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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
109,943 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 Suburban brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #97

Sep 052016


  • 145,000 miles


Brake line rusted through causing dangerous situation where vehicle is slow to stop and does not stay stopped when needed such as traffic lights, hills, stop signs, etc.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #96

Aug 282016


  • miles
While slowing from 55mph to make a turn off of state highway, brake system failed at approximately 35mph due to ruptured steel line. Pedal went fully to floor, brakes released and turn off was missed. Thankful nobody was in the way! shocked that this is apparently a common issue with this vehicle at just 13yrs and 150K miles!!

- Waterloo, IL, USA

problem #95

Mar 302016


  • 192,000 miles
The red brake light is on. The ABS module is not allowing the two rear brakes to work. The A/C control box in the dash blows hot air through the driver side only. In fl that is dangerous because of the heat already.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #94

Feb 082016


  • miles


It's make a weird sound when turning the ABS indicator light is on ther dash stationary I came outside to start up the vehicle is noticed a liquid leaking from underneath

- Dorchester Center, MA, USA

problem #93

Feb 262016


  • 200,000 miles
While driving with my two daughters and husband, we attempted to come to a stop and brake pedal went all the way to the floor, truck would not stop. Luckily we were not going that fast just 20 mph. Husband diagnosed the problem, no brake fluid. Drove very slowly to local auto store, filled up brake fluid. No change in brakes. Was able to drive slowly home with hazards on. Took to local mechanic, upon inspection, brakes lines completely rusted out! entire brake line to be replaced, over $2000 job!

- South Elgin, IL, USA

problem #92

Jan 312016


  • miles
Brake line failure

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #91

Apr 102015


  • 112,000 miles


While applying my brakes on highway rout 87, near albany NY, the pedal went to the floor and we crashed into the car in front of us. After being towed to a aaa repair facility they told us that the brakes were fine but the steel brake line had blown out and the fluid had leaked causing loss of stoping power without any warning... we spent $890 plus a hotel room for one night as we waited for them to make a repair to one brake line. I recently found out all the brake lines are rotted out and need to be replaced. This makes no sense.....there is a clear safety issue here. Please reopen the case and advise a recall before a big SUV like ours hurts someone in a small car because there brake lines failed. They won't know until its to late!!!

- Kinnelon, NJ, USA

problem #90

Jul 222015


  • 133,000 miles
The rear drivers side brake line broke. While at the repair shop, they informed me the other side brake line was bad and needed replaced. Two months later two more lines broke. The main rear line and front supply line from the master.

- New Cumberland, WV, USA

problem #89

Jun 132015


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 2500. While driving 35 mph, the contact depressed the brake pedal and it traveled all the way to the floorboard. The contact was able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where they performed an interim repair. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that all the brake lines were rusted and needed to be replaced. The contact was also informed by the independent mechanic that the vehicle may need the fuel pump line replaced as well. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 72,000.

- Cincinatti, OH, USA

problem #88

Jul 312015


  • 107,000 miles
While attempting to stop the brake pedal went to the floor I had drive to the shoulder of the road to keep from hitting the car ahead of me. The right front steel hydraulic brake line failed due to rust.

- Linthicum, MD, USA

problem #87

Apr 302014


  • 125,000 miles


While towing a bass boat and slowing to turn into a driveway, the brake pedal suddenly went to the floor causing me to drive into an open field while attempting to pump brakes to stop. Once stopped I checked to find a large leak in a brake line running along drivers side rear frame. Fortunately I had just driven down a steep curved hill. Additionally, a second failure occurred on 8/3/2015 when driving toward an intersection stop sign. Again the pedal went to the floor. Causing a near miss as the stop sign was driven through when I couldn't stop. This time the drivers front line ruptured. On exam half the lines are clear of rust and half are all rusted obviously from different suppliers. This time all will be replaced.

- Alburtis, PA, USA

problem #86

Jul 192015


  • 159,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban. While driving 40 mph, the brakes were engaged and the brake pedal traveled to the floorboard. The contact was barely able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that there was a brake line failure due to corrosion. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 159,000.

- Jefferson, NC, USA

problem #85

Jun 192015


  • 31,000 miles
My brakes failed on an interstate highway in sw Ohio in traffic. I avoided an accident by changing lanes abruptly and coasting to a stop on the side of the road. The repair facility indicated that it was the result of a rusted brake line that failed. The repairs cost me $1300 plus the cost of a rental car while the car was repaired. I understood from the feedback of the repair facility that GM is aware or this defect but has not elevated it to a "recall". it is considered to be a "campaign". I was not informed by anyone, including a dealership/ the car is low mileage, but I do live in the ne where the car has been exposed to chemicals on the road. I had the car at a dealership not more than 2 weeks ago for an air conditioning repair. This issue was not reported to me at that time.

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #84

May 222015


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle failed to stop when the brake pedal was depressed. As a result, the vehicle crashed into a curb. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The contact was advised that the brake line needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Freeport, NY, USA

problem #83

Apr 292015


  • 140,000 miles
The metal brake line between the ABS modulator valve and front right wheel ruptured when the brake pedal was pressed. The line failed due to corrosion. All brake lines in the vehicle had similar levels of corrosion near the area the aforementioned line ruptured, and at various other locations on the vehicle. A brake line between the master cylinder and ABS modulator had failed in a similar mannner approximately 8 months previously. The transmission cooler lines had also failed due to corrosion approximately 2 years ago. The corrosion and rust on many other components beneath the vehicle and in the engine compartment is rather concerning. Power steering lines (including power brakes, since the vehicle has hydro-boost brakes) appear to be next. All metal brake lines were replaced immediately after the most recent failure for an owner cost of about $500. It is my understanding that the NHTSA recently closed an investigation of brake line failure due to corrosion on several GM trucks and SUVS. After about 4 years, this investigation determined that "a safety-related defect has not been identified at this time." Apparently they don't read the complaints on their own website...

- New Holland, PA, USA

problem #82

Oct 112012

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 145,442 miles
10/11/2 brakes failed plus parking brake failed and parking brake shoe assembly was not found upon dealer inspection. Replaced disc brakes and had parking brake shoe installed. 11/09/12 check engine light revealed ignition problem. New ignition wire set installed. 01/29/13 dash cluster failed, had no horn, no headlights, no interior lights, no speed control, no steering wheel lights for control buttons, no speedometer reading, no radio. Replaced dash cluster. 05/05/14 check engine light and stranded when vehicle would not start. Misfire messages on dealer equipment reading. 06/16/14 stranded again, vehicle would not start. Replaced ignition switch. 07/15/14 stranded again, vehicle would not start. Replaced starter relay. 02/16/15 driver heated seat coming on/off while driving on its own. 4 wd engaged on its own while driving and made driving uncontrolled. AWD engaged on its own while driving on dry smooth road. Stranded, would not start. Vehicle at dealer again today for this list of problems.

- Champaign, IL, USA

problem #81

Feb 072015

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Was driving with my children in vehicle. As I was approaching intersection, stepped on brake pedal and it went completely to floor. The brakes were not working at all. I had to downshift and use emergency brake in order to avoid collision. Had to have Suburban towed.

- Shorewood, IL, USA

problem #80

Dec 232013


  • 145,000 miles
I had just come off the highway and was on the exit ramp. Went to press my brakes at the stop light and my foot went to the floor. Thankfully the off ramp was an slight uphill so that helped me slow and there was no traffic coming across. I went through the stop light and was able to stop after the turn by pressing the brake all the way to the floor. I had the car towed to our mechanic who determined that 2 of the brake lines had rusted through. The other lines were showing signs of rust so they were all replaced. I was thankful that my 4 kids and husband were not in the car and that there was no cross traffic or this could have had a much worse ending. After seeing how many complaints there are about the brake lines on the 2003 Suburban, I would hope that a recall would be issued for safety sake!

- Stevensville, MD, USA

problem #79

Aug 042014


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. The contact stated that when the brake pedal was applied, the brake pedal traveled to the floorboard and the brake warning light illuminated. The emergency brake was applied in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the brake lines were replaced on two occasions but the failure recurred. The vehicle was towed back to the independent mechanic but was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 72,000.

- Freeport, NY, USA

problem #78

Dec 162014

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 157,000 miles
Was driving behind a school bus when it stopped to let kids off. I applied my brakes and the pedal went to the floor. I had no brakes, I am not really sure how I managed to stop without hitting the bus. I pulled over in a parking lot. Got out of my 2003 Chevy Suburban went into the bank to call my husband to come get me. By the time I got back out to my truck there was a puddle of brake fluid under the drivers side door. My brake lines where shoot.

- Marshfield, VT, USA

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