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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,790 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #13

Dec 072016


  • miles


Went to dealer who mentioned the only remedy for my car is a small piece on the car key (nothing done to the car) and since I had a copied key, they would be unable to help unless I had a GM key available.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 012016


  • miles
Theft system light, leaves me stranded, car won't start unless open door with key in ignition for exactly 10 minutes then car will start. I am a woman that is left stranded several times a week, at night and only way car will start is to have drivers door wide open with key in ignition and other doors will not lock, leaves me in a dangerous situation. Began a couple of years ago, approx. 50,000 miles, just getting worse and more frequent.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #11

May 012016


  • 65,000 miles
Airbag red warning light is flashing on dashboard when turning the ignition. This happens intermittently. I am afraid the airbag will deploy at any time even if there is no car crash. This has happened at least 2 times. Once when the car was sluggish and I had to turn it off at atop light because it would not accelerate over 40 miles and hour. The other time it happened just when I was starting the car. I

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #10

Nov 012014


  • 0 miles


The ignition key cylinder will not allow my key to go to a vertical position when turning my car to the off position. The car would be stationary and in the park position, as a result, the car stays on and my battery gets drained and I need a jump all the time. I started detaching the battery when I go in and out of stores and overnight when sleeping and reconnecting when I go to a new destination. I reported this to the Chevrolet dealership and they gave me a key, telling me the problem was the size of the hole my key ring had. Needles to say the problem still exists. I had not driven it since may of 2015. Now that the weather is getting colder, I don't want to keep going on with this hastle. I am not financially able to rectify this situation out of pocket, yet, there has been a recall on the ignition switches. You would not want to be in my shoes. I pray I will be able to go to a Chevrolet dealership to fix or replace a switch for me. If not, god will bless me for I am not at fault for this faulty ignition switch. I spoke with T Chevrolet dealership this morning and the only thing they could do was put my vehicle identification number in and file a complaint. The complaint number is 8-1656466940.

- Waukegan, IL, USA

problem #9

Nov 072006


  • 82,856 miles
I have had the thef system in my 2003 Chevy Malibu repaied more times than I care to say. It stated in 11/7/2006 and it have been an ongoing thing. I am a widow and I am really afraid to take this car out at nights in fear that it might leave me stranded. The first time it cost me $351.74 to repair the theft system. Then it went again in 6/7/2008 the same thing happened. This cost me $483.37. It ran for a little while then the key wouldn't come out of the ignition and you couldn't turn the car off, back to the shop. Thank god they didn't charge me for this trip. Then on 8/31/2015 the thef system left me stranded again, and back to the shop to pay them another $538.72. This car has been nothing but trouble and very expensive. I did complain when it was first happening and a customer rep. Told me that it was my problem and their where no recalls on it. After all the deaths and problems that your company has had you probably should recall everyone of them and start over from scratch. I have documented proof that this car is a piece of junk. Thank you pamela J. shak

- Chester Gap, VA, USA

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problem #8

Jun 112007

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
I have had several issues with my car over the years. The first was when the fuel pump failed and my car stalled in traffic in 2006 and repair was $600. The intake manifold gaskets failed about 10 months later that was repaired at the dealer for $1200. I have replaced the engine twice ($600 each time) because of the head gaskets and too much oil inside the engine. Now I have a strong odor of gasoline inside my car when I start it up that lasts for about 15-20 minutes each day. I've replaced the ignition switch twice now and the gear shift does not lock properly. Now anti theft security light comes on often and I have to wait approximately 11 minutes to reset it before I can leave my location. The hood latch recently broke and now the wire must be replaced from the inside to the exterior of the car.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #7

May 012013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


Started having problems starting my car, theft light would come on and I would have to sit and wait to get the car started, very annoying problem having to play a waiting came to start your car. Then one day I was driving and the car just shut off in the middle of the high way, I had no idea the car was even off until I tried to acclerate or turn because the radio remains on. Have to stop and put my hazzards on and start the car again, some days it does repeat stalls which causes me to almost get hit by cars behind me (very very dangerous), some days it drives fine. Then one day while shutting my car off and returning home the horn started honking and would not turn off for about a 1/2 hour, and after that it hasnt worked again. Took the car in to the shop because im fed up and they said it is all linked to a faulty pass key/anti theft system that causes these electrical problems. Did some research and noticed this is and has been a reaccuring problem in the Malibu's.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #6

Sep 012012


  • miles
2003 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to a tsb for vehicle

- La Crosse, WI, USA

problem #5

May 072010

(reported on)


  • miles
2003 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer wants to know if his vehicle is under a recall.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #4

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

problem #3

May 302008


  • 60,000 miles


This 2003 Chevy Malibu has a bad reputation on its passlock system. The car couldn't be started when I turned the key. The theft system lights was on.

- Ames, IA, USA

problem #2

May 162008


  • 78,300 miles
Intermittently the vehicle will not start because the anti-theft system kept locking the vehicle. It takes several minutes (ten min or so) for the system to re-set and allow the vehicle to start. Dealerships are not able to correct this problem. Com- plaints registered on station are numerous (at least 40) concerning this problem. Several people have reported that the vehicle will suddenly stop running while driving in motion. GM should recall and correct this immediately.

- Anderson, IN, USA

problem #1

Jun 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 111 miles
I have own three Chevy Malibu a 1998, 2002 and I just got a 2003. However, I noticed that GM has removed there cruise control light off of the dash board when you turn it on. The other two Malibu's I own had a dash light come on to let you know the cruise control is on. But the 2003 does not it only has a little light on the cruise button on the steering column and its hard to see during day light. I think this is a very dangerous as you may not know if your cruise is on which could cause a accident. Could you please look into this for me.

- Mount Morris, MI, USA

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