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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,964 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.

2009 Chevrolet Impala engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Chevrolet Impala Owner Comments (Page 1 of 8)

problem #141

Jan 082017


  • 121,225 miles


For the last two days, I have driven my vehicle. Every time I would drive over 40 mph, the engine would lock up. The vehicle would jerk back and forth. The car would do this every time I would try and drive over 40 mph, no matter the roadway or stop at an intersection. Whenever this happened, the check engine light would stay on. A month before this problem started, my father had been driving the car and had an auto accident.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #140

Jan 082017


  • 121 miles
For the last two days, I have driven my vehicle. Every time I would drive over 40 mph, the engine would lock up. The vehicle would jerk and shake back and forth. The car would do this every time I went over 40 mph, no matter if I was driving on a highway or road or coming to a stop at a red traffic light. Whenever this happened, the check engine light and the traction control light would stay on. This problem started weeks after I had an auto accident.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #139

Oct 302016


  • 90,100 miles
My car's engine power was severely reduced suddenly when I was driving on interstate highway 275 North in tampa, fl. A message showed on the dash: " reduced engine power, service traction control" and the check engine light was on. This happened today around 7 pm on Oct 30, 2016. My car is a Chevy Impala 2009. I searched online and found thousands of messages about the same error message of reduced engine power on many models of GM cars including Impala, Malibu, trailblazer, Silverado. This worries me very much as so many same error messages and engine problems happened on so many GM cars. My research shows that GM has done nothing to resolve this problem yet. So this irresponsibility of GM on this specific issue put the lives of hundreds of thousands of drivers in danger. I hope NHTSA looks into this problem and pressure GM to issue a recall if possible to take care of this serious problem. Thank you!

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #138

May 122016


  • 112,000 miles


While driving the check engine light and traction control light comes on and reduce engine power reads across the screen. Car slows to 45 miles an hour and turns off. I have had the throttle replaced and the throttle body replaced. The problem still on going....?

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #137

Aug 142016


  • 72,000 miles
I was driving and suddenly a symbol for traction stability came on and then a warning saying low engine power.

- Marion, IA, USA

problem #136

Jun 102015


  • miles
Takata recall. The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Impala. The contact had not experienced a failure with the vehicle until it was repaired per NHTSA campaign number: 14V355000 (electrical system). Shortly after the dealer's repair, the check engine warning light randomly illuminated and the vent controls failed to properly work. In addition, the key fob failed to lock and unlock at different points in time. The contact notified the dealer and they were unable to provide a solution for the various electrical failures. In addition, the brakes were slow to respond and the dealer replaced the rotors, which did not prevent the failure. The contact was informed that the brake actuator needed to be replaced. The repairs for the brake system did not prevent the failure. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 16V507000 (air bags, electrical system). The parts were not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The failure mileage was unknown. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Mountainview, AR, USA

problem #135

Dec 122014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Impala. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled and the traction control warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing, but the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 5,000. Updated 10/13/16

- Bristol, FL, USA

problem #134

May 142016


  • 58,000 miles
Reduced engine power appeared followed by check traction control. Then symbol for check traction control and engine completely in passing lane on interstate 80. Check engine symbol also lit, car completely died and would not restart. Approx 15 min later, it did start with check engine symbol lighted.

- Panora, IA, USA

problem #133

Jun 042016


  • 134,000 miles
Car is currently at 134K miles and just gave me a "reduced power engine", "check traction control", and a check engine light. I googled around and came across a lot of Chevy Impala around the same year (07-10) are having the same problem. It seems to be something with the "accelerator pedal positioner pedal sensor. Also reading into it, it claims that this problem can cause the car to suddenly stop from 60mph all the way down to 20 or zero. This is extremely dangerous and needs to be looked into before someone is hurt or killed.

- Avondale, AZ, USA

problem #132

May 012016


  • 122,800 miles
I was on the interstate, going the speed limit. I had the cruise control on when the car alerted me that the engine power reduced and service traction control. I continued to drive as these messages have appeared on my car before. I traveled another 40 miles along the interstate and was about a mile from my exit. I was passing an over-sized tractor trailer going up hill when the car displayed starting disabled throttle service and the car shut off. I was in the left lane and had to initiate my emergency lights and wait for the tractor trailer to pass me so I could move the car over to the right shoulder. As the car was completely shutoff and was just coasting, I had to fight the steering wheel to control the car. I feel like had my situation was just a little different, the car could have came to a complete stop in the middle of the interstate with cars traveling 70+ mph and possibly caused a crash. I've already replaced the throttle position sensor and that remedied the situation for a couple months. This a highly dangerous occurrence that I know is common with the Impala's as I've heard it happening to several other people owning Impala's.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #131

May 012016


  • miles


This problem started 2 years ago. My car would give me a warning "service traction control. Engine power reduced." Then the car would shut off. I took the car to a local mechanic where the fixed a sensor. That was around a year ago. I travel a lot for my job and today I arrived in portland Oregon had pulled off the interstate to get fuel, and once I pulled out to the extremely busy intersection my car did this again! I was stopped at a stop light and once it turned green boom car died due to traction control. So now I'm in the middle of a very busy road with traffic going around 45 mph almost rear ending me. I took the key out of the ignition for about 45 seconds and tred starting it which worked. Foolishly I thought I could at least make it to this parking lot right across the street when I went about 500 feet it did it again, in an even worse spot. I took the key out of the ignition again for 45 seconds started the car and got into the parking lot which was now 50 feet from me. I searched online for what could be causing this and that's where I found at least 50 other people having the same issue and trying to get GM to help. I will not be able to do my job if I can not get from place to place safely. This is a major safety issue that has the potential to kill people.

- Creston, IA, USA

problem #130

Mar 222009


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Impala. The contact stated that oil was leaking from the engine compartment. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was confirmed that engine oil was leaking onto the exhaust manifold. The remedy was unknown. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 15V701000 (engine and engine cooling); however, the VIN was not included. The failure mileage was approximately 63,000.

- Manchester, MO, USA

problem #129

Mar 182016


  • 150,000 miles
Receiving a message for service traction control and reduced engine power. The check engine light comes on. This has been happening on and off for weeks. The car slows down. Now there is a ticking noise coming from the car.

- Gary, IN, USA

problem #128

Feb 172016


  • 130,000 miles
I was waiting at a stop light. When the signal turned green, I turned and as I was turning my car began to decelerate and shut down. I had to steer hard to pull over to get out of traffic. I pulled alongside the road. Thinking maybe it was low on fuel, I had my brother get gas and we put gas in it. However, it would not start. Sat for maybe 20 minutes to see if it. Nothing happened. My sister came to give me a jump thinking that I needed one. However, no luck at all. Had to pull the car home. The mechanic thought that it was my starter, put the starter on and still nothing. The end result, my engine has seized on me!!

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #127

Feb 112016


  • 116,000 miles
While traveling home at about 55 mph car in front of me slammed on their brakes causing me to do the same - then traction control light came on - check engine light came on and reduced engine power came on in the display window - felt like all four wheel jumping up and down when trying to gain any speed weird sound coming from engine (normally quiet).

- Harrisburg, IL, USA

problem #126

Jan 032016


  • 80,000 miles
I bought my 2009 Chevrolet Impala used in April 2015, and since then I have had the warning service traction control, followed by engine power reduced pop up about a dozen times, with varying lengths between incidents, but not until yesterday did the car respond in any way. Yesterday I was accelerating up an interstate entrance ramp when the service traction control message popped up, then engine power reduced, and I paid little attention until quickly after the second message I realized I had no power, I had the accelerator to the floor and the car wasn't responding, the engine had shut down. So I turned on my hazard flashers and tried to pull over to the berm, but had to fight the dead steering wheel to do so, the power steering had stopped working when the engine shut down. The car wouldn't immediately restart once I had come to a stop, but after letting it sit for a few minutes, it started and I had no further issues getting home. I have read about this problem with this model vehicle here on this website, but this is the first time the engine has shut down on me after the two warning messages, and I was very lucky that there was no traffic in the lane I was trying to merge into when it did happen.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #125

Dec 262015


  • 180,000 miles
I was driving on the highway when the service traction control came up on the dash along with the traction control light, with in seconds of this happening the car read reduced engine power. The car immediately lost power and slowed down to a maximum of 25 mph. This sudden loss of power caused the cars behind me to nearly miss rear-ending me. I had to drive in this crippled mode 10 miles to reach the closest exit. It is due to a faulty throttle position sensor. This seems to be a very common problem with these vehicles and can cause a sudden loss of power.

- Oostburg, WI, USA

problem #124

Dec 102012


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 cherolet Impala. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle would suddenly lose power and slow down before stalling and shutting off. When the failure occurred, the check engine light illuminated. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #123

Nov 292015


  • 123,000 miles
My name is james barr and I purchased a 2009 Chevy Impala, with 123,000 miles on it, in August 2015 from mac churchill auto mall in bedford, Texas. I have had no problems with this car since its purchase until November 29th. While en route to emory, Texas, my car started displaying "engine power is reduced" and "service traction control" messages. About 99% of the way there, I suddenly got a lurch and my car slowed down, with steering and braking not working. I was able to get my car off the highway safely but had to use my emergency brake to stop my vehicle and get it turned off. I tried repeatedly for several minutes to get it going again, but it would not start. After about five minutes, the car restarted normally and has performed flawlessly since. However, I am concerned. I've had a garage pull and diagnose the problem. The error codes that were pulled are P2122 and P2138, regarding the accelerator pedal position sensor. I've researched this and this appears to be a common problem from what I've been able to ascertain from my research. But I'm confused as to whether this is a recall item based upon this: I'm now trying to understand whether I can get this fixed because I'm not sure this is covered under my used car warranty and I do not feel compelled to pay for a repair that GM has been aware of but failed to notify my dealership or me as a owner, until I got a letter on 12/9/15 indicating that there may be a problem...well after I started having problems. I want GM to fix this at their expense. It is a safety hazard here in the dfw area because this could reoccur while I'm in heavy traffic and have no way to stop before someone hits me or I hit someone.

- Euless, TX, USA

problem #122

Mar 172012


  • 28,000 miles
My vehicle's ignition switch shut off, which caused me to lose steering. When I crashed, the airbag failed to deploy. I was driving in a large parking lot and went over a speed bump. I was knocked out but the police report indicated there were no signs of braking or steering. I took my Impala to the GM dealership over 12 times.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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