really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,839 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.

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problem #16

Dec 062014


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated as the check engine warning light illuminated. In addition, the contact stated that after starting the vehicle, the gear shift failed to switch into the drive position. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #15

May 012011


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. In addition, the gear shifter would not remain in park. On one occasion, the vehicle was parked and rolled away, crashing into a concrete barrier. The dealer was contacted who made her aware that the vehicle was previously repaired under a NHTSA campaign id number: 09V073000 (power train:automatic transmission:lever and linkage:column shift) and advised her to schedule an appointment to have the vehicle inspected. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 60,000 and the current mileage 61,000.

- Mebane, NC, USA

problem #14

Apr 282011


  • 30,000 miles
Vehicle would not recognize that vehicle was in park.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #13

Oct 262009


  • 15,240 miles
In October of 2009 I noticed the shifting of vehicle was erratic and improper. Car would act like it would not shift or if it did was really labored. November of 2009 as I pulled into work transmission exploded. Had towed to dealer said repaired/ replaced/rebuilt, was back with more problems only to find out parts were replaced backwards onto transmission fixed that only for me to return again for transmission issues. Now again the car acts like it wont shift properly will not attempt to go sometimes, was back at shop, they said they couldn't find anything wrong. So now I have made a video and have taken pictures of transmission fluid leaking from pan under car. I am afraid to take it back to where I have been going because when they have attempted to repair its worse or in same condition, so have appointment today with another auto mechanic to try an diagnosis. This is the fifth time I have had my 2009 Chevrolet Malibu in for defective and dangerous transmission issues.

- Choctaw, OK, USA

problem #12

Aug 302009

Malibu 6-cyl

  • miles
Own a 2009 Malibu that hesitates when trying to accelerate into traffic, or slow down and try to pick up speed again brought it to dealerships attention every time I take it in for service, they say this is normal and nothing is being done to fix the problem, this is going to cause an accident or death in this make of car.

- Tofield, 00, USA

problem #11

Jan 162010


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact was driving 60 mph when the vehicle began to jerk abnormally followed by unintended acceleration. The dealer reloaded the transmission software. The contact stated that after repairs, the vehicle would not properly shift gears and when downshifting, the vehicle would abnormally accelerate. The contact was able to apply the brakes to stop the unintended acceleration. The dealer reloaded the transmission software a second time but to no avail. In addition, the contact stated that the power windows would intermittently fail, the fuel level gauge was inoperable and the air conditioner would not engage. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the contact was awaiting the rebuilding of the transmission and repairs to all failed components. The failure mileage was 12,000 and the current mileage was 25,000.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #10

Jul 152009


  • 34,500 miles
Owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, vehicle hesitates while accelerating, when in gear hesitates when you accelerated to move vehicle into traffic, vehicle move very slowly, the RPM show engine high but vehicle move slow, been inform by dealership that this is common with this type of transmission on this vehicle, and nothing can be done to fix it, GM has been inform and nothing is being done from that end, this vehicle is an accident waiting to happen, it is unsafe.

- Marquette, MI, USA

problem #9

Jul 082010


  • 15,000 miles
On June 29, 2010 my son was able to bypass the safety lock switch on our 2009 Chevrolet Malibu....we took the vehicle to the dealer on June 30 and had the switch replaced along with a drivers side door handle my wife pulled off the door in a frantic frenzy to try to stop him. On July 8th while tightening down my child's car seat, my son again was able to bypass the safety switch by turning the key to the acc mode of the ignition and pushing the button on the shifter, he then started the car and began dragging me across a parking lot into a cement light pole. When we called GM to inform them that this should be a safety concern that children can bypass this switch, they informed us the vehicle isn't designed for a two year old!!!!!! they also referred us to the owners manual claiming that this is a dinghy towing option. In that section it tells you to place the parking brake on. In three other areas the book claims that you must push the brake to get the shifter to move from park. My son never touched the brake pedal, and the car came out of park and began to move... while I understand than my child is well below driving age, I do believe that GM has a serious safety problem here. While my insurance is covering the damages and not GM, I would think that they would at least want to look at this as a potential for a huge liability claim......I hope that someone can get through to them before someone seriously gets hurt or killed.

- Holly, MI, USA

problem #8

Jun 302010


  • 41,346 miles
Safety incident:transmission gear shift indicator setting: Parked in tom thumb grocery store parking lot. Nose to nose with another vehicle (with no parking curb between). Incident: I started the car and the car began to creep forward, while still in park. I immediately turned off the ignition. I restarted car. The same thing happened again. I turned off the ignition. I started car a third time, this time with left foot firmly on brake, and my right foot ready to use gas pedal. I put car into reverse and the car still inched forward. I turned off ignition and put on emergency brake. By now, there was very little room left between my car and the one parked across from it. So I gave up and called for a ride. Several hours later, a friend drove my husband to the car. There was no longer any car parked across from ours, so he felt it was safe to try starting it again. This time, the car started up normally. This incident is intermittent. We drove the car to the dealership and they looked it over and said they could not duplicate the issue. Since recall #09077A: F/cmvss was performed on the car, they would do nothing. They would not redo the recall again. GM would not allow them to do anything unless they recreate the incident again. They said GM has tied their hands and they would not do anything because of liability issues and fears. We contacted GM and they created a case stating that we had a very good case and that this was a safety issue. After a few days we were contacted by GM and that, since it cannot be duplicated, they will not do anything until it happens again. I expressed our safety concerns. The GM representative said, ┐if it happens again, I suggest that you have the car towed in. I completely understand your concern, but GM will do nothing until it happens again.┐ what if it happens again and someone gets hurt, either the driver or a pedestrian" what if the car gets damaged or another vehicle when it occurs again"

- Duncanville , TX, USA

problem #7

Jun 182009


  • 10,000 miles
1. brakes squeak and are not as responsive as they should be a. the dealer has checked them several times and says there is no problem 2. on two occasions when traveling between 50-75 M.P.H, the car has not accelerated properly and has made strange grinding noise a. dealer indicated that another owner of the same model vehicle expressed the same complaint B. dealer said computer did not show anything wrong on my vehicle, or the other vehicle owner's vehicle 3. on 4-6 occasions, the car has surged... sometimes this happens @ slow speeds and other times when cruise control is engaged.... I am afraid to use cruise control anymore a. dealer says computer shows no problems.

- Coral Gables, FL, USA

problem #6

Dec 152009


  • 10,133 miles
Tuesday December 15th 2009 I took my new 2009 Chevy Malibu to the dealership where I purchased the vehicle for service. Service done was state inspection, oil change, tire repair and for a recall on the transmission lever. The recall service work completed was the installation of the transmission shift cable kit. I picked my vehicle up at 2pm that afternoon after all service work was complete. About 20 minutes later after leaving the dealership my vehicle caught fire on the interstate. The police and fire crew were on the scene to control traffic and the fire. Cause of the fire is currently under investigation with my insurance co.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #5

Sep 172009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
Bought a new 2009 Malibu with a six speed automatic transmission in Sept. '09. I noticed the problem after about a week and a half or driving the car. I feel a hesitation, then jerk when resuming acceleration while traveling 5-35 mph after having decelerated to the lower speed from a greater speed. It happens consistently while driving, but does not occur when acceleration begins from a stop or at speeds greater than 35 mph. Brought the car to the dealer, and transmission was reprogrammed and updated twice. Because the computer is reading everything as normal, GM will approve no work on vehicle. So far GM has said there is nothing they will do to solve this problem.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 272009


  • 27,000 miles
Purchased new 2009 Chevy Malibu 6/16/09 at john thornton Chevrolet. Took car back on 6/20/09 due to malfunctioning brakes; rotors were rusted and had to be skimmed. On 7/27/09, on way to work, car kept stalling in traffic; put foot on gas, would hesitate; heard whizzing noises. Because moving the car was getting worse, I decided to turn around and head to the dealership. When I got on the freeway, the car would not accelerate enough to proceed, it would not go past 20 mph and I knew it was too dangerous to keep going. I pulled off freeway and found a lot to pull over. Called onstar who tapped into my diagnostic and informed me there were two problems indicated in the transmission. I had to have the car towed to the dealership. Since then john thornton gave me a rental. Said they were going to replace a part and last week advised me they have to install a new transmission; it will be coming from the factory and offered to reimburse me the amount of my first car note. As of 8/17/09 they have had my car 3 wks. As of 8/26/09 it will be the 30th day and I will be eligible to either get a refund or replacement vehicle. My complaint is that I have a faulty transmission.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #3

Apr 012009

Malibu 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,400 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the park gear does not remain engaged. If parked on a hill, the vehicle would roll down. The dealer replaced the shift lock cable for free. A recall was issued after the repairs were performed. The dealer stated that the vehicle would not have been involved in the recall because of where the vehicle was manufactured. The contact feels that there are more 2009 Malibu with this issue. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The current mileage was 5,543 and failure mileage was 4,400. Updated 062909 updated 07/01/09.

- Fredrick, MD, USA

problem #2

Mar 152009


  • miles
The contact's relative owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitates while accelerating. The failure was noticed while driving 55 mph. The vehicle has a 6 speed automatic transmission that hesitates, but the dealer cannot repair the failure. The dealer stated that this was a standard feature on this type of transmission, which was tested by GM. The contact asked the dealer to install a four cylinder transmission from the Chevrolet Impala, but GM refused without providing an explanation. The current mileage was 1,300 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Altoona, IA, USA

problem #1

Apr 182009


  • 2,600 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 09V073000 (power train:automatic transmission:lever and linkage:column shift). She took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that everything looked normal. One month later, when she attempted to place the gear into park, it would not move. The contact moved the vehicle to a spot where it would not roll away and placed the gear into neutral. She then applied the emergency brake and shut off the vehicle. The vehicle could not be restarted and was towed to the dealer, where it currently remains. The contact is waiting on a response from the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 2,600.

- St Luois, MO, USA