It's the first blot on the Chevy copybook, after the engine manufacturer dominated qualifying at the first race in St Petersburg and won both of the first two races of the 2012 season with Penske's Castroneves and Power.
But the mass penalty hands a huge advantage to the Honda-powered teams at Long Beach. So far, Honda have suffered just one engine-related problem, with Simon Pagenaud getting a ten-place penalty at St Petersburg.
Lotus have had two engine changes in the first two races of the season with Alex Taliani and Oriol Servia, and it was earlier confirmed that Sébastien Bourdais would have to change his engine going into Long Beach and will also have a grid penalty to serve.
The en masse
Chevy engine switch is likely to increase disquiet in the sport about the teams and drivers being hit by penalties for something that is wholly out of their control, as they have normally no internal access to the sealed units.
Even before the news about the Chevy engine change broke, new IndyCar president of competition Beaux Barfield had said that he shared fans' pain over the teams being penalised in this way and planned to hold a meeting with everyone concerned at the earliest opportunity. [See separate story
Barfield was particularly concerned that the current rules can discourage teams from testing the new Dallara chassis and new-specification V6 turbo-charged engines that the series has just introduced at the start of the season.
"Inadvertently putting a regulation out there that disincentivises testing, that is absolutely not what we want," he said on Wednesday.
The irony is that Hinchliffe's engine failure in testing is exactly what highlighted the issue that has now led to Chevrolet's decision to replace all of its engines for Long Beach. If teams weren't participating in the test sessions to catch such developmental issues, then there would have been the risk of an embarrassing and damaging widespread failure during the Sunday afternoon race itself.