Steering & chassis parts fail every few thousand miles. Parts that should last over 200k miles needs replacement under 50K miles. Transmission got burned.
Cheap plastics. Panels not fitting correctly. Interior has many rattles. Many buttons failed and had to be replaced.
Less than manufacturers claim
GM known for certain reliability issues on the Malibu.
For some reason always unable to replicate a problem until you stick them the TSB in the hand describing the problem and fix.