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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,324 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 9 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #69

Jul 012007


  • 75,000 miles


Car will not start sometimes. Battery is fine. Lights work, locks work, etc. Battery was replaced twice before realized it was not battery. Have to wait 10 minutes and then try again to start car. Usually starts after 10 minute wait. If not, have to wait another 10 minutes. Security light comes on for no reason at times and then goes off.

- Lumberton, TX, USA

problem #68

Sep 142009


  • 800,000 miles
Several Chevrolet vehicles in the 2002 range (including my 2002 Impala) have a design defect in the body control module that causes a failure in the passlock security system. The failure is intermittent and unpredictable, but causes the car to either not start, or stop running. Once the BCM fails, the computer must be restarted to start the car- this means sitting in the car for 8-11 minutes waiting for the security light to go off; regardless of whether it's 110 degrees out, or 10 below. The problem is widely reported on auto forums, so there is no way Chevy doesn't know about it. There are even companies willing to bypass the security system (by cutting a wire from the BCM, and routing a wire from another source with an appropriate resistor) to eliminate the problem. A dealer will replace the BCM, but the replacement is the same design as the original, and is just as likely to fail (not to mention running $500-$800).

- Dundee, MI, USA

problem #67

Sep 012009


  • 85,000 miles
1999-2004 Impala have a problem, trac off, service traction system and ABS lights go on. This deactivates the anti-brake system and can be very dangerous when driving on a slick road. Also without traction control your car will not accelerate, turn or brake and will skid. What happens is GM used cheap wiring or cut too short and these wires corrode. This problem is an easy fix, GM is aware of these problems but refuses to do anything about them. It would be an easy fix but the only thing about that though is that you cant just replace the wires, the wires are sealed in the hub assembly, so you have to replace the entire hub assembly. Also there is a problem with the passlock feature, passlock was created to prevent thieves from stealing your car, not to prevent you from driving it.passlock can cause the vehicle to lose power while driving on the highway and may stall. That in itself is a major problem. I suggest you force GM to do a recall before people die because of negligence. And if they refuse to comply, just slap them with a major lawsuit.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #66

Aug 302009


  • 124,500 miles


2002 Chevy Impala ls on many different occasions will not start. I have been researching the problem online since I have sent my car to my mechanic twice for this issue, and he has no idea how to address the problem. I've found hundreds of other Impala owners who have had the same thing happen to them, and many cannot understand why a recall has never happened. On this link, there are over 150 similar complaints listed of over 2002 Impala owners. Please make GM have a recall for this recurring problem that has also been a safety issue since some Impala owners have been stranded in bad weather conditions: please take the time to look into this issue on 2002 Impala. Thank you for your time.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #65

May 202009


  • miles
I purchased a 2002 Chevy Impala ls in November of 2008. The security passlock system begin acting faulty in may of 2008, faulty as in the car won't start if it's too hot outside, when U turn the ignition in the on position you hear sparks and static from the wiring when the security light is on. You have to basically perform magic to get the car to start. And the could take up too 4 hours of sitting wherever you are. GM is practically aware of this very irritating and costly problem and should be held liable.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #64

Oct 302007


  • 150,000 miles
It started back in 2002 a few months I purchased my 2002 Impala. It was a used car with 15,000 miles. The check engine and low coolant light came on. Took it to the dealership and had the water pump and low coolant sensor replaced. A week later, low coolant light comes on again. Again took it to dealership and had to replace another sensor. That happen 10 times during the same year. As of now, July 2009, the light is still on. In 2007, my vehicle started to run hot. Was told I needed the manifold intake gasket, thermostat and hoses replaced which would of cost me over $1000. I couldn't afford it. I got a local mechanic to replace everything which he charged me $300. Just recently, I've been having problems starting my car especially after I drive it for a while. I'm a single mother who goes to school and work and this is my only means of transportation. This car has been giving me the blues the past few years and I'm sick of it. All this started with about 150,000 miles and currently I have about 168,000 miles. I will get a better, dependable vehicle later this year and I won't buy another GM vehicle again.

- Vacheri, LA, USA

problem #63

Jul 202009


  • 78,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. On July 20, 2009, the vehicle failed to start. The contact had to wait ten minutes before the vehicle would restart. The vehicle has not yet been inspected to determine the cause of the failure. She believes that this is a safety defect due to a faulty security system. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #62

Jul 072009


  • 50,000 miles
2002 Chevy Impala 7 times in 3 years I had security light issues with this vehicle leaving me stranded I had paid to have this vehicle until I through a fit in December of 2007 GM honored it because the part they put in was faulty. Here it is a year and a half later and I have the same security issue this time it cost me 510 bucks and some change. The car has 50 thousand miles. I will never buy another Chevy period. Since I have been doing many searches on this issue and now see that I am not the only one with the same issue.

- Manchester, PA, USA

problem #61

Jun 292009


  • 162,458 miles
I have a 2002 Chevy Impala and I have been having problems with my BCM (body control module). Sometimes when I start it up it will not let me start it up because that security system comes on. It also failed in general yesterday which I figured this out because I had unplugged my BCM and reconnected it and my car started up just fine. I went to the dealership to find out if it could possibly be that because I am not GM certified. But like any other place they gave me the run around and told me it can be something else and something else but I'm pretty sure its this. I have done my research online and most people have problems with there BCM, once they change it the problems go away. I believe GM should fix this problem for free because its something that only happens on Chevy's. I know this because I owned a 2001 Chevy Malibu and it used to do the same thing. This also has happened to me more then ten times in the past four months and its ridiculous. Now I go to see if I can get it fixed and they also told me that if they program it and its not that my money is not refundable and I'm stuck with a car that doesn't work and I loose out around 300-400 dollars.

- Haines City, FL, USA

problem #60

Mar 172005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. Whenever the contact attempts to start the vehicle, the key will turn inside of the ignition, but the vehicle will not start. The contact noticed the same failure three years ago at 40,000 miles. In addition, the security light feature began to flash before the failure occurred. The vehicle has been diagnosed by the dealer and they stated that the body control module needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 101,000 and failure mileage was 40,000. Updated 7/23/109 the consumer stated there is a severe problem with the passlock security system and GM does not have a proper fix. Updated 07/30/09.

- Bethany, OK, USA

problem #59

Jun 122009


  • 82,000 miles


My 2002 Chevrolet Impala's security light came on and all of the sudden my car started losing power while driving. Lights flickered and a strange clicking noise occurred. Sometimes vehicle won't start.

- Mchenry, IL, USA

problem #58

Jan 132009


  • 50,400 miles
Turn signal turns off intermittently. Work fine most of the time. I went as far as replacing all bulbs as well as the fuse. Starts working a couple of months then starts failing again. Seems to be an electrical problem. I've learned on the internet that this is a common problem.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #57

Jun 082007

Impala 6-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the vehicle has a pass lock failure, which is a security issue. As a result, the vehicle thinks it is being stolen and will not start. The vehicle was repaired twice by the dealer. There are no recalls for this failure. The failure mileage was 24,000 and current mileage was 64,000. Updated 06/24/09. The consumer stated the least Chevrolet could is fix the problem if they are not going to issue a recall. Updated 06/26/09.

- Burleson , TX, USA

problem #56

Jan 172009


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that when she turns the ignition, it does not recognize the key. She has to wait 10-15 minutes to turn the ignition again before the vehicle starts normally. The failure has been occurring for approximately seven months. In addition, the headlights and instrument panel lights flicker while the vehicle is in motion. The security light also illuminates in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic, who stated that the fuel pump needed to be repaired. The relay switches run through the fuel pump. Two new relay switches were installed at the contact's expense. The dealer stated that there were not enough complaints to issue a recall for this issue. The failure mileage was 115,000 and current mileage was 126,651.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #55

Feb 162007

Impala 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
2002 Chevrolet Impala ls/ 3.8-V6 the problem started with the ignition switch. It caught on fire. Took in to dealer, after it was replaced, another problem surfaced.. we keep getting the run around at the dealer..the car intermittently starts. When it wants to. The dealer that I brought it to said he was 80% sure that it was my BCM (body control modules) and he would have to reset my radio. The two repairs would run me about $1,200 and that isn't even 100% guaranteed that it would remedy the problem. What a way to conduct business. I can't believe there are no service bulletins on this.. in doing some research I see the problem is quite familiar on models of the same platform.. I'm at my wits end with this problem.. the car does finally start after sitting there for 10 min or so.. my issue with this is! I'm happy to pay if the problem went away but non of the G.M dealers I've contacted seem to be upfront regarding the matter, and I quote "bring it in we'll take a look at it" that's it! how about fixing it? I reply.. "well we don't know what's wrong with it".. the car does not do it all the time, but a lot of the time.. usually at the most inopportune time. The problem does not seem to be a new one it's happening a lot.. I'm sure a design flaw. I'm just scared of another fire.

- Norwalk, CA, USA

problem #54

May 082009


  • 104,000 miles
Passlock system failure on 2002 Chevrolet Impala ls. My wife became stranded late at night due to the passlock system failure, vehicle would not start. It took almost 30 minutes to eventually get the car to start and it is now happening more frequently. An internet search turned out literally hundreds of complaints about the problem.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #53

May 152009


  • miles
I have a 2002 Impala. The problem is with the electrical system. Specifically, the security light comes on, the door lock fuse blows, clicking noises from the passenger side fuse panel, and on multiple occasions the starter will not turn when the key is placed in the "start" position. This issue can easily be found elsewhere on the internet. We have had this car since Sept 2003. No issues until the last 7 months. The problem has become more frequent and sometimes disconnecting and reconnecting the battery several times fixes the problem. It is a very frustrating experience having to "reboot" the BCM by disconnecting and reconnecting the battery all of the time. My concern is eventually the electrical system will completely fail or worse cause an electrical fire. Others who are dealing with the same issue are spending hundreds of dollars in parts replacements only to have the problem return a couple of weeks later. This "security" problem has to somehow qualify as a recall with Chevrolet/GM. Currently, I am still able to manipulate the electrical system in order to get the car to start. I'm really not looking forward to taking the car to the dealership and be charged enormous fees for parts and labor knowing that this problem will return later on like others have experienced. Please find a way to force GM to do a recall on this problem.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #52

Jul 012007


  • 99,800 miles
Faulty system cause anti-theft mechanism to activate intermittently during a normal start attempt. The vehicle's message indicator will flash security/battery/service vehicle soon despite having a new battery and a well maintained car with a clean history. The messages always flash together in a cycle, and is always accompanied by the symptoms below: During the above condition, the vehicle will neither crank nor start, or the vehicle will start, with the above indicators, and the radio will lock as well as the disabling of the air conditioner, heat and ability to defog/frost. This creates a dangerous driving condition whereby the windows fog dramatically, completely obstructing my view. The defect has also created a dangerous situation for me in cases where I've had to turn off the car on the shoulder of a highway and have been unable to restart it, and in one instance was subsequently grazed on my arm by a passing car after I exited my vehicle. Several mechanics have linked it to either a faulty passlock sensor, faulty BCM or bad wiring, all of which I was told should last at least the life of the engine, as it is not included in the maintenance schedule. The car has not been modified from it's original assembly and has never been in an accident or other damaging circumstance. The vehicle has also followed its maintenance schedule to a T. the problem has gotten progressively worse and more frequent (several times daily as of 9 months ago) since the initial date of incidence, but because of financial hardships, and uncertainty from representatives at several Chevrolet dealership service centers, I have been primarily using other means of transportation until I can cover what will be an exorbitant cost to repair.

- East Orange, NJ, USA

problem #51

Dec 012007


  • 40,000 miles
We are the owners of a 2002 Chevrolet Impala ls. We purchased the car new in October of 2001. It has been lightly driven and well maintained. It has had two major repairs; the first being a recall of the steering system, the second, a failure of the catalytic converter which was covered under federal law and replaced. Today, I found out that there is a safety recall for possible fire from dripping oil. That is the basic history. For about a year and a half, we have had a frightening issue with the car. You turn the key and nothing. A light that says "security" flashes three times over and over and you cannot start the car for ten minutes. GM's passlock system, which I believe malfunctions, thinks the car is being stolen. Ten minutes later, you can start the car. The problem is even in the manual for the car. GM admits that, but they say it shouldn't happen as much as I have it happen, like one time is ok, but the 5-6 times out of 10 that my car won't start is exceptional. Ten minutes is a long time with a sick child, alone in a dark place at night, in an emergency of any kind. It is a terrifying safety issue and I have read thousands of complaints all over the internet. GM offered me a coupon towards a new car. I know this is a known problem because it is in the manual and people are frightened and scared about it. This should have been a recall a long time ago since people are being stranded with a car with no fuel supply. Due to the car's computer somehow malfunctioning and thinking the car is being stolen, the passlock system reacts by cutting off fuel supply for a designated period of time, in this case, 10 minutes exactly. GM should be ashamed of themselves for having this issue and doing nothing.

- Dundalk, MD, USA

problem #50

Apr 172009


  • 60,000 miles
Passlock sensor issues. Sometimes it just won't start and then I wait the 8-10 minutes for it to reset and then it will start. Been told by the Chevy dealer that it will be about $800 to fix it. I am also having problems with the sensor in the ABS wheels going out.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

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