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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,029 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 10 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #49

Apr 132009


  • 80,000 miles
Car does not reliably start. My wife has been stranded with our daughter while waiting for the car to start. Gas gauge does not work, turn signals go out without warning. There is no way to tell when or where this problem will occur. Am fearful of my wife being stranded in a bad area while waiting for the car to start. Has been happening for approx. 2 yrs.

- Converse, TX, USA

problem #48

Apr 022009


  • 70,000 miles
2002 Chevy Impala 3.8L purchased used in Dec. 2004 w/ 65,000 miles. Where to begin... flooding in floorboards due to clog underneath windshield, three sets of rotors/brakes, clunky noise in steering shaft (replaced twice by dealership) still having same problem, catalytic converter replaced after dealership tried to charge me nearly $1000 to replace; covered by GM as harry green Chevrolet was 'unaware' of replacement policy"!" new struts, numerous alignments/balances B/C vehicle still shakes and shimmys at 60-65 mph; must drive about 75-80 mph just to keep this to a minimum! BCM replaced twice by dealer, security issues won't allow car to start for 15 mins. Each time, which is very inconvenient. Sooo many problems and complaints with these 'quality' GM vehicles, and yet they do nothing to resolve them, except hold out their hands wanting more $$$ from american taxpayers to keep on making junk! and now the newest of a long line of recalls/problems is that there is a fire hazard for leaking oil on the manifold! all of these vehicles need to be recalled due to the numerous safety concerns and consumers are sick and tired of General Motors obvious disregard for safety and reliability!

- Anmoore, WV, USA

problem #47

Feb 202009


  • 100,001 miles
Having problems with passlock security system it has locked and will not let me start my car.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #46

Mar 132009


  • miles
This is a pass-lock problem. Randomly the pass-lock system on the 2002 Chevy Impala I own will not allow the car to start. I wait 15 minutes and the car starts. My understanding is that this is a common problem with the Chevy Impala and it causes me lots of problems. I am late for work, late picking up people, sometimes it happens when I run errands so I have to sit in the parking lot and wait for it to reset. A huge waste of my time. The reason why I am writing today is that it just happened this morning and I have finally reached the end of my rope.

- Bellingham, MA, USA

problem #45

Jul 012007


  • 75,000 miles
There were no events that lead to this failure. With all fuses operational, I do not have any dashlights illuminated at night. I have to use my cell phone light to place over my speedometer cluster panel to view my speed, gas levels and any warning lights. This has been ongoing for a little over a year. When my daytime running lights are on, they blink constantly and other drivers think I am experiencing an emergency. If I use my interior lights, they flash like I am trying to signal for help. Same if I open the visor to use the lighted mirror. I have not had this repaired since GM will not guarantee a resolution with a repair. I cannot afford to keep giving money to GM dealerships without a repair. This is very dangerous for me at night, I cannot use my cruise control everywhere. My traction control will not disengage either.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #44

Nov 252005


  • 60,000 miles
Approximately 60K miles, pass lock light came on. Dealer said it was common in Impala, would cost $1500, needed to replace computer module which runs the entire vehicle. Started having starting issues, air bag malfunctions, power door locks not working, wiper & window malfunctions, trunk opening on its own, etc. Took to mechanic, said same as dealer, has seen a number of Impala with similar problem. Car randomly does not start, airbag malfunction, and doors not working.

- Highland Park, IL, USA

problem #43

Jan 232009


  • 70,000 miles
Tried to start my car and I thought someone was after me. When I got in the car to start it, it wouldn't start. Luckily no one was there. Mechanic said that the tumbler in the key system is bad and that this is a very common problem for Impala.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #42

Oct 242008


  • 77,000 miles
When driving at night and using the "high beams, " they go out after awhile. Nearly crashed until I could slow down enough to safely stop! by moving high/low beam lever, I was able to get headlights to come back on in the low beam position. In checking NHTSA web site, found this is a problem General Motors is aware of but expects owners to pay for repair of poorly designed part.

- New Philadelphia, OH, USA

problem #41

Sep 192008

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,301 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact attempted to exit his vehicle, but was locked inside the passenger compartment. The radio displayed "locked" and he could not exit the vehicle through the doors nor the windows because the electrical system failed. The representative at the dealer stated that he owned the same year, make, and model vehicle and had experienced the same failures. The dealer diagnosed the vehicle with an electrical system defect and repaired it at the estimated cost of over $1,400. The failure persisted and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer. They replaced the key switch at the cost of $492.13 the failure mileage was 32,301 and current mileage was 32,328. Updated 020209 the windows would not roll down. Updated 02/03/09. Several components within the electrical system were replaced and the security light illuminated twice. Updated 02/20/09. The consumer was informed an intermediate shaft was needed at a cost of $300. When the steering wheel was turned, it made strange noises as if it were about to break. Updated 0423/10. Updated 04/29/10.

- Liberty, MO, USA

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