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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,273 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.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #11

Jan 012013


  • 78,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the ignition switch was lose and could be wiggled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated that the ignition switch was not part of NHTSA campaign number: 14V400000 (electrical system). The recall only covers the modification of the keys. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 78,000.

- Keedysville, MD, USA

problem #10

Sep 162013


  • miles
The contact owns 1998 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact also mentioned that after numerous attempts the vehicle would start and then stalled as the anti-thief warning light illuminated. The contact stated that the failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.

- Dover, OH, USA

problem #9

Feb 142008

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The complaint is for the electronic ignition and the taillights and brake lights. The brake lights and tail lights have already been fixed twice, I am told it is an electrical problem, they work when they want to. This is a problem at night when I have no tail lights or when the brake lights don't work. The other problem is the ignitions switch, the key won't move in the ignition, which makes it impossible to start. After reading on line, there are hundreds of other people with the same problem with Malibu's and other Chevy vehicles, but nothing is being done about this. I am unsure of the incident date because it has happened several times.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #8

Oct 012003

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I purchased my 1998 Malibu, it's had nothing but problems. Since I bought this car in November of 2001 with in less than a week of purchasing I had to take the car back to dealer and have them fix a problem because check engine light was on, I am unsure of the exact problem but I do know the car did not pass emissions and if I had to pay for it, it would have cost me over 500 dollars, I have replaced my front brakes on 3 occasions, I have fixed the leaking transmission 2X, I have replaced the tail light bulbs about 4X, I replaced the alternator and the lining is coming off the trunk. These are all problems I had in less then 2 years of owning the vehicle. Since March 2004 I have been unable to drive my vehicle. I have replaced the fuel pump, water pump, 2 of the injectors and there have been other small repairs here and there. Every time I fix something within less then a week of driving it there is something else wrong I am unable to repair it until I can save enough money to put more into it. I am currently replacing the injectors which I have already paid 600 dollars and have 4 more to go. I am worried that after I put this money into it I will still have more problems, I have been told that there is some electrical problem in the dash but they are unsure exactly what it is because the car will not run long enough to figure out. Nobody can tell me everything that is wrong with because I need to fix one problem before they can be sure of the next. This car was the worst purchase I have made. I was unable to register my vehicle last year due to all the problems. I have been on several web sites and about this car and everyone is having similar problems and putting out thousands of dollars in repairs.

- Kearns, UT, USA

problem #7

Mar 022004

(reported on)


  • 45,000 miles
Consumer complained about an ignition problem. Consumer had to hold the key in ignition switch, turn and hold for a period of time before the engine turned over. Secondly, seat belt on the front driver side did not retract. Had to put the seat belt on manually. Also, brakes squeak when applied.

- Bell Gardens, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 082002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 1998 Chevy Malibu. This vehicle will cut off while driving. I bought this vehicle brand new in June 1998 and had to take it to the shop for repair the next month. The service department at shaver motors has never been able to fix it. There is something wrong with this car's electrical system. I was driving in Chicago on 80 90 toll road and this vehicle stopped for no reason while I was doing 55 miles per hour. I listed one incident date but have had numerous other problems. Also, when I first purchased the vehicle I had to replace the tires after less than 3000 miles, they were also bad.

- Gary, IN, USA

problem #5

May 152001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While starting vehicle the ignition was stuck, then caught fire. Consumer took key out of ignition, fire went out, ignition switch had been replaced before this incident. On 16 April 2002 also while starting vehicle the starter caught fire. Please add further details.

- Hadley, MA, USA

problem #4

Dec 012000


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Theft prevention light comes on intermittently, unable to start vehicle at that time. Dealer replaced passenger's lock sensor/cylinder, and switch twice. At this time light comes on while driving. Dealer has also replaced the passlock system and oxygen sensor.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #3

Apr 142001


  • miles
The ignition lock was replaced in October of 1999 because the key would not turn. It just had to be replaced again on 4/23/01 because the ignition lock was so worn out, if you took the key out, the car would still run. This was extremely dangerous, because if I thought the car was completely off, and left it in a lot or in the street somewhere, and it turned out it was on, someone could have been really hurt. According to two differnet GM dealerships, and an independent mechanic who I consulted on this matter, the ignition lock should last the life of the car, and this is the third one I have had since 1998. Any assistance you could offer would be most appreciated. Thanks.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #2

Oct 181998


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ignition switch failed.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 151999


  • miles
My vehicle's brake light stopped working while I was driving. My emergency brake warning light would not work on my dash board. My ignition switch on my vehicle would not work sometimes.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

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