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fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
10,406 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. possible settlement with gm (1 reports)
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2011 Chevrolet Malibu transmission problems

transmission problem

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2011 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 012011

Malibu LS 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles


Bought the car brand new with only 8 miles on it. At first the car seemed great but the more I drove it the more I noticed the erratic shifting and hard shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear. When first getting in the car and driving off is when I really noticed it the most. Finally got to the point that I had to have it looks at because when the car in front of me stopped to turn I slowed down and then accelerated again but when I pushed the gas pedal the transmission slammed hard like I had never experienced before. Took it to the dealership where I bought it and they of course said the car drove great and it's just the nature of the malibu's to have hard shifting???!!! Seriously?? So l still continued to take it back and made them look at it 2 more times but still the same answer and got told the same thing. So now my warranty is out, the transmission is 10 times worse then before with shifting hard in every gear and also now shakes during 1 to 2nd gear. but I can't afford to take it to the dealership to get looked at since the rates are crazy high! Anybody knows if this will ever be a recall?????? Or anything that I can do???

- , Philpot, KY, USA

problem #5

Mar 222012

Malibu 2LT 2.4L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I took our car to the dealership because the transmission is confused. When first taking off after sitting a few hours it will slip from 2nd to 3rd gear. It does this EVERY time the car sits a few hours. When driving and you slow down, like someone turns off in front of you and you try to accelerate, the car has no idea which gear to go in. You push the gas pedal down and inch or an inch and a half and about 2-3 seconds later it will downshift and then take off. I am waiting to get hit in the ass.

When driving interstate speeds and you have to accelerate you can push the pedal all the way to the floor, it goes up to four grand on the tach, and slowly crawls forward like it needs to downshift another gear. If you pull it back in manual mode and make it shift it will run like hell, but the car can't do it on its own.

When going down a steep hill, riding the brake, at 18 mph the trans shifts and it shakes the car.

They can duplicate all these concerns and classify it as "an undesirable characteristic of the vehicle". I decided to try to live with it. It became more and more annoying, so I called GM. They said return to the dealership that checked it out and have the check it again. This was in mid June 2012. Again, I got the same response, live with it or trade it in.

GM now says I need to send it to another dealership to have it checked by them. I am supposed to drop it there tomorrow (7-11-12) and we all know how that is going to turn out.

The transmissions in these cars are junk. A four cylinder has no business trying to operate a six speed tranny. I want GM to buy it back or give me fair trade in (pay off) and I'll buy another car. I have driven GM vehicles all my life, this is the only one I absolutely hate to drive. The car is beautiful inside and out, but I didn't buy it to look at, I bought it to drive. Unfortunately I hate to drive it.

- , Elkview, WV, USA

problem #4

Jan 012012

Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,235 miles

The transmission is unresponsive at certain speeds. Mostly around 45-50. It just hangs up and does not shift for 5-10 seconds. I reported the issue to the dealer and they looked at it and said "that's just the way the 6 speed is"

- , Nekoosa, WI, USA

problem #3

Jul 012011

Malibu LTZ I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles


I have a 2011 Malibu LTZ w/ 4cyl engine and 6 speed auto trans which I had purchased new in Feb. 2011. In August of 2011 I took it to a large GM dealer to fix the transmission shifting problems. The car shudders when mildly accelerating from a stop sign. The car goes into neutral for an extended period of time as if it thinking what to do and then shifts violently into the next gear. I have had problems with downshifting while on the highway and it would not kick into passing gear no matter how hard I mashed on the accelerator pedal. On several occasions when entering my subdivision going down a modest incline the transmission will downshift several gears and the whole car shakes violently. Servicing GM dealer found no error codes with the transmission and said he could not replicate the problem. Every time I have driven the automobile the transmission acts up. Opened a case # with GM and the Gm District Specialist told me to take it to the GM dealer where I purchased it.

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #2

Aug 012011

Malibu LTZ I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

This is the 4th GM dealer that I took the Malibu to for transmission problems. This dealer gave me a loaner car and took my car for close to a week. I believe he may have reflashed the transmission because the shift points were altered and you were able to downshift on the highway whereas I could not do this before. I thought maybe this GM dealer had it right. Unfortunately erratic shifting continued. Right after I got it back from the dealer I made a right hand turn and again the transmission shifted in neutral for quite some time and then slammed into gear. And the other day when pulling away from a stop sign at moderate acceleration the transmission shuddered. The transmission appeared to be better but a far cry from being right for a new car with approx. 5,000+ miles on it. I have done a lot of research and there appears to be quite a few Malibu owners experiencing problems with their transmissions. The 2nd GM dealer that I had gone to told me that GM is having problems with the Equinox, Cruze, and the Malibu with their transmissions. They all share the same 6t40e transmission. In fact, Gm postponed the release of their Chev. Cruze to address problems with the transmission. I drove a new Chevy Cruze before I purchased my Malibu and the first turn out of the dealership's lot the Cruze went into neutral, stayed there for a long time, and then shifted very hard into gear. The exact same problem I have been experiencing with my Malibu. As one Malibu Owner posted: It is cleverly orchestrated cover-up between GM and the dealership over these transmissions and I have to agree with him based upon my past experience with 4 different GM dealerships. See my other postings about vibration problems with this vehicle.

I am now seeing what it will cost to trade the vehicle and get a new one and if those numbers do not come back favorably, I will hire the Lemon Law Attorney.

Update from Dec 6, 2013: I have hired a lemon law attorney and filed suit against GM. I am currently in settlement negotiations with GM.

GM knows there is a problem and their dealerships are well coached on what to tell you. GM figures if you keep telling people there is nothing wrong for a long enough time, they will start believing.

I feel the erratic shifting is temperature sensitive and I have read other people's claims who have stated the same thing. I believe GM knows what is wrong with the transmission but due to the cost involved to fix it ( possibly a recall ) it is cheaper for GM to tell people there is nothing wrong.

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #1

Jul 012011

Malibu LTZ I-4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,200 miles

Upon the advice of my GM District Specialist I took my Malibu into the 2nd Gm servicing dealer. This dealership could not find anything wrong with the transmission although their service writers indicated that erratic shifting was the nature of the transmission. The service manager from this dealership called me and indicated that he had no fixes available from GM at this time. I talked to the GM District Specialist and he also told me that it as the nature of the car to vibrate ( see my other posting ) and there must not be anything wrong with the transmission since no error codes surfaced. However, I know that no all problems set off a code. The GM District Specialist told me that I would just have to live with the vehicle. At that point I decided to contact a Lemon Law attorney who advised me to take it in to two more dealerships.

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

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