really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,006 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.

2004 Chevrolet Malibu Classic electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Chevrolet Malibu Classic Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Nov 202013

Malibu Classic

  • 100,000 miles


I own a 2004 Chevy Malibu. My anti-theft device keeps me from starting car. Uncertain why this was happening at first, kept having it go for service. They could never find anything wrong. Now I find it's the anti-theft system. So I have to wait 10-15 minutes with ignition to the on position before theft light turns off & can start car. I end up leaving car running now to go into stores, anyplace I expect to be less than 5 minutes. This is happening 1-3 X's a week for over 6 months. GM dealer states will fix for $400. Hundreds of same complaints I've found on-line, even face-book page, dozens of Y-tube video's showing how to turn off system-but this is something that requires some mechanical expertise which I don't have. Safety concern-may have emergency and need my car to start, not wait patiently for 10 minutes then hope it will start.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #24

Apr 282014

Malibu Classic 4-cyl

  • 10,112 miles
I had my key stuck in accessory the ignition so my car battery would run dead. I was told I might need a ignition cylinder for my vehicle but looking on the internet I see this is a known issue for this make, model, and year. This should be recalled a fix that the manufacture to pay for a known problem. To get this replaced is almost $900.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #23

Mar 012013

Malibu Classic 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
At first, the service engine soon light would illuminate at random intervals. Then engine shut off while car was moving. The problem happened more frequently as time progressed. Then the car would not start intermittently. Finally it would not start at all. The shop found the bad part was the ignition switch. Total cost to replace the switch and do the associated work was $900.

- Brookeville, MD, USA

problem #22

Mar 132014

Malibu Classic

  • miles


Since at about 110,000 miles (car now has 160,000) the theft system prevents me from starting my car by disabling the injectors intermittently. I find this to be a safety hazard as do many others that have posted comments online. It has stranded me at 1:30 in the morning in front of convenience stores. Not a safe place to be stuck. Chevy says its a $300-$1000 fix but I have read that it still does not fix the problem in some instances. I'm surprised that there has not been a class action lawsuit against GM for this. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #21

Sep 122011

Malibu Classic 4-cyl

  • 50,841 miles
Car went completely dead, and was diagnosed with a defective ignition switch. Cost to repair was $542.85 is this going to be covered in the current GM recall?

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #20

Sep 092013

Malibu Classic

  • miles
The passlock security system malfunctions disabling the vehicle. You have to reset the system which can take up to 30 minutes. This can be a safety issue when it happens while the vehicle is in motion. I have seen thousands of complaints for this issue. This is a common problem that needs to be recalled.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #19

Aug 072013

Malibu Classic

  • 165,000 miles


The passlock system and fuel rail combined created a injury to pedestrians that is unbelievable the car took off after left turn into a parking lot

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #18

May 232013

Malibu Classic

  • 83,000 miles
Turn signals working intermittent and inoperative could result in a crash when turn signals not working this is a big safety concern GM knows of this problem and has a recall no. 03043 my vehicle is a 2004 and GM said no recall on this vehicle this car has the same problem as the recalled vehicles turn signals stop working could cause a fatal crash I want GM to pay for repairs they know of this big problem.

- Stratton, OH, USA

problem #17

Feb 212012

Malibu Classic

  • miles
Theft system light comes on for no reason and car won't start. Have to put key in ignition for 10-15 min before it will start. Recurs at least once a week now. Should be a recall!

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #16

Mar 272012

Malibu Classic

  • 100,000 miles
In March my starter went out in my car. After replacing it I had no problems for about a week. Then I found out that my ignition switch had gone out as well. I replaced that and had no problem for about 5 days. Then for no reason my car would not start. We googled it and found out that I just needed to reset my anti theft system. Now ever since that every 1-5 days I get stuck wherever I happen to be because my anti theft system kicks in and thinks that my car is stolen when it is not. 9 times outta 10 after a 10 or 15 minute reset my car starts just fine. But now for the 3rd time it has been sitting for 2 days and will not start. In order to fix this problem mechanics are telling me that I have to pay well over a hundred dollar for them to hook it up to a computer and reset the system. If it is a system error and I did nothing wrong but fix the problem with my car then why is the dealership asking so much money simply to plug it in and hit some buttons"?????"

- Blaine, MN, USA

problem #15

Apr 022012

Malibu Classic

  • 120,000 miles


My car has now failed to start several times. I had the fuel relay switch replaced which seemed to solve the problem for about a week. Now it is doing it again, I called Chevrolet after researching the issue (seems to be a big issue) and they just recommended me to take it to the dealership. Not good, and worried that the vehicle will shut off while driving. Please help.

- Gilboa, OH, USA

problem #14

Mar 212012

Malibu Classic

  • miles
The auto theft light comes on when I unlock my doors and headlights flashes and the radio clock light flash until I start the car, sometime I have to shut the car off and restart it to get it to stop. Then the car doors unlock and lock when I am driving down the street. When I put my car in drive there is a horn sound. What is wrong with my car?

- Ogdensburg, NY, USA

problem #13

Oct 172010

Malibu Classic

  • 128,000 miles
The theft deterrent system on my 2004 Malibu classic malfunctions repeatedly it does this approximately once a week reset the theft system using the key on engine off let the car set like this for 10 min. The car then starts immediately afterwards.

- Arcadia, MO, USA

problem #12

Jun 152009

Malibu Classic

  • 70,000 miles
Sometimes my 2004 Chevy Malibu classic will not start, due to the anti-theft system, I think it's not reconizing my key. It occurs like 4 times in a week if I'm lucky, I feel like im playing a game of chance everytime I start my car. So now I pray to the car gods everytime I get in my car, right before I start my car, it seems to work most of the time(praying may not work for most people).

- Redwood City, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 152006

Malibu Classic 6-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
Problems started over 3 years ago. Electrical problem involving interior electronics, sometimes radio and climate electronics will turn off and automatic headlights and dash light will turn off, usually right after starting, but sometimes in the middle of driving. Recently the car engine stalled on the interstate in addition to the above issues and the security light came on. Then the next week the car stalled on a street without lighting the security light and wouldn't restart, after being towed the car did restart.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #10

Sep 172010

Malibu Classic

  • 50,000 miles
Intermittent turn signal failure. There is no cause or effect. Some days they work some days not. Sometimes they work or not in the same day. We have found no shorts in the system and everything else works fine on the selector switch without fail. We took it to a mechanic twice who could not duplicate the problem. We have had several near accidents due to this malfunction.

- Grosse Pointe Park, MI, USA

problem #9

Jun 212010

Malibu Classic

  • miles
I have a 2004 Chevy Malibu & im having problem with the anti theft system. This causes my car not to start & to shut off on me while driving. I had this happen while going down a mountain with my 7 year old daughter in the backseat!!! I can not believe Chevy has not done a recall on this yet!!! everyday my car doesn't want to start & I have to turn the ignition on & sit and wait for the anti theft system to reset! by the way its almost 100 degrees this summer!!!

- Hollywood, AL, USA

problem #8

Jun 292010

Malibu Classic

  • 38,600 miles
Theft system light came on for 2004 Chevy Malibu for one day. Car would not start the next day. Had to have it towed. Google search revealed over 33,000 complaints for theft search. On Chevy cars. For $616 plus tax, tim lally Chevrolet is charging me for: Ignition cylinder, wiring and connector.

- Highland Hts, OH, USA

problem #7

May 012010

Malibu Classic

  • 110,000 miles
My car suddenly wouldn't start this morning while trying to get to work. After researching a little bit on the internet I came to realize that this has to do with that annoying anti-theft light that is always lit up in the corner. So I go back out to my car, hoping that the 10 minute procedure will work for me as well. But as I am sitting there with my car in the "on" position my battery dies on me. So now I am stuck here with a car that wont turn on, and no way to get to work! I'm not sure if this is as well related but about 2 months prior my power steering had gone out. Mechanics thought it was a bad fuel pump and had to have that fixed.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #6

Aug 052009

Malibu Classic

  • 121,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the cigarette lighter unit in the vehicle burned into pieces. She used the lighter regularly and when the lighter popped backed out to be used, the entire unit overheated and burned. There were no prior warnings or issues with the lighter unit. The contact sustained scarring from the failure. She stated that her vehicle may be at risk of catching fire or experiencing other electrical failures. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 121,000.

- Hinesville, GA, USA

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