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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,601 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.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Aug 152014

Malibu Maxx

  • 130,000 miles


2004 Malibu lt, weld on rt front of 6 way driver seat broken, seat motor runs but can not make seat adjustments. The seat sags to right when trying to move forward or back. But will not move forward or back on the seat frame.

- Holland, PA, USA

problem #29

Sep 022015

Malibu Maxx

  • 170,000 miles
Electrical system:wiring exterior lighting:brake lights electronic stability control service brakes hydraulic:switches:brake light steering:electric power assist system the brake lights to illuminate without the brake pedal being pushed the brake lights to not illuminate when the pedal is pushed disablement of crash avoidance features such as traction control panic braking assist features. Turning signals & break lights not responsive. Sudden loss of electric power steering assist that happens at anytime while driving. Pictures attached pushing breaks & using turning signals no response. Car power steering also shuts down in the middle of driving. Contacted dealer will not provide help. Problem has happened for the last 16 months. Almost crashed 5 times.

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #28

Sep 012013

Malibu Maxx

  • 71,000 miles
Front turn signals intermittedy stop working

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #27

May 012015

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • miles


2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. Consumer writes in regards to transmission shift cable recall notice and ignition key issues. The consumer stated the dealer was supposed to fix the cable that changed the gears and to get the key out of the ignition. When she picked up the vehicle, she only had one low gear, but there was suppossed to be three low hears and the key was still stuck in the ignition.

- Erin, TN, USA

problem #26

Mar 022015

Malibu Maxx 4-cyl

  • miles
2004 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle dashboard light issues. The consumer stated some of the lights on the dashboard did not work.

- Thibodaux, LA, USA

problem #25

Aug 222014

Malibu Maxx

  • 57,635 miles
July 18 - driving to work, heard and felt a clunk. On the radio display power steering was now displayed and the mechanics symbol illuminated on the dashboard. July 28- mccluskey is unable to duplicate trouble with car, they do not have parts anyway. Aug. 6 - vm car is ready. When we arrived told us there is a problem, they have used non-approved GM parts, they need to take those parts out and put in approved GM parts to be paid. Rear quarter of the car was damaged. Aug.14 - passenger side lower front bumper is now damaged Aug. 21 - picked up Malibu from the body shop, realize seat is broken call the body shop back within 5 min. Of leaving the lot, I went around a corner and I am thrown into the door. In Oct. Received the recall letter again, dealerships now have parts, take your vehicle in and have the repair completed. If this was done in August why did I just receive a letter? Nov. 27, while my husband was driving the car the power steering would not work again, making a turn at slow speed the car would not respond and acted as if he had his foot on the brake and the accelerator at the same time, as if he was power braking, the car would not move, the car was not drivable, completely unsafe. Dec. 3 borcherding Buick calls me and tells me the recalls are not the issue and cannot be completed until the steering column issue is fixed.the car had 57635 miles on July 18th the day the car was towed to mccluskey Chevrolet, on August 22nd the morning after I picked up the car from mccluskey Chevrolet the car has 58135. The car became un-drivable with 60890 miles. I have a receipt the power steering was replaced in 2005 under a recall/warranty and then again the power steering was repaired in 2009 with GM paying half we paid half due to the low miles on the vehicle.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #24

Mar 122012

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


While traveling in a school zone going approximately 25 miles per hour, I was in an accident involving a school bus. I could not stop, or steer the car to avoid a collision with the rear of the bus. My car went under the rear of the bus, where it was crushed in the front end. The car seemed to just shut down, had no power steering and braking control. The air bags never deployed., even though they should have with the type of impact that the car received. We would like to make this complaint, on behalf of ourselves and any other motorist that might have had similar circumstances. Thank you.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #23

May 212014

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 43,507 miles
On 7/13/09 with 28500 miles & again at 5/21/14 with 43500 miles the rear hatch sop actuator faulty internal failure lock /solenoid #15145724 description latch #12.242 car delivered 2/11/04 7/13/09 lock fail cost $159 labor $230 =$390 5/12/14 fails lock $353.63 labor $240 =$ 594 chev garaged & maintained defective part never upgraded & GM refuses to acknowledge design effect total cost $984 price a rip off good by GM.

- Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA

problem #22

May 162008

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • miles
Drls bulbs on headlights run too hot causing the bulb to burn out constantly and causing assembly to and melt. I have to drive with my headlights on at all times, or my turning signals will not work. I've already had to replace headlight assembly twice.

- Downey, CA, USA

problem #21

Jul 132009

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 28,499 miles
2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. Consumer writes in regards to solenoid/lock failure and poor attitude of customer service agent. The consumer stated the hatch would not open, using the remote. The same part failed twice.

- Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA

problem #20

Apr 012013

Malibu Maxx

  • 20,000 miles


The above date is approximate because I have had problem with this since I bought the car in 2004. I called the dealership, GM corporate, and NHTSA for years. I always got the same response, "cannot duplicate the problem". GM owes me money for all the aggravation and money for paying service dept. For nothing. My car lost steering on the highway while trying to pass an 18 wheeler, this meant I was in the left lane. By the grace of god, I'm still here!! I still have my car, but I have not received a recall letter!

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #19

Mar 222014

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Power steering light came on and ringing sound sounded and power steering went completely out in the middle of a busy intersection as I was making a right hand turn. I managed to get it to the curb and call for help. After sitting a while it became normal, but I am afraid this will happen again. There have been many complaints from other about this. See NHTSA action number ea 04018 and lots of GM service bulletins. My dealer cannot help because the recall was for 2005 Malibu max electronic power steering and not the 2004, but it is the same power steering unit. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Washington Court House , OH, USA

problem #18

Jun 202013

Malibu Maxx

  • 75,000 miles
In June the drivers seat began listing to the right and rocking. The dealer looked at it and said it is a broken weld and quoted me $800 to fix it. Then in Sept of 2012 I was trying to maneuver out of a parking lot and the power steering locked up. It was really scary, it took all my might to get to a safe place to stop without hitting anyone. When I restarted it was okay and my mechanic did not see any obvious problem with it. Also the cd player no longer will load up cds although the other functions and info on the little screen work. Also the side mirrors no longer can be adjusted in the vertical plane although they still move horizontally.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #17

Aug 132010

Malibu Maxx

  • 100,000 miles
Upon acceleration using the gas pedal, the car loses total control of its steering. All engine lights and failure lights go on.sometimes just making a simple turn at an intersection, the car loses complete steering capability. This has happened at various speeds, including on the highway at 50 mph accelerating over a slight incline or at 10 mph at an intersection while making a left or right turn. I noticed trouble with the steering when I first bought my car under warranty but it wasn't as severe. Just when backing out of a parking space the steering was tight, but the dealership could not find the problem. I have had the short rack steering gear, steering rack, intermediate shaft, and serpentine belt replaced but to no avail. On the website there have been at least 42 steering complaints of similar nature regarding the same year make for the Malibu. An NHTSA investigation was performed PE04-031 based on eight reports of alleged power steering failures. The preliminary evaluation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis based on the report I printed up in 2010, however I am not certain of the current status of this investigation. I'm sure there are a lot more failure reports that have been opened, though I cannot find a recall regarding this failure. As a side note, sometimes the car has trouble starting - it always has and the dealership could not determine the failure. When trying to start it up, hitting the gas pedal will cause the engine to kick over and not stall. There is always the smell of fuel. I am not sure if this is part of the failure. In addition when the steering fails or the steering wheel jerks upon acceleration, a clicking sound can be heard. The origin of this clicking in unknown. I really don't understand why there hasn't been a recall on this or better yet a class action lawsuit.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #16

Feb 062012

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Turn signal bulbs are being melted by defective sockets!!! need replacement.

- West Jordan, UT, USA

problem #15

Sep 032007

Malibu Maxx

  • miles
My 2004 Malibu maxx has some sort of electrical issue has had it for years and drives me crazy. The turn indicator light was telling me the bulb was burned out when we went to change the bulb the whole bulb cover was melted we replaced the bulb it would last a few weeks sometimes a few months. We decided to order a whole new light assemble for that side since the globe was melted. We installed it a week later the whole turn indicator light and socket were melted together. We could not even get the bulb out. So we went back to the original light assembly same issue bulbs burn out. Also inside interior light sometimes won't shut off no matter how the switch is positioned. This car has electrical issues.

- Cookeville, TN, USA

problem #14

Aug 012011

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 106,772 miles
In the middle of making turns, right and left, the electronic power steering will deactivate causing car to jerk, then steering will be extremely difficult. Car can be turned off and then restarted and the issue will stop for a short time. There has been recalls for this issue on other GM models but not my model. This issue first occurred while my 16 yr old daughter was driving and almost resulting in an accident. I am extremely concern for my daughter safety will driving this vehicle. I took the car out shortly after this happen to her and within 3 turns the steering wheel jerked, light on dash light, display showed power steering and steering reverted to what can best be described as prepower steering X 2. I am a muscular 300 pound male and I had a difficult time getting the car to turn safely into the lane and later off the road. This is a safety issue that was no covered by GM and should be addressed before someone is injured. Please reopen your investigation into this issue. Thank you for your time.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #13

Apr 012004

Malibu Maxx

  • miles
Bought 2004 Malibu maxx brand new. Switch in ac first to go at just under 10000 miles. 18000 miles brakes and rotors had to replace cost almost $800. Headlights burned up replace wiring harness on both another $1000. Replaced both head lights could not see through either of them another $385 check engine light kept coming on and come to find out there was not a fuse in the emission spot. Replaced that another $400 when they found the problem. Leaks in the hatch when it rains or car is being washed. Check engine light on will not reset. Driver seat supports are broken and everyone that I know that has this car has the same problem and no recall has been issued on this, guess when there is an accident and someone really gets hurt then something will be don. It is ashamed that you pay so much for a vehicle and this is what you go through. I am a firm believer in oil changes and general maintenance and no one from the company seems to care about problems that is fault of the manufacturing of this car and it seems that no one wants to replace what is wrong.

- Newellton, LA, USA

problem #12

Jan 112010

Malibu Maxx

  • 8,000 miles
The dashboard lights and tail lights didn't work after only 8,00 miles and then the left turn signal didn't work after only 15,000 miles. There was a relay switch that was replaced at 8,000 miles that cost $125 including parts and labor and then at 15,000 miles the left turn signal didn't work and after two days in the shop they "repaired and recrimped terminal at BCM". no parts, just labor $459.80. Both of these jobs were done at Chevy dealerships. It turns out that these electrical problems especially the left turn signal problem is very common but it took the dealership two days to fix it.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #11

Aug 282009

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • miles
I own a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The power steering in the vehicle goes out while the car is in motion. When power steering goes out, I have to stop the vehicle where I am and turn the car off and restart the vehicle to get power steering to come back on. Also the left turn signal light continues to go out. I have replaced the light several times and it continues to blow after a day. The turn signal being out makes it hard for me to turn when at stop signs. Other drivers don't know I am turning and try to drive while I am making a turn.

- Phenix City, AL, USA

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