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Chevy Impala "REDUCED ENGINE POWER" message



  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning jerseygmdriver,

    Thanks for posting - I'm sorry that the wire didn't turn out to be the root of the reduced engine situation. If you were planning on continuing to work with your dealership, please send an email to (include your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, last 8 of your VIN and mileage, the name of your dealership and details about any visit(s) there that had to do with the reduced engine power message) and we'd be happy to look into this further with you.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • Same problem here. I have a 2007 with the 3.5L V6. 66k miles. I did some checking and the solution is a replacement thottle body.

    The throttle plate is driven by a small electric motor, not a cable. The pedal provides input for the motor to open the throttle plate and close the throttle plate. The computer also will open or close the plate for A/C at idle, warm up etc. This is called 'drive by wire'

    The motor has a plastic gear inside that engages a pinion gear on the throttle plate. The plastic gear was worn and it was jumping on the teeth. This is a poor design. I own other GM vehicles with drive by wire and some have over 200k miles. GM may have switched suppliers or a redesign for cost reduction. It's hard to say as that would only be conjecture. The problem seems to be mostly on V6 Engines (3.5, 3.6, 3.9L) made in Ontario. Again this is not fact but an observation. I do believe GM knows about the problem. The fact this doesnt throw a trouble code is disturbing. Let's hope the mistake is not repeated.
  • here is a link on how to repair the TB

  • av2010av2010 Posts: 1
    Apparently my reply to gmcustsvcsarah didn't go through. I stated that my car ('08 Impala ~ 82k miles) had both the Engine power is reduced and Service Traction Control messages pop up in my display today, so I did a Google search to see what could be wrong. I was surprised to see that several others have had this issue.

    My question: 1. Why haven't you stepped up GM to do something about this clearly recurring problem?

    I have had a Chevy since I was 16. I have gone through 3 Cavaliers and bought my Impala a couple years ago. I have always been an advocate for Chevy, but based on this I may have to switch to a Toyota. I need reliability, not American-made. And, although I love to buy American as much as I can, I don't need to be driving my children around in a car that has issues that are clearly known about by the manufacturer, as Edmunds is a place to track comments. Stop turning the other cheek and correct this problem!! :sick:
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    It's odd that your message didn't go through! Had you heard back from Christina at Perhaps resend?
    GM Customer Service
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,071
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  • I'm one of many who has a problem with my 08 Chevy impala who was on the turnpike today when my car read a message engine power reduced followed by disabling throttle and my car shut off I was almost taken off the highway by a truck or 2 because the car completely shut down as a student I cannot have these kind of problems to worry about and the Chevy dealer in my area told me to cut my car off turn it back on nd try to make it home or get it towed but they probably won't know how to fix it because the error MSG could mean changing the gas pedal or something electrical. If I were dead as a result of such a malfunction what would Chevy do about that ! I want good service and I'm not sure if Chevy can provide me with that # get it together I'm starting a petition for a recall
  • Safety first Chevy recall on sign the petition
  • debo6debo6 Posts: 5
    same thing happen to me this weekend,return trip from Houston,Texas. Car went dead on the freeway with my grandchildren in the back seat. I hope Gm Does not wait until someone loose a life or two,before they do a recall.
  • dixonmrdixonmr Posts: 1
    This is getting absolutely ridiculous. I have a 2007 Chevy Impala and have had the "Check Engine" Light on for about a year now. I brought the vehicle to several Chevy Dealerships in Virginia and New York and have spent thousands of dollars in repairs which were supposed to fix this problem. Last week I had a situation in which I was driving on the highway and the car said "Reduced Engine Power" and shut-off on the middle of the highway. This is extremely dangerous and there should be a recall done immediately before someone gets seriously injured by this. It is obvious this is a huge problem many people with 2007 Chevy Imapala's are having. If GM wants continued support, they better do something about this.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,008
    If you have not done so already, you may file a complaint to the NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation:


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • eklm23eklm23 Posts: 1
    I just had this same problem fixed on my car this Monday. Accelerator pedal was replaced on mine. $225 out of pocket - not covered under the powertrain warranty (I personally think it should have been). This is dangerous, and should be a recall and everyone that experienced the problem should be refunded.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    I understand that repairs can be frustrating, eklm23. How has everything been running since you have gotten your vehicle back?

    GM Customer Service
  • I first experienced the "REDUCED ENGINE POWER" message returning home from witnessing the birth of my gr grandson,it was after dark,freezing cold out and scared me to death! Fortunately I made it home,and it happened again and again until I took it to my local dealer and explained the problem,even had the diagnosis of the problem which I had printed off from this forum,well they deduced it needed a new throttle cable and for about 6 weeks it was fine but now it won,t even get out of the driveway before it happens..scary!! I have another appointment with my dealer and hope they can fix it before someone gets hurt. I would think there would be a recall on this.Thanks for listening.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Congratulations on your new grandson! I'm sorry that this exciting moment was tarnished with the reduced engine power situation with your vehicle. I see you're already scheduled to go into your dealer to get this looked into; please update us on how this goes!
    GM Customer Service
  • pls9927pls9927 Posts: 1
    :lemon: :lemon: we were fortunate that our 2006 chevy impala did not seize up while driving to Dallas. The engine light came on along with the service traction message periodically for about 500 miles of our trip. took car to local dealer and they ran diagnostic. P1516 error code came back from diagnostic. This is a very common error code and a very dangerous one. the dealer wanted over $500 to fix and so we chose to get a 2nd opinion, me not knowing what danger was involved by driving the car in this condition. we went no more than 6 miles to try and get to another mechanic and the car went dead completely and was involved in a 3 car accident. Luckily no one was injured.

  • kwilliams2012kwilliams2012 Posts: 1
    edited May 2012
    I have a 2009 Impala and received the Engine power reduced message today while driving. I have a small son and I do a lot of highway driving and thank God I wasnt on the highway when this happened. I will never buy a Chevy/Gm car again and I am disgusted that GM is ignoring this problem. Maybe there should be a class action lawsuit against them. I guess I will have to take my car to the dealership first thing Monday morning. This is supposed to be an American car but it has over 90% made in China cheap parts ..NEVER WILL I BUY ANOTHER CHEVY/GM AGAIN!!!!
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    I see you were thinking about visiting your dealer this morning - how did everything go?

    Looking forward to any updates,
    GM Customer Service
  • tphilipstphilips Posts: 2
    I can completely relate with you. I have a 2009 Chevy Impala that does the exact same thing. When yours stalls, does your readout state Servicing disabled throttle etc etc...??? I am so frustrated with this. I cant tell you how many accidents that i have almost caused by it stalling and having to get to the side of the road.
  • tphilipstphilips Posts: 2
    Based on the fact that there is numerous messages and concerns regarding the exact same issue occuring. I would think by now, GM would put a recall out for this. I am so tired and frustrated with my car just stalling in the middle of nowhere with this "reduced power", servicing disabled throttle body etc. What's it going to take?? And of course when you take it into a dealership, get ready to sell your soul to pay the bill. That is, IF they even take the time to actually diagnosis it. Come on now GM, by now, you've got to have figured this problem out. And moreover, a SOLUTION !!!!!!!!!!!
  • debo6debo6 Posts: 5
  • keihankeihan Posts: 1
    First I'd like to say that my wife's 2009 Impala is experiencing the same issues as everyone else here, intermittently. At the moment I will not let her drive it and am having her drive my 2010 Jeep Patriot Sport (which I have never had any problems with mind you). Since GM had received bailout money, courtesy of the American taxpayer, I am shocked (although I shouldn't be) at the sheer lack of concern (by GM and it's representatives) over an issue with a vehicle that has an obviously defective mechanism that can, directly or indirectly, cause injury or loss of life to it's occupants as well as others.
    The first problem is the mechanism itself. When one does a google search for the errors we are receiving, you will find that this is not an uncommon problem with Impalas and more often than not the throttle position sensor is at fault. This, in itself should prompt a recall since the saftey of the vehicle is compromised and can be compromised even the first time this indicator lights up. Also, take note that Impalas are not the only GM product affected by this very issue.
    The second and probably the most baffling problem is the programming of the computer system (assuming it is in the programming) which disables the vehicle while it is in motion. If this is a command issued by the computer system then this would be a design and engineering flaw and should be taken seriously but it appears that it is not. Never should the computer system shut down or disable any critical system while the vehicle is in motion.
    All that aside, why does Sarah (GM rep) seem very disconnected with the issue and the safety concerns of everyone here. We have purchased a product by the manufacturer she represents, but there seems to be an overwhelming lack of concern by her or GM (or both?) on this very issue. It seems as if they are saving face by their presence. I expect that companies should learn from their mistakes, but this design flaw has been appearing in GM vehicles for quite a while now and is not something they are unaware of (ie; just the presence of their rep in this forum is an indication that they are aware of the issue).
    Sometimes the only way to get big companies off their butts to do anything about a problem is to bring that problem to the public attention through the media as well as lawsuits and complaints. However, sounds to me like GM is biting the hand that feeds it since they took our money to save themselves yet ignore saftey concerns where their customers are concerned. Shame on you GM
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    I understand that your Impala is experiencing the reduced engine power/service stabilitrak concerns intermittently, and that this can make it difficult to get diagnosed. Have you been in to one of our dealerships to have this looked at as of yet, or are you planning to do so?

    We're here through Customer Service to support and assist you through the repair process as our first priority; our activities and interactions are documented into the data system we use for all interactions with our customers and dealerships (phone, internet, email, white mail, etc.). This data, particularly the data we can generate through service requests, is combined with data from our dealership service departments to help brand quality make decisions on our products.

    I apologize if we have appeared to be disconnected with this concern you all are having on the forum; we're doing what we can but are also dependent upon hearing from the members of the Edmunds community so we can get service requests set up to work.

    If we can assist you further, please contact us at with the following information: your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • jerseyGMdriver (May 09, 2012 4:22 pm)
  • deputy_dawgdeputy_dawg Posts: 4
    edited May 2012
    Just started getting "Reduced Engine Power" and loss of Traction Control plus the check engine light going on with 2008 Impala at 122K. Was curious if this was common, searched it and was surprised to find the high number of complaints from other Impala owners. Well atleast I know what I'm in for when going to get this fixed :(
  • I have 48,000 on my 2009 Chevy Impala and the Service Traction Control and then Reduce Engine Power. I have read it is the throttle body and not covered under the extended warranty. I see it is a problem with the GM truck too!

    Has GM filed a recall yet?
  • chevy_owner2chevy_owner2 Posts: 2
    edited May 2012
    I signed and also filed a complaint with the NHTSA.
    Maybe, if enough people say something, GM will be forced to fix this with parts made of metal and not plastic. Throttle Body
  • njdonnaminjdonnami Posts: 1
    I have 2009 impala ss with 23000 miles on it. As I type I am waiting for the tow truck. As of today, this is the 5th time I have dealt with "reduced engine power"/"service Stabilitrak". I have gone to two different dealerships hoping someone will fix the problem. My last service for the issue was yesterday and last night while driving on a Jersey highway with my kids, engine power was reduced to 4, maybe 5 mph. And the best part was trying to get through an intersection without the acceleration I so desperately needed. I even paid, how stupid am I, for throttle cleaning. I should have checked this site earlier.
    Such a safety issue. Instead of being scared of getting into an accident, I'm fearful I will be the one causing the pile up. GM come clean and issue a recall. Something needs to be done.
    And I dont know if any one has lost the automatic start function when this issue occurs. Seems to go hand in hand with mine.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    We have been keeping our list updated here of the community members who have been experiencing the reduced engine power issue; if we can be of any assistance to you as you work to resolve this concern on your Impala, please email us at with more information (include your name/Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership).

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    edited May 2012
    I have a 2009 Impala LTZ with low miles, only 12k. I don't drive this car often as I have other vehicles. In the last few weeks I noted what seems like very gradual decrease in response at higher speeds (60-80 MPH range). Before the car would get to 80 MPH effortlessly, now it seems to take a heavier pedal to get there and stay there, and response in top 4th gear to accelerator is more sluggish, unless you press hard enough for the transmission to downshift. Next to the SS model, LTZs with the 3.9 liter engine and performance gearing are very responsive cars and accelerate great. This latest experience makes me think that I probably have a problem developing with the accelerator pedal potentiometer, as described in many posts here. I would like to take care of the problem before the car stalls somewhere. I went to the local dealer and talked to a service rep describing the issue. To my amazement he has never heard of any of these problems. I find this hard to believe.

    In addition to the accelerator and its sensor, is the throttle position sensor in the throttle body also prone to malfunction? I am beginning to regret that I bought this car. I have a 1999 Mazda 626 V6 with a 5 speed a manual transmission which I bought new and now it has 334,000 miles and still runs great. Now I prefer driving the Mazda to this Impala.

    I agree with many posters here that preponderance of cheaply made Chinese and Mexican parts have made these cars quite cheap and unreliable. I already had to replace the driver's side door panel on my Impala because the vinyl was separating from the material underneath. And guess what? The new panel is beginning to do the same thing. I am still under the basic warranty, but I am getting frustrated. The leather seats in this car are the cheapest imaginable and poorly stitched together somewhere in Mexico. The ones in my Mazda are still better looking, except for some wear in the driver seat from scuffing. The rear bumper on this Impala is huge and poorly supported on the body especially on the sides, so you can see it sagging in some areas, which looks awfully cheap. This is visible mostly on light color cars, like mine (white).

    And don't get me even started on the alloy clear coated wheels. I already have some pitting on this car, with 12k miles on the clock, spending most of the time in my garage. My 2006 Silverado Pickup wheels are even worse and the truck has only 18k miles on it. GM evidently specs out these wheels with the cheapest quality clear coat imaginable so they stay looking good until the car is sold.

    Most likely this is going to be my last GM car.
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