really awful
Crashes / Fires:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
34 / 3
Average Mileage:
65,529 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 #49

Mar 092019


  • 129,643 miles
TL the contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While the vehicle was stopped at a traffic light, the driver's side front and rear side curtain air bags independently deployed. The failure occurred without warning or an impact occurring. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to crews Chevrolet (located at 8199 rivers ave, North charleston, SC 29406, (843) 535-5266) to be diagnosed and the dealer kept the vehicle for approximately seven weeks. The contact stated that the manufacturer authorized a replacement of the air bags. An investigator from the manufacturer was sent to inspect the vehicle. The contact was not provided information as to what caused the failure. The manufacturer was informed of the failure. The failure mileage was 129,643.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #48

Jul 142019


  • 182,000 miles
Takata recall passenger air bag is sunken in to the dashboard.

- Sebring, FL, USA

problem #47

Jan 292019


  • 120,000 miles
Traveling East turning left going 17 mph, struck by a van going the speed limit which is 50 head on, driver airbag deployed, passenger airbag did not. Passenger is 5┐4┐ and 120 lbs

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #46

Nov 022017


  • 115,000 miles
I was on my way to work South bound on 1 St avenue when another vehicle turn from on coming traffic to cross in front of me to head West bound when we impacted my seat belt did not restrain me at all my head hit the drivers door window very hard and deflected off and continued to the hit the front window then airbag then deployed after to throw be back into my seat after.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #45

Mar 022018


  • miles
Takata recall the airbag light has come on and stays on something with the steering, wheels, drivetrain, and possibly BCM. A lot of vibration when driving and braking. Becoming such an issue to the point I fear to have my 11 month old child in it.

- Rockfield, KY, USA

problem #44

Aug 032018


  • miles
Passenger headlight has blown twice in less then a year. Driver side air bag warning light keeps coming on. Drivers side seat belt no longer retracts.

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #43

May 042018


  • 153,000 miles
I have had multiple ignition switch failures resulting in loss of airbag systems, the engine not shutting off when the key is removed, the battery dying, a brand new battery started smoking and leaking acid due to a 3rd faulty ignition switch. The issue can be spotty but indefinitely becomes more prevalent as whatever short in the switch gets worse. This is also across multiple switch manufacturers including bwd, ac delco and bmg. I have also noticed that the airbag system may remain on even with the vehicle off and, the battery drainage is much more prevalent when the airbag stays either in the on or off position with the vehicle off. The other issue this causes is the airbag system to completely go off line in which case the airbag warning light will go off but this usually resolves itself after 2 to 10 starts.

- North Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #42

Aug 312018


  • 13,000 miles
My air bag light comes on and off

- Gibraltar, MI, USA

problem #41

May 072018


  • 44,000 miles
Passenger air bag service light comes on. Passenger air bag is off when this is noted by the vehicle's service light comes on.

- Rochester Hills, MI, USA

problem #40

Dec 022017


  • miles
The contact owned a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While slowing down to approach a traffic light, the contact's vehicle was struck on the front driver's side bumper by another vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact and front seat passenger sustained minor injuries to the neck and back. The contact sought medical attention. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Hernando, MS, USA

problem #39

May 192017


  • 62,000 miles
On Friday, 19 May 2017 at approximately 9:15 pm I was driving westbound on thunderbird road and 84th avenue in peoria, Arizona while operating my white in color 2009 Chevrolet Malibu at forty mph when all of a sudden, I heard a loud bang, saw a flash of light and smelled a fire. Instantly, shrapnel flew throughout the car and my seatbelt tightened. The first thing I thought was have I been shot or is my car on fire? I immediately lost my hearing for several minutes and had pain on the left side of my chest. My passenger curtain side airbags had deployed suddenly and without notice. The airbag failure mileage was 62,000. (photographs attached) I was in shock, I didn┐T know if I was hurt or what had happened. I was right near my home and the car could still drive, so I went the couple of blocks home. I pulled into the driveway, turned off the car, and carefully took off my seatbelt. I went inside to the mirror to examine my body, to see how hurt I was. I wasn┐T bleeding, but it felt like I had been burned, my chest was stinging and I had burns and welts on my chest that were approximately three inches in length and two inches wide. I was very concerned so I then took a shower to wash the chemicals and whatever had flown throughout the vehicle off of my body. (photographs attached) **time sensitive - I need to make a decision on what to do by December 14th-

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #38

Oct 012017

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
The contact owned a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While the contact was stopped at a red light, a fedex truck crashed into the rear of the vehicle and pushed the contact's vehicle into traffic. As a result, another vehicle crashed into the driver's side of the contact's vehicle. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained head injuries and received medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed and deemed destroyed. The local dealer was not contacted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not informed of the issue. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 31,000. Updated 8/20/18

- Joplin, MO, USA

problem #37

May 192017

Malibu 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving 40 mph, the passenger air bag deployed without warning or impact. The vehicle was towed to a local dealer (power Chevrolet arrowhead, 9055 w bell rd, peoria, AZ 85382). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The driver sustained injuries to the chest, which required medical attention. A police report was not filed. The manufacturer was notified of the issue and opened case number: 5911664. The contact spoke with renita jackson at 866-446-6963 (claim number: 866407). The failure mileage was 62,000. Updated 9/13/18

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #36

Aug 132017


  • 109,000 miles
I was driving on I-95 in North Dakota. Straight road, no vehicles near me, no bumps and my passenger curtain airbag exploded. I was going about 80 mph.

- Lincoln, ND, USA

problem #35

Apr 262017


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. While driving approximately 40 mph, the driver's seat air bag deployed without warning. The contact sustained an arm injury, which required medical attention. The dealer stated that the repair was not covered under warranty. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 81,000.

- Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #34

Mar 282017


  • 113,000 miles
For the last few months I been having trouble with my car. First it started with my lock buttons. Whenever I would push the buttons nothing would happen but when I closed my doors it would start locking on and off all by themselves. My ESC always giving me trouble one day the light is on and the next it's off. Whenever the light was on I took it to get checked but no code came up. Till this day I have trouble with my ESC! at time it's would say it had cut off!!! the air bag sensor goes on and off also. Some days it's on some days it's not!! well today March 29, 2017 I was driving to work and my car just starts to slow down. It wasn't taking no gas at so I pulled over and put the car in park. When I pressed down on the gas it gave it some gas. I took the car out of park and drove off

- Thibodaux, LA, USA

problem #33

Jan 052017

Malibu 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
When I turn on the turn signals they both work properly, but when I turn the wheel and make the turn then signal does not turn off !! the problem, as my mechanic claims is a defective (clock spring assembly) in the steering column. I believe this is a safety problem and there should be a recall to correct this problem !! the reason I believe this is a safety issue is I must always look down at the instrument panel to see if the signal is off or on, requiring me to not have my eyes on the road ahead. I hope you can visualize what this entails and the safety issues I experience when I drive my Malibu which I love. Thank you for your understanding !!

- Highland Heights, KY, USA

problem #32

Jan 182017


  • miles
The sensor that determines if the passenger airbag turns on does not work properly. I weigh 100 pounds (which is above the threshold for what should trigger the airbag to be on) and about half the time the airbag is disabled when I am sitting in the seat properly with my feet on the ground and the chair upright. I contacted Chevrolet to have them reimburse the cost of fixing this issue because it is a safety issue and has caused recalls in other Chevrolet cars, but they have refused to investigate. The sensor malfunction doesn't seem to be correlated with whether the vehicle is stationary, in motion, on a street or highway, etc. It happens about half of the time and can sometimes go on and off during the same car trip even if I stay in the same position the whole time. This issue has reported for Chevrolet Malibu on several online forums so I know it isn't an isolated issue with my car. We are concerned about what could happen if we were in a crash and the airbag didn't go off or went off late when the passenger's body was too close to the airbag.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #31

Sep 142008


  • 1,500 miles
Airbags deployed when I hit the brakes in 2008.

- Washington Dc, DC, USA

problem #30

Jul 052016


  • 159,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 2 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and the air bags deployed inadvertently. The vehicle was towed to the residence. The contact sustained injuries to the left shoulder and laceration of the arm and left side which required medical attention due to the air bag deployment. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 159,000.

- Barnesville, OH, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »