really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,782 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Chevrolet Malibu:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #73

Aug 082015


  • 130,000 miles
While driving on the interstate my steering wheel began to shake and vibrate rapidly. I then heard a ding followed by the messages, "service power steering" "service ESC" " ESC off". I was able to exit the interstate and get to a gas station before the wheel completely locked up. I turned the car off for about 45 mins and found that when I turned my car on it was "fine." I ended up having it towed. I found out that this is a common issue with this car and my car isn't a part of last year's recall.

- Nashville , TN, USA

problem #72

May 282015


  • 76,555 miles
Bought my 2009 Chevy Malibu ltz in April 2015 in May 2015 my service ESC service traction control lights started to come on and my taillights are lighting up as if on the breaks when I am not.( they come on while I am stoped at a red light have never come on while moving) returned to the dealership where I got my car and the lights were off so they said they could not do anything until the lights were on(the lights reset when I shut my car off). They came on last night went to Chevy dealership last night 7/20/2015 and they told me to replace the break pedal switch and we did that but my break lights are still coming on when they want, it looks like there was a recall for this before I got my car and I don't know if it was fixed or not and if it could be fixed again under the recall...... very unhappy about this.

- North Versailles, PA, USA

problem #71

Jul 142015


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the stability, traction, and power steering warning lights illuminated. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel was extremely tight and difficult to turn left and right. The vehicle was parked and unable to be driven due to the failure. The vehicle was taken to a dealer but was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 14E044000 (steering) and 14V153000 (steering). The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.

- Hastings, PA, USA

problem #70

Jul 012012


  • 53,920 miles
Driving car and the brake light came on. Then the check brake fluid warning came on. Then the service ESC came on. Took it to dealer on Monday morning they say the master cylinder and brake booster are both faulty and need to be replaced at a cost of $1056. I just purchased this car from cox Chevrolet on May 2 2015. This seems to be a much to common a problem for the car at only 53000 miles. Has to be a slow leak that was already a problem at the time of purchase. So far no satisfaction with cost of repair from dealership.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #69

Apr 202015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 109,250 miles
While driving the service ESC light came onthe the traction control light came on then check engine light can on with reduce engine power. Had to pull over cut car off and back on everything went away except check engine took that to be checked our it came back as a throttle body or loose hose. Cut car back on everything was off. Went to work started back up everything was fine then at 45 did it again.

- Chester, VA, USA

problem #68

Apr 072015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
While driving at highway speeds around a curve, light application of the brakes to slow down the vehicle, ESC activates with a warning lamp and "ESC active" message. There is typically no need for stability control to be active and is a persistent problem because the computer over-aggressively tries to compensate for a non existent issue making controlling the vehicle difficult as well as dangerous due to the inability for the driver to safely apply the brakes due to the ESC override.

- Washington, MI, USA

problem #67

Mar 282015


  • 128,000 miles
Upon startup of the vehicle, the yellow warning lamp illuminates with the messages "service ESC" followed by "ESC off". this is concurrent with loss of power to the electronic power steering making low-speed turns incredibly difficult, but still manageable. Putting the car in park, turning the ignition off and then restarting the engine mitigates this issue.

- Washington, MI, USA

problem #66

Mar 262015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
I went to start my car and the service ESC light flashed along with the power steering light. I turned the ignition off and back on again. This seemed to solve the problem temporarily. As a few days went by, the problem was more frequent. Currently, the vehicle will start with the error lights flashing more times than it will not. The vehicle can be driven. However, it is very difficuly to turn, especially at slow speeds.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #65

Apr 042015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
It has happened a couple times....the service ecs and traction control light come on and then the vehicle feels as if it is missing. We pulled into an advanced auto parts and turned the vehicle off...went inside to get someone to put it on the meter and it was fine. Almost 2 weeks later it did it again...fearful what would happen if we were on the interstate going at a high rate of speed. Wondering if it has something to do with the may recall. Even though we had the recall completed it is still acting up.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #64

Mar 242015

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 99,648 miles
I was driving just a few blocks from my house when I stopped at a red light. The light turned green so I went to go. My car then flashed a service ESC warning, then it flashed ESC off & then flashed engine power reduced. My check engine light also came on and has stayed on. My car wouldn't even go over 10mph, and was shaking so bad I thought I was going to lose control of the vehicle. Thank god I didn't make it out of town. I just recently had my car at the Chevrolet auto shop to have my transmission completely rebuilt and for the brake light malfunction recall. Then my car ended up back in the shop apparently for a bad Cadillac converter, which I think really was this problem all along. I have only had this car for a year, and I am beyond disgusted with all the problems. I don't think I will be purchasing another vehicle from Chevrolet, as they just aren't good cars apparently. Side note: I take really good care of my vehicle and do all the normal service maint. On time etc so there is no excuse for this. It's just a bad car! I have a 2009 Chevy Malibu.

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #63

Mar 242015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 100,600 miles
While driving into a parking lot my power steering suddenly quit working and the service ESC and power steering lights started flashing. I looked up my VIN to see if it qualified for a recall but it didn't fit under recall #14V153000 even though my car was built the same year and same model and is experiencing the same issues as described in this recall. This recall needs to be expanded to include more vehicle experiencing the same problem.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #62

Jan 012014


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the anti lock brake system and the electronic stability control warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the BCM wiring harness needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000 (electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The contact stated that after the repairs, it was discovered that the brake lights failed to illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #61

Mar 022015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 146,143 miles
Power steering will quit intermittently and will ESC light will come on. Steering is very difficult and could result in a accident.

- Seaman, OH, USA

problem #60

Mar 042015


  • 130,259 miles
I was driving East on colonel glenn highway in dayton oh, when the electric power steering went out. It caused the car to jerk and caused my wife's neck to strain. I came home and checked and learned that Chevrolet had a recall notice for some 2009 Malibu, but our car was not included. It seems strange that Chevrolet did not include all 2009 Malibu.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #59

Feb 022015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Abrupt power-steering failure. The steering wheel turns and jerks (shutters back and forth) on its own while the car is at rest at a stoplight or stop sign. Took to Chevy dealer and they advised me there is a recall for this issue but my VIN and part# are not included as of now. Dealer told me it is due to faulty positioning sensor part # 23232310 sensor ki.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #58

Feb 262015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 167,000 miles
While driving down the highway at 60mph at approximately 8pm on Feb 26, my steering wheel began to vibrate and then the driver info display panel showed power steering and service ESC. I then lost all power steering in my vehicle. This made it extremely difficult to steer and operate safely. Luckily I was able to get the vehicle off the highway safely. The next day, I took the vehicle to my dealer and was told that the power steering torque sensor needs replaced. I did research and discovered that a similar recall was issued for the electronic power steering on 2009 Malibu's, but my VIN was not included in the recall. I am unclear as to why. I contacted GM/Chevrolet and was told I am not covered and am now holding a bill for almost $600. I was shocked to learn that my vehicle was not covered. Additionally, I was not even aware that my vehicle did not have hydraulic power steering.

- Lagrange, OH, USA

problem #57

Feb 112015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 85,850 miles
Vehicle loss power steering and had to be manually steered to shoulder. Alarm indication: "power steering, ESC sensor needs service". this condition keeps repeating itself over and over and over again. The fault and condition can be temporarily cleared by turning off ignition and re-starting ignition. The steering wheel rocks back in forth in idle and feels like the power steering is pulsating. My VIN somehow is not included in earlier recall but is exhibiting exactly the same issues as those recalled in same production year!!!!"??"

- Macomb, MI, USA

problem #56

Feb 262015


  • 152,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while making a left turn at 4 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact stated that ESC off was displayed across the message board. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V252000( electrical system, electronic stability control, exterior lighting, service brakes, hydraulic, vehicle speed control). The failure mileage was 152,000.

- Columbia, IL, USA

problem #55

Feb 232015


  • 104,000 miles
Sudden loss of power steering, nearly caused a wreck in parking lot. Impossible to steer car due to resistance in wheel.

- Brookings, OR, USA

problem #54

Feb 052015

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
I was driving home with my children in the car and my electrical power steering locked up and nearly caused an accident. Happy that everyone made it home safely, I then tried to find probably causes in to what is the cause and what I can do. I saw nothing but GM recalls for 2008 -2009 Chevy Malibu's that are having this problem. No one can help but the dealership, so I drove down to the dealership on a Saturday, and asked if anyone can take a look at the issue, and the gentleman was short and rude, as if he did not want to help me. I practically had to beg for them to look at my vehicle. So I patiently waited for 3 and a half hours in the lobby. To find out that the power steering module is going bad. That it will cost $480. The guy charged me $95 just for a diagnostic, and I didn't get a warning that this will be a charge, on top of it he wanted to charge me $800 to fix other things on my vehicle, when my main concern was the power steering. I felt taken advantage of, and no one explained to me as to why this took place. I am thinking it must be apart of the recall. So I sent a letter to corporate about this experience. I spoke with an agent and a senior adviser. I cannot wait years later for them to decide that they missed a vehicle. So they did try to give me options to see if they can help with the cost due to the inconvenience I've been through with my children and how I was treated at the terry cullen Chevy dealership in Georgia. Hopefully they can cover half the cost so I can get this fix. I am currently driving dangerously on the road to get to and from work, and I have no other options nor extra money to get this fixed right now. I just do not understand how I can have the same issue in my vehicle and everyone else has a recall on theirs. Is this a normal ware and tare issue.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »