“The latest Malibu looks great, drives well, offers good fuel economy in four-cylinder guise, and might just be the best family sedan ever brought forth by a domestic automaker.”

So wrote the editors of Car & Driver magazine about the model year 2009 Chevrolet Malibu sedan in a review when the car came out in the fall of 2008.

That evaluation may be coming back to haunt the writers after research reported by the Wall Street Journal on Friday showed that the Malibu was General Motors’ (NYSE:GM) most-recalled model, and that the 2009 iteration alone was recalled five times for various defects.

According to the Journal's research, the 2009 Malibu “has been the subject of five different recalls since it went into production in late 2008. The Malibu was included in this month's big recall of 2.44 million midsize cars, and Malibus from 2004 to 2010 made up just over half the 1.29 million car total. That number includes 176,837 Malibus from the 2009 model year alone.”

Later models are also vexed with recall issues. The WSJ reported that 225,863 model year 2012 Malibus were recalled earlier this month.