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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 1 of 2)

problem #28

Dec 272016


  • 131,000 miles


As I'm driving down the freeway going about 70 mph I hear about 3 or 4 dings go off all at one time. The service ESC, engine pwr reduced, service traction, and ESC off warnings came on my 2008 Chevy Malibu lt dash as well as the traction warning light and check engine light. My car almost instantly starting to decelerate at an acceptional speed. I had to "floor it" to make it stop and then it slowly accelerated. Once I got home I googled the problem and a lot of people were saying it has to do with the fuse box or throttle body or both. I don't know what is wrong with it and I don't have a lot of extra money right now so I'm kinda stuck driving it like this for awhile since it is not under any type of warranty and I have to go to work.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #27

Dec 072013


  • 159,734 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that when the ignition key was turned to the start position, the vehicle failed to start intermittently. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the battery needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. While driving at various speeds, when the brake pedal was depressed, there was an abnormal sound coming from the front of the vehicle and the brake pedal vibrated and hesitated to respond without warning. On a separate occasion, while driving at various speeds, the vehicle jerked forward independently without warning. The contact mentioned that the failure recurred several times intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure was unable to be determined. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 159,734. The VIN was unavailable.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #26

Sep 232015


  • 75,000 miles
While driving on us-10, a high traffic freeway in phoenix AZ, the car reduced speed to about 30 mph. It would not accelerate above this rate! so my son was suddenly stuck in one of the passing lanes on a very busy four lane freeway. It was extremely dangerous trying to maneuver off the freeway. Several codes appeared on the dash; check engine light, reduced engine power, service traction, and something about air bags. He managed his way off the freeway and ┐limped┐ the car home.

- Grand Ledge, MI, USA

problem #25

Jul 312015


  • 85,000 miles


Many bulletin's posted #09-07-30-012. My 2008 Chevy Malibu had about 85K miles on it. I had only owned it for about 2 years and bought it used as a college student and had an outstanding loan on it. I was driving to work one morning and started to notice when accelerating getting on the highway that it was taking more time for my car to shift into gear. As I continued to drive my car was it taking even longer to shift from 3rd to 5th gear then it would abruptly shift into gear delayed. I figured maybe it need transmission fluid since it only had 85K on it, and then when I would reverse it was very loose feeling. Brought in to the shop and they said I needed a new transmission and the car was unsafe to drive. Quoted me 2200 for a used transmission. Looked online and saw several people with the same problem. I am just out of college so don't have that kind of money up front yet and I had a loan on the car still. Chevy said I wasn't under 100K mile warranty bc car was more than 5 years old. I live on my own and need a safe vehicle to get to work everyday and did not have the money for a used transmission up front so had no choice to go lease a car and trade this now worthless car with this transmission issue in that I had a loan on. So car was worth a lot less now than my loan so I went into a new deal with negative equity resulting me taking on huge car payment to get out of this mess. Chevy or GM need to recall this defect and take care of the customers affected and compensate those who were affected and took a huge loss in $ due this problem. I believe GM should be compensating me something for how much money I just lost unless they want to be known as a company who doesn't care about their customers and sells cars that transmissions go way before 100K miles....I will never buy or recommend them to anyone ever again if they do not rectify with good paying customers.

- Kenmore , NY, USA

problem #24

Apr 062015


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 25 mph, the service traction light illuminated and the brake lights illuminated intermittently. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle slowed down and was hesitant to accelerate after a significant amount of pressure was applied to the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was repaired, but the issue recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Stanton Island , NY, USA

problem #23

Aug 222010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to unsatisfactory customer service at dealership for unnecessary repair work and seeks reimbursement. The consumer stated the service brake illuminated when the brake was not applied, the cruise control would not engage and the traction control light illuminated intermittently. Instead of fixing the wiring harness as described in the safety recall notice the dealership replaced the brake sensor and charged him $245. 03. the consumer stated while driving, he discovered the cruise control had not been fixed., even though the technician noted everything was operable. The consumer returned to the dealer, where they kept the car for a day and a half and replaced the BCM and dtc. Updated 09/10/15

- Rolling Meadows, IL, USA

problem #22

Jan 082015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


While on my way to work, suddenly my traction light and service engine light came on and the reduced power notification came on moments later, the car slowed to about 10-20 mph(like it almost died but still running) and the car was shaking. I could not accelerate, I coasted into a parking lot and it was idling rough. I shut it off, waited a few moments and started it like nothing happened. I was scared and just wanted to get home and borrow another car to get to work. I was less than a mile away from home, and managed to get it home. While returning home it did the same thing but, it added a new code disabled engine. I have read these forums, and I don't have extra money to waist on replacing parts that do not fix the problem. It seems to be a common issue with GM, I don't want to be giving the run around with bs reason, I want to fix my car.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #21

Jan 012014


  • 74,460 miles
Started car and service traction ESC lights came on. Upon driving car would not accelerate as it normally does, and seemed to loose power. The engine vibrated an unusual amount, much more than normal. The next day we took the vehicle to the dealer for recall no. 13036, the htsa campaign id no. For this recall is 14V252. The dealer only replaced what was outlined in the recall, which was clip, retainer, strap, retainer. However, this had no effect on the problem. They would not further diagnose or fix the problem.

- Pittsford, NY, USA

problem #20

Sep 232014


  • 124,169 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 10 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn and the check engine and ABS warning lights illuminated. In addition, the contact stated that when the front driver seat was adjusted, all of the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated. While at a traffic stop, the brake was applied but the vehicle accelerated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 124,169.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #19

Oct 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to GM recall #13036 and repair reimbursement. *

- Theodore, AL, USA

problem #18

Oct 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles


2008 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer states he received 2 recall notices and has been experiencing problems with his vehicle that are outlined in the recall notice.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #17

Sep 242014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received recall notifications for NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000 (power train), NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control), and NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). The parts needed to repair the vehicle were unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #16

May 192014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
There is something wrong with the steering that cause the cruise control to accelerate while driving, there is issues with braking in the, the transmission is sticking or not always working, and the car shakes or requires you to force turn it at low speeds like up exist ramps. This has gone on for quite a while I have called several dealerships and the main number on the recalls and they just keep telling me no parts are available. This is my only car and I have no money for another how do they expect people to depend on their cars or survive when transportation is needed. Why aren't these parts being made faster or why aren't people provided any other solutions?

- Hastings, MN, USA

problem #15

Sep 112014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 106,884 miles
While driving 50 mph down the highway in my 2008 Chevy Malibu (106,800 miles) the traction control light came on and information center read "engine power deduced" and my car slowed to 20 mph almost immediately with no warning to me or the vehicles behind me. Luckily there was a wide shoulder and I veered off to avoid being rear ended as I had my 3 child all in car seats in back. I called the dealership but as they weren't open yet, I did what I had to as one of my children is a special needs child and was almost time for his seizure medication and drove the car on to my mother in laws 4 miles away. I drove down the shoulder of the highway for approximately 1 mile to make it to my mother in laws turn then the next 3 miles to her house was less congested with traffic luckily. The car had a slight shake to it almost and something seemed like it was rattling almost under the hood but a slow rattle not like a knocking sound tho. After the dealership opened I took the car to them after shutting off and restarting car ran normal again. They said they could find the issue in the history. Chevy told us the cam shaft solenoid had internal failure and needed replaced. We got it fixed and changed spark plugs and did a small tune up to make sure that was the whole issue solved. Last night just a day later the same thing happened as my husband was driving the car. This is an issue with many newer Chevy cars some still with just 50,000 miles on them. It is a major safety concern and needs to be addressed with GM in a recall I am afraid before more lives are taken due to faulty engineering and parts! please look into this further! Chevy also found a crack in the exhaust manifold that they are replacing for free already as well as multiple other recalls we are awaiting parts for.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #14

Jul 012014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control); however, the parts needed for the repairs were unavailable. The manufacturer was made aware of the delay. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Richmond, KY, USA

problem #13

Jun 192014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
Started back in June, car started not to pick up speed when gas pedal press. Today was the worst, driving on my way from school to pick up my children from daycare, my car started jumping and car monitor stated no traction, traction off, eng power reduced, I work full time and going to school and have to kids, I can not afford to be without a vehicle. I need a response asap, a car rental or a replacement, I make car payments every month, and my car is not reliable and I believe is because of the recall, which is your responsibility to fix. I have called GM and I was told my car was still consider safe to operate.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #12

Aug 112014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received recall notices for NHTSA campaign numbers: 12V460000 (power train), 14V153000 (steering), and 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The parts needed for the repairs were unavailable and the dealer could not provide an estimated date of arrival. The manufacturer was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- St Petersburgh, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 192008


  • miles
My sister an I was on a flight from los angeles, ca into dallas, tx at the airport we rented a car from national car rental to go onto shreveport. La to see our sister who was in her last days with her fight with cancer. We're on I-20 North driving along then all of a sudden the car steering went out of control, speeding going very fast I could not stop, the went over into the medin of I-20 steal travel fast went all the way over to the other side South I-20 still could not stop no brake we hit a car on the other side of the I-20 that what keep us from going off I-20 completely. No air bags deploy at my sister died on the spot of the crash, I was knot out and the had to be air lifted to the hospital in dallas, tx she went to the mordge in tyler, tx I could not walk, shoulder broke, arm and legs we're in bad shape. The day I got out of the hospital the sister we're go to see die. Their never was a officer of the law to come an tell me any thing in regard to the crash, the GM Chevrolet 2008 Malibu we rented act just like the other GM vehicles in the ignition recall, the car engine, going out of control, steering I had no control, powers brakes not working I could not stop, no airbags deploy at all GM knew about the defect and my injuries and my sister death did not have to be not only that this model was not in the recall I need some answer as to way the very same thing happen to me and my in a fatal crash in this GM product a investigation need to be done and I need an wont answer to this crash, my will never be the same I need to know why please.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #10

Nov 012013


  • 93,000 miles
Everything everyone has been complaining about is wrong with my car. The alarm doesn't work. We have to manually lock the doors sometimes. Brake lights comes on and off as it wants. Just recently, 05/15/14 the car had been really slow at picking up. It was really hard to get the car to reach 60mph. But some days it'll pick up ok too? I hope they fix these issues sooner. Really disappointed.

- Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #9

May 012014


  • 92,500 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the cruise control failed and caused the brake lights to remain illuminated. The contact stated that when the brake pedal was depressed the brake lights flickered abnormally. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 92,500 and the current mileage was 93,000.

- Swaton , OH, USA

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