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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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Sep 072013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 83,000 miles


Brake lights malfunction. Thank god, I was driving behind my wife and her Malibu's brake lights were not on when she braked. And then turned on when she didn't have her foot on the brake pedal. Took to dealership, and he said he's been seeing that alot lately. Please recall before someone has major accident! thank you

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #22

Sep 012013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Brake lights come on intermittently while driving. There is no indicator when or how this is happening. It has affected the cruise control option as well as the traction control on the vehicle. This is a safety concern for all motorists - unsure when a care is actually stopping and or accelerating.

- Ravenswood, WV, USA

problem #21

Aug 192013


  • 68,477 miles
2009 Malibu brake light stayed on while driving then when I hit my brakes the lights would go off no one knew when I was using my brakes heard this isn't the first time why do the have to wait till someone crashes or dies before they fix it also it kicked off the cruise control.

- Senecaville, OH, USA

problem #20

Jun 212013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


I have the same issue another person wrote about. I was driving when a car pulled up next to me to tell me that when I brake, my brake lights don't go on but when I begin to drive again, they go on. I went home and told my husband. And at that time it worked just fine. But then in July of 2013 my 23 year old daughter was driving my car and she said the same thing happened. A car in back of her asked her to pull over and told her that our brake lights don't work. But that they go on when she begins to drive again. This can be very very dangerous! I haven't been able to take it to the dealer because I'm currently unemployed so can't afford it but now that I read another person is having the same issue I think there needs to be a recall before someone does get killed. Please listen to your purchasers and recall this.

- Rocklin, CA, USA

problem #19

Aug 042013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 111,586 miles
The brake lights illuminate when the brake pedal is up & sometimes won't illuminate when pedal is depressed.

- Shelbyville, KY, USA

problem #18

Jun 012011


  • miles
While driving down the road the brake lights turn on. If I touch the breaks they go off. This happens most often when it rains, snows or if driving with the air conditioning on. The cruise control stops working at the same time. I have had this into a local dealership on three occasions where I have been told "we have to experience this in order to correct it." I am aware that many other Malibu vehicles experience this as there have been rumors of this becoming a recall for many months. This has been going on for a couple years for my car and I was under warranty when I had it in and not corrected. I try not to think about it now that it is out of warranty, but because I am expecting my first child and this is a safety concern I am becoming more worried. What will it take to get this corrected" how could they prove that the brake lights didn't come on when someone stopped to turn and then was hit" please help!

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #17

Jun 032013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


Brake lights may not come on when the pedal is pressed, while at other times the lights illuminate for no reason.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #16

Oct 062012


  • miles
The brake lights on my vehicle stay illuminated when the brake pedal is not pressed. This causes other drivers to think that I am braking when I am not. When I press the brake pedal, the brake light goes off for two seconds and then comes back on. After releasing the brake pedal, the brake lights stay on. The vehicle has been to the dealership four times. The dealer has replaced the brake position sensor twice, the brake control module, and they performed a fix that was issued through a tech bulletin from GM about the issue by applying dielectric grease to the pins on the brake control module and connector. None of these solutions have corrected the issue.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #15

Jun 082012


  • 54,131 miles
The vehicle began to display a "service traction/ESC" message on the hud. Brake lights would come on randomly and stay on, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours. As a result of brake lights being on, cruise control was not functional. Had a sensor replaced which temporarily resolved the issue. The problem has returned 53 weeks and 17,000 miles later.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #14

Dec 072012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
The brake lights began to turn on when the brake pedal was not depressed, even when the vehicle was in park. When driving, the brake lights will stay on and the cruise control does not work. These problems may only last a couple of minutes but may also persist for greater than an hour at a time. The problem manifests itself somewhat unpredictably but its frequency and duration have increased over time.

- Tremont, IL, USA

problem #13

Jun 052013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 48,300 miles


Hello, my car's service traction and service ESC light turns on intermittently. The brake lights behave in the opposite way, I.e. they stay on during normal driving, turn off when I press on the brake pedal, and turn back on when I release the brake. The cruise control does not work whenever this happens. I do not experience anything different while driving and I believe this is a sensor/circuitry issue. I read through the forums and news websites and found that this is a common problem in a lot of Chevy vehicles. There is a tsb on this issue and recalls for a few cars. This is a serious issue as it might lead to accidents when someone driving behind my car sees that the brake light turns off when I press the brake pedal. I would like GM/Chevrolet lo help me out here and fix this issue without making me pay for it but they have not responded positively. The dealership charges $110 just for doing simple diagnostics. But this issue is something pretty common to a lot of Chevrolet cars and is not a wear related issue. GM or Chevrolet should take responsibility to fix the issue. My car is out of 3-year warranty but is still within 5-year warranty (bumper-to-bumper). I hope that an action will be taken and my car will be repaired and/or I will be reimbursed for the repair expense. I found many articles on this issue and a few of them are copied below. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jun 202012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
My service seat belt sign goes on occasionally when I start car, but goes off if I shut off car and restart it. The dealer said they cannot test it if the sign on dash is not on. Also, I had to replace rear brakes and grind rotors at 37,000 miles-seems kind of premature. Now I am having some kind of possible electrical draw since my old and brand new battery have gone dead. Has anyone else experienced these problems?

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #11

Apr 012013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
When driving my 2009 Malibu my brake lights will come on. When tapping the brake they go off, but when I need to use the brake no lights show. When this happens my service ESC and service traction lights also come on. Im getting very aggravated, I have only owned this car since June 2012, and constantly having problems.

- Blanchard, OK, USA

problem #10

May 092013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the brake lights remained illuminated whenever the vehicle was driven and stopped illuminating when the brakes were applied. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for a diagnosis. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 37,000.

- Galloway, NJ, USA

problem #9

May 032013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 59,300 miles
Brake lights come on without pressing the pedal and when U press the pedal they go off for a second and come back on this has happened numerous times.

- Princeton, WV, USA

problem #8

May 172013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
Brake lights remain on while driving. Go off when braking. Have been stopped several times by folks passing by to tell me that the brake lights were on.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #7

Mar 012012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
If cruise is engaged, sometimes it will just turn off. This is accompanied by constant brake lights even when the brakes are not pressed. Other times, the cruise will not engage and the brake lights will be illuminated constantly. Usually this occurs along with an error message regarding the est stability system on the car. Usually after turning the vehicle off everything works again.

- College Station, TX, USA

problem #6

Sep 072010

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
I bought this car in June 2010 and the first thing to happen was the battery exploded in 09/2010. A few months later a my car was broken into because I did not realize that when I lock my doors that all locks but 1. the next thing that happend was the front head light shorted out, not the actual head light but the socket that the light goes into and that happend around 03/2012. Around January 2013 I was stopped beside my daughter school and a man pulled over and told me that my brake lights had been on for a few miles. I did not realize this and could not see this unless I was driving at night. I rarely drive at night but when I was driving at night I noticed when you get to a certain speed the brake lights will come on and and then go off if you tap the brake and then come back on and stay on until whenever they decide to go off. Sometimes they will be on when you crank up the car. It concerns me because what if they brake light fail all together. It seems like there is some kind of eletrical malfuntion with this car. I have researched online and find many people have the same issue with lights coming on in the care at sporadic time times as well as the brake light issue. I called GM, they took the info but offered no assistance. I really believe a recall or some type of investigation should be done on this. I know people that have gotten behind the same car I drive and they see they brake lights continously on like my car. This is very dangerous.

- Clinton, NC, USA

problem #5

Mar 092013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
This is a recurring problem, beginning nearly 2 years ago. I have had the vehicle in for repairs several times, but the last documentable incident is March 9, 2013. ESC service light comes on, cruise control shuts down, brakes lights illuminating when they should not, and not illuminating when they should. There's always been some "thing" they find wrong, from re-calibration of the ESC system to this last incident, where they told me it was the brake light switch! I had just had the vehicle in to have a headlight replaced the prior weekend and I never noticed the brake lights not working, and the dealer that replaced the headlight never mentioned it either. I'm thinking they would have if they could charge me to fix something additional on the car. I just paid $250 to replace what I was told was a burned out brake light switch on March 9th, (palmen motors, kenosha, wi), and its already recurring. I heard part of possible recall on wnn abc news and started researching and ended up at your site this morning. I want to report this. There's no telling how many dollars have been paid to mechanics to fix unnecessary repairs because of this! I am furious! I am hoping that if this is a recall, or made one, I can at least get some of my money back! thank you,

- Pleasant Prairie, WI, USA

problem #4

Oct 012012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 6,000 miles
I had a problem with the brake light function. When driving, the brake lights would be on. When pressing the brake, the lights would turn off. I had to pay to have a switch replaced by the dealership to fix this issue.

- Carpentersville, IL, USA

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