New Lawsuit Surrounds Faulty Chevrolet Malibu Accelerator Sensors150
General Motors faces a new lawsuit surrounding faulty accelerator sensors in the 2016-2018 Chevrolet Malibu.
The litigation arose from plaintiff Katrina Hutchinson, who purchased a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu new in May of 2016. While driving the car, she claimed the driver information screen suddenly flashed “Engine power is reduced” and the car slowed to a top speed of 20 mph. Upon taking the Chevrolet Malibu back to the dealership, technicians found it needed a new accelerator pedal position sensor. At the time, the fix was covered under warranty.
However, at 45,000 miles, the issue occurred again, and this time, Hutchinson’s Malibu was out of warranty. The plaintiff allegedly spent nearly $500 to replace the accelerator sensor.
The Malibu does not feature a mechanical linkage for the accelerator pedal. Instead, electronic throttle control is responsible for engine acceleration. This includes an accelerator pedal position sensor, which tells the powertrain how much acceleration the driver requests. Hutchinson’s lawsuit claims the problem puts everyone on the road in danger since the loss of power comes unexpectedly and instantly.
Her lawsuit alleges GM knows of the problem but hasn’t acknowledged the issue thus far. She added GM also supposedly did not offer any assistance when her Malibu needed a new sensor for the second time. The part, per the lawsuit, is supposed to last the lifetime of the car.
The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Greenbelt Division.
Subscribe to GM Authority for more Chevrolet Malibu news, Chevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
Inexcusable and ridiculous. The fact that GM isn’t even standing by this issue speaks volumes on how they really feel about the consumer. And they wonder why people aren’t buying there cars.
I have a 2018 Chevy Malibu its do the same thing!!!
i have a 2019 doing the same thing. almost caused an accident. the RPMs go up to like 6 but the acceleration doesnt do anything but hover around 30mph then all of a sudden its blasting off and rpms go back down. i have taken my car to shop 4 other times and they said I was probably shifting with the +/- on the shift knob. then they couldnt do anything because no lights showed up and computer cant read it. Im fed up.
Purchased a 2018 Chev Malibu it’s been a real headache. First issues started with accelerator sensor, got it replaced free was told it was a defect. Car would just stall while driving 50 – 65 mph. Picked it up from the Chev dealership shop, didn’t get 5 miles away stared doing same thing, slowed down even though I was pressing the accelerator finally stalled. Managed to get it back to the same dealership and was then told it was the transmission. Thank God I purchased a warranty when I bought the car. It has 75000 miles on it so warranty will pay for a used transmission, wouldn’t allow me to get a new one. Yes so much for having warranty. They also gave the dealership a hassle about their labor fee. It’s been in the shop for almost a month. Should be ready this week. Please DON’T buy this model, you will have a headache. I’m getting rid of it as soon as I can. I’ve never bought a Chev & this will be my last, sticking with a Toyota or Buick. Oh yes, still making monthly payments!
Had kind of forgotten about this site then just saw a post and wanted to comment for those experiencing frustration and aggravation with their Malibu’s. I bought my 2017 brand new from the dealership with 330 miles on it the day I drove it home. Three months later my husband purchased the same car, a year newer from a different dealership. We loved them. Great gas mileage for the travelers we were, couldn’t have been more pleased. Mine made to
38,000 miles, and just over a year of ownership before it reduced power the first time. His? 11,000 miles longer. Initially, Chevy was willing to help with half the repair expense because I was just outside my warranty. The car was completely rewired, failed again. Changed out sensors, failed again. Changed out accelerator pedal, failed again. The dealership could never get the car to duplicate the reduced engine power mode. My entire second year of ownership the car sat in two seperate dealerships over an 8-9 month period. The first dealership after the 5th repair attempt threw up their hands and refused to take the car back. They apologized saying they were sorry…it couldn’t be fixed. Eleven times over a 7 month time frame, my car reduced power and put my life at risk for serious injury or death. My children weren’t allowed to even ride in the car due to it’s unpredictability. Eventually, I became Chevy’s thorn so to speak. They stopped with the half assistance after the third repair and the expense was all mine out of pocket from that point forward. Being a nurse travelling between two states, I had to have a rental and that was out of pocket as well. Chevy eventually offered me $3,000 to replace the engine. I declined. It wasn’t the engine. It was electrical. Completely frustrated and feeling hopeless that the car would ever run, I took it to Rick Hendricks Chevrolet in Duluth. A really smart kid looked over all my repairs and shook his head. He kept the car, drove it trying to get it to duplicate. It didn’t until I had him take it through a laser carwash. He called and said it was EMC (cars electric brain) had shorted out due to moisture. It wa covered under the powertrain warranty ($2,500) and thank goodness for that. They swore to me it was fixed but it failed one final time. While in reduced power mode, I was able to get it to the dealership and they scanned the code which indicated one faulty wire from the throttle body to the accelerator. That was another $900 bill, but Rick Hendrick’s in Duluth was able to successfully repair the problem. That was a year and half ago, knock on wood. She has 106,000 miles on her and travels daily. My husband wasn’t so fortunate but he didn’t invest the time, money or effort that I did either. He said it was garbage and would never buy another Chevy again. With problems continuing, he traded the Malibu for a truck about 45 days ago and is very happy with his choice. I guess the moral to all of this is the car can be repaired depending on how much time, energy and money you are willing to invest. I was tempted to throw my towel in too and spent way more on repairs than I should have had considering the car was new. Having to deal with Chevy through this whole ordeal and knowing what their perception is about the customer, how they respond to problems, and their willingness to resolve them has left a very bitter taste in my mouth for Chevy. I will never purchase another Chevy product ever again. They could give me a brand new one and I would list it for sale before driving it. Good luck to you all…a consumer who has been there, done that, and even got the tee shirt for it.
I’m sure this is more to this story. Seems there is something wrong with her car and not the sensor. I personally have heard of no issues with these on any car. I have feeling she didn’t even pursue the local rep who probably would have taken care of it for her. This is a money grab and that is all it is. GM can just pay her the money and it will be over but now someone gets a lawyer involved and she will be out more than 500 dollars.
Here in Canada there are no longer reps that you can speak to i just inquired about this yesterday in case my 2019 Vette G S wheels go out of round or crack as far as I know their is class action suit going on in the US as G m is not covering the cost of wheels! I am just about done with their no taking care of their customer B S after over 40 years!
Barry, I agree with you 100%! It seems like they’re just becoming money hungry bastards grabbing every last penny that they can! Of course the owner of the dealership I’m sure could step in and help their loyal customers if they really cared about them and contact the factory rep and explain the situation and I’m sure that things would have been corrected with that lady‘s Malibu and her sensor.
I’ve been through that with previous GM cars like my Chevy Cruze that had a crappy transmission, but supposedly a transmission expert came down from somewhere years ago and said one of their many famous lines “operating as designed“! What BS! Just because the car doesn’t throw a faulty code they have no clue what to do! There were times when I would stop and think that somebody smashed into the back me the way the transmission would clunk. Other times, pulling out onto a main road step on the gas and nothing would happen! I would have to quick let up on the gas and do it again and then it would work! Maybe that was an accelerator sensor problem now that I think of it. I almost got T-boned twice! Anyway got out of that Lease somehow after only two years instead of three! The car was like brand new and if you only drove it on the highway you would never notice the clunking transmission, but most of my driving was local stopping and starting. All They want to do is give you excuses.
Same exact thing happened to me and it was covered to repair , after my 30k warranty expired happened again. I came out of pocket 500 bucks.
So what’s the problem? It was under warranty and fixed. Out of warranty your problem.
Brian, if it was the same exact problem it should’ve been repaired again and covered under warranty.
Had the same issue and it happened again not covered under warranty. It is an issue with certain cars mine was a sensor and they said throttle body was not cleaned which caused the sensor to go bad. Car was brought new had only 50,000 miles on it when problem occured
There is this problem actually. I dealt with my 2017 having this problem.
Hey Joe, it’s definitely not a money grab for this lady. This is a serious issue with the Malibu model. There are other problems as well, such as water leaks from the third high mount break light. GM only issued a Technical Service Bulletin for that issue. I had the same problem with my 2016 Malibu LT. Had to have the entire accelerator pedal assembly replaced. They gave me a new black rubber pedal instead of the silver medal pedal with the holes which came with the car. I was told by the service person at the dealer that they had three other Malibu in for the same issue that day. Gm should issue a recall asap! The faulty pedal assembly and the engine power reduced mode are definitely dangers to the driving public.
I’ve repeatedly had my vehicle in the dealership for the same issue and my car is not fixed. I purchased my car new in 2017. It had about 7 miles on it when I drove it off he lot. I’ve reached out to GM numerous times and they have ignored my concerns.
I just bought a brand new 2018 Malibu 3 weeks and had this issue repaired yesterday. It happened to me after 2 weeks of having the car. So no, there is nothing more to the story and it is exactly as stated. There was a repair bulletin out for this specific issue and it was fixed however now I need to know if this was an actual fix or a band-aid so I am glad this lawsuit was made so now I know what I am looking for.
Yes I had this problem 3 times soon as we purchased the car.
That isn’t very nice…mine is a 2017, purchased brand new and has been in Reduced Engine Power 9 times since Jan 28th. Started at 39K. It’s ran 2 months the entire year. Over $2000 in non-warranty GM recommended repairs and the dealership who has had it for the past 7 months has now apologized and given up. They have tried and failed at repairing the car. They say they are at a loss…they can’t fix it and will not take the car back. I have it at another dealership. Has been there 3 days and still in diagnostics. It’s tough to pay almost $ 4,136 in payments, $680 in full coverage insurance because it’s required, and over $2000 in repairs/rental expense for a car that has only functioned 2 months. As anyone can see, it can be worse. I really feel justified in my frustrations. And just for the record? My husband has a 2018. His made it 9k miles farther than mine…47k before his reduced engine power. It is the cars. THEY ARE DEFECTIVE.
Call gm and they said it’s under a special warranty at no cost to you. My car stopped in mid air and I was furious. How many lives will be lost. Call them and get it done. The local dealer will tell you the price but don’t tell u that gm issued a special warranty. FREE OF CHARGE. The also tried to charge for engine light reset. Don’t do it. It’s all connected.
this is a dangerous situation that same thing happened to me three days ago I stopped at three different
auto parts to finally find out the throttle positioning sensor was bad. the dash says reduced engine speed
the car was going 35 mph then dropped to 20 mph suddenly. I called dealership to inquire about price of part was told from $100.00 to $500.00 depending on my vin number. this is not what you say about a money grab its a
dangerous situation. Just wondering if this would happen on the freeway going 70 mph.
It happened to me while going 80mph on the freeway. It said refusing power to engine and slowed my car down in the middle lane. It was terrifying and dangerous. Had my grandson in the car. We got off the freeway and pulled over. Then it wouldn’t start for about 15 mins and kept reducing the speed on me. Cost 500 for my deductible to fix it and it’s doing the same thing 3 months later.
Catrina. This is why I lease my cars and only keep them long enough during the warranty because many times when you have a problem the dealer has no clue if a fault code doesn’t pop up on their computer. All they tell you is can’t duplicate the problem! Very frustrating to say the least
I was able to get it fixed again last week at no charge and have seen an improvement. I’m still trying to get a refund from the first repair but it seems to be the dealership giving me grief rather than Chevy. I had recieved a recall in the mail so at least they are warning people and trying to get them all fixed.
Its definitely a issue i have 6 Malibu’s at my job and all have the same problem even after being fixed.
My car 2015 Malibu is currently in the Chevy shop being repaired for this issue. She is correct, loss of power happens suddenly and is a very real hazard. Like her my car is out of warranty. I did not realize this problem is as widespread as I am being made aware of.
There have been thousands of reports of the Malibu having this same issues…. You can literally goole, “Engine Power Reduce Malibu” and you will countless topics about it.
I got a 2017 and I’m having the same issue now!!! I read notes from other purchasers that they had the same issue and GM never at knowledge this so it’s not her it’s the car.
My car is doing this same thing. It was hooked up to the computer and it was a throttle sensor. So she’s not lying.
My 2018 did the exact same thing and I am from my local Chevy dealership that it is the pedal position sensor and GM is already aware of it, lucky mines covered since my 2018 Malibu is certified preowned….. just worried about it going out in the future. Its a scary malfunction when you’re on the highway !
I would think that part would be part of the power train, so it should be covered. But if it is not you can’t expect them to pay for it . As for as the car going into reduced power mode, that is exactly what it is supposed to do so you don’t lose control.
You make a good point there Daryl. Reduced power is preferred over Toyota mode ( wide-open throttle ).
All sensors were removed from powertrain warranty coverage after GM’s bankruptcy.
That is not true.
“Excluded from the powertrain coverage are sensors, wiring, connectors, engine radiator, coolant hoses, coolant, and heater core.”
Simple Google search. They are covered by the bumper-to-bumper but not the powertrain warranty. Including sensors on the powertrain.
It’s probably a wiring issue. I work on a fleet of GMs. It’s usually a wiring harness issue.
I had to same issue! Our of warranty as well. A friend got down under the steering wheel and sprayed the sensor/plug with an electronics cleaner. Very grateful it worked. That was almost a year ago. Haven’t thought about it sense. It’s a scary situation when ur on the freeway and it happens!
I can personally vouch for her issues. I too have a 2016 Malibu that at 50,000 miles had the accelerator pedal issue which was repaired by the dealer under my extended warranty minus my 200 deductible. Exactly 1 year later (Just last month) I had the same issue when driving on the highway. Again had the dealer replace the part.
Coincidentally my daughter owned a 2018 Malibu which I happened to be driving on to the highway and the same issue arose-her’s was covered under warranty. This HAS to be a GM issue that needs addressing!
I had the same exact problem with mine at 40k miles. I have a 2017 Malibu Hybrid. I was out of pocket $700 because i was past 39,900 miles. I definitely feel your pain especially coming with a new car.
That would be the day I would pay that kind of money to replace that part. I would replace it myself. Even if you are not mechanically inclined you would be surprised what you can do if you tried.
This very thing happened to my wife and I while drive from Chicago to Detroit. Several years our 2009 Saturn outlook lost all of it’s acceleration. Max speed 20miles per hour. Took it to the dealership and they found nothing. It continued to happen and again took it to the dealership. Nothing. I had to voluntarily allow them to repossess the vehicle because they wouldn’t fix under warranty. They offered no help.
So, rather than take it to a different shop you’d rather ruin your credit? That will cost more than just going to another shop. There’s four parts in the chain going to throttle control; pedal, harness, throttle body and PCM. Shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. Not worth a voluntary repo.
I got a 2014 malibu that has that reduced power check engine and I’ve replaced the timing control sensors on it twice and still get that same issue again 6 months down the line..its a gm issue..
I had the same problem…. and I know Lyft drivers who had the car that been experiencing the same problem.
My 2017 Malibu had the same thing happen, $400 repair. This is definitely a safety issue, I travel a very busy interstate everyday and this happened “reduced engine power “ several times. This is scary to cross over lanes to pull car over.
The malibu has had this problem since 2008. And most problems cause the engine power to be reduced which is very dangerous. The only car ive ever seen do that for multiple reasons. I will not be purchasing another chevy. Ever.
My wife and I own two GM vehicles, one of which happens to be a 2016 Chevy Malibu LT. We had the same problem last month. We had to replace the entire pedal assembly. We have never had an issue like this with any other car we’ve owned. GM should definitely address this problem ASAP because it is a danger to the driving public! BTW, I will not be purchasing another GM vehicle again.
I encounter this problem myself last year and this is the 1st time I’ve heard about it being an issue it is very dangerous in the problem happened to me on the Parkway GM needs to take a look at this And adress this issue. Be for someone gets killed. It is very scary when it happened.
One of my good friends had the same issue in his wife’s car…it happened twice before the dealership even recommended replacing the sensor!
Then the local dealership wouldn’t even give him a rental….the car is only a year old and its a lease so the car has less than 18k miles on it.
It is def. a GM prob. that they try to play stupid and ignore. Bought a 2017 for my daughter and same issue. The dealer tried to charge me 350 to grease the connections from the pedal to the throttle. Ended up 250 because I made a big deal about the safety issue and told them I was going to right a letter. Big safety concern GM is going to have even a bigger lawsuit if my daughter gets plowed do to no throttle response. Greasing the connections is not part of the maintenance plan. How could GM even put a car on the road that gives a message for loss of power?
Can’t wait to hear the outcome of that case, I would not mind joining that lawsuit! I have not bought a GM vehicle in a while, prob won’t again after this!
My 2008 mlibu does the same thing. Also when I start my car it makes a horrible loud grinding noise along with a sudden jerk then my car will not accelerate even if I am pushing the gas pedal all the way down. The only way it will work properly is if I restart the car.The engine light goes on every sensor is screwed up my headlights have been replaced about 4 times on each side I’ve only had my car a short period of time. Very frustrating.
I had same issue with my 2016 Malibu. Reduced power happened to the car 6 times! Once when I was out of town coming back from a long day at hospital while my dad was recovering from heart surgery! I got a lemon law lawyer, GM settled & gave us enough to pay off our lease, but wouldn’t call it a lemon ? My husband & I have always bought GM vehicles, now we are driving a Nissan & will NEVER purchase another GM vehicle again.
Exact same issue with my 2016 Malibu first I had a piston to misfire which resulted in a message of service stabilitrak with 28k miles which was covered under warranty. So they replaced the engine. At 37k miles I recieved engine power reduced, battary saver activated, and stabilitrak messages again. This time I was told it was the accelerator pedal which was out of warranty so I paid out of pocket for it and bought a battary which lead to another message of steering assist reduced drive with care at 45k miles. And now at 63k miles I have replaced the battery once again due to a service battary charging system message. I loved GM but this vehicle has changed my opinion on purchasing a chevy again.
that sounds like it could happen to me next, i’m here because my malibu 16 hybrid has been guzzling gas since the day i got it. i’ve had him for almost three months. it wasn’t until week three that i realized i’ve been pumping 91 and not 93. so i switched…. not that big of a difference…. but as of thes past couple of weeks i press the gas and it doesn’t past 20 unless i press firm… like how we do when we need to hit like 35-40 mph. nothing is on the dash, no special blinks temporary icons … the most i’ve seen a while ago was a tire pressure gauge… i think 🤔 .. that came and gone twice. ima take it in after i make a bit more money, i jus went thru a 31 dollar tank i filled on wednesday, went down to 1/4 by friday 🥴
Same problem 2013…will NEVER buy another Chevy ever!