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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,042 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

May 182014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle was secured in park but would not register the parking gear. The vehicle began to roll away while the gear shifter was in the parking position. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or mechanic for inspection. The contact called the dealer and was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 12V460000 (power train). The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 70,000. Updated 10/07/14 the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired at the owner's expense. Updated 3/16/2015

- Darien, IL, USA

problem #20

May 012014


  • 50,000 miles
I drove to the store pulled in the parking space and turned off the car. I immediately noticed something was wrong with the shifter. When I went to try to take the key out it wouldn't come out. The shifter would no longer locked into park and will come out of gear with out having my foot on the brake. Key is still stuck. It was scary because I have 3 small children. Two months later I was on my was to work when I noticed the car was having trouble shifting it seemed like. It feels like the car doesn't want to go. After doing research they say there is three recalls something with the shifter the oxygen sensor and Cadillac converter. My dealer wont fix and I owe 13000 car is to dangerous to drive my family what do I do?

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #19

May 162014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle transmission- car is moving when not supposed to or car gets stuck in place awhile shifting gears. Car drives sluggish not shifting to the proper gear. Light bulb- lights go out and come back on at later dates. Electrical-radio speakers go in and out locks don't operate neither dies alarm.

- Phila, PA, USA

problem #18

Mar 082010


  • 15,000 miles


The power door locks do not lock or unlock when the vehicle gear shift is put in park or drive. The first lock became disabled while under warranty and was repaired.. now the remaining (3) three power locks do not function.. they stopped functioning when the warranty ended... I did not repair them because the cost is a few hundred dollars per lock.. I have to turn the car ignition off while the transmission is in drive and then put the shifter in park. Otherwise I have to go around to each door and lock them manually.. very embarrassing.. not certain of the possible safety hazard though.

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #17

May 102014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 188,674 miles
I just bought the car yesterday and it drove fine but today while pulling away from a stop sign the car began to shift very rough even felt as the transmission was slipping then a few minutes later the car would not accelerate and I pulled over and drove off and the car did not shift out of first gear and also reverse does not work...I was told it was the clutch wave plate which is an issue with several different GM vehicles.

- Bellville, TX, USA

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problem #16

Apr 302014


  • 99,928 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle would not shift into park and failed to start. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the shift cable was broken and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who advised him that the vehicle was not included in recall NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000 (power train). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 99,928.

- Ouray, CO, USA

problem #15

Feb 232014


  • 108,000 miles


Door locks stop working two years ago, noise with steering and power train. Every time I turn it makes a crazy noise.

- Morrow, GA, USA

problem #14

Feb 112014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
While maintaining speeds around 35-40 mph. The engine seemed to try to cut out and lose power. The service ESC service traction control light came on the dash. The engine was trying to cut out. Later in the day starting out at a stop light the engine stopped completely and I was stuck in the intersection. I was able to get the car to the side of the road. It restarted after about 5 minutes. I took it to a dealership and they fixed a few things. A few days later the same thing happened again while on a side road. I could not get the car restarted again and had to get the car towed. The dealership replaced a few more parts and said it was ok. After it happened for a third time I told the dealership to keep it until they get it running properly. The car works but it still feels like the engine wants to cut out sometimes but not as bad.

- Enola, PA, USA

problem #13

Mar 132012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Drivers seat defected. The metal bracket that secure the seat broke, casing the seat not to slide forward or back, up or down. Also the seat padding and cover to separate from the seat molden. Took vehicle to Buick car service department. They said this was the second time they heard of this and wanted to charge E six hundred for the repairs stating they would pick up the other six hundred. At the time the vehicle was still under warranty and they was repairing the transmission that also went out on a vehicle. The vehicle at the time was less then five years old..

- Wyoming, MI, USA

problem #12

Nov 012013


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, a loud noise was heard from the vehicle. The vehicle then became hard to shift into gear between reverse and drive. The failure recurred seven or eight times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer however, the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000. The VIN was not available.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #11

Aug 042010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to transmission recall notice and seeks reimbursement for repairs. The consumer stated the transmission would shift erratically and it also slipped at times. The solenoid and tcm were replaced.

- Ingleside, IL, USA

problem #10

Apr 052013


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu lt. The contact started the ignition and shifted into reverse. The vehicle would not shift into any other position. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the gear shifter cable was replaced. The vehicle was repaired one month prior to the failure under NHTSA campaign id number was 12V460000 (power train). The technician advised the contact that the recall repair was not related to the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Tallahaussee, FL, USA

problem #9

May 102013


  • 65,864 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000 (power train) but the repair failed to remedy the problem and the contact was unable to shift into park. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 65,864.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #8

Apr 112013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 69,032 miles
I pulled the car into my driveway, stopped and shifted into park. When I took my foot off the brake, it began rolling backwards. I put the brake back on, stopped it, and then discovered the transmission shift indicator light showed the transmission was in reverse. I ran the shifter through all the gears, but the indicator light stayed the same. It began rolling backwards again when I briefly lifted my foot from the brake pedal. I turned the ignition off, removed the key, called my dealer and had the car towed to them. They fixed it the same day and told me the shift cable had separated from where it attaches to the transmission.

- Homewood, IL, USA

problem #7

Mar 222013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 113,900 miles
When I started the car and shifted into reverse, car did fine but when I put it in drive the car went into manual steering. I could hardly move the wheel. I turned the ignition off and turned it back on and power steering came back. Then, was at a light to turn left onto a main busy two way road with lots of traffic, and when I went to turn left, the car went into manual again and I almost got hit by oncoming traffic. I was just able to get past the oncoming cars, quickly shut ignition off and turned it back on and power steering came back. Then, assignment for my work, was on the freeway going about 50 mph the steering wheel was shaking violently. I was very afraid. I took surface streets to get to the job then and came home using surface streets. The problem with the power steering going out is not all the time, intermittent, but fairly frequent. It is unsafe to drive this vehicle. I went online typing 2008 Malibu power steering problem and saw the website where GM had a recall. I emailed GM helplilne and was asked to take it to the dealer. I was informed that if they cannot isolate the problem, I will have to pay for it because my VIN was not listed as part of the recall and the mileage is over 100,000. I do not agree with this because this problem is not a "wear and tear", but rather a defective known problem that practically could have killed me. The car is unsafe. The repair is well over $700+ and I don't have that kind of money to fix it. I think that this is a grave danger to the safety and wellbeing of not only myself but for other drivers such that the power steering is unpredictable in performance. I use my car for my job as I am asked to go to various locations and so it is not just unsafe for personal driving it affects my ability to feel safe while on the job.

- Fraser, MI, USA

problem #6

Feb 012013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2008 Chevy Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to transmission defect recall notice. The consumer was informed the parts were not available, despite receiving a recall notice in the mail.

- Spring Valley, IL, USA

problem #5

Nov 142012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V460000 (power train:automatic transmission:gear position indication (prndl)) and took the vehicle to the dealer for repairs. The dealer was unable to perform the repairs and advised the contact that she would have to wait until January 2013 to have the vehicle repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #4

May 262012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I have a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu 2lt with 111,000 km on it. I have been noticing a few things since I purchased this from brand new. Overall my car has been ok with getting me from place a to place B. the issues I have had that are pretty serious flaws are the power steering column, the alignment, the automatic power transmission, and the door locks. I have been able to get by however recently I had to get the steering column replaced under a special warranty policy. I had to "kick and scream" however in the end the part was installed. That would have cost me about 900 dollars if it was not covered. Now I am having an issue with the "check engine light" indicator. This came on for the first time yesterday and when I called to get a diagnostic I was told that there is an issue with the power transmission. It seems after looking on-line that there are a lot of people with the same care as mine having issues with the transmission. Now I am getting nervous since I just paid 13,000 to buy out my lease. I have called GM customer service and they told me that they will work with me and the dealership to get this fixed. Before I go to the dealership I want to have all my documentation that indicates that this is a special policy issue and not something that I have to pay for out of my own wallet. I have put about 38,000 into the purchase of this car and do not have any more room to dump tons of money to getting this fixed especially when other GM customers have paid out of their own pocket to realize a few weeks later that there is another issue on the transmission that needs fixing. I am going to do everything in my power to have this covered by GM. I have been a proud GM owner all my driving life and want to make this right. I dread needing to fix the car and selling it. That is not an option for me at this time. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

- Mississauga, NN, USA

problem #3

Jan 172012


  • 39,735 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle rolled backward after being parked and shut off. The contact attempted to start the vehicle, but the vehicle would not start until after numerous attempts. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the shifter cable was replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 39,735.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #2

May 072011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 46,700 miles
My 2008 Chevy Malibu ltz 4 cylinder has a very serious design flaw which GM/Chevy refuse to acknowledge. It is putting my family and I and possible danger. The vehicle experiences very severe lags and hesitation at variable intervals while driving either stop and go or on a highway. Last month while driving on rt. 95 in Connecticut, our vehicle acted up and it would not accelerate and shift between gears properly. The serious lags where the vehicle is inbetween gears with no engine/trans. Engagement, left us close to being run over by a tractor trailer.

- Park Ridge, NJ, USA

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