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NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Switch Problems Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
129,477 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 Pontiac Grand Am electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 072014

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. While driving 20 mph, the electrical system became inoperable. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the ignition switch failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 12/19/14 updated 5/26/2015

- Mansfield , OH, USA

problem #9

Jul 172014

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The recall for my Grand Am faulty ignition switch, their remedy is to replace the key, key ring, and plastic key cover... not the actual defective switch now, I am no engineer, but, wont the ignition switch still be defective, , even if they issue titanium, or carbon fiber keys, if I hit a bump the bad ignition switch (the lock attached to the actual electrical switch is pretty heavy)could still shut the engine off...(even if there wasn't a key in it) the switch is defective, not the keys, they (including my spares) all still work!!!! are they going to fix their power steering recall by removing the leather from the steering wheel"??" please have an actual mechanic, and electrical engineer read this and think about it, not an office person, , please...peoples lives depend on this!!!!!!!

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #8

Nov 222013

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • miles
My car has a defective ignition switch in which it wont star an I continue to be stranded at the worst possible times. I have done research an found that this is a widespread problem with this particular vehicle an thank GM should be forced to pay people for their lack of effort in fixing the issue.

- York, AL, USA

problem #7

Oct 282007

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,470 miles


I own a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. Ever since I purchased the vehicle, the security light will come on for a few days and then go off again. It would never blink, just stay on constantly for 3 to 4 days. This occurs approximately ever 3 months or so. Beginning on 10/16/07, the car would start and then shut off again. That day I was able to restart the car immediately and have no other problems with it. However, on 10/24/07 when I went to leave for work the car would not start. There was no power whatsoever to the vehicle. At noon that day when my boyfriend tried to start it, it started just fine. I let it just sit for two days while I drove another vehicle to work. I began driving the vehicle again on 10/27. It ran fine until 1:30 pm on the 28th when I stopped to put gas in the car. After filling up with gas, the vehicle would not start again. I had done some prior research on the internet to see if anyone else had had this problem as well. Hundreds of others with 2002 Pontiac Grand Am are having the same problem. I was told to turn the key to on and wait 10 minutes. The power did come back after 15 minutes, however, each time I attempted to restart the vehicle, it would shut down again. After sitting at the gas pump for over an hour trying to reset the system, my boyfriend arrived and pushed me to a parking spot where he disconnected the power to the battery, waited a few minutes, and then reconnected the power. The car did start after that. I have not however driven the car since as I am scared of where it will strand me next time. I am looking into getting it fixed. They are telling me that it's a daily occurrence to get calls about this problem at the dealerships I have contacted for quotes. It is going to cost $400 to get the ignition switch and halls sensor replaced. Pontiac needs to realize that this is a serious safety issue. However, I'm afraid someone will have to end up dying from it before they do.

- Bishopville, MD, USA

problem #6

Jan 152007

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
2002 Pontiac Grand Am shut off without any warning on 3 separate occasions while driving down the highway at 55 mph. It happened on January 15th and 17th and 27th. The problem was diagnosed as being the ignition switch and was informed this is a very common problem with this vehicle. I was also told Pontiac refuses to recall because they do not feel it is a safety issue. How can driving in traffic and having your car shut off in the middle of the interstate/hwy not be a safety issue? a death from this problem is imminent.

- Jonesville, NC, USA

problem #5

Jul 172007

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 106,497 miles
I got the car with 103,000 on it. Ran great. On my way to work I stopped at a gas station to get gas. I pumped the fuel and got into the vehicle. I tried to start it but it wouldn't fire. It just kept turning over until the battery died. I had it towed where I work, and they said they fixed it. The security light came on for 2 to 3 weeks. On 7-17-07 it died again at the same place. I was in a parking spot this time so I wasn't worried but I had to wait 15+ minutes to get it to start. It was the pass lock. I talked to a GM dealer, and they told me that it was the ignition cylinder. I was told that it would be about $500 to $600 to get the item and have it installed. I have been reading on the internet that lots of people had the same problem. I felt that this could cause a very big problem in the case of an emergency. If someone needed to get to the hospital or needed to pick their child up because the babysitter couldn't make it. The item should be recalled, and the dealer should pay for all necessary costs in fixing the problem.

- Barrington, NH, USA

problem #4

Apr 272007

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 671,800 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. While driving 60 mph the vehicle shut down. The turn signals failed and were operating intermittently. The fuel pump was replaced. The fuel pump failed for 3 weeks, and the turn signal failed for 6 days. The contact was hospitalized after the vehicle failed, and she received frost bite while waiting on the tow truck. The failure mileage was 67,180, and the current mileage is 68320. Spoke with consumer 10/16/07, need to re-send form. Updated 01/11/08. A police report was filed because the incident happened on the nys thruway. The ignition switch was replaced updated

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 142006

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,000 miles
My wife has a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am GT. About a month ago 10/2006, for the first time, her car would not start. It had full battery, all the accessories started up with the key being fitted into the ignition and turned to the on position. Upon having it towed to the dealership and getting a song and dance about the body control unit ""possibly"" being damp ""could"" of caused the malfunction, they replaced it for about $300 dollars. This morning (11/14/2006), my wife went out to her car and the same thing happened. It would not start. I now started researching this problem on the internet to see if I could find a solution to this myself. I found a plethora of individuals, all with 2002 Grand Am, all having this same issue. It seems that in 2002 Grand Am a problem with the security system prevents you from starting your car. The only work around is to sit in your car for between 10 to 15 minutes with the key in the ignition and turned on. After said amount of time the security light should stop blinking, and you can then ""possibly"" start your car. I do understand that NHTSA is only concerned about vehicle defects that pose a threat while operating your vehicle. Being a police officer, I see the potential of a threat by having a vehicle not start. I do not want my wife sitting in a dark parking lot for 10-15 minutes while the security system has her vehicle disabled. What if she sought refuge in her car to try to escape someone who was chasing her" what about all these other Grand Am owners" you can do a google or yahoo search for "2002 Grand Am will not start". you will then see that this is a very common issue and might want to take these incidents into consideration for a possible recall.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #2

Aug 142006

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
While driving my security light came on. I read the owners book and did what it told me to do. The next day the car would not start. I did everything the book said to do. So I had it towed to a dealer and was told the ignition switch would need to be replaced.

- Auburn, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 252006

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Car not starting due to faulty pass lock system. Malfunctioning component is the ignition cylinder. GM has discontinued the stock replacement item and according to my mechanic, has issued a new replacement number but is not available. I have successfully started the call by turning the ignition to the on position for 10 minutes, switch to off position then back to the on position for another 10 minutes. Repeat 1 more time for a total of 3 sets. It forces a reprogram on the ignition computer. I would like a replacement part as a recall. It seems this was a faulty part to begin with.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

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