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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 1 of 6)

problem #118

Feb 172018


  • 75,000 miles


Randomly starting about 3 weeks ago my 2011 Chevrolet Malibu started going into reduced power mode and showing service traction, service ESC and eng pwr reduced. The vehicle would shake and suddenly slow down. It showed a P2135 code. The vehicle restarts after a period of time sitting, but the events happen again when it is driven again. It takes approx. 20 miles from when it was started. Researching this P2135 code I found many complaints and they all involved the throttle body or throttle position sensor. I contacted Chevrolet and they told me it wasn't covered under a recall although they do have a special coverage 14582A which is currently open. But they said my VIN was not covered by that program. This is a very dangerous situation and I can't imagine that not all 2011 Malibu vehicles wouldn't be covered.

- Mount Sterling, IL, USA

problem #117

Dec 012016


  • miles
In last 12 to 14 months to include today, the low beam headlight on passenger side has gone out. It has been repaired twice and now looking at a third time. I want to say this is an electrical issue as the last time it went out, sometimes it would come back on if I hit a bump. I will be getting it serviced again as not having a headlight working is a danger. The reason I am contacting NHTSA is I have talk to and read of multiple people having the same issue.

- Vilonia, AR, USA

problem #116

Oct 102017


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While operating the vehicle and depressing the brake pedal, the rear brake light would not illuminate; however, the brake light would remain illuminated when the brake pedal was not being depressed. The vehicle was taken to apple Chevrolet (1200 loucks rd, york, pa) where it was diagnosed that the electrical brake light wiring was faulty and corrosion was present. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact indicated that the vehicle was previously repaired in October 2014 per NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, exterior lighting), but the failure recently recurred. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 72,000.

- Dover, PA, USA

problem #115

Jan 172018


  • 10 miles


Takata recall dealers are to attach the wiring harness to the BCM with a spacer, apply dielectric lubricant to both the BCM and harness connector and on the bas and harness connector, and relearn the brake pedal home position free of charge. And also dealers will replace the outboard lap anchor mounting bracket to re-locate the tensioner 30mm rearward. Dealers will also inspect the cable, and if necessary, replace the lap pretensioner. These repairs will be completed free of charge.

- Cedar Falls, IA, USA

problem #114

Nov 202017


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 45 mph, the passenger side low beam head lamp failed. The contact drove the vehicle with the high beams activated. The following day, the contact noticed that the harness to the low beams was burned. The contact stated that this was the second time the harness burned, and the driver's side harness was replaced one time also. The vehicle was taken to the dealer (jim glover Chevrolet in tulsa, Oklahoma) the first time the failure occurred, and the vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Prue, OK, USA

problem #113

Aug 072017


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving, the steering wheel wiggled and made a squeaky and grinding noise while making left and right turns. The contact stated that the seat belt indicator previously illuminated. The vehicle was taken to Suburban Buick GMC (21800 woodward ave, ferndale, mi 48220 (248) 547-6100) where it was diagnosed that the rack and pinion and the motor to the electrical steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 122,000.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #112

Jul 112017


  • miles


Last 3 yrs my ESC and service traction light comes on. Last Aug 2016 had the car if for this replaced a brake sensor problem came back 3 weeks later. Went for 2 more diagnostic test. Could not find issue. May 2017 problem started again. In addition, when this service ESC comes on my brake lights do not work. This is very dangerous. I am bring the car in again for another diagnostic. I am scared to drive. The light comes on during the warm months, either during the actual braking or when I am in a stop position holding down the brake. GM customer care has be of no help thus far.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #111

Jun 042017


  • 120,000 miles
Engine power reduced and the vehicle sounds like it is going to explode. It reduces the speed to 5 mph. You can turn the car off sit for a few minutes and turn the car back on and it runs fine. It does this daily. I have replaced several sensors and it has not fixed the problem. I have also replaced the throttle body twice and that did not fix it either.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #110

May 142017


  • 162,000 miles
Car seat (heat warmer) caught on fire

- Lake View, SC, USA

problem #109

Mar 202017


  • 85,000 miles
While traveling at a slow speed (betw 10-20 mph) on 3/20/17, the car started to shake, the service ESC message light turns on, and service traction control light turns on (with message that car will power down). So, if I pull over to the side of the road and shut the car off (before it shuts down on it's own), wait 2 minutes for the computer to reset, then get RPM up quick (so the speed is quickly above the 20 mph), then it is wouldn't do it and I could get it to the mechanic. When the mechanic went to check it, the battery was dead, so no luck with computer scan. He put in new battery. So I drove it and it did it again. I took it to the mechanic and he checked it and he replaced the gas pedal (computer code indicated a bad sensor). However, it did not take care of the issue. Brand new battery and still draining battery (overnight). Mechanic thinks a relay may be staying open somewhere however isn't sure. Currently not drivable due to the shaking and that service ESC and service traction control messages come on with statement that vehicle will power down (while driving). First occurred on 3/20/2017 and is still occurring 4/20/2017 (mechanic hasn't been able to fix)! been dealing with a slow battery drain since purchased car in July 2016. If didn't drive car for 5 days, battery would be dead (4th day was still ok). Then in March 2017, other issue started and the battery drain became much worse. Now brand new battery and will drain completely dead overnight. Huge electrical issue. Car has 85,000 miles on it.

- Cresco, IA, USA

problem #108

Feb 012017


  • 97,000 miles


The dashboard seat belt light goes on and off. The radio at times goes silent. The headlights keep going off and having to replace. The ECM or ECU has went out. And the check engine light is one. On this while the car is on, driving and stationary.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #107

Apr 042017


  • miles
Speed slow down on a 55 mph highway to 10 mph and wouldnt get no speed and it throttle and shake until I came to a stop the most scary thing to ever happen to me I went from a Ford to Chevy the most stupid idea I could've ever done and ever light on dash board is on and blinking to brake light, traction light, etc light, radio and clock lights the speed door and window lights its to much to deal with im afraid that this car is gonna take my life from me but noone can find no problem with this car I've got an oil change to spark plugs and so much more done on this car and nothing has changed this the fourth time this car has put me down in the six mths of me having this car somebody please help I love the car but its not a safe car to have and I can even exchange it out for another one at least thats what the people at the car lot says.

- Quincy, FL, USA

problem #106

Feb 202017


  • 94,157 miles
The engine starts to sputter, check engine light and other dash lights come on and vehicle quits running. Had it in Chevrolet garage and no code showed up they replaced a sensor told me it was fixed. Problem returned, this has happened several times and still exists. Very dangerous. Never know when it is going to stall out.

- Buchanan, MI, USA

problem #105

Jan 012017


  • 99,000 miles
Tail lights stopped working, but break lights work, radio will change on its own from tuner to aux, dash doesnt stay illuminated, power locks and windows dont always work. Doesnt matter if its being driven or sitting. Checked fuses they are all good.

- Uniontown, OH, USA

problem #104

Nov 012016


  • 0 miles
The headlights keep going out on this vehicles, have replaced them several times and they just keep going out. My aunt has the same make, model car as I do and she has the same problems.

- Iowa, LA, USA

problem #103

Feb 022016


  • 60,000 miles
The driver's side body seam of my 2011 Chevy Malibu was not properly sealed. This allowed water to leak into my electrical panel cause corrosion to all of my wiring. I determined this after driving down a high way at 60 mph and having my car drop down to 10 mph with service engine lights, engine power reduced warnings all lighting up my panel. It had been raining that day. I am lucky that the car behind me was following an appropriate amount of distance behind me.

- Bradford, PA, USA

problem #102

Jan 102017

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 60 miles
I was driving in the highway and my Malibu stopped and appeared 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 #101

Dec 232016

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 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 #100

Oct 272016

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Fire in trunk started at rear fuse panel. Driving at 35 mph in drizzle, trunk ajar message lit, stopped to check it & engine stalled as I pulled off the road, found the trunk securely latched, and couldn't open it with key fob or button in cabin. Then saw paint turning brown (scorching) at rear corner panel at location of rear fuse panel. By the time fire dept. Arrived the cabin and trunk fully engulfed - total loss.

- Parsippany, NJ, USA

problem #99

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

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