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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
64,773 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.

2008 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Jun 152015


  • miles


I am a owner of a 08 Chevy Malibu lt 2.4 liter. When I first got the car from the dealer (used) for about two years it was running fine with just little maintenance. When the third year comes around I start having problems with the traction control and engine reduce power light. I've looked up fixes for these problems and I'm currently invested over 5,000 on fixing this problem and it's still not fixed the dealer didn't fix it other auto shops couldn't fix it and it the engine reduce power light on the car sometimes N shuts off where it sits (like in busy traffic). I have a 3 year old son and I dont trust putting him in my car because of this problem of stalling out and not being able to start back up. My car is a daily driver so it cuts off in traffic, when stopped at redlights, takes about 2 to 3 minutes to get it started and idling properly. I fear that one day I wont be able to start my car back up and get into a crash if it stops in the middle of traffic again. This is the most unsafe car I have owned.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #39

Jan 052017


  • 136,000 miles
There is a recall no 14116 and 14116B involving the torque sensor on 2008 Chevrolet Malibu but not on my particular VIN. It causes a loss of power steering which I am having. I do not understand why my particular model is not covered in this safety issue and what can I do about it. I have had no accidents yet but have to pull off the road and restart my car.

- Waldo, AR, USA

problem #38

Dec 272016


  • 131,000 miles
As I'm driving down the freeway going about 70 mph I hear about 3 or 4 dings go off all at one time. The service ESC, engine pwr reduced, service traction, and ESC off warnings came on my 2008 Chevy Malibu lt dash as well as the traction warning light and check engine light. My car almost instantly starting to decelerate at an acceptional speed. I had to "floor it" to make it stop and then it slowly accelerated. Once I got home I googled the problem and a lot of people were saying it has to do with the fuse box or throttle body or both. I don't know what is wrong with it and I don't have a lot of extra money right now so I'm kinda stuck driving it like this for awhile since it is not under any type of warranty and I have to go to work.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #37

Dec 272016


  • 100,000 miles


Power locks have only worked for front doors for as long as ive had the car, about a year..... over the past month - service air bag light came on shortly after starting the car one day. A few weeks later, service ESC and traction control popped up after starting the car. Now my power steering has gone out and does not reset upon restarting the car.

- South Charleston, WV, USA

problem #36

Oct 102016


  • 120,000 miles
Brake lights remained illuminated even if brake pedal was not pushed, both while stationary and in motion. Traction control was disabled while in motion. Body control module was malfunctioning and had to be replaced. Brake lights remained illuminated on all roads, in all conditions, and at all times. Traction control was disabled primarily on city streets but sometimes on highways. The Chevrolet dealer service department said the cause was a malfunctioning body control module and had to replace it. The problems with the car are the same as those in NHTSA campaign number 14V252000, although a search by VIN reveals no outstanding recalls. The vehicle is currently undergoing repair and I will have repair invoices after the repairs are completed.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #35

Sep 042016


  • 76,000 miles
I was turning right at about 20 mph, the normal speed I turn at. My Malibu slid and I couldn't turn the steering wheel. The car beeped at me and it said ESC on the dash computer. I called about the recall for eps, and my car does not have one. Kind of weird to see when others are recalled for this issue. I did have the power steering torque replaced in 2015. The car is still drivable, but to me I feel unsafe because the steering wheel now has a mind of its own when turning, and I cannot afford a replacement right now, as well as an accident.

- Lakemoor, IL, USA

problem #34

Sep 272016


  • 200,000 miles


Takata recall I lost control of my 08 Chevy Malibu as it was in motion. Driving to school the ABS, brake, traction control and battery light turned on and the power steering locked. I had to forcefully turn the steering wheel to get out of traffics way and park somewhere to avoid an accident.

- Hidalgo, TX, USA

problem #33

Jul 272016


  • 36,000 miles
Just took possession of a 2008 Chevy Malibu ltz V6 3.6 with on 36K original miles on it. Have had for only 5 days and got a dash notification of check ESC soon, traction control, eng power reduced warning with the check engine symbol. I pulled in my driveway home from work and immediately notified my local dealership. Backed out of driveway to take to the dealership and had no power to go anywhere so pulled back in drive and shut the car off to go inside my house, came back out turn the car back on and put in reverse, all seemed find with power, then proceeded on to the dealership with no power failure, but engine light stayed on. With only 36K miles and lots of reviews I am reading on the internet about this problem seems to be an issue and recurring that no one can seem to find a fix for. How many complaints before there is a recall on this issue. I travel out of town at least two weekends a month and being a single female I cannot afford to get stranded and cause a wreck due to power failure. Seriously when does this problem get recognized and corrected to save a life.

- Lebanon, TN, USA

problem #32

Jan 082016


  • 127,000 miles
Displays, ESC off, traction control service, and engine power reduced. And when accelerating it doesn't really move. It takes a while to get speed up. And I was almost run over by a tractor trailer. This just started all of a sudden. And I have only had this car for about a year. It is stated that the Malibu has recalls.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #31

Jan 082016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the steering wheel seized and the power steering and the electronic stability control warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was not available.

- Bryan, TX, USA

problem #30

Jan 082016


  • 195,160 miles


Brake lights would be on when not applying brakes and brakes lights would not come on when applying brakes - ESC and service traction indicators remained on. On the way to have this problem repair for the 3rd time, the engine loss power while I was driving approx 75mph on an extremely busy interstate. One of the scariest moments of my entire life. Pulled over, put the car in park & then is shutoff. The engine light came on at the same time as the reduced engine power warning. After waiting awhile, I restarted the car and was able to get to the dealership. Service tech said the brake lights worked find - he had no evidence that they were staying on. He said the ESC & traction was related to the reduced engine power & I needed to have the throttle body replaced - $550. Had the throttle body replaced and driving home-approx 30 mins later-the car starts doing weird idle things. In park the RPM hand flucuated between 1.5-2 and then out of nowhere 3.0-in park, not applying gas or brakes. I had to apply brakes and put the car in gear to make it stop. When I released the brakes at the stoplight-not applying gas-car accelerated to 20 mph on it's own. Called dealership back-they implied it was my fault for leaving the lot if something was wrong. The only thing that the car did before leaving dealership was for approx 5 secs it was a tad be louder than normal when I started the engine. The other problems did not present until after I was several miles away (interstate) and more so when I was off the interstate where there was more slowing, stopping, etc. I parked after my concern increased. Turned the car and then restarted after a period-that is when it idled up to 3.0 rpms in park-people walking by looked at me strange as if I was sitting in the parked car just pressing the gas-not. I am just as terrified to drive the car tonight as I was before it was repaired earlier today.

- Dalzell, SC, USA

problem #29

Mar 012013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving at various speeds, the ESC and traction control warning lights illuminated. In addition, the brake pedal was depressed but the brake lights failed to illuminate. The brake lights illuminated independently without the brake pedal being depressed. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who repaired the vehicle under NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control); however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000. Update 01/15/16

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #28

Aug 222015


  • 123,000 miles
I was driving my Chevy Malibu and started to fell my car start to shake violently and then my service ESC was populating on the dash and traction control had been lost in the car. I was having difficulty breaking as if the ABS break system was not working in the car.I got the car to the side of the road and ended up hitting a guard rail. I then found out that it was multiple recalls issued on my vehicle and I called the Chevrolet customer support to discuss the current recall which appeared to be the issue. I was instructed that I could drop my car off at best Chevrolet service center and they were aware of the recall and would assist me. I dropped my car off, explained the situation. They called me to let me know the recall wasn't the issue even thought everything I experienced was listed in the recall.

- District Heights, MD, USA

problem #27

Aug 222010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to unsatisfactory customer service at dealership for unnecessary repair work and seeks reimbursement. The consumer stated the service brake illuminated when the brake was not applied, the cruise control would not engage and the traction control light illuminated intermittently. Instead of fixing the wiring harness as described in the safety recall notice the dealership replaced the brake sensor and charged him $245. 03. the consumer stated while driving, he discovered the cruise control had not been fixed., even though the technician noted everything was operable. The consumer returned to the dealer, where they kept the car for a day and a half and replaced the BCM and dtc. Updated 09/10/15

- Rolling Meadows, IL, USA

problem #26

Jan 302013


  • 48,000 miles
I was driving my vehicle and noticed my check ESC check traction control light came on in my driver notification panel. When I got home I noticed that my rear brake lights were on and I wasnt even in the vehicle pressing on the brake. So I took it for a test drive and noticed that the brake lights would come on without me hitting the brakes and then when I did hit the brakes the brake lights would not come on. This has been in the shop for the fifth time now for the same thing. Huge safety concern when your brake lights are not working.

- Heath, TX, USA

problem #25

Jan 052015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 222,500 miles
While driving on a crowded freeway the car started to slow down on its own. I figured I was out of gas so I checked the gauge and it was at 1/2 tank. The message said service ESC, engine power reduced. There was no place to safely pull over so I had to continue to the next exit at the reduced speed. Needless to say this was very frightening as traffic was trying to pass me. I could have been rear ended but luckily nothing bad happened. I found a place to stop, shut off the engine and waited 5 minutes. I restarted the car and it ran normal as if nothing happened. The check engine light was still on. I reset the code ( something about a tps) when I got home. This scenario has happened several more times even at city speeds (35 mph). I don't drive on the freeway anymore and have to take alternate routes that are safer to pull over when this happens. I think I should sell the car but I cant in good conscience pass this on to someone else like GM did to me. Really guys this should be investigated asap so that no one gets hurt or killed !

- Bowler, WI, USA

problem #24

Oct 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to GM recall #13036 and repair reimbursement. *

- Theodore, AL, USA

problem #23

Oct 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer states he received 2 recall notices and has been experiencing problems with his vehicle that are outlined in the recall notice.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #22

Sep 242014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received recall notifications for NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000 (power train), NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control), and NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). The parts needed to repair the vehicle were unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #21

Jul 102014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Driving on the freeway, tried to switch lanes and vehicle's traction went out of control, making the vehicle had unstable, tried to controlled the car, but there were other vehicles driving next to the car which resulted in a multiple car crash, had recently received a recall letter from GM stating that the car had that problem but they did not have the parts available, they were going to contact me as soon as the parts were available but up to today I have not heard anything from General Motors.

- Studio City, CA, USA

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