Consumer Complaints and Reviews
My 2007 23LSV was a great boat. My 2016 25 LSV was fraught with problems. Quality control is gone at Malibu. 10 visits to the dealer in the first year of ownership. Malibu, to their credit, kept repairing my boat until I just couldn't take it anymore, and dumped it for another brand. So disappointed! Wedge problems, Surfgate problems, pump problems, tower problems, windshield problems. I even tried to trade it on another Malibu thinking maybe I got a lemon. Dealer told me better off going to another brand since Malibu is just not putting out high quality boats right now. I kept the dealer, but changed the brand. I prefer Malibu styling, but no thanks on the headaches I got from it.
2000 Wakesetter VLX: The rudder had 13 V on it because a wire in steering harness shorted against a bolt. This caused galvanic reaction on metal parts which destroyed them. Is anybody else aware of this problem or constantly replacing rudders and props? Check it out by connecting a voltmeter to the rudder and prop.
I have a 1999 Malibu Sunsetter LX. On the bottom of the boat, there are Tracking Fins. I have had them ripped off a number of times by driftwood. When I contacted Malibu, they said that they have never heard of that happening. I know of many people on the Internet that say it has happened. The boat fills with water every time and a new fin cost $130, plus you have to find the hardware. The hardware is a 7/8 inch long stainless steel bolt that screws directly in to the fiberglass on the bottom of the hull. Does not seem to be a very good system.
I own a 2002 Malibu Wakesetter VLX. This boat comes with a factory installed device called "The Wedge". This device was designed and engineered by Malibu. No other boat manufacturer uses such a device. The device is attached to the transom of the boat. The purpose of the device, when deployed, is to make the wake behind the boat larger.
The device basically looks like a foil that, when in the down position, sits about 10 inches or more below the hull of the boat and just behind the rudder. While boating with the device down, we struck a submerged object. The direct impact to the nose of the wedge foil resulted in the transom ripping open and the sinking of the boat.
Basically, in terms of safety, the device is poorly engineered. There is no shear pin or other failsafe incorporated into the design that will allow the device to release upon impact. All the stress of an impact is transferred to the mounting area of the transom (hull). Additionally, the hull is not reinforced in the mounting area to withstand the additional stress. I spent several weeks trading email, voice mail, and telephone calls with Malibu. The bottom line is that Malibu's official position is that they accept no responsibility for the damage to my boat, even though they attached their poorly engineered device to the lifetime warranteed hull of my boat.
I have already discussed the issue with a lawfirm but because no one was injured or killed, yet, they were unwilling to take the case even though they stated that it is a very good one. I have also discovered that there are many Malibu owners out there who have also experienced damage from this device.
Damage Resulting: $15,000 to $20,000 in damages to the boat.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
Malibu Boats has been designing and manufacturing sports boats since 1982. Often called towed boats, these boats are designed for watersports such as tubing, wakeboarding, wake surfing and waterskiing.
- Multi-disciplined boats: All of Malibu boats are designed to pull you as you wakeboard, ski, tube or wake surf, so you don’t need to choose between your favorite water sports.
- Mass and luxury sellers: Malibu Boats caters to both the mass and luxury crowd, so consumers who are on a tighter budget can still enjoy the same great quality as consumers who are able to afford luxury boats.
- Innovative: Malibu Boats is recognized in the industry as an innovator. Some of their innovations include adding the first onboard computer system in 1993 and the more recent Surf Band, which is an armband that allows surfers to customize their wave while keeping in constant communication with the boat’s driver, in 2016.
- Schedule a factory tour: Consumers who are interested in the process of making a Malibu boat can schedule a factory tour in Loudon, Tennessee. Tours are offered Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm. Interested consumers who don’t live near the facility can watch a video that tours the factory on Malibu’s website.
- Malibu pro team: Find out what your favorite pros are doing by checking in on Malibu’s pro team page. Read interviews, watch videos and connect with Malibu’s pro team on their social media accounts.
- Build a boat: Use Malibu’s online build a boat feature to customize your boat. Customize as many boats as you want, and save them so you can compare features and designs when you’re ready to buy.
- Best for Malibu Boats is best for consumers looking for mass and luxury water sports boats.
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Malibu Boats Company Profile
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- Malibu Boats