Last post on Feb 09, 2013 at 9:37 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Malibu
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Chevrolet Malibu, Sedan
#101 of 4972 Response to #87 "Is there something wrong here"
Oct 26, 2000 (8:46 pm)
I just bought a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu LS and it too has a very stiff suspension (i.e., There is practically no 'give' in the suspension. Therefore, you [literally] feel the road and the car will rock from side to side.) I informed the service manager at Chevrolet that the car is unsafe to drive. The dealership told me that I'm 1 of 5 customers who have complained about this condition. The dealership contacted Chevrolet who did not have any record of any complaints. Chevrolet indicated that the LS trim incorporates a much tighter suspension ("Chevrolet wanted to provide a European-style handling to this trim"). Consequently, Chevrolet had no recommendation to remediate this problem and the dealership recommended that I drive it until there are 1,000 miles on the odomoter in order to 'loosen' the suspension. (Currently, I am at 450 m.)
I did bring in the Malibu to the Chevrolet dealership. The manager and a technician did drive it & confirmed that the ride is definitely not as smooth as it should be. However, they can only replace the suspension with manufacturer's specs (i.e., I wouldn't feel any difference).
Luckily, I live in a state (NJ) where after 2 more unsuccessful attempts to fix my problem, I can take legal action against Chevrolet via the NJ Lemon Law.
Regardless, if Chevrolet or the dealership could 'soften' the suspension, then the car is a PLEASURE to drive. Otherwise, I could drive over a dime and identify if it's heads or tails !!!
Has anybody had a similar problem with their Malibu?
Oct 26, 2000 (8:52 pm)
Mine was smooth when I bought it but honestly after 2000 miles it got a lot better and now it's as smooth and quiet as I can ask for. So I would give it at least until 1000 miles so the suspension "breaks in", it could be teh whole problem.
#103 of 4972 Hermama
Oct 26, 2000 (9:22 pm)
Sorry to break the news out to you...but if you try to persue Lemon Law be prepared to take on an uphill battle. Why? if the suspension of your Malibu is too hard for your driving taste, well that means that you should have taken more time to test driven the car before signing the dotted line. Chevy has stated that the car's suspension meets manufacturer's specifications. If this is the case, your car is working by design and there is no hard evidence of a "defect" that can compromise the safety of the car. The only way you can win a lemon law case is by demonstrating by real hard evidence that the car has indeed a manufacturing defect that the manufacturer refuses to acknowledge and the dealer can't repair to satisfaction. Again, if you can't come up with that evidence, you are better off:
* Keeping the car (Put more miles to see if the suspension mellows a bit more due to normal use)
* Selling or trading the car
* Learn your lesson (Check the goods before accepting them)
Most people believe that the "Lemon Law" is there to provide relief to "Buyer's Remorse" cases where the consumer simply did not take the time to make sure that the product they bought meet or exceeded their immediate expectations. When you buy a House or a piece of real estate you take all the precautions not to get taken. Same goes for cars, but people often fall for a new car too quickly without making sure that is exactly what they want in the long run.
The main goal of Lemon law is to provide replacement or refund on a vehicle that has proven safety defects and that it is deemed unrepairable by law.
Sorry for the "Harshness" of my post, but before you hire an attorney and get milked out of big $$$ for nothing I would suggest for you to get the facts straight regarding the ride quality of your Malibu. Compare the ride to the same new models in the lot....do they feel the same?...better?...worse??
Good luck and let us know what you decide.
#104 of 4972 Malibu99 and Teo
Oct 27, 2000 (1:47 pm)
Thanks for your input and suggestions.
For your information, I had test driven another Malibu 2000 LS (at another dealership) and the ride was excellent (mileage was also low in the 300-500 range). Otherwise, I would never have considered the purchase.
In hindsight, what I should have done is to test drive the ACTUAL car that I was about to purchase before I signed on the dotted line. Then, obviously, I never would have accepted the car. (About I drove it out of the showroom, I could have sworn I had a flat or soft tire because of the way it was handling).
I agree with you Teo that "Caveat Emptor" or "Let the buyer beware" may be the result of my actions. However, I was 1 of 5 customers who have also complained about the suspension (i.e., a possible pattern or defect might be emerging) and my recourse is simply to have Chevrolet [somehow] soften the suspension (I am not looking for a refund). As I had mentioned, if they 'fix' the suspension, the Malibu is actually a pretty decent car to drive.
#105 of 4972 Hermama
Oct 27, 2000 (1:58 pm)
Thanks for the clarification to your previous post. If that is the case then you have some "material" to start building up a Lemon Law case. However, since your car is still brand new (Very low miles, under 1000) why don't you demand a replacement?? Get the dealer's general manager involved in your situation. I think it will be much easier (and less costly and time consuming) to persue GM and the selling dealer to exchange the car for another one in their lot. See if you can explore that venue.
Good luck again!
Oct 27, 2000 (3:35 pm)
A have a base 98 Malibu with a rather soft suspension (soft for my taste). But, once, it changed to rather rigid.
With a good weather it was fine for several days: my wife and I like the rigid suspension. We were happy.
But then I drove, with my family, to a concert at one of suburbs of Hartford, CT. It was about hour drive by highway, door to door.
November evening, absolutely dark. A strong rain, mixed with snow. The rush traffic, with tired and hungry men returning home from work, many of them demonstrating the capabilities of their SUVs in this road conditions.
My tires did not hold well the very wet, slushy road. Not too bad - the car did not slip - but driving, or rather holding the car in the lane, was a hard work, not a pleasure. It need constant attention, and I felt to have little tolerance to errors. Even while this time I drove substantially slowly than a lot of people around.
So, I agree with you: this is a safety problem.
Next morning I checked the car. It turned to be, the technician overinflated the tires, when changing oil. Do not remember the exact numbers, but he inflated the tires to the maximum, as stated on the tires sidewalls. Something like 40 psi, instead of 29/26 front/rear specified by GM.
Funny thing, I changed oil at the Chevrolet dealership, so the technician had to know better all peculiarities of Malibu.
Oct 27, 2000 (7:17 pm)
Did you test drive 2001? Try that. It has new re-design suspension. You probably would like those!
#108 of 4972 Brake Problems?
Oct 28, 2000 (2:01 am)
I have a Y2K Malibu built in 9/99. Experienced the shuddering brakes early on. It was not due to improper break-in, but defective rotors. Had them replaced at 6,000K. There is a technical service bulletin out on the rotors and they are replaced free of charge.
My advice is don't wait, don't think it's your fault, and don't think that the warping is from normal wear and tear. Go to the dealer and get the rotors replaced.
My car rides great now. I have no other problems. It's quiet, has great acceleration and good gas mileage.
Oct 29, 2000 (3:29 pm)
I rented the 2000 Malibu in March for 2 weeks. What a great car. I want to buy one for my personal use, about 15k a year. Everyone tells me the 3.1 motor is no good, the heads warp at 50k and the brakes have problems. I know 2 weeks isn't a long time. I liked the way the car drove, parked and how I could enter and exit with ease. I am spoiled with my current car, an 87 Dodge Omni. 174k with no extraordinary services. Any info to clear up this decision would be appreciated. Thanks
Oct 29, 2000 (5:14 pm)
I'm not sure who told you the 3.1 is a bad engine. Actually it's a very reliable and effcient engine. They might have been talking about the 4 cyl engine that was used until 1999 but the V6 3.1 is a nice engine. The 2001 model has a redesigned suspension and brake rotors. The rotor issue was addressed in the 2000 models as well. It's nice car to have, very powerful, comfortable, quiet, and good looking. I have a 99 LS and it's been a great car. You wont go wrong withthe 2000 or the 2001. Good Luck!