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Just got car back from dealer to locate a water leak today. The third brake light was leaking. I only noticed it after going through a touchless car wash. Almost 13k on car and wonder how long its been leaking. Dealer says some 16 models had a recall because the third brake light bolts had not been tightened down. My supposedly tight but still leaked.
Now the dealer needs to replace the headliner. Not looking forward to the dealer dismantling the interior panels to do this.
Anyone else have this type of water leak?
 

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I have not read any reports of this previously nor see a recall or TSB listed on the NHTSA website for the 16 or 17. As for panels being removed, I understand that concern. Trust the dealer or help protect yourself by recording some video/audio of the nice rattle-free silence inside the cabin while driving. Then if you get a rattling panel or squeaky headliner after you can show it. Probably will be fine though and no need to worry. I would also request they be sure to clean any possible mold out.


EDIT - should water appear in the trunk or rear seat the cause can and usually is the 3rd brake light. There is a TSB for it: http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/TSb/DownloadPdf?id=200328
 

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I have A Chevy Malibu 16 as well and noticed that I had leak marks in the back part of my headliner where the third break light is. I took my vehicle to my near by Chevy dealer and they stated "No Recall" but the break light panel is faulty. They replaced and fixed it said they would clean the headliner. Picked up my car Wednesday and the headliner was worst than when I dropped it off. Now I'm back to the dealer now. They are wanting to clean it again but it really needs to be replaced.
 

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I agree, that headliner needs to be replaced.
 

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But did they actually fix the leak?
 

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Same problem with my 2016. I've had it a year and didn't notice till I went through a car wash. My granddaughter said "Mimi I'm getting wet"! I looked back and she was getting a mini shower. I saw a watermark on the headliner on the other side too. It's in the shop now...they had to order a new light. I was also getting wet spots and dripping in my trunk. I'd check that out too.
 

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I also have the same leak in my 2016 Malibu. My dealer says that my car has to many miles on it to be covered even though it is less than a year old. I have 43,000 miles on it and live in Florida where it doesn't rain until now. I bought my car in August. Now I have rain inside when it is coming down outside.
 

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Car smells mill-dewy. Found a lot of water in my trunk today under the spare . Will try to locate the leak using a hose then its off to the dealer for repairs. Disappointing.
 

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I am currently having the same problem (3rd brake light loose and water coming into trunk). I have video of water coming from the holes made during manufacturing and from my rear speaker compartment. I am talking to Terry Cullens Chevrolet right now to see what options are available to me. I have a faint mildew smell coming from my trunk and water damage inside my cabin.
 

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Questions for you people: are you all driving 2016 LT2/Premier and 2017 Premier or has this thread become about mixed trims? I would think it would affect all trims but I suppose something might have been different on a 2.0 day in Fairfax. Also, for those with water in trunk vs headliner, is water running down the rear window and into the trunk through the pkg tray? down the headliner and through quarter panel trim?
 

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Questions for you people: are you all driving 2016 LT2/Premier and 2017 Premier or has this thread become about mixed trims? I would think it would affect all trims but I suppose something might have been different on a 2.0 day in Fairfax. Also, for those with water in trunk vs headliner, is water running down the rear window and into the trunk through the pkg tray? down the headliner and through quarter panel trim?
I am driving 2016 LS. I have signs of water damage in my headliner. I personally feel like the water is coming down though the 3rd break light around my rear window and coming out in my trunk near the left speakers and other areas. If I could post a video I would show it.
 

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I am driving 2016 LS. I have signs of water damage in my headliner. I personally feel like the water is coming down though the 3rd break light around my rear window and coming out in my trunk near the left speakers and other areas. If I could post a video I would show it.
Thanks for confirming. It is a bummer, for sure. Good news that it happened under warranty though! There must be a gasket or seal where the electrical harness connects to the upper brake light. Water oozes in, pools in the headliner and then rolls to the side. The back of the headliner slopes up slightly so that is what makes it run sideways rather than backward.

I googled this issue and see reports going back years on other GM cars/trucks as well as other mfg. Once reports of this started rolling in I drove mine in some hard storms and then inspected - no leaks at all. It is probably a case of bad luck. Well mounted quality seal lasts forever or seal with crack or seal mounted crooked fails. I would think most would start leaking early on if you are on the bad end of luck spectrum - as we have seen reports here. Water always goes where it can. Cost of repair can't be great outside warranty since the headliner alone in 1000 bucks. Always good to keep perspective - this doesn't happen to every car, forums like this tend to amplify problems.

As for posting videos, I recommend just linking youtube.
 

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The headliner is $1000? Yikes!!
Yeah... and that's just the part. You can get them (two parts, one with sunroof and no noise control, the other no sunroof and noise control) on gmpartsdirect for 650/750 + 160 shipping or 995/1250 at the dealer. The labor is likely substantial. If they do it right they go in through the front or back without bending. If you get the quick way they fold it right up and create a crunchy creaky seam. Anyway, that's just the headliner. You still have to fix the problem.
 

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Just got car back from dealer to locate a water leak today. The third brake light was leaking. I only noticed it after going through a touchless car wash. Almost 13k on car and wonder how long its been leaking. Dealer says some 16 models had a recall because the third brake light bolts had not been tightened down. My supposedly tight but still leaked.
Now the dealer needs to replace the headliner. Not looking forward to the dealer dismantling the interior panels to do this.
Anyone else have this type of water leak?

I just took mine in today after noticing my driver side rear portion of the headliner was damp. The rest was all dry. After I picked it up, they said they took apart the third brake light and found "hardware missing". They repaired, tested it and all is well.
 

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Hi,

I just noticed my 2016 Malibu leaking in the spare tire.

Did the Chevrolet dealership fix your car?

Thank you,
Donna
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just wanted to send an update. The dealer did replace the third brake light a few weeks ago and I haven't notice anymore problem. I opted to NOT have the headliner replaced after discussing the process. I was not thrilled that they need to remove the windshield or the rear window. They cleaned the headliner and I was satisfied with that.
 

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Hello all, I had a 2016 Malibu LT 1.5, I had the same leak from the third brake light and sides of rear window. Due to Hurricane Harvey, the trunk and back seats got completely flooded. The car was parked in the driveway, far away from streets floods, but the car got water damage due to this defect. I had to use my car insurance, as GM does not want to be responsible for it. They are blaming the storm, even though other Chevy cars I own did not get a single drop of water inside. Possible lawsuit????
 

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I just bought a brand new Malibu in January. Today noticed that there is water damage on the interior of my car (purple dye coming through). In addition, there are rust speckles all over the car throughout the paint (most start midway and go down on the doors). I'm not happy.
 

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Just got car back from dealer to locate a water leak today. The third brake light was leaking. I only noticed it after going through a touchless car wash. Almost 13k on car and wonder how long its been leaking. Dealer says some 16 models had a recall because the third brake light bolts had not been tightened down. My supposedly tight but still leaked.
Now the dealer needs to replace the headliner. Not looking forward to the dealer dismantling the interior panels to do this.
Anyone else have this type of water leak?
I have the same issue, took my 2017 Chevy Malibu to the dealer today 12/06/2017 for a leak in my headliner. My son was in the back seat at the car wash and said mom you have a leak. Looking back I noticed he was wet. Had I been under 36,000 miles it would have been covered in my warranty which is what I was told by the dealer. To fix it is $1,900 so I would advise everyone to get it fixed if you are still within your warranty. I feel victimized by The dealer/manufacture of Chevrolet. This how you treat your customers when clearly you were aware of this defect as identified in older model complaints as well.
 
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