored on the car computer and they cannot duplicate the incident. After 2 days in the shop, I got my car back, drove 378 miles and the incident happened again. It has occurred with every member of my family. I want to be taken seriously or I will contact an attorny before someone gets injured not afterwards.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #15

Aug 022014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
I was on the on ramp, behind another car driving to get onto the highway when we both drove through a big puddle of water. The car in front of me stopped and the water came over the hood of my car. My car then stalled and I coasted to the left side of the on ramp. My car would not start. The other car continued driving. No water entered my vehicle.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #14

Jun 182014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 13,020 miles
I started the car and viewed the message "service power steering" in the message center between the odometer and tachometer. There did not seem to be any issue with the steering, but wanted to get it checked out by my local dealer since it was less than a half mile up the road. As I put the car into the gear, the car would not move. The indicator lights that normally show me what gear I am in (prnd) were blank. Then all of the sudden, the car surged forward violently, as if the Malibu was just rear-ended. I then turned the car off and restarted it. The "service power steering? message appeared again. However, the ?check engine? light had lit up, and the ?service parking brake" message appeared as well. The car then surge violently again forward without shifting into any gears. I then shut the car off and called spencer Chevrolet to tell them I was going to have the car towed to their shop. After a few minutes, I tried once more to start the car and was able to shift into gear and drive it to the shop in limp mode with half the warning lights lit up on the dash. After further diagnostics, the maintenance manager at spencer Chevrolet informed me that the transmission computer module (tcm) had failed and needed replacement under warranty. This was the third electrical issue I had with this vehicle (the trunk was opening on its own while driving, parked, or during the night, and the radio was locking up with no control). I was worried that the transmission issue could have happened while driving, and didn't want to take any risks.

- Springfield, PA, USA

problem #13

Jun 082014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles


While driving the engine power suddenly reduced and a warning came on indicating reduced engine power. The vehicle was taken to dealer who had it for 2 weeks and drove around 500 miles on car and were unable to replicate error.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #12

Jun 212014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 30,015 miles
Key fob is too sensitive, especially on the trunk button. Keys are in my pocket, and if I bump up against something, the trunk is open. When you are in public (say a public park for a family reunion) and need to store large valuables in your car, where do you store them" in the trunk. Well what happens if you bump something and your trunk pops" those valuables get stolen. The fob should have the trunk button inset into it, require to press two buttons simultaneously, or require you to press the trunk button twice for the trunk to open. I believe that this is a Chevrolet design error. The day that I bought my previous Chevy car (2012 camaro) this same thing happened. Just so happened there wasn't anything in my trunk with the camaro. But it did rain and my trunk was full of water the morning. This seems like an easy fix, and I am sure that I'm not the only person with this problem. Sucks to see my mom lose a coach purse and wallet, personal and business debit cards and checks, medication, and cash while on a family vacation.

- Beebe, AR, USA

problem #11

Jun 082014


  • miles
Fire in the tail light that also got some of my trunk. The fire stopped 1/4 inch form the gas tank.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #10

Jan 162013


  • miles


2013 Chevy Malibu 1ls manufactured 11/20/12, currently less than 7,000 mi. 1) chrome & radio glass - when sun shines on console it blinds driver & driver must cover area with a scarf or jacket; console is beautiful to look at, but not practical from a safety viewpoint since the driver is blinded & cannot see until the area is covered from the sun. 2) when air conditioning was turned on, a blast of very hot air came out; it took a couple of times of turning the settings off & on (at least 60 seconds or longer) before the hot air stopped & the air conditioning came on. The hot air could not be immediately turned off. Happened only once. 3) passenger side front fender/bumper loose - makes noise, can pop it back in, but on hot days, it pops out, vibrates and makes loud noise until popped back in. 4) rear windows - when down 1/2, 3/4 or fully, vibrates, makes very loud noise that sounds like tires are coming apart, causing driver to immediately pull over to check tires, the distraction & being on side of road could be a safety issue. 5) no spare tire - unable to locate a tire & rim (or donut tire) for purchase to insert in trunk tire area. No can of goop, also goop only lasts for 6 months & must be discarded & new can purchased. Not good when stranded in inclement snowy weather or out in the hot desert & must wait for tow truck. I like my Chevy Malibu very much, it has been able to handle rough gravel/dirt roads in inclement weather, snow, & highway travel. I plan to take it to the dealer shortly for an oil change & to take care of these issues. What I don't like is that I am unable to turn the driver airbag off (I sit less than 12 inches from the wheel & am concerned that if it were to deploy I would be killed) & that the vehicle is fairly low to the ground, making speed bumps & getting out of businesses where there is a dip onto streets difficult.

- Winona, MO, USA

problem #9

Jul 272013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 125 miles
Turned the car on heat came on full blast fan and temp gage were both in off position. It did this 3 times before I could get it into the shop a week later. This car alarm also turns itself on after driving in the rain. Last but certainly not least when driving in slow traffic the transmissions downshift on this automatic vehicle is horrible it is a violent jerk down and up. My dealership continues to tell me there are no problems with the exception of the fan issue the only thing they have been able to fix. I am beginning to hate my car. The jerk scares the cap out of me I am scared one day it will just slip it is even worse when the ac is on even when stopping in normal traffic it does this and sometimes feels like I am driving over a gravel road.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #8

Jun 062013


  • 1,500 miles
While driving when I turned on ac it went full blast to heat even though setting was set low. Went to dealer second time it happened changed out something however it did it again just a few weeks ago. Have to turn off fan let it rest then turn it back on after a couple of minutes. Worked great then. This has happened to me 4 times now and dealer doesn't know what the problem is. It's called a defect! GM needs to fix this.

- Baytown, TX, USA

problem #7

May 082014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 6,300 miles
When I started the car the fan and the heater came on full blast. Within seconds it was very hot in the car. The fan and the heater were turned off at the time but were lit like they were on. It scared me. I turned the fan on all the way then turn it back, but that did nothing as with the heater. I turned the car off and waited a minute and restarted and it was okay. I took talked with my garage repair (May 9 2014) and was told they couldn't check the problem on the computer unless the problem was occuring at that time. I did not inform dealership where I purchased my car as I do not use them for repair or maintenance.

- Stratford, WI, USA

problem #6

Apr 082014


  • 22,000 miles


Since April this has happen 3 times. I would start the car and with everything turned out, the heater comes on full blast. The first time, it scared me. I have to turn the fan on all the way then turn it back and turn the heater on full blast and back off to get it to stop. I took it to a dealership yesterday.May 6 2014 they put it on the computer and found nothing wrong. For being a new vehicle, this should not happen. What is the problem?

- Harrisonville, PA, USA

problem #5

Dec 262013


  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the steering wheel exhibited a slight delay and a jerking motion. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis where they informed the contact that the failure was contributed to a computer glitch. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 7,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #4

Oct 142013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 180 miles
Vehicle sold and delivered with an open active safety recall (13142) on it at time of purchase, which was a violation of federal law title, 49 subtitle vi, chapter 301, section 30112A3 restricting the sale (and/or introducing into commerce) of a vehicle with a safety defect. This information is consistent with the information in GM recall bulletin #13142. Dealer sold have not sold or delivered the vehicle until the recall was addressed. Dealer/Chevrolet risked the safety of the vehicle owner and general public by placing it into commerce with the open recall.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #3

Apr 182013


  • 1,500 miles
When getting gas after starting car hot air comes out of the heater vent's even when car is turned times does this most of the time when getting fuel' when I turn off eng.its stops.

- Summit, NJ, USA

problem #2

Sep 012012


  • miles
Trunk opens automatically when key fob is carried in pants pockets..I've tried shielding the fob, but it is just to sensitive for normal use!!! I got different fob, but it still opening my trunk, & I don't realize it, till I return to car... my car is not in a garage, & in mornings, the trunk is wet from snow or rain.. plus:anyone could steal from mytrunk all nite long !!!!

- Dimondale, MI, USA

problem #1

Feb 072013


  • 465 miles
Our Malibu was just purchased with 9 miles new on January 31st and has the easiest eco feature which is supposed to shut down the vehicle at stops. Our vehicle is not shutting down. The dealership states there is no known issue, bulletin, or recall for this. Any information would be helpful thank you. ## VIN failed ##

- Grain Valley, MO, USA

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