Print this page


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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Chevrolet Malibu:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #39

Nov 012009


  • miles


For the past few weeks, my car has had a problem starting up. I had someone look at it and he said there is a problem with the theft system. When I try to start the car, it will not do anything. I have to wait until the theft light goes off before the car even starts. I thought that seemed strange but after reading other complaints I see that I am not the only on having that problem.

- Orangeburg, SC, USA

problem #38

Oct 252009


  • 96,000 miles
The passlock system on my 2002 model Malibu has failed several times causing my daughter and grandchild to be "stuck" at different locations away from home. The system even failed during her driving one day which could have been a very bad situation for her as well as other drivers. Luckily, she was able to control the car as it completely shut down. I took the car to Chevrolet and they told me the fuse box had shorted out due to rain (?) as well as the ignition switch was screwed up. Anyway, over the course of 1 year, I spent a total of approximately $1700 in so called repairs until I found out about the 10 minute trick. Nevertheless, the 10 minute trick turned out to be a 1 hour trick just yesterday. And Chevrolet won't fix the problem"!?!"! this is a nuisance and dangerous as well.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #37

Oct 172009


  • 55,000 miles
Electrical system-anti-theft/passlocksystem. The situation arises with no prior warnings, I insert my original GM key in the ignition switch to start my 2002 Chevrolet Malibu and the electronic anti-theft system goes into theft mode (as if I am stealing my own car). The theft system light on the dash starts flashing and the car will not start. The engine turns over but will not start. I have to leave the car switched on for 10 minutes (while draining the battery) until the theft system light quits flashing and stays on steady. At that point I must turn the ignition switch to off and then try starting the car again. This has occurred about 6 times since I reached 55000 miles. The last time was last week and I am now at 76000 miles. Dealer pretended that they have no idea what caused this and had not dealt with any other problems of this type with the Chevy Malibu at their dealership. I see after doing much research that this was a total lie on their part. They supposedly tried to recreate the problem, but could not. They told me they had to wait for it to happen again, at which point I could have it towed there and they quoted me $650+ to replace ignition assembly (what they considered the "likely" cause). Car also makes outside horn noises randomly and the inside alarm chimes randomly. I've read all of the complaints on this, even one woman whose car just stopped while she was driving on the highway due to this antithefft system problem. This is an obvious defect needing recall and obviously dangerous on many levels. There are many complaints on auto complaint sites (ie., autoforum) and I can see complaints on this site as well. Why aren't you doing anything about it?! please respond!!!

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #36

Aug 162009


  • 38,790 miles


I drove my 2002chevy Malibu to work and when I got in to start it, the car would not start. I had to have it towed to a garage. It cost me a tow bill and $278 to have the anti-theft system reset. Now I am reading that this may happen again and again as long as I own the car! there should be a recall for this to be fixed permanently. My daughter also has the same model and it has happened to her twice.

- Okmulgee, OK, USA

problem #35

Oct 032009


  • 75,000 miles
Anti-theft system will not allow car to start even though I am using the factory key that came with the car. This occurs approximately every ten to fifteen times I try to start the car. It has been doing this for the last two months.

- Townsend, DE, USA

problem #34

Sep 072009


  • miles
My mother owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu that sometimes will not start because the theft deterrent system gets a false reading and shuts off power to the fuel pump. Placing the ignition key in the on position for 10 minutes will usually reset the theft system. This problem has happened to us several times. I did an online search and found where many people have experienced this same problem. Some have spent several hundred dollars trying to correct the problem. Can GM be forced to correct this. Now that we the people own a majority stake in the company, it seems a perfect time to have this corrected. You know that they knew about the passlock problem, but in their arrogance and greed, would not correct it. If you have any questions please call james mcdonald. Also, if you want to see other peoples complains do a google search of Chevrolet Malibu theft deterrent system problem and you will see the numerous complaints. If this cannot be corrected with your intervention, I will never buy another General Motors product. Thank you for your time.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #33

Sep 012009


  • 94,000 miles


Tried to start my 2002 Chevy Malibu ls and would not start. Anti-theft system light was on. The failure seems to be the passlock to the anti-theft system. The computer can be reset but this does not fix the problem it is only a temporary fix. Apparently there is not a fix for this problem at all. It will just keep happening as long as you own the car. I have been luck that it's only done this while parked. It is my understanding that the anti-theft system could kick in at anytime and shut off the car even while driving. This to me seems dangerous and should be a recall.

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #32

Aug 142009


  • 164,000 miles
I purchased a used 2002 Chevy Malibu in 2005. In 2006, I had to have the pass lock sensor replaced due to the car not starting. This is apparently a common issue in GM cars, I've since learned. There is something wrong with the theft deterrent system. About two months ago, the car would not start again. The fuel gauge read empty even though it wasn't. the body control module was replaced. Today, I took my car through a car wash. While sitting the dash indicator lights all came on, but the car was still running. The lights stayed on and none of the dash gauges were working. I made it home, turned the car off, restarted it, same thing. I was advised to attempt to reset the pass lock sensor. This seems to have worked so far. I have been advised that it is most likely the pass lock sensor or BCM again. Apparently, this is a super common issue in GM cars for the pass twelve years. In total for the two repairs already mentioned, I have spent about 1200 dollars. I strive to maintain my vehicle for safety purposes. It very frustrating to know that GM has been aware of this issue, yet has made no attempt to resolve it for car owners.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #31

Jul 082009


  • 65,531 miles
I own a 2002 Chevy Malibu that won┐T start about every third time. The car will not start due to GM's defective passlock anti theft system. The passlock sensor has been replaced twice since I purchased the car in August of 2006. The sensor is now acting up again and it seems like this system needs to be repaired almost every year. Thousands of other Malibu owners are experiencing this issue.

- Elk Grove Village, IL, USA

problem #30

Jun 272009


  • 44,000 miles
The body control module "misread" vehicle ignition key and would not allow the vehicle start.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #29

Jun 232009


  • 104,000 miles


Theft system kicks in and wont let the car start. This is the 2nd time this has happen to me and I know several people this has happen to. I contacted Chevrolet and they told me to contact you all maybe U all could help us get this issue fixed.

- Clarksville, IN, USA

problem #28

Apr 282009


  • 11,620 miles
My 2002 Chevy Malibu has been having problems since I bought it at about 104,000 miles but I am sure that it was having problems well before I bought it because of the low price I paid for it, but I needed a car badly. I have always had problems starting my car and usually would have to turn it on to make sure all the lights come on, not just the anti-theft light. If only the anti-theft light comes on, its guaranteed to not start. At exactly 111,111 miles my car would not start at all no matter how many times I took the key out and put it back in. It kept flashing the anti-theft at me! I replaced the idol speed motor and for some reason it started. A week later it wouldn't start again. I read about tricks online to get the car to start because this seems to be a prominent problem with 2002's. I finally got the car started. A few days later I was driving on a busy highway when I came to a stop light and my car just shut off. I was still able to use my breaks, thank god, but had to sit there in the middle of traffic trying to start my car for several minutes. I keep thinking what if this happens when my 2-year-old is with me" what if this happens in the dark and someone rear ends me because my lights go out" I have had the fuel pump checked, the fuel injectors, the idle speed motor replaced every time I replace something it works for a few days or weeks then it starts to act up again. The point is that the problem always comes back and it seems to get worst, and happens more frequently with every failure. The problem could be the ignition cylinder witch is what I am having fixed next, but I have acquaintances that have had the same problems that come back even after replacing the ignition cylinder. My biggest concern is having everything die again while I am driving because its not just a inconvenience anymore, it is a safety issue that Chevy needs to address before there are deaths and or serious injuries.

- St. Peter, MN, USA

problem #27

Feb 282009


  • miles
Intake gasket went in car cost $740 to fix, the coolant was mixing with oil. I didn't have heat couldn't see out back window. The signals work when they want, the rear defroster don't work, my husband has fixed it 2X and put in shop, still don't work. My car gets service when its time. There's a sound in the dashboard sound like wires rubbing together and you get a little shock when you get out car. I hope I don't be driving and my car catch on fire with me in it. I think my car was in the bad batch section.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #26

Feb 252009


  • 155,540 miles
2002 Chevy Malibu won't start occasionally passlode problem diag at local dealer ignition replaced and keys reprogrammed cost $398.60.still have problem that we took car to dealer in first place for. Dealer can not fix problem what do we do this is unsafe for wife and young child to become stranded on a daily bases. I have done some research and have come to find out that this is an ongoing problem with the passlock systems from GM. We have also had to replace the intake manifold gasket and have sense learned about the ongoing problems with the dexcool coolant causing gasket failure.we need help.

- Bostic, NC, USA

problem #25

Jan 012008


  • 70,000 miles
Passlock II theft deterrent system not allowing car to start and sometimes shutting the engine off while driving. The problem started around 70,000 miles with the theft light once in awhile coming on and blinking on the dashboard and not allowing the car to start, unless you waited 10 minutes with the ignition key in the "on" position until the theft light went off. Then around 80,000 miles "almost" every time you would try to start the car you would have to wait for the lights on the dash and the fuel pump to turn on before starting the car, which was most likely a result of the passlock II resistors not registering in the ignition key tumbler. There was also a couple of times when the car completely shut off and once while trying to merge onto a major highway. After reading about how common the passlock II problem was on some of the GM vehicles and how expensive it was to fix a problem that could possibly return anyway, we decided to just get another vehicle.

- Highland Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #24

Jan 012007


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. When the contact turned the ignition, the vehicle failed to start due to the anti-theft device. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop several times and the mechanic changed an unspecified part. This did not correct the failure. The failure was diagnosed as the electrical panel, but the failure could not be corrected because it could cause other components in the electrical panel to fail. The vehicle is still at the repair shop. A report was filed with the manufacturer and the contact was informed that they would not be able to assist if the vehicle was not taken to a GMC dealer. The failure mileage was 60,000 and current mileage was 90,000.

- New Iberia , LA, USA

problem #23

Oct 012008


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu. While leaving the highway at an unknown speed, the contact noticed that the turn signals failed. The failure has occurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they could not determine the cause of the intermittent failure. The dealer replaced the upper and lower head gasket seal, but the failure was not corrected. The rack and pinion failed and was replaced in 2006 and again in October of 2008. The failure mileage was 30,000 and current mileage was 52,300.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #22

Aug 112008


  • miles
I bought a 2002 Chevy Malibu from a car dealership. Once I drove off the lot the blinkers stopped working for me, they were working during the test drive. After trying to figure out what was going on I found that the problem was connected with the emergency lights box. Whenever it was in a certain position the blinkers would work otherwise they did not. I tried fixing it with some rubberbands and duct tape- for some reason that worked for awhile but now it's acting up again! help!

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #21

Nov 282008


  • miles
2002 Malibu theft system light issue.

- Monroeville, PA, USA

problem #20

Nov 012008


  • 160,000 miles
Pass 11 security system - replaced and not working again.

- Ottumwa, IA, USA

Read the next 19 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?