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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,999 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 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Aug 082012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


When I would be driving my brake lights would be illuminated. When I would brake at stop, my brake lights would not illuminate. I was almost rear ended many many times. Traction control error kept coming on for a minute and then would go off. I've gotten it fixed and the problem has recurred again. Although there is now a recall for these issues for the 08 Malibu the dealership says my VIN# is not included.

- Watertown, WI, USA

problem #21

Jun 062014


  • 50,024 miles
The brake lights come on with my foot off of the brake pedal. When I do apply the brakes the brake lights go out. The cruise control and the stability control will not work. I contacted my local dealer and they said there is no recall on my vehicle the dealer is [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #20

May 062014


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the brake pedal abnormally traveled to the floorboard and failed to stop the vehicle causing a crash to occur. A police report was filed where there was an injury reported. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 88,000.

- Lucie, FL, USA

problem #19

May 232014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 74,136 miles


My wife and I were traveling on interstate 40 going around 75-80 mph when the cruise control disabled by itself. I could not get it to engage and noticed the tail lights were illuminated. The only way they would go off was to apply a little pressure to the brake pedal. The cruise control will still not work and the brake lights are staying illuminated. Also when braking at high speeds the entire car occasionally shakes and does not brake properly. I have been fortunate enough that I have not needed to apply the brakes in such a manner to avoid an accident.

- Fort Smith , AR, USA

problem #18

Dec 052011


  • miles
There needs to be an official GM recall on the Chevy Malibu 2008. My brake lights would not work. They worked in reverse. Every time I put my foot on the brake to slow down or stop, the lights wouldn't turn on to indicate to other drivers that I was slowing down. When my foot was off the brake, the brake lights would turn on. For me, and the family that I drive in this car, I felt this was hazardous. This was not safe driving for me and for everyone around me. If I had to suddenly stop and apply my brakes, I could have caused a serious accident. The brake light issue is only recalled for 2004-2007 Malibu's. this issue has continued on past 2007.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #17

Nov 152013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
Brake light comes on without my depressing brakes and a delay when brakes are actually pressed. I took car into the local dealer in town and told couldn't locate a problem and to bring car in the next time as the problem was occurring, also cruise control turns off while I'm driving and have been getting service error messages. Just 5/10/14 I noticed another Malibu with the same problems, while this car was accelerating and going around other cars it's brake lights were constantly on.

- Blackshear, GA, USA

problem #16

Aug 012012


  • miles


Brake lights come on without me pressing down the brake pedal.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #15

Nov 022013


  • 76,200 miles
Brake lights come on when the brake pedal is not depressed. When the brake pedal is depressed slightly, the brake lights will go out. I replaced the brake pedal lever sensor. This cured the problem for about a month, now the problem has returned. The dealer did a parts warranty on the switch and supplied at no charge. I picked it up today, but have not installed it yet.

- Dresden , OH, USA

problem #14

Jun 012011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
My 2008 Chevy Malibu has a recurring brake light issue. The brake lights stay on randomly, and when you step down on the brake pedal you get no brake lights randomly. I've almost been hit countless times due to vehicles behind me not knowing when I'm actually stopping due to the brake lights being on for 20 miles straight. This is very dangerous for me and my family.

- Jerseyville, IL, USA

problem #13

Sep 302013


  • miles
The brake light switch is faulty and corroded. The brake light does not come on when brake pedal is pressed. Cruise control does not engage. This is a safety hazard as other drivers are not warned of braking.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #12

Jun 012011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles


Brake lights come on and stay on when you don't even press the brake pedal.

- Chittenango, NY, USA

problem #11

Aug 272013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 89,430 miles
As I was driving the driver behind me told me that there was something wrong with my tail lights. I then noticed while driving that the brake lights stayed on and when I did press down on the brakes there was nothing. This poses a great problem in that I could have been rear ended due to the drivers behind be me not knowing if I was braking or not. This needs to be recalled. My family owns 3 Chevy's, but I am unhappy with the problems I am having with this Malibu. This may be our last Chevy purchase.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #10

Jul 022013


  • 69,000 miles
The brake lights illuminate when the brake pedal isn't pressed. When the brake pedal is pressed the brake lights are not illuminated. Taken vehicle to dealership more than 3 times in order to relearn the brake pedal position. This affects the cruise control, as it turns off because the cruise control doesn't know the brake pedal position. This affects the traction control, as it turns off because the traction control doesn't know the brake pedal position.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #9

Nov 112011


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving 40 mph, the traction control and brake lights illuminated. The contact stated that the brake lights were also illuminated even though he was not depressing the brake pedal. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but they could not diagnose the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 26,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 08/15/13

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #8

Apr 012013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
About a month ago I noticed that my brake lights were stuck on. I didn't pay it any mind since then until yesterday 07/01/2013. A friend of mines was following me home and advised me that my brake lights were on the entire time. I checked to make sure I wasn't riding with the emergency brakes on. Now my car seems like it is pulling and there is a burning smell under my car. I'm not quite sure if this is a known issue or not. I did find an article from the huffington post that stated that there were a few complaints/issues regarding that. What could be causing this to happen. Why hasn't then been considered a recall?

- Virginia Beach , VA, USA

problem #7

Oct 192011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 32,579 miles
I first experienced a problem October 2011 when the dashboard message indicated service traction and service ESC, I took my car to an independent garage where they put dielectric grease on the BCM connectors. They stated if the problem continues, I would have to go to a dealer for the BCM to be reprogrammed. While this fixed the problem of my service brake lights coming on without touching my break pedal and then while breaking no break lights come on, the fix only worked temporarily. I took my car to a dealership, because like others have mentioned, when you shut the car off it clears the message until you are no longer at the garage and it comes back on. I too took my car back to the dealer and did not shut the car off. The service writer saw the messages which were, service traction and service ESC. The first time I visited the dealer was on June 1, 2012, their report states code C0131 ABS traction control system pressure circuit. I had this problem fixed on June 25, 2012 in which they replaced and calibrated brake pedal switch, greased BCM connector, cleared code, road test, replace brake light switch for a sum of money. This has not fixed my problem to date. The problem is especially persistent during damp and wet weather. It is an uneasy feeling driving because it happens at random times.

- Perkiomenville, PA, USA

problem #6

Jul 302012


  • 70,000 miles
After purchasing my 2008 Malibu in June of 2012, I have noticed multiple times that my brake lights stay on when accelerating, and turn off while braking. If I push the brake hard enough the light eventually does come on. I took this into the dealership to have it examined, and they did not find anything wrong with the vehicle. This has continued to happen on a weekly, if not daily basis.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #5

Oct 012012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Whilst driving home one night I noticed that my brake lights were on, however I was not applying the brakes. I then pressed the brake pedal and the brake lights turned off. Once I let go of the brake they came back on after a few seconds. At the same time, I received an error that read along the lines of: ESC service traction. My husband and I found a forum where other Malibu owners seemed to be having the same issue, so we removed the panel on the passenger side floor to check for any corrosion, then replaced the panel. The problem stopped, however this issue is re-occurring, and has occurred several other times since then. I always receive the same ESC service traction error each time this happens and I am not able to use cruise control as the brake lights are being engaged without the pedal being pressed.

- Chuluota, FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 192012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
On several occasion I have notice that my brake lights come on without me even pressing the brakes. It also lights up and when I press the brakes it goes off. I have spoken with other Malibu owner and they complain of this same brake failure. It is very frustrating and not safe.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Oct 052012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 66,890 miles
The brake lights, including the third brake light, were observed on during normal operation, when the brakes were not being applied. This gives a false indication of intended operation.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

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