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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,781 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.

2002 Chevrolet Malibu electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #91

Feb 102014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 172,711 miles


Car shows theft light comes on check engine light, motor shut off, gas gauge said empty all lights shows up on dash, aaa tow to pep boys lancaster pa. Fruitville pike store.they installed new alternator and new serpentine belt and belt tensioner. Also eight month prier same issue all lights came on and car stopped and needed towed they replaced fuel pump. I have seen documents that pointed out that key needs pushed in before turning on tried it and still lights ABS, theft light, check engine light still keeps coming on. This vehicle has been serviced and taken care 03/13/2014 taken wife to train station lights came on once the pass two years invested over $ $1500 in parts and labor and still experiencing the same systems. Read on recall and feel this is what problem is.

- Conestoga, PA, USA

problem #90

Feb 262014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 109,500 miles
Was driving down the road and the theft system light came on and engine shut down as I was driving down the road. Almost caused a wreck. Did online research and found many similar complaints and same incidents. No recall on ignition switch/theft system light. GM knows of an issue and won't fix the problem.

- Sligo, PA, USA

problem #89

Nov 142013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
When the car is started, everything seems to be fine, but then the theft system light comes on. When the car is in park and reverse things seem to be normal. At the point the car is placed into drive, the fuel light comes on and says that there is no fuel in the car. At this point, the car will either stall out, while driving or we are able to continue driving. If we are able to continue driving, the car repeatedly shuts off all electrical systems, all gauges are maxed out and speed says 60mph. This happens repeatedly the whole time the car is being driven, but the car is still functional and still able to be driven. If the car system comes back on, the fuel light comes on and says empty and even the trunk pops open while driving. This is very dangerous for many reasons. If this happens at night, there are no headlights or any other lights or they're flickering on and off the whole time.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #88

Oct 252013


  • 80,000 miles


Both part of my gas tank and my computer have same issues as thousands more where the alarm shuts the car off while you are driving.

- Laurel Hill, FL, USA

problem #87

Aug 232013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 104,100 miles
Turn signals just randomly work when they want to. Had it to the garage recently and asked why they didn't work right, didn't get much of an answer. This is a real safety issue and in doing my research, I'm not the only one with this issue.

- Sligo, PA, USA

problem #86

Jul 182012


  • 150 miles
My car started shutting off out of nowhere. The theft light comes on and it locks me out for ten minutes. This has been going on for a year. I backed out of a one way street, the car shut off and the theft light locked me out for ten minutes on a one way street where traffic could not get around me. Since, there has been a constant ding in my dash. I changed the emergency relay switch in the dash with no luck. Now it constantly has a dinging noise and locks me out about every 4-5 starts. This is very aggravating and with as many complaints that has been reported, I'm surprised it hasn't been recalled. I am very happy to say that I know that Chevy doesn't claim their mistakes so maybe more people will have the same thought that I have never to buy another Chevrolet. Very bad for business. Reviews said that even paying to get a new ignition switch will only delay it from happening again. Chevrolet, own up to your mistakes. This is dangerous. Other than this I have had to get a new K frame and my gas tank is rusting out due to no guards being put on the vehicle to protect it and while I'm venting the manufactures over-torqued a seal upon manufacturing to cause the oil and coolant to leak into one another.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #85

Mar 152012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 77,235 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S keeps overheating. Put antifreeze it and run for a while and it will overheat again. No antifreeze on ground but keeps losing the antifreeze. Took vehicle to mechanic and was told that the antifreeze is mixing with the oil that it has a cracked manifold gasket. Recommendation was replace engine. 2.took vehicle to the dealer and they said that the on board computer chip thing needs to be replaced and they informed me that is a known problem with the car but no recall is in place as of yet. The repair cost is over $1300.

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #84

Sep 072012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Car wont start due to passlock system malfunction, I must let car sit for 10 minutes with ignition switch in on position then turn key off for 20 seconds then restart, this happens about every 4 to 5 starts, this is a known problem and GM will not recall and fix. Please search internet to verify problem.

- Street, MD, USA

problem #83

Aug 032012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 128,090 miles
I walked out the door ready to go to work got in the car turned the key it would not start. So first I had to wake someone up with a phone call because this is our only car. Got a ride to work late and called the place where I am buying this car for them to tow it two miles to there shop and charge me seventy eight dollars. I get the call from them saying its the fuel pump(another common unnecessary fix that you here repeat over and over. He also said the antitheft light was on and that I somehow demagnitized the key(wasn't possible because I was given a all silver key no chip in it) so that cost almost a extra hundred for the after im riding almost fine torque could be more V6ish but I digress Tuesday Sep 4 2012 not a month later it doesn't start again, and again on my way to work. This time I had it towed and by the time it made it to the mechanic its was starting fine. I don't make enough money to continuously worry about this obvious widespread problem with GM vehicles made from 99-05. If whoever reads this types in my car wont start 2002 Chevy Malibu, and just read the different peoples story's and see videos. In conclusion GM must recall these vehicles and fix these problems. Im a long time GM supporter of there american made cars and trucks. I've owned a 1989 Cadillac biaritz, 1999 Chevy surburban, and now this 2002 chevey Malibu.ive been lucky I read about a guy whose antitheft acted up while he was driving with his child. Recall and save lives and headaches.

- Vero Beach, GA, USA

problem #82

Aug 262011


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that after inserting the key in the ignition, it failed to turn on the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnose that the ignition lock cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The VIN was not available. The failure was 70,000 and the current mileage 100,000.

- Lorain , OH, USA

problem #81

Mar 012010


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that after parking, the vehicle failed to start. The contact stated that the vehicle would only start after being off for approximately two hours. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnose that the anti theft device, the tumbler and the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The failure recurred. Also, the horn and the turning signals also turn on independently. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 145,000.

- Geneva, OH, USA

problem #80

May 252012


  • 279,000 miles
Having problems with the car not starting. It will crank, but won't start. Then hours later it starts. Updated 7/18/12 updated 07/25/12

- Lorain , OH, USA

problem #79

May 092012


  • 55,600 miles
As I was driving down the road, I signaled for a left turn. When I signaled the turn, there was a buzzing noise in the steering column and the engine turned off, resulting in a complete loss of power to steering and brakes. Luckily, I was going about 10 mph and was able to stop the car, albeit in the middle of the street. I noticed the dashboard lights were on. The car restarted immediately and I drove it 1/2 block to a parking space. I subsequently took the car to fh dailey, the local Chevy dealer. They told me there was a problem with the BCM (body control module) that had caused the engine to shut off while the car was being driven. They are replacing the BCM. They did not seem particularly concerned about the problem and my impression is it is not unusual for them to encounter it. I am concerned that, had I been driving in traffic, on the highway, or on a curving road, the engine failure could have resulted in significant injury or fatality to myself or others.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #78

Oct 152010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
I have had intermittent electrical problems almost since buying the car in 2004. In 2010 I experienced a scary new twist: My blinkers won't always work. It happened maybe three times total over the next 12-18 months, but it is happening again, and I am now doing much more around-town driving. I have read other complaints where some owners have been able to get the blinkers working again by toggling the hazard lights, but this is not the case with my car. I turn the vehicle on and the blinkers will work the first time I use them, then not again for the rest of my trip (or in some cases, the rest of the day).

- Franklin, MA, USA

problem #77

Feb 152012


  • 120,000 miles
Bought my Malibu new, had no problems with it until after 100,000 miles. Was at a yellow light and the car shut off turned key to off position and restarted the car and went on. I say about 5 months later we went out of town for 3 day came back went to the car tried to start it. It would start and shut off it would keep doing it. Took to the shop they had for over a month pull back seat out thinking the wires under the seat was bad. Then check a lot of other stuff then he said it was the key switch and replaced it got it going. Called use up to pick the car up and it wouldn't start. He replace that one with another switch called us up to pick it up and it would not start. Then he by passed it with a toggle switch it worked for one day and started all over again. We don't know what to do. It is the anti theft system.

- Eastpoint , FL, USA

problem #76

Mar 022012


  • miles
I purchased my Chevrolet Malibu from a private part and the vehicle was running fine but sometimes it does not want to start. Bought a new battery and replaced the ignition switch and still have the starting problem. Seems that this type of vehicle has a history of anti theft system problems I called a Chevrolet dealership to ask if it could be repaired and was told I need to take it in at a cost of $80 dollars to check it plus towing fees. I don't feel it is right that they do know the problem but still trying to get more money out of customers.

- Eagle Lake, TX, USA

problem #75

Mar 212011


  • 150,384 miles
1. the turn signals would not illuminate. Just stopped working for no reason. Lights were not burned out. Then they mysteriously started working just as they had stopped. For no reason. Incidents became more frequent with no apparent cause. Not weather related. After reading complaints on this site, I found that if I turned on my hazard flashers, the blinkers would work again. 2. I was rear ended on 11/4/11 though and could not get the flashers to work. I don't know if my brake lights were working or not when the incident occurred. 3. the air conditioner and heater only work on the highest level. 4. the door locks will lock and unlock at random while driving. 5. the key fob will work sometimes, most times not lately. 6. the security system will honk the horn sometimes when the key fob does lock the doors, most times it does not honk though. 7. the car overheats as the coolant container is loose and the radiator cap does not fit properly even though I purchased a new one. The gauge for the temperature doesn't seem to be accurate. 8. sometimes the heater does not work, just as the A/C didn't work most of the time in the summer. 9. anytime I try to use the cigarette lighter, it blows the fuse, leaving that feature totally useless. This car is very unpredictable and for a single woman, I feel it creates potential to be in a very dangerous situation. I do not know what to expect from this car and I really thought I was buying a reliable used car since it is a Chevrolet Malibu. Was I ever wrong and although I have always bought Chevrolet, it will not be my preference in the future.

- Midlothian, TX, USA

problem #74

Nov 162011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
The car dies when you are on the road. When you shut it off to get gas or anything it wont start the gauges go all over the place. This car is very unsafe and GM needs to recall the electrical system some one is going to get kill from the car with no warning just shuts down.

- Lodi, OH, USA

problem #73

Jun 162011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
2002 Chevrolet Malibu security/anti theft system erroneously disables the car - every 20 or starts, for no reason, requiring a lengthy process to re-enable the ignition system. Car is low mileage and has original keys & key fob.

- Fuquay Varina, NC, USA

problem #72

Feb 042011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the anti theft system would activate and would not allow her to start the vehicle for 10 minutes. The dealer advised the contact that the vehicle was not recognizing the key. The contact replaced the key; however, the anti theft system would still activate intermittently. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was 68,000. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 8/29/11

- Mckees Rocks, PA, USA

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