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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,670 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.

2011 Chevrolet Malibu brakes problems

brakes problem

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2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

May 142014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


While driving my vehicle on the highway at about 60-65 mph its very hard to have stability in the vehicle. I have 4 brand new tires. The vehicle has been balanced and rotated. I also too vehicle to brake specialist who said everything looks ok to them. Also while driving at this speed the vehicle engine will start shaking and the veh will drop from 65 mph to 20mph cause the speed control to drop automatically. My vehicle has never been in an accident and the right signal light has an electrical issue and air bag light is on. 4 new tires and every 2 weeks the air pressure on them is low I think it has something to so with the stability of the vehicle. This is my 2nd review about this car. I don't want have a wreck and kill me and my children.

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #19

Jun 112014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing the failure mentioned in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). While driving, the vehicle decelerated and would not accelerate past 5 mph. In addition, the ESC warning indicator illuminated. The dealer stated that the ESC failed. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #18

Apr 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
While driving my car a service light came on. The message was "service traction" and "service ESC". the car will loose power and act like it's going to die. I took my car to a Chevrolet dealership on 2 different occasions and the first time they would not look at it because they could not figure out if it was under warranty. The second attend at the dealership they diagnosed the problem as the wiring harness and it needed to be replaced. On May 14, 2014 GM recalled Chevrolet Malibu's for the model year 2004-2014. I contacted GM about the recall and was denied help to fix the problem with my car. I informed the person I spoke with that my car had been diagnosed by a dealership with the same issue as the recall. GM informed me that I could pay to have the vehicle fixed out of my own pocket and maybe get reimburse at a later time. I explained my concern for the safety of my child that gets transported in the vehicle and they did not care. The lady on the phone just kept repeating that I could pay out of pocket for the problem. I have read online that it was all models recalled from 2004-2012 but I am still getting denied help.

- Van Lear, KY, USA

problem #17

Nov 142013


  • 59,000 miles


As I was driving my ESC popped on my message board along with check engine light and reduced engine speed. So I took it to autozone and they said it was my throttle sensor. So I turned the car off and on and it stops the messages from popping up for about 5 mins. The car won't idle and it sounds like it wants to cut off. Now normally I wouldn't think anything of it but to go get it fixed. Me and my mom have the same Malibu she just had the lt edition well hers started doing the same exact thing! you can't tell me that both of these cars was just gonna start doing the same thing at the exact same time!

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #16

Jan 132014


  • 30,000 miles
My husband owns this vehicle and for months he would be driving and then all the sudden all these lights came on and the engine would slow down to about 10mph. He could have crashed multiple times. We took it to the dealer they changed a sensor and said it was because of the cold. Then when it kept happening we took it back and they said that we needed a new throttle body and it happens on these cars all the time. My question is if this car has a history of this same part going at low mileage why is there no recall on this part. We now just had to spend $600 so my husband could drive safely to work and such and with our children. For the amount of money you pay for a vehicle it should work.

- Warminster , PA, USA

problem #15

Feb 252014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 47,300 miles
I was driven in highway 40 mph suddenly I lost control of the cars' speed because the engine stopped responding to its normal functions. This ultimately lowered my speed down to 11 mph. This almost resulted in me getting involved in a high speed collision with the vehicle behind me.

- Niles, IL, USA

problem #14

Feb 122014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 70 mph, the electronic stability control warning light illuminated as the vehicle suddenly decelerated to approximately 20 mph, nearly causing a second vehicle to crash into the rear of the vehicle. The contact indicated that after stopping and restarting the vehicle, the defect was no longer present. The failure recurred the following day as the contact started the engine. Vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 101,000.

- Athens, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 062014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
I called and made a complaint yesterday regarding my vehicle dropping from 60 mph to 30 mph in the midst of morning traffic. I took the car to the dealership and was told that I need to let the car sit idle whenever this happens for a moment and then it should reset and be fine. Well, this happened to me 4 times this morning, 3 of those times my two children were in the car with me. The roads were slick this morning with rain/snow and my car first did this at interstate 35 and Illinois, I pulled over for two minutes and then I was able to proceed. It did it again at interstate 35 and regal row and had to again sit on the side of the road for 2 minutes. I reached carrollton and it did it again on beltlline road and then on 161 and trinity. Mind you, the first two incidences happened before daylight. The second incident also put us in danger of having an accident as an 18 wheeler was right behind me as the car began jerking and decreasing speed. I was barely able to move to the median before I was sideswiped. The first three incidences the car decreased to 30 mph and would not increase. On the fourth incident my car would not increase past 25 mph. This vehicle put me in much danger this morning, especially with the weather (snow) conditions in our area.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 142014


  • 87,000 miles
I happened to be driving at a rate of 65mph and all of a sudden my car begins shaking terribly, my speed drops back to 20 mph and lights light up indicating "reduced engine power", "ESC off", and something regarding stability control service. Can I say scared out of my mind and trying to avoid an accident at the the same time as the car behind me had to pretty much slam on brakes to avoid hitting me. I had onstar to run a diagnostic check to be informed that it is my electronic throttle control system. I called the ourisman service dept in bowie, md and was told that this is not covered under my powertrain warranty, which I find to be totally ridiculous!! I will be calling GM to file a complaint and ask that this repair be covered or I will have to take other steps to seek some satisfactory assistance. A recall should be issued for this defect, as it is not a fault of the consumer but evidentially defected parts that are being installed by GM company...what are they waiting for before they take action...I guess someone has to suffer serious injuries or death before something will be done!! signed: Not a happy Chevy owner.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #11

Jan 072014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 42,532 miles
Luckily I was stuck in wall to wall traffic due to bad weather on my way home from work. I attempted to hit the gas to inch forward and my car starting shaking and seemed to be idled up. My check engine light came on and my dash read engine powering down, service tracking system and my car would go no faster than 20 mph. The part isn't covered under warranty on a 3yr car and I have to pay $388 to have this fixed.

- Grand Blanc , MI, USA

problem #10

Jan 062014


  • 46,640 miles


I was driving my 2011 Chevy Malibu way too work, rush hour and unpleasant weather. As I was driving the car just slowed itself down, started to tremble and the ;engine power reduce / service traction warning lights came on. I was almost rear-ended since car just decided to reduce its engine power. I pulled over for a few minutes, turned car off and restarted but the engine light stayed on. Car started to run smoothly, and then it happened again. I called into work and cautiously drove car to local dealership. I was told car will not be looked at til the following day. The service attendant calls me the following morning, to tell me the car was checked and needs throttle body replacement and is not covered by the manufacturer, due to it being an electrical/mechanical defect possibly caused by the cold weather. I asked why would the throttle body defect, be the consumers fault; I didn't know cars cant be out in the cold weather. So, I decided to look up the 2011 Chevy Malibu recalls/defects and found 22 of 57 complaints over the same car issue/problem/defect. So, I ask; why hasn't this been put up for a safety issue, a recall, and have this taken care of"?" this can cause alot of accidents! as im sure the consumers who have experienced this engine power reduction have felt at that moment and time. So now im too pay $546 (estimated) too have this problem taken care of, since the manufacturer decided to use faulty/defective parts on these vehicles. I thought Chevrolet was a dependable maker. All my friends, neighbors, and my parents have purchased Chevy- from traverse- Malibu's and they are all surprised this is happening.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #9

Dec 122013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 63,800 miles
I was driving this vehicle on one of the main highways where there is a lot of traffic and several lights appeared first it was the service ESC, engine power reduced, and service traction light, along with my check engine light, and traction light, the car then dropped from a speed of 65 to a speed of 20 and would not go on the highway this almost got me killed. I feel that GM should look into this issue as there are several people having the same issue, I would rather my life be saved than driving in a defective vehicle.

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #8

Dec 142012

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph the vehicle decelerated in speed while the check engine and electronic stability control lights illuminated on four occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the throttle body caused the failure to occur. The vehicle was repaired the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 18,000.

- Sioux Center, IA, USA

problem #7

Mar 222013


  • 51,000 miles
I was driving down the road at 50 miles per hour and the ABS, traction control, and ESC service lights went on the dashboard. Felt a small jerk in the car and then it continued to drive normally lights remained on.

- Manhattan , KS, USA

problem #6

Mar 132013


  • 42,568 miles
Driving 65 mph on interstate and service ESC and all other lights came on and engine died. I had to maneuver 3 lanes to the right in rush hour to get to the breakdown lane without power steering. "faulty alternator" ruled to be at fault. No warning that morning prior to event. Two days before the battery light stayed on a little longer (5 minutes) than usual and then went off. It never came on again to warn of something wrong. I called Chevrolet and the customer service was indifferent so I filed a complaint with my state's BBB as this is the third, and most severe issue, I have had with this car and I have not had it two years quite yet. I did receive a call back from GM. They are working on their response to this life threatening event as well as the other problems, which were the exhaust solenoid died ( service engine light came on) and the driver's side door handle covering came off exposing the sharp metal it is made of).

- Goffstown, NH, USA

problem #5

Jun 092011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
System warning lights constantly say "service ESC" and "service traction". problem began within 4 months of taking delivery of the vehicle and is now scheduled for at least the fifth time in the shop for the exact same thing. By the way this vehicle has less than 5,500 miles on it since taking delivery of it March 2011. I have been told that when these warning lights are on, the systems (traction control and anti-lock brake system) are disabled. I was also told that the mechanical systems will continue to work fine. My issue is that the traction control and anti-lock brake system are an enhanced safety component of the vehicle (and all vehicles which has been scientifically proven) that are no longer available to me because the manufacture can not fix the problem.

- New Castle, PA, USA

problem #4

Nov 252011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 6,800 miles
This problem occurred first in November 2011. The engine stopped, there was no steering, service ESC, the engine light came on. The vehicle was restarted but would not move when put in gear. Today is the second time this same problem has occurred. Chevy said the problem was repaired in November, but now it's back. The Malibu is back at Chevy for the second time for this problem. We experienced another incident 2 weeks ago but after starting the car again the problem was not there and has not surfaced until now. I certainly hope this problem is resolved this time for good. I feel very uncomfortable pulling into traffic.

- Bentleyville, PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 252011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 6,801 miles
As I was driving about 30mph on a Suburban rd. The Malibu jerked a couple of times then the (service ESC) light came on along with other lights and the car stopped moving. It also had a (car locked) symbol lit on the dash. There have been other similar complaints and there is no excuse for this. We pay good money to drive a new car so we don't have breakdowns, not to mention the possibilities of getting hit when this fault occurs maybe even being taken out of the population.

- Bentleyville, PA, USA

problem #2

Jun 182011


  • 6,898 miles
From my wife: After two prior trips in the same day (36 miles and 16 miles round trip respectively), my 3rd occasion to start the car was met with a glaring warning message on the digital display that said "engine power reduced". it was followed by "service ESC/traction control". I was puzzled by this when after that both the check engine light and the traction control light came on and stayed on. I was incredibly thankful to not have to get on the highway, but had to go to get to a performance. The engine had barely any power and it was as if the transmission was frozen. I had to creep along with drivers tailgating me because I couldn't go any faster than about 30 mph. As soon as I reached my destination (only 4 miles away), I contacted my husband so he could come to get the car when he got back from his errand. From husband and primary driver of car: I arrived to drop off another car for my wife and I experienced the same problems with the same scrolling messages and sluggish response. I called onstar and their diagnosis said to have the vehicle towed because there was a problem with the throttle. When I called to arrange a tow back to Chevy, I was told that it's a built in safety feature of the car so that drivers can't inadvertently do more damage to the vehicle. Today the brookdale Chevrolet (mn) dealer said they couldn't replicate the problem and that I could either pick the car up, or they would keep it one more day to see if they could "replicate" the problem to identify and fix the issue. I told them I could not keep a car that was unsafe to drive. If my wife or I had been driving in this vehicle at high speeds when the engine power was reduced, it could have had the potential to cause an accident. Please investigate this problem further. I've seen other complaints online regarding the same issue.

- Circle Pines, MN, USA

problem #1

Nov 242010


  • 550 miles
I purchased a 2011 Malibu from champion Chevrolet in austin, tx in November 2010. The car was delivered to me with a known defective ebcm (electronic brake control module). They had the part on order and didn't tell me. I found out a couple of days later when I had a traction control failure indication and was informed that it would continue to fail until the module was replaced. The module was replaced and still had a traction control/ABS failure. Later I had to have the car towed to the dealer. The connector on the ebcm had a pushed pin from the module replacement. The car was kept there a week looking for the traction control/ABS failure and a hydraulic pressure control module was replaced. This left the brakes feeling soft/mushy..more travel. Tried to get a replacement vehicle but dealer wouldn't help me unless I was willing to take a $6000 lost on the month old Malibu. Complained to GM but all they said was that the dealer fixed the car. Offered some oil changes. In January decided to go ahead and take hit on this Malibu and because of current incentives traded it for another Malibu.

- Austin, TX, USA

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