NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Anti-Theft Controller Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,277 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.

2004 Pontiac Grand Am electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Pontiac Grand Am Owner Comments

problem #12

Oct 162014

Grand Am

  • 63,130 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start as the anti-theft and the air bag warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 63,130. Djr

- Scottsboro, AL, USA

problem #11

May 242008

Grand Am

  • 79,939 miles
I have a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am GT and while I was driving the security light came on and when the ignition was turned off the car would not start back up. I had to end up paying $578.16 to have the passlock sensor and ignition cylinder replaces.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #10

Apr 142008

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,643 miles
The security light comes on and won't allow me to start the vehicle until I let it sit for 10 minutes with the ignition in the "on" position. There are internet message boards with tons of complaints about this and GM won't repair it. The cost for the repair is $400 and the dealer says it is a common problem to have the passlock fail. The car only has 49,00 miles on it. What can I do to get this fixed?

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #9

Apr 042008

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles


Security system failure...no warning. Security light on as I went to work. The car sat all day...then it wouldn't start. The car does not recognize my keys. In doing some research I have found that this is a major problem for all Grand Am, not just for 2004 models. Why does Pontiac continue to use defective passlock systems in their cars. Cost to repair runs approximately $450. In my research I have found that even after it is "fixed" it can and does happen again. I would think that Pontiac should quit using them and putting them on their cars, or pay for the repairs since they know it is bad and going to go bad over and over again. It isn't like the car is a BMW or rolls or something. I for one could live without the passlock security system.

- Jefferson City, MO, USA

problem #8

Feb 132008

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,225 miles
The passlock anti-theft device installed in the ignition switch of my '04 Pontiac Grand Am SE will engage and make my car impossible to start. It happens several time per week since I passed 36,000 miles, now at 36,868. I thought mine was an isolated case, but after reading complaint after complaint from customers who have this device installed in their vehicles it's obvious that this device has a design flaw since many have had their ignition switches replaced only to have the same problem happen again and again. GM even lists a procedure to "reset" the anti-theft sensor in my owners manual. I have a pregnant wife and two other small children. What am I supposed to do in an emergency when I get into my car and can't get it started because of this faulty device" wait 10 minutes for this contraption to "reset" itself while precious time is ticking away" when this anti-theft sensor isn't keeping me from starting the engine the ignition switch and everything associated with it works beautifully. I would like for GM to come with a solution to this annoying and possibly life threatening faulty sensor and replace the the ignition switch with a more reliable switch or pay to have the dealership disable this useless headache altogether.

- Dodge City, KS, USA

problem #7

Jan 232008

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,199 miles
Ignition defective - will not start/unable to turn key in ignition. Seems like tumblers in ignition are not activating to recognize key. Have tried to start several times per day - has been sitting for 3+ weeks and cannot put into neutral to tow. No problems leading up to this event.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 062007

Grand Am

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Security light comes on - car won't start - let set for 10 minutes - turn ignition off and back on - security light comes on going down the road. - something to do with passlock according to info on internet.

- Haughton, LA, USA

problem #5

Oct 252007

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles
There is a problem with the vehicle not starting all the time. No warning to the problem and it seems that there is no pattern. Also have a turn signal issue, the sound goes on continuously. After some online research I have found the problems to be common. The starting issue has something to do with the security system which I have heard referred to as passlock. Have contacted GM on many levels, in person and over the phone, with no solution that suits me. Charged me $40, to tell me the turn signal would be $300 to fix, or so they say. Have not had an estimate on the ignition problem but have seen what other people have paid and could be between $400 and $1000. To have the part replaced with the same junk from GM. Will never buy another GM vehicle again. It is a shame that our american cars pale in comparison to their foreign counterparts. I hope that this information is useful and that this problem can be resolved, with GM recalling all of the problem vehicles and standing behind their terrible product. If I can be of any further assistance do not hesitate to contact me.

- Troy, IL, USA

problem #4

Sep 202007

Grand Am

  • miles
2004 Pontiac Grand Am will not start. Have to reset some security code. Leaves you stranded for at least 15 minutes. Pontiac will not tell you how to fix. Many trips to repair shop, lots of money spent with no fix.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #3

Sep 182007

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Problem with passlock system, car not turning on, has left stranded 6 times with my son at night, costed me tow charges, new battery, missed days from work, car is only 50,000, bought it brand new from dealer, driver side window motor will not work, rear view mirror fell, turn signal continue to click even after turn made, ac regulator bottom fell of. This car is a lemon.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 202007

Grand Am 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,185 miles
In may, my ignition switch completely locked up. The ignition system is integrated with the passlock system. My dealer performed the repair of the ignition system, and now, just a few months later, I am having passlock problems. After researching the problem on the web, I have discovered that the passlock issue is a long outstanding problem the manufacturer is aware of, yet they have done nothing to resolve the problem for the affected customers. The cost of repair for this type of problem is approximately $380. This fee is not justified as it is the result of a defect in design or manufacture and should be subject to a recall and not foisted off on the customer.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #1

Jun 092007

Grand Am 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Car will not start sercurity light flashing passlock problem.

- Plattenville, LA, USA

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