2018 Chevrolet Malibu Problems and Complaints

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2018 Chevrolet Malibu Sedan Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: August 19, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Chevrolet competes in the budget-friendly commuter sedan segment with the Chevrolet Malibu. The sedan offers a practical and economic mode of commute, but, comes across with few reliability issues. The Chevrolet Malibu brings a wide range of specifications and features. However, the car faces major issues with some of its features. Some concerns with the sedan range from the brake system to airbag malfunctions. The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu also struggles with persistent powertrain issues.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu 

The widespread Chevrolet aftersales network assures a prompt response and quick recalls. The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu records 6 recalls and 415 complaints. Furthermore, the car carries a 5-star safety rating. The Malibu competes with the sedans such as the Ford Fusion, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Honda Accord. The Malibu ranks 9th on the CarHp list of top 10 sedans of 2018. Here’s a brief account of the sedan with respect to recalls, problems and complaints. The problems are further divided into mechanical, electrical, safety and structural issues. 

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2018 Chevrolet Malibu User Complaints and Problems

Mechanical Problems

  • Fuel system - The fuel and propulsion system is prone to lose pressure resulting in a loss of motive power. This results in an abrupt slowing down of the car. This can increase the chances of a crash.
  • Brakes - Few customers report complaints of braking failure. The car does not slow down when the users depress the brake pedal. This increases the chances of a crash and compromises the safety of the user and other motorists. 
  • Powertrain - Powertrain issues are common with the car. Users report intermittent flashing of the “Shift to park” message with the car being in the “park mode”. Users also report being stuck on the ‘park mode’ and not being able to shift to other gears.
  • Steering - Users complain that the steering jerks and abruptly turns the vehicle. This leads to veering off the car. This increases the chances of a crash. Users report intermittent flashing of the “STEERING ASSIST IS REDUCED, DRIVE WITH CARE” warning.
  • Engine - Users report the sedan engaging the low power mode. The car flashes a “reduced power mode” warning and significantly slows down. The issue may also progress to engine stalling. This increases the chances of a crash. 

Electrical Problems 

  • Instrumentation Cluster(IC) - Users report intermittent flashing of the “Shift to park” message on the IC with the car being in the ‘park mode’. This does not allow turning off the car.

Safety Problems

  • Airbags - User complaints report cases of airbag deployment failures in the event of a crash. An airbag deployment failure compromises the occupant's safety and increases the risk of injury. Few users also report instances of unprompted deployment of airbags under driving conditions. This increases the chances of a crash.

Structural Problems 

  • Visibility - Users report extensive fogging on the windows even with the defogger engaged. This reduces driver visibility and increases the risk of a crash.

Recalls 

S. No

Date

NHTSA ID

Issues Noticed

Additional Remarks

Remedy

1

August 20, 2021

21V649000

The seat belt retractor may not be secured properly.

An improperly secured seatbelt may not function properly in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

Dealers will inspect and tighten the rear seat belt retractors, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters were mailed on September 17, 2021. 

2

October 29, 2020

20V668000

Missing bolts on the start/stop accumulator.

Missing bolts on the start/stop accumulator endcap may lead to a transmission oil leak and may progress to loss of propulsion increasing the risk of a crash. A transmission fluid leak in the presence of an ignition source increases the risk of a fire.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the start-stop transmission accumulator and replace it if any bolts are missing, free of charge. The recall began on December 15, 2020. 

3

September 6, 2019

19V642000

The ECM may disable the fuel injectors.

Disabled fuel injectors may prevent the engine from starting and may cause stalling, increasing the chances of a crash. 

GM will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the ECM software, free of charge. The recall began on October 16, 2019. 

4

August 30, 2018

18V576000

Insufficient coating on the rear brake caliper pistons.

A reduction of braking increases the chances of a crash.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will bleed the vehicle's brake system, free of charge. The recall began on October 11, 2018. 

5

June 14, 

2018

18V400000

The PPS incorrectly suppresses the airbags.

In the event of a crash, improper airbag deployment increases the chances of an injury.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger PPS seat service kit, free of charge. The recall began on August 7, 2018. 

6

May 31, 

2018

18V358000

The fuel pump flange weld may fracture.

A damaged fuel line can create a fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the high-pressure fuel pump, and high-pressure fuel pipe, free of charge. The recall began July 2, 2018.

Should you buy the 2018 Chevrolet Malibu?

The Chevrolet Malibu makes for a good choice of a compact sedan focused on city commuting. The sedan offers a practical drive on a budget, however, reliability remains to be a concern for the users. The 2018 Chevrolet Malibu comes across a wide range of issues and a few problems the force recalls. As a mainstream franchise, Chevrolet offers prompt customer services and quick recalls.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu

However, we recommend considering reliable options like the Hyundai Sonata or the Ford Fusion over the Chevrolet Malibu. If you are more into Malibu, then we would recommend going for the 2019 model year and above to avoid any major reliability issues. Also, the 2019 and 2020 models havebeen recalled only once, while the 2021 and 2022 models have not been recalled even once. 


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