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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,667 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Apr 202014

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Car will alarm with "service escape" and "service traction" --- brake lights will then work opposite of what they should. When brakes are not being pressed they are lit but when brakes are pressed brake lights do not work. Happens intermittently but for several days at a time. Have also had cruise control engage itself while driving down interstate at approx 70 mph-- cruise control came on and sped the car up without it being set -- disengaged when brakes pressed.

- Hartwell, GA, USA

problem #29

Jun 092014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
My service ESC/service traction control indicator was flashing. It caused my car to stall, then the engine died in the middle of the road with traffic approaching behind me. I have had this problem before and it caused my brake lights to illuminate when not depressed and go off when the brakes were pressed. I am not sure if this was happening also as it was light outside and I could not see. The car started afterward and still periodically stalls or dies when the service ESC/service traction control indicator lights up. As of 6-13-14, I have not received notice that my VIN is affected by the latest recall for the brake light problem.

- Pineville, LA, USA

problem #28

Jun 042014


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving approximately 35 mph, the brakes lights failed to illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. In addition, the brake lights illuminated independently. The contact also experienced difficulty disengaging the cruise control and the ESC warning indicator illuminated. The failures recurred sporadically. There was a recall related to the failures under NHTSA campaign id number 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control) however, the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure was 36,000.

- Elizabeth City, NC, USA

problem #27

May 292014


  • 49,800 miles


All in one weekend (while out of town) first the vehicle would not respond to cruise control commands (engage or disengage) if engaged through the steering column controls. The service ESC light keeps coming off and on at random while either sitting or driving. The ESC tracking is turned off. Brake lights will illuminate randomly when my foot is not on the brakes. Tapping the brakes gets the light to turn off, but it turns on again 5-6 seconds later. When I put my foot on the brake to slow down or tap the brake the light does not come on. The brake lights are only coming on when I'm at a complete hard stop. This is extremely dangerous as I have over a 40 minute commute into the city each day. Also, the seatbelt light and beeping is on even when my seatbelt is secured. I cannot afford to have these items replace, and I have 4 years to pay on this car! there is something seriously wrong with these items in my car.

- Ravenna, OH, USA

problem #26

Dec 032013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 35,626 miles
Intermittent problem, occurring at least five times since date above. One or more of the following conditions noted: 1. cruise control fails to engage, or stops engaging. Indicator light on (/off wheel toggle switch), but no engage. 2. "service ESC" and alternating "traction control" warning with alarm tone on speedo cluster. Orange warning triangle illuminated, also. 3. brake lights constant on, with no foot on brake pedal. Or, brake lights can go off when brakes are applied. Confusing, possibly dangerous, to drivers immediately following. Once aware of this, fashioned a reflector fitting just behind the rear top mount brake light that reflects into my rear-view mirror. These problems can clear after car is stopped for a time (over 45 minutes) and may not appear again for another unknown interval. Already replaced (March 31, 2014) a brake position sensor switch ($186.60 - my cost) at local selling Chevrolet dealership. This did nothing to fix the problem and when asked, dealer claimed no knowledge of any tsbs or of others having issues similar.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #25

Nov 222013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 52,106 miles
Approaching 4-way stop sign and car began to jerk/could not accelerate and service traction/ ESC light came on...had enough power to roll into a parking lot and shut the car off..restarted the car and it stopped doing this. I was able to contact a Chevrolet dealer (I was on a 6 hour trip and this happened 2 hours into my trip:-( I was able to drive the car about 8 miles to the dealer. Had to have a part called electronic throttle body. I also have another issue with the brake lights not functioning properly...being serviced now.

- Montgomery, , IL, USA

problem #24

Mar 032014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 44,112 miles


Cruise control fails to engage or even indicate that it is on when the cruise control button and set - buttons are applied. The upper rear brake lights fail to illuminate when the brakes are applied sometimes.

- Hollywood, MD, USA

problem #23

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 #22

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 #21

Jan 152013

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I was traveling on a side road and the vehicle shut down completely. I was told this was due to a faulty throttle position sensor. Had I been traveling at a high rate of speed on a busy highway, it is likely there would have been serious injury. Chevrolet did not respond to my concern and I ended up trading in the vehicle for a non-GM product. Viewing the recent recalls for faulty ignition switch (that I realize was not the issue with my car) caused me to report this in the event others have had this issue and hopefully prevent serious injury or loss of life.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #20

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 #19

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 #18

Dec 282013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 73,737 miles
I was driving down main street in our town after just washing our 2010 Malibu and the car started to loose power, the check engine light came on and the engine started to run rough and started to reduce power. With the check engine light that came on, the service ESC, service traction, and eng pwr showed up on the display. I stopped the car and turned it off. It took about 5 minutes for the car to run correctly again. I took the car to an auto parts store and the code P2135 was showing. This is the 2nd time this had happened. The other time was on 10/01/2013 with 69,193 miles on it. I took the car to the local Chevy dealer and they put some dielectric grease on some connectors. I called the Chevy dealer again today for another appointment.

- Shenandoah, IA, USA

problem #17

Dec 062013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the warning indicators illuminated and started flashing rapidly. The engine power also decreased and the vehicle independently decelerated to 20 mph. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician diagnosed that the throttle body needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- East Moline, IL, USA

problem #16

Nov 242013


  • 53,896 miles
While driving on the highway, my car lost power. Several vehicles almost struck me on highway, very very, scary experience.. during driving, following messages appeared: 1)eng pwr reduced 2)service ESC 3)service traction 4)ESC off 5) service airbag. I also noticed the car shuddered extremely bad. The rear brake lights illuminated while I was not compressing the brake, and I had no acceleration. After pulling to the side of the road, the brake lights turned off. The RPM jumped between 3000-4000. After turning the car off and letting it sit for approx 5 min. The warning messages disappeared, however ses light remained. 2 codes presented today. 1)C0242 2)P2135. Will be contacting customer care, and taking car to dealer tomorrow. Extremely unsafe driving conditions. Not alone, many people have same issue. Car still randomly illuminating for service airbag.

- Metheun, MA, USA

problem #15

Nov 232013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 59,632 miles
Cpo 2010 Chevy Malibu @59K no known issues prior to explanations about 3 days ago I took my car in for new tires and had a mech check a clicking noise that I noticed when I would place the car in drive and begin to move. He stated that the noise was coming from where my cv enters the transmissions and believes there is play within a gear somewhere internally. I called the Chevy dealer and am due to bring in the vehicle tomorrow.... now here is the problem. While driving my car on the highway last night this random issue. The following warning lights came on: Engine light traction control light followed by the following warning messages: Eng pwr reduced service ESC service traction ESC off the car began to shudder as if it wanted to die. Along with this, I had no acceleration and thank god I was able to get to the side of the road as when this happened I was exiting a tunnel onto a bridge. After pulling to the side of the road I shut the car off and restarted it. All the lights continued to show, and the rpms jumped as seen in the attached video. I again shut the car off and waited about 5 min. After turning the car back on, the only light that remained on was the engine light. I gathered these codes this morning. C0242 P2135 -tps this is the second car in 2 years I have bought from this dealer, herb chambers of danvers, and this is the second car to have a transmission issue, on top of whatever else its doing. I still owe well over $10,000 on this car. I have not even had this car 9 months. I can tell you I am a grown man in tears because I work 44 hrs a week in a career I spent alot of money training for and now am having massive issues. I cannot afford to lose my job and the dealer could seem to care less.

- Metheun, MA, USA

problem #14

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 #13

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 #12

Sep 102013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the cruise control failed to engage and the brake lights failed to operate intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 58,000. The current mileage was 58,200. Updated 11/13/13 according to the invoice, the brake lights illuminated when they were not needed and did not illuminate when the brake was applied. The dealer replaced the brake pedal position sensor. Updated 11/14/13

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #11

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

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