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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 1 of 8)

problem #144

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 #143

Dec 202016


  • 62,258 miles
Headlamp wiring assembly required replacing after pig tail melted creating a potential fire hazard. This occurred twice 12/17/2015 and 12/20/2017. Melting occurred each time. This is a fire waiting to happen. Invoices for each event are attached

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #142

Dec 052016


  • 118,565 miles
While driving, the vehicles brake lights will suddenly illuminate even when the brakes are not being pressed. When this happens, I tap the breaks and the lights go off, only to turn on again within a few seconds of no longer being pressed. Also, in my dash panel I am receiving a "service traction" and "service ESC" warning. This occurance has happened before and was corrected in 2014 after a recall was issued - however the same issue is happening again.

- Chuluota, FL, USA

problem #141

Jul 222015


  • miles


I brought a 2008 chev Malibu ls that had a lot of problems and the dealer refuse to give me my money back the came with a warranty but the warranty didn't cover the thing that need it to be fix the car had a bad catalyst covert and electrical problems the car has been hit all around I bought the car from E&S auto sales in South hackensack New Jersey don't know elias it's nothing but the crook refuse to give my money back and give this to a lot of other people and he needs to be stopped I contacted the better business bureau Consumer Affairs and New Jersey dmv

- Orange, NJ, USA

problem #140

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 #139

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 #138

May 152016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that after the vehicle was parked and restarted, the vehicle failed to operate. In addition, the security lock warning light illuminated intermittently. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the safety system needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was not provided.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #137

Aug 072016


  • 120,000 miles
On Sunday 08/07/2016 my 2008 Malibu failed to start. After testing the battery and starter, it was determined by ntb in charleston SC that the ignition switch had failed. I called several Chevrolet dealers early on 08/08/2016 to see if they could repair under recall warranty. They said they could not help me the same day, and my car is stranded far from home. If ntb is able to fix the problem so that I can drive my car back home, I strongly believe GM should reimburse me for the cost of repairs and towing.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #136

Jul 202016


  • 160 miles
The headlights webt off while I was driving. Ever since I bought the vehicle my headlights have been having problems.

- Chowchilla, CA, USA

problem #135

Jul 212016


  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle shifted lanes without warning. The contact was able to regain control of the vehicle. The vehicle was diagnosed as having an electronic steering malfunction. The vehicle was repaired, but the issue recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 101,000.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #134

Apr 052011


  • 35,500 miles


First rear door lock actuator failed. Was replaced under warranty by dealer. About two months out of warranty the other rear door actuator failed. Got a quote of almost $400 to fix. Yeah, right. Then the replaced actuator failed. So we're up to $800 to repair. Then (see my other complaint filed) - the door locks start randomly locking and unlocking whether the car is on or off.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #133

Apr 012015


  • 90,000 miles
Doesn't matter if the car is running or turned off - all door locks keep locking and unlocking. Very annoying. Had to remove fuse from under the dashboard to make it stop. Now none of my automatic locks will work without the fuse.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #132

Jun 012014


  • 45,000 miles
The door lock actuators have failed in the front drivers side door and the rear passenger side door. The door locks do not operate or only operate intermittently when using the electronic door lock/unlock feature on either the key fob or the door switch. The door locks also do not operate when the vehicle is shifted into or out of park, potentially leaving the doors either unlocked while the vehicle is operating or locked after the vehicle is shifted into park. The biggest concern with the locks is in the placement of the manual pull on the rear doors. I have 2 small children in child seats that have been temporarily locked in the vehicle when the rear doors fail to unlock. The rear door lock pull is located near the "C" pillar of the vehicle instead of a more conventional "B" pillar location, making manual access to the door lock pull impossible from the passenger side of the vehicle. If the passenger in incapable of unlocking the door themselves (such as in the case of small children or the disabled) another person has to either climb over the front seats or across the rear seat from the drivers side to access the passenger and/or door lock pull to unlock the door. I feel that this is a safety hazard for certain vehicle occupants as well as for the vehicle operator, who may believe that the vehicles doors are in a locked position while the vehicle is in motion, when in fact, they may not be.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #131

May 022012


  • 87,000 miles
Key won't turn to off position in ignition

- Freeburg, IL, USA

problem #130

Feb 072016


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the engine stalled without warning while driving 40 mph. The contact lost control of the vehicle, drove into a ditch, and stopped in an embankment. The front driver side air bag deployed and the gas inside caused the contact to contract pneumonia. The contact suffered chest pains that required medical attention. The vehicle was towed to storage. A police report was filed. The VIN was not available. The contact stated that NHTSA campaign number: 14E021000 (electrical system) was received over one year ago; however, the repair was not performed. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Hohenwald, TN, USA

problem #129

Dec 312015


  • 11,500 miles
When the car was started the information panal was not reading, it consisted of mostly dashes. The car was running much louder than normal and the check engine light came on. It started saying service traction and engine power loss. I placed the car in drive, the interior lights started flashing and locks went up and down rapidly. I shut the car off and re started it, attempted to see if it would drive but it had no power, could only reverse and there seemed to be no power steering. The next day I started the car again, this time no immediate issue until I pulled out on to the street. The steering wheel was tight, and the car failed to accelerate. Loss of engine power was on the dash, engine and traction lights remained on. Restarted the car and I was able to park again. The car remains at the dealer after being towed a week ago, and they are unsure of the cause. This is extremely dangerous, especially if it were to happen on the highway I would not have had any control of the car and most definitely would have caused an accident.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #128

Jan 082016


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving in a parking lot, the steering wheel locked without warning while turning. The contact had to apply extreme pressure to the brake pedal and the steering wheel. The contact was not notified, but the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). The vehicle was not diagnosed or remedied. The vehicle was also included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 12V460000 (power train) and 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The contact did not receive notification of those two recall repairs and had to call the manufacturer to be referred to a dealer to schedule the repairs. The failure mileage was 150,000. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #127

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 #126

Jan 012016

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
Takata recall: Hello my name is [xxx] I am constantly having problem with my Chevy Malibu 2008. My car shut off while still in drive on my way home on the street and then my gear shifted to park while again the car is in drive. I have bad electrical problems that I gotten fixed and it still acting up but what's is important is that my car is not driving and I cant start it at all. Yes I got a new starter and its still responding the same. These problems been ongoing since I purchased it almost 3 years ago. Can you please contact me and help me. Thank you. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #125

Nov 202015


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 30 mph, the contact was notified that the brake lights failed to illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. In addition, the brake light illuminated without the brake pedal being depressed. 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 vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the BCM module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

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