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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,242 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.

2009 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #87

Jan 112016


  • 74,000 miles


I've had the recall done to ( supposedly ) fix the issue of the service ESC and traction control light fixed, but it just came back on again. When it is on I have no brake lights or the brake lights stay on. This is very dangerous and I've almost been in a wreck because of it. Also I have been getting a lot of water in my passenger side floor to the point I've taken the back seat out so I can lift the carpet to vacuum it out.

- Lincolnton, NC, USA

problem #86

Dec 262015


  • miles
Engine power reduced and car cranks but wont start. It also slowed down when that engine power reduced came on almost had an accident and my family was in the car.

- Pflugerville, TX, USA

problem #85

Dec 312015


  • 167,000 miles
Vehicle in airport parking lot and temp was 29 degrees. Started vehicle and proceeded to leave parking lot. Power steering warning appeared on dash board. Continue diving on interstate for next 15 minutes to reach home. About a half mile before reaching home, service ESC appeared on dash. Did not lose control O vehicle and vehicle has no been moved since. New years day 2016, no dealer service is open. I understand this is a known issue with the Malibu, however my VIN # does not appear to be part of the recall. Will take to dealership for diagnosis.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #84

Dec 212015


  • 52,000 miles


While driving my car the traction control light flashes and the service ESC light flashes in the dash of my car. My brake light remain on at all time, when I mash the brakes no brake light comes on. The brake light is doing the opposite of what it is supposed to be doing. This occured months after I had recall work done (at a certified GM dealer) under GM recall number 13036 and NHTSA campaign number 14V252000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #83

Dec 182015


  • 152,000 miles
As I was drivingdown the street, the power steering/service ESC light and message came on my car. It also said ESC off. I got pulled into a parkuing lot and turned off my car and restarted it and it worked for a few minutes. After work it did it to me when I started it. I killed it and restarted it and jerked the steering wheel back and forth and it worked for around five minutes. I have read on many forums that this is a known problem with many years of the Malibu and other cars. GM has extended the warranty to 100,000 miles but most of them are over that limit. This is a dangerous problem!!!!!

- O'donnell, TX, USA

problem #82

Jul 052015


  • 93,000 miles
There was a recall for the wiring harness related to these problems..rk Chevrolet in vineland, NJ repaired it supposedly. Days after the warranty on socalled repair the problem persisted yet again and I returned to dealership they said there was no problem with it...gave me codes for something else which did not relate to what is wrong...I'm getting nowhere with this and it is not safe to drive this vehicle which is needed for family transportation and work.ESC light stays on, traction control stays on, brake lights come on while driving but not when braking.

- Millville, NJ, USA

problem #81

Nov 012015


  • 47,000 miles


The brake lights to illuminate without the brake pedal being pushed; the brake lights to not illuminate when the pedal is pushed; difficulty disengaging the cruise control; and disablement of crash avoidance features such as traction control, electronic stability control, and panic braking assist features. This occurs after we have had the work done that was for GM recall number 13036/NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 multiple times.

- Wauconda, IL, USA

problem #80

Oct 242015


  • 42,000 miles
Driving at 65 mph on the interstate and ESC light, check engine light, and security light came on. The speedometer needle and the fuel guage needle started jumping sporadically and then I lost power for a moment and could not accelerate. Had to coast to the side of the road. Very dangerous situation. Turned the car off and restarted, and it happened numerous more times. Had to end up having it towed. It is in the shop now, and they haven't determined what is wrong yet.

- Radcliff, KY, USA

problem #79

Oct 052015


  • 160,000 miles
One October 5, 2015 owner was driving at or around 35mph when the vehicles, ESC, check engine light, and brake dashboard icons came on. Then car then lost engine power, and would not accelerate. Owner then cruised the car to the side of the road, where turned the key to the off position and then tried to restart it. Owner tried turning the key to restart the vehicle multiple times over the course of 15 minutes and the vehicle would not start. Finally, the vehicle restarted and the owner was able to drive off the freeway and contacted the GM customer service number to report the incident.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #78

Jul 012013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving at 30 mph, the contact noticed smoke coming from the front passenger side head lamp. In addition, both the passenger and driver side high and low beam head lamps failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the wiring harness and the head lamp assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred on numerous occasions. The contact also stated that while at a stop light, "service ESC, service traction. ESC off" was displayed across the message board. The ESC warning light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The failure mileage was unknown.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #77

Sep 212015


  • 119,500 miles


When driving my vehicle the brake lights are currently illuminating without me pressing the brake pedal and not illuminating when I do press the brake pedal (brake light reversal). In addition my electronic stability control (ESC) and cruise control turn off. I previously reported this problem to the Agency under NHTSA id number 10548365. I had the recall work performed in the summer of 2014. In addition I previously had the brake pedal position sensor replaced prior to that, but it did not fix the problem. The problem has reappeared even though the suggested fix was applied. Please note that this problem was originally reported in rhinelander, wi.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #76

Jun 272014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to body control module connection system recall reimbursement. The consumer stated in June 2014, the vehicle wasn't running smoothly. It seemed to exhibit a jerk motion and felt as though it was going to stall. The ESC light would illuminate and then go out. The dealer made some repairs on June on June 27, 2014. After the repairs were made, the consumer received a recall letter. However, the parts were not available. GM informed the consumer, the repairs were not covered by the recall. According to the invoice, the fuel injector wire was replaced. Recall # 14V252000 updated 12/30/15.

- Geneva, IL, USA

problem #75

Jan 222015


  • 77,457 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 30 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact had to apply force to the steering wheel in order to steer the vehicle. The service electronic stability control (ESC) was displayed across the message board. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the steering wheel torque input sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,457.

- Central Square , NY, USA

problem #74

Aug 012015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 99,897 miles
While driving my car the traction control light flashes and the service ESC light flashes in the dash of my car. My brake light remain on at all time, when I mash the brakes no brake light comes on. The brake light is doing the opposite of what it is suppose to be during. I had the recall done on this car in October 2014 at john donoghue Chevrolet in whiteville, nc, 910-642-2400 but I am still having the same problem after the recall have been done on my car. What do I do now. Thank you [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Fair Bluff, NC, USA

problem #73

Aug 082015


  • 130,000 miles
While driving on the interstate my steering wheel began to shake and vibrate rapidly. I then heard a ding followed by the messages, "service power steering" "service ESC" " ESC off". I was able to exit the interstate and get to a gas station before the wheel completely locked up. I turned the car off for about 45 mins and found that when I turned my car on it was "fine." I ended up having it towed. I found out that this is a common issue with this car and my car isn't a part of last year's recall.

- Nashville , TN, USA

problem #72

May 282015


  • 76,555 miles
Bought my 2009 Chevy Malibu ltz in April 2015 in May 2015 my service ESC service traction control lights started to come on and my taillights are lighting up as if on the breaks when I am not.( they come on while I am stoped at a red light have never come on while moving) returned to the dealership where I got my car and the lights were off so they said they could not do anything until the lights were on(the lights reset when I shut my car off). They came on last night went to Chevy dealership last night 7/20/2015 and they told me to replace the break pedal switch and we did that but my break lights are still coming on when they want, it looks like there was a recall for this before I got my car and I don't know if it was fixed or not and if it could be fixed again under the recall...... very unhappy about this.

- North Versailles, PA, USA

problem #71

Jul 142015


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the stability, traction, and power steering warning lights illuminated. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel was extremely tight and difficult to turn left and right. The vehicle was parked and unable to be driven due to the failure. The vehicle was taken to a dealer but was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 14E044000 (steering) and 14V153000 (steering). The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Hastings, PA, USA

problem #70

Jul 012012


  • 53,920 miles
Driving car and the brake light came on. Then the check brake fluid warning came on. Then the service ESC came on. Took it to dealer on Monday morning they say the master cylinder and brake booster are both faulty and need to be replaced at a cost of $1056. I just purchased this car from cox Chevrolet on May 2 2015. This seems to be a much to common a problem for the car at only 53000 miles. Has to be a slow leak that was already a problem at the time of purchase. So far no satisfaction with cost of repair from dealership.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #69

Apr 202015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 109,250 miles
While driving the service ESC light came onthe the traction control light came on then check engine light can on with reduce engine power. Had to pull over cut car off and back on everything went away except check engine took that to be checked our it came back as a throttle body or loose hose. Cut car back on everything was off. Went to work started back up everything was fine then at 45 did it again.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #68

Apr 072015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
While driving at highway speeds around a curve, light application of the brakes to slow down the vehicle, ESC activates with a warning lamp and "ESC active" message. There is typically no need for stability control to be active and is a persistent problem because the computer over-aggressively tries to compensate for a non existent issue making controlling the vehicle difficult as well as dangerous due to the inability for the driver to safely apply the brakes due to the ESC override.

- Washington, MI, USA

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