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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,462 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 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Nov 062013


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated while driving approximately 65 mph the check engine and traction control sensor lights illuminated and the warning "engine power reduced" was displayed. The contact indicated that the vehicle speed was reduced and would not accelerate past 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the throttle body position sensor was faulty. The sensor was replaced and the defect was remedied. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Southerland, VA, USA

problem #13

May 082013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
I purchased my 2011 Malibu in April 2012. Initially, I was experiencing power surges upon breaking. I was slowing down to come to a complete stop and my car would surge forward before stopping. The dealership replaced a sensor. I'm still experiencing the surges occasionally. The next time I took it in because I was getting a lot of noise and vibration when driving on a rough a surface. The dealership replaced the steering column. It was fine for a year, now that problem is returning. During the winter 2013, my rear defrost stopped working. I took it in and was told that the rear fuse block was melted and it will cost $535 to have it replaced. And another $230 to have the driver's side seat belt replaced---- it doesn't connect securely without fiddling with it. I think there should be recalls issued on all of these problems because I have read blogs and others are having the same issues, and they are all related to the safety of the vehicle.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #12

Feb 012014


  • miles
2011 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle goes into "limp mode" while driving. Engine light, low traction warning and engine power reduced light would display. The consumer stated the vehicle would automatically and instantly lose power down to 25 mph. The vehicle would shake rather violently. The incident occurred over a period of 2 weeks. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and a diagnosis revealed 2 error codes. The throttle body and the screen on the exhaust camshaft position actuator solenoid valve was restricted and needed to be replaced.

- Wilmington, OH, USA

problem #11

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 #10

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 #9

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 #8

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 #7

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 #6

Jun 192013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 41,643 miles
While trying to accelerate, the car lost power. Upon taking it to the dealership, it was determined that the app sensor was malfunctioning. From reading online, this appears to be a very common problem with this style of Chevrolet, and has been happening since at least 2008. Consumers are being fleeced by faulty parts and/or engineering (based on the cost of the repair).

- Horseheads, NY, USA

problem #5

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 #4

Feb 062013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle decelerated. The contact mentioned that the reduce engine power, service traction, and service ESC warning lamps illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the throttle body needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 75,000 and the current mileage was 79,000.

- Ellenwood , GA, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Aug 012012


  • 4,800 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated while attempting to accelerate. The contact mentioned that there was a 3-4 second delay when the accelerator pedal was engaged. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who explained that the manufacturer changed the way the system reacts in the vehicle, as a result the signal from the accelerator pedal goes through the computer first and then the engine which causes the delay. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage and current mileages were 4,800.

- Dover, NJ, USA

problem #1

Apr 092012

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I bought my 2011 Malibu ltz in April 2011. Since I bought it I have noticed, consistently, the car revs extremely high when shifting between gears while accelerating. It often times struggles to shift between 2nd and 3rd and 4th gears. The car is also rated to get up to 33 mpg highway, average of 25. I drive about 90% highway and backroads and am only getting an average of 23.3 mpg, which is the city rating. This car has a 6 speed auto and was supposed to do better on gas than the last few models, but my 2009 Malibu with a 4 speed auto did better than this car does. Initially I figured I was doing bad on gas because I tend to be a leadfoot driver, so I made significant strides to reduce my overall speed and quick accelerations. After about 4 months now of driving slower and safer I have not seen any change in the mpg. I am about to make an appointment to get the fuel system checked out. I also have the automatic starter in my car and it has died at 25,000 miles. I don't know if this is average battery life span for it or if it is an issue, so I will be getting it checked out too.

- Bealeton, VA, USA

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