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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 2
Average Mileage:
81,067 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 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #63

Feb 042014


  • 55,500 miles


Emergency brake failed when releasing the brake. Loud noise was heard and then have no emergency brake. Took to the dealer and they told that it was owner fault, rear brake pad were under their specification and that created too much stress to the cable, snapping it. GM should revise their engineering design for this safety device. Emergency brakes should be available even if pads are low. Definitively it is and manufacturing (design) defect. It could be a fatal accident if main brakes fail and need to use the emergency brake and then cable snap leaving you without a proper braking device to stop your vehicle. GM still behind that it was customer fault and will not fix this manufacturing defect.

- Rincon, GA, USA

problem #62

Dec 022014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control); however, the parts to do the repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Scottsville, NY, USA

problem #61

Sep 052014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
While making a left turn at less than 20mph, vehicle lost traction, causing car to skid and leave roadway, and subsequently hit a cement culvert. Earlier the same week, the rear brake lights were intermittently illuminating when the brakes were not being applied. Vehicle required towing and repairs. Passenger in vehicle suffered lower back injury. Two weeks after accident, owner received recall 13036 notification.

- Brunswick, GA, USA

problem #60

Jul 312014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact heard a clunking sound from the rear to the front of the vehicle. The power steering warning indicator illuminated. In addition, the contact discovered that the speedometer was not registering the speed of the vehicle. The dealer was unable to diagnose or repair the failure. 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 part needed to repair the vehicle was unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Duquesne, PA, USA

problem #59

Jul 022012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I have to change head lights 3 times. Only can take to dealer ($150). When having tires replaces and brakes. The ABS/ESC/traction control alarms lights stays on while driving. I contact Chevrolet now for last three years. I was told because my car is out warranty they will not approval repair. I recently taken car to dealer recall # 13036. That my car would be approval for loaner. Chevrolet/ dealer. All warranty have expires that would not approval for repairs there's no one to bill or pay for repairs and loaner. I will be taken this public. As a consumers and would like to stay a purchaser of GM/Chevy to warn everyone of their practices.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #58

Jun 062014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
I was coming to a stop and because my brake lights do not illuminate when brakes are applied, the person behind me nearly hit me. This was just the first of seven near collisions. I rarely drive my car now because of the overwhelming feeling of danger when I do drive it. Every time I get in to my car to go somewhere, I get in with the thought of I may never see my husband or children again. It is an awful stress. GM has done nothing to help me except tell me they understand.

- Kaukauna, WI, USA

problem #57

May 212014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


When driving, service ESC and service traction show up on dash. When that appears the brake lights come on without applying brake and when brake is applied the brake lights don't come on. I spoke to Chevrolet and they said it was under recall but I had to take it into a dealer and have it checked to make sure that was the problem at a cost to me and anyway they can't fix it because they don't have the parts. So what are they waiting for? I am afraid to drive it and it is my young daughters car she drives to school. I don't want her to drive it but it is the only means of transportation for her. This is ridiculous knowing that it is recalled an nothing to be done about it. Until when, its to late or someone gets hurt.

- Alamo, TX, USA

problem #56

Jul 282014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control); however, the parts needed for the repair were unavailable. The dealer could not provide an estimated date for arrival. The manufacturer was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Sinton, TX, USA

problem #55

Mar 012011


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the brake light illuminated when the brake pedal was not depressed and failed to illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. In addition, the contact stated that the ESC traction control and the cruise control independently disengaged. The contact also mentioned that the vehicle would hesitate when shifting gears. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that NHTSA campaign: 14V252000 (brakes, exterior lighting, electronic stability control) exceeded a reasonable amount for the recall repair. The dealer stated that the part was not available. The manufacturer was made aware of the delay. The contact had experienced the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000 and the currently mileage was 90,000.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #54

May 032010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
The brake lights come on without pressing the brake pedal. When you push on the pedal the lights go out. While on the speed control will not work. Several other issues with the BCM. GM announced a recall on this vehicle on May 15, 2014 but the NHTSA website letter on that date letter nvs-215ks / 14V-252 stated that GM must notify the owners within 60 days. It has been 60 days and there has not been a notification. This issue has been in the shop under warranty approx. 5 times and I have had to also repair the same issue. Now the car is not drive able because if I place it in park it will not go in reverse. This is also due to the same BCM problem. If they (GM) has 60 days, why have they not recalled this vehicle? I took it to the GM dealer and gave them the recall number found on the internet and was told they have no information about it. How can I get this information but their own dealers can't.

- Eads, TN, USA

problem #53

Jul 052014


  • 113,421 miles


I was driving down the freeway between 70 & 75 mph. I heard brakes screeching behind me. I then realized that my cruz had also went off. I knew that my brake lights had come on for no reason again as they had in the past. I was sure cars were going to start rear ending each other because they thought I had slammed on my brakes. When this is occurring with my vehicle the brake lights are off when I'm stopped at a light or a stop sign and the brake lights come on when I take my foot off the brakes. The car will jerk like it is trying to stall. The RPM's will surge to 4000 while at the same time the car is slowing down. The cruz will not engage when the brake lights are on. These problems only occurs when the brake lights will not go off.

- Pierson, MI, USA

problem #52

Jan 012013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
Brake light turn on without braking, brake lights don work while braking, traction control becomes disabled, cruise will not activate, will not come out of park.

- Ransomeville, NY, USA

problem #51

Jul 022014


  • 156,000 miles
I had a lady follow me down a 55mph highway this morning, into my parking lot at work, to tell me that all of my brake lights were on as I was driving. Once I reached a speed of 15mph or faster, my brake lights would come on and go off when I would brake. She said she followed me to make sure I knew of the issue and that she almost rear-ended me, but was mindful that there was an issue with my brakes so followed a bit further behind. I also have recently noticed that my service traction and service ESC display warnings are on my dashboard, and my cruise control does not work. In researching this issue, there is an apparent recall on that affects my make/model year vehicle. I called the dealership and was advised (after providing my VIN) that my car was not covered under the recall. I am wondering how it is determined what VIN's are covered and which are not. I am clearly with a safety issue on my car and someone was kind enough to be watching out for me this morning.

- Holmen, WI, USA

problem #50

Aug 262013


  • 65,000 miles
While driving the vehicle, the service light came on for ESC/traction control and also my brake lights came on while my foot was on accelerator, I applied the brake and the brake light turned off, but when I accelerated again the brake light came back on after a few seconds. On different occasions while driving on the freeway the same thing happened and I was unable to engage the cruise control. When I turn off the car and restart it, the service light turns off but only momentarily. It eventually comes back on. Extremely irritating, inconvenient, and dangerous!

- Owatonna, MN, USA

problem #49

Jun 132010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the brake lights had an intermittent short circuit. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who diagnosed that the brake pedal actuator needed to be adjusted twice; however, the failure recurred. The power locks failed and don't work from the inside of the vehicle. The contact was not included in NHTSA recall campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The vehicle was scheduled to be inspected and repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000. Updated 09/16/14 the consumer stated he believes the BCM is faulty beyond a bad connection; causing the power locks to malfunction. Updated 1/15/15

- Brecksville, OH, USA

problem #48

Oct 282011

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
My brake light would come on for no apparent reason then goes off when I touch my brakes. This has happened at least 6 times that I know of. Also, my stability control light comes on once every couple of months and said it needs maintenance. When I call the dealership and the run my VIN they say my car is not listed.

- New Palestine, IN, USA

problem #47

Jun 122014


  • 50,000 miles
Having problems with 2009 Chevy Malibu lt. Brake lights stay on constant, and turns off when brake pedal is pressed. What ever the problem has effected the traction control and cruise control. Been to dealer twice. First time they put in a new brake switch and said it was faulty and put some gel on some connectors "250$" week later having same problem. Took back to dealer. Know there replacing wiring and connectors saying its a wiring issue "645$"...

- Groton , SD, USA

problem #46

May 222014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
While driving on multiple occasions, the service traction, service ESC, and ESC off warning lights have illuminated on my dash. On two of these occasions, motorists have attracted my attention and notified me that my brake lights are reversed. Apparently, the brake lights stay on when the brakes are not applied, and the lights go off when the brakes are applied. I assume this only happens when the warning lights appear, which is at random times on the highway.

- Sunderland, MD, USA

problem #45

Dec 102013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
While driving at 70 mph with cruise control engaged, the third brake light in the rear window would randomly come on causing the cruise control to shut off. Soon after this happens I get warnings on the dash to service the ecs and traction control system. It has been getting gradually worse and with the brake light activating, could cause drivers behind me to think I am stopping when I am not. This problem was mentioned in an article in usa today a couple of weeks ago, that GM will be issuing a recall for.

- Oak Park, MI, USA

problem #44

May 212014


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 55 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and there was a delay in response. In addition, the ESC active warning light illuminated. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and advised that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The approximate failure mileage was 135,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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