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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,919 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.

2003 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 172014


  • 84,000 miles


100% of brake lines failed via rust also, control arms front/rear severely rusted.

- Winsted, CT, USA

problem #10

Aug 072015


  • 59,480 miles
This has happened five times now, I am driving and the engine just shuts off, I can not brake I can not steer, I still have lights on the dashboard. It happens when I am gong about 20 to about 35 miles per hour. I am afraid to drive on the highway. I do not know if it will happen at a higher speed! it did it the first time back in June 2015 my daughter was driving, then again last Friday August 7th four more times with in 10minutes and a few miles apart. It is like someone just turned the car off while I am driving?

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #9

Jun 182015


  • 130,000 miles
Computer problem 2003 Chevy Impala 6 cyl front wheel drive automatic 130000 miles this recently started, the traction on light and the ABS yellow lights on dash stay on. Rarely do they go off, only a few times. The square indicator light says "service traction control" light comes on when I start the vehicle, stays on for 1-2 minutes then goes off. But the traction control light and the ABS light remains on. How can I reset this or what to not have a trip to the expensive auto repair shop. I have no problem with the ABS brakes to operate correctly, no delays or brake hesitation when I press the brake pedal in use. Help me out with a good solution. I will greatly appreciate your response.

- New Windsor, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 102014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 76,300 miles


Car will not start. Solid "theft" light comes on dashboard and car will not turn over, or if it turns over, will cut out shortly after. This anti-theft issue causes the power steering and brakes to disable, and am not able to turn the steering wheel. Have also had car stall out in traffic and lose all power. Had to have car towed several times due to the issue. I have tried several fixes and mechanical repairs, but this issue continues to get worse. No matter what I try and do, at random times, my car will not start, while the "theft" light comes on and completely disables my vehicle. And sometimes while driving, the car just shuts off. I am the original owner of the vehicle, and am using an original key to start the car. I do not have any type of security system installed in my car. There is no reason for the "theft" light to come on when I am just trying to start my vehicle, not steal it. The ignition recall for my specific vehicle only involves replacing the keys, but this anti-theft issue, which I and other Chevrolet Malibu owners are experiencing, is a serious safety issue that could cause a crash or other accident to occur if it causes the car to cut out (lose power) for no reason while driving, and at the same time disabling the steering and braking systems. This should definitely be a safety recall.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 052014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The car shut off with no warning while driving on the road. This was a total shut-down of the car; including the loss of power steering and the functionality of the brake booster. The car afterwards becomes difficult to start. It may take several tries or a prolonged waiting period until the car will want to start. After it does start there's no telling if it will shut off again while driving. It has shut off while going through turns, and pulling out into traffic.

- Richland, PA, USA

problem #6

Nov 042014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 264,000 miles
I tell dealer check engine light on "he says not to be concerned there is white smoke coming from tailpipe ignition can take up to 5 min to get on code says car needs egr valve car needed brakes and rotors all the way around and tyrod dealer will not respond to calls car was recalled for ignition switch never repaired I need to know if I can take it in to Chevy dealer ony had 1 month vehicle is not safe and I am 76 there is a waranty on engine and transmission.

- Lawrence, IN, USA

problem #5

Jul 022014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


I was driving near my home when a turkey ran out in front of my vehicle from the left. I was looking to the right as I approached my driveway. I saw the turkey out of the corner of my eye and I stepped hard on my brakes because I was unable to immediately identify the animal. My brake pedal went straight to the floor and, after stopping completely, I discovered that my driver side brake line had ruptured. I took the vehicle to a repair shop and was informed that all of my brake lines needed to be replaced. I was told that this brake line failure occurred because the lines were susceptible to corrosion caused by road salt.

- Jeannette, PA, USA

problem #4

Sep 192014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving various speeds, the engine rpms suddenly increased and the driver was unable to apply the brakes. The driver had to crash into a curb in order to stop the vehicle. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #3

Apr 122014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 29,332 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving approximately 35 mph, the brakes failed without warning. The vehicle continued to accelerate while the brakes were applied, causing the contact to crash into another vehicle. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 29,332. Upadated 06/24/14 MA updated 06/30/2014

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #2

Feb 122013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 87,001 miles
When it rains the tail lights fill up with water and the lights do not work correctly. And sometimes they do not work at all. It holds water and the lights flash in a christmas tree light manner. Also when the breaks are stepped on the blinkers do not work. Also when you step on the break the blinker indicators on the instrument panel remain lit up green. I have replace bulbs as well as the whole light housing. Even drilled wholes in the bottom of the light housing units so the water can drained. Nothing can remedy this problem it is very dangerous.

- Lewisville , TX, USA

problem #1

Aug 012012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
After my 2003 Chevrolet Malibu had been parked in the sun for a while, on a short trip of 4 miles, the car started revving up and taking off on it's on. It also caused my A/C hose to burst (I am convinced it is related). I took it to dealer for repair and they cleaned the throttle and replaced the A/C hose. There is still the same problem. It seems as though it happens when it is very hot weather and I am making short trips running errands which calls for turning engine off and restarting. I drove back home with my foot entirely on the brakes while trying to keep the car from running out of control. I am very reluctant to drive it now, until I can find someone to "really" fix the problem (as I was stuck with a $487 repair bill).

- Richmond, VA, USA

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