pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
110,268 miles
Total Complaints:
45 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. not sure (38 reports)
  2. replace bcm (3 reports)
  3. bcm bypass (1 reports)
  4. clean the 3 prongs and solder the wires directly to module (1 reports)
  5. dealer changed the ignition switch (1 reports)
  6. replaced & reprogrammed BCM (1 reports)
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2001 Chevrolet Impala:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jun 222010

Impala 3.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

car does this all the time. runs great stupid security system never works. leaves me sitting at work waiting for it to start. had passlock fixed before never lasts. chevy should fix this as many people as there have been with the problem. it costs to much to fix to keep doing. sitting for 15 minutes is a pain. i will never buy another chevy. its a shame because we have had many, but no more.

- , Addison, NY, USA

problem #24

May 012010

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Not sure with this because of the low miles.Can it be reset?

- , Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #23

Sep 152008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

i bought this car from a used car lot with a reputable reputation..the first day i brought it home and parked in the driveway and turned it off and then try to restart it it didn't restart..my husband thought it was a poor connection with the battery terminal so he cleaned it and it still didn't fix it because two weeks later the security light flashed when i was driving down the road and after i parked and went in the store the car wouldn't start ... it was cold and i had my mother and four year old son in the car and we were stuck in the parking lot ...general motors really needs to recall this car ! it is a big inconvenience and im afraid to leave because im not sure when it might happen again it happened two to three times in one week

- , Lincoln Park, MI, USA

problem #22

Mar 252010

Impala V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 177,000 miles

I wish i would have found this site a few months ago before i purchased my impala. Sometimes when i go to start it nothing, light work and so does the radio but it will not start or even try to turn over. I have to wait 10 minutes and try again and that so far is the trick. A huge problem as it has made me late to work twice. After seeing all the others with the same issue I cannot believe Chevy has not voluntarily recalled! I have signed every petition I could find and filed a complaint with NHTSA. Looks like my last Chevy.

- , Howell, MI, USA

problem #21

Nov 182009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

The problem is in the switch itself, I just fixed my car yesterday, and it starts everytime now, simply remove the dash trim, and remove the metal bracket on the steering column, then remove the two screws to remove the switch, there are 3 wires going into the switch, black wire, white wire, yellow wire, the trick here is that you must get the car started first, but wait until you have removed the switch first, now while the car is running cut the yellow wire going into the switch,this is the security wire,your security and abs light will stay on always, but your car should start everytime, the three prongs inside the switch are not getting a good connection, therefore is sending false signals to the bcm telling the computer that the car is being stolen activating the security system, that's why you get the odd no start at time and the buzzing noise, when you press the brakes and use the turn signal at the same time, if your power locks don't work, you can either take the switch apart and clean the 3 prongs and solder the wires directly to module, this will fix the whole problem all together, but I opted to just cut the yellow wire, which is faster, and I really didn't care about the locks I just wanted my car to start for right now, later on I will clean the prongs now that i know what the problem really is, Hope this helps you guys,it helped me now i'm a happy Chevy owner once again, if this works for you shoot me an e-mail and let me know, tgteegee2@gmail.com

- , Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #20

Oct 012009

Impala ES 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,000 miles

I am like several other owners of Impalas, I love my car, but, for no reason at all my car will not start, As others, my battery is fully charged, the lights work, horn works, electric windows and so on, but for some reason every once in awhile, sometimes everyday more than once, sometimes once a month. I will get into my car, and nothing. I was told that the antitheft was a problem, I had it by passed. But still, it does the same. The security light flashes, the battery light flashes. I have to sit and wait until it decides to start on its own, it cannot be jumped. The car does have a mind of its own.

- , Piney Fork, OH, USA

problem #19

Feb 122010

Impala LS 3.8L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

Car will not always start and problem is intermittent. Wait 10-15 minutes and try to start again. Sometimes this will work other times wait another 10-15 minutes. This has been happening since 2007. Has been a major inconvenience and has made my wife and I both on occasion late to work and other appointments!

I have noticed right after the Security light on dash comes on and then goes off the car starts. So I assume is related to the Passlock Security System.

- , Saint Joseph, MN, USA

problem #18

Aug 102004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I purchased my 2001 Impala brand new in Sept of 2000. I do not remember approximately when this problem started. I think when the car was two or three years old. (maybe sooner). The security light will come on and within a week the car will not start for 10 min up to 21 min. I have two jobs and if this happens on the way to my night job I am late and have the chance to be fired. I have to leave the car running when I do errands to prevent this from happening. I called the dealer and they said they never heard of a "security " light message. Finally, I brought the car in and paid the dealership $605.00 to fix the problem and after one month it started happening again. They wanted another $475.00 which I do not have. I paid $21,000 for this junk and will never buy another Chevy product. I would like the problem fixed for free and get reimbursed for the money I already spent. This car has caused me much anxiety.

- , Norton, MA, USA

problem #17

Dec 022009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles

Really like the car and it has been very dependable overall - just minor electrical oddities that cost big $.

- , Gladewater, TX, USA

problem #16

Aug 012009

Impala 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,111 miles

I am so sick of this car, the only reason I still have it is because I still have a note. Sometimes I can get in the car and go and other times a Security Light comes on and delays the start for about 15-30 minutes. I think there should be a recall since GM knows about the situation and the costs should not be absorbed by the consumers.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #15

Nov 102008

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 165,000 miles

Just to give u guess a heads up i had n 01 impala i loved the car always started nothing ever major wrong with it . But i did have a problem with the passlock 2 . But i could take my key out when i was driving . It was like that when i bought it . But the security light was coming on every now and then . I thought nothing of it cause the car worked fine . But then my locks were not working when i pushed the button on the inside . So that was annoying . But i went to the bone yard and pulled a bcm that was in another impala like mine same motor accessories . And i plugged it in my car and low and behold my locks worked . All i did was program my key with that brain box and everything worked and no security light ever came on again . But you can go to your local dealer and they can print out the steps to program it . Go to parts counter . Good luck !

- , Hammond, IN, USA

problem #14

Jun 092004

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


- , Marion, AL, USA

problem #13

Aug 012009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,419 miles

Last year around June 25, it was really hot & humid. I went to start the car and nothing. After about a month of trying the 30 minute wait and reset thing I put a new BCM in the car. Never had a problem until now. Seems that when its hot and humid the system malfunctions. I like the car a lot but when this stuff happens, it makes me want to light a match ! Any suggestions ?

- , Mt. Pearl, NL., Canada

problem #12

Apr 012009

Impala 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

I have no clue what is triggering this. I took my car in to get some work done to it, now the security system is constantly getting tripped. Sometimes comes on steady while I'm driving, sometimes I go to start the car and it flashes with the battery symbol and I have to sit and wait for the damn thing to reset itself.

- , Gladstone, MO, USA

problem #11

Jun 082009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

POS car! The newest car I have ever owned and it's a bigger piece than anything I have ever had!

- , Ishpeming, MI, USA

problem #10

Jun 012002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

my security light comes on and stays then two or three days later I go to start the car and it wont start. The first time it happened, I was leaving work, late at night, and it would not start. I left it and returned later with my husband, he thought it could have been the starter, but after about 15 minutes it just started up. This was just the beginning, every five to six weeks it would not start. I tried to recognize some sort of pattern but the only thing I discovered was that when the security light came on, I should prepare for it not starting. This is the only warning I recieved. Imagine a quick 10 minute trip to the grocery store and the car wont start when you're ready to leave. Or try getting the kids to practice on time and the car wont start, the're really impatient sometimes. The worst time was sitting in the car after work in 20 degrees waiting for it to start. not only that, but my job requires that I make bank deposits daily and sometimes at night. It hasn't happen yet, but I don't want to even think about being stranded with the company's deposits in a car that wont start and get me to the bank.

things I have tried.... locking and unlocking the doors with the key..... turning the radio off..... turning the ac off......pressing the brake pedal......profanity, it helped a little.... just turn the key to the acc position and watch the flashing security light until it stops flashing then it will start. I also took it to be repaired or bypass the ignition switch was replaced but only after they repeatedly started the car until it would not start. this caused the starter to really go bad and had to be replaced and then the battery went dead and also had to be replaced. Three months and $450. later I still have to sit and wait for it to start. It's a love / hate relationship with my car.

- , Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #9

Apr 112005

Impala ES 3.4L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Ok back in 2005 I had the electrical problem, so I went to the dealership and it cost $125. They told me that using burnt CD's is what caused the electrical failure. So we stopped using them, and now today, I went to the bank and when I went to start my car and it wouldn't. I am so pissed - here it is, pouring down rain and I had to walk back to work and now I am soaked. After reading all the comments, Chevy needs to fix this. I am for sure buying a Honda the end of this year. I hope when I get off of work it will start but who knows. I am so upset. I am broke, have two kids, and just got this job. What the hell am I going to do with a p.o.s. car and no way to get a different one?


problem #8

Dec 172008

Impala LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

WTF come out one day car works great next day security light comes and wont start. I have a job and my job has a starting time I cant sit around for 45 min. why your F*cking car plays the blinky light game..... I think you make you cars to smart for its own good....... ITS BUILT LIKE A ROCK... NOW I NEED A GLACIER TO MOVE MY ROCK...

- , Macungie, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 012008

Impala LS 3.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

My 01 Impala I have owned for over 5 years and has been a great car. Then one day it will not turn over nothing just clicking. I notice the blinking red light on the radio is going nuts but no dash lights except the check engine. after 10 minutes and trying to jump it the damn thing finally starts. now it is happening more often. So I brought it to the dealer and they said that the passlock code comes up but that would enable the fuel system and the engine should still turn over? I have not had the security light come on and have turned off the alarm with the radio control. I can tell when its not going to start because when I click my remote and the lights flash dimly or not at all I know it will not start. I have tried the key turned to acc until the dinger is done and nothing. I love this car and would love to know if anyone has figured out the cure... I have read about the ignition and the BCM being replaced but do not want to sink a ton of money into it. Please helPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!

- , Stacy, MN, USA

problem #6

Oct 012005

Impala 3.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

What happens with my car is that when I turn the key, the dashboard lights and radio come on as I turn to the Accessories position, but turning the key further to start the engine produces no sound or action.

At first the problem occurred randomly, and each incident was usually months apart. The frequency has been increasing steadily, to the point where it's happened several times in the last few days.

My experience at first seemed to be that a sharp turn just before turning off the engine, or leaving the front wheels turned, seemed to be involved. That's no longer the case.

Also in the beginning, I never saw the Security indicator light up on the dashboard. These days, the Security indicator does light up at random times, but there seems to be no certain connection between that and the failure of the car to start.

The circumstances of each event have led to different theories about what might help in getting the car to start. On some occasions it seemed that getting out and locking the car and coming back in 15 minutes or so would do it.

Other times rolling the car a short distance seemed to work. One time this week I just sat in the car, turning the steering wheel occasionally, until after 10 minutes or so it started.

The one thing that does definitely work is turning the steering wheel back and forth until the car starts. It's still pretty unpredictable as to just when it will finally "catch," but it will eventually work. I don't do it continuously, just a few times back and forth, waiting several minutes between attempts.

I'm angry about this for several reasons:

1. I didn't ask for a security system. I've never needed or benefited from one. (We have some security-system problems, different and less serious, with my wife's Chrysler Town & County, too.) I didn't know the Impala had a security system until this problem began occurring, so the only effect of the system has been to cause a problem. Since I do have one and don't want one, and disabling the system would not created a safety problem, I should be given the means and/or information to do so. I suspect that the information has not been provided because identifying the problem would help justify demand for a recall. (See #3, below.)

2. GM is certainly aware of the problem and would need no anecdotal reports (although plenty are available on the internet) to imagine the problems it causes in the lives of owners and their families. It's at the very least inconvenient, and at the worst, life-threatening.

3. It seems likely GM is refusing to identify the cause of the problem because doing so would make clear that a recall is required.

4. We're left on our own to live with the problem or pay lots of money in the sometimes futile attempt to fix it.

I've owned a lot of Impalas and other GM cars and trucks, and have always believed in GM and supporting the American auto industry. Avoiding responsibility for a problem like this saves money in the short run, but I dare say anyone who's had this problem will never buy another Impala. Too bad.

- , Raleigh, NC, USA

Read the next 5 complaints »