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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,962 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 10)

problem #184

Jan 022017


  • 104,123 miles


My electronic power steering failed to operate while driving suddenly and without warning. Along with this happening, an ESC inoperative light is illuminated along with a service power steering message on the instrument display. Vehicle steering very hard to operate. Have to turn car off and on multiple times to clear message and for some reason the power steering resumes to work. This now is a constant occurrence, to the point that I am unable to rely on this vehicle for safe travels.

- Monroe, NY, USA

problem #183

Dec 072016


  • miles
Brake lights, radio, trunk opener on drivers door, left turn signal, doors randomly lock, 3rd brake light dim, sometimes driver door won't open from inside or outside with door unlocked, sometimes drivers door won't shut, 105K miles on this car. This is the most expensive vehicle I've owned and it's the worst vehicle I've ever owned. The drivers door is stuck shut currently.

- Friedens, PA, USA

problem #182

Oct 182016


  • 75,332 miles
Vehicle shut off while I was driving on city street to pick up my daughter from school, and has not started since. No traction, service ESC and power loss messages appeared on the dash display. The dealer was unable to communicate with the onboard computers.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #181

May 012010


  • 16,000 miles


Third brake light works when it wants to.this is a on and off problem. I believe this to be a safety problem G.M. should address this problem or a least tell owners how to fix.

- Versailles, KY, USA

problem #180

Mar 012016


  • 135,000 miles
2009 Chevrolet Malibu ls 2.4L gas all door locks intermittently locking or unlocking by using either the key fob or the door panel buttons. The failure to lock and unlock occurs almost always when it's hot outside and the car sits in the sun, then the doors need to be locked and unlocked manually.locks are controlled by the (BCM) body control module which already has a recall #13036 for a faulty connector that causes brake lamp malfunctions. Extreme safty issue that needs to be addressed asap!!!

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #179

Aug 222016


  • 47,800 miles
Not sure why my car wasn't on the GM safety recall 13036. The problems that are listed on this recall are the same problems I am having now. Brake lights staying on while driving, cruise control not working, traction control and ESC service lights coming on, brake pedal not working properly, etc. I am afraid someone will end up hitting me. I don't have the $ to fix it. And in this recall, which I'm not on, GM would service/perform at no charge. My car is in the guidelines (yr: 2004-2012 chev Malibu) of this safety issue.

- Oshkosh, WI, USA

problem #178

Sep 012016


  • 80,000 miles


All 4 door locking latches are not functioning correctly, right front door was locked in the lock position and would not open from inside or the outside, even after manually unlocking the lock or pulling the lock lever in the unlock position. I feel this is a safety issue and there should be a safety recall investigation performed on this mater. There is a possibility that the doors will not unlock manually or automatically in the event of a vehicle emergency leaving the drivers and passengers trapped inside the vehicle. The vehicle was in part at the time of the occurrence.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #177

Jun 012016


  • 27,000 miles
The rear door electric door locks don't function all the time to lock or unlock the doors. Operation is intermittent. I'm very concerned when children are in the car. The problem has existed for several months.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #176

May 102015


  • miles
Door locks and windows stopped working in suspect due to some electrical problems. And when I'm on the gas it won't pick up any speed and I think that's due to the cam shaft. And I know im not the only one having the same problems with the same car. It's really becoming a problem

- Dekalb, MS, USA

problem #175

Jul 092016


  • 179,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While operating the vehicle, the traction control, brake, and ESC sensor lights illuminated. Also, the brake lights would illuminate even though the brake pedal was not depressed. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, service brakes). The contact stated that the vehicle experienced the same failure listed in the recall. The failure mileage was 179,000. Updated 10/04/16

- East Alton, IL, USA

problem #174

Jul 012014


  • miles


The break lights turn on without the pedal being press down while the car moving. Also while the car in not moving and the engine running. Also another problem that I have is that tire monitor light come on all the time without the tire needing air.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #173

Jul 132016


  • 86,700 miles
The brake lights would turn on while driving and the RPM tach would rev uncontrollably. When the brake is applied, the light turns off and the ESC warning appears on the dash. Fixed in 2014 as part of the exterior lighting recall (14V252000). As of the last two months, the problem started up again. First, I went and diagnosed it at a repair shop and it told me the brake position sensor needed to be calibrated. After that was fixed, the problems occurred again and replaced the sensor. After the second time, the problem was still not fixed. After going to another dealership and getting the concern fixed, it is still not fixed.

- Whitney Point, NY, USA

problem #172

Jun 152016


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 45 mph, the contact was alerted by another motorist that the brake light was constantly illuminated, as if she were applying the brakes. The brake light dimmed when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired per a manufacturer recall in April of 2015 for the same failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 135,000.

- Lake Villa, IL, USA

problem #171

Jul 062016


  • 25,000 miles
Door lock actuators on this vehicle have failed within 30,000 miles of manufacture. This is a widespread problem with door lock actuators on 2008-2009 models documented all over the internet. I am unable to lock or unlock my doors electronically due to this chronically faulty part. It is unsafe for me to drive the car with my kids in the backseat because I would be unable to get them out of the locked car in an emergency (I currently have to roll down the window and manually unlock the door because the lock button is at the rear of the door). From what I can tell, GM has replaced this part with newer versions that resolved the issues, but they never contacted the public to offer to replace the faulty part. Many GM customers are having to spend over $1,000 in parts and labor to fix this safety issue. While GM will argue that power locks are a convenience issue and not a safety issue, I would invite NHTSA to look at my car and see how it is physically impossible to unlock the back doors from the front seat and the process involved in rolling down the window to unlock and open the door. In an emergency, seconds count and I would not be able to get my kids out. They need to recall these actuators and replace them with the redesigned part number.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #170

Mar 152016


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle jerked when the brake pedal was depressed and stalled as the traction control, electronic stability control, and check engine warning lights illuminated. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the fuse box was missing some fuses and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The contact stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, service brakes). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Waukegan, IL, USA

problem #169

Feb 022016


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While the vehicle was stopped at a red light, the check engine, traction control off, and stability control off warning lights illuminated. While the vehicle was parked on a hill, it independently rolled backwards without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The contact stated that the passenger side headlight failed to operate intermittently. The contact mentioned that the bulb was replaced multiple times, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the wiring harness was burned and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 09V073000 (power train) and 12V460000 (power train). The failure mileage was 95,000.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #168

May 132016


  • 138,000 miles
Theft system light is on and I'm not able to start my car. The radio still works and all the lights and heater and A/C. I try to start the car a few times and sometimes it take several trys to get the car to start. This has been happening quite a bit

- Delta, MO, USA

problem #167

May 192016


  • 50,000 miles
2009 Chevy Malibu - we've been having issue with the power window controllers/buttons to operate for several years but haven't had a change to get them checked. We have been avoiding to open and close the windows because there were times that they will open and close back up but yesterday, I open the window from the driver side and tried multiple times to close it and don't have any sucess.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #166

Feb 022016


  • 92,000 miles
A little over a year ago we noticed the drivers side power seat seemed to be moving at times. It has since broken loose from part of the frame. As long as the seat is in the down position it sits kinda steady. Any attempt to move it up or down causes it to become dislodged. It happens regardless of the motion of the car. About the same time frame, the rear door locks started acting up. Depends on their attitude of the day, they either will not lock or unlock by remote or switch. Only way to access the rear seat area is to roll the window down and reach in from outside to unlock since the lock button is not located in a handy spot. Could see a large problem in an accident with children in the backseat needing to exit quickly. Have not reported to dealer as the blogs have numerous complaints and stories that are being ignored by the manufacturer. Seat malfunction is a huge safety concern if any other bracing fails and car is in motion

- Greenwood, LA, USA

problem #165

Apr 252016


  • 180,830 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that there was a progressing failure in which the key was turned over and the vehicle would not start. The contact experienced the failure numerous times without warning and had to wait an extended period of time for the vehicle to randomly restart. The contact had not received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The vehicle was taken to a repair shop where it was diagnosed that the starter needed to be replaced. A mechanic replaced the starter and the key still would not turn over to start the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 180,830. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Memphis, TN, USA

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