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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,432 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.

1998 Chevrolet Malibu engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #8

Jan 082014


  • 180,000 miles


I received my chev recall letter ref recall 14350 today. This is not a complaint, just info that may be important in reference to this safety recall. Problems I have had with my 1998 chev Malibu is : engine shuts off while traveling at highway speeds-sometimes engine won't start ( ignition key will not go all way to start position)-sometimes engine want shutoff (ignition key want turn back to off position). As a retired truck mechanic I know that the problem is in the ignition switch lock cylinder (tumblers are worn excessively causing the lock cylinder to jam and/or be come loose allowing ignition key to rotate off). I have attempted to make repair myself but all parts outlets tell me that the lock cylinder is not available (must purchase $350 ignition switch assembly) if this recall does not include replacing the lock cylinder, the problem will not be corrected. Experienced mech/tech can replace the lock cylinder in about 10 minutes.

- Waycross, GA, USA

problem #7

Jul 182009

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 179,638 miles
A totally unexpected malfunction of cruise control while set at 60mph, traveling up and down hilly stretch of us route #301 northbound nearing va route #3 the transmission down-shifted, engine accelerated to maintain set speed (as usual) when highway leveled the vehicle suddenly continued to speedup rapidly..65+70+75. Driver instantly applied brakes w/ normal pressure then even harder until she was standing on the brake pedal w/ both feet. Several times she pressed the cancel control selector, still no real slowing down. As both front and rear brake overheated rapidly smoke and sparks were seen by other motorist, two of whom tried to overtake them and hand signaled to pull off the road which she was soon able to accomplish on a wide grass shoulder where she turned off the ignition+++stop!! at long last. All three (3) adult women were greatly stressed but relieved to be safe. Her rear seat passenger had called 911 on her cell phone when they realized the frightful dangerthey were in and as a result three (3) different police cruisers arrived almost instantly from the county sheriff and va state police. Several witnesses were interviewed for more details. The vehicle is a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu 4dr. V6. the car was less than 4 months old, driven only 4,000 miles by the dealers wife, until my daughter purchased it. She continued to have it routinely serviced and maintained there so there is where she requested the tow truck driver to haul it to the next day at a cost of $400. Subsequently their service manager and mechanics ran diagnostic sequences as well as several road tests and were unable to reveal any abnormalities in the cruise control or accelertorperform-ance functions. However all four (4) wheels brakes were badly burned and warped. Repairs would cost an estimated $1,100 to $1,300. Our questions include the following: (1) is this event an isolated rarity? (2) what can cause such a dangerous failure? (3) why hidden?

- Clinton, MD, USA

problem #6

Jun 192005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 59,820 miles
1998 Chevrolet Malibu engine started racing at high speeds and the consumer was not able to stop the vehicle. The engine was still running on high speed until the consumer was able to turn off the vehicle. Tps sensor had to be replaced.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #5

Jan 072002


  • miles


My wife had just pulled out of a driveway on to a highway when a truck pulled in front of her. She hit headon into the side of him. After he cleared the area she was able to drive across 4 lanes of road and into a parking lot across the street, as she entered the lot both air bagrs deployed very slowly never touching her. The speed control has been repaired several times and still continues to deacative while driving, some times many times in a row other trips not at all.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #4

Nov 171998


  • miles
Cruise control failed, when cruise control was set at 50 mph, vehicle began vibrating.

- Amherst Junction, WI, USA

problem #3

May 092000

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Cruise control brake release switch failed causing the vehicle to surge. Nlm

- Bristow, VA, USA

problem #2

Sep 021999

(reported on)


  • miles
Cruise control was set between 60-70 mph, went to apply brakes, but they did not disengage the cruise, driver had to repeatedly apply brakes before the finally engaged, resulting in serious safety hazard.defect has occurred 3 times, and dealer has replaced brake sensor.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #1

Oct 121998


  • miles
When driving at any speed there is a loud squeaking noise coming from vehicle. Brake pads are moving up and down, and there is vibration within brake pedal. Dealer replaced rotors and pads. Also, consumer had cruise control set at 70 mph, and as consumer was going around the corner, cruise control went up to 76 mph. When going down a hill or up a hill cruise control went up to a higher speed.

- Dumar, NC, USA

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