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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 16
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,422 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.

2005 Chevrolet Malibu lights problems

lights problem

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2005 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #73

Dec 012013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 10,143 miles


While turning left the orange globe in the headlight assembly melted and caused light bulb to burn plastic. I contacted the company General Motors before about the discoloration of my headlight assembly and they said they had not received any prior complaints. I work for a parts store and I had noticed almost every (80%) 2005 that came in for light bulb replacement has this problem. My daughter has a Malibu max 2005. She had to replace her assemblies which had burned worse, after she went to local Chevrolet dealer and they would not replace them. She purchased after market lights at about $65 each versus their $165 price not counting labor they would of charged. It's VIN #[xxx]. GM has a problem and will not do anything to fix it. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #72

Jun 202013


  • 92,800 miles
Was told by a driver who had been behind me coming up to a traffic light that my brake lights were not working. She said it looked as though they were on while I was accelerating and went off when I was stopping. I have replaced the brake light diagnostic resistor and it hasn't done anything. I also have had issues with getting the car out of park and with the cruise control refusing to engage or disengaging itself. I understand now that these are reoccurring problems for this car and it has something to with terminal fretting corrosion in the body control module but there has been no recall for this problem. When I bought the car less than a year ago, there was no mention of this problem. I have no idea how long the brake light problem has existed since no one has told me about it before this but the cruise control acted funny even when I was test driving the vehicle before purchase. I mentioned it to the salesperson and he said they would check it out. It worked the next time I test drove it but has frequently not worked after I actually bought it. Getting the car out of park has been a problem on several occasions since I bought it.

- Spencerville, OH, USA

problem #71

Mar 092013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 153,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the brake lights were illuminated independently without the brakes being applied. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer or an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileage was approximately 153,000.

- Bedford, VA, USA

problem #70

Feb 012013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles


I can't go a week without both headlight assemblies burning turn-signal bulbs. After replacing the bulbs no more than a week will go by and the bulb will turn black and sometimes blow up inside the headlight. Recently the bulbs are not burning out but what seems to be a bad connection to the socket, I will press the bulbs into the socket and within 5 minutes the turn-signals will not work again.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #69

Jan 012010


  • 60,000 miles
I have had my car since 2009 and in 2010 I started have to change my turn signals out at least once a month for burning out. There are time that the bulb will get so hot that it blows the inside of the bulb up and around the plug where the bulb goes in has dark marks has to if they are burn marks. I called Chevrolet and they said that there was nothing they could do because there was no recall on them. The back turn signals do the same and there have been many times that I would almost get hit due to this problem. I have done research and have found that my car is not the only one having the same problem that alot of 2005 Malibu are. I am afraid at this point that it is going to cause an electrical fire in my car. I feel that GM should have a recall on the problem before someone really gets hurt.

- Midlothian, TX, USA

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problem #68

Aug 292008

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
We bought this car 4 yrs ago in Aug 2008 at only a few yrs old we were very optimistic that the $ we were spending on it would be worth the less upkeep than that of the 1994 crown vic that we traded in (& my husbands 78 olds that has always required more work than it put out since he purchased it when we met back in 06). Since it was a few yrs old we thought that even though there was no warranty on our new "used" car, we would be ok. We were wrong. The first problem we noticed was the alignment which makes the car shake/vibrate at speeds 60+ & our first vacation we took it on which we only drove 4-5 hrs there & we ended up with 2 flat tires on the way. Then the headlights & blinkers had to be replaced (full units) bc both of them kept giving out & the bulbs weren't the problems & I kept getting traffic tickets bc I wasn't always aware when one would go out. Our 2 biggest problems to date have been our fuel sensor/electrical problems which quit working after 1 yr & I have run out of gas 10 times bc it isn't easy to keep up with miles/dates & I have kids so filling up every day isn't easy either as well as the locks/buttons on the drivers door that do not work & I have to open my trunk with a key & had to pay $ to get auto lock so that I don't have to manually lock the doors w/ the keys & the transmission/motor we had to pay $2750 to replace bc the last one completely gave out resulting in the car not being able to run whatsoever & my husband having to literally push my neutral car with his bc we didn't have the $ at the time to fix it.. besides these problems there are the seats (plastic panels) falling/cracking apart, we had to replace the windshield bc anytime it rained our seats would be completely soaked.. & many other problems I still deal with. Keep in mind for the 4 yrs I have owned this car I haven't wrecked it & my husband keeps it up (changes oil, brakes, etc).

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #67

Jan 012008


  • miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that both headlights stopped illuminating. The contact examined the headlights and noticed that the bulbs burned out and melted the housing assembly. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Freeburg, MO, USA

problem #66

Jan 022012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
Brake lights remain on with no contact with brake pedal. When pedal is depressed the brake lights go off. This has caused numerous 'road rage' incidents and near-miss rear-end collisions.

- Lenoir City, TN, USA

problem #65

Feb 232012


  • miles
Front turn signal bulbs (left and right) have melted the plastic housing surrounding them. Bulbs burnout easily. Evidence of melted plastic is a concern for other electrical problems.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #64

Apr 232011


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact noticed that both head light casings were melted. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 91,000.

- Pooler, GA, USA

problem #63

Jan 122010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while applying the emergency brake, the emergency brake cable fractured. The contact also stated that the daytime running lights were becoming extremely hot and melting the headlight lens. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The failure mileage was 88,000. Updated 03/05/12 the consumer stated the day time running lights kept malfunctioning, because they were getting too hot. The consumer noticed it, because the turn signals kept malfunctioning. He thought the bulb burned out, but soon discovered it wasn't burned out. The consumer noticed the plastic clear lens had melted. Updated 03/08/12

- Winder, GA, USA

problem #62

Jan 112012


  • 135,000 miles
The front driving lights and turn signals blow out consistently, usually damaging the socket in the process.

- Pottsville, PA, USA

problem #61

Oct 112011


  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the headlights were constantly overheating and burning out, causing their plastic covers to melt. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 147,000.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #60

Jun 012011


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the front driver side turn signal was not functioning. The contact replaced the headlight bulb approximately five times. The contact inspected the vehicle and noticed that the bulb became extremely hot, causing the amber housing unit wires to melt. The contact replaced the amber housing unit. After the repair, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Plymouth, ME, USA

problem #59

Nov 012010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the front driver side turn signal had malfunctioned and would not activate when engaged. The contact changed the bulb but the failure was not repaired. The contact stated the wiring was faulty and needed to be diagnosed. The contact did not take the vehicle to the dealer for diagnosis or repairs. The failure mileage was 46,000. Updated 11/16/11 the consumer stated the problem was fixed due to a service bulletin that was issued. It required cutting out the turn signal bulb socket and splicing in a new socket, because the old one overheated. The consumer also stated the electrical power steering was an issue on the vehicle as well. Updated 11/18/11

- Ormond Beach, FL, USA

problem #58

Oct 012011


  • 55,000 miles
In both front headlight assemblies, there is an amber plastic cover which covers the bulb that is always on, as part of the regular running lights, and also for turn signals. The light has burned a hole, about 1 1/4 inch in diameter, in the top of the amber lens. The edge of the lens is black all around from the burning. Is my car unique" have there been any other complaints? and most important, is there any danger of a fire starting"

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #57

Dec 202010


  • 60,000 miles
I purchased this 2005 Chevy Malibu used. Shortly after had the right turn signal bulb blow, then left turn and both headlights at the same time. While replacing the bulbs, I noticed that the plastic surrounding the turn signal bulb had a large hole in it from melting. The other assembly had the same hole burnt in the turn signal light bulb cover. I have replaced the bulbs at least 2 more times this year. The problems with bulbs failing seems to happen in wet weather more frequently than dry weather. So I believe water is getting into the headlamps through these holes. The extreme heat is causing the headlight to become extremely cloudy. Replacing the headlight assembly does not fix the problem because others have said it soon starts to melt again. Please NHTSA these lighting systems that are failing are vital for nighttime driving, please get Chevy to do the right thing and fix this dangerous issue.

- West Jordan, UT, USA

problem #56

Oct 052010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I had my first problem when I purchased the car. It would jerk & felt it was moving on it's own. Then the lamps would go out and I was replacing the bulbs every month. Then my key starter has failed two times after replacing them. The driver seat has calapsed on the left hand side. The rear seat handle to raise the seats up and down has broken on both passenger side. My lights have burned out on the front driver's side you can see the residue on the cover. The chairs was not scotch guard protected as stated they are very stained even when I tried to was them. In ready some of the others it appear as though mu care had all the defects of my counter parts.

- Roxbury, MA, USA

problem #55

Sep 012008

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Front left turn signal repeatedly burns out, amber casing has melted hole, changing bulbs does not fix problem.

- Needville, TX, USA

problem #54

Sep 272011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the turn signals were in operative. The wires also began to melt the bulb, causing the left and right turn signals to fail. The dealer was notified but denied any assistance with repairing the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was unavailable. The VIN was unavailable.

- Waco, TX, USA

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