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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,064 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 6 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #71

Jun 142011


  • miles
I own a 2002 Chevy Malibu and the theft system warning light keeps coming on and prevents me from starting the car. The "fix" is to sit with the key in the on position until the light stops flashing. I know many people have had the same problem and apparently the permanent fix is to replace the ignition cylinder which is expensive and doesn't always work.

- Cottage Grove, MN, USA

problem #70

Feb 202011


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the contact was advised that the vehicle had experienced a computer failure. The mechanic was unable to duplicate the failure because the vehicle was restarted by that time. The contact stated several attempts would need to be made and the key had to be maneuvered a certain way before the vehicle would start. The contact attempted to use other copies of the key and the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 41,000.

- Deerfield, WI, USA

problem #69

Apr 202011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles


Car fails to start after shutting off. Theft system has to be reset by leaving the key on for 9 minutes. GM knows about this but will not do anything about it. Car does this about twice a month. Car started doing this at 52000 miles in 2005.

- Somerset, KY, USA

problem #68

Mar 302011


  • 135,000 miles
The 2000-2003 Chevy Malibu will turn over but won't start, ever!. auto repair place kept care for last 8 days. Problem is caused by the antitheft system. Dealers and auto-repair shops charge $1000 without fixing the problem. I've seen over a hundred complaints on this issue from people with Malibu of this era from the 'carcomplaints website'. request: Ask GM to come up with a solution.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #67

Feb 192011


  • 99,899 miles
I bought this car as a "steal" from a dealership. It was used as a trade in and the carfax report looked good. However, no one told me of the passlock problem. Today, I had to call off work after stopping for a cup of coffee and having to spend 3.5+ hours resetting and starting the car, I have often had difficulties and learned of the 10 minute trick, but it doesn't always work. GM should stand behind their products. From what I've gathered the repair can cost as high as $600 for a design flaw that will likely repeat itself. No wonder they went bankrupt with such shoddy products.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #66

Feb 012006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
Surprised to not see this GM recall in the database. GM recalled thousands of Chevy Malibu's manufactured from 1997 2003 for a malfunctioning flasher switch and/or short in the wiring. The safety issue is the malfunctioning switch causes the blinkers to work intermittently and in many instances not function at all additionally the hazard lights do not function.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #65

Dec 062010


  • 135,846 miles
I bought a 2002 Chevy Malibu from a private party. Up until a few days ago it was running fine. One day it doesn't start up right away but I don't think anything of it. I park it then later get in to go to the store and vehicle will not start. So I get a new battery and that still did not fix it. I notice that the anti-theft light is on and is preventing me from starting my own car. A local GM dealership has my car and they say that there is definitely something going on with my ignition and theft system. There are thousands of complaints about the anti-theft system on 2002 Chevy Malibu and Malibu not letting owners start their car. This is a manufacturing problem and GM knows all about it, yet they refuse to own up and issue a recall. It's not right that we have to pay for repairs on a defective theft system that GM built in there vehicles. They should be ashamed for putting thousands of american's at risk because everytime they start their car they have to wait 10, 20 mins, and sometimes more just for their theft light to go off to start their car. That is actually putting people at risk. Does something awful have to happen before GM opens up their eyes to this dangerous problem"?????"

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #64

Nov 292010


  • 100,464 miles
2002 Malibu will not start- anti theft system has shut down car. Fixed 5 years ago- over ride last year- won't start. Also tail lights work when they want to-most the time not at all. Keep having leaks in coolant area- needs to be fixed yearly running around $900 a year.

- Florence, SC, USA

problem #63

Dec 052010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 79,128 miles
I drove about 2 miles to my sisters house and turned my car off. When I went back out to start my car 20 min later, it would not start. Aaa said my key had to be reset and it would cost about $80. He towed my vehicle to aaa plus. They advised me the next day that it would be $477.29. $302.10 for an ignition switch. $42 for dia electrical labor and $77.70 for rr ignition switch and recode. I was informed that they had to rekey my car, because this is a recurring issue with the 2002 Malibu's. if this is true, then chevorlet should have a recall for the ignition switch. $477 is extremely high for something that I have no control of. I am a senior citizen and can not afford this cost nor can I afford to be out somewhere when my vehicle stops.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #62

Nov 302010


  • miles
I have a 02 Chevy Malibu that the passlock alarm keeps activating almost every time I turn off the ignition, leaving me stranded for 10 minutes each time waiting for the alarm to reset. This problem has been getting more frequent over the last 2 years to where every third crank activates the alarm. This is a ongoing problem with no approximate incident date, but I will use today's date.

- Atokat, TN, USA

problem #61

Sep 302010


  • 87,000 miles
2002 Chevrolet Malibu - engine will crank - no start, theft system indicator light blinking. Previous fixes performed by dealerships have been replacing ignition tumblers and BCM. Issue been recurring every 12-16 months for past 3 years.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #60

Jun 242008


  • 86,428 miles
On 6-24-2008 I was driving down the street, and I went to turn on my left turn signal, 100 feet before the turning lane (so as to warn the person behind me, that I was going to move into the left hand turning lane), and I went to turn on my left hand turn signal, and not realizing that it wasn't working, I went to move over into the left hand turn lane, and I almost hit the car that was behind me, because as he said "you didn't give me any warning that you wanted to go into the left turn lane, where I already was. You didn't turn your signal on"! the guy was really pissed off at me. I had my turn signal on way ahead of time. However, after careful inspection, I noticed that the turn signals were "no longer working at all"! this really worried me, because if this guy had gone totally crazy on me, and had a gun, I have no doubt that he would have used it on us. I noticed that these turn signals on my 2002 Chevy Malibu, are some how inter connected to the emergency signal (I found this out, after reviewing my 2002 Chevy Malibu repair book. This problem needs to be corrected immediately, because it is a major problem, every time I go to make a turn. It's caused more problem's than my family or I have ever wanted. Up until this problem arose, my family & I always believed in Chevy car's. now thou, I would have to reconsider ever buying a Chevy. I need this problem fixed immediately.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

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