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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,204 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 8 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #92

Jun 102008


  • 79,000 miles


On my 2002 Chevy Impala, the keyless entry remote doesn't work and car will not start after being driven all day and sitting for a few minutes. Had to replace computer module just so that communication could be started. And had to replace ignition switch.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #91

May 202010


  • 127,000 miles
The starter will not get a signal from the ignition switch. I have changed relays, ignition switch, starter, key core and passlock, all to no gain. Gave vehicle to they local Chevy dealership who changed to BCM and reprogrammed the security feature and when I went to pick it up from the dealership, it wouldn't start. The starter gets no signal about 90% of the times I turn the key. For the 10% it does work, there seems to have had no issue what so ever. It turns on smooth and runs like a dream. Yet it can be the first attempt or the 50th before the starter catches a jolt and starts the car, there seems to be no pattern. The security system works fine B/C we installed a simple push button switch to the starter and it worked every time with no trouble for a few moments till the gas was taken away and the car turned off. Bypassing the security feature and allowing a secondary ignition methos would seem to resolve the issue. I find this to be a safety issue due to the potential of being stuck out in the middle of an intersection if the cars happens to stall. Or if an infant was loaded into the vehicle and it would not start for 15 to 30 minutes, leaving the child with the risk of heat issues. The problem itself came suddenly without warning.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #90

Apr 172010


  • 115,000 miles
My 2002 Impala will randomly not start. The message center flashes security, battery and service engine soon. I have to unhook and reconnect the battery to get the car to start. I do not want to drive it alone, as I live in a big city and do not want to be driving and the car malfunction. I have read numerous accounts of this happening to people with 2002 Impala. I have asthma and one day I started to have an attack. Husband was going to drive me to hospital and my car decides not to start. I could have died waiting for him to reconnect the battery. I paid GM for a reliable car but got a car that will start only when it wants to. This is unacceptable. It's messed up that I can't drive my car for fear of it not starting and being mugged or raped while trying to unhook/rehook the battery. GM should be held responsible for this. They don't want to though because they make too much money fixing something that they screwed up. I will never buy a GM again. Toyota and Honda from here on out!!!

- Forsyth, GA, USA

problem #89

May 152010


  • 130,000 miles


I have a 2002 Chevy Impala. The car behaves as though there is an electrical problem. My own research seemed to indicate a faulty BCM module. I took the car to a dealer and explained my suspicion and the odd intermittent problems, and they replaced the ignition switch and spent a lot of time trying to find a wiring problem. After 2 weeks they said they found the electrical problem and charged me $700. Now, a few weeks later all symptoms are back. When the key is turned on, the lights flash, truck latch opens and closes, and security light flashes. This is just 1 set of symptoms. This problem is very dangerous. I found this site while looking for help here: Please help!

- Clarks Hill, IN, USA

problem #88

Apr 122010


  • 115,999 miles
Pass key sensor, I had to pay 500 dollars to fix an ignition switch that was perfectly fine but a bad sensor was the problem, many complaints but still no recall.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #87

Jun 032010


  • 45,000 miles
Have 2002 Chevy Impala and the security passlock won't let car start, I have been stranded in many places. Had it checked out at 2 places and it all comes back to computer, or keys, we tried to have keys recoded but it still happens often. By researching on computer I see I'm not alone out there. What do people have to do to get GM recall this problem. It is a safety problem because it always happens when it either 5 below or 90 outside and have sit in car and hope you don't get mugged or robbed waiting for car to start or did of heat stroke or freeze to death. Is there anything we can do. Help please my car does this 4-5 times a day and no one knows how to fix it. GM need to step in and fix this defect.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #86

May 012005

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles


The security light goes and car will not start been having this problem for the past 5 years. Have replaced the ignition switch, computer module everything! and still not working properly. The radio is locked. The wipers work when they want to. I have put so much money into this car and it still only runs when it wants.

- Bellingham, MA, USA

problem #85

Mar 012010

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
We have experienced electrical problems with this vehicle for the past couple of years. We have replaced numerous parts dealing with the ignition/starter, pass/lock, power lock, and security system. We recently have been dealing with the car starting or not starting for that matter. At first, it was once in awhile and now it doesn't start 7-8X per week. It is extremely frustrating to have to constantly throw money at this problem. Once again it is going into the shop for diagnostic and more parts. This is a big problem and needs to be resolved. It is obviously a defect of some sort and needs to be handle accordingly.

- Oak Park, IL, USA

problem #84

Dec 052007


  • 129,000 miles
My car started a sound in the wiring such as a popping sound as if the wires are grounding out then something smell smoke then it started not cracking and I couldn't figure out way I thought it was the battery replaced it then wouldn't start again after I was told it was the battery the dash reads security on it this happen to my car my friends car and my husbands cousins car they are all Impala all in 2002 I have also spoke to other people with them same problem want start reads security on dash wires ground out and hear popping sound and the battery drains from the head lights not turning of or security reads and the lights flash its broken down in my yard no one around hear really knows the problem they say its the security my husband believes its the wiring and it grounds out causing things to happen.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #83

Apr 222010

Impala 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
My car, a 2002 Chevy Impala, has an intermittent starting problem since I purchased it at 2006. For every 2-3 weeks, it simply does not crank by turning the key. But after 10 mins, it starts again. I have spent a lot of money to try to fix this issue but it is unsuccessful. After searching on website, I understand this is a very common issue for GM cars and may be related to some electric security issue. Therefore, here I am filing the complaint.

- Greenville , SC, USA

problem #82

May 102005


  • miles


Bought chev Impala 2002 brand new, no miles. 2005 began experiencing cooling system problems-running hot etc. Replaced radiator, flushed system, replaced thermostat, etc. Etc. Several times, body control units- lights and locks going crazy, hub assembly/tracking system problems- sounds and pulsating when try to brake or turn, high beam light won't stay on to this date. Experiencing smoke from hood-may be a leak which seems to be acommon complaint but dealer put dye in and said they don't detect a leak. No air-freon replaced several times.

- Dothan, AL, USA

problem #81

Feb 222010


  • 112,000 miles
02 Impala 3.8 engine would not start. It has done this countless times and I will have to wait 20 or 30 minutes for it to start. My battery is like new, and nothing is wrong with the starter, I've had it all tested. I've read it could be the passlock system or something called the tumbler. My security light comes on randomly even when driving on the highway. I've read that many Impala owners cars have cut off while driving on the highway and I'm hoping mine doesn't do the same. My car was a former police car. It now has about 112,000 miles on it. I hope I never had to go somewhere in an emergency or get stuck in the middle of no where at night. I've read several forums explaining how Chevy knows about the defect but will not fix it unless you pay about 600 to almost 1,000 dollars. But then when they claim it's fixed, the problem happens all over again. I read from a mechanic that worked for Chevy in the past, that they politely ignore complaints regarding this passlock and security problem. I guess no one will take it seriously until people start to get injured or even killed like Toyota drivers. Must we wait for the death toll to rise before the government steps in to act"?" policemen drive these cars although there slowly being phased out with the newer models. A policeman that cannot get to the scene of a crime on time because his car wouldn't start. I guess that's the headline were waiting for before Chevy or the government decides to do something about the passlock problem that countless americans are having and GM doesn't want to fix. This is why I will never buy another american car because the parts are cheap and GM could care less. The time to act is before major incidents happen, before people lose their lives, before 5 car pile ups on the highway, before an emergency that GM drivers cannot get to because there car will not start. Not after!!! that's Toyota's problem now. Advice for GM and the U.S. government - get it together!!!

- Mount Rainier, MD, USA

problem #80

Feb 242010


  • 68,000 miles
Lights went out after dark. In a panic, I moved the dimmer switch back and forth until they came back on. It lasted just a couple of seconds, but I was going 60 mph and it was pitch black. This is a 2002 Chevrolet Impala, 4 door sedan with 68, 000 miles. I have spent several thousand dollars on repairs for this vehicle. Seal leaks (oil leaking on manifold) heater went out during zero weather, replaced body control module, pass lock system, traction system parts ( two separate times). These are a few. I bought this car new and put only 68 thousand miles on it in the last 9 years. I believe the lights are a safety issue and should not cost $695 to repair.

- Tonganoxie, KS, USA

problem #79

Feb 262010

(reported on)

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
2002 Chevrolet Impala. The tire pressure light and engine light had to be reset. The consumer stated the check engine light only stayed off for 12 miles the last time it was reset by the dealership. The entire braking system had to be replaced only 2 years after purchasing the vehicle. The rotors cracked on all four wheels. The blinkers would only work if the air conditioner was off and the radio would only work if the blinkers were off and when going up hills. The vehicle would only accelerate to a speed of 10-15 mph.

- Benton, KY, USA

problem #78

Feb 252010


  • 70,000 miles
I purchased the vehicle used from another dealer in 2003. I started experiencing problems with the security system in November 2005, it would not start sometimes light would flash and after 20 minutes it starts. The problem went away until last November, and then it would do it about 2-3X a week. In February 2009 I had to replace my lower intake manifold gasket, water pump and battery. The summer 09 I had to replace the radiator due to a hairline crack in it. The security system starts to intermittently not start the vehicle again in late Sep. 09 about 2-3X per week. In Jan.2010 the vehicle doesn't start for me one day after coming out of the grocery store for 25 minutes. Since then it does it every morning when I go to take my child to school and I have to wait 10-20 minutes. I took the vehicle to the GM dealer and was told they weren't familiar with this problem and I needed $950 for parts and labor to replace the ignition switch and the BCM. I had the ignition switch replaced by another mechanic and that was not the problem and the vehicle is still doing the same thing. It's frustrating for me and my child. It's scary and dangerous. I'm so afraid that one day or night it may not start and I'm stranded in the streets and may be subjected to a crime or death. I don't drive it at night unless it's an extreme emergency now and this is such an inconvenience. I have to pay for rides at times to get my child to and from school when this car decides not to start so my child won't be late for school or getting picked up from school. I've also had to replace my windshield wiper motor and my driver's side door window regulator.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #77

Feb 152010


  • 43,000 miles
Security light comes on, doors lock and will not open manually or electrically. Car will not start. Service engine soon, brakes, door ajar, lights also come on. Red light on stereo flashes, headlamps flash. After waiting 20-30 minutes car will restart. Happens often and intermittently. Replaced battery.

- Claremont, NC, USA

problem #76

Dec 102009


  • 77,006 miles
The problem is with a 2002 Chevy Impala. The problem with the car is the passive lock 2 system.. this system locks the car out and keeps it from starting for any where to 15-30 mins at a time. This is a very unsafe thing for me I am a security officer and find myself in areas that I need to get out of and can't because of the car not start do to the failing of this system this is a on going problem with alot of GM made cars from the years 1999-2004 I have done alot of research with repair shops in my area and out of the area. Everyone of this place I have called or been to has told me the same thing and that is they get at lest one GM made car with in these years once a month. The problem is a fault in the pass2 system the only way to fix this problem is to take it to a GM dealer or a auto election to fix this and the cost of this is over $500. Chevy refuses to do a recall on their problem with this car. And other cars.

- Horn Lake, MS, USA

problem #75

Dec 092009


  • 130,250 miles
Car starts intermittently, at first once every month or so and then got progressively worst. This problem has been occurring over any an extended period of time (9-15 months, maybe longer). Used an independent mechanic the majority of the time (3-5 visits) was never able to identify the problem. However, the independent mechanic was reasonable in his charges. Since 10/23/09 started using a GM dealer (a big mistake). They have changed the body control module and replaced the ignition cylinder with passlock sensor. Cost approaching $1K and still the same problem though with less frequency (about three times since 11/10/09). Contacted GM for assistance and due to mileage (about 130K) they are unwilling to help. Only buy a GM product if you don¿T plan to put much mileage on it.

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #74

Apr 012009


  • 68,000 miles
I have a safety concern involving unresolveable issues with a 2002 Impala ls. Due to passlock, my car will randomly not start, thinking that I (the owner) am trying to steal the car. This is a safety issue being that I am a young, unmarried woman, who has to drive in and through rough neighborhoods to get to work and school. This issue could leave me and others stranded at location. And who knows what could happen from there, varying from murder to assault, etc. And if you know flint, saginaw, and detroit Michigan, this is a huge issue. The car has been evaluated by three different mechanics, two dealerships, and there is no solution. Aside from that issue, the car's traction control turns on at random, the ABS brakes turn on, almost causing accidents. This is another issue that can't be resolved by any of the mechanics I've talked to. This is costing tons of money and GM has no solution. GM needs to issue a recall and have these issues fixed.

- Columbiaville, MI, USA

problem #73

Nov 212009


  • 97,624 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The turn signals and hazard lights were inoperative. She installed a new fuse, but that did not remedy the failure. The manufacturer nor the dealer was notified. The current and failure mileages were 97,624.

- Covington, GA, USA

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