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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,009 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.

2003 Chevrolet Impala electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 7 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #93

Sep 082012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 146,064 miles


Recently, when I arrived at a local business center, I attempted to turn the ignition key to off and I could not. The key was stuck in the acc position, and thus could not be removed. In addition, all the accessories were on. Reluctantly, I had to leave my car in a public parking lot with the power on and my keys dangling in the ignition. When I drove home, once again the key would not rotate to the off position -- it remained at acc. I attempted many fixes for the problem -- repeatedly shifting into park, turning the steering wheel, etc. I was forced to leave the car on, and with the key in the ignition. My battery in time would be dead. Perhaps worse, my car was just sitting there waiting for an opportunistic thief. I searched online for help and found scores of reports of Impala owners who had the identical problem. The ignition key gets stuck in acc and can't be removed. It's an intolerable situation because you can't secure your car. Not to mention that you can't turn the accessories off, so you have a guaranteed drained battery. Here is just one forum where this specific Impala problem was discussed: Chevrolet should issue a recall and fix this problem. There's no way one can force the key out of the ignition, and the only means of avoiding the drained-battery problem is to remove the battery cables. That's not technology, that's a nightmare. My car is constantly at risk of being stolen, and I'm hooking and unhooking the battery cables all the time. This is a very pervasive and persistent problem with Impala owners. Just this one web site alone (above) contains detailed accounts by scores of complainants, and it's but one of many. We paid too much for these cars to be ripped off and jerked around.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #92

Aug 112012


  • 148,086 miles
Low-beam headlights have failed to come on and will no longer function. High-beams and daytime running lights still function, but at dusk the low-beams will fail to light; however high-beams can be used instead creating a traffic hazard. I replaced the multi-function switch with a new switch, and replaced the relay with a known good working relay. The relay will still work and actuate indicating that the relay is not the problem. I checked the bulbs and they are still good, fuses are fine, 12V positive power is present at the bulb, but the ground is not activated on either side at any time. All problems point to a bad body control module (BCM). I have checked online and there are many many complaints about this vehicle with the same problem. If the low-beam headlights fail on somebody while they are driving, it could cause a crash and with that comes the possibility of the fatality of the driver and passengers. The BCM computer is known to cause many problems with starting the vehicle, flashing the lights both interior and exterior and these will cause safety issues with the vehicle.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #91

Aug 072012

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle was parked for 2 days in Mexico and I attempted to start it early afternoon and it after 1 hour of waiting to start it again, it would not start. This has happened to me a in the past and the last time it did was about 3 months ago. My car would not start at first and then after 10-15 minutes of waiting it would then turn on but now its taken longer to function. I don't know the exact reason why this problem is occurring but would like it to get fixed asap.

- Eagle Pass, TX, USA

problem #90

May 122010


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the engine failed to start. The failure recurred constantly. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who advised that the board module control would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the malfunction persisted. The vehicle had not been repaired for the most recent failure. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Delran, NJ, USA

problem #89

Jan 012012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
2003 Chevy Impala 87,000 miles on it- security pass lock system begins flashing periodically while I am driving and then randomly will not start. The entire dash lights up and I have power to the windows, but the key will not start the ignition. If I wait 10 minutes, it will start. I took my care to GM service and they said it car need to change some electrical parts like BCM computer, ignition key set, etc etc will cost me around $850 after my research online discovered that GM knows about the issue in their system, but does not care to fix it. In this economy, no one can afford to replace a 850 dollar error. It is disheartening. The reason we went with a Chevy Impala is the dependability. I cannot afford this issue and it is simply careless on GM's part. I'm a very disappointed customer and I will spread the word around to not purchase GM vehicles.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #88

Apr 252012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The security warning light illuminated as the contact attempted to start the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired and the VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 100,000.

- Hutchinson, MN, USA

problem #87

Apr 082012

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles


My 2003 Impala ls 3800 car cuts out when I start it after its been sitting a while. I hear this is most common for these GM models but I cannot find out the issue to stop it. Shop workers could not tell at the shop by doing a diagnostic scan. I really want to get this issue resolved.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #86

Feb 282012


  • 73,400 miles
I have been having recent trouble with my car not starting. I try to start it and nothing happens. I get a security light that flashes. I am using the original key. I will sometimes be able to start with within 15 minutes later, but sometimes I am stuck somewhere for hours before it will start again. It is not the battery because I just recently got a new one thinking that could be the problem. I read online that it has something to do with a faulty pass securitly lock issue with flawed GM system. I also read that paying to try the fix the problem is worthless because it will usually just reoccur so there seems to be no way to fix this without continiuing to waste my hard earned money. This is both a nuisace and has caused me many troubles being late to importatnt meetings etc. I once had to take my granny to the hospital and was not about to because my car wouldnt start. Please do what you can to get this thing recalled as I think it is unfair to all these people. I love to buy american but this is ridiculous and makes me not want to but another american made car. Thanks

- Chapin, SC, USA

problem #85

Feb 042012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
When to start car and would not start. Lights and radio would come on. Had a new battery put in and the alternator checked. 2 weeks later when to pick up niece from the baby sitter, was inside for 3 minutes came back out car would not start again. After 45 minutes of trying to start it finally started. Yesterday, went out to my car to drive to a meeting and once again it would not start. About 40 minutes later I went back out to try it again and it started right up. I did research online and found several complaints. Apparently this is a pass code issue. I do not feel I should have to go and get all this work done when there is no real solution. The code will not always come up so nobody knows what exactly is wrong with the car. In summary, the security system thinks that I am trying to steel my own car. This has left me stranded in the cold 3 different times. I am a 25 year old lady. That is totally unsafe and as there is no real solution to the problem that anyone can find how and I supposed to get it fixed. I have a child on the way. This is not the only year that does it either. All Impala have this issue from the years 2003-2005. How can a recall not be issued. I called Chevy and they basically said to go to a dealer but that is not an acceptable answer when I read that several people have spent thousands of dollars at their dealer on the same issue and are still having issues. Please help!! here are several articles on the issue:"T=30631."

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #84

May 032010


  • 54,000 miles
This car first failed to start in may of 2010. Since then, it has repeatedly left us down, and we and mechanics have tried varies fixes. Usually the car will start after a ten minute session of having the key turned on, then off for five seconds. Most times after that, it does start. However, this is becoming untenable. After checking online, I find that I am one of thousands of people having the same problem.

- Mercer, PA, USA

problem #83

Nov 222011


  • 126,000 miles


Ignition switch will not turn. I've had it replaced and the computer will not recognize the new key.

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #82

Nov 212011

Impala 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
As with many other owners of a 2003 Impala the security system constantly mis functions and leaves me stranded with the car unable to be started. The search on the internet exposes the fact that this is common with many makes and models of Chevy.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #81

Nov 052003

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
Got this car new 2003, at 376 miles had brake problems, had it back to dealer 10 or 11 times for same problem, so about every 3-4 months I have to turn rotors or get new one's+brake pads, also dash lights are out, as the car is out of warranty now, this is the worst car I ever owned, as I am a retired otr truck driver, so I dont misuse brakes.

- Williamson, WV, USA

problem #80

Sep 162010

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2003 Chevy Impala. My car cranks fine in the morning. After being driven after a while; I have to wait for it to cool off before it will crank. I have had to wait up to 2 hours for my car to start. I have taken the car to several machines and they are lost regarding the issue. I called the Chevy place and they gave me a list of possible problems and want me to spend $99.99 for a diagnostic test. I told them I was told that it was possible the BCM (body control modular). I have been looking out on consumer pages and there have been response about the BCM being fixed and it only resolved the problem for a short time. Spending $99.99 plus a charge of $450 to $500 to get a temporary fix is way out of the question. I feel this is something that needs to be recalled and fixed asap because this is electrical and can be dangerous to the consumer. I also it should be at a cost to the company due to the fact no one can detect the problem outside the company and it seems that the repair is only a temporary fix and it to expensive for that.

- Grandprairie, TX, USA

problem #79

Feb 012011


  • 126,000 miles
I have a 2003 Chevrolet Impala w/ day time running lights on car from factory. While driving early 4:00 am in the morning, through the mountains with no streets lights. I put my high beams on. Within a second all exterior, and interior lights when out. This is totally unsafe and hazardous. The manufacture should be responsible for this not the consumer. Need to have a recall on this. This a malfunction problem that needs to be addressed, before someone gets seriously hurt. I pray that your just not entering these complaints into the data base, but letting the consumer know that you care and are working on this problem. I also, notice that while looking for recall on this matter there's a lot of complaint on this multifunction. Consumer's can't fix this without a lot expenses and remove airbags. Will you do your best on recalling or getting recalls on this problem.

- Saint Johnsbury, VT, USA

problem #78

Aug 202011


  • miles
2003 Chevy Impala, sometimes it won't start, after a few minutes it will.

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #77

Jul 192011


  • miles
My 2003 Impala ignition switch fails every 2-3 years. It causes the car to stall or not start. This part is known in the industry to be faulty and should be replaced.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #76

Jul 202011


  • 71,000 miles
2003 Chevy Impala security light randomly comes on while driving vehicle. Light will turn off sometimes after driving or sometimes after car is turned off. Can go at the longest a week between light coming back on again. Car without warning did not start. Turned key lights worked radio worked and ac but wouldn't turn over.

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #75

Jun 272011

Impala 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
BCM - body control module - 2003 Chevrolet Impala. Started with failure of electronic door locks, then radio went out, then car will not start. New BCM ordered.

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #74

Mar 152009


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the vehicle security lamp illuminated and when inserting the key into the ignition, the vehicle would not start. The contact also mentioned that the failure drained the battery, causing the vehicle to loose power. The dealer was contacted who stated that the pass lock key was probably defective and advised her to bring the vehicle in to run a diagnostic test. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 37,000.

- Arlington, TX, USA

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