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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,910 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments

problem #16

Jun 202016


  • 150,000 miles


ABS, traction, and break lights come on........ then when I push on the gas paddle its often like the brakes want to lock up, with a scrubbing sound.... also when I push the break paddle down it often makes a sound and the break paddle feels like it comes back up with the break still down, .........but then when I drive like 20-25 miles the lights go off and hardly come on until I stop again

- Scottsboro, AL, USA

problem #15

Feb 012016


  • miles
When I am driving down any road, stopped and turning the ABS system engages causing grinding noise. Loss of power and periodically brakes lock up and gas pedal locks. When pulling off from a stop I can not accelerate & RPM goes almost red line, car starts to jerk and and transmission doesn't shift. I have to let off gas pedal and allow to shift. It has stalled numorus times when pulling into traffic and almost caused me to be hit. The service traction control/ABS warning light dings and stays lit. I manually turn off ABS but problem still occurs. Also the wiring thru out the car has failed to my rearview mirror, domelights and radio panel. My gas mileage has significantly decreased. The problem started around the beginning of the year and has progressively gotten worse to the point I and scared to drive my car.

- Baker, FL, USA

problem #14

Feb 192016


  • 120,000 miles
Whilst driving down the roadway the throttle body became stuck in the open position causing the vehicle to increase speed without the driver being in control of the vehicle which could result in a serious accident with other vehicles on the roadway

- Kirklin, IN, USA

problem #13

May 152014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that the cruise control activated independently, the headlights and brake lights flickered, and the instrument panel warning lights illuminated intermittently. The contact mentioned that the heater had to be running for the cruise control to deactivate. In addition, the exterior lighting flickered when the engine was not running. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failures were undetermined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #12

Oct 142015


  • 139,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated the vehicle increased speed violently once the brake pedal was released. The accelerator pedal was not depressed. The contact pulled over, shut the ignition off and restarted the vehicle, but the failure persisted. The failure recurred numerous times. The contact was a mechanic and stated that the throttle position sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 139,000. Updated 1/12/16

- Hermiston, OR, USA

problem #11

Aug 012015


  • 97,673 miles
Defective ignition switch caused cruise control to malfunction.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #10

Oct 062014


  • 197,000 miles


I was traveling on a 2 lane road. A truck pulling an enclosed trailer was in front of me turned on his right blinker and began to brake to make the turn. I was traveling 77 mph, so I moved to the oncoming traffic lane (the left lane) in order to pass the truck. At the last second the truck swerved into the left lane in order to make a wide turn. I abruptly jerked the steering wheel right to avoid collision with the truck, but the vehicle seemed to lose power steering as well as power brakes. I was unable to straighten the steering wheel back after jerking it to the right to go back into the right lane; my vehicle hit the back of the enclosed trailer and then hit steep ditch where my back passenger tire popped and the vehicle flipped onto its roof. The vehicles airbags failed to deploy even though the vehicle has significant damage to the front, top and sides of it. I regained conscientiousness I attempted to turn the car off and remove the keys from the ignition. But I realized that the keys were not I N the ignition.I crawled out of the passenger window to exit the vehicle. The keys were later found by my husband loose in the vehicle. I hit my head hard when the vehicle flipped, good deal of blood on me from what ended up being multiple superficial lacerations as well as a deep wound in my left knee, which required 12 stitches to close up. I will have a scar from it for the rest of my life. I was rushed by ambulance to the hospital and was released around 9 pm. 2 days later we received the ignition switch recall notice in the mail GM refuses to answer any of our questions regarding this wreck. GM did retrieve the black box info from the vehicle., they refuse to provide us with any explanation to why the airbags failed to deploy or why there seemed to be a malfunction within the car which led to the accident.

- Norman , OK, USA

problem #9

Aug 062014


  • 150,000 miles
There are 3 recalls I have found that possibly are effecting my 2003 Impala but because my specific VIN # doesn't fall under any of these GM is refusing to fix these problems. 1)the body control module needs to be reset. Apparently when it goes out the cruise control disengages.....and my cruise control light is on but won't engage. Plus my mechanic says the body control module also is what is could be causing my heater fan to not work nor my information display to work. But low and behold when the cruise control light goes off they both work 2) there is a recall stating drops of engine oil may leak on exhaust manifold with hard braking and I sometimes smell oil burning after I drive. If it was my actual engine leaking oil I would smell it all the time but I don't it's just after I drive certain places that are very congested and I brake a lot 3) there is a fuel vapor leak from the gas tank which is believed to be causing my check engine light to come on. It throws the code stating I need to possible replace the gas cap (which I have done) and only comes on after I have put gas in the car. I'm alittle concerned and applaud that just because my VIN # doesn't show these recalls but Impala are having these recalls that GM won't fix these problems.

- Black Mtn , NC, USA

problem #8

Oct 272014


  • miles
The car randomly shuts off at times when U push the gas to hard while the car trying pick up speed.then I have to come to a complete stop put the car in park (all this while im in middle of traffic) an then start it back up. Im not the only one having this problem my cousin having the same exactly problem but hers start right back up like mine or some times take a little while for this to happen. She also said she seen something come on tv saying some about if you have this problem contact somebody but she didn't get the number an never saw the ad on tv again.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #7

Jan 012013

Impala 6-cyl

  • 65,500 miles
When on the highway doing approx. 65 mph with my cruise control on, all of sudden the cruise control dropped out and vehicle slowed down dramatically.. also the heat and ac would not work at all. These conditions continued intermittently. When we went to my mechanic he had an ignition switch waiting, he knew of the problem before we arrived. As soon as he touched the ignition switch the engine shut off. Since we had the switch replaced we have had no problems. This sounds like a similar problem as the recall. Thank you

- Millersville, MD, USA

problem #6

Feb 122014


  • 88,000 miles


I was driving on the back roads at the speed limit of 55mph when the car started to jerk violently. I didn't know what was going on so I let off the gas and hit the brakes a little. I was able to come to a stop safely, but the jerking was dangerous as it propelled me into the oncoming traffic when I was on a curve. I don't feel safe driving the car now. The car shows no codes and no warning signals. I think it has something to do with the transmission, but I am not sure. I read many others with transmission problems and I think this is more dangerous than people think and it should be recalled if its a known problem. I don't know what to do.

- Mt Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #5

Jun 212012


  • 112,324 miles
Anti-locking braking system, traction control, and vsa light comes on under normal driving conditions. Anti-lock system engages and pulsates when the brakes are applied at various speeds and also the vehicle doesn't' accelerate if depressing the accelerator. This could or will cause a serious accident if the system is not fixed immediately. Suspect the wheel speed sensor which is built into the wheel hub. I am requesting this issue be repaired and the factory expense since this is a safety issue and a very well know documented case.

- Athens, AL, USA

problem #4

Sep 122012

Impala 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Engine accelerates to 3,000 RPM during warm up (sometimes). Usually occurs about five minutes after cold start. Has lasted 10 to 15 minutes while driving. Has not repeated during same day and not happen again for days or weeks during the past five months. Replaced ECM (computer), iac (idle air control), coolant temp. Sensor and cleaned throttle body. Dealer cannot suggest solution. Unable to get car to dealer while problem is happening. Scanned for dtcs multiple times, none. Controlling speed with brake is not a good solution. Safety hazard! the consumer stated when the body control module failed, the key fob would not work, the engine would not start, the interior lights would not come on and the head light would not turn off. The consumer had to disconnect the battery, in order to turn the head lights off. After reconnecting the battery, everything returned to normal. The BCM was replaced. Updated 03/19/13

- Vine Grove, KY, USA

problem #3

Apr 042012

Impala 6-cyl

  • miles
I purchased from valley Ford 4/18/2009 I have had nothing but trouble with it ever since I purchased it. I have had rocker arms replaced, pins, the aftermarket warranty company wouldn't replace them because they told me that it was not an internal problem, I have had pass lock problems which I had to get done, I just replaced the transmission in 2012 the computer on the car read that it was shift solenoids when it turned out to be the transmission. Now as of the past three months my low beam head lamps will not come on.the day time running lamps work but when it gets dark they shut off & the parking lamps stay on. The only way I will be able to drive is to hold the turn signal towards me, its not the bulbs they have been replaced & its not the fuses and no one seems to know what the problem. My cruise control light flashes on and off while im driving & while the switch is off & also my check engine light flashes on & off but when I take it to auto part store to have it hooked up to the machine it doesn't read anything.....I ask that you guys can please help me with this car, & I also have proof of everything I just wrote receipts and all.

- St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #2

Oct 252009


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. When applying pressure to the accelerator pedal at 30 mph, the vehicle would not decelerate. As a consequence he crashed into the wall of a nearby building. He injured his lower body and torso. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 58000.

- Tenafly, NJ, USA

problem #1

Aug 282009


  • 129,057 miles
I have a 2003 Chevrolet Impala with a 3.8 liter V-6. the car radio quit working and I had to pull out the fuse because it was sending strange error messages to the body control module. Now the BCM is having even more problems. The car turned itself of then back on while I was driving down the road. I pulled over and shut the car off. Then it would not start again. I pulled the fuse for the BCM an the car started and I made it home. What in the world did General Motors do to these cars. I have been reading numerous horror stories about their cars. Was there a recall to fix this problem or do I have to go to the dealer and spend a fortune to fix this garbage pretending to be a car. How can a car company get away with this poor quality control in this day and age? my security display now shows random errors like low fuel even after I filled up the tank. Not sure if any major damage was done to the car but now the transmission hesitates when it shifts.

- Hutto , TX, USA

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