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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,985 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 1 of 2)

problem #22

Sep 192010

Impala 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated when the security warning light was illuminated, the vehicle would not start. The contact stated that if the vehicle was being driven while the warning light was illuminated, the vehicle would continue to drive but if turned off, the contact would have to have to wait thirty minutes before being able to restart the vehicle. The dealer replaced the starter to no avail and advised the contact that he was unable to determine what was causing the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 106,000 and the current mileage was 107,000. Updated 03/22/11 the consumer also stated the brakes needed to be replaced every other year. The consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 05/06/11

- St Clairsville, OH, USA

problem #21

Sep 172009


  • 64,000 miles
I have a 2002 Chevrolet Impala whereas I believe the passlock ignition is defective. After searching the internet, I have found that there are numerous complaints about the car not starting. The failure occurs when trying to start the car by turning the key. Nothing has been do to correct this failure.

- Mt. Laurel, NJ, USA

problem #20

Dec 252009


  • 78,000 miles
I have a 2002 Chevy Impala and quite often the car will not start and displays the security light but after leaving the key in the on position and pressing the lock button on the vehicle the car will start 10 minutes later. I had to take my daughter to the er because of a bad cut on her finger which was bleeding profusely and we got in the car and it wouldn't start. After pressing the lock button and leaving the key in the on position for 15 minutes it finally started. It does this all the time at least 10 times per week. Thank god my kids weren't dying or something or thank heavens it wasn't an emergency situation when the car wouldn't start. But I have looked at numerous websites and it seems that the 2002 Chevy Impala have this problem and it needs to be recalled the owners should not have to pay for the parts!!

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #19

Oct 132009


  • 123,572 miles


The passlock prevents the car from starting. This happens approx. 4 or 5 times a month. You put the key in to start and the car does not start. You have to wait 10 minutes usually, sometimes 20 sometimes 30. Very dangerous if you have an emergency and need to start you car right away instead of waiting to start. You may die or something of that nature. Very scary when you are in the car alone and it won't start. Will never by a GM car again!

- Lynn, MA, USA

problem #18

Apr 202009


  • 38,000 miles
I own a 2002 Chevrolet Impala that has only 38,000 miles on it. In the last ten days this car has cost me $1,100. The majority of this cost was because of the passlock system. I had no choice but to get this repaired because the car could have stopped running at any time. It appears from what I have read recently that this auto and others like it should have been recalled long ago because of these security systems that seem to go out quite frequently. I cannot give an accurate incident date since this has been happening on and off for over two months - I have finally been able to borrow the money to get it fixed.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #17

Sep 142008


  • 65,000 miles
1. casual use of vehicle appears to be the only variable leading up to the display of the security message and the car not starting. 2. my research suggest the etiology of the problem (car not starting and security message display) may be a malfunction of the passlock system, but failure can still occur once passlock is replaced. The car fails to start about once every two weeks and is unpredictable. This problem has occurred over the past two years, with the exception of a three month period over the summer of 2008 during which the car's body control module was replaced by a GM dealer. The consequences of the car failing to start include the driver missing work, being late to work, being stranded in 90 degree heat and in secluded areas. 3. a body control module was replaced in an attempt to correct the security message/passlock issue as well as an other issue (charging system failure). Approximately three months later the car again would not start and the security message was displayed. ***while no injuries have yet occurred, the car not starting can leave the driver and passengers vulnerable to the elements and victimize (robbery, assault, rape, and murder).

- Lexington , KY, USA

problem #16

Dec 012006

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the security light illuminated which indicated that the anti-theft device was defective. As a result, she was unable to start her vehicle. The dealer inspected the vehicle and stated that the path lock sensor caused the failure. They made the replacement however approximately ten months late the failure occurred again. The mechanic stated that the path lock sensor caused the failure and they made the replacement. Approximate six months later the failure occurred again. The mechanic stated that the path lock sensor caused the failure. As of April 21, 2008, the mechanic had not repaired the vehicle. The failure mileage was 65,000 and current mileage was 88,000.

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #15

Feb 292008

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
We have been having problems with our turn signals not working properly. Also the security light flashes and the radio says locked and the vehicle will not start. The only way we can get it started is to disconnect the battery and let the computer reboot.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #14

Jan 302008

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
Vehicle ignition is locked up, no warning, this is a problem with most of these vehicles produced with in dash ignitions. At 51,000 miles GM wants customers to pay for repairs of these at the customer cost being around $900 and in most instances within 18months the failure occurs again. I feel that this is criminal of GM to be aware of this problem and not recall every vehicle to cover repairs. Towing bill $75 to date as well $900 for repairs.

- Mount Morris, MI, USA

problem #13

Jun 012005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that she was unable to start the vehicle and the trunk and door locks failed to work. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of failure. The contact believed that the failure was caused by the anti-theft system. She has reprogrammed the anti-theft system. The failure has occurred approximately six times. The windshield on a clear day caused blurred vision. The dealer replaced the windshield, the failure did not continue. While driving 70 mph the headlights began to blink. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure. The current mileage was 60,000 and failure mileage was 40,000.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #12

May 102007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


Pass lock system failed. This was the 3rd time in five years, the second time in less than 2 years. While this did not pose an immediate danger it could become a problem if someone needed to use their car for an emergency, and because of the pass lock failure enabled to receive the help they needed.

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #11

Jan 012007


  • miles
I have a problem with my vehicle that involves the passlock ignition security system failure with no-start. I purchased the 2002 Chevy Impala from a dealer used with 80,000 miles on it. A couple months after purchase I started having the problem and the dealer kept putting it on diagnostics and charging me for items that did not resolve the problem. I now, through research, have discovered the GM dirty little secret of the defective system they will not recall and I am a single woman in her late 50's that lives on a fixed income and can't afford to get a new vehicle. I am getting the run around from dealers and they will not give me a honest solution that will not require almost $1,000 replacement on the ignition and passlock sensor. I am very angry and sitting with a vehicle that I cannot go anywhere with that I paid too much for because of the defect and no one will help. I am having health problems due to this and I want help to make the manufacturer to take responsibility for the problem and recall the defective part.

- Mount Vernon, WA, USA

problem #10

Feb 222007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
Passlock failure no start. Has happened total of 8 times in a little less than 5 years. Fortunately it has not happened when I have absolutely needed the car to start, although it has been inconvenient with a small child with me several of the times. I dread the occasion when it happens and I need the car to start because of some emergency. From review of web forums, GM is aware of this problem and it is much more extensive than would be indicated from reviewing complaints on this site.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #9

Jan 122007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles
Dear GM customer service representative, please forward this message to Mr. Douglass J herberger, vice president and general manager of service and parts operation. Dear Mr. Herberger, I have been trying to get the codes for the pass lock theft deterrent system on my 2002 Chevy Impala ls and the dealers around memphis, tn refuse to give it to me. They also refuse to reprogram it for free. I feel that I should not have to pay a dealer to unlock that system. I'm paying for and own my car, not the dealer. In addition, I went in to the service department of chuck hutton Chevrolet to and was told that I would have to pay $47 for them to enter and reprogram the theft lock system, that they cannot do it by hand. Why should I have to pay the dealer $47 everytime I change out my battery - to reprogram my theft lock system? I thought that I purchased the car to become the owner of it. I pay taxes on it, I pay my insurance and maintenance fees. Why should I have to pay a dealer to codes that I should have free access to. Why was my car designed to lock me (the owner) out without free general access to unlock the vehicle? I have exhausted my attempts to resolve this matter out of court, however, unless this matter gets fixed at no expense to me, I will take it to the lawful limit. I want to hear from you Mr. Herberger, not these no thinking that understand the difference between owner and dealer.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #8

Jan 032007

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,800 miles
My Chevy's passlock anti-theft deterrent system is stuck on and I have been told that I must take it to the dealer.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #7

Jun 012006

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
Several electrical / security problems - lights go off while driving. Also at times when approaching car, it won't start due to security system shutting down starter circuit. Although these things correct the problem after waiting, the dealer doesn't find the problem. It has been suggested that I pay for replacement parts that might fix this problem. I don't want to spend more money on this vehicle.

- Ferryville, WI, USA

problem #6

Apr 202005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,215 miles
When getting into my car I go to start my car and nothing happens. I have to wait for 10 minutes before it will start. The security lights comes on when driving down the road. It could cause a serious accident if someone did not know what to do. No one can figure out what the problem is when the car will not start and the security light is on. It is a manufacturing defect in the security system. There are several people that have the same issues with this. Some people have to wait 30 minutes before their car will start. This could put a woman in a serious situation. We need to find out what is the problem and I hope someone can help.

- Wyoming, MI, USA

problem #5

Feb 032006

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,225 miles
Is there a way to look into the Chevrolet Impala 2002, 2001, and 2000 models for failure of the security system. The light comes on at times and when taken in for service you are told that the problem can't be found. After the light comes on, you don't know when or if the car will start and you have it towed and no problems are found. I think this can lead to some type of safety problem if you need to move your car in a hurry and it don't start. I've talked with many owners of the type of cars and they all have this problem.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #4

Jan 242006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,350 miles
I was driving home from work around 7:30 pm on Tuesday on January 24, 2006, dark outside. I had my lights on bright and all of a sudden there were no lights. I did have fog lights on and I could still see them, but there weren't any headlights. I quick flicked the dimmer switch and they came back on. I've never experienced that before. However, when I talked to my mechanic the next day he said someone the week before experienced the same thing twice in one drive. The piece to replace this is quite expensive. I have not had it fixed yet, but I felt it should be reported. This happened once. Another item of concern is that my security light inside my car has been on for about 2 months. Every once in a while my car won't start on the first turn. Only once did I have to have it jumped. There is plenty of power as the lights and radio still work. My mechanic has tried replacing an ignition switch (I think), but the first time I started it didn't turn over and then it did, but the security light was still on. It's back in the shop today. The other person mentioned above has experienced this same defect. They also own an Impala. This has happened several times on my car. My mechanic cannot figure out what is wrong.

- Garretson, SD, USA

problem #3

Jun 152005

Impala 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,500 miles
I purchased my '02 Impala through the corporate leasing company of my father's employer. He had no problems with the car other than the transmission fluid turning black by 85,000 miles. When I got the car in June of '05, it was at 121,000 miles, I drove the car around all day, parked the car for 5 minutes, and when I went to start it, nothing happened. The dash lit up, the radio came on, but the car didn't turn over, not even a clicking sound, indicative of a dead battery. I waited 10 minutes, tried again and it started right up. I went for another month without any problems, however in late July, the car failed to start. Again I waited 10-15 minutes, and it started right up. This continued sporadically until October 20, when it took 30 minutes of waiting to get it to crank. I took the car to a local GM dealer, who put it on the machine and advised me that the BCM (body control module) had failed and was sending a signal to the passlock system telling it that my keys were incorrect. The service writer informed me that a new BCM installed would run about $500, and the service tech advised that this has become a common failure in both the Impala and the Malibu, which GM has yet to recall. The technician did suggest that a more cost effective option existed with several of the after-market shops, in which a bypass-relay was installed under the dash, to block the erroneous signals from the BCM, which will allow the vehicle to operate normally. The cost for this bypass is about $55 and takes approximately an hour to install. The only problem with this solution, is it blocks the key recognition feature of the passlock system, which will make it easier to steal, if someone can start it without damaging the key ignition. I think it is necessary for GM to understand that a vehicle's failure to start due to faulty component in the anti-theft system is a very serious concern which needs to addressed.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

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