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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,623 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.

2010 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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2010 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Mar 292013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 12,000 miles


Driving my 2010 Chevy Malibu at about 35mph entering a curve with brake pushed the ESC activated and felt like the brakes wasn't working. Since March 2013 it does this continuously off and on then it turns itself off and says service ESC, but no codes found.

- Glenwood, WV, USA

problem #27

May 032014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
So about 2 months ago the service traction light came on briefly and didn't come back on for a while. Then about 2 weeks ago it started going off almost everytime I drove. I brought it to the dealership that I bought it in kannapolis, nc called classic Chevrolet on 5/3/14. They said I could pay $98 to get it hooked up to the computer reader, but the light was off so I decided I didn't really have $98 to waste. As it had been hooked up to a code reader when the light was off before and didn't read anything. There is an option to turn off the traction control so I was driving with it off. We went to Michigan on 5/8/14 it was driving fine. Light never came on. When we were in Michigan it started going on again, again driving with the traction control off. It was hooked up to a computer and no codes came up and light goes off when you turn it off and never came back on our whole way home. Nothing felt or sounded different with the driving. Driving fine to drop off our son at practice this morning 5/17/14, turned on car to go pick him up and couldn't reverse, but would go forward. I had my husband and his brother push us out of the driveway and it was driving fine for the first 3 blocks, then started to chug and wouldn't shift correctly leaving a stop light. I turned around on a circle drive. We live on a culdesac so I pulled ahead of our house, so we could push it back in the drive way. When my husband came back out it was like locked, we couldn't push it in reverse. Then it wouldn't go forward. My husband unhooked the battery and was able to reverse with struggle and pull into the driveway with struggle. During all of this, the brakes have been illuminating when not being pushed and sometime they don't even work.

- Statesville, NC, USA

problem #26

Sep 172013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
Driving down the highway and the cruise stopped working. Shortly after that happened the traction control indicator and ABS light came on. A message appeared to have those items serviced. This lasted for the remainder of my 20 minute drive. I started the vehicle back up after sitting for several hours and the lights were off and no message. This happened 4 more times until December. I did not notice that the brake lights stayed on until I was driving at night. I pressed the brake pedal and the brake lights would go out. The brake lights would come back on shortly after I depressed the brake pedal. There were times when just the cruise control would stop working and the brake lights worked incorrectly.

- Greenville, WI, USA

problem #25

Oct 212011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 7,800 miles


Error 1. warning errors on dashboard state service ESC, service traction; noticed just after Oct 2011 purchase. Brake position sensor replaced. Problem still occurs on and off to this day (April 2014). Two services have not fixed this problem. Error 2. cruise control would stop working on it's own while at hwy speeds; noticed Dec 2011. Cruise currently (April 2014) will not engage at any speed. Error 3. brake lights will turn on without pedal depression at any speed and conversely when brake pedal is depressed brake lights will turn off; noticed Apr 2012. Problem still occurring on and off today (April 2014). The cruise control and brake light issues are huge safety concerns and with more than 20 almost identical complaints documented and at least one crash, why is nothing being done?

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #24

Feb 262014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 52,157 miles
I was driving my car down a city street and the service ESC light came on and the reduced engine power light came on. The car's RPM's were surging back and forth. I did manage to get the car to my mechanic and get the throttle actuator cleaned off as he said it was dirty. Now the service ESC light intermittently is going off again and its been about two weeks. I don't want the reduced power to happen while I am on the highway.

- Inver Grove Heights, MN, USA

problem #23

Feb 242014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, there was a reduction in engine power with the illumination of the ESC and traction warning indicators. The contact maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was turned off and upon restarting, the vehicle resumed with the engine warning indicator illuminated. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Commack , NY, USA

problem #22

Feb 012012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


My vehicle is experiencing steering problems in which it is hard to steer the wheel of the vehicle while making turns and driving. Also, the airbag light is on on the dashboard. The vehicle warning light also displays traction control.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #21

Feb 052014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 89,700 miles
While driving the service ESC light came on and my vehicle lost all power steering. I pulled over, turned car off and back on again, power steering came back to normal and lights went off only to come back on and lost power steering again. Now I can hear a clicking noise coming from the steering column and the steering wheel is jerking. I will be contacting GM about this as I see this is happening to several 2010 Chevy Malibu owners. I have contacted the dealer who I purchased the vehicle from to no avail. Not good!

- Northville, NY, USA

problem #20

Feb 012014


  • 38,000 miles
Brake lights come on when not pressing the brakes. Cruise control turns off without tapping the brakes, traction control says it needs to be serviced. I cycle power to the ignition switch and the problem goes away for a few minutes then comes back on. This can cause an accident as the lights turn off when the brake pedal is depressed.

- Reedley, CA, USA

problem #19

Jan 122014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 31,240 miles
We were driving on our way home from church my wife and I at 45 mph when we lost the power steering immediately without notice.the ESC light came on. It was a miracle I was able to control the vehicle at the rate of speed that we were going considering I am a 65 year old diabetic. Thank you jesus!

- Clawson, MI, USA

problem #18

Nov 042013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


1. the service light comes on indicating service traction and/or ESC. It stays on until the engine is turned off and may stay off for some miles or some days. Then it comes on again while driving or standing at a red light. Now it comes on every day. I took it in several times, but it never stays on, therefore the service dealer doesn't find an issue. I have paid for parts to be replaced, but it has not fixed the issue. 2. service air bag light comes on and off similar to the service traction control light. I have had the airbag fixed under recall previously and now it is happening again. When I start the engine I can hear a whistling sound as I assume the airbag disengages.

- Hinesville, GA, USA

problem #17

Jul 092013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
I went to leave one morning and my car would not go into gear. Only when I pressed the brake pedal completely to the floor would it finally move into drive. After driving it a day or two my service traction and my service ESC lights have been coming on since July. And now today my cruise control stopped working an also my brake lights are not working correctly. When the car is in park they are off and will not come on. When the car is in drive they are on constantly.

- Belleville , MI, USA

problem #16

Aug 162012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
The brake lights on our 2010 Chevy Malibu, turn on while driving but turn off when the brake pedal is pressed. After tapping the brake pedal, the brake lights then stay off for approximately 4 seconds, then illuminate on their own again. When this occurs, the cruise control does not work and the service ESC and service traction warnings are displayed. This problem occurs intermittently and for varying periods of time.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #15

Aug 012012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 26,500 miles
There was an intermittent which caused the ESC and traction control lights to flash, the alarm to sound and the words that they were off plus the words traction control and ESC service to come up. At the time the cruise control disengaged. This occurred several times. I brought the vehicle to the dealer on Sept 16th and was told that I shouldn't be concerned about this intermittent. But it occurred again and then on 10/2/13 the warnings stayed N permanently for three days frightening my wife. I brought the vehicle in for service today and they said they fixed the problem using some dielectric grease.

- Marlboro, NJ, USA

problem #14

Sep 012012


  • 45,000 miles
Purchased vehicle at 30K miles at beginning of year and within the same year towards the end of the year upon start up the vehicle begin making a loud exhaust noise (several occassions). I took the vehicle into the dealersship on two seperate occassions and they were not able to diagnose it and gave the excuse the the older the vehicle gets the more apt it is to make noises and such. I'm a very educated young lady and I knew that statement to be just as false as two left shoes on a left and right foot and thus expressed that fact to the dealership who should be educated in the car that they are selling when it comes to body parts and likely problems. Needless to say, after hitting the 70K mileage mark the vehicle air bag light begin to come on and off and still does; furthermore vehicle upon start up of the engine would lag as if something was not catching and preventing the vehicle from starting up properly, thus I would have to hold the key turned longer than usual. I am not satisfied with this vehicle at all. At 70K miles this vehcile should still be running flawlessly as it is regularly maintained and tuned-up. Purchasing this vehicle was an epic fail. I am shocked that certain models and years have not been permanently recalled and replaced by a vehcile of owners choice from Chevrolet (needless to say I probably would not purchase another Chevy car) for the headeache we have had to endure. I have an infant and a toddler and the uncertainty of vehicle operation on any given day at any given time on a practically new vehcile needs to be the least of my concerns!

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #13

Jun 242013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 60,500 miles
When I start driving my car at a low speed the service traction control light comes on saying service ESC. Then it turns the traction control off. While this is on you can't use the cruise control, the car shakes, and the RPM's fluctuates abnormally. Also, when I turn the car off and turn it back on the light is off until I start moving again.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #12

Jul 212012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
This car has had a history of malfunctioning brake lights, ESC and traction control system failures over the past year. The car has been in two different dealerships numerous times without repairing the root cause. In may the car was rear ended causing significant damage. The failure of the brake lights to operate correctly may have been a factor. The brake lights operate sporadically. The car is not currently safe to drive after spending last week at a dealership service department. Being a licensed professional engineer it is my opinion that there are several engineering design deficiencies that are not addressed by the repair procedures listed within the service manual. I recommend that these cars be recalled as a car with no known problem can develop this problem without warning placing the driver in harms way. An 8D corrective action request would require a problem containment of issuing a recall immediately of any vehicle that has experienced this problem.

- Longview, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 012013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
I have been going through the same issue with my car for about 3 months now. I have had a issue with the ESC & service traction light. I took it to the jim ellis Chevy dealership ( paid $105 for diagnostic) and they told me it was the fuel injector, I told them that I had their fuel injector ( cylinder 1) replaced. They told me because it was aftermarket that I had to pay $267 to replace it. I took it to a local mechanic had him put in a GM injector and still was having the same issue, the mechanic replaced the engine wire harness, coils, shift solenoid, and none of this fixed the problem. He then stated that the base of the issue was the computer, I took it to get a second opinion and the next mechanic stated the same thing, after talking to another mechanic from superior Chevrolet, its the computer. I took it to superior Chevrolet and had another diagnostic done ( which was another $100) and asked them to please look at the computer since I was told twice it was the issue. They told me it was the injector harness and it would cost $320. This issue has been ongoing for too long and looking online many others are having the same problem, something needs to be done about this, customer are spending lots of money on an issue that seems to be ongoing.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #10

May 272013


  • 27,500 miles
Coming to a stop on an off ramp, brakes failed couldn't stop. (it had been raining). 2nd incident on June 26, 2013, going down highway and service traction light with sec light came on and car was powering down and steering was difficult. Called landmark service center in taylorville, Illinois they told me to turn the car off, then restart (of course lights went out) and drive it to the nearest GM garage. (I was out of town at the time). When I arrived at the location they put it on the computer and of course nothing showed up because the lights were not on. On Wednesday I took may car to landmark in taylorville to have the oil changed and to see if they could check on the problem. And true to form the computer showed nothing because the lights were no on. But was told if this happened again to go to the nearest service center and don't turn the car off. I've had this experience and it is very dangerous when in traffic. And am scared to drive the car out of town. I like my car and want to keep it but if the problem is not fixed someone may get hurt. But before that happens I will trade the car and I assure you that I will not by another GM product and will tell everyone of the problems I had.

- Taylorville, IL, USA

problem #9

Jun 022013

Malibu 4WD 4-cyl

  • 19,500 miles
The service ESC and traction light came on. I took the car to the dealership to be serviced. The told me it would cost about $700 to fix the issue. Two days later the light was back on. I called the dealership again and he said "oh that is bad." I took it back in and he apologized for not checking another option regarding this service. He told me it would cost another $500 to replace the electronic stability control module. This all happened about 2 months after the warranty ran out. I have been researching and this seems to be a common issue with the 2010 Malibu. The dealership also told me that this was a safety issue and that the brakes could lock up while driving down the highway.

- Russellville, AL, USA

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