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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,432 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.

2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx Owner Comments (Page 3 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #121

Apr 082014

Malibu Maxx

  • 118,000 miles


On several occasions my car has lost power steering nearly causing a wreck. This is a danger and needs to be fixed but I was told I would be mailed notice on April 28. I am very concerned for the safety of my child as well as other people on the roadways. My car also randomly loses battery power.. I assume this is electrical.

- Shelbyville , KY, USA

problem #120

Jul 102013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
This happened literally at the end of a 7 hour car trip- we got lucky. Driving on I-75 South and approaching exit. Begin to slow down and enter exit ramp. Steering wheel starts shaking profusely and immediately becomes extremely hard to move to either side. Panicking, I managed to control the car and slow it down to a very slow speed and put the hazard lights on, and slowly merge into a gas station that was, luckily, right next to the exit ramp. This was extremely scary, unexpected, and could have killed us if we were going the full highway speed and were not exiting on a ramp.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #119

Oct 042010

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 8,759 miles
Letter from senator nelson on behalf of constituent regarding steering problems on her 2006 Chevrolet Malibu; please send response directly to senator office and reference constituent. The consumer stated the front brake calipers failed to retract causing the brakes to overheat and catch fire. The mechanic stated it may have been due to a factory flaw as he had never seen both calipers fail together. The brake caliper seals were melted from heat and they were cracked/dry rotted letting the caliper sleeve rust. A month prior, the consumer noticed the power steering seemed stiff and the vehicle became difficult to steer, the consumer did receive a recall notice regarding a potential problem with the steering. On December 20, 2011 the consumer experienced another steering failure, slow acceleration, and overheating of the brakes. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, where the mechanic believed there was probably contamination in the brake fluid, as it was milky. The mechanic recommended that all the rubber components in the brake and ABS be replaced due to the contamination.

- Leesburg, FL, USA

problem #118

May 062009

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that the power steering warning light illuminated then the vehicle became difficult to steer. The contact also mentioned that the ignition warning light sporadically illuminated at various speeds and there was an abnormal metal odor in the cabin. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the steering column and rack and pinion was replaced. The contact was also informed that the rear brake calipers needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 128,000. Updated 7/7/14 updated 07/14/2014

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #117

Apr 212014

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that while the driver traveled approximately 50 mph, the steering wheel failed as the power steering warning light illuminated. The driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a road barrier. The driver suffered injuries to the face, head, hands and ears. The police were called to the scene. The vehicle was towed by the contact's insurance company for further inspection. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 86,000. Updated 87/15/14 updated 08/25/2014

- Natick, MA, USA

problem #116

Feb 042014

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 106,041 miles
I was driving my car to pick up my daughter from school 02/04/2014 and as I was turning to leave school I heard a ringing sound from inside of car and my steering wheel started to jerk left and right then I pulled over and stopped and my steering wheel was moving left to right with out me touching it. It was as someone was doing it and I couldn't see them and while driving on freeway it was very unstable to drive so I have to drive slow because it would jerk unexpectedly during my drive I felt very unsafe when I drive with my 4 and 14 daughter and mom year old in the car I have owned a Chevy mostly a good part of my life I have been unable to afford to get it fixed and someone told me of the recall. So I called the dealer and was told my VIN number was not part of the recall but it had a $150,000 mile warranty on part but he said I have to have a test doing to see if the steering motor is bad for $103 and if it is motor for steering it would be fixed and they will wave test charge. It says power steering when it audible sounds in car on radio display panel I could not let him do the test cause I didn't have the money if they said something else is wrong so now it is gone almost completely. My shoulder are very sore from having to drive this car to work and to get my kid and I am still making payments on it to. Maybe after I get into a major crash and my family dies or someone else dies from not being able to control car when it is needed maybe you will do something about it please wave test fee or something so if I take it in to get fixed so you can have a happy buyer of Chevy autos.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #115

Dec 262013

Malibu Maxx

  • 162,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated while driving in reverse at an unknown speed, the power steering assist failed. The vehicle was shut down and restarted then resumed normally. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the power steering column would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 162,000.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #114

Nov 142013

Malibu Maxx

  • 135,000 miles
Driving from school saw a car ahead person had turn signal on to go left. Took foot off gas went to brake and turn wheel could not do either. The car was totaled.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #113

Feb 142014

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Driving along on a state hwy at 57mph, power steering alarm dings and power steering ceases and oh crap!! I'm not wanting to die yet! I maneuvered the car to the shoulder thankfully and restarted my car. After several attempts the power steering returned. Obviously the Chevy company is waiting for enough accidents or deaths to offset the cost of a recall. Has there been an investigations" how many people have to die? I see many complaints, stories of mechanics that know nothing about it or charge for a "maybe fix." Really??" please advise me of any real answers to this dangerous problem. I'll also be in contact with my senator sheila harsdorf and the state of Wisconsin's department of safety about this problem. Thank you

- Siren, WI, USA

problem #112

Mar 012013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Sometimes when pressing on the accelerator, the gears on the dashboard all make a clicking sound and go down to zero and then back up. This is accompanied by three dings and a sudden loss of power steering. The power steering returns after a few seconds, however the car is hard to control when the power steering disengages. This can cause the car to swerve and be difficult to steer. This is a big problems and I am unable to take the highway. If the power steering were to disengage while driving, a serious accident could occur since it's difficult to control the car without power steering. On the highway, where the speed limit is much higher than city streets, there may be a greater risk for the incident to occur. GM has not yet recalled this vehicle, although it is known this model has the ion power steering which GM recalled in their colbalt and Saturn models.

- Margatw, FL, USA

problem #111

Feb 102014

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 114,000 miles


Steering wheel jerked to left and I had no power steering but I was still able to turn the steering wheel but was real hard. The indicator on the radio message screen indicated the power steering was not working. I pulled over and turned off the vehicle and restarted my car and the power steering started to work again only to have this happen again just a few miles down the road. I have been reading all the complaints about the steering problem that the 2006 Malibu are experiencing. Chevrolet Corp. Should have a recall on all the models that have the electronic steering and fix them asap. This is a safety hazard and someone is going to have a wreak and major damage is going to occur to somebody or their family. There is a recall in Canada but not in the usa for this safety problem.

- Mariposa, CA, USA

problem #110

Jan 162014

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
The vehicle was being driven into our driveway, the power steering light came on and the power steering failed. It came back on the next time I started the car, but the steering column has a very loud, grinding noise. Per my regular mechanic, this is the subject of the recall 12221 for Canadian vehicles, but my VIN doesn't come up so no dealer will assist me. I can't safely drive.

- Holbrook, MA, USA

problem #109

Dec 272013

Malibu Maxx

  • 74,042 miles
Driving at a local grocery store and lost steering and almost crashed into car while pulling into a parking spot. This needs to get fixed and I'm not paying for something that is a well documented problem before someone dies because GM doesn't want to fix a problem that they know about. Average cost of repair $700. Average cost of a life, priceless. Make a recall happen now.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #108

Dec 092013

Malibu Maxx

  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu maxx. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the power steering assist suddenly failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not available.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #107

Oct 012013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 81,000 miles
My vehicle lost electronic power steering (eps) assistance when being operated in an underground parking garage. The vehicle gave an audible alert and warning lights displayed on the dashboard. The problem persisted after turning the vehicle on and off several times. Because the parking garage contained tight corners and required slow speed operation, I could not safely operate the vehicle out of the parking garage. The next day, the eps worked without a problem. This unpredictable and intermittent power steering failure is well documented in 2006 Malibu maxx vehicles. In fact, Chevrolet has extended warranties and conducted special customer service campaigns to select 2006 Malibu maxx owners to remedy the defective eps. Even though it is the same make, model and year as other vehicles determined to be defective, my vehicle's VIN falls outside of the range identified by Chevrolet. The VIN range identified by Chevrolet is insufficient. Owners like myself who operate vehicles outside of the VIN range are not being alerted to the possibility of defective steering components. The eps components are known to be defective in 2006 Malibu maxx vehicles and should to be recalled.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #106

May 122010

Malibu Maxx

  • 80,000 miles
This has happened dozens of times before GM did the "campaign" to lessen the affect on the steering. Normally while accelerating hard around a corner or up a hill, the powersteering would literally jerk the wheel from your hands and attempt to straighten the wheel. Obviously this is extreme disconcerting and dangerous at any speed. Symptoms are the ding ding ding warning and the very brief flash, like they don't want you to see it, of power steering on the radio display. That lasts maybe 1.5 seconds before it goes away, so you have to know to look at the radio very quickly when the ding ding ding goes to see the "error" message. It took 2 trips to the dealer on the recall to "resolve" the problem in GM's eyes. What they do is replace the column, and some settings in the computer that reduces the amount of force the motor exerts against the driver. The wheel no longer completely jerks from your hands, but it still will change your course when on a turn if you don't have a tight grip on the wheel. I consider this such a safety issue, that I rarely allow anyone but myself to drive it because it would just scare the bejeavious out of them for the car to take the wheel from their hands. Was back in the dealership yesterday on the extended campaign of 150K miles or 10 years. They indicated the fault was that the motor tossed an overheat code and that was causing computer input issues out of what was expected. I advised it does it even when the car is cold, not driving for more than a mile. Their response was the motor has an internal fault that causes it to overheat quickly, just by starting the car. Repairs costs are well over $700 parts and labor, and reading on the internet, this problem may not even be resolved by such a costly repair.

- Spokane Valley, WA, USA

problem #105

Aug 022010

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I also have problems with my 06 Malibu maxx. When accelerating onto the interstate, I cannot get my speed up normally. I hear ding, ding, ding... then the steering locks up. Can not move the steering wheel. Also happens when making sharp turns. Almost threw me into a ditch once and almost bounced me into the guard rail once. I am disappointed that Chevrolet has not recalled this problem. It is a true safety hazard. I am a loyal purchaser of Chevy products, and I expect Chevrolet to stand by me as well. Appears this is a well documented issue by all the complaints I read.

- Bentonville, VA, USA

problem #104

Jul 302013

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 133,455 miles
I recently bought this vehicle for my 18 year old daughter to take with her to college. We have owned it approximately 3 weeks now. On 7/30/13, we were driving down a local city road at approximately 45miles per hour, heard a dinging alert sound, and immediately lost power steering. She was able to move to the emergency lane to get out of the flow of traffic. She turned the vehicle off and when the vehicle was restarted, the power steering returned to normal. On 7/31/13 she was alone in the vehicle, and was once again traveling in town and lost the power steering twice on that trip. The first time she was driving at approximately 25 miles per hour, and the second time going around a sharp curve going approximately 10 miles per hour. I am frustrated due to the fact that there has not been a recall on this vehicle as it is an extreme safety hazard with over a hundred complaints on this site alone. I have also found many other complaints in other online blogs. I have been told at this point that I could replace the steering column, the eps fuse, the alternator, the grounding wire, and even the motor and assembly for the power steering and that in some instances none of these expensive repairs have fixed the problem. What is it going to take before someone does something to hold Chevrolet accountable for their product" is it going to take multiple deaths and/or multimillion dollar lawsuits to make someone listen and do something about this? what if this vehicle was one that you purchased for your child? would you put them in potential harms way? how many complaints does it take for action????"

- Frankfort, KY, USA

problem #103

Jul 062013

Malibu Maxx

  • 110,000 miles
My steering wheel tightened up and became almost impossible to turn. It started dinging and the power steering message appeared on the display screen. I just had the steering column replaced in March. I have been researching and it appears most owners of this car have the same problem. Something needs to be done before someone is seriously injured. My husband had to come drive my car home and barely made it.

- Jefferson, GA, USA

problem #102

Mar 152007

Malibu Maxx 6-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
Steering locked up when I was exiting the highway. I was going about 45 miles an hour. I heard the warning bell ding and the warning displayed "power steering failure". I almost crashed because I couldn't steer. It took all the power I could muster to steer. If my wife would have been driving it would have killed her. Also my steering wheel sometimes will jolt back and forth sometimes when the car is idling in park. Finally the steering makes a loud audible "thunk" whenever I turn the wheel out of neutral position, and it sounds like the wheels are going to fall off when I hit any kind of bump or rough road. As for the power steering failure I took it to the Chevy dealership and they said that they could not duplicate it. It happened about a dozen times so far and the dealership shrugs their shoulders and says "it didn't do it for me". the knocking or thunking noise seems to be a problem on every 06 Malibu on the road. Is somebody going to do something about this" or do we just have to have enough fatalities to force something to happen"

- Hewitt, TX, USA

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