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NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Anti-Theft Controller Problems

2001 Pontiac Grand Am (Page 1 of 3) Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,785 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.

2001 Pontiac Grand Am electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #53

Aug 232012

Grand Am

  • miles


There is some sore of defect with this cars security system. It comes on and disables the car all the time, even when driving it. I've had to pull over on a highway when the car shut down due to security system. I followed the manual steps to get the car to start but its a timely process and it has to be repeated everyday. Now the security light is always on, not flashing, when it flashes is when the car is disabled. But we have to reset the system everyday and its becoming inconvenient. What happens if the cars security system disables the vehicle while driving and I have my grandchildren in the car. It can cause an accident and is dangerous. Please investigate. The internet has many complaints about the cars security system. Should be a recall or defect or something.

- Middletown, NY, USA

problem #52

Nov 182010

Grand Am

  • miles
Sometimes when I start my car the security light comes on. This is a huge inconvenience. And I have to turn the key to on position and wait for the light to come off. I have yet to find one mechanic that knows the solution. It has occurred at the most random times and sometimes the worst. And I don't know what to replace or fix. If I knew I would asap.

- Belvidere , IL, USA

problem #51

Sep 292010

Grand Am

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact attempted to start the ignition numerous times and the engine would not start. The contact stated the failure was related to the anti-theft security system. The passlock system would not reset. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the ignition cylinder would need to be replaced. The vehicle was in the process of being repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #50

Nov 202006

Grand Am

  • miles


The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE. The contact stated the vehicle would intermittently fail to start. He was able to turn the key in the ignition but the engine would not engage. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who advised that the pass lock security system was defective. The mechanic reset the security system. The failure recurred. The contact stated he would have to turn the key to the on position for approximatley 10 minutes and then return to the off position in three sets of 12 before the vehicle would restart. The dealer confirmed that the security pass lock was faulty and replaced a part relative to the security system but to no avail. The failure persisted and the contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 132,500.

- Greenbay, WI, USA

problem #49

Mar 212010

Grand Am

  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that the brakes made a noise and began to vibrate while driving approximately 15 mph. A local mechanic was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact also stated that the security light illuminated whenever she tried to start the vehicle. She had to wait approximately 10 minutes, remove the key from the ignition, and then the vehicle began to function normally. The speedometer also began to malfunction. General Motors was notified but the contact has not received a response from them. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage and current mileages were approximately 84,000.

- Dickson City , PA, USA

problem #48

May 202010

Grand Am

  • 109,245 miles
I have had issues with my cars security lock not knowing at first, I thought it was the fuel pump, well one day on the way to work my car just stopped running when I was on the nys thruway scared out of my mind thankfully had just dropped my daughter off at daycare - I could actually get my car to the side of the road once it died I go to restart the car and got a crank no start thought it was very odd, called my brother he thought it could possibly be the fuel pump went to a mechanic and they also thought the same but no codes were coming up on the scanner so got it towed somewhere else and it started up - it ran for a few months, went to go to work the next morning and again crank no start frustrated bc I was again without a vehicle with a 2 year old child to take care of and on top of that having to call into work again, went to work couple days later and thought I would google my issue just to make sure it was what people were saying - seen that there was a security issue on the car that won't let you start the call tried finding a recall got nothing..........this is very dangerous and feel as if GM should do there jobs and fix these problems this should not be happening out of no where, please help me!

- Lackawanna, NY, USA

problem #47

Apr 192010

Grand Am

  • 95,000 miles


I have a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am, with 95,000 miles, equipped with the passlock antitheft system... its beginning to fail. The security light on the instrument panel has been on solid and flashing over the past several weeks. The car will not start until the 10min reset procedure has been accomplished. I have been doing research online, and it appears that many people in the us and Canada have had the same issues with this passlock system. It appears to affect the Oldsmobile Alero models as well. GM has been repeatedly charging people to fix this issue by replacing the same parts over and over. There is no clear culprit as to which part of the passlock system is to blame. GM needs to remove the system and replace it with a working system that will not fail over time. I emailed GM customer service this morning and they recommended that I take the car in to have it diagnosed by their mechanics... I believe that they will try to replace one part or another and charge an arm and a leg for it. There needs to be a recall on these cars to have these components replaceds. Now that the us govt is the majority owner of GM, I would imagine that this could be easily started. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lacey, WA, USA

problem #46

Mar 032010

Grand Am

  • 130,552 miles
Own a 01 Pontiac am GT and im having major problems with the theft deterrent system. It malfunctions still, even after having it replaced a year ago. Pontiac needs to recall these cars and fix them, this is a major headache.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #45

Mar 032010

Grand Am

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that the anti theft system shut on and off on it's own. Brand new sensors, a fuel pump, and filters were installed on the vehicle and the vehicle would not start. The mechanic advised the contact to replace the anti theft system in September of 2009. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #44

Nov 102009

Grand Am

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. He stated that the "pass lock" security function of the vehicle was defective. On several occasions, he could not start the engine and the "security" warning light illuminated on the warning panel. The vehicle was taken to a specialist where they stated that the entire security system failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was taken to his independent mechanic where unknown repairs were made to the vehicle. The failure became progressively worse after the vehicle was repaired. The current and failure mileages were under 150,000.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #43

Oct 192009

Grand Am

  • 147,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am SE. The contact started the ignition; however, the vehicle failed to start. There were several attempts before the vehicle started with the "security path lock" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 147,000.

- Rome, GA, USA

problem #42

Jan 272010

Grand Am

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. She stated that whenever she attempted to start the vehicle it failed to start; however, after ten minutes she was able to start the vehicle. The failure has occurred approximately 10 times in the past 3 to 4 months. The dealer stated that there was a defect in the anti theft system and the owner is responsible for paying for the repairs. The contact has been stranded several times due to the failure. There is research stating that this is an on going problem. No repairs have been made at this time. The failure mileage was 100000 and the current mileage was 102000.

- Macomb, MI, USA

problem #41

Jan 012010

Grand Am

  • 117,667 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. He stated that the vehicle would not start intermittently. Upon failure, the security feature warning light would illuminate on the warning panel. The fuel pump was replaced with the expectation of fixing the starting issue; however, the failure persisted. The dealer advised resetting the system by allowing the key to sit in the acc position in the ignition and getting out of the vehicle for 10 to 15 minutes. They stated that the security system would not allow the vehicle to move with an occupant in it due to the weight sensor for the security system. The contact had to perform this routine each time he attempted to start the vehicle. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileages were under 117,667.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #40

Nov 092008

Grand Am

  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. When attempting to start the vehicle she noticed the security warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then the vehicle exhibited a no-start condition. The vehicle was towed to a local repair facility, and a mechanic concluded that the pass lock system failed. No repairs were made. The vehicle identification number was unavailable. The failure and current mileages were 135,000.

- Custer, KY, USA

problem #39

Nov 112003

Grand Am

  • 45,000 miles
When trying to start the car the security light is on and the car will not start. It happens everytime I go to start my car, so it happens 6 times a day, 365 days a year. I have to turn the key to on and let it sit for 10 minutes while it resets. While driving sometimes my security light goes on and my car will just stop running, which is extremely dangerous to have your car just turn off especially on a freeway.

- Little Suamico, WI, USA

problem #38

Jan 152009

Grand Am

  • miles
2001 Pontiac Grand Am no start security system failure big problem has did it 20 time in a month.

- Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #37

Jul 072008

Grand Am

  • 107,000 miles
Security light comes on while driving. At least once a day the car will not turn over and I must reset by turning to the on position for 10 minutes. This has left me stranded in unfamiliar situations waiting for this to reset. Upon the first two times of this happening (before I had a repairman tell me of the resetting) I had the car towed to a shop and over 400 dollars spent on a fuel pump. The second time they replaced the fuel pump and the third time after being towed it started at the shop. The fourth time it happened and towed to a different repair shop and they were the ones to tell me of the reset procedures. Now it happens about every day.

- Chickasha, OK, USA

problem #36

May 052008

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
I have a Pontiac 2001 Grand Am. It will not start and there is security light on. I have read hundreds of complaints on this issue on internet websites.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #35

Apr 152004

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,333 miles
Pontiac Grand Am 200, 99,333 miles all highway. Third time replacing the ignition-tumblers, and housing to ignition. This car may run forever if the ignition would do its job first. This is a serious problem for all consumers. Just replace the switch with a push button, thus by passing the passlock problem.

- Nampa, ID, USA

problem #34

Mar 102008

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,833 miles
Three times passlock ignition lock needs to be replaced. Tumbler internals replaced. Problem seems to be a GM product dependability design flaw. $300-$500 per repair. The first time was under warranty. I am only 35 years old and love Pontiac but I will never stand behind a product that Pontiac will not stand behind themselves. Very unprofessional and very disappointing. P.S. Pontiac will eventually fold due to poor sales, poor service, and a lack of effective pm. Sincerely, dr. Howard

- Nampa, ID, USA

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