Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Buick Regal, 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

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Vehicles Affected: More than 120,000 model-year 2011-13 Buick Regal and 2013 Malibu sedans

The Problem: The vehicles are equipped with two turn signal bulbs in each front turn signal; if one of the two bulbs burns out in either front turn signal lamp, there is no indication to the driver and he or she may continue to drive the vehicle. If half of a front turn signal is not illuminating, other drivers may not be aware that the affected vehicle is turning, increasing the risk of a crash. Cars.com first reported on this issue on July 23.

The Fix: GM will begin notifying owners this month, and dealers will update the body control module software for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Buick at 800-521-7300, Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

Thieves Still Favor the Honda Accord

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As is often the case in these "most-stolen" lists, the vehicles that are most popular with those who buy cars are commensurately popular with those who steal them. Of the top 10 popularly pilfered vehicles on the Des Plaines, Ill.,-based National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual "Hot Wheels" list, seven are also mainstays among the nation's top 10 best-selling cars each month.

Related: What's the Most Affordable Car for 2014

Topping the list is the consistently beloved Honda Accord, with nearly 54,000 thefts in the 2013 counting period, followed by the Honda Civic (45,000) and full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks (28,000). Moreover, while No. 8 combines the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee into one listing, it should be noted that these are two entirely separate vehicles, one a crossover and the other a full-size SUV.

By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Chevrolet Malibu Review

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"In a crowded, competitive field, the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu stands out for its technology, power and quietness — but its handling and interior space fail to impress," said Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman. Check out Bragman’s review for more.

2015 Chevrolet Malibu Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Aaron D. Bragman

By Jennifer Newman | August 15, 2014 | Comments (1)

How Ohio State University Won the EcoCar2 Student Hybrid Challenge

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The EcoCar2 Hybrid Challenge is over, and the winner has been declared: Ohio State University took the overall title, winning the three-year-long student program sponsored by General Motors.

But what does it take to capture such an award?

The EcoCar2 program is a student challenge started by the Department of Energy back in 1988 as the Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition designed to foster partnerships between private companies, universities and the government to boost fuel-efficiency tech.

By Aaron Bragman | June 24, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2004-2008 Chevrolet Malibu and 2005-2008 Pontiac G6

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1.1 million model-year 2004-08 Chevrolet Malibu and model-year 2005-08 Pontiac G6 vehicles equipped with four-speed automatic transmissions. This is an expansion of an earlier recall of the 2007-08 Saturn Aura.

The Problem: In these cars, a shift cable could wear out over time, resulting in a mismatch of the gear position indicated by the shift lever, according to GM. If the cable fractures, the driver may not be able to shift gears, remove the key from the ignition or shift the transmission into Park. The automaker is aware of 18 crashes and one injury among four-speed G6 and Malibu cars.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the shift cable and attachment bracket at no charge.

What Owners Should Do: For more info, owners can call GM at 800-553-6000.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Newman | May 20, 2014 | Comments (6)

Recall Alert: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu

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Vehicles Affected: About 140,067 model-year 2014 Chevrolet Malibu sedans with 2.5-liter engines

The Problem: These vehicles are subject to the disabling of hydraulic brake boost that can require greater pedal efforts and extended stopping distances, increasing the risk of a crash. GM, which is recalling the vehicles voluntarily, said the problem was discovered during testing of a future model with similar technology. The automaker is aware of four crashes without injuries, but is uncertain if those are related to the hydraulic brake boost issue.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the electronic brake control module for free.

What Owners Should Do: The automaker has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | May 15, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2.4 Million 2004-2012 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 2,440,524 model-year 2004-12 Chevrolet Malibu sedans, model-year 2004-07 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx wagons, model-year 2005-10 Pontiac G6 vehicles and 2007-10 Saturn Aura sedans

The Problem: In the affected vehicles, corrosion could develop in the brake lamp wiring harness, causing the brake lights to fail. In addition, cruise control, traction control, electronic stability control and brake assist could also become disabled.

GM has reported "several hundred" complaints related to the recall, as well as 13 crashes and two injuries; no fatalities have been reported.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free.

What Owners Should Do: GM has not yet provided an owner notification schedule. Concerned owners can contact Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, Pontiac at 800-762-2737 and Saturn at 800-553-6000 for more information.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | May 15, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2014 Chevrolet Malibu, Buick LaCrosse

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Vehicles Affected: About 8,208 model-year 2014 Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse sedans manufactured between Jan. 29 and March 31, 2014, the majority of which GM says remain in dealer stock. It estimates that about 1,694 are owned by customers.

The Problem: According to a letter sent Wednesday by GM to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear brake rotors may have been assembled into the front brake assembly. GM said the mix-up could significantly shorten front brake pad life and reduce brake system performance, increasing the risk of a crash. Brake performance is unaffected when the vehicle is new, but over time, higher heat generated by the thinner rotors will cause premature wearing, and the outer brake pad could disengage from the caliper bracket, causing the system to lose hydraulic integrity. This would cause the brake warning light to illuminate and additional brake application could result in a loss of braking power. GM said it is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the problem.

The Fix: Owners will be notified via letter, and dealers will inspect the vehicles and, if necessary, replace the front rotors and front brake pads for free. Customers who have taken delivery of a potentially affected vehicle may request a courtesy vehicle until the inspection and repair are completed.

What Owners Should Do: Chevrolet owners can call 800-222-1020 and Buick owners can call 800-521-7300 for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | May 8, 2014 | Comments (7)

Recall Alert: 1.3 Million Older Model GM Vehicles

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1.3 million older-model GM vehicles. The affected cars include model-year 2004-06 and 2008-09 Chevrolet Malibu sedans, 2004-06 Malibu Maxx wagons, non-turbo versions of the 2009-10 Chevrolet HHR hatchback, model-year 2010 versions of the Cobalt coupe and sedan, model-year 2008-09 versions of the Saturn Aura sedan, model-year 2004-07 versions of the Saturn Ion coupe and sedan, and model-year 2005-09 versions of the Pontiac G6. GM is also reporting that certain vehicles that had related service parts installed before May 31, 2010, under a previous safety recall may also be affected.

The Problem: GM is recalling the vehicles due to a sudden loss of electric power steering assist, which increases the risk of a crash. If this happens, drivers will be alerted by a message on the driver information center and a corresponding chime. "Steering control can be maintained because the vehicle will revert to manual steering, but greater driver effort would be required at low vehicle speeds," GM said in a statement.

The automaker also said that it's unaware of any fatalities related to this recall, but some crashes have been reported.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free. Customers who previously paid for repairs of these parts are eligible for reimbursement, GM said. Owners of non-turbocharged model-year 2006-09 Chevrolet HHRs and model-year 2003 Saturn Ions that are not part of this recall will be given lifetime warranties for replacement of the electronic power steering motor.  

"With these safety recalls and lifetime warranties, we are going after every car that might have this problem, and we are going to make it right. We have recalled some of these vehicles before for the same issue and offered extended warranties on others, but we did not do enough," Jeff Boyer, vice president, GM global vehicle safety, said in a statement.

What Owners Should Do: GM will notify owners, but has not yet released an owner notification timeline. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020, Pontiac at 800-762-2737 and Saturn at 800-553-6000 for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 31, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 Chevrolet Malibu Earns IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus Rating

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety today announced that the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu earned the agency's highest designation, Top Safety Pick Plus. The sedan gets the rating when paired with a forward collision warning system. The Malibu earned a score of good — the highest rating — in the moderate- and small-overlap front, side, roof-strength, and head restraints and seats assessments.

More Safety News on Cars.com

As of 2014, to earn the Plus designation, vehicles must score a good rating in four of the five crash tests and no less than acceptable in the small-overlap test, as well as at least a basic rating — the lowest level below advanced and superior — in forward collision prevention. The Malibu received a basic score in the assessment for frontal-crash prevention when outfitted with the optional Advanced Safety Package available on the 2LT trim and higher. "The system uses camera and radar systems to monitor the distance to the car in front of the Malibu, and will sound an alert if it senses a possible collision," Chevrolet said in a statement.

The Malibu has been a Top Safety Pick for the past four years, and it's earning its first Top Safety Pick Plus award for 2014. The midsize sedan was redesigned for model-year 2013 and updated again for model-year 2014. It is the second Chevrolet car to receive the honor after the Spark mini car.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 31, 2014 | Comments (1)

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