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NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Anti-Theft Controller Problems Seal Of This Might Hurt


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,461 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 Oldsmobile Alero electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments

problem #9

Mar 192011

Alero 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles


The security light began coming on but would go off after I restarted the car. I thought it was an electrical problem. However, in October 2009, I became stranded and had to be towed which cost $150. The dealership informed me it was part of my security system and I replaced that for about $400. I do have the invoice for exact figures. Then in March of 2011, the security light came on again. Not wanting to become stranded again, I brought my car to the dealership the very next day and was informed that another part of the pass lock system needed replacing. This was $450. They also informed me that there is a third part to this system. It is only a matter of time that this part fails.

- Burlington, MA, USA

problem #8

May 222007

Alero 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The passlock 1 anti-theft system fails on my vehicle. Causes the fuel system to shut down and vehicle to either not start or shut down. It has done this while sitting in my garage, at stop signs, lights and as I was turning with in front of on coming traffic (lucky I was not hit). This 1st occurred in 2007. At that time, it happened daily until my car finally would not start and I had to have it towed from my garage to a service center. The fault codes showed it was this system. They replaced the passlock cylinder and reprogrammed my keys. I was told at the time, it may not be a permanant fix as there is a high rate of repeat problems. This was the 2nd time I had the car at the shop, I had the issue a month earlier, but due to my battery being run down trying to start my car, it was assumed to be a battery issue. So after replacing the battery it did run for a month before starting this all over again. My car is now at the shop with the most likely the same trouble. It was over $600 the first two times to fix my car, and I feel can be a real safety issue given the fact I was almost hit, not just stranded. I was also told by a G.M rep. They had never heard of this issue, or the dealers the rep. Called. There are hundreds of internet post for this problem.

- Goshen, IN, USA

problem #7

Jun 152010


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero. The contact was driving 30 mph when the security warning light illuminated. The contact then pulled over and shut off the vehicle. He was not able to restart the vehicle and it was towed to a local repair facility. The mechanic then advised that the anti-theft system malfunctioned and a keyless starter would need to be installed to correct the failure. The dealer was not contacted and the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 102,000 and the current mileage was 108,000.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #6

Nov 012008


  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero purchased in 2003. She stated that a year after purchasing the vehicle, the vehicle failed to start. The security warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. She adhered to the instructions given in the owner's manual to override the system failure; however, the process was too lengthy to attempt each time she has to start the vehicle. No repairs were made to the vehicle to date to correct the failure. The dealer advised her not to invest in correcting the failure since it was a defect in the design of the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were under 118,000.

- Georgetown, IL, USA

problem #5

Mar 052008

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,500 miles
Passlock theft deterrent system keeps disabling vehicle. It is currently in the shop for the 4th time for this problem. The security light comes on, then the vehicle eventually will not start.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #4

Sep 262007

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
On 9/26/2007 my 2002 olds Alero refused to start, I finally had to leave at at my job, it started the next day, I called the dealer (I had purchased it from drivetime) in Nov 2006, they stated that I had to bring it to their approved mechanic, I took it there, their mechanic stated it was the fuel pump and it would cost $755. That included the drivers window which fell into the door for the second time, I called drivetime who then put me on a repair assistance program, I drove the car home, that same day the car would not start again, it is now January 2008 and I still do not have a working vehicle and am refusing to pay for it. The mechanic called me back and said that it is the computer and he cannot fix it I now have to have it towed to the nearest dealer who may or may not fix it free of charge. I think its a disgrace, that a company can make such a piece of junk have all these complaints on it and nothing is done. I for one am not going to pay one more cent, the dealer could keep the car, and do with it whatever he wants, I realize this is a reposession but I am not a rich person and it is obvious that problems will only get worse with this vehicle, I think there should be a class action suit against GM, olds, drivetime for selling the lemon knowing all the problems these vehicles have.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #3

Sep 072007

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


When the vehicle is worked on by a mechanic, such as replacement of the fuel filter, it disrupts some component in the car and makes the passlock security system think that the car is being stolen. This shuts the car down and doesn't allow it to be started again. This could be deadly if traveling at high speeds or in heavy traffic.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #2

Feb 202007

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,678 miles
While driving down the road, the car shut off, I was unable to get the car restarted and was almost rear ended by another vehicle. I was told that the passlock engaged while the car was in operation thereby telling the computer that the car had been "stolen" and to shut off the fuel pump. I have since learned that this "passlock" failure in GM vehicles is a very common complaint and only the "dealership" is able to repair it. The approx cost is $900 in which the dealership will replace the ignition and BCM module with another defective part. Other individuals with the same problem have broken down at night in unsafe locations, on the highway, etc and although General Motors has received several complaint's they have failed to issue a recall.

- New Bedford, MA, USA

problem #1

Jan 162007

Alero 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,974 miles
- the contact owns a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero gl. The contact stated that the there was a a sensor cylinder failure in the ignition that was effected by the theft system on the vehicle. The contact stated that the dealer said that the vehicle's computer believed itas being stolen, and kills the engine, this happened on 4 different occasions.

- Southfield, MI, USA

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