Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
4,136 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Chevrolet Cavalier brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #2

Jan 212003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,550 miles


Aug 31 2002, purchased vehicle. December 5, 2002: ABS activated - lost brake power, sailed through red light. ABS activated on dry pavement in garage, no deceleration, used emergency brake to prevent collision with back wall of garage. December 9, 2002: Took the vehicle to the dealership/ mechanic and manager drove the vehicle. Said ABS was functioning properly. January 21, 2003: Brakes failed causing rear-end colllision. Airbags didnt deploy $5,000 worth of damage to front end - less that 4000 miles on veh. Contacted GMC, explained events. GMC investigator downloaded data from ABS/air bag device. From that information alone, GMC determined nothing wrong with brakes without driving it -undrivable damage. I received a copy of this print out. Immediately upon getting my vehicle back from the repair shop, I notice vehicle shakes violently when brakes are applied. Repair mech states he didnt touch the brakes - wasnt accident related. Dealership blamed the brake problems on the accident even after repair mech told them directly it wasnt. Dealer turned my rotors and replaced the left wheel bearing which was broken. I still have consistant problems with the ABS -activates for no reason/doesnt activate when it is supposed to/when activated it doesnt slow the car down/when activates -all brake power is gone. The left front tire locks up and skids regularly when braking but ABS doesnt activate. An independant mech pointed out the dealership had turned my rotors to a point beyond the "machine to" and they failed to sand the rotors which was causing the horrible grinding. I spoke with the dealership general and maintenance managers. We all observed remeasuring of the rotors then they replaced them thin*. managers stated they didnt know anything about "machine to" specifications and they told me they dont sand rotors after turning them. Untrue: The second time they turned them, they did sand them.

- San Angelo , TX, USA

problem #1

Jan 212003

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,721 miles
During first snow in Dec 02, the ABS in my 2mo old car activated for the first time. The normal pedal vibs occured, but there was a patterned pinging of a spring at the pedals location. All braking power was lost during this, and I had to run a red light because I could not stop, even after pressing the brake again, with the same effect (this also occured while pulling into my garage on a dry surface, so I had to use emergency brake to keep from running into the back wall). I took the vehicle to the dealership, where they checked it twice on the road, and once with the sensor checks (no codes were found, they said). Of course I had them document this. On Jan 21 '03, I was forced to slam on my brakes because the vehicle in front of me stopped too fast. Although the pedal felt pressurized as it should be, there was again no braking power, although the ABS did not activate. No decelleration was felt until I slammed into the back of the vehicle in front of me (at approx. 30mph). Noone was injured although there is $4000 worth of damage to my car (and the airbags did not deploy although the front censor was impacted hard). There is definately something wrong, but the dealership could not duplicate the problem.

- Fort Meade, MD, USA

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