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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,449 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

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 #16

Feb 252014


  • 33,000 miles
While driving on the highway the displayed showed low traction, service ESC, reduced power engine. After quickly pulling over to the side the car began violently shaking and pressing the gas pedal resulted in no engine power.

- Barrington Hills, IL, USA

problem #15

Feb 122014


  • 66,000 miles
Car suddenly decelerated and started sputtering. Engine acted like it was going to quit and did not have any power. Would not get over 15mph. Put me in a very dangerous situation in rush hour traffic. I am very lucky no one was killed. Decelerated at a very fast rate. Dealership diagnosed the problem as the throttle body. The throttle body had to be replaced for $675. Was not covered under the 100K powertrain warranty. Chevrolet conveniently stopped covering the throttle body starting in 2011. From looking at other complaints for the 2011 Chevy Malibu this seems to be a very common problem and is clearly a defective or poorly designed part.

- Millington, TN, USA

problem #14

Feb 112014


  • 25,768 miles


Sitting at intersection, foot on brake, waiting for light to turn green, felt sudden power surge, thought someone hit me from behind, lights on dashboard read: Reduced engine power, service ESC, service engine icom appeared. Light turned green, had to cross 5 lanes of state highway. Car would barely move, light turned red, pulled to side of road as best I could account 5 ft snow piles alongside road. Minus 6 degrees out. Shut car off for approx. 5 min. Started car and could drive it to first parking lot about 3/4 mile. Had car towed to Chevrolet dealer, was told it was a defective throttle position sensor. Throttle body assembly replaced under warranty. Service technician told me he's had alot of these failures and it's due to extensive cold weather. I feel Chevrolet should order a recall and take care of these vehicle problems before someone gets injured or killed. Car just ended warranty period this week, other owners should not have to pay for this repair cost if their car is no longer under warranty.

- Elkhart, IN, 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 232014


  • 42,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2011 Chevy Malibu with 42,000 miles on snow-covered roads. All of a sudden, warning lights lit up, including "service ESC", "engine power reduce" and the car began in jolt. This caused her to swerve into the other lane and just missed getting broadsided by a semi truck. We let the car sit for a couple of hours in a parking lot. We then took the vehicle to the dealership, who indicated it was the throttle body and that it wasn't a covered part under GM's powertrain warranty. We proceeded to talk to GM's customer service. Both individuals that we spoke with us told us that it is a covered part. The issue was escalated to a tier 2 rep who spoke directly to the dealer and the dealer continues to maintain that in their communication with GM, that it is not covered. We are so frustrated. We are 2 months from turning our vehicle in and were considering another GM lease, but I'm pretty sure we will be going with another manufacturer, since GM has opted to take this position. The dealer has offered to split the cost of the repair with us, but to me, this issue was not caused by the driver. This is a defective part. It should either be covered under warranty, a recall should be issued or some other type of resolve. This car now sits in our garage and acts this way when we start it.

- Swartz Creek, MI, 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 262013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 85,250 miles
Vehicle started shaking, low traction control message, ESC message, reduced engine power message. Car wouldn't go over 15 mph, was unable to drive home with this issue. Was lucky to be on an outer road with no traffic then this happened. Had car diagnosed, found the throttle body had to be replaced -- know of two other individuals with same issue in the past 6 weeks, one on a Malibu, and one on another Chevy vehicle.

- Union, MO, USA

problem #7

Nov 232013


  • 45,000 miles


I was going onto a exit an hit a guardrail on the drivers side, the car spun and I ended up sideways. The airbag deployed but did not inflate. I sustained broken ribs, a facial hematoma and multiple contusions. I was wearing my seatbelt at the time of the accident.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Jun 222013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
On 6/22/13 at approx 1:40pm I was heading back to work from my lunch break and I was going through the intersection on my green light at approx 30mph when a big Chevy truck blew through the red light going approx 40 mph. I ended up T boning the cab of his truck. Causing me to do a 360. Tore off the bumper completely. My airbags did not deploy and onstar did not call me. Two important safety features of my car failed me! I thank god I am alive with no serious injuries! everyone who saw my car including the body shop are in complete shock of my air bags not deploying! I really would like to know the cause!

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 052012


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, an unusual noise emitted from the engine. In addition, the steering wheel would vibrate severely. There were no prior warnings. The failure occurred whenever the contact drove over gravel or an uneven road surface. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who informed the contact that the motor mount was faulty and would require replacement. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 42,000.

- Milford, MI, USA

problem #3

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 #2

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 #1

Feb 202013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle became resistant to acceleration attempts. The esp and low engine power warning lights then illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they advised him that the engine needed to be reset. The vehicle was repaired for the engine reset and they advised him that he would have to take the vehicle to a local dealer for further assessment. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 48,500....updated 04/25/13 updated 05/20/2013

- Bath, OH, USA

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