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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

Print this page Notes: Widespread instrument panel failure is a common and frustrating reality for many 2004-2005 Chevy Cavalier owners. They're often left in the dark when it comes to knowing how fast they're going, what their engine temperature is, or even how much fuel they have left in the tank.

The likely culprit is a series of bad "stepper motors" which control the gauges and are no longer covered under warranty. Think not being able to see your speed is a safety issue and should be recalled for all owners? We'd agree. Trouble is, apparently the NHTSA does not.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,940 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.

2004 Chevrolet Cavalier accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #5

May 232008

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that the drivers seat malfunctioned and the air bag did not deploy when a truck crashed into her vehicle from the rear. She also crashed into the vehicle in front of her. The contact and a passenger were injured and had to go to the hospital the following day. The police was there but no report was filed. The GM manufacturer was notified and a claim was filed. A representative was scheduled to inspect the vehicle but they never came. The failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 03/05/10

- Scio, OR, USA

problem #4

May 232008


  • 45,000 miles
Vehicle accident with seat and airbag failure on 5-23-08. Reported to GM 5/27/08 case. Spoke with GM rep then transferred to local dealership who said he would discuss with district manager. On 1/8/10 I again called for follow-up. The previous case had been closed and a new one opened and I was told I would be contacted. I followed up on 2/16/09 and was told it was being handled by motors liquidation. I expressed my concern was safety based - not money based, still had the vehicle for an investigation. The rep. Explained because the accident occurred prior to the "new" GM they were not concerned about it. I explained the accident date was of no concern to the safety considerations as there are still these types of vehicles on the road. They failed to report to you on two occasions. The bigger issue is GM's policy of reporting and investigating safety issues. If mine is an example, how many other complaints have been ignored or discarded because of the bankruptcy filing? in other words, if there was a problem with the vehicle before then we can assume it may be an issue of recall now regardless of "new" or "old" GM statues. It is very important to me this be taken seriously. We still have the vehicle sitting in our back yard for the purpose of investigating the issue. At some point we need to dispose of it and move on. I just feel a moral obligation - where obviously GM does not. I am happy to give any information or assistance to resolve this matter. Please take it seriously - I don't want anyone else to experience the injuries we have - especially if it is preventable.

- Scio, OR, USA

problem #3

May 012008


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact stated that the springs in the driver's seat were exposed and began to unravel. In addition, the seat adjuster was damaged on the left bottom of the driver's seat. As a result, the seat could not be adjusted and was stuck in one position. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 100,000 and current mileage was 104,000.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #2

Mar 112008


  • 24,700 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact noticed a large bulge in the rear driver's side seat. The dealer stated that the seat needed to be disassembled and the spring or the entire seat needed to be replaced. The contact would be responsible for the repair costs. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 24,700.

- Ware, MA, USA

problem #1

Aug 202006

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,000 miles
I bought my car, a 2004 Chevy Cavalier with 21 miles on it. Since then I have tried to return it and now the minor but frequent issues are much bigger and more frequently! first my trunk latch broke a week after purchase. The cd broke the next week, cigarette lighter broke, and passenger seat wouldn't move. This was the first two months of ownership. A few months ago the fuel gauge broke, temp gauge and ac. They couldn't verify it so couldn't repair, until it completely failed this month. Also, I was left stranded at 2:30 am with my 3 year old son when the clutch fell through the floor. It was repaired and now the rpms shoot up to 6000, is unresponsive to any pedals, and requires turning the engine off. This happened in san francisco on highway 101, I am truly afraid for the safety of myself. Son, and others driving this car or near one. There are many other unmentioned things that have occurred, too many to tell in this summary. They of course can't duplicate this major problem and therefore can't "correct." Also they state it doesn't fall under lemon, but what is at stake our lives.

- Paradise, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?