Some of the recalls for the 2006 Chevy Malibu included those for electrical system wiring, cruise control issues, electronic stability control failures, automatic transmission problems and failures with the power-assisted steering. There were several other recalls on the Malibu, but these aforementioned problems affected over 1 million vehicles each.
The electrical wiring problem was with the connection to the body control module. It caused voltage fluctuations in the brake apply sensor circuits. The problem also affected brake lighting, cruise control functions, shifting functions and crash avoidance features such as traction control, electronic stability controls and panic brake-assist features. With the cruise control recall, similar voltage issues sometimes prevented the cruise control from disengaging.
The transmission problems stemmed from the linkage that could fracture and cause the cable to break. If the cable fractured, the gear position indicator may not have read the correct gear position. This problem sometimes caused the vehicle to show that it was in park when it was really still in gear. A potential vehicle rollaway increased the chances of injury to bystanders and exiting occupants.
Problems with the power steering sometimes caused the system to quit working without notice. This problem made steering much more difficult at low speeds and increased the chances of a crash.