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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 1 of 5)

problem #100

Jan 112017


  • 78,450 miles


I was driving and the car began to shake and jerk, and then the alerts across the dash came up as "service ESC", "service traction", and "engine power reduced". I took it to a Chevy dealership and was told the throttle body needed to be replaced. After paying $550 for the repair the car seemed to work fine until recently, only two months after the initial repair the same exact thing has happened, and now the dealership is telling me that they do not know what is wrong with the car, there is no recall and I'll either have to trade the car in (which I can't afford to do) or just drive it and hope the problem will correct itself. I am beyond scared to drive it as my daughter is in the car with me, and I do not want to be driving a death trap down the highway. Please help.

- Lakewood, WA, USA

problem #99

Jan 102017


  • 60 miles
I was driving in the highway and my Malibu stoped and apered the image of traction control off and the motor was shaking and my light of check engine was on and my car did not advance more then 10 miles

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #98

Jan 062015


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle began to decelerate and the ESC indicator illuminated. The dealer could not determine the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure recurred numerous times. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was approximately 95,000.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #97

Dec 232016


  • 159,000 miles


Drove car this morning and couple miles later the car lost most of its power and service ESC lights became illuminated as well as engine light too. Now car is slower and shaking violently when accelerating. Also shakes real bad when stationary. Driving around 35-45 mph. Can't drive now due to lost power and ESC issues/ looks like it is a common historic issue with these Malibu as internet is polluted with complaints about it and looks like GM can't find problem. As well GM tells me on the phone just now that my VIN number is not part of any recall notice while the problems go back to 2003 and covers every other Malibu except mine it appears. Really? bought is local as a pre owned vehicle with only about 30K on it. Sounds like GM is trying to skirt the issue of owning up to the problem. They have me on hold for some time now. Help!

- Saylorsburg, PA, USA

problem #96

Oct 012016


  • 85,700 miles
My vehicle does not always flash the no seat belt sign. When driving unbuckled, the no seatbelt warning sign will appear and flash. However, after just a few moments the warning light will turn off. There have also been instances where the warning light won't even turn on when the seatbelt is not fastened.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #95

Aug 112015


  • 125,333 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving various speeds, the vehicle shook violently and the ESC and traction control warning indicators remained illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 125,333.

- Erin, TN, USA

problem #94

Jun 202015


  • miles


Takata recall...I have had problems with this electronic stability control/traction control for almost 2 years had it repaired once and now its doing the same thing also my head light on the passage side keep going out.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #93

Jan 012016


  • miles
My service ESC, service traction, service engine lights came on. Took my car to dealership where they couldn't duprivate the issue. $240. Problem came bk the next day. Took my car bk to shop with light on and they said I needed an engine flush. $180. Problem still came back.took my car to another shop, bc I felt I was getting taken advantage of after being charged $180 just for diagnostic. This shop changed spark plugs and checked wires. $100. Problem came back. Got in touch w GM. No recall. No assistance until I took my car back to dealership. They kept my car for 4 days and finally told me I need a new motor! it's a 2011, with 110K miles and I need a new motor?? that it would be $4000 I left with my car, because I don't have that kind of money just laying around in hopes that it might fix the problem. Driving a car that scares me bc the lights are constantly flashing at me all of the time now, car sputtering out while at low speeds or idle, co engine flashing, and my car acting like it's gonna die any minute! not to mention the gas it's consuming on top of the almost 700 I'm already out. This is dangerous and quite disheartening to but a car from Chevrolet, it only be 5 yrs old and have this many issues with no resolve. Seeing all of the other complaints similar to mine, someone is going to get hurt. Please help

- Glasgow, KY, USA

problem #92

Jun 262016


  • miles
My car has been having problems all year. I called and spoke with someone who in return was suppose to call cannon motors in oxford, ms to have the front head light on the driver side fixed because it was on recall. My father has replaced it 3 times and it keeps going out so the car was taken to cannon today and now its a different story. They was talking about charging $75 then they changed it to $500 to fix a headlight. I know the is an electrical problem going on with my car.

- Oxford, MS, USA

problem #91

Jan 022016


  • miles
Have experienced difficulties with reduced engine speed, check ems, and other related conditions since 2014. The car would immediately slow down, not pick up speed, and alarm would begin sounding. Each occasion, I took into dealership and was told that it was something different on each occasion causing occurrence. On other occasions, dealership would say they could not replicate issue. I had one repair made. The car drove fine for a while to later start again. I was informed it was a sensor. On last occurrence, I had the throttle body replaced. The car is once again experiencing a sluggish condition when driving. The dealership once again stated they could not replciate issue.

- Monroe, LA, USA

problem #90

May 112016


  • 106,459 miles


My 2011 Chevrolet Malibu is cranking, but not starting. I had a it towed to a repair shop, who ran a test on the fuel system, battery, alternator, but nothing was found. I researched it and found that the anti-theft system can stop your vehicle from starting. It seems that the anti-theft system locked after I was sitting in my car during lunch listening to the radio for an hour. I turned the key twice to reset the radio after it timed out. As I left work to go home it wouldn't start. I found out that if you reset the system, it will start after 10-15 mins. After sitting overnight at the repair shop, it started. Here I am a week later and its doing it again, but now I'm getting a signal with a locked car symbol on the dash. It seems that that anti-system is locked again. I cannot find out how to reset it. I was not in the vehicle playing the radio at all that day. However, this issue happened to me a year after I got the car too after washing the car and listening to the radio. I forgot about that incident until now. I am seeing over 250 complaints about this same issue. There were some cars recalled, but mine does not have one associated with it. It GM recalled it on some, they should recall it on all, it's the same issue. I would like to know if they plan to do this, because I'm seeing and hearing they are no fixes at the repair shop. They try to fix it with expensive options, but the issue comes back. I read that some people car stalled when the anti-theft system locked. I don't want this to happen to me and my family. Thank goodness mine was parked each time.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #89

May 112016


  • 10 miles
May 11, 2016 day 1 while driving car began to reduce speed on it's own. May 12, 2016 day 2 upon starting car the ESC service light is on, it reads the "ESC is off" car was stationary.

- Glendale, WI, USA

problem #88

May 072016

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 72,542 miles
I have been experiencing issues with my 2011 Chevy Malibu. I was driving down the road when suddenly the motor started violently shaking and the dashboard information display would flash, "engine power reduced, service ESC, service traction control, air bag lights and check engine light came on". this was an intermittent issue, it can sometimes go weeks/months without issues, but then out of nowhere it will start happening again. Sometimes shutting the car off, waiting a few moments, and restarting would usually get it running correctly again. However, other times it will remain for several days. The issue has been becoming more frequent and staying longer as time goes on. When I started seeing the issue I looked up online to see if other people were seeing similar issues and found hundreds of people with the same year, make, model car having the same exact issue. I have seen issues started at 50K miles and up, but mine started doing this at approximately 72K miles. This issue has almost caused me to get in several accidents, and I believe this should be recalled as this is a major problem. Here are some of the websites at which I found people sharing their stories of the same exact issue. I have included a couple of images of a couple of the dash messages please help the most recent incident occurred 05/07/2016 but has been happening intermittently for a year or two, it started at 72542 miles but most recent happened at approximately 92K thank you

- Somerset, WI, USA

problem #87

Apr 072016


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 10 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The engine power reduction, the traction control and the ESC warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000. The VIN was not available.

- Brookfield, MO, USA

problem #86

Feb 132016


  • miles
I am having problems with the ESC the service ESC light keeps turning on and the car starts to jerk and they say mine isn't in recall but other Chevy Malibu are from the year 2003-2012 I thi they need to look into this further because mine is 2011 but not in the recall

- Goshen, IN, USA

problem #85

Mar 152016


  • 41,749 miles
I purchased a 2011 Chevy Malibu in 2012. Since the purchase I've experienced issues with the electronic stability control system, the service air bag light has come on while my daughter was sitting in the passenger seat. I was told that the problem with that could possibly be resolved with the recall for the seat belt lap anchor tensioner cable. I have also had issues with the car stalling / losing power after coming to a complete stop and begin to accelerate again into on coming traffic. I have also lost total control due to the power steering going out while driving. When I took my vehicle into the dealership regarding the car stalling, I was told that they could not get the car to duplicate the problem and I left without anything else being don;. I still have the same problem. There should be a recall for this before someone gets seriously injured or killed. I also have a 2011 Chevy Cruze that I've had numerous issues with, not to mention all of the recalls on it. All of the above issues have been while the car is in motion, while turning, and on highway and city streets. I recently noticed that my back seat is leaking from somewhere. I contacted GM and was told to take it into the dealership. The tech at the dealership tells me that the leak is coming from the molding on the roof of the car and wanted to charge me $200 for the diagnostic after I clearly told them that the leak was not coming from the roof of the car. They took down the headliner anyway and said that they did a test and water could be seen gushing from this area, but yet my seat was not wet as I had told them where the seat gets wet at. There are so many problems with these Malibu's I just want GM to take the car back so that I can purchase a different brand of vehicle.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #84

Mar 042016


  • 64,253 miles
1/26/2016 I got my camshaft solenoid fixed due to my check engine light coming on. When it started to shake real bad with the dash lights stating that my engine power was reduced, loss of traction (something to that effect) I instantly put it in the shop. Then last week 3/4/2016 I was driving up to erie, pa from Ohio, which is about 4.5 hours away. I say a good 40 minutes from my destination it happens again right on the highway. Engine light comes on and the dash says that my engine power has been reduced and loss of traction (?). thankfully there was an exit near that I could get off at and as soon as I put my car in park it started to shake real bad. So I did what I did before and turned the car off to let it reset and then started it back up. It ran fine for the remainder of my stay until it came time for me to leave to go back home. This time I only got 20 minutes away from erie before it started acting up again, but it kept doing it. Talk about being frustrated 4.5 hours away from home in your car. Especially since I just got it fixed not too long ago. This needs to be on the recall list, because this is ridiculous.

- Englewood, OH, USA

problem #83

Mar 072016


  • 87,800 miles
Received messages of: Service ESC, service traction, service power steering, eng pwr reduced, engine disabled this morning while driving to work. Engine lost all power, went into limp mode, had to pull to side of road to try and turn the engine off and on to try to reset. Nearly caused accident from oncoming and trailing vehicles. This make and model needs to be entered into the recall.

- Waynesville, OH, USA

problem #82

Feb 282016


  • 113,000 miles
Car intermittently loses power. Warning light for traction control comes on. Must pull over and let car sit for a minute before restarting.

- Langley, KY, USA

problem #81

Feb 162016


  • 119,200 miles
Received messages of: Service ESC, service traction, service air bag, eng pwr reduced, engine disabled this morning while driving to work. Engine lost all power, had to pull to side of road to try and turn the engine off and on, until I received the engine disabled message and after that the car would not start. Had to have the car towed to nearest dealership.

- Jackson, MN, USA

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