Wondering what the most prevalent issues faced by Chevy Malibu owners are from 2018 to 2023? In this comprehensive article, we will take a close look into the top Chevy Malibu problems reported during these years, offering valuable insight for both current and prospective owners alike.
Since its inception as a midsize car in 1964, the Chevy Malibu has enjoyed immense popularity and has evolved through nine generations. Despite being discontinued in 1983 and reintroduced in 1997, the Malibu has remained a significant player in the automotive market. However, the 2023 Chevrolet Malibu’s popularity has dwindled somewhat, partly due to various issues reported in recent models.
Our goal is to provide you with a detailed breakdown of the most common problems associated with each Chevrolet Malibu model year between 2018 and 2023. We will cover the most frequent complaints, practical solutions, and guidance on what to do if you require a replacement vehicle under the lemon law. To find out if your car qualifies, don’t hesitate to contact us via the provided form or by phone.
2018 Chevy Malibu Problems
The NHTSA has recorded six recalls and a whopping 462 complaints on this Malibu. Let’s dive deeper into a few of the top issues.
Decreased Engine Power
There are several Chevy Malibu recalls that lead to trouble getting power out of the engine. The first states that cars with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engines may have an ECM error that results in disabled fuel injectors. There’s also a recall revealing that the high-pressure fuel pump can detach from its flange, creating damage to the line. In either case, power can be drastically affected, to the point of creating an accident.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu models have serious issues with manufacturing. First, there’s a recall saying that the rear seat belt retractors may not be secured, plus there’s another recall revealing that bolts could be missing from the start/stop accumulator. If that’s not enough, there’s an insufficient coating on some of the rear brake calipers, leading to trouble stopping the car.
2019 Chevy Malibu Problems
There are far fewer issues reported with the 2019 Malibu, according to the NHTSA. This model only has one recall and 90 complaints. Still, there are serious problems to discuss.
Shift To Park Malfunction
There has been a class action lawsuit against GM regarding a Shift to Park malfunction. Even though the gear shifter reveals that the car is in Park, it may not be. This has led to cars rolling away and causing injury. This isn’t a transmission failure anyone wants to worry about.
Engine Power Reduced
Several complaints have come forward saying the “Engine Power Reduced” comes on the display and it becomes difficult to get the car to accelerate. In addition to these engine problems, some accidents have occurred and the airbags haven’t always deployed, leading to another possible malfunction.
Several owners have reported trouble with a failing brake vacuum pump. Not only can this lead to a hard brake pedal, but it can also cause intermittent braking power. For some people, the brakes didn’t work at all, creating a serious safety issue.
2020 Chevy Malibu Problems
There’s not too much less to report on the 2020 Malibu. The NHTSA still logs a long list of complaints for this Chevy sedan.
The “Engine Power Reduced” issue continues with this Malibu model, plus new problems have emerged. When that message isn’t appearing on the dash, there are still issues getting the Chevy to accelerate or drive without jerking. Owners may also see the Check Engine Light on the dashboard. There have also been complaints about the high pressure fuel line that can lead to trouble with acceleration.
Seat Belt Failure
There’s a recall for the 2020 Malibu, along with the 2016-2021 models. It states that the rear seat belt retractors might not have been secured with the right fasteners. Therefore, these passengers are at risk if there’s an accident.
2021 Chevy Malibu Problems
The recalls increase on the 2021 Chevy Malibu, according to the NHTSA. However, the complaints decrease from Chevy Malibu drivers, but this is probably just due to dwindling sales of the sedan.
Seat Welding Malfunction
The 2021 Malibu still struggles with the seat belt recall listed above. However, there’s another one to add to the mix. The driver’s seat cushion frame wasn’t welded correctly in some models with the power tilt adjustment. This failure can prevent the driver from being restrained during an accident.
The quality of the auto glass may not be up to par. Customers complain that the windshield can shatter from minor objects that would have been well handled with another car model.
2022 Chevy Malibu Problems
The NHTSA doesn’t have details on this model, but there are plenty of places online to find 2022 Malibu complaints.
Power Steering System Failure
There’s been an issue with the power steering on the 2022 Malibu. In conjunction with trouble controlling the steering wheel, there seems to be trouble with the suspension as a whole, including the struts and shocks.
While the reduced engine power may not be the largest complaint, there are more complaints to be concerned with. A faulty transmission or low fluid levels seem to be causing rough shifting. It also seems to be struggling with slipping gears, which could lead to an expensive repair. If you need to replace the transmission, you are looking at a hefty bill.
Stereo System Malfunction
The radio can stop working for no reason. When it does, the sound is cracking and distorted. The lights on the stereo may also be dim or hard to see. It appears that the problem could be a damaged speaker, trouble with the wiring or an issue with the head unit.
Chevrolet Malibu Reviews
Is the Chevy Malibu a good sedan? It may provide decent fuel economy and play off of the emotions of people desiring a nostalgic feel, but the newer models have been troublesome. Let’s see what some of the top auto publications say.
Car and Driver says, “Chevy Malibu isn’t a bad car, it’s that it has grown stale compared with its more impressive and evolved peers.”
Edmunds also states, “The current Chevrolet Malibu generation has been around since 2016, and since then, it has never quite found a solid footing against other midsize family sedans. It’s also the last traditional sedan in Chevy’s lineup that is dominated by SUVs and trucks. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that the Malibu is headed out to pasture after the 2023 model year, and it’s not likely to be replaced.”
Is the Chevrolet Malibu a Reliable Sedan?
Surprisingly, RepairPal has ranked the Malibu higher than expected. It’s ranked 4.0 out of 5.0, placing it 9th out of 24 models. It also has an annual repair and maintenance cost of $532, on average.
Aside from that, it’s estimated that the Malibu will spend an average amount of time in the shop each year. Plus, the chance of a severe malfunction is 11%. Considering that many of the Chevrolet Malibu problems aren’t always severe, such as minor electrical issues, throttle lag or delayed acceleration problems, you may not always spend a lot for the repair. Yet, you are still out your time and often without your car for these repairs.
Best Chevy Malibu Models To Drive
If you are looking for a midsize sedan, the Malibu might not be the right option at all. If you have to choose one of these vehicles, stick with a newer model that has some of the bugs worked out. These seem to have fewer transmission issues, even though they are not immune. However, keep in mind that the 2023 Chevy Malibu is the last model. It’s been discontinued. That means you may have trouble getting parts and service in the future.
Ask any Malibu enthusiast and they’ll tell you to buy one from decades ago instead. The older model years are considered more desirable because of reliability, but hard to find these days. There are also other models from General Motors brand you might consider, such as a used Buick Lacrosse or the Chevy Impala.
Chevy Malibu Lemon Lawyers
Are you driving a lemon sedan? Our GM lemon lawyers have experience evaluating over 40,000 cases. We help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve taken your Chevrolet Malibu to the dealership and have had trouble getting the repairs taken care of, it’s time to contact us. Call now and let us fight for you.
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