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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
12 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,452 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Owner Comments (Page 1 of 11)

problem #203

Jun 232016

Malibu Maxx

  • 120,000 miles


My Malibu maxx 2004 was bought new. It has the power steering issue ever since it was new. Under acceleration on highways (e.g. driving uphill in mountains etc. ) when steering left around a curve, the power steering locks up and jerks, and dash lights flash for a few seconds. This has happened ever since it was new. The issue can't be reproduced by dealership and auto repair stores. GM has a recall in 2014 regarding power steering but the problem is not fixed, the issue is life threatening!!

- Los Gatos, CA, USA

problem #202

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 #201

Sep 142015

Malibu Maxx

  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that the steering wheel seized and there was an abnormal noise. On another occasion, while driving 5 mph and making a turn, the steering wheel required excessive force and another vehicle crashed into the front passenger side of the vehicle. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was filed and no injuries were reported. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The dealer informed the contact that the parts were not available for the recall repairs for NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control), 14V153000 (steering), and 14V224000 (power train). The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- West Jordan , UT, USA

problem #200

Jun 222015

Malibu Maxx

  • miles


While I was on the interstate this vehicle with a wrench in the middle lit up on my dash board and that's when my wheel locked up I couldn't move the wheel from left to right I had to force it to turn to be able to make turns and get over.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #199

Jun 262015

Malibu Maxx

  • 183,000 miles
My car is in my husbands name but the problems with car started with recalls. I never received a steering column recall until my car was already over 150,000 mls. When taken to the garage they fixed one recall and conveniently 2 more repairs that didn't exist needed fixed they then told me the steering column was bad and needed replaced. I said I didn't have money to fix and they said they repaired it as good as they could power steering problem could happen again but may never. So on June 26th I headed to childrens hospital to be with my son when he was put under anesthesia for an mri(he has down syndrome). Car was acting up not turning right but I made it there. I sent kids with their dad the night before because I felt it wasn't driving right. On the way home I was driving North on highway 28 in the right lane when my car stared going towards the passing lane. I tried turning G the wheel back. It turned but the wheels didn't follow. It continued into passing lane, hit the cement wall. The front left tire climbed the wall. The airbags never deployed because same dealer broke module that controlled airbags, they were to replace it free when part came in but never called. I landed in median between highways. Thank god I didn't hit anyone. Now I have no car. Is there anyone that fights for the little guy anymore?

- New Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #198

May 262015

Malibu Maxx

  • 45,500 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact received a notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) and the vehicle was repaired. Less than a month later, the torque sensor assembly and the eps unit failed. After having the vehicle repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (service brakes), the vehicle began to feel as though the brakes were grabbing. The contact stated that it was difficult to accelerate from a complete stop and the brakes were smoking. The vehicle had not been back to the dealer. The contact felt that both recall repairs failed. The failure mileage was 45,500.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #197

Mar 162015

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 90,945 miles


When coming to a stop, I went to make a right hand turn when a signal and a dash light went off and the power steering just went out, no previous warning. I had the car towed and when it was hooked up to have the diagnosis done, the power steering just reset itself. However it was noted that there was a recall for the power steering and I should take it to a dealer. I was charged $44.99 for that information. I took the car into the dealer near me about a week later which was the very first appointment I could make. There were actually 3 existing recalls (two unrelated) on my car and all three were addressed on March 24. I left believing that my car was now fixed and safe to drive. On April 16th I drove over 30 miles one way from my home with the false sense of security because on April 18, the power steering just went out, again when making a right turn. I took the car back on April 20 and after charging me $59.50, (they were going to charge me $118!!!) I was told the issue was "unrelated to the recall" and was not covered. I did not have it fixed due to the high cost (quote of $889.estimated) and I feel strongly that it is all related! my personal mechanic recommended I report the issue to GM and feels that GM should fix the power steering issues. The recall issue caused a "trickle down effect" with the whole steering column. He is willing to fix the car but noted that if he does I would have no recourse with GM and that I should try getting it covered before he does anything to the car. Now, not only is it extremely difficult to drive, it is unsafe. Not driving the car as it can cause a major accident where either myself or someone else could be injured or killed and cause extensive property damage. I don't have the funds to fix it, a car to get to work and I am making payments and paying insurance on a car that is not safe to drive.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #196

Mar 292015

Malibu Maxx

  • 113,000 miles
Vehicle was recalled in GM power steering recall. Car still has the same problem after being fixed by dealer. Contacted Chevy and they are uncooperative at best.

- La Porte , TX, USA

problem #195

Dec 272014

Malibu Maxx 4-cyl

  • 176,000 miles
I lost power steering and got a message in the driver information center telling me that there was a problem with the power steering. I was driving on route 1 in New Jersey and going about 45-50 mph. I pulled off the road and restarted the car, hoping it was just an electronic glitch. That solved the immediate problem. However, I learned reading the nytimes that this is a common problem with the maxx and in fact there had been a safety recall on the car. I called a local Chevy dealer to have it fixed and found there are three outstanding safety recalls on my car. In addition to the power steering problem, there are also problems with the transmission shift cable and the brake lamp. All these recalls were made in April and may of last year after all the bad publicity about covering up defects that resulted in deaths. I have an appointment to take care of all three problems, but this is my larger concern: I don't know why, but I received only one recall notice (not three) and that one notice (which was about the transmission cable) said that the parts weren't available and they would notify me when they were available. I was never notified, but apparently the parts are available and have been for some time. My question for you: What is NHTSA doing to make sure that individual consumers receive accurate information about safety recalls" I was lucky. I was driving on a straight road in an urban area -- and not taking a curve on a mountainside -- when my power steering suddenly stopped working. Why wasn't I told about this problem earlier? why did I have to wait till reading about it in the nytimes? and why didn't I receive a followup letter when the part became available for the transmission cable" thank you.

- Newtown, PA, USA

problem #194

Dec 202010

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl Diesel

  • miles
2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. Consumer seeking reimbursement for previous repairs, prior to recall. The consumer stated the steering wheel was noisy, the wheel was loose, the vehicle pulled to the right. An alignment was performed twice, she experienced steering problems during the entire year of 2013. There was a recall on the steering issue, but she continued to experience problems. The intermediate shaft and rack and pinion were replaced. Also, the turn signals and shifter cable were replaced.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #193

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 #192

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 #191

Dec 172008

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 90,214 miles
On 12/2008 while driving from California to the East coast, roughly 3 hours into my trip the ┐wrench in the car display on the dash lit up and "power steering" was displayed on the radio. The next exit (barstow) was approx 8 miles away.I awoken the next morning to find that there had been a blizzard that night. After waiting what seemed forever I got the news that the steering column ( GM 15926870) and the ignition switch (GM 15823541) needed to be replaced. Left barstow after losing 2-3 days of travel and dropping $1150 to the dealer, almost $200 for hotel and about $125 on food. After receiving the necessary documents I gathered up my receipts and took my vehicle to the dealership to have the supposed work completed and turned in the necessary documents to the dealer. Six days later I experienced the same problem.I called the dealer and explained the situation. The service writer stated that they've been experiencing this problem after recall work has been completed. Monday morning I took the vehicle in. The service writer stated that this problem doesn't usually happen (of course the gentleman that I spoke with on Friday with was not in) and that they would check to see if the problem was related to the recall work that had been performed. Of course they said that the problem was not related to the recall work that had been performed, and that to fix the current issue would cost $850. There was also a charge of $121 (labor@ $110 plus shop fees and tax). After all these years GM knew of the deficiencies and short comings with they're vehicles. They've had time to prepare and prep their personnel for any and all questions, comments and scenarios. Damage concern is that when the recall work was performed, the tech doing the work didn't follow proper procedures. A long call to GM, my issue has been escalated to the next step.

- Piladelphia, PA, USA

problem #190

Jun 212014

Malibu Maxx

  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph and going around a curve, the steering wheel seized. As an result, the contact lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle rolled down an incline and crashed into a fence line. The contact was air lifted to the hospital and sustained broken ribs, shoulder injuries, a concussion, memory loss, and cuts and bruises that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 14V153000 (steering), but the vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 135,000.

- Whitney, TX, USA

problem #189

Aug 012014

Malibu Maxx

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact received recall notices for NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) and NHTSA campaign number: 14V224000 (power train). The dealer stated that the parts were not available for repairs. The manufacturer was made aware of the delay. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Rochester , NY, USA

problem #188

Apr 082011

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
I've received 3 letters in the last approx. 8 months. First was recalling power steering, then one for brakes, and then transmission. As soon as car was paid off I literally had to buy another trany twice in two years. The last letter said I can definitely crash because of this recall problem specially said I would it is in the letter. I couldn't believe my eyes. Every letter said sorry parts aren't available we will notify you. Never has contacted me and it has been half a year. I'm driving a very unsafe vehicle written by Chevrolet company. Please advise me soon. Also there was no trany listed above so we put other. And there wasn't any accidents however going off ramp at 30 mph I spun in 3 circles another time driving slow in town around a easy turn it just spun for no reason. Please help its only transportation[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #187

Aug 202014

Malibu Maxx

  • 76,531 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. While driving approximately 40 mph, the power steering suddenly malfunctioned and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. During the failure, the power steering sensor and service vehicle sensor illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 76,531.

- More, OK, USA

problem #186

Dec 032012

Malibu Maxx

  • 250,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the power steering malfunctioned making the steering wheel very difficult to turn. The contact indicated that the lost power steering warning message display on the instrument panel. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but no solution was offered. The contact indicated that he received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number 14V153000 (steering). The dealer and manufacturer were contacted on several occasions the contact the was informed that the parts were not available and no estimated availability date could be provided. The failure mileage was 250,000.

- Pittsfield, MA, USA

problem #185

Jul 112014

Malibu Maxx

  • 220,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated while reversing from a parking space, the power steering warning indicator flashed on the instrument panel and the power steering assist immediately failed. The contact was unable to engage the brakes on time and as a result, crashed into a parked vehicle. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries. The dealer informed the contact that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). However, the parts were not available for repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 220,000.

- Fairburn, GA, USA

problem #184

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

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