really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 2
Average Mileage:
83,857 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.

problem #113

May 032019


  • 87,000 miles
Warning lights on dash contantly flash: ESC, brake lights, tire sensors, tire traction, engine reduce speed. The car turns off while actively driving (in motion), sometimes will start up in neutral or park right away and sometimes not. On I-95 and city street. Dealership stated the timing chain need to be done so it got done and car still doing the same thing. Sensors also has been replaced.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #112

May 232019


  • 130,000 miles
"takata recall" recently while driving and in park, even when I am sitting at a red light my car my locks will lock and unlock without me pushing the buttons on the door, which are broken and the dealer would not fix it upon request. Also my car will stall at times because the door locks are motioning on their own. For some reason the electrical system in the car messed with the locks when the prior owner put in a auto start in the car, which I did not know of until the car was owned and it was'nt told to me either. I feel this car was a rough struggle since getting it and now its so hard to get fixed because of someone else's non knowledge before selling it.

- Enfield, CT, USA

problem #111

Mar 012016


  • 110,000 miles
Car would act like brakes were pressed when they weren't. brake lights turn on, cruise control disengages, and the car would downshift. This happened while the car was in park or in motion. Then when pressing down on the brake pedal gently, the brake lights would turn off. The brakes were applied, but the brake lights were off. Pushing further down on the pedal would make the car respond correctly.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #110

Feb 152019


  • 101,000 miles
While driving on highway, traction service indicator would come on as well as ESC indicating it was off, also brake lights would stay on all the time and cruise control would not work, vehicle would downshift at highway speeds (approximately 60 mph). Passenger side lower beam light continues to blowout (have replaced three times in as many months) also turn signal will not always click off after turning. As far as repairs on traction, ESC brake lights and downshifting, I removed the BCM connector, cleaned it and used dielectric grease on it and as of now seems to have resolved the problem, however, the headlight problem is ongoing as well as the turn indicator, if you will go online, (google) lower beam headlight problem on Chevy Malibu's as well as as the other electrical problems, you will find numberous complaints, but no recalls

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #109

Apr 092019


  • 154,700 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the power steering was faulty and excessive force had to be used to turn the steering wheel. In addition, the electronic stability control indicator (ESC) illuminated and the contact's spouse changed the brake hubs more than twice. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the ESC sensor needed to be serviced and a new power steering system needed to be installed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer and dealer were not made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 154,700.

- Kannapolis, NC, USA

problem #108

Mar 292019


  • 207,000 miles
When starting my car, I attempt to take it out of park and I need to step on my brakes as if I am slamming them just to move my car out of park. My brake lights are reversed, I noticed this at night when a car almost hit me. I thought it was the brake sensor so I changed it and that didn┐T fix the issue. Since then 3 cars have almost hit me because of this braking issue. While driving my traction light also comes on, it states 'service traction, service ESC┐ and makes my car shake.

- Providence, NC, USA

problem #107

Apr 062019


  • 15,000 miles
Takata recall. The whole car appears to be having problems at once. We go and get a certain minor problem fix and the next things pops up. Having problems driving acceleration and breaking. Doesn┐T seem to be safe to drive.

- Cleburne, TX, USA

problem #106

Mar 282019


  • 20,000 miles
Brake lights not functioning correctly.brake lights illuminate at the opposite times. Meaning lights come on when not touching the brake pedal yet go off when depressing the brake pedal. This brake light malfunction is intermittent. I have taken the vehicle to the dealer 6 times in last 9 years for repair. Chevy has a service bulletin on how to fix and dealer does repairs for free. The repair lasts not long before I notice they are again malfunctioning. Took vehicle to dealer twice so far in 2019 and each time the brake lights worked perfectly and they could do nothing. Today they are not functioning, but by time I get an appointment and arrive at the dealer the lights will function correctly. But they will fail again this cycle has gone on for years and Chevy is aware of this issue. The dealer service bulletin has them putting dielectric grease and a wire harness on the body control module connection.which they have done at least 3 times. Please issue a recall as I see 09 Malibu S driving down the highway with brake lights on routinely and the web has tons of people complaining. You can have my car to test if you need it to prove the problem exists. Once before you took my Chevy Tahoe 97 to prove a power steering issue. Date listed below is the last date I took car to dealer for repair, but they could not get the brakes to malfunction yet a day prior they malfunctioned. In next question it asks how many miles on car when happened. I put in the first time I took it to the dealer in 2010

- Brecksville, OH, USA

problem #105

Mar 182019


  • 146,000 miles
I have a Malibu that has issues with the brake lamps. The lamps may either illuminate with out the brake pedal applies or turn off when the break pedal is applied. There a recall for this issue #16188. This recall replaces break apply sensor and the bpps harness and connector repair. But in the bulletin it states that the issue is cause by the BCM voltage surges. To me the recall should include the BCM. The recall repairs that damaged cause by the BCM. Why is the BCM not included in the recall. I have had the recall completed and have had the same brake issue 4 additional times. I currently have my car in a GM dealer right now and I am now told that I should replace the BCM. When I dropped the car off this morning, I left all my service records so I do no have the exact dates for repair. This is a very serious safety issue.

- Sussex, WI, USA

problem #104

Mar 042019


  • 18,000 miles
Takata recall, as I was dropping my daughter off at the bus stop I tried to pull back up to my house and the power steering came on and the wheel was hard to turn while my vehicle was in motion and there was alot of cars coming my way as I was trying to turn. I told my husband about it he went to check that it had power steering fluid in it and it was not low at all then he got in it to drive and it worked just fine. That was a scary experience for me. Another incident when I went to go get my car inspected the third brake light would not come on but when I went to my mother in laws it worked just fine and when I left to go home lastnight it was coming on when I wasn't even pushing the brakes so me and my husband figured it was a shortage in it or the wires need replaced. Someone needs to do something about this before there be an accident. I was doing some research about my vehicle and I seen that it had serveral recalls. The manufacturer recall #: N130036 the NHTSA recall #: 14V252

- Palestine, TX, USA

problem #103

Jan 192019


  • 83,000 miles
When driving the car, the brake lights go on when not braking and go off when applying the brakes. This happens on city streets and highways.

- Galloway, NJ, USA

problem #102

Dec 162018


  • 127,000 miles
While driving my ESC - enhances stability control light, ABS and traction control lights came on. When I stopped at a light and then tried to drive forward I was able to move my vehicle until the brakes kicked in and started slowing me down. After driving about 5mikes my husband who was driving behind me signaled to pull over. My brake lights were on and when I engaged the brake pedal to come to a stop the brake lights went off. After I released the brakes, and got out of the car with it still running my brake lights came back on.

- Martville, NY, USA

problem #101

Oct 212018


  • 120,000 miles
I have had this issue serviced by the dealer and still I ensuring the same problem even after it was resolved via recall and GMC voucher, the brake lights come on when I┐M driving!!!! this complaint isn┐T the first of its kind and from the looks of things this isn┐T only affecting my vehicles I have read through other reports online as well as complaints talking about this same issue. I became aware that the problem arose again when other drivers sped around me flicking me off. One incident almost resulted in being clipped as the other driver was so close to my vehicle as he raced past to cut in front of me. Please fix this issue. It's a very dangerous situation as braking is a key component to driver safety!

- East Chicago, IN, USA

problem #100

Oct 242018


  • 79,000 miles
While driving, sometimes my brake lights come on when I am not depressing the brake pedal, sometimes, when I press the brake pedal the break lights do not come on, the traction control light comes on and stays of then later it goes off.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #99

Aug 012018


  • 101,200 miles
High mount center stop light does not work drivers heated seat heater does not work

- Cranesville, PA, USA

problem #98

Dec 132017


  • 95,000 miles
The caliper arms on both of my passenger side tires have gotten stuck, wore down the new brake pads completely and destroyed the rotors of my car in the past. The dealership's warranty had covered the replacement of the pads, correction of arms and rotors previously but the second occurrence happened after my warranty had expired and was extremely expensive. When the rear passenger side got stuck the sensor for my tire pressure was showing but there was no hesitation or issue with breaking. A soft dragging sound lead me to believe the sensor itself had disconnected from the vehicle and was dragging on the ground and making a soft but strange noise. Its going to take me 2 weeks to get into the dealership for an appointment ┐ since then, my rear rotor has become effected and will need replacing. This morning the tire pressure monitor sensor remained on the screen but when I first started driving and attempted to use my breaks, I did not stop and my foot touched the ground as I pressed the pedal. As I pulled into the parking lot of my office (about 45 minutes of morning commute), more lights lit up the back panel including the emergency break light, the ┐brake fluid, ┐ warning, 'service ESC, ┐ followed by ┐ESC off┐ scrolled across the dash and my breaks did not work at all when I attempted to slowly stop. I complained about the ESC warning light coming on previously and stopping my power steering from working but the dealership said they couldn┐T recreate the warning so they couldn┐T help me.

- Warminster, PA, USA

problem #97

Mar 072018


  • miles
Have lost all power steering, sensor is messed up, brakes are barely working, why wasn't a recall issued for all 2009 Malibu? this is beyond dangerous.

- Holly Springs, MS, USA

problem #96

Nov 222017


  • 265,000 miles
Service ESC lights comes on and the service ABS

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #95

Aug 162017


  • 98,764 miles
Driving down the road come to find out because someone told me that my brake lights are not working properly when not applying the brakes the brake lights are on acting as if I was breaking and when I brake the brake lights turn off so in other words it's reversed. And also when I googled online to find out if I could find the problem multiple people were having the same problems I googled why are my brake lights on when not applying the brakes and also according to some people online they said there was no recall and the dealer wouldn't do anything for them. This is a safety hazard and very dangerous and right now I feel very uncomfortable driving my car especially in the situation that I am in.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #94

Mar 082017


  • 130,000 miles
My brake lights stay on when I am driving the car. The cruise control will just stop working and the car of course slows down at this point. Yesterday the low traction and eic light came on. This has been going on for several months with the brake lights and cruise control the low traction and eic problem just started yesterday. I have read page after page of complaints on this same thing happening on this model year make of car. I have had to take my car in for several recalls but I have not seen one on this particular issue. My car has 138,000 miles on in it and of course this happens while it is in motion on the highway road street etc. It could not happen if the car was not in motion. This is a scary thing to be driving your vehicle and pray your going to make it to where you are going without a crash.

- Trout, LA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »