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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,797 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 5 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #64

Mar 012011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


Back door locks will not lock unless pushed down manually. Both back doors will not lock with power locks or with key fob. I have read on many forums that it is the actuator not working. The car can actually be broken into because the doors are actually unlocked.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #63

Apr 122014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Chevrolet Malibu door locks / latches are failing to operate on three of four doors on the vehicle. Remote lock and unlock cannot be completed due to actuator / latch failure. Safety of vehicle is compromised as Chevrolet Malibu body control module is supposed to lock all doors as vehicle transmission is placed into drive and unlock all doors when vehilce is placed into park. However, due to apparent design / quality failure of door lock actuator / latch mechanism (as evidenced by failure on this vehicle and numerous other vehicles as reported in online owner forums safety of passengers is impacted by inability to secure moving vehicle and unlock and open doors to retrieve small children when outside of vehicle.

- Dacula, GA, USA

problem #62

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 #61

Nov 142012


  • 55,000 miles


Rear doors will not lock when put in gear or at highway speeds or unlock when put in park. Only will lock or unlock manually. The dealer told me that there is no recall on this problem. The rear lock solenoids go bad. And that they have been selling and installing a lot of them. The solenoids are part of the rear door latch. I paid for two new solenoids and installed them.problem fixed. The parts number has been updated four times" I feel GM should have repaired this at no charge. Why is this not a safety problem "

- Grinnell, IA, USA

problem #60

Aug 022013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
The brake lights come on without braking and go off when you brake. The cruise control shuts off when the brake lights come on without pushing the brake peddle. The traction control warning light on the dash comes on also when the brake lights luminates.

- Hamilton, MI, USA

problem #59

Oct 152013


  • 146,023 miles
I have a power door lock problem with my car. All door lock actuator seem to be working correctly when they get the correct voltage. At times they lock and other times just certain doors lock and the others remain unlocked I then press the lock button again and then come down about half ways but don't completely lock all the way now after the third try it acts as if its not sending enough voltage and will not work anymore until car has been ran for a minutes then it acts as if it was recharged. After the car is turned off its back to doing the same thing tried even with car still on and also loses power after a few try's.

- Greenfield , CA, USA

problem #58

Feb 202014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 66,258 miles


While traveling down the highway with my car on cruise control going about 70mph, a car cut me off and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid a crash. In the process of braking, my knee hit a long key on my keychain and caused the key in the ignition to turn to the off position. I immediately lost all power including the ability to easily steer. Luckily I was able to put on my hazards and get to the side of the rode. I then put the car in park and it was able to restart.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #57

May 152012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
Passenger doors will not lock (or unlock ) with the remote or manual push button switch on drivers arm rest. The only way to lock (or unlock) rear doors is crawl over front seats to manually pull up lever on back side of door. Or.......use the electric windows and lower rear windows to reach in from outside......which anyone that lives in a cold climate knows you don't lower an electric window in cold weather.....have been to the dealer numerous times and they refuse to cover anything.....what if I have my grandson strapped in a car seat in the back seat and an emergency arises " how do I "quickly" get him out??" this is a very common situation with the chev. Malibu. Plus there are numerous issues with the front end and steering components.

- Burlington, KY, USA

problem #56

Aug 012012


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

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #55

Jan 302014


  • 21,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that when turning, the turn indicator switch automatically activated but failed to automatically disengage when the steering wheel returned to the normal position. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 21000.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #54

Nov 192013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


I was driving home from work at about 6 pm when my power steering went out and caused my steering wheel to turn by itself. When the steering wheel turned by itself I lost control of the vehicle and almost crashed into a stop sign and a curb in the incoming traffic lane. When I purchased the car I was so excited, it was my first car and I thought it was decent, I was wrong. Since the power steering has gone out I have not drove my car I am scared to, this is a safety issue I was just lucky to have not been on the highway at the time of the incident. The power steering is all electrical, so everything has to be replaced.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #53

Dec 092013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
My 2008 Chevy Malibu ltz 4 cylinder lost complete power to the power steering today while driving 10 mph. Luckily I'm young and strong and was able to turn the car into a parking lot and safely exit it. I saw that this model does not have power steering fluid so now I need to contact the dealer and fix this problem as this was very scary. I saw that many many others have had this problem so a recall needs to be made.

- Carol Stream, IL, USA

problem #52

Oct 062013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
After turning the car on while still in park, the wheel would jerk from left to right by itself. Also occurred while driving at both low and high speeds. The power steering was failing without warning! it was particularly frightening at high speeds and would happen with no warning. This happened multiple times on many different occasions before the chime sounded and the words power steering appeared on my dash information. After bringing the car to the dealership they fixed it citing the problem as "code 0475 - power steering motor shorted internally, replaced power steering motor and set up new module". the total cost was $847.87. After doing further research I found out that many 2008 Chevrolet Malibu had been recalled for the same exact issue. In two different recall letters released by GM it was stated "2008 model year Chevrolet Malibu...equipped with electric power steering, may have a condition where there is a loss of power steering assist". the letter further stated "for 2008 model year vehicles, dealers will replace the power steering motor control module". which is exactly what needed to be replaced on my vehicle as per my dealership receipt. The letter said "if this condition occurs on your 2008 model year Chevrolet Malibu vehicle within 10 years of the date your vehicle was originally placed in service or 100,000 miles, the condition will be repaired for you at no charge". I contacted GM with my information attempting to be reimbursed. After multiple phone calls and everyone telling me my VIN # was not included in the recall and there was nothing they could do I finally gave up. To add insult to injury Chevrolet sent me a letter stating "please accept this letter worth up to $100 towards your next maintenance service or repair on your 2008 Chevrolet Malibu". I will never buy another car from GM and will spread the word about this issue.

- Howell, NJ, USA

problem #51

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 #50

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 #49

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 #48

Jul 012013


  • miles
2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle sudden acceleration issues. The consumer stated as she attempted to accelerate, the vehicle did not move for several seconds. The engine kept revving and making a loud sound. The odometer went from 60 mph to 0 and the tachometer vacillated from two to five. Suddenly, the vehicle accelerated. Then the engine began revving again and the situation repeated itself. The vehicle was unable to maintain a steady speed and when it slowed down again, the consumer was nearly rear-ended. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test, which revealed the pressure control solenoid internally shorted out.

- Burlington, MA, USA

problem #47

Jun 282013


  • 86,000 miles
I am having similar issues as others with wiring/electrical. Latest incident involved loss of ac/defrost/level controls. Prior to this loss, there was a very strong burning smell coming thru the vents when the control level was set to 1-4. there were no visible sparks or fire; however, the wiring under the glove department was extremely hot. Although there wasn't a fatality or visible fire other risks were involved. My family was in the car (adults & children) & we were 500 miles from home (returning from vacation). Being on the road, narrowed options on identifying the root cause. The air remained off & windows were down for the remainder commute in 90 degree rainy weather. There are other issues of concern. The engine light is now on"?" the same issue occurred in Nov 2012 with the heater. At this time, when the wires were examined it "magically" started working. In January 2012, the door chime became very faint, the seatbelt chimes when in use, & the front door speakers do not work. In 2009, the door locks began to malfunction. Sometimes they will lock sometimes they will not. I find it very disturbing that a recall has not been issued; it is very clear there is a safety hazard. I hope you take this issue seriously!

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #46

Sep 162009


  • 39,500 miles
Initially the left rear door lock malfunctioned - approximately 17 months after purchase, would not unlock; problem continued and then the door would not lock. Spoke with GM dealer - not covered, parts cost $165 plus, the next lock to malfunction was the front passenger door, would not unlock; problem continued and then the door would not lock. Contacted GM dealer - no recall notice out, no warranty coverage. Contacted GM customer care - no recall or warranty coverage.the latest door lock to malfunction is the right rear door, will not lock or unlock. Whet to GM dealer for diagnostic service - cost $ $58.80, informed, "need right front an both rear door lock actuators, $ $784.24 installed - have to order." Ironically, the entry alarm system still functions if it has been set although the door appears, and actually is, unlocked.

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #45

Oct 032010

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 15,584 miles
2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Purchased new November 2007. October 2010 front passenger door actuator failed @ 15,584 miles. Fixed as warranty was to expire, no charge. November 2011 both rear door lock actuators failed. Purchased parts, repaired @ home. November 2012 driver?S door lock actuator failed. Purchased part, replaced @ home. June 2012 some radio buttons fail to function. Replaced entire radio @ dealership. Electrical failure expenses total $831, with most labor done by self. Car has 30K miles as of June 2013.

- Westbrook, CT, USA

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