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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,100 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 Silverado brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Silverado Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #116

Jul 152015


  • 82,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. While driving approximately 35 mph and attempting to engage the brakes, the vehicle failed to stop. The emergency brake was used to stop the vehicle. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that brake fluid was leaking above the fuel tank. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the brake line over the fuel tank ruptured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 82,000.

- Witter , AR, USA

problem #115

Jun 122015


  • 160,000 miles
My husband was driving the vehicle at approximately 60 mph on a local highway when he needed to brake to slow down for a vehicle who turned on up ahead when the brake line blew. Pedal immediately went soft. He barely avoided collision and had to pull off into a nearby church parking lot. Now we are out the expense of having the brake lines replaced. The rust issue, which has been complained about in all of the others, is the same here that led to this. Though it has high mileage, the truck has been very well taken care of as it is a regency edition Silverado.

- Pittsburg, KY, USA

problem #114

Aug 142014


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado. While driving approximately 55, the brake pedal was depressed and stuck to the floorboard. The contact was able to bring the vehicle to a stop by engaging the emergency brake. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the brake lines corroded, causing the brake fluid to leak. As a result, the brake line and the master cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Champlin, MN, USA

problem #113

Apr 282015


  • 50,231 miles


Brake line burst and brake pedal went to floor. At only 15 mph I had some stopping power by pumping brake pedal and got the truck stopped. Thankfully, I have a very long driveway and was still on my property. I was pulling a heavy trailer and do not want to imagine what would have happened with traffic and at a greater speed. I inspected the brake lines and noticed they were all badly corroded. I am having all brake lines replaced tomorrow. I see no recall notice and have since read about others who have had the same problem. I am 66 years old and have had one brake line failure many years ago on a 1963 Plymouth with very high mileage. This truck has just over 50 thousand miles. I was shocked at the condition of these brake lines. Without complete replacement of the lines I do not consider this vehicle safe to drive.

- Stanchfield, MN, USA

problem #112

Mar 242015


  • 173,230 miles
While starting the vehicle, the brake pedal suddenly dropped to floor and brakes failed. There was no warning light and all four brakes failed. Fortunately, the vehicle was stopped. Testing the brakes, I found there was a little braking capability, but very little. I have since found that the brake lines were rusted through and the brake fluid sprays out the line below the driver's door hinge. A quick internet search showed this is a well known problem, but I was never notified of the risk. Thank goodness it didn't happen on the freeway! this vehicle has spent most of its life in Ohio.

- Mendon, UT, USA

problem #111

Feb 052015


  • 48,000 miles
My wife and I got into the vehicle to go somewhere and as we started to move I tried to stop and the brakes would not stop the vehicle. I applied the emergency brake in order to stop. I returned to my driveway using the emergency brake. I checked and found that I had no brake fluid. I got under my truck and found that my brake lines are corroded and one had a severe leak. I researched the internet and found that there have been multiple similar incidents where there have been crashes. I have talked with a Chevrolet rep and I was told that they do not consider this a safety issue. Although they know of this problem they do not plan a recall. Someone evidently has to die before it becomes a safety issue.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #110

Jan 202015

Silverado 8-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


On January 20, 2015, the brakes on my Chevrolet Silverado failed. When I applied the brakes to make a normal turn, on a residential street around the corner from my house, the brake pedal went all the way down to the floor. I was extremely fortunate that no cars were coming the other way & I was able to maneuver the truck out of harms way until I came to a safe stop. I noticed a trail of liquid on the ground & also dripping from under my truck. The liquid coming from the truck was brake fluid. A later check proved the bake fluid well was empty. Obviously the brake fluid that was in the reservoir was now on the ground causing the vehicle inoperable. Well it was operable, it was all good to go. Stopping the vehicle was another matter. Thank goodness I was driving in a residential area when this incident occurred. Imagine if this had happened on a busy interstate (like interstate 95) where some real damage could have occurred or perhaps worse death.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #109

Jan 102015


  • 79,852 miles
Brake pedal suddenly went to the floor with no braking. Dealer confirmed that the brake lines had rusted through and were replaced using a kit from Chevrolet at a cost of $2330.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #108

Jun 242013


  • 115,000 miles
Was driving around 35mph and started to put the brakes on to make a right turn at the upcoming light and the brake peddle went all the way to the floor and the warning light came on and I went right through the intersection without slowing down and luckily the light was green. Limped down the street to a pep boys and they told me that both the front and rear main lines had rusted through and they couldn't fix it. Limped it a few miles using the emergency brake to stop to a Chevy dealership and was charged ~$1500 to replace the rusted out lines from the front to the rear axle.

- Owensville, OH, USA

problem #107

Jan 102015


  • 155,558 miles
While driving on route 95 my brake line broke. It is completely rusted out. I found thousands of other people online with the same problem. GM needs to recall this. I had to swerve across traffic and drive on the grass shoulder to come to a stop. Very very scary.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #106

Feb 192014


  • 116,000 miles


While moving forward in line at a drive through my brake pedal suddenly when straight to the floor and would barely stop my truck. By the time I returned home I had to brake with the emergency brake. I then had it towed to 4 different mechanics who would not fix my brakes for under $4000 dollars due to liability reasons. Apparently the "stainless steel" hard lines from the master cylinder had all rusted out completely. If I had been on the road far away from home there could have been a serious accident.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #105

Dec 272014


  • 93,185 miles
There was a complete brake failure coming to a stop sign. Fortunately was able to get the vehicle stopped using emergency brake. There was also no other vehicles at stop sign or at cross street. Went through the intersection. There was little or no brake pressure and the brake pedal went straight to the floor. At the shop it was noted there was a complete brake line failure at the ABS module near the driver door of all 6 rear brake lines. The brake lines all rusted through. The shop noted this was a common defect of the Chevy Silverado. This appears to be an issue especially in cold climates where salt and snow accumulates. This needs to be a safety recall to fix this defect. All 6 brake lines were replaced.

- Little Canada , MN, USA

problem #104

Dec 052014


  • miles
Lost brakes while underway - was able to nurse vehicle back home using emergency brake and gearing down. Examination of brake lines revielded a small hole had rusted thru one of the metal brake lines !! having truck towed to dealer for repare. I hope GM will foot most of the bill. Thanks, barry

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #103

Oct 022013


  • 96,000 miles
I was approaching a traffic light in town and when the brakes were applied the brake line broke and there were no brakes. I swerved to miss the car infront of me but hit her passenger side rear. She in turn hit the car in front of her.

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #102

Oct 292014


  • 84,900 miles
I depressed brake pedal to shift the truck from park, and the brake pedal went to the floor! pumping the brakes did no good. I looked underneath, and brake fluid was running down from under the driver's seat area. Upon closer inspection, one of the brake lines coming out of the ABS modules had sprung a leak at the point where it bends over the top of the frame rail. If this had occurred while driving, an accident is likely, as there was no brake, despite the dual master cylinder! all of the brake lines are severely corroded, especially where the oem factory formed bends are. The brake lines are actually at the point of crumbling in places. To counter any claims about severe corrosion environment causing the problem, contrast the brake lines to the fuel lines on this vehicle which have no to very minimal corrosion. I also own another 2003 GM vehicle with far more miles, and it also has very little brake line corrosion. I have owned both these vehicles from new, and the Silverado has less miles, and less winter salt exposure than the other vehicle. I have also owned other vehicles for many more years and miles than this Silverado, and have never experienced anything like the horrible crumbling of this obviously defective brake line material used on the Silverado. Please NHTSA, take some action on this obviously serious safety situation caused by defective manufacturer materials!

- Frankenmuth, MI, USA

problem #101

Oct 152014


  • 71,000 miles
Brake line failed due to corrosion causing brakes to fail.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #100

Oct 142014


  • 62,300 miles
I was coming to a stop to turn right and brake pedal went to the floor. I had very little brakes only if I went completely to the floor. I had to swerve to miss the car in front of me. I brought truck to brake shop and the driver side rear steel brake line was spraying brake fluid all over my tire.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #99

Sep 232014


  • 77,051 miles
After having my truck serviced at the dealership, the service tech tested my brakes & the brake lines burst. After inspection, rusted brake lines, under drivers seat, all burst. Causing an expensive cost to replace all brake lines.

- Washington, IL, USA

problem #98

Oct 012014


  • 265,890 miles
Driving my 2003 Chevy Silverado in the left lane of the city freeway approximately 50 mph in heavy traffic. Pushed brake to stop for vehicles changing lanes ahead. Brake pedal initially had pressure but after about 2 seconds went to the floor with nearly no pressure and no braking effect at all. There was no prior indication of a problem and no warning light signaling an issue. Swerved into the left berm to avoid hitting cars ahead. Traveled 20 plus car lengths while dropping automatic transmission into lowest gear and pumping brake pedal to no affect. Forced truck against barrier wall to avoid hitting other vehicles. Brake warning light came on as truck stopped. A large puddle of brake fluid was dumped below rt rear wheel and leaked when the brake pedal was pressed. There had been no previous issues with the brakes and brake pads were replaced 20,000 miles ago. The dual circuit system provided no partial braking effect at all. I had the vehicle towed home and discovered a steel brake line burst from corrosion and all brake lines significantly degraded. This truck has been meticulously maintained, is driven everyday and has been garage kept since it was purchased new in Dec 2002.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #97

Sep 202014

Silverado 4WD 8-cyl

  • 67,567 miles
I have a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado the brake lines rusted and when I apply my brake they went to the floor scaring me have to death.thank god ihad just started up a hill and was able to get it stop by using the emergency brake.

- Greencastle, PA, USA

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