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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 6 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #59

Jan 152010


  • 130,000 miles
Turn signals and hazard do not work, windows occasionally will not go up/down, at times can smell gasoline. The horn ( after 10 years) just began beeping once when exiting vehicle.

- Candler, NC, USA

problem #58

Aug 012009


  • 70,000 miles
2002 Malibu in for repair. Notice the last 12 months that at random times whether or not blinker was used, the clicking sound of the blinker stays on with no turn lights in the dash on. Could be driving down the road on a straight path and the clicking noise with just begin. Somedays it does not happen and somedays it wont stop. The shop said that it was a bad hazard switch and charge me 150. Dollars. Well guess what, I left the lot and it is still making noise. Also one out of ten times putting car in park the head lights will shut off but go back on once placed back into drive.

- West Allis, WI, USA

problem #57

Jun 192006


  • 45,000 miles
Would not start.

- Gray., ME, USA

problem #56

Aug 152010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 68,607 miles
Own 2002 Chevy Malibu. The security interlock kicks in frequently. I have to wait 10 minutes while the car resets, only then may I start the car. (kinda similar to the fuel pump shutting off if a rear end bump occurs-safety). Strangely too, I hear an electrical sizzling sound just over and behind the radio. This is affecting my turn signals from working. I hit the safety flasher button and the sizzling noise stops, and the turn signals may or may not operate. Somehow the radio, the security system, and the turn signals are "wired" together, and the car thinks someone is stealing my radio, causing the security interlock to kick in. That's when I have to turn the key to on, than wait 10 minutes for the security system to reset. Only after 10 minutes may I restart the car (this is in the owners manual). This happens frequently. I think there may be a link in here somewhere the my car battery is draining while the car sits. Something relating to my radio(so it doesn't get stolen), and security system are causing the "no start" interlock to kick in.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #55

Jul 022010


  • 109,000 miles
Passlock - theft system activates and will not allow you to start the car it occurs 2-3 times a week took it to garage - they reset the system - still does the same thing over and over - did not fix the problem 2002 Chevy Malibu.

- Morris, PA, USA

problem #54

Jul 192010


  • miles
I have a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu ls and the passlock/ anti-theft system has kept my car from starting on several occasions. In re-searching this problem online I've found that there are several other complaints on the same issue. If this is a common complaint, it makes sense that GM should have to cover the expenses the fix the problem.

- Lewisport, KY, USA

problem #53

Jul 012010


  • 72,000 miles
I just bought a used 2002 Chevy Malibu. It only had 72,000 miles on it so I thought I was getting a great deal. Little did I know that it would leave me sitting, not starting, about once or twice a month! now I find out that many other people have this problem. I also found the work around of letting your car sit in the on position for ten minutes. If Chevy knows this, why don't they fix it? I may never buy another Chevy. I can not believe they are not standing behind their product. I'm tired of stressing every time I go some place and shut my car off, wondering if it's going to start.

- Perris, CA, USA

problem #52

Dec 012009


  • miles
Own a 2002 Malibu with 95K miles. Since December of 2009 the car does not start all the time. Once you turn the car off the car will not restart. You have to wait for at least a half hour before the car will start again. This has happened at least once a month since December and in June it has happened four times. Have taken it to my mechanic three times and they cannot duplicate the problem. Did not know what the problem really was until viewing all the similar complaints on NHTSA website.

- Seven Hills, OH, USA

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