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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,982 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 #10

Apr 012014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer states vehicle stalls. The consumer stated the fuel pump, battery and remote control were all replaced. However, the stalling continued. The ignition switch was eventually replaced. Also, T he brakes and struts needed to be replaced.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #9

May 052004


  • 3,500 miles
The brakes developed poor braking at speeds over 35 mph the front end would shimmy when applied. Twice replacing the brake pads and resurfacing of the rotors failed to correct the problem. Replacement of the front disk rotors that would not wrap with use corrected the problem GM failed to cover the repairs under warranty.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #8

Feb 012011


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 10 mph, the contact stated that he applied pressure to the brakes; however, he received no response. The brakes would make a squishing noise when pressure was applied, as if air was escaping. The manufacturer informed the contact that they would review his complaint and he was waiting for a response. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileages were 69,000.

- Newark, NY, USA

problem #7

May 252008


  • 24,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. On May 25, 2008, while driving 40 mph, the vehicle began accelerating faster than normal. The contact had to merge out of traffic. She could not feel the brakes working and sped through a stop sign. She drove into a parking lot to avoid crashing into other vehicles. The vehicle finally stopped when it crashed into an embankment. The front driver's side air bag failed to deploy. The vehicle was taken to the body shop to replace the driver's side door and headlamp. The manufacturer stated that an investigator would investigate the failure. They are currently stating that due to the body work that was performed on the vehicle, they will not investigate the acceleration failure, only the air bag failure. The contact has a back injury that was aggravated due to the crash. A police report was filed. The failure and current mileages were 24,000.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #6

Jan 032005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I bought my Malibu new in September 2003. In January 2005, I began to notice the car shuddering while braking, I took the car in and they machined both rotors, I took it in again on February 8th because the brakes were making a chatter and clank sound, they told me the calipers needed to be lubricated, I brought it back on February 18 for the lubrication. Next I took the car in for a oil change on March 29th and asked the technician to check the brakes and was told they were fine. On July 1st 05 I took the car in again because of a brake squeal and found the retaining bolt /pin on the left front caliper was missing. It was replaced as well as the bolt/pin on the upper bolt/pin due to the integrity of the original bolt/pin. On September 30th 05 I took the car in again for brake noise, and was told that both rotors were rusted, both rotors were turned and cleaned at that time. On October 12th 05 which was only 8 days later I took the car back again because the car was still making a grinding noise. When inspected the front rotors were again found to be rusty, pitted and worn, this time they replaced both the rotors and the brake pads. I took the car in on November 23rd 05 for recommended 15 max service which included a rear brake adjustment, I asked them to check the front brakes again, because they were still squeaking and they said they were fine. May 25th,06 I took the car in again for brake noise, they first told me the calipers again needed to be lubricated, but then came back and said they needed to be replaced. Now it is July of 06 and I am still having problems with the brakes. Also on July 5th, 06 I had to take the car in because the A/C and the recirculation mode stopped working, they replaced a bad HVAC control module.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #5

Jul 152005

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
Brakes (rotors and front pads) keep needing to be replace. First at 14,000 miles and then again at 28,000 miles. The first time they were replaced under the 36,000 mile warranty, but the second time the dealer refused to do it under the warranty and wanted $500 for job. Dealer first said the rear brakes were not adjusted but wouldn't blame the self adjusters that should keep them adjusted. Then they said that it was my driving habits, refusing to refer to all the other complaints about Malibu's brakes and the fact that none of my other cars have ever had brakes were out so soon. Now they say it is "normal" for Malibu brakes to wear out after 14,000 miles and again they won't cover them under warranty. Brakes do not wear out after 14,000 miles.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Jun 012004

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Problems with vehicle's brakes.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #3

Apr 082004

(reported on)


  • miles
Brakes were replaced at 13,700 miles. Now consumer think she need to replace the brakes again.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #2

Apr 092002

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,950 miles
2003 Chevy Malibu. 18,000 miles, had to replace front brake pads and have rotors turned. I was charged $200 for 2 hrs labor through a Chevy dealer, but I feel the brake pads should have lasted longer. When I questioned the dealer, they said that most of the Malibu's and several other cars had soft brake pads and had to be replaced early. They were replaced with a thicker brake pad. How come they didn't use these to start with?

- Glendale, MA, USA

problem #1

Nov 052003

(reported on)

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,368 miles
Brakes started to make a rubbing noise which progressed to a squeaking noise. Also, brake pedal would go down to the floor to stop the vehicle. Dealer has replaced brake pads/front rotors/ brake booster/calipers, and brake lines, but the problem still exists. The front driver window failed to roll up, the engine light illuminated, the A/C control was inoperative and cooling properly, the vehicle pulled to the right while driving down the road, the vehicle overheated.

- Selma, AL, USA

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