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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,666 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.

2003 Chevrolet Impala seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #17

Jul 052016


  • 86,000 miles


Vehicle was traveling 45 mph when air bags deployed. No collision occurred, no one was injured, road was dry and smooth, traffic was light, road was very familiar. Called GM and they took vehicle to walter jackson Chevrolet in ringgold, ga for inspection. The cause, they found, was a persistent water leak behind the glove box which caused corrosion and caused the airbags to deploy. We have attempted to have this leak repaired multiple times, but attempts only succeeded temporarily, if at all. Found from internet searches that this is a common problem with GM vehicles. As I also drive a 2004 Impala that has had the same leak, I am concerned that its airbags could also deploy at any time. We are the second owners of this vehicle but are familiar with the car's history, as it was purchased from a family member. Kelley blue book values it at $2,000 and repairs are estimated at $4,000. Following is a list of repairs on the car, excepting routine maintenance: 12-20-2007- right side cowl panel seal- to fix leak under glove box 5-15-2010- body repair- grass fire got close enough to blister paint on right side of car before fire dept. Put it out. (we weren┐T there to move it.) 11-19-2013- windshield and gasket- leaking again. 5-13-2016- repair water leak- leaking again. This is a design flaw. There are several different after-market fixes on the internet that mechanically inclined people have devised, but this should not be necessary. The vehicle should be safe from this problem when it rolls off the assembly line.

- Hixson, TN, USA

problem #16

Mar 012016


  • miles
I was in an accident where the car was a total loss and the airbags never happened in philadelphia on hunting park and front

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #15

Jun 202015


  • 100,000 miles
The airbag light constantly flashes off and on while driving.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #14

Oct 062014


  • 197,000 miles


I was traveling on a 2 lane road. A truck pulling an enclosed trailer was in front of me turned on his right blinker and began to brake to make the turn. I was traveling 77 mph, so I moved to the oncoming traffic lane (the left lane) in order to pass the truck. At the last second the truck swerved into the left lane in order to make a wide turn. I abruptly jerked the steering wheel right to avoid collision with the truck, but the vehicle seemed to lose power steering as well as power brakes. I was unable to straighten the steering wheel back after jerking it to the right to go back into the right lane; my vehicle hit the back of the enclosed trailer and then hit steep ditch where my back passenger tire popped and the vehicle flipped onto its roof. The vehicles airbags failed to deploy even though the vehicle has significant damage to the front, top and sides of it. I regained conscientiousness I attempted to turn the car off and remove the keys from the ignition. But I realized that the keys were not I N the ignition.I crawled out of the passenger window to exit the vehicle. The keys were later found by my husband loose in the vehicle. I hit my head hard when the vehicle flipped, good deal of blood on me from what ended up being multiple superficial lacerations as well as a deep wound in my left knee, which required 12 stitches to close up. I will have a scar from it for the rest of my life. I was rushed by ambulance to the hospital and was released around 9 pm. 2 days later we received the ignition switch recall notice in the mail GM refuses to answer any of our questions regarding this wreck. GM did retrieve the black box info from the vehicle., they refuse to provide us with any explanation to why the airbags failed to deploy or why there seemed to be a malfunction within the car which led to the accident.

- Norman , OK, USA

problem #13

Mar 122014


  • miles
The contact owns 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated continuously. The vehicle was not diagnosed. Additionally, the contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V400000 (electrical system). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unavailable.

- Chicago , IL, USA

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problem #12

Sep 122014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 103,407 miles
Driver observed traffic coming to a stop, his brakes gave out, he could not steer left or right to avoid a car in front of him which caused him to rear-end the unit. His air-bag did not deploy.

- Pleasant Grove, AL, USA

problem #11

Dec 252012


  • 87,000 miles


The contact owned a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. While driving 35 mph, the contact's vehicle stalled and crashed into a telephone pole. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed and minor injuries were sustained. Medical attention was not received. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V400000 (electrical system).the manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,000.

- Jacksonville , FL, USA

problem #10

Sep 052014


  • 130,941 miles
Lost control of vehicle suddenly causing me to swerve across the road at high speeds. When I regained control of the vehicle I noticed the airbags had deployed. There was no impact with any other objects!

- Evanston, WY, USA

problem #9

Nov 032012

Impala 4-cyl

  • 226,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. While stopped at a traffic light, the contact's vehicle was crashed into from the rear by another vehicle. The contact's vehicle then crashed into a pole and the air bags failed to deploy. The driver was injured and received medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 226,000. Updated 10/23/2014 updated 4/7/2015

- Mer Rouge, LA, USA

problem #8

Feb 122014

Impala 6-cyl

  • 212,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that while the vehicle was powered on and in park, the front driver and passenger side air bags deployed inadvertently. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the control module failed. The vehicle was deemed as destroyed. The failure mileage was 212,000 and the current mileage was 212,000. Updated 10/2/14

- Sanford , MI, USA

problem #7

May 042014


  • 156,250 miles


I was involved in an accident on May 4, 2014. I hit another vehicle from the rear. There was extensive damage to my vehicle yet my air bag did not deploy. Also my seat belt failed to lock. As a result I hit the steering wheel with my mouth. I also hit the windshield with the top of my head. My teeth cut into my bottom lip and I had to go to the er later that night because of the pain. I feel that had the airbag deployed I wouldn't have sustained the injury that I did.

- Mcloud, OK, USA

problem #6

Aug 142011


  • 120,000 miles
I have had incidents several times over the years where I would hit a bump in the road and my car would completely shut off. I have also had several incidents where I was traveling down the expressway and my car turned off on me. I had to shift my car into neutral and restart it to continue going. I was fortunate not to have an accident.

- Jeffersonville, IN, USA

problem #5

Nov 252013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 126,560 miles
On mon. Nov. 25, 2013 I was driving sb I-75 about 10 P.M. there was a light drizzle and as I approached the bridgeport area I noticed something across several lanes of the highway. I started to brake and hit black ice and slammed head on into a black jackknifed semi with no lights or flares. I did try to go between the midden and the truck but there was no room causing most of the front end damage on the passenger side of the hood of the car. The front end was so smashed that the battery disintegrated. My airbags did not deploy and I hit my head on the steering wheel getting a contusion on my forehead as well as two black eyes. I also had bruises on my hand, knee, and right breast. In addition to these I also had some le franc fractures to my left foot which I required surgery for. I was wearing my seatbelt at the time of the accident thank goodness, but I just do not know why my airbags did not deploy.

- Bay City, MI, USA

problem #4

Apr 112011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated while driving at low speeds the vehicle veered off of the road and crashed into a tree. Upon impact, the air bags did not deploy. The driver sustained injuries to the face due to broken glass. The police were not contacted. The manufacturer was contacted and advised her to take the vehicle to a dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown. The VIN was unavailable.

- Matches, MS, USA

problem #3

Jan 022009


  • 76,000 miles
My car went off road after contact with a deer landing front end first 75ft off road doing between 45 and 50 mph air bags never deployed.

- Superior, WI, USA

problem #2

Oct 052008


  • miles
It was raining, car started to skid to the right, steered left to correct, lost control and struck a tree head on. Serious injuries to belted driver.

- Arvada, CO, USA

problem #1

Feb 092006

Impala 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,164 miles
: the contact stated while driving the driver side air bag light illuminated and would not go off. The vehicle was taken to the dealership for inspection. Upon inspection, the dealership replaced the sir coil and closed the driver deployment loop, which remedied the problem. The manufacturer was alerted. Updated 3/20/2006 -

- Uniontown, PA, USA

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