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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 3 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #67

Mar 282015


  • 128,000 miles


Upon startup of the vehicle, the yellow warning lamp illuminates with the messages "service ESC" followed by "ESC off". this is concurrent with loss of power to the electronic power steering making low-speed turns incredibly difficult, but still manageable. Putting the car in park, turning the ignition off and then restarting the engine mitigates this issue.

- Washington, MI, USA

problem #66

Mar 262015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
I went to start my car and the service ESC light flashed along with the power steering light. I turned the ignition off and back on again. This seemed to solve the problem temporarily. As a few days went by, the problem was more frequent. Currently, the vehicle will start with the error lights flashing more times than it will not. The vehicle can be driven. However, it is very difficuly to turn, especially at slow speeds.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #65

Apr 042015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
It has happened a couple times....the service ecs and traction control light come on and then the vehicle feels as if it is missing. We pulled into an advanced auto parts and turned the vehicle off...went inside to get someone to put it on the meter and it was fine. Almost 2 weeks later it did it again...fearful what would happen if we were on the interstate going at a high rate of speed. Wondering if it has something to do with the may recall. Even though we had the recall completed it is still acting up.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #64

Mar 242015

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 99,648 miles


I was driving just a few blocks from my house when I stopped at a red light. The light turned green so I went to go. My car then flashed a service ESC warning, then it flashed ESC off & then flashed engine power reduced. My check engine light also came on and has stayed on. My car wouldn't even go over 10mph, and was shaking so bad I thought I was going to lose control of the vehicle. Thank god I didn't make it out of town. I just recently had my car at the Chevrolet auto shop to have my transmission completely rebuilt and for the brake light malfunction recall. Then my car ended up back in the shop apparently for a bad Cadillac converter, which I think really was this problem all along. I have only had this car for a year, and I am beyond disgusted with all the problems. I don't think I will be purchasing another vehicle from Chevrolet, as they just aren't good cars apparently. Side note: I take really good care of my vehicle and do all the normal service maint. On time etc so there is no excuse for this. It's just a bad car! I have a 2009 Chevy Malibu.

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #63

Mar 242015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 100,600 miles
While driving into a parking lot my power steering suddenly quit working and the service ESC and power steering lights started flashing. I looked up my VIN to see if it qualified for a recall but it didn't fit under recall #14V153000 even though my car was built the same year and same model and is experiencing the same issues as described in this recall. This recall needs to be expanded to include more vehicle experiencing the same problem.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #62

Jan 012014


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the anti lock brake system and the electronic stability control warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the BCM wiring harness needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The contact stated that after the repairs, it was discovered that the brake lights failed to illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #61

Mar 022015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 146,143 miles


Power steering will quit intermittently and will ESC light will come on. Steering is very difficult and could result in a accident.

- Seaman, OH, USA

problem #60

Mar 042015


  • 130,259 miles
I was driving East on colonel glenn highway in dayton oh, when the electric power steering went out. It caused the car to jerk and caused my wife's neck to strain. I came home and checked and learned that Chevrolet had a recall notice for some 2009 Malibu, but our car was not included. It seems strange that Chevrolet did not include all 2009 Malibu.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #59

Feb 022015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Abrupt power-steering failure. The steering wheel turns and jerks (shutters back and forth) on its own while the car is at rest at a stoplight or stop sign. Took to Chevy dealer and they advised me there is a recall for this issue but my VIN and part# are not included as of now. Dealer told me it is due to faulty positioning sensor part # 23232310 sensor ki.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #58

Feb 262015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
While driving down the highway at 60mph at approximately 8pm on Feb 26, my steering wheel began to vibrate and then the driver info display panel showed power steering and service ESC. I then lost all power steering in my vehicle. This made it extremely difficult to steer and operate safely. Luckily I was able to get the vehicle off the highway safely. The next day, I took the vehicle to my dealer and was told that the power steering torque sensor needs replaced. I did research and discovered that a similar recall was issued for the electronic power steering on 2009 Malibu's, but my VIN was not included in the recall. I am unclear as to why. I contacted GM/Chevrolet and was told I am not covered and am now holding a bill for almost $600. I was shocked to learn that my vehicle was not covered. Additionally, I was not even aware that my vehicle did not have hydraulic power steering.

- Lagrange, OH, USA

problem #57

Feb 112015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 85,850 miles


Vehicle loss power steering and had to be manually steered to shoulder. Alarm indication: "power steering, ESC sensor needs service". this condition keeps repeating itself over and over and over again. The fault and condition can be temporarily cleared by turning off ignition and re-starting ignition. The steering wheel rocks back in forth in idle and feels like the power steering is pulsating. My VIN somehow is not included in earlier recall but is exhibiting exactly the same issues as those recalled in same production year!!!!"??"

- Macomb, MI, USA

problem #56

Feb 262015


  • 152,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while making a left turn at 4 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact stated that ESC off was displayed across the message board. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was 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 152,000.

- Columbia, IL, USA

problem #55

Feb 232015


  • 104,000 miles
Sudden loss of power steering, nearly caused a wreck in parking lot. Impossible to steer car due to resistance in wheel.

- Brookings, OR, USA

problem #54

Feb 052015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
I was driving home with my children in the car and my electrical power steering locked up and nearly caused an accident. Happy that everyone made it home safely, I then tried to find probably causes in to what is the cause and what I can do. I saw nothing but GM recalls for 2008 -2009 Chevy Malibu's that are having this problem. No one can help but the dealership, so I drove down to the dealership on a Saturday, and asked if anyone can take a look at the issue, and the gentleman was short and rude, as if he did not want to help me. I practically had to beg for them to look at my vehicle. So I patiently waited for 3 and a half hours in the lobby. To find out that the power steering module is going bad. That it will cost $480. The guy charged me $95 just for a diagnostic, and I didn't get a warning that this will be a charge, on top of it he wanted to charge me $800 to fix other things on my vehicle, when my main concern was the power steering. I felt taken advantage of, and no one explained to me as to why this took place. I am thinking it must be apart of the recall. So I sent a letter to corporate about this experience. I spoke with an agent and a senior adviser. I cannot wait years later for them to decide that they missed a vehicle. So they did try to give me options to see if they can help with the cost due to the inconvenience I've been through with my children and how I was treated at the terry cullen Chevy dealership in Georgia. Hopefully they can cover half the cost so I can get this fix. I am currently driving dangerously on the road to get to and from work, and I have no other options nor extra money to get this fixed right now. I just do not understand how I can have the same issue in my vehicle and everyone else has a recall on theirs. Is this a normal ware and tare issue.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #53

Feb 012015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
While driving, power steering failed, heard a ding and a dash warning came on saying power steering/ESC off. I took it to Chevrolet to have a brake recall performed and they looked at it saying it was the torque sensor. This item is a recall for over 1.5 million Chevrolet but somehow, mine is the exception. I have fought with Chevy over this and they refuse to fix it. Poor service. Poor company.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #52

Feb 202014


  • 97,820 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that after igniting the vehicle, the electronic stability control warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) however, the VIN was not included. The failure mileage was 97,820.

- Eaton Rapids, MI, USA

problem #51

Nov 192014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Pulled into parking lot and as I was pulling into parking place my steering went out, traction control light came on and service ESC message flashed across the screen. A power steering message also flashed acrossed the screen. This has happened to me alot and I am afraid it will go out when I am on a busy highway and I will be killed. My car has the electric power steering and I have read many other complaints about the same issue and there should be a recall before someone is injured or killed.

- San Diego , CA, USA

problem #50

Feb 012015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
For the past several weeks upon starting my 2009 Chevy Malibu lt... a light comes on the dashboard and says service ESC and power steering. At this time I lose all power assist to my car and steering is very hard. When I restart my car it resets itself and then I am able to steer again unless it trips again. This is super dangerous and appears to be getting worse and worse. It is the same recall listed for several other Malibu's and GM cars but not my year. My year needs to be included in this recall also. I took it to the dealership and they wanted $600 to fix it and diagnosed it as the sensor in the steering wheel shorting out. I have a child and I'm literally afraid to drive my car anymore with all of the serious recalls going on I do not want to lose control this is ridiculous and I hope it's fixed soon. It's terrible to pay so much for a car that you don't even feel safe driving.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #49

Jan 242015


  • miles
As I was driving my steering wheel start shaking out of no were and stop at the store and started it back and my steering is locked up and hard to turn.

- Amarillo , TX, USA

problem #48

Nov 102014


  • miles
The wheel turn triggers the ESC to turn off. Sometimes mid parking lot. Sometime mid highway on ramp at 45 mph. Some days I can go without having any issues. Other days I can't get the steering to come on. Worst is when I am in mid turn and it triggers. Very frustrating and annoying to just buy a car and have it be so unsafe that we can barely use it. Called dealer but was told I would have to pay $109 to diagnose and service if needed to replace would run about $800. This car has been a nightmare with cost and issues. I had to pay $90 bucks to change a $20 front head light bulb because the bumper has to be removed to do this. Locks don't work.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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