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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,124 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.

2003 Chevrolet Corvette steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Chevrolet Corvette Owner Comments

problem #16

Feb 092016


  • 45,000 miles


I was traveling 60 mph on a freeway when the car suddenly went left and then right. It felt like the car was steering its self. When the pitched it went into the left lane then the right lane. I was in the center lane. I was able to bring the car under control but it scared me. It was so dramatic I could have had a very nasty accident involving my death or the other drivers an the freeway..I took my foot off the accelerator and put the car into the slow lane and backed speed down to 50. The weather was not an issue.

- Edmonds, WA, USA

problem #15

Jul 152015


  • 252,000 miles
I was driving North on interstate 95 in miami, Florida, I changed lanes and could no longer control steering, car seem to go the way it wanted to. It steered to left to the right back to the left across 3 lanes of traffic and I ended up going southbound in the northbound lanes. With the help of god I was able to put the car in park, start it up again, back up, turn it around and head the right way, which was northbound, considering the traffic on I-95 I should have been hit by numerous cars during that time, but with god's help it didn't happen. I noticed on dashboard that it stated to service active handling. I decided to do some research and there have been numerous complaints related to this same incident and some recalls also. My life could have taken during this incident. I had just purchased 2 new front tires and 2 rear shocks for my car before this happened only 6 days before, car has always been kept in good running condition.

- Americus, GA, USA

problem #14

May 012015


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Corvette. While driving at approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was abe to restart, but the failure recurred. In addition, the service column lock warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the contac's residence. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 04V060000 (steering). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.

- Federal Way, WA, USA

problem #13

Jun 032015


  • 31,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Corvette. When the contact attempted to start the vehicle, the steering column seized, failed to unlock, and the steering warning light illuminated. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 04V060000 (steering); however, the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 31,000.

- Dunedin, FL, USA

problem #12

Jun 152004


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Corvette. The contact stated that while in first gear, he applied the accelerator pedal and the vehicle immediately jumped out of gear. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the bushings were replaced in the transmission but the failure recurred. The contact also stated that the service steering column lock warning light illuminated. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign id number: 04V060000 (steering) however, the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 12,000.

- Jonesbough , TN, USA

problem #11

Mar 162014

Corvette 8-cyl

  • miles
2003 Chevrolet Corvette. Consumer writes in regards to the steering column lock recall and seeks reimbursement for repairs. The dealer informed the consumer, the recall was performed on July 13, 2005. However, the consumer stated if the problem was fixed, he shouldn't have had to pay $619.48 to have the wiring harness and relay replaced, due to the steering column locking up.

- Hillsdale, NJ, USA

problem #10

Nov 022005

Corvette 8-cyl

  • 10,300 miles


02 Nov 05 - steering column locked; reprogrammed and repaired under factory recall bulletin; charged $17.96 for "shop supplies"; 10 Apr 09 - steering column locked again !; relay replaced; charged $144.73 (parts & labor); 31 Mar 10 - steering column locked again !!!; lock and relay replaced; charged $614.83 (parts & labor); 03 Jul 12 - steering column locked again !!! (4th time); relay replaced again !!!; charged $245 (parts & labor). Summary: Four attempts to correct a "factory recall" issue at a total charge of $1022.52 ! it is my understanding that a "factory recall" is completed at no cost, regardless of the number of attempts required to correct the problem. I resent being charged over $1000. For what supposedly is a factory recall problem... that apparently the service techs have no clue about resolving. Your response, please.

- Tybee Island, GA, USA

problem #9

Dec 042011


  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Corvette. The contact stated that while driving 85 mph, the brakes would activate independently, causing the vehicle to veer to the right. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 04V060000 (steering:column locking:anti-theft device) but did not receive confirmation that the vehicle was included in the recall. The failure recurred five times within a thirty minute period. The dealer placed an air flow sensor into the vehicle to remedy the failure however, the failure continued to occur. The manufacturer was aware of the failure and the contact was awaiting further repairs to the vehicle. The current mileage was 104,000 and the failure mileage was 101,000.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #8

Aug 092008

Corvette 8-cyl

  • 56,592 miles
Accident on 8/9/2008 front impact hit another vehicle in virgina, 2/2/2011 accident left side impact hit a curb, and an object. 12/15/2011 consumer bought. Found out that cooling fan has been glued, cooling fan has been wired which makes the fan to be always on, air filter missing bolts, steering wheel locks and car gives error message and then just stops, informed dealer and they stated just to double click unlock B/C is just a security issue. Car was sold with broken rack and pinion. Dealer stated that is why you bought a 18K car and not a 60K car, you get it as is. They are using a BBB award and on website they are rated and F. had one of their application processors check the car and stated everything was fine, he does not have certified mechanic license and was told that on 12/28/2011. More issues...

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #7

Feb 222010


  • 18,700 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Corvette. The contact stated that the steering would lock sporadically. After receiving notification of NHTSA campaign id number 04V060000(steering:column locking:anti-theft device) and after having the recalled repair performed twice, the failure recurred a third time. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they advised him that they corrected the issue for the recall and would not be able to perform any further repairs under the recall. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were approximately 18,700.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #6

Dec 112009


  • 34,000 miles


This is an amendment to your ODI number 10297619. Our 2003 Chevrolet Corvette has sustained severe undercarraige damage as well as passenger side body damage and wheel and tire damage. Passenger door will not open and drivers door will open when much strength applied to pull it open. There were a couple of minutes after the crash that it was apparent the doors were not going to open without some kind of assistance. Just prior to the crashwe experienced a small fishing of of the rear of the car at which time the accelerator was disengaged and the brakes applied hard. The steering was locked in the position we were driving in at the time which was on a curve. The brakes failed to stop us, and at this time the RPM was racing upward on the car which was accelerating when no gas was being applied at all. One other time when we had to apply the brakes quickly, for a changing light, the RPM raced way up while we were stopped. Our computer said nothing at this time which indicated to us that there was nothing noted about the incident that we could see. Also airbags failed to open! without our seatbelts, the 37 incident among Corvettes would have been the first casuality in the steering lock failure. Most notably and critical of the failures is the steering lock fiailure no.1, no 2 is brakes failing to stop vehicle and no. 3 is airbags failing to deploy. No 4 is the RPM accelerating when brakes are to the floor. The vehicle is not driveable at this time and is currently in storage until there are resolutions to these failures. Date of crach Dec. 11, 2009 about 9:30 am.

- Overland, MO, USA

problem #5

Dec 112009


  • 34,000 miles
There really wasn't any events leading up to our accident that I was aware of. I have not contacted General Motors as of yet, my internet has been down and was only fixed this evening around 4:00. But back to my accident, my steering locked up on me and all lost all control of my car. Sorry I don't have more information. I just know my wife and I are lucky to be alive. Thank you!

- Overland, MO, USA

problem #4

Dec 242009


  • Manual transmission
  • 15,900 miles
2003 Corvette manual trans. I had the work done for the steering wheel lock recall program #04V060000 back in 2006. On Dec. 24th 2009, the vehicle would start but not move forward. Possible fuel shut off due to harness lock failure. When I took it to the GMC dealer in watsonville calif. They advised me that this item was no longer under warranty. My question if the recall item has failed again why isn't the dealer or GM responsible for replacement at no cost to the customer" I was told that it was only for the first 12,000 miles or 12 months. Seems odd that this part that was replaced in 2006 has already failed when the car has had only 7,000 miles approx. Put on the vehicle since the recall work was completed. The total miles for this vehicle is only 15,900 miles. Has there been any reports that the replacement part was defective as well"

- Aptos, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 162009


  • 24,500 miles
While driving, my vehicle's warning system for the active handling & ABS system activates during normal driving conditions. It is highly unlikely that both of these systems would develop a problem at the same time. Upon researching this, I discovered that GM realized a flaw in the designing of the wiring harness that is contained within the steering column that is responsible. GM has designed a part to fix this, but at the owner's expense. In these types of vehicles, the active handling & ABS is a safety feature, and I can only assume that whenever the warnings are activated these safety functions are no longer functioning as the computer believes that there is a problem with them when there isn't. the warnings do not come on at the time of start up, but only after driving the vehicle for about 5 miles. If there in fact was a problem with these features, a warning would come on at start up. GM has found that the wiring harness becomes stretched from continued use of the telescoping steering column over the years which causes the false warnings. Other drivers have reported power steering failure and other problems associated with this. This is a design flaw that could cause drastic problems if the computer falsely disengages these features, especially the ABS during driving in the rain or snow. These vehicles rely on these systems for safe operations. Once the warning comes on, there is no way to check to see if the active handling feature is on or off, as the computer will not allow the system to be checked.

- Buckeye, AZ, USA

problem #2

Oct 012007

Corvette 8-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
A message was randomly displayed saying that the active handling system had failed and that service was needed. When this happened, the car's computer would then shut off the active handling system, but when the ignition was turned off and then back on, the active handling system would be active until the next failure. I believe that this failure constitutes a safety problem. After many months of this (I wasn't overly concerned since I don't drive erratically and rarely activate the active handling system), I took the car to a dealer (West Chevrolet, alcoa, tn) and was told (1) they have seen this problem before on Corvettes and (2) it is due to the wiring harness in the steering column being too short. (this car has a power telescoping steering wheel and memory seats so that every time the driver gets in and out of the car, the steering column automatically moves out and in, evidently tugging on the wiring harness each time.) the dealers technician foreman said that one of signals carried by the harness is the angle of the steering wheel which is used in conjunction with a yaw-rate sensor to determine if the car is "spinning out" and what corrective action is required to correct this. He also said that due to the too-short harness, the integrity of the harness connector degrades over time causing the intermittent failure of the active handling system. (3) the dealer said that this problem is fixed by extending the harness with a GM part which implies that GM knows that they have a problem and have developed a part to fix it. (4) I asked the dealer what would happen if I did not fix it. I was told that eventually the connector would completely fail resulting in a loss of the power steering. This would then be another safety problem. So I had to have it fixed but it wasn't cheap - $594.68.

- Vonore, TN, USA

problem #1

Mar 302003


  • miles
The vehicle mad a turn on its own without warning.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

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