The 4 Most Common Malibu Problems

We've pulled together a list of the problems Malibu owners.

  1. Engine Power is Reduced

    Defects with Chevy's accelerator pedal sensor and electronic throttle control system are triggering a sudden and dangerous 'Engine Power is Reduced' warning message which can lead to the car suddenly losing power and having limited accelera…

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  2. Delayed Acceleration Problems

    Many Chevrolet generations suffer from delayed acceleration due to a slow response in the drive-by-wire electronic throttle system. The throttle lag can be frustrating at best, but can also leave drivers in dangerous situations. Unfortunate…

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  3. Passlock Security

    One of Chevrolet’s solutions for stopping thieves from driving away with a car is, coincidently, doing the same thing to the actual owner.

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  4. Takata Recalls

    A large number of Chevy vehicles have been recalled because they contain dangerous airbag inflators made by Takata. The shrapnel-hurling inflators have been recalled in over 37 million vehicles (and counting).

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What Malibu Owners Complain About

Sometimes it helps just to tally up the complaints and see where the biggest stacks are. Use this information to learn about troublespots or to run for the hills.

Malibu Generations

The Malibu has 5 generations, each with their own issues. Using the same PainRank™ system we've determined that you're better off avoiding the 7th generation (2008–2012).

  1. 9th Generation Malibu

    Years
    2016–2020
    Reliability
    44th out of 80
    PainRank
    8.59
    Complaints
    117
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Malibu
  2. 8th Generation Malibu

    Years
    2013–2015
    Reliability
    65th out of 80
    PainRank
    19.28
    Complaints
    293
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Malibu
  3. 7th Generation Malibu

    Years
    2008–2012
    Reliability
    76th out of 80
    PainRank
    36.62
    Complaints
    799
    Continue Front 3/4 view of a Malibu
  4. 6th Generation Malibu

    Years
    2004–2007
    Reliability
    73rd out of 80
    PainRank
    35.26
    Complaints
    1224
    Continue
  5. 5th Generation Malibu

    Years
    1997–2003
    Reliability
    68th out of 80
    PainRank
    26.35
    Complaints
    2036
    Continue

Malibu Key Numbers

  1. 4,470 complaints

    Running tally of owner grievances filed to CarComplaints.com.

  2. 3,027 service bulletins

    Documenting the process of troubleshooting common problems.

  3. 57 recall campaigns

    Time-sensitive, free repairs for widespread safety problems.

Recent Malibu News

There's a lot of news out there, but not all of it matters. We try to boil down it to the most important bits about things that actually help you with your car problem. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts over at CarComplaints.com.

  1. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    Airbag inflators are exploding in the 2010-2011 Malibu, but this time it’s not one made by Takata.

    GM says more than 1,100 sedans have ARC driver-side airbag inflators that are over-pressurizing, rupturing during an airbag deployment, and sending metal shrapnel through the cabin.

    The automaker has sent out a notice about the (obvious) danger this creates, but affected owners will have to wait for a second notice until the recall actually begins.

    Let’s hope GM is feeling “over-pressurized” to get those replacement parts ready ASAP.

  2. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    Excess gas –– we’ve all had it, no-one likes it, and the same holds true for your braking system.

    GM says it needs to bleed the brake systems of 230,000 cars because the vehicles have rear brake caliper pistons that have hydrogen gas trapped inside that could be released into the brake systems. ZF, the manufacturer of the brake pistons, didn't properly temper and chrome-coat the pistons, causing hydrogen gas to remain trapped in the bodies of the pistons.

    This problem may cause your brake pedal to feel “spongy” but it’s unclear if it affects stopping distances.

  3. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    A tiny number of 9th generation Malibus are being recalled to make sure the airbags deploy when there’s a passenger in the front seat.

    The problem is caused by a "passenger presence system" that wasn't calibrated to the car's seat type, causing a failure to read the difference between an adult or child in the front passenger seat.

    You had one job, passenger presence system.

  4. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    GM is recalling 850 vehicles with improperly welded fuel pumps.

    The automaker says the joint that connects the fuel pump’s outer housing to the pump’s flange may not have been properly welded by the supplier. Over time, the weld could crack and cause a separation of the high-pressure fuel pump from the flange, allowing the pump to oscillate inside the engine compartment.

    The oscillating pump can bump into a nearby fuel line and calamity ensues.

    The recalled vehicles include the 2018 Chevy Colorado, Equinox, and Malibu, as well as the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac ATS, and GMC Acadia, Canyon, and Terrain.

  5. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    The Bosch fuel pump that Chevrolet used in a small number of 2018 models is moving and creating a potential fuel-leak nightmare.

    GM says the joint that connects the fuel pump’s outer housing to the pump’s flange may not have been properly welded by the supplier.

    That weld could crack and cause a separation of the high-pressure fuel pump from the flange, allowing the pump to oscillate inside the engine compartment.

    The moving pumps can damage a high-pressure fuel line which is going to create an even higher-pressure situation when you start spraying flammable gas onto hot car parts.

  6. Tagged
    #lawsuit
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    A proposed settlement will award certain GM owners in Arizona about $200 each for owning cars with ignition switch problems.

    The $6.28 million will be paid to about 33,000 GM owners in Arizona, as long as they purchased the vehicles between July 2009 and July 2014 and didn't get rid of the vehicles before the ignition switch recalls were announced in 2014..

    As with any settlement, there are plenty of stipulations which you can read about here.

  7. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    While you're probably still digesting that extra serving of holiday cookies, here's something else to chew on – your brand new 2017 Malibu needs a new airbag.

    General Motors is recalling 113 model year 2017 Chevrolet Malibu cars because the right-hand rear side airbag inflator manifolds may have bad welds.

    There isn't much more detail available at this time, but you can call GM at 800-222-1020 and ask about recall number 16146.…

  8. Tagged
    #recall
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    While you might still be digesting that extra serving of holiday cookies, here's something else to chew on – you might have 1 of 18 Malibus that need new airbag modules.

    According to GM the fabric of the side-impact airbag cushion "can prevent the airbags from deploying properly in a crash."

    It's likely the 18 owners of the 2016 vehicles have already been contacted, but just in case you can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 and use recall number 16079.

  9. Tagged
    #news
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    **Th

    2016 Chevy Malibu has been recalled for Takata airbags, but it's not what you think. Takata reported two instances of stud weld fractures of the inflator modules during routine testing. However, the inflators weren't produced by Takata.

    Another airbag supplier welded the studs --- poorly, I might add --- before shipping them to Takata. A fractured weld means the airbag will probably deploy out of position in a crash.

    That stinks, but it's better than other Takata airbag problems.

  10. Tagged
    #investigation
    Posted on
    Source
    carcomplaints.com

    Your steering wheel could get stuck while driving and GM doesn't think that's enough of a safety hazard to warrant a recall.

    Owners have complained that if they drive with their steering wheel in one position for a long enough, it can suddenly stick and become impossible to turn. The problem eventually remedies itself but not before making the driver sweat it out like Richard Simmons:

    "At highway speeds the steering sticks, making it scary to drive and dangerous” the owner of a 2013 Cruze wrote to the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).…