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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 2
Average Mileage:
55,746 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #8

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 #7

Apr 182009

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
According to witness, my son was stopped at a red light on a two lane main road (on each side). His 2008 Chevy Malibu was on the outer lane when all of a sudden veered to the left as if heading towards a driveway ( when he originally was going straight to pick up a co worker). The car immediately jerked to the right, crashing into a tree, where parts of the vehicle became embedded into the tree. My son passed away instantly. The speedometer registered 66 mph at impact. His original speed was approximately 35mph especially since he was just stopped at the light. The witness was coming from the opposite side and stopped his car when he saw my son's vehicle crossing into his lane towards oncoming traffic.

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #6

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 #5

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 #4

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 #3

Jan 012010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
On multiple occasions while driving, speed doesn't change outcome, door locks will continue to lock and unlock by themselves and car alarm will go off and will set itself while driving down the road. This is very distracting to the me, the driver and to the drivers around my car. Thus potentially causing a crash. Also, the brake lights will illuminate until you press the brake pedal then they go off. This is definitely backward! the doors will unlock, sometimes. However, you will have to guess which ones will unlock. Usually, the ones that unlock are the front-right passenger and back-left passenger. The reason the unlock is because they don't lock! no one can "duplicate the problem". the driver door and right-back door sometimes are unable to be opened. This requiring me to find a door that can be opened or that did unlock and climb through to the drivers seat. All of this while making sure my autistic son and daughter remain safe in a parking lot. This is very unsafe, as I park in a parking garage several times a week on a college campus. Unfortunately, neither key less remotes work either! most recently the shifter cable has broken. The care wouldn't budge. Chevy was notified, we were told to have it towed to the closest Chevy dealer. Just to be charged a diagnostic fee, we told them the problem, and they decided not to cover it under the power train like we were told would happen. Then two weeks ago, the shifter cable broke again! this seems very odd. The entire time I have had this car when I press the accelerator pedal it feels like the car is running out of gas or like its having a hard time shifting. This has been reported from the beginning with no help. So, this is my last reach out for help. As I hear about all the carjackings, cars getting stolen and robbed, I just think my car is an open invitation! please help. Chevy wouldn't help us even under warranty.

- High Springs, FL, USA

problem #2

Jul 012011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
This vehicle is having issues with the brake lights illuminating without pressing on the brake pedals. When the brake lights come on by themselves, trying to use the brakes when needed (ie slowing down, stopping) shuts the brake lights off, which could cause a major safety issue for the persons in the vehicle as well as persons in other vehicles around my vehicle. It also takes what seems to be some force to make the brake lights come back on. Sometimes shutting down the vehicle and restarting it solves the issue for a short period of time. The vehicle is also having a cruise control issue, which I am assuming is directly related to the above problem. The cruise control does not want to stay engaged when turned on. It seems this only happens when the brake lights illuminate by themselves. This is also another safety issue for the persons within the vehicle. This vehicle is also having an error that comes on advising that the traction control is off and to service the ESC soon. This light comes on for no reason that I can determine. The error code that comes on is C0131. I have searched the internet and have multiple people (more than 50 at this time) that I have found that are having the same exact issues. This is a very high safety concern, that I am unsure on why this hasn't been recalled as of yet. I can imagine there are way more people out there who have just had this issue fixed on their own instead of taking their time out to report to the NHTSA for their review. I would appreciate some sort of contact to be made by this department to myself. Thank you for your assistance in these safety issues.

- Hamel, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 112008


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Upon purchasing the vehicle, the contact noticed oil all over the front rims and tires. The dealer reassured her that the oil came from the brakes and there was nothing to worry about. She also stated that she would not get ample gas mileage as stated at the time of purchase. While driving less than 70 mph, the accelerator pedal would not depress and the vehicle would not gain speed. On-star performed a diagnostic and found that the traction system malfunctioned. The gears would not change, there was a loud, persistent screeching noise, and smoke was coming from the front driver's side of the vehicle. The contact was able to maneuver the vehicle off the highway and take it back to the dealer for repairs. However, the failure still persists. The failure mileage was 6,000 and current mileage was less than 8,000.

- Oak Park, IL, USA

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