NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Switch Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,173 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 Oldsmobile Alero electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 022014


  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero. While driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle suddenly shut off. While merging to the side of the road, the engine suddenly restarted without the key being turned in the ignition. After driving approximately one mile, the failure recurred. The vehicle restarted on its own. The dealer stated that the ignition switch was faulty. The switch was replaced, but the failure persisted. The ignition switch was replaced a second time and the failure was remedied. The failure mileage was 67,000.

- Billings, MT, USA

problem #10

Feb 032009


  • 90,000 miles
Car shut off and lost power to steering and braking due to ignition failure. Car would randomly shut off while driving. Issue was faulty ignition and was replaced by local mechanic.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #9

Mar 252008

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero. The contact attempted to start the vehicle, but was unsuccessful. It took him approximately 40 minutes to start the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they repaired the fuel pump. Immediately after the repair was made, the failure continued. He took the vehicle back to the dealer and they stated that the failure was due to the ignition switch of the electrical system. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact has only owned the vehicle for seven weeks. The failure and current mileages were 74,000.

- North Hill, CA, USA

problem #8

Apr 092007

Alero 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181,000 miles


- the contact owns a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero with a current and failure mileage of 181,000 miles. While driving at 35 mph began decelerating and the vehicle lost power with no warning in the middle of the road. The weather was sunny and 75 degrees. She was able to restart the vehicle after 30 minutes. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who informed her that the vehicle was part of recall 07E021000 for fuel system, other: Storage: Tank assembly: Pressure relief devices. The recalled failure could result in a fire, but the contact had not experienced the recall failure to date. She spoke with delphi, GM and Oldsmobile dealers, and none of the dealers were willing to complete the recall work free of charge. The consumer stated the dealership is asking for additional monies besides the $417.21 that was already paid. The consumer stated the vehicle is still in the dealerships possession and she wants the vehicle returned with the problem fixed. The consumer stated that on 06/07/07 the dealership informed her to pick up the vehicle that it was ready when consumer came to pick up vehicle the manager informed her he does not feel safe returning the car to her and the dealership is requesting an additional $262 for an ignition switch. Updated 06/25/07

- Loganville, GA, USA

problem #7

Oct 132006

Alero 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,900 miles
The security light started coming on in my car in 2004. My car is a 2002. I brought my car to a GM dealership and they said that they couldn't find anything wrong, so I did not pay attention to the light until one day my car refused to start. As I had just replaced the battery and the lights/radio worked, my husband asked around and a few people who have owned Oldsmobile vehicles stated that if you leave the car in the "on" position for 10-12 minutes that it will reset the security light and the car will start. It worked and I brought my car to a second GM dealership and they quoted a diagnostic run to determine what is causing my car not to start, but they too did not know what was causing it. The most recent occurrence was in October 2006, but instead of resetting for a few months, like before, the car refused to start the very next time I tried to start it. I did research online and found that there are several models (1999-2002, at least) that have the same problem. I contacted GM to notify them of this occurrence and the fact that it was not only occurring to my car. I have not heard back... yet? I no longer have confidence that my car is reliable. For the time being, I use the method, but now that I am pregnant and winter is fast approaching (I live in Minnesota), I no longer find this solution acceptable. I do not want to jeopardize my child's life by having to remain in negative degree weather for ten minutes in order for the car to "reset itself, " so I am currently researching alternative cars to purchase.

- Prior Lake, MN, USA

problem #6

Mar 012006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The security warning light was coming on intermittently and would stay on for 1-4 minutes then go off. This started in March 2006. Then one day the car would not start. Called aaa - mechanic fixed by leaving key turned on for about 10 minutes - then car started. This "problem" of not starting started occurring more frequently and so had a mechanic check into it. He immediately told me, once I presented the problem the car was having, that the ignition switch in these cars were notorious for going bad and needed to be replaced. So, I had it replaced. Now, it's July 2006 and the security warning light is coming on again. So - now what?!

- Advance, NC, USA

problem #5

Sep 242005

Alero 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles


For a couple of days I've had trouble turning the key to turn on the vehicle. Two days ago I put the key in the ignition and it wouldn't budge. I cannot get the key to turn the slightest bit. I bought a new ignition switch in hopes that this will solve the problem.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #4

Aug 112005

Alero 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
Timing chain broke at 60K miles. Destroyed valves. Also ignition switch broke at 45K miles.

- Spindale, NC, USA

problem #3

Feb 072005

Alero 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
I started having problems in Feb. Of this year(2005). The car would not start. Towed it to a dealer and they replaced the ignition cylinder. 3 days later was having the same problem. Took it back to the dealer and they then replaced the housing. Begining of June had the same problem occure agian. Towed it back to the dealer and they could not find anything wrong with it. Of course it started at the dealer. 2 weeks later and it still will not start agian. The security light was comming on before it stoped running. This is a problem that many people are having and it needs to be fixed. If you go to www.automotivehelper.com and go under Alero, you will find lots of complaints.

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #2

Mar 262004


  • miles
Consumer took vehicle to dealer for regular maintenance and dealer determined that vehicle needed the following replacements: A new ignition lock cylinder, intake manifold, multi function switch, and an engine oil flush. Consumer stated that when she put key in the ignition it would not turn, but did not know that vehicle would need a new switch. Also, there was ticking noise when she tried to start the vehicle.

- Merrillville, IN, USA

problem #1

Mar 242004

(reported on)


  • 51,000 miles
The consumer had problems with the ignition. The consumer had a difficult time turning the vehicle on and off. The consumer stated the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The intake manifold was replaced. The consumer was informed that coolant was leaking into the oil. Provide further details.

- Merrillville, IN, USA

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