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Chevy Impala "REDUCED ENGINE POWER" message



  • here is the response from the Better Business Bureau - I gather unless someone get hurts or more complaints are made. NOthing will be done. How unfortunate.

    Complaint ID#: 1262430
    Business Name: General Motors of Canada Limited

    Thank you for the information you provided regarding the above-mentioned company. Your correspondence was received by your BBB on September 24, 2012 and has been assigned case# 1262430 in our files.

    We appreciate your effort in bringing this to our attention. Information from the public is always valuable to us.

    The correspondence you supplied will become part of your BBB's file on the business however, we will not be pursuing this matter as a formal complaint.

    Either you have not supplied a specific resolution, requested that the BBB reprimand a business, you are only seeking an apology or the company has already made a reasonable effort to resolve this matter. We also do not act on copies of letters nor do we request a company go against their policies.

    A summary of this case can be viewed by clicking here


    Teresa Smith
    Complaint Administrator
    BBB Complaint Department
    [email protected]
  • Lil,
    Thank you for taking the time to email me with your concerns. I apologize fo ryour frustrations and inconvenience. Due to your location you will need to contact GM of Canada at 800-263-3777 (Hours: M-F 7:30am - 11:30pm, Sat 7:30am - 6:00 EST). I hope this information helps.
    GM Customer Service

    This is the response to GM from this site. In my notes I had already contact GM in Canada. Unfortunately nothing will be done until someone gets hurts which is so unfortunate.
  • debo6debo6 Posts: 5
    I submitted a compliant with NHTSA-1-888-327-4236
  • debo6debo6 Posts: 5
    I submitted a compliant to NHTSA -1888-327-4236. If enough people complain,GM will have to repair this problem at their expense. Please call and file a complaint.
  • lil100lil100 Posts: 12
    I submitted a complaint to transport Canada. I have heard nothing. Going to follow up at the end of the week.
  • Please help! I started having this issue beginning of summer and just hearing it can stall at anytime is making me not want to drive my vehicle,which is my only source of transportation. My engine redue power message comes on and it starts to hesitate,believe the next thing it will cut off. Someone from GM need to stop saying "glad nobody was hurt" and fix the problem. I cannot afford to keep getting an incorrect diagnosis-Can someone help me and let me know what they found..the other messages seem so conflicting
  • Janet101,

    From the many, many messages/posts I've read, it appears to be a failed sensor in the gas pedal. I've also done some extensive research on replacement parts. So far Carquest appears to be the cheapest at around $50 dollars. O'Reilly's has them for about $55 and AutoZone wanted $73. I'm picking mine up today and installing it myself. It's a simple fix and can be done with limited automotive experience. There are two bolts(10MM) and a clip for the wire harness. So you will need a screwdriver and wrench w/ a socket. I also found a helpful video on Youtube you can watch before. Just search on changing or diagnosing error code P2138 for Chevy Impala.

    It is in my very own opinion that Chevrolet only wants to appear to be interested in the numerous complaints their many loyal customers have presented to them. I'm taking action and making the fix myself. I'm a single father of 4 young kids and my car is our sole source of transportation. I absolutely hate the fact I fear for their lives and any other drivers we encounter on the road, not knowing if my Chevy IMPALA will stall out yet again and hit someone or something. For now on, I will tell everyone my story and buy Ford, Mazda, Toyota or another maker.
  • Hi janet101,

    If you had wanted for us to look into this further with you and your dealership, please contact us via email at [email protected] (include your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • lil100lil100 Posts: 12
    As I look at entry after entry. GM Customer SErvice just gives the standard statement - send us a direct e-mail and we will look into it. And yet nothing is done.

    If it's only a $50 part and obviously GM is aware of the problem. Why not recall it and save someone from being hurt.
  • lupe67lupe67 Posts: 1
    I just got a Traction control stabilization message with a Reduced engine power message. Luckily it didn't stall like the other posts i was reading as i was on the freeway also. It is a 2010 Impala i bout exactly 1 year ago. It has 53,000 miles on it. I took it to the dealership this morning and waiting to hear back. I do have an extended warranty and i hope its covered. Can't afford $300-$400 in repair charges.
  • Good morning lupe67,

    Please keep us posted on the progress at your dealership on this reduced engine power concern with your Impala. We can be reached at [email protected] if you had wanted for us to look into anything further (include your name, contact information, the last 8 of your VIN, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Just wanted to follow up with everyone on my progress. I purchased my new gas pedal on Tuesday, October 2nd. It took me about 20 minutes to install. I've now driven over 500 miles and have yet to have any of the errors, alarms, warnings; etc.. that were previously going off.

    I'm very thankful to the person in this string of messages who actually stated what the issue was. Honestly, it is my own opinion that I have a totally different car. The acceleration, cruising speed and overall performance of the engine is night and day from the previous bad pedal. Not sure why but I'm not complaining :)

    In the end, my advise to anyone who is having the same issues I had, go to a parts store and get yourself a pedal. They are between $50 and $75 dollars. It takes just a handful of minutes to replace and start enjoying your new stress' free impala. If anyone has any questions, please reply back to this post and I will gladly answer them.
  • irmacirmac Posts: 1
    Hi ust wanted to know if you could please tell me the exact name of the part, i need to replace it on my Impala so that i can stop getting these messages.
  • du1152du1152 Posts: 5
    Accelerator Pedal Sensor. O'Reilly Auto Parts have them for about $50.00. Some stores may have to order them in.
  • I am having the same problem with a 2009 .
  • impalacrap,

    Have you been working with your dealership to get this checked into? If so, and if you would like for us to follow up on your visit(s) with them, please send us an email with more information (including your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • lil100lil100 Posts: 12
    All of us need to contact Transport Canada or Transport USA to put in reports. In Canada apparently I'm the only one. The more concerns they receive - they will investigate but until then - they will not take action. The car manufactureres are not the ones that put in a recall. So contact them and put in a report. Now - they can't do anything until someone gets hurt.
  • lil100lil100 Posts: 12
    How about stepping up and just tell people to bring their cars in and replace it. Obviously a defect in your manufacturing.
  • dasupadasupa Posts: 13
    Here is a youtube post about your problems! He doesn't actually fix it, but he does show that afterwards the car works. Also, there are other youtube posts that do show how to replace your gas pedal. It looks REALLY simple. I'm going to do mine right now. If the results are good, I'll report back.
  • dasupadasupa Posts: 13
    Hi all,

    Here is my update to changing the gas pedal. First, it didn't work. Second, here were my symptoms:

    -When I'm (a) stopped or (b) moving very slow, nothing happens for a bout 1-2 secs when I press the gas. No rpm's no nothing. Then it jerks to life in a violent way and gets moving.
    -When I'm coming to a stop and almost fully stopped, the car jerks (maybe from 2nd to 1st gear).
    -After driving for about and hr on the highway, my car sends a traction control alert and powers down the engine. Turning it off then on again has fixed this so far.
    -When I'm sitting at a stop sign, the rpm's are fluttering a little.

    This sounded like the throttle body to me (which by change Chevy makes you buy the entire friggin thing if you need to fix the computer chip). But I wanted to avoid spending a lot of money. No luck though. The throttle body doesn't look too bad to change on my own. If anyone has any tips, I'd be glad to hear from you.
  • dasupadasupa Posts: 13
    There are a lot of complaints but no answers here. If that GM lady really wanted to help us, she wouldn't tell us to email her individually. She would post the stats on the problem. How many different reasons have shown up so far for this issue? What is the most likely fix? How much is it and is it something we could do on our own? If GM can't recall these impalas, could it at least post a video on how to fix it? I love my car and would be glad to give it a shot myself!

    Anyways, here is my update: The GM lady finally messaged me back, but it doesn't look good because my car (an 07 Impala, 3.5) isn't under warranty and has over 100,000 miles on it. I'm currently waiting on a replacement throttle body and will attempt to fix it myself. I've already replaced the gas pedal and it didn't work. Another post said that it has to be one of these two things. I expect the part to arrive within a few days and will come back in a week or so to let you know if it worked. If I can, I will have someone record me fixing it and post it to Youtube for you all to see.
  • dasupadasupa Posts: 13
    Here is my conversation with the customer care person at GM, skipping the first few messages which were about me giving all the required information:

    Me: I believe the name of the dealership is Bauman in Port Clinton, Ohio. My car has 104,000 miles on it. Considering that it costs 100 dollars to have them run a diagnostic (for something I may just end up fixing myself), I chose not to take it in to be diagnosed. But I did take it to Advanced Auto about a year ago (there were no symptoms, just a check engine light) and it said something about the throttle control module or something like that. I know my car isn't under warranty, but I thought I'd take a shot at it since there were so many newer models also in the forum complaining about the same issue.

    Her: I understand and apologize. I wouldn't be able to continue and create a case until your vehicle has been diagnosed at the dealership. Just keep in mind, I can not guarantee any assistance. Please let me know how you would like to proceed.

    Me: Hmmm... well if you were to give me an idea of what the possibilities are, I might be willing to pay the dealership to run a diagnostic. For instance, if you were to say, "If it's X, we can do something for you. However, if it's Y or Z, you will have to pay for it yourself. But we won't know until you take it in." But I'm not comfortable with taking it in just because you asked me to.

    Considering that you've had a large number of other Impala owners with similar issues who probably did end up taking their cars to a dealership, could you tell me what you have you been hearing so far? What were the various reasons for this malfunction that you have encountered in helping others? What were the fixes? What conditions were required for the fixes to be discounted? Is there a website where GM admits the flaw and gives instructions on how to fix it? If not, is it possible to have this done? Now that you know that I've replaced the gas pedal, what else could it be based on your experience with other customers? I won't hold you accountable if the list you give me ends up not helping me with my own problem. I simply want to know what people have been doing to fix similar issues (people have a bad habit of getting on forums to complain, but never returning to inform others of what they did to fix the problem).

    I'm willing to bet that over 80% of the people who take their cars in for a diagnostic let the dealership go ahead and fix it after that. I'm trying not to fall into that trap. If you could answer the questions above, that would be super helpful.

    Her: I'm very sorry, as I am not a trained technician at the dealership, I am unable to diagnose or repair your vehicle. You will need to take your vehicle to be diagnosed for me to continue. Again, I can not guarantee any assistance. Please let me know how you would like to proceed from here.

    Me: What assistance? What are the possible types of assistance you could offer based on what the diagnostic says? What conditions are necessary for you to offer me assistance after I get the diagnostic? If you can't answer that, then you're obviously just trying to get me to spend some money with GM. This requires no knowledge of auto repair. It's a simple question. If you can't answer this question then I do not wish to continue this exchange, i.e. there is no need to proceed further. But thanks for you help.

    Her: If I am able to provide any assistance, as well as what type of assistance I can offer, fully depends on the diagnosis of your vehicle at a GM dealership. As I've said, your vehicle is no longer covered under warranty, so I can not guarantee any sort of assistance. If you change your mind, and get your vehicle diagnosed, please let me know, and I'd be happy to take the next steps and create a case. Thank you

    So you see, if she really wanted to help, she would've at least given me an idea of what my options are. All she wanted to do was get me into a GM dealership to spend 100 bucks on a diagnostic. Nothing more.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252

    I can see where that interaction would be frustrating and hope to clarify a few things on my coworker's behalf.

    On this "Reduced Engine Power" matter, I myself have not handled any of the Service Requests on this, and our main social media agent has moved on to other pursuits at this time, so your agent was brand new to this issue.

    That being said, we handle each vehicle inquiry on a case-by-case basis. While a particular symptom may be common on a forum, the reason behind it may be different when we have our technicians look at the individual vehicles. I can understand how that may be off-putting to you all as you share your stories on the forum, but it is how we proceed in these individual instances.

    In so far as the ability to provide cost assistance, if that is what you're seeking, this is quite a process as well. We look at service history, history of ownership of GM vehicles, what is causing the vehicle concern, the time and mileage that the vehicle is outside of its warranty, and other factors. Our primary concern is to repair the vehicle, with any other offers coming secondary.

    I hope this at least helps to set your expectations in working with us; if you have further questions I'll do my best to answer!

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • dasupadasupa Posts: 13
    IS it the case that the issues are different for each individual in this forum? As far as I can tell, it's either the throttle body or the gas pedal (which I replaced). How many other different fixes have been reported on this issue that your company has dealt with? Give us a list so that we know what we're up against. You make it seem like it could be a thousand different things. Let's see what all has come of this so far on your end.

    As for your criteria: they're anything but straightforward. In fact, they seem to be convoluted and more for weeding people out than helping customers with an issue that is of no fault of their own. Your post doesn't tell me anything that the email conversation that I posted hadn't already stated.

    You still haven't met any of my expectations. Which I will again write below.

    (a) You have dealt with other customers along with their respective dealerships who were having similar symptoms? What came of them? What ended up being the problem with their cars? Did you even keep track? This is why we're all here: to find out what others had to do to get their Impalas fixed.

    (b) Instead of saying, "Well, it all depends on X, Y, and Z. After you give us that information, we'll decide whether we should help you or not." Why not just say, "If you car is newer than X, has less miles than Y, and your warranty status is Z, we can help you. If you think your case to be special in some way, feel free to contact us for a discussion on the issue." If you said that, we would all consider you a real straightforward person who wants to help as many people as possible. But that's not what you said. All this circumlocution only makes me more suspicious.

    Not only that, but when you have a car that isn't safe to drive, who has time to wait for you all to sit over there and decide these things? Since first contacting you, I've already been trying to fix it myself and when I do, I'll post everything that I tried and discovered in order to help everyone else out. But YOU guys have access to a lot more data that could be useful in helping folks with this issue. You could post this and help guys like me avoid trying 10 different things before getting the issue resolved.

    You have my information. If you don't plan on fixing my car or telling me all the results of the other similar issues that you've encountered, please do not respond to this. It's for the other customers in this forum, not for you.


  • dasupadasupa Posts: 13
    A final hello to everyone here. I fixed my vehicle (2007 Impala 3.5). If you look to my past posts you'll see that I replaced the gas pedal and it didn't work. But I just replaced the throttle body and now she's purring like a kitten again. Don't let this intimidate you though! I don't know much about cars (I can do my own tune-ups and oil changes, that's about it.) and I was able to do it! Here's what I did:

    1. The manual will tell you to drain the engine coolant. DON'T. It's not necessary.
    2. Take plugs off of throttle body and air filter hose (2 total).
    3. Take of the cover for the air filter (2 clips).
    4. Take of hose that goes from air filter to throttle body (2 screwed clamps: 1 on filter, 1 on throttle body). Now you can see the throttle body.
    5. There are two screws up top and two nuts on the bottom of the throttle body. Easy to reach. Take em off.
    6. There are two black pipes attached to a piece of steel that's connected to the same 2 screws to which the throttle body is attached (on the bottom). You either need to unclamp these hoses and move them out of the way or you can do like me and just use brute strength to pull them off and move them out of the way. Oh, by the way, there is another screw in front of the 2 pipes. Take that off too. My way avoided spilling any antifreeze at all. The other way may have involved losing a tiny bit of antifreeze, which you'll have to wipe up. But no biggie.
    7. After you pull those pipes away the throttle body still won't budge. That's cuz there are 2 more nuts at the bottom 2 corners on the same screws that you took the first 2 nuts off of! Take em off!
    8. Now the throttle body should come right off. Put the new one on (mine already had an O-ring on it. you may need a new one).
    9. Work your way backwards to reassemble the rest!

    My problems started with a slight problem in shifting from 1st to 2nd gear about a year ago. Then I got a check engine light, but cleaning the throttle body fixed it. So I forgot about it. Then my rpm's started getting funny while waiting at stop lights and stuff. Then I noticed that my car wasn't responding when pressing the gas during take-off, but it was VERY settle. Could barely tell. This got worse though. Then my car went to reduced power while on the highway about a month ago. Since then it's gotten worse every week. Sudden jolts when coming to a stop and stalling out when coming to a stop. Gas pedal was WAY worse, barely working at take off. Also, I noticed that when the car wasn't responding to the gas pedal, I could hear a soft buzzing noise coming from the engine (probably the throttle body control thingy acting up). Even if i was coasting in a parking lot, I could tell when the car wasn't going to respond cuz I could hear that buzzing noise.

    Anyways, it's fixed now. I bought the throttle body online for 160 something dollars. I get a 50 dollar rebate in the mail if I send in the old part. Your dealership will charge you top dollar for the throttle body (probably around 300 bucks) and then they'll charge you for the diagnostic and a couple hours worth of labor (300 bucks). They may even do the engine coolant drain/refill, which will cost you another 100 bucks or more. So compare this 600-700 dollars with the 120 bucks that I'll have spent in the end (200 counting the replaced gas pedal). The pipes were a pain to get out of the way, then back on, but all-in-all it was an easy fix! Best of luck to you all!
  • Dasupa,

    Since I've changed my gas pedal (6 weeks ago), I haven't got the Big 3 error messages/codes. However, I've started to notice my car's RPM's seem to bounce at times when using cruise and now I'm noticing almost a shudder or jolt when cruising around 40 mph. It feels like the car might be missing. Did you experience this before you replaced your throttle body? I did just replace my spark plugs and that hasn't cleared up the issue. Oh and I put in new Air/Cabin filters and a new battery.
  • Thanks much Dasgupta. The dealership has quoted me $575 to fix this!!! I am Going to take these prescriptive measures to a MIDAS or a PEP BOYS and have them provide me a quote as I am extremely inadequate at these things..what your score also underscores is the well worn fact that the dealerships and the car company aren't going to walk that extra mile for you....I have just 46k miles on my 2006 impala and like most others in thread, I feel quite aggrieved.Anyhow thanks again !
    (btw they are quoting me 300 bucks to change the fuel sensor too)!!
  • dasupadasupa Posts: 13
    Yes I did feel something like that, but not exactly the same. It felt like while I was in cruise control there was someone behind be with a rope giving me a soft tug once every couple seconds. If it were the spark plugs it seems like you would be able to feel it when idling (the piston will miss every time it comes time to fire off). Pay really close attention to how the car takes off from a stop. In the beginning it's really settle and easy to miss. Other than that, your symptoms seem to be a little different from mine. One thing's for sure, my symptoms progressed. So if you want to let it go a little while longer, you could. I like to work on my car for fun, but I'm far from being a mechanic, so I could be wrong.
  • I recently just purchased a 2011 Impala back in Feburary. Not two months into having car i got the traction control light as well as reduce engince power message...took back to dealer..they say they replaced with brand new part b/c it was bent in...My car has a little under 47,000 miles on it. I am now having same issues. I will be contacting dealer as soon as they open.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hello yunafierce,

    We're sorry that you're having these troubles on your Impala. If you would like for us to work with you and your dealership towards hopefully getting this concern resolved, please contact us via email at [email protected] (include your name and contact information, a brief summary of the situation, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and the name of your involved dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
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