The failing security computer should not be a "very common problem" on ANY vehicle. What if you have to rush someplace in an emergency, and you have to sit there for 10 to 15 minutes waiting for the computer to let you start your own car? GM needs to have a recall instead of sitting on their behinds. The LEAST they can do is to install a bypass switch that works with the key moved to the Accessory or On position. We got along for about a hundred years without security systems - we can get along fine without malfunctioning ones.
I agree with the last comment writer in Feb. That system was so stupid and cost me $600.00 to get fixed after the key and tumbler system failed after having to use the switch so many times. Anyway, the Malibu leaves a lot to be desired..
I, myself, own a 2001 Malibu. I love my car. Out of all the cars I have owned (about 8), it has given me the least amount of problems.
I had to put new brakes on the car after about 3 years of driving it, when I had bought it used. I would consider my experience normal wear and tear for brake pads. I also bought the brake pads from auto zone, so when they wear out in the future I just have to bring the old ones in and I get a new set for free.
I had a small problem with it using power steering fluid, but I put brake fluid in it a couple of times (it's thicker), and I haven't had any more problems out of it since then.
The theft system is annoying, but it tells you what to do if that happens in the owners manual, and I found it relatively quickly.
The only other thing I can think of is that I had a battery put on the car about 2 years ago, which means the battery would have been 5 years old. I don't consider that too bad either. but I'm no mechanic. I just don't believe all Malibu's are bad.
My ex owns one too, and they haven't had any problems out of theirs either so far. I just believe that it's just like anything else, some are good and some are bad. It's the same for any car. Some people have bad luck with their cars, and others have really good luck, and it's not always how good of care you take of your car. I just get in and drive, have the oil changed every so often (sometimes it 10,000 miles before I get it changed), and drive some more.