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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,239 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 6 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Mar 202014


  • 36,000 miles


I was driving to work and all the dash warning lights came on. The car slowed down and the steering began to shake. I'm having my boyfriend look at it after work but I found this site so I decided to post this as well.

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #17

Sep 272013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 27,510 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, all of the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the battery and alternator needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The approximate failure mileage was 27,510 and the current mileage was 31,913. Updated 6/17/14

- Hampstead , MD, USA

problem #16

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 #15

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 #14

Nov 052013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 78,989 miles
I was driving on the highway and out of no where the check engine light came on. My car than started to jerk like it was running out of oxygen, the car felt like it didn't want to shift in gear.. took to have check and come to find out its the (tcm) transmission control module which isn't covered under warranty for and extra two thousand dollars from santander consumer and bronx Suzuki/victory in bronx, NY. I have been ripped off in a car payment that's more than the car is worth.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #13

Jul 122013


  • 26,800 miles
The manufacturer forgot to install a clamp on the moon roof drain. The tube fell off and flooded the interior of the car with 3 inches of standing water on July 12, 2013. The entire passenger side including ceiling, dash (in front and behind), seats, flooring, and electrical components have water damage. It then happened again on July 14, 2013. Contact was made to the dealer on July 16, 2013. After numerous, meaningless phone conversations with Chevrolet, they would only replace some cosmetic parts. Only the flooring was replaced at first. After more complaints, the seat covers and head liner were replaced, but not the factory carpeted floor mats. They refused to replace or inspect anything else that water came in contact with including electrical components, seat cushions, safety restraints, wiring harnesses, or airbag system behind the dash. Our 10 year old son had a kidney transplant two years ago and has a suppressed immune system. Due to this, he cannot be around mold which Chevrolet is refusing to test for. Being that only 50% or less of the components have been replaced, we are concerned of the presence of mold. Our physician has requested that the car be tested and signed off that no mold is present before our son can ride in the car again. Our son's health depends on having a safe, clean car to be transported in. Chevrolet has no concerns for his safety or life threatening issues. Unknown electrical safety components may or may not have been compromised with this much water or moisture in the vehicle. These parts were not checked, tested or replaced.

- Duluth, MN, USA

problem #12

Mar 082012


  • 28,000 miles


I purchased my car in Feb. Of 2012 as of today my car has been in the shop 10 different times for the same thing. The steering vibrates when you drive and it loses power when shifting. Then, I had to get a new motor in the car May 2013, then it was rattling again so I took it up there. They told me that the transmission problem was that it needed a program upgrade and that I had to pay out of pocket $60.70 for this upgrade. Two days later the whole car shuts down on me and they are now saying that it is an app module and it needs to be re-programmed. I am tired of paying all this tow bills and fees for a car that does not run and it not safe for my kids to ride in.

- Valmeyer, IL, USA

problem #11

Nov 012012


  • miles
I've owned the car for 18 months. November 2012, I reported to my GM dealer of loss of power when driving. Car's resistant to acceleration attempts, loses power at varying speeds from 30 mph and up. Vehicle brought in, dealer stated there were no problems. December 2012, while driving at approximately 30mph, car engine stopped running, car came to stop on active train tracks with children in car, no power steering, not able to shift into drive, neutral or reverse, park. Once ignition was turned off, vehicle would not start. Towed vehicle in for service, was told transmission needed to be replaced due to a bad solenoid. Vehicle still having problems two months after. January 2013 brought vehicle in for same issue, losing power, no acceleration, RPM's would rev and then rapidly drop while driving without foot on gas pedal. Was told by dealer nothing is wrong with car. February 2013, change oil light was one for three months, even after having oil changed. Brought to dealer to have reset. May 2013, vehicle still losing power, RPM's revving and rapidly dropping, dash lights randomly dimming without touching dimmer knob, driver's door will not open from inside and will not lock/unlock despite multiple methods, once open door will not latch to close and door bounces open again, auto start lags at time and randomly doesn't work. I have an appointment to bring vehicle in for service next Monday, not optimistic as the dealer keeps telling me there's nothing wrong with the car and they are unable to replicate, they state they are not aware of any other known issues on this vehicle, despite there being many many tsb's online for the same issues I've been experiencing. I haven't owned the car for even two years, traded in a beautiful new camaro for it to Transport my children in a safe car, yet this vehicle has been nothing but problems and headaches.

- Randolph, MA, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Feb 212013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
Check air bag light came on, then reset itself, windshield wipers on intermittent mode shut off and on again. Reported to Chevy dealer, said if light wasn't on they couldn't check it, if the wipers are working properly they couldn't check it. Did this on my last oil change.

- Rehoboth, MA, USA

problem #8

Mar 032013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 68,343 miles


The contact just bought a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu used November 2012. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35mph, the vehicle became resistant to acceleration attempts. The esp, slippery /traction light, engine light and reducing engine power warning lights came on and the car decreased speed to 20mph.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #7

Feb 212013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 44,078 miles
The fuel pump has burned connectors that are inside the fuel tank, the board lights intensity increases or decreases or stays off, all fuses are good, the GM is aware of this and 72 hours ago I'm waiting for an answer, I have fear that happen again, so I'm not using the car, where I can send pictures of the fuel pump, when I opened the case I ask them GM car rent it and revise mine to see if it was safe but until now no response, it seems that they want the car to burn.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #6

Jan 302013


  • 39,265 miles
Went out to crank the car. It would not start. Sent in to be fixed. Picked car up today and inside panel is not working neither is the lights. I have to call service again in the a.M.

- Clinton , SC, USA

problem #5

Aug 042012

Malibu 4-cyl Diesel

  • 12,000 miles
Backed out of driveway and drove to the end of street and vehicle was sluggish to move into gear by the end of the street which is roughly 4 house down from driveway I backed out of it would no longer go forward so I had to back up all the way to my driveway and cal dealership to tow in. Monday morning dealer service dept said it was diagnosed as a sensor in transmission and it was ordered and car was back to me within two days. I am worried this will be a continuing problem as I had a similar situation with previous 2009 Ford Taurus X that just kept happening with and nothing was done to resolve the situation. When you buy a new car you do not expect these issues. But, more importantly, I do not want this to occur when I am driving on a highway since this happens with no warning.

- Granite City , IL, USA

problem #4

Sep 152011

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the instrument panel was inoperable and he was unable to determine how fast he was traveling or how many miles were on the vehicle. The dealer made three attempts to duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was notified and the contact was awaiting a response. The approximate failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 10,900. The VIN was unavailable. When driving along dash board lights and gauges go off and on day and night no speed indication either. Updated 11/03/2011

- Howell, NJ, USA

problem #3

Feb 022011


  • 1,500 miles
I was driving and when I went over a small hill the car seemed to lose power. The service /ESC message came on. I was barely able to get to the side of the road the car was running but would not move at all. It had no power whatsoever. When I called onstar they said to shut it off for a minute and turn it back on to see if the code would clear. It didn't so I called a tow truck to tow it to banks Chevrolet (nh). After sitting in the car for about an hour with the engine running (it was February and very cold out) the tow operator arrived. I shut the car off for about 3 minutes, he then started it and low and behold the message was gone the car had power and he proceeded to drive it on the tow truck. The garage had the car for several days trying to recreate the problem. They could not. They said a service bulletin did go out about this problem. I will admit it does make me nervous the car was 1 month in my possession when this happened not even 1500 miles on it. I now have 7500 miles and no problems since then. It could have been catastrophic if I had been merging onto the highway and lost power at a high speed-thank-god that didn't happen!!! but really no resolution they couldn't find out what caused it they did however give me some song and dance about things loosening up from going over bumpy roads. Well I live in the northeast so that is pretty unavoidable.

- Belmont, NH, USA

problem #2

Jul 172011


  • 19,800 miles
I have a 2011 Malibu, I changed my tires out on my car and tire pressure low light came on, then 3 days later service ESC light came on, an I instantly felt like I was in a wrong gear, power and speed reduced, thankfully I wasn't in heavy traffic, I'm under the 5 year warranty can I get service, and is it dangerous for me to drive.

- Lake Jackson, TX, USA

problem #1

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

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