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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
22 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
18 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,979 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.

2012 Chevrolet Malibu seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2012 Chevrolet Malibu Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Jun 162014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 24,945 miles


My service traction control light was coming on ever since I bought my car and I took it to koons for service and I was told one wheel was moving faster then another not to worry about it then on 06/18/2014 iwas hit by a Chevy Silverado that ran a light and I was doing 45 miles an hour I had my granddaughter in her safety seat in the back none of my air bags worked nor did my seat belts my grand daughter hit the back of the my car is flashing the codes again now that its fixed and shuts down while driving.its part of the GM recall for the upper wire harness but they are saying it isn't and they are not standing buy the warranty this defect almost killed us and still is almost killing us by shutting down while driving service traction control lights coming on plus air bag lights saying air bags are shutting that means the air bags if we needed them would not help us again if needed.we were very badly hurt the last time and I need GM to step up and reimburse us for our injuries and for making us still ride in an unsafe car that they now is on the recall list but they keep saying its car is still in service and service is saying it is part of the recall bit GM will not take responsibility...

- Joppa, MD, USA

problem #29

Mar 162015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 67,300 miles
We have talked to out two different Chevy dealers about this and even went through arbitration over our airbags. Nothing has ever been found to be wrong. The service air bag light has come on again. I was driving approximately 30 mph and the service air bag light on the display come on momentarily (about 60 seconds) and went off. It came on for about 15 seconds and started flashing, then it stayed solid again. Now, every time I start the car, it is on.

- Austin, AR, USA

problem #28

Dec 032014


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph, another vehicle crashed into the passenger's side of the contact's vehicle and the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained whiplash which required medical attention. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Lockhart , TX, USA

problem #27

Oct 112014


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owned a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while making a left turn, another vehicle crashed into the rear passenger side of the contact's vehicle. The contact stated that the steering wheel and steering column detached from the vehicle, which landed on the contact's lap. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact was concerned that if the steering air bag deployed, he would have sustained possible fatal injuries. A police report was filed. The front passenger sustained back bruises that required medical attention. The vehicle was towed to an impound lot. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,000.

- Craesson, PA, USA

problem #26

Nov 032014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
2012 Chevrolet Malibu. Consumer writes in regards to body control module recall notice. The consumer stated while driving, the air bag deployed and caused him to have an accident. The consumer was injured. The consumer sent in a recall notice along with his complaint.

- Vilonia, AR, USA

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problem #25

Sep 252013


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that air bag warning light illuminated. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Hoschton, GA, USA

problem #24

Oct 012014


  • miles


My service airbag message keeps popping up off and on. It has for weeks now" it seems this vehicle has been on the recall list several times for different issues" I have kept my vehicle maintenance up to date as I should however things like this keep happening! not to mention the buzzing noise I began hearing in the back of the car a couple months after I purchased it but you all claimed you could not find the problem. This is extremely discouraging! please let us know how these issues can be taken care of as this is a huge inconvenience and extremely unsafe! thank you.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

problem #23

Sep 162014


  • 80,000 miles
The service air bag light constantly comes on and off, and to be honest it makes me a little worried. Especially with all the recalls going on. It will come on and stay on for 5-30 min and go off and so on. We have other problems with this car as well and still have. Very unhappy with it. Will be happy for a new vehicle.

- Washington Court House, OH, USA

problem #22

Oct 112014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
I was rear ended and the steering wheel and shaft completely dislodged onto my lap.the air bag did not deploy. I was pushed approximately 150 ft. And there was no way I could have steered if there was another vehicle coming up the highway. If airbag would have deployed there would have been serious injury to myself.

- Cresson, PA, USA

problem #21

Jan 012014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
Repair air bag light comes on when turning car on. The light beeps majority of the time the car is running.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #20

Oct 132014


  • 74,300 miles


Was driving in the rain, vehicle does not handle well in inclement weather. Has issue with braking, tires skid. When I hit the gas pedal after a stop, the tires skid.. recently has a alignment done, and the tires are in very good condition. Thought maybe that was the issue, I was wrong. Vehicle had recent inspection "brakes are in very good condition. Vehicle has had issues since purchase. My family and I were belted in as always, while driving the dash console light came on "service air bag" the light stayed on constant for approx. 30 min then went out. I have called the dealer and will have vehicle checked at appointment in 2 weeks.

- Tobyhanna, PA, USA

problem #19

Sep 292014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Terrytown , LA, USA

problem #18

Aug 012014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator illuminated sporadically. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Berwick, PA, USA

problem #17

Aug 062014


  • 59,340 miles
Purchased car in sac 7/29/14.didn't use for 5 days-out of town. Upon return, car struggled to start. Took to our mechanic- battery low. Hertz sales replaced at no cost. Daughter/driver the only person in the car. On(8/5),son, 5'9",125lbs. In front passenger seat-the airbag sensor light did not go on. Car on when he got in. Turned off car, got in, restarted but still didn't register him. Went from off-on-off. Attempted several times but airbag light didn't go on. Son rode in back.when dropped off car to have battery replaced, told salesman re:airbag light.we had experienced same airbag issue in another Malibu when shopping @dealership in santa clara& therefore didn't purchase that car. Picked up car after battery replaced.salesman tested sensor.detected his presence when seated after about 15sec.tested by leaning/pushing on seat-sometimes light went on&sometimes not (presumably not enough weight to trigger it).was told if had this problem again-bring back&would be sent to the dealer to be fixed.thought perhaps airbag sensor issue related to a low issue first few days when son sat in front.but have sensor problem again.once more, son was sitting in the passenger seat&the airbag sensor did not detect him.sat in back again bc didn't want to risk air bag not deploying if accident.did internet search-learned recall issued on 5-14-14 for other issues.numerous complaints about this issue documented on this NHTSA website.found article that said some 2012 Malibu were recalled for an air bag sensor issue (recall #12V224000)but other searches, say for 2013 Malibu?our teens use this car for is top priority.the risk for great harm is unnerving.have filed report with GM/Chevy&got ref#.said dealer will fix using that reference number.I have written to the hertz sales dealer where we purchased the car&am awaiting a response from them as to what action we should take next.

- Rocklin, CA, USA

problem #16

Aug 052014


  • miles
My car was involved in an accident where my friend applied the brakes and was forced into hydroplaning into a barrier, another vehicle and a person. My airbags did not deploy as the sensor was not hit nor did the onstar become alerted that the vehicle had been in an accident. After fighting with insurance companies, my car was totaled then declared not totaled, and repaired. I received the notice of a recall much later after the car was in the accident.

- Lake Stevens, WA, USA

problem #15

Apr 022013

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
Driving to work, suddenly had to apply brakes hard to avoid hitting another car.after car came to a stop, air bag service light cam on. Light stayed until next day then went light come on at regular intervals.also had a hard time stopping, seemed like to a lot of pressure, a great amount of pressure, I did not think car was going to stop.

- Belle Glade, FL, USA

problem #14

Jul 102014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 43,540 miles
My son was driving my car down a two lane highway. It had been misting rain and the road was slightly damp... approaching an intersection he reduced his speed to approx 40 mph. Two cars ahead of him slammed on breaks when the light changed to yellow. This caused a chain reaction... cars sliding to prevent hitting the first car. My son said that he was breaking very hard when the anti-lock breaks engaged... they pulsed 3-4 times and then released which shot him straight into the back of the truck. He said that he was pushing the break as hard as he could when this occurred. The air bags did not deploy nor did the automatic crash response system work. I called on star to see if the system even shows a crash and it doesn't. I think that considering the crash bent the frame in the front end and is in excess of $6,000 you would think the sensors would have picked up on something. After the crash I contacted my dealer to ask if there were any recalls on this issue and was told there were not. I am very thankful that this crash did not result in a more serious injury / death.

- Callahan, FL, USA

problem #13

Apr 192014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • miles
I have been having problems with my air bag. I can have a passenger that weighs over the appropriate weight sit in the seat and the air bag light doesn't come on. I was driving one day and I made it to my destination and parked my car. I got back in my vehicle and started it up and the air bag light on my dash just came on and it will not go off. I went to the dealership and they told me that I will have to pay $3000 to get the vehicle repaired because they will need to take the air bag out and find out what the issue it. I feel that this is a defect, I did not have a crash or did anyone hit my steering wheel.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #12

May 202014

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 67,898 miles
In my 2012 Chevrolet Malibu's when my wife sits in the passenger seat the airbag system does recognize she is there. You can watch as the system goes through it's start up process with the airbag on/off light cycling from off to on and back to off. We were told that it is how my wife sits in the seat but I have video of her sitting with her feet on the dash (which is not an "approved" seating position) and the airbag system shows the seat is occupied and the passenger airbag is armed. This problem has not occurred in any other vehicle we have driven. My wife weighs 145 so it is not that she is too light for the sensor. The other day I was at a GM dealer and found a used 2012 Malibu with the same trim package as mine and we tested it to see if that car would do the same thing as mine. It did on the first time we turned the key, I have video of that failure. We have been unable to reproduce this problem except in both 2012 Malibu's. on my car the passenger presence sensor has been replaced 3 times and a seat from another Malibu was installed and the airbag system still fails to operate correctly. The dealership told me the GM engineer said he did not know how to solve this problem. I have seen other videos online with the same issue. I have over 20 videos showing the system work and the system failing. The VIN I listed is for the car on the dealer lot.

- Willow Spring, NC, USA

problem #11

Feb 042014


  • 41,325 miles
Was operating the vehicle on the interstate when I was forced to brake and hit the horn to avoid a collision. The "service airbag" light came on and stayed on. I found that by hitting the steering wheel it would go out and reset. Every time I use my horn causes the "service airbag" light to come on. Sometimes it goes out again on its own. Unsure if the airbag would deploy while the light is on.

- Omaha, NE, USA

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