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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 9 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #72

Nov 182009


  • 60,000 miles
2002 Chevrolet Impala ls 60,000 miles leaves wife stranded due to some security device that does not allow the vehicle to start, no warning signs other than a security light that is displayed for no apparent reason while driving. I have researched online and it seems as though this is a common problem with these cars. The repairs are expensive and don't seem to be a reliable fix this is a safety issue to me. GM should fix it, as it is a obvious design flaw.

- Queen Creek , AZ, USA

problem #71

Nov 182009


  • miles
My 2002 Impala wont start everyday I have to get a boost it makes me late for work I go to crank it just click click with all the interior light blinking that's not safe being a father of 2 and running the risk of car not starting after sitting for 2 hours.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #70

Oct 152009


  • 150,000 miles


My 2002 Chevy Impala has a random issue with starting and has left me stranded several times. One time the car quit running while driving leaving me with no power steering or brakes going down the highway! then would not start again for about 15 minutes. On the internet I see where there are thousands of ignition switch complaints on this and several other GM models. This is obviously a GM issue that they have failed to address. Leaving someone stranded or even worse stalling while driving is a safety issue. I live in Ohio where it can easily get below zero in the winter if my car leaves me stranded, it could be very dangerous.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #69

Jul 012007


  • 75,000 miles
Car will not start sometimes. Battery is fine. Lights work, locks work, etc. Battery was replaced twice before realized it was not battery. Have to wait 10 minutes and then try again to start car. Usually starts after 10 minute wait. If not, have to wait another 10 minutes. Security light comes on for no reason at times and then goes off.

- Lumberton, TX, USA

problem #68

Sep 142009


  • 800,000 miles
Several Chevrolet vehicles in the 2002 range (including my 2002 Impala) have a design defect in the body control module that causes a failure in the passlock security system. The failure is intermittent and unpredictable, but causes the car to either not start, or stop running. Once the BCM fails, the computer must be restarted to start the car- this means sitting in the car for 8-11 minutes waiting for the security light to go off; regardless of whether it's 110 degrees out, or 10 below. The problem is widely reported on auto forums, so there is no way Chevy doesn't know about it. There are even companies willing to bypass the security system (by cutting a wire from the BCM, and routing a wire from another source with an appropriate resistor) to eliminate the problem. A dealer will replace the BCM, but the replacement is the same design as the original, and is just as likely to fail (not to mention running $500-$800).

- Dundee, MI, USA

problem #67

Sep 012009


  • 85,000 miles
1999-2004 Impala have a problem, trac off, service traction system and ABS lights go on. This deactivates the anti-brake system and can be very dangerous when driving on a slick road. Also without traction control your car will not accelerate, turn or brake and will skid. What happens is GM used cheap wiring or cut too short and these wires corrode. This problem is an easy fix, GM is aware of these problems but refuses to do anything about them. It would be an easy fix but the only thing about that though is that you cant just replace the wires, the wires are sealed in the hub assembly, so you have to replace the entire hub assembly. Also there is a problem with the passlock feature, passlock was created to prevent thieves from stealing your car, not to prevent you from driving it.passlock can cause the vehicle to lose power while driving on the highway and may stall. That in itself is a major problem. I suggest you force GM to do a recall before people die because of negligence. And if they refuse to comply, just slap them with a major lawsuit.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #66

Aug 302009


  • 124,500 miles
2002 Chevy Impala ls on many different occasions will not start. I have been researching the problem online since I have sent my car to my mechanic twice for this issue, and he has no idea how to address the problem. I've found hundreds of other Impala owners who have had the same thing happen to them, and many cannot understand why a recall has never happened. On this link, there are over 150 similar complaints listed of over 2002 Impala owners. Please make GM have a recall for this recurring problem that has also been a safety issue since some Impala owners have been stranded in bad weather conditions: please take the time to look into this issue on 2002 Impala. Thank you for your time.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #65

May 202009


  • miles
I purchased a 2002 Chevy Impala ls in November of 2008. The security passlock system begin acting faulty in may of 2008, faulty as in the car won't start if it's too hot outside, when U turn the ignition in the on position you hear sparks and static from the wiring when the security light is on. You have to basically perform magic to get the car to start. And the could take up too 4 hours of sitting wherever you are. GM is practically aware of this very irritating and costly problem and should be held liable.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #64

Oct 302007


  • 150,000 miles
It started back in 2002 a few months I purchased my 2002 Impala. It was a used car with 15,000 miles. The check engine and low coolant light came on. Took it to the dealership and had the water pump and low coolant sensor replaced. A week later, low coolant light comes on again. Again took it to dealership and had to replace another sensor. That happen 10 times during the same year. As of now, July 2009, the light is still on. In 2007, my vehicle started to run hot. Was told I needed the manifold intake gasket, thermostat and hoses replaced which would of cost me over $1000. I couldn't afford it. I got a local mechanic to replace everything which he charged me $300. Just recently, I've been having problems starting my car especially after I drive it for a while. I'm a single mother who goes to school and work and this is my only means of transportation. This car has been giving me the blues the past few years and I'm sick of it. All this started with about 150,000 miles and currently I have about 168,000 miles. I will get a better, dependable vehicle later this year and I won't buy another GM vehicle again.

- Vacheri, LA, USA

problem #63

Jul 202009


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. On July 20, 2009, the vehicle failed to start. The contact had to wait ten minutes before the vehicle would restart. The vehicle has not yet been inspected to determine the cause of the failure. She believes that this is a safety defect due to a faulty security system. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 78,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #62

Jul 072009


  • 50,000 miles
2002 Chevy Impala 7 times in 3 years I had security light issues with this vehicle leaving me stranded I had paid to have this vehicle until I through a fit in December of 2007 GM honored it because the part they put in was faulty. Here it is a year and a half later and I have the same security issue this time it cost me 510 bucks and some change. The car has 50 thousand miles. I will never buy another Chevy period. Since I have been doing many searches on this issue and now see that I am not the only one with the same issue.

- Manchester, PA, USA

problem #61

Jun 292009


  • 162,458 miles
I have a 2002 Chevy Impala and I have been having problems with my BCM (body control module). Sometimes when I start it up it will not let me start it up because that security system comes on. It also failed in general yesterday which I figured this out because I had unplugged my BCM and reconnected it and my car started up just fine. I went to the dealership to find out if it could possibly be that because I am not GM certified. But like any other place they gave me the run around and told me it can be something else and something else but I'm pretty sure its this. I have done my research online and most people have problems with there BCM, once they change it the problems go away. I believe GM should fix this problem for free because its something that only happens on Chevy's. I know this because I owned a 2001 Chevy Malibu and it used to do the same thing. This also has happened to me more then ten times in the past four months and its ridiculous. Now I go to see if I can get it fixed and they also told me that if they program it and its not that my money is not refundable and I'm stuck with a car that doesn't work and I loose out around 300-400 dollars.

- Haines City, FL, USA

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