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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,279 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2009 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Dec 122018


  • miles


The ESC light has come on along with several other lights like traction control and air bag on the dash and now it won't start.

- Lewisburg, TN, USA

problem #29

Mar 022018


  • miles
Takata recall the airbag light has come on and stays on something with the steering, wheels, drivetrain, and possibly BCM. A lot of vibration when driving and braking. Becoming such an issue to the point I fear to have my 11 month old child in it.

- Rockfield, KY, USA

problem #28

Nov 052018


  • 158,289 miles
I started my car this morning Nov. 05, 2018. It was making this weird shaking noice. After a few minutes it was showing me "service ESC" and "ESC off" and "service traction". this is weird after 6months driving from ca to va it starts to act up.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #27

Jan 062014


  • 50,000 miles


Both front speakers, in the doors, do not work. I cannot hear chimes from turn signals being on too long, from keys being in the ignition when the doors are open and other such warning signals. It has caused confusion at times when the warning signals are not alerting me to problems while driving.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #26

Aug 152018


  • 130,000 miles
When driving the vehicle the service traction service ESC & ESC off lights come off/on seems to be worse when I turn the vehicle will drive rough at times, also the cruise control will fail to work. Got a recall on this in 2017 took it into a dealer shop who applied gel to connectors said that fixed the problem, it certainly did not.I do not know if this is safe to drive my vehicle since it is the only one I own I do not have a choice. Since this has been going on for more than a year now I can not give an exact date but it does happen daily..I need the repairs made by GM not

- Jena, LA, USA

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problem #25

May 142018


  • 180,000 miles
I was driving the car and the power steering went out and the ESC light, traction light, battery light, air bag light, and all speed went all the way down as I was driving the car down the road. This problem has happened before but it has started again.

- Farnham, VA, USA

problem #24

Dec 012017


  • 75,000 miles


I am not sure where to start. Door locks intermittently don't work, bluetooth just stopped working, have had to change headlight bulbs 3 times in 2 years, power steering went out (had that repaired by dealer at not cost), ac/heater/defroster used to shut off intermittently, now it just stopped working, driver's side seat heater stopped working, instrument panel randomly throws up error code (example: Service airbag, service engine) oh and the paint is fading on hood roof and trunk. Car has 75,000 miles and I used to love it. No I won't drive it out of town.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #23

Jan 052018


  • 0 miles
Smell of gas in the car when turned on. After a couple of minutes, the smell goes away. My mechanic looked allover the car and cant find the issue. No warning signs on the dashboard.

- Westbury, NY, USA

problem #22

Oct 062017


  • 130,129 miles
Driving the Malibu down the country road and some code flashed on the dash and then said power reduction and now its making a weird noise and car only drives slow, if this happens on a highway their will be a crash as when the power reduction kicked on it turned off traction control and power steering making it hard to move the steering wheel thank goodness I was in the country with little traffic.

- Jamestown, NY, USA

problem #21

Dec 012009


  • miles
When first got car doors locked and unlocked with remote for apps 1 week. Then over appx month stopped working 1 door at a time. At this point the power locks inside (on door) do not work and lock/ unlock intermittently and even if I can unlock manually my drivers door it still stays locked even when lock is in fully unlocked position. Quite scary for someone that drives alone at night and my doors are unlocking themselves. God forbid I do get into an accident and need to get out of the car quickly. Also this makes it so my panic does not work on my fob. Yes I've changed batteries multiple times. Also my power steering has been cutting in and out while moving most often during turns. What happens if I am moving on a highway and I cannot steer correctly? feeling very unsure of my safety at this point.

- Kennebunk, ME, USA

problem #20

Mar 082017


  • miles


A few minutes after I start driving the ESC off/service traction light will come on and it keeps flashing back and fourth between error messages. My check engine light is not on, but when I go to accelerate my car jumps kind of. And if I let my foot off the gas it feels like I'm shifting gears and my car will start going slow. I'll push back down on the gas and I will seem like it's trying to get speed but takes a min. They are trying to say I don't have a recall but something is wrong clearly. The error lights will go on no matter if I'm driving or parked.

- Rockford, IL, USA

problem #19

Jan 292017


  • 60,000 miles
I made a complaint on around L/17/17 complaining about my car have service ESC service traction and trying to stall out with brake lights being on> since that time it has been at dealership more than being driven. It is there now, making this the 7th trip to dealership and once to independent mechanic. This is a common problem with Malibu and needs to be resolved by General Motors-not me. You ask for a date when this happened-the space only allows for 1 date. It has been ongoing for over 1 & 1/2 years.

- Oktaha, OK, USA

problem #18

Nov 012016


  • miles
Door locks lock and unlock at random buttons on doors and fob inoperable this is a very large safety hazzard I have come outside to find my car unlocked in the morning after locking it the night before and have found this to be a normal problem with this vehicle meaning it is a manufacturer defeat that should be fixed by the manufacturer the problem even happens when the car is in motion unlocking and locking at random a child could fall out at any speed when door unlocks plus I could come out to someone in my car in the morning with these inoperable

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #17

Apr 012016


  • 70,000 miles
Power locks do not work properly on my 2009 Chevy Malibu. I can sometimes get driver's door to unlock with remote, but rarely the passenger or back doors. The switches inside are of no help either. We have to manually pull up on each lock and then push them down when we exit. This is obviously a safety hazard for me and my passengers in the case we have to enter or exit the vehicle quickly. The locks do occasionally lock when put in gear, but do not always when in park or when the ignition is turned off. With small children, this is dangerous. I have changed remote batteries, reprogrammed remotes, and have changed the fuse for the locks. Nothing has changed. When troubleshooting online, I saw dozens of complaints about this same issue. This is obviously something that Chevrolet needs to fix. They should have a recall immediately and take care of this issue. Customers buy vehicles in good faith that the makers will take care of these known defects. I can understand the ordinary repairs, but this is a problem that the maker is aware of and continues to make no changes.

- Anna, IL, USA

problem #16

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 #15

Mar 152016


  • 130,000 miles
My driver's side door will not open. I can't open it from the inside or outside. It is in park and I have to climb through the passenger side door. This is so dangerous!

- Concord, NH, USA

problem #14

Jan 292016


  • 105,000 miles
While driving the car the service traction/ESC light comes on and startes jerking the rpms shoot up to 4000 and makes a rattle noise. When doing this the speed does not change to reflect the rpms. When at a idle the rpms rest at about 2200. The car doesnt fully want to stop when coming to red light or when breaking. I have had the car a diffrent speeds and tends to stall and shack no matter what.

- South Point, OH, USA

problem #13

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 #12

Oct 142014


  • miles
Door lock malfunction. Door locks randomly do not work with remote or button in the car. In an emergency, this could be a problem trying to get my children out of the back seat. Online forums suggest this is a very common issue that the manufacturer should recall and repair.

- Hammonton, NJ, USA

problem #11

Dec 212015


  • 155,000 miles
There is something faulty in the system which is causing the battery to become completely drained if the car sits 2/3 days without being started. I have replaced my 3 times and still something in the car is continuing to drain the battery. There is hundreds of people all over the internet that are having this same issue. Not even the dealership could fix the issue. I am not physically leaving anything on in the car but it continues to keep dying. This is definitely a defect with this car that needs to be fixed. My car is a 2009, and it has been dying 2011.

- El Paso, TX, USA

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