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Hard Gas Pedal

Four months ago I purchased a 2009 Chev Impala LTZ. I noticed right away that the gas pedal was harder to depress than other cars I’ve driven. The sales person said it was because the car has a bigger engine (3.9 L) and the harder-to-press gas pedal is for safety so the speed doesn’t get out of hand (my translation). However, I do not like this. I am still not used to it and when the car hesitates, I’m not sure if there is something else wrong or that I’m not pressing on the gas pedal hard enough. So my question is: Can the pedal be adjusted so that it is somewhat easier and smoother to depress? And if so, is there a potential risk in having this done?

Test drive another Impala with the same engine as yours at the dealer. Yours is probably harder to depress. Point this out to them and have them fix it under warranty since you noticed it right away and asked them about it.

They may just be able to lubricate something and fix it.

I am assuming you have the 5.3 liter V8. If so, you have a Accelerator Pedal Position sensor attached to the accelerator assembly. The feel of the pedal is built into this assembly. I suspect with the ‘uncommanded acceleration’ problem another car manufacture is experiencing, GM would be unlikely to lighten the pedal return spring. Your only hope is finding and installing an aftermarket pedal assembly. However, this might compromise any warranty or liability claim you might make.

Well, I went to the Service Dept of my local Chevy dealer and asked about it. One of the service managers came out and looked at it, and he said it seemed normal to him, and that because it’s controlled electronically (not mechanical), that there was nothing they could do to “fix” it. So, because of that and the fact that the driver’s seat is very uncomfortable for me, I will probably end up getting rid of this car. I am currently testing a 2010 Taurus (which they loaned me overnight), and despite it’s much nicer gas pedal, the driver’s seat is not up to snuff. The seat back is really nice (unlike the Impala), but the seat bottom is not feeling too great.
I don’t know what happened in the past decade, but all my previous vehicles were perfectly fine in the comfort dept. Ho hum.

The sales person said it was because the car has a bigger engine (3.9 L) and the harder-to-press gas pedal is for safety so the speed doesn’t get out of hand? That’s a good one. These salespeople are so full of balogna.

I’m sorry to hear of your experience. I too had to trade a new car after only two months in 2005 due to the pathetic ergonomics in modern vehicles. It was crippling me. The lesson I learned was that from now and forever more I’d need to test drive obsessively to be sure the vehicle was comfortable. That lesson cost me $2500 bucks. I’ve long felt that today’s cars are horrible in the comfort department unless one has a very deep pocket.

Unfortunately, these drive-by-wire accelerators cannot be adjusted.