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Chevy Impala "REDUCED ENGINE POWER" message

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  • I am a canine officer and was issued a new 2009 Chevy Impala to replace a Ford Crown Vic canine vehicle.

    This HUGE MISTAKE was made in the name of saving fuel. Turns out the 3.9 L engine is so underpowered when you add the extra weight of the kennel insert, dog, and gear, it actually gets worse fuel mileage than the Vic did with a V8 but I could go one for days about how the Vic is a better police vehicle than the Impala.

    The real issue is a reoccurring problem that started at about 9000 miles. The service engine light comes on shortly followed by a message that says REDUCED ENGINE POWER. When this happens the vehicle will barely drag itself back to the Chevy garage.

    Each time the Mechanics say the code shows a rich fuel mixture which is easily reset. Resetting the code temporarily hides the symptoms of a problem that is still unknown three years and 90,000 miles later.

    The mechanics have done all they can including emailing engineers at GM for suggestions. The Engineers told them the problem is believed to be a “rare” software issue in the cars computer. I have been told that not even changing the computer would fix the problem because the same software would have to be uploaded in the new computer.

    I would estimate that over the past three years I have had the vehicle in the shop approximately 50 times to have the code reset.

    As I write this post the vehicle is currently in the shop waiting on the code to be reset with no solution in sight.

    I got on this forum with a hope to assist the mechanics find a solution but after reading years worth of posts by other chevy customers it looks like thats not going to happen.

    It looks like the problem is not as “rare” as the GM engineers let on. It also looks like GM has no answer to the problem except to have a PR person give a PC response to every post.

    No offence Sara but don’t waste your time on this post. I made up my mind about the impala a long time ago. If GM really wanted to do right by their customers they would buy back these cars and replace them. Thank God I didn’t pay for this one, it’s the tax payers that are taken the hit with this one.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Sorry to hear about your problems with the Impala. GM should have given you better advice because this problem is either related to the throttle body or accelerator. Impala owners have posted many messages on this forum about how to fix this problem. Good luck.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    uselessreps,
    We do handle these complaints on a case-by-case basis at the customer service level. Our documentation is reviewed for trends and brand quality decisions are made by different departments. If we can look into your situation further to the extent of our abilities, please don't hesitate to contact us at socialmedia@gm.com (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • safetyfirst83safetyfirst83 Posts: 2
    edited March 2013
    Unfortunately, my experience was very similar to the other posts on this forum. I was driving on a busy road (traveling around 60mph) and all of a sudden my 2011 Chevy Impala started shaking tremendously and a message flashed "SERVICE STABILITRAK" "REDUCE POWER TO ENGINE";All while my speedometer is vastly decreasing. I was not able to accelerate at all and to pull over on the median. Again I'm on a busy road with other vehicles driving at least 60mph. I called Priority Chevrolet in Chesapeake, VA and the customer service rep assured me this would be covered under my warranty. At that point I was happy to get it fixed for free. However, when I arrived at my appointment, the rude and unprofessional manager fed me a different story. He said that it MAY be covered under my 5year/100K warrany but if not I would have to pay for the diagnostic test AND the cost of repairs and labor. After being very upset I left and will try another Chevy dealer very soon. If it is not covered under my warranty and I do have to pay for it, I will hesitantly do so. If I continue to have the problem, I will push as hard as I can to have this problem rectified via a recall. I will also report GM/Chevrolet to the BBB and any other consumer reporting agency for their apparent lack of concern for their customer's safety. Both my father and my brother love my car and wants to purchase one. Because of this problem, I cannot recommend this vehicle to them and anyone else at that matter. I could have seriously hurt myself. . .or worse. I could have seriously hurt someone else. . .or worse. GM needs to remedy this problem and soon. They also need to refund customers who had to pay out-of-pocket to have this problem fixed. Hopefully, this very serious will be fixed. Soon.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    safetyfirst83,
    It looks like you're already in contact with Customer Assistance on this matter. We hope that this will be able to resolved quickly and to your satisfaction! Looking forward to any updates.
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Sarah,

    Did you read my entire posting? I had a very bad experience with a Chevrolet representative and you offer no apology or refer me to someone else I can explain my situation to? If you work directly with GM customer service, my posting should have been a red flag to you that service managers down the chain are not treating their customers with respect and concern. With all the negative postings you have received, are you relaying these vital safety concerns with GM management or are you mainly concerned with reporting to your superior that you replied to X number of complaint in a day? Sooner or later someone is going to get hurt due to this mechanical problem and with you knowing about it firsthand, should ensure that you are doing all within your power to make it known to GM officials.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    My apologies, safetyfirst83. I did read your post and see that you had been in contact with a customer service representative -- was this with our Customer Assistance Center or with the dealership? My assumption was that it was with the former, and I apologize if I assumed wrong. If you want for us to check into this further, please don't hesitate to contact us via email at socialmedia@gm.com with more details (including your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN, and a summary of the situation, or the case number you were issued when you contacted the Customer Assistance Center).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • mimimelmimimel Posts: 1
    I am having the same issues. The airbag started a few mos back, the rear window defrost started a few weeks ago, the service traction control/ reduced engine power started when the roads were icy. I have dealt with it for a few mos. This morning I was driving like that and alert came on my steering was being disabled, and my car stopped. I tried to start it and nothing, I waited a few min and then it started and drove fine, has this happened to you. Thank you
  • kittymomkittymom Posts: 1
    My 2009 Chevy Impala LTZ with 41,000 had the service Stabilitrak warning come on and then immediately the 'reduced engine power' warning as I was pulling into the parking deck this morning to go to work. It scared me as I did not know what this meant. I went to my computer and put in the message and found this forum. My car is at the Chevy dealer right now. I asked if it was a warranty issue and they said they would have to check it first, they have no time to see to it today so I had to rent a car. After reading the forum, I was afraid to drive it to the dealer. My husband took it there. They are supposed to look at it early in the morning. My husband said it seemed fine when he drove it about 15 miles to the dealer except the engine light was on. With all of the complaints of the same problem on this forum, I do not understand why there has not been a recall. It is also disturbing to read that some had their cars 'fixed' and it happened again. Up to this point, I have been totally in love with this car. I travel a lot and wonder when I get the car back, is it really going to be 'fixed'.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    mimimel,
    What are you plans for getting this checked into? We're available to assist in the process of working with a dealership. Please let us know your plan of action and if we can be of any assistance.
    Sarah, GM customer Service
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    Keep us posted on your progress with the dealership, kittymom. If we can be of any assistance, we can be reached at socialmedia@gm.com (include your name and contact information, the lasdt 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • kdh12389kdh12389 Posts: 5
    Since I have been in contact with customer service with no results I have began spreading the word about these cars and their problems. I feel everyone on here should do the same. It is so messed up that I have an 06 SS sitting outside as a yard ornament that costs me over $13,000 which I'm still paying payments on that I feel is not my responsibility to fix since so many others are having the EXACT SAME PROBLEM!!! Maybe once the word is out and Chevrolet starts losing money on these cars they will fix the problem!
  • rainsmomrainsmom Posts: 1
    Welp, I guess the inevitable happened to me tonight! Rolling along with my daughter and my dog and all of a sudden the car shakes and the reduced engine power light comes on! I am concerned because it is cold, dark and we were not close to home! I have a used car (2008) that I've only had
    a little over a year so, I am not happy! We made it home okay...but this is definitely an inconvenience!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    rainsmom,
    We're glad to hear that you made it home safely. Let us know if you're planning on working with a dealership to get this checked into at all as we're available to assist. We can be reached at socialmedia@gm.com (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • My name is Junita Gaither I am a resident of Lancaster SC. I have had my 2009 Impala for one year and mine started with the "service traction control, engine power reduced".. It happened about 3 months ago but never came back on until last friday. I had my car looked by my uncle but he advised me to contact my dealer. I contacted Lancaster Motor Company and they told me I had to pay to have it looked at so I made an appointment for Saturday. .The problem is I am currently LAYING IN THE HOSPITAL because my car SHUT OFF ON ME.. THE WHEEL STARTED SHAKING I COULDN'T STOP. I WENT DOWN AN EMBANKMENT AND HIT A TREE..I AM FINE EXCEPT FOR CHEST AND HEAD INJURIES BUT MY FRIEND HAD A PANIC ATTACK AND IS IN MUCH MORE PAIN.. . If only I would have lolooked into this problem I could have had it traded in. Good thing God was on our side because we could have been KILLED today...
    **NEXT STEP...Please help me with the contact information because I will take this further..If any of you would like my contact information I will provide it because we have to work together to get this taken care of by GM..I COULD HAVE LOST MY LIFE..LET'S TAKE A STAND AGAINST THEM BECAUSE YOU ARE ALL OPERATING A HAZARD..THATIS NOT RIGHT.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    msgaither1,
    We're so very sorry about this incident. Have you contacted the Customer Assistance Center yet (800-222-1020)? We can also be reached via email at socialmedia@gm.com (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation).

    Kindest regards,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • roni8roni8 Posts: 1
    I too have started having this issue. Yesterday on my way to work, my 2008 Chevrolet Impala started slowing down and the REDUCED ENGINE POWER and SERVICE TRACTION CONTROL messages displayed. I then felt my rear tires spinning or something. I was afraid and didn't want to get on the highway so, I turned around and went back home. I dropped my car off at a GM dealer this morning and about an hour later they called me saying they would have to replace my accelerator pedal and rebuild the wire harness. The diagnostic they performed was $95 and the repairs they want to do is $910. After reading so many people having this same issue, it is unbelievable to me that there has not been a recall. We should not be responsible for this repair cost. I have not decided what I am going to do. I cannot afford $1000 car repair. I will be picking my car up in the morning and bringing it back home. I have no intentions of buying another GM car in the future if this is how they treat their customers.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,001
    roni8,
    Are you already in touch with our Customer Assistance Center on this? If you would like for us to check into this further, please don't hesitate to email us at socialmedia@gm.com (include your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a summary of the situation).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Take it to another dealer. I had mine fixed for $200 total at my local dealer. If you search on this form, you will find a link on how to repair it yourself. The part is about $100 and is a real easy fix. I discovered this after I had my car repaired. Since I had the accelerator pedal replaced, I have not had any problems with this issue.
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