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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,001 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #17

Sep 282006

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Chevrolet Malibu faulty ignition switch vehicle shut off in the middle of the road. The consumer stated she had to replace the ignition switch on two different occasions. The first time was September 28, 2006 and the second time was June 3, 3014. After the second switch was installed, the consumer experienced other problems. She was informed the vehicle needed a body control module and lock switches. The dealer installed a chip in the keys, which did not correct the ignition problem. The front struts were replaced and the fuel pump needed to be replaced.

- Conway, SC, USA

problem #16

Jun 112014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Chevrolet Malibu customer requesting reimbursement for replacement of ignition switch. Also, the fuel pump was replaced.

- Warren, RI, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Jul 162013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


I have had three incidents related to the ignition system. The first time, the anti-theft light came on and after driving and then parking the car, I could not start it. The mechanic told me the ignition may have been worn. He replaced the key cylinder and of course the keys. The car was fine for almost a year when the same thing happened. I tried a different mechanic and was told he could reset the computer so as to change the anti-theft alert. I was told that it could happen again but he felt if I replaced the ignition system($300) that it would solve this. I decided to wait. Now the light came on again and within a day or two the car would not start.I had him reset the computer again. I have been told by someone with GM that this is not related to the recall. Both myself and the mechanic believe it is related. I would like GM to cover this repair and all the towing and other fees for having my car back on the road.

- Manteno, IL, USA

problem #13

Jul 022014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
This anti theft lamp is on in my car and I cannot drive. Have a husband who had a stroke and I need to be at the hospital this is horrible. Driving during the first week of the month in a 40mph zone the car turned off and that anti theft lamp was on, I was able to put the car in neutral and avoid an accident very scary situation. Last night I could not get home and was stranded after stopping the vehicle and it would not start. Car towed home today and this lamp is still on. I am being told that it is probably the keys, there are 3 keys all of which are no longer working. I have been able to drive utilizing putting the key to the on position waiting 10 minutes and the car will start well this time it is not working. Realized a few weeks ago after locking the doors on the car you would hear a beep like I had a keyless entry which I do not have. Help this is extremly serious I cannot drive my vehicle and I need to when are they going to issue remedies for these horrible problems we are having with these vehicles.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

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problem #12

Aug 152013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 38,916 miles
Stalled, replaced fuel filter, fuel pump and battery.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #11

Apr 282011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch and fuel pump repairs. The consumer stated the passlock sensor had to be replaced, because the vehicle would not start. Also, the fuel pump was replaced, because gas was not going from the tank into the engine, the cruise control occasionally would not work, the service engine light would come on intermittently, and electrical components, such as the radio and windows stopped working.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #10

Mar 172014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 128,846 miles
Vehicle will idle high, 3000 RPM, driving is dangerous and braking is difficult. I called Chevy on 03/12/14 and they made an appt. And said it would be no problem under recall #04092. I went down today 03/17/14 for my appt and they told me recall had been completed on 12/13/2004. This is new information and now they will not inspect my vehicle to tell me what is wrong. The dealership gave me a document which states that on 12/31/04 the accelerator pedal was inspected but no actions were taken. This informs me that they had not properly replaced recalled items which were required.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #9

May 032012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 124,947 miles
The car has cut off while I was driving on at least 10 occasions since 2012. Usually, if driving at normal speed it would happen as I slowed down to turn a corner, although it has also happened once or twice while I was driving on the highway. Each time, I was fortunate enough to either drift over onto the shoulder or complete the turn without getting hit. When the car cuts off I lose the ability to steer. During that period I also experienced significant electrical problems: Sometimes the turn signals would not come on, the auto locks would come on and off by themselves while driving and the air conditioner would not stay on. On 5/3/12 my key would not turn the ignition. I had the car towed to a mechanic who advised that I probably had too many keys on my ring and it wore down the ignition. Shortly after having the ignition replaced, I noticed the anti-theft system light stayed on and it affected my ability to start the car. For the past 2 years, in order to start my car, I have to put the key in the ignition, then turn it to the "accessory" position for about 15 seconds, then to the "on" position and wait for the gas gauge and dash to light up (perhaps another 15-40 seconds) in order to start the car. I researched online and found similar problems for my make and model. This is how I learned how to start the car under these conditions. I have my repair receipts and internet searches for this problem from 2012 as well as every oil change and service ticket from 2003. I think that the 2003 Malibu should be investigated for inclusion in the ignition switch recall.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #8

Jun 102010


  • 75,000 miles
Car failed to start. A local mechanic was aware of the problem that GM was having with the Malibu's. he showed me how to turn the key to on for 10 minutes and then the theft light would stop blinking and you could then start the car. This past year it has been happening about daily or every 5 to 6 times that you go to start the car. Mostly on short trips of less than 2 miles. I contacted 2 local Chevy dealers and they claim to know nothing about the problem! I have been told to bring it in and they would check it out - at a charge. What if this happened in an area that was not safe for my family or me - we could not start the car and would have to just sit there for 10 minutes!

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #7

Jan 152012


  • miles


This is the second time I am having this problem...the same problem everyone else is wont start due to anti theft issue....luckily my car was in a parking lot at a grocery store. This really needs to be addressed by GM because everyone I know is aware and if I am injured in an accident because this fails while driving - I will find a very good lawyer and collect all the other complainers online for this same issue and file a class action lawsuit - there are plenty enough to do so....this is getting rediculous. How many people have to die before GM steps up and actually fixes the problem" they recalled for the cruise control accelerator and while I did respond and take my car in they told me mine was not an issue...only to discover a year later it is an issue...I just deal with it like I will this one I guess....unbelievable that no one cares except the family members of the people driving these 23K dollar vehicles....I cant sell the car because everyone out there knows about this problem and I would be selling a what"

- Wilbur, OR, USA

problem #6

Sep 142011


  • 62,300 miles
Car will not start fuel pump shuts down, car thinks it is being broken into. Have to sit in car for 10 minutes with key in ignition to override system. Has happened 4 times in last month. Also, fuel pump shut down while driving on parkway- lucky to get to side of road without an accident. By the way, new fuel pump and module replaced at 60,000 so that is not the issue.. how many people need to get into accidents or die before the NHTSA gets involved and makes Chevy do the right thing and replace this ignitions and passlock parts that are defective!!!! oh, and they got a bail out- but the consumers don't get any and have to continue to pay them for repairs that they caused in the first place GM makes an astronomical amount of money on these repairs. I hope the NHTSA gets a share of that money because you certainly aren't interested in correcting the situation. How many years and tens of thousands of complaints does it take"?????"

- West Long Branch, NJ, USA

problem #5

Oct 022011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
My 2003 Chevy Malibu would not start. I learned that the reason it would not start was due to the theft system pass lock. Somehow the theft system was triggered and cut the fuel supply to the engine. I did what the manual said and waited 10 minutes with the key in the on position. The car started after that; however two weeks later, the car does the same thing. The process is repeated to reset the theft system. But now I wonder how many more times this problem will occur and why hasn't anything been done about a recall. Over 30 incidents have reported online at so why hasn't there be a recall for this problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure that more people have had problems with this they just have not reported it. This problem is very inconvenient and you never know when your car is actually going to start. Something needs to be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #4

Jul 072005


  • miles
After a year the lights on the dashboad/radio and window wouldn't come on right away. Then the engine light would come on but there's was nothing wrong with it. Then the service light would come on month after I had a oil change done. While I was driving, the car just slowed up and stop. Told by my mechanic it was the fuel pump but while he had it for half the day; the car started right up with no problem. Also sometimes there's a clicking noise like my signal is on but its not. I was told it was my alarm key. Every time there is a incident computer shows it but can't explain the problem and it stop for awhile but comes back. Been like this since I had it and I have taken it to the dealer they keep it over night same thing.

- Paterson, NJ, USA

problem #3

Aug 122004


  • 15,000 miles
Passlock system is defective due to nickel plating on starter tumbler causing oxidation. Dealers are able to make a killing on this defective connector because they have to troubleshoot a full fuel pump system and wiring harness before they will replace the passlock system. Occurs once every few months intermittently and becomes more serious as the oxidation worsens. Potentially dangerous situations occur when vehicle would stall in an unsafe location (ie: Railroad tracks or highway) and vehicle will not restart. Coupled with the recall these vehicles had with the accelerator sticking (which mine did on a highway) this could be a very dangerous problem. I have researched the problem online (all you have to do is google "passlock problem" and you will get thousands of results and consumer fixes complaining about how GM ignores every service request for a solution that doesn't gouge customers. There is practically an underground club designed to handle this problem.) according to the shop foreman at colonial Chevrolet in Norfolk, va, after his 14 years of experience with service this is a problem he is intimately acquainted with and recommends replacing the key tumbler (passlock chip integrated inside) and the connector that leads to the body control module.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 192009


  • 97,000 miles
In our case, what could have happened is more extreme! after running to and from the store, our car would not restart. It happened in our own driveway--- thank god!!! from what I have read as to similar complaints on our exact vehicle's defect, we could have been in traffic! several other complaints were in life-threatening positions when their car broke down! we were fortunate!! we have since had it looked at by a friend who knows cars and is a mechanic, and he tells us that it is a defective fuel pump. He also tells us that it may also include replacing the fuel relay, but will definitely include replacing the fuel filter! with his labor cost and parts, we are looking at a cost (minimum--- barring no further complications) of around $400!! the dealership would be much more!!! at this time, due to financial distress, we cannot afford to get it fixed! my wife works 20+ miles away, and I am out of work due to a heart condition! this could not have happened at a worse time financially for us!!

- Elm Mott, TX, USA

problem #1

Jun 272008


  • 61,000 miles
The anti-theft system in my 2003 Chevrolet Malibu is defective, apparently this is a problem for just about every owner of a Chevy Malibu. This needs to be recalled by GM!!!! about once or twice a week when I attempt to start my car I pray the anti-theft system does not blink, because when it blinks that means the car isn't going to start. The owner's manual states that if this occurs then turn the key to the "on" position and let it sit for 10 minutes and then turn the key to "off" and start the car as normal. Well for about 1 year this worked, it was a hassle, but it worked. Now after about a year of this pain in the butt routine twice a week to start my car, finally it died on me while driving and will no longer start. GM is obviously aware of this malfunction because they have given instructions on how to deal with it in the owner's manual, the problem is they haven't done anything to correct the problem, after their suggestion fails to start the car. This malfunction needs to be recalled!!!!!!!

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

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