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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,477 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Jan 032017


  • 0 miles


This is not a complaint about a vehicle. It is to point out something that NHTSA should address, and that is: Daytime running lights. My question is: Why doesn't NHTSA require them on every vehicle. Just open your eyes on a rainy day, or any day at dusk, and notice how many drivers forget to turn on their lights. Especially when they come out of a well lighted shopping center onto a highway and haven't realized they haven't turned their lights on. If you don't think this is a problem, I can cite four instances where it has resulted in crashes resulting in death and that is only in my small part of the world.

- Dale City, VA, USA

problem #21

Nov 112016


  • 73,000 miles
1. my car is 5 year old and 73,000 miles. We use it for commuting to work and grocery. And we do all the maintenance at dublin Chevrolet dealership. On Nov 11th, my car broke down on the highway and blocked the traffic. The front trunk was smoking. The car was towed to dealership. They said possible engine problem. Although the car is just out of warranty, it is hard to believe that this car has no quality problem with such few years and relatively low mileage. 2. a few months ago, I received a recall notice from the car making company and took the car to the dealership to get the recall done. But they said the part has not arrived and asked us to wait until they call us. We never get call from them. This time, I called their recall department and left a message. Never hear back from them.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #20

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 #19

Jul 202016


  • 38,327 miles


Malfunction indicator lamp came on while I was pulling out of the doctor's office. Vehicle completely shutoff, and nothing was working. I had to manually open my door to get out of the vehicle. I popped my hood to check whether or not my battery cables had become loose, but everything was ok. After returning to the driver's seat, the car started with ease. This was the second time my car had completely shutoff while driving it. In November 2015, as I entered an onramp, it cut off. This almost gave me a heart attack. I took my car to auto zone for a free check, they did not find anything. Today (7/20/2016), I went to auto zone and they ran a different test, gave me a printout that indicated the ECM needed to be replaced. I took it to the dealer (bohn GMC), where it is presently. When my vehicle completely turned off in traffic, I and my passenger, could have been seriously injured or killed. I consider this to be a serious safety hazard. In my owner's manual, it states that if the light comes on and stays own, 'diagnosis and service might be required'. no where does it indicate that the vehicle could turn off while driving.

- Harvey, LA, USA

problem #18

Jul 032016


  • 40,000 miles
Car turns itself off when it feels like it. Put in park to restart and will not even turn over. May last as long as 5min. To 40 min. Then ready to call tow truck, try once more...starts right up. Happens more and more the last week. Have had complain to customer service, had voucher to put on computer to check that. Was told car working fine. Happened 5 times on trip, turned off going around a corner, at a stop sign 3 times, and in garage, would not turn over. It locks itself in park. Last time my husband just put it into neutral as rolling down a hill, and not park and it started up. The worse time was at a stop sign in 90 degree weather and it turned itself off, put in park to start, and no turning the over at all. Locked in park with no way to get it out of park. Lots of angry drivers behind me. Have no pictures, and have been keeping in touch with dealership with the on-going problem. I think it is the ignition or sensor somewhere to the shift lever. So afraid it will stall on the highway doing the speed limit. All this started around 30,000 miles to date of 43,000 miles, only getting worse.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

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problem #17

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 #16

Apr 142016


  • 73,000 miles


Transmission parts internally broke causing transmission to fail while driving and losing ability to move. Transmission was rebuilt at a specialty shop for over $4600 in repair costs. Only 73K miles on the car when transmission died. Vehicle was in motion on a city street when this happened. Transmission specialists said this is becoming a known issue with newer GM vehicles.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #15

Apr 202016


  • 78,000 miles
The vehicle was in motion going about 40 mph and hit another moving vehicle. Most of the damage was done to the headlight area on the left side of the Malibu. Moderate damage to the Malibu but the drivers side airbag did not deploy.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #14

Aug 272014


  • 17,000 miles
At 17000 miles, I noted cracks in the sidewalls of the original equipment Firestone FR710 tires. My mechanic inspected the tires and told me that the tires were completely dry-rotted, requiring replacement of all 4 tires. The date code on the tires (4210) indicated that the tires were 4 year old at the time that the cracks were noticed.

- East Hampton, NY, USA

problem #13

Mar 102016


  • 96,000 miles
Sloshing sound in dash. Repairs-water pump, thermostat and thermostat housing, $850 August 2015, loss power steering and traction. SDM(air bag module) replaced $965

- Burton, MI, USA

problem #12

Jan 012016


  • 100,700 miles


Car lost power at 65 mph than reduced power and engine light came on turn car off after trying to coast to ta stop with cars and trucks flying by honking there horn and flicking me off and I was helpless the cars motor was shut off because of the power reduce and ESC than the traction control can on too all need to be serviced fine but than it did it all again after I got everything fixed and then the throttle body had to replaced again and peddle sensor and traction control sensor and still does it the car is trying to kill me and the new mechanic I took it to said he sees this a lot and its sometimes hard to fix because it comes back and than I read online the same thing I thought he was trying to get more money out of me why wont Chevrolet help GM help government needs to step in and make these car places fix this stuff befor a lot of people get killed

- Osceola, IN, USA

problem #11

Jan 042016


  • 72,000 miles
Bought the car in February 2013. In June 2014 while driving on the highway it started saying service traction control. Car stalled and stopped. It did this 3 times on the highway. Changed tires. In July 2015 on the highway it did the same thing. Got the full body throttle changed. In November 2015 had taken to another shop. Langs tire and automotive. They changed the full body throttle again. Now January 4, 2016. The car is stalling try push gas when this happens and doesn't accelerate. The service ESC light is on now.. I also have 3 kids and a grandbaby that rides in this car. I'm just so irritated. Then to see how many other people are having same exact problems. They should refund everyone their money back on these cars. Evidently they were not made right in the first place.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 042015


  • 59,000 miles
Cars anti theft is not reading the key so car will not start.

- Concord, MI, USA

problem #9

Mar 282015


  • miles
On 3/28/15 I purchased a 2011 Chevy Malibu from rainbow Chevrolet in laplace Louisiana. When test driving the vehicle, I noticed a very small and hardly noticeable jerk when the car changed into 2nd gear. I was told by the salesman that it was normal and I took his word for it. Almost 7 months later, the issue has gotten 1000 X's worse and the engine light is now on. I know for a fact that this is not normal now. The jerk is violent and it now jerks when putting the car in park, drive and reverse. Pulling off slowly, makes the car jerk very hard. If you apply more gas when taking off, the jerk is not as bad but it's still bad. The car did not come with a warranty but I was ok with that because I was told that car had been inspected thoroughly, that an elderly couple previously owned the car, that there was nothing wrong with the car and I had also just gotten rid of a 2005 Malibu that I bought brand new in which I had no serious problems with. I purchased this car for my daughter in college. This car is not safe. I have read hundreds of complaints online and on the Chevrolet Malibu forum in regards to the same problem as well as other problems. The car currently has 53,803 miles which is not very much in car years and I do not feel that I should have to pay for this problem since there are so many issues documented that I am having. Last but not least, I am unable to fill up the car with gas. It stops at about tank and starts to spill out. This was noticed shortly after I bought the car also. I bought this car for my daughter who is in college and it is definitely not safe to drive. I am a single mother and I do not have the resources to repair a vehicle with issues that should be part of a recall list.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #8

Oct 092012


  • 43,283 miles
This is exactly what the dealership wrote on the purchase order it reads as follows; dashboard panel insert towards winshield was detached at time of car purchase we owe heat cold checking- insert was detached concerned it may happen again. I assured her it will not. Nothing is broken on it. If it occurs again, we will reattact at no charge. That is only the first of many incidents that has occured was this vehicle that is still under warranty and three recalls that have yet to fixed. If the problem dosn't get resolved as so as possible and compensation as well I will assume this is a lemon law concern or problem with the GM/General Motors or with the dealership that has been bought out not once but twice and they are so hateful and I'm rude back to them. I hope to hear from someone soon I hope everyone has a wonderful afternoon.

- Eden, NC, USA

problem #7

Sep 012015


  • 52,000 miles
I was driving down a side residential street, when I went to park noticed that the car was stuck in reverse. I wasn't able to put the car in park. The shifter began shifting into different gears and felt as there was no catch. I turned the car off because I didn't know what had happened. The key was stuck in the ignition, because couldn't put the car in park. I exited the car and the car started to roll backwards and hit the car behind me. I applied the emergency brake and the car still rolled in reverse. So I unhooked the battery cables and applied bricks behind the tires. I had a mechanic come to see what happened and he stated that this had been a recall on prior years of this model, but not the year of my car. I am afraid to drive the car and I went to the Chevy dealership in which they nothing about this part, but state many people have complained and nothing has been done. It is unsafe with this defect. The cable comes off the hook and you will not be able to apply a shift to any gear and the car will accelerate regardless. I don't want to put my infant in this car knowing that is a defective part that Chevy should fix. Not to mention the car seatbelts are a malfunction. Chevy this really needs to be looked at for this year make and model.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #6

Jun 082015


  • 75,000 miles
Took my car in to dealer because it started shaking violently going 20 mph, needed a new transmission is what I was told, had the transmission put in and now the ESC, and other lights are on!

- Toledo , OH, USA

problem #5

Jun 032015


  • 58,300 miles
The driver side door failed to open from the inside of the vehicle, despite being unlocked. The door was unaccessible from the outside of the door. Manually locked and unlocked, used the lock/unlock device on the key ring, pressed childlock on and off- unsuccessful. There are several instances noted on on-line blogs with the same issue. The car dealership stated there is an issue with the latch, costing ~$367 for repair. This issue is not covered under the 30K or 100K mile warranty. Does a recall need to be issued?

- Penllyn , PA, USA

problem #4

Feb 232015


  • 50,300 miles
2011 Malibu. I have multiple instances of the service ESC, service traction control & engine power reduced messages appearing. It happens at various times. The car will start sputtering and jerking then the different codes start flashing on the console. The car reduces speed and will not go over 20 mph. It's happened multiple times on side streets and highway going speeds in excess of 65 mph and when taking my daughter to school. You never know when it's going to happen an D is becoming extremely irritating and an inconvenience. On the first incident, I took the vehicle to the dealer which they replaced the throttle body. Less than two months went by and the problem started again. Went back to the dealer in April, 2015 and in May 2015 in which they told me nothing was wrong and they couldn't replicate the problem. As of 5/24/15 the problem is still not fixed. Out of 265 complaints on here, I find that 103 of them is this exact problem therefore there is obviously a serious issue with the manufacturing of this vehicle. This is very dangerous and GM needs to address this issue before someone dies or is seriously injured.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #3

Sep 102014


  • 58,900 miles
Ac / heat was working fine then all the sudden it quit working without warning. No noise, no indication what so ever it was bad. I took it in and the relay was bad so it had to be replaced. Now 7 months later, all the sudden went out again. Hard to believe that this happened again. There has to be a reason it keeps failing. This is an expensive part to be replacing so often, can't defrost or defog windows when neededd.

- Hebron , IN, USA

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