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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,333 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 112014


  • 115,000 miles


One of the two rear plastic window hinges has snapped. I first noticed on 10/11 as I was accessing the rear of the vehicle by unlatching the window. I went online to check the issue and now realize this issue is widespread, that GM is aware of it, and actually re-designed the hinges starting in 2005. What they haven?T done (as I know it) is issue a recall for this obvious manufacturing defect. I'm writing to ask whether the NHTSA is aware of this issue, and if it and/or GM have already decided this does not warrant further attention. The concern is it?S easy to latch the window in place, even with 1 of the 2 hinges broken, and therefore delay or simply ignore the repair need (as the repair cost is significant), assuming it?S safe as long as you don't use the window further for access. By continuing to use the vehicle w/out repair, the one working hinge and window latch itself are forced to keep the window in place. This is a potential disaster waiting to happen. Under the added stress, the single hinge will eventually fail, and likely at speed as the vehicle hits the last bump the hinge can withstand, or as reported by owners online, a window is simply rolled down, increasing wind force on the rear window. If either happens the result is always the window is jettisoned from the frame and lands on whatever it lands on behind the vehicle. As you might imagine, this would be a significant event, as the window is 4-5 feet wide and large and heavy enough to potentially cause disaster to traffic traveling behind the vehicle. I've called 2 Chevy dealerships in the area so far and asked their service departments if this issue is being addressed and their response has been they've never heard of the part failing. That may be true, but in my opinion not likely. I worry this is a trained response, specifically targeted to minimize attention on the matter.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #5

Jun 012010


  • 135,000 miles
I initially noticed a problem closing the rear window and also noticed the hinge connecting the window to the vehicle on the passenger side appeared to be cracked or broken. Even though I rarely use the window, eventually the hinge completely broke and the passenger side of the window pulled completely away from the vehicle. The window is raised up so there is a large space between the window and the vehicle on the passenger side. The glass could easily become fully detached from the vehicle and fall off, possibly while the car is being driven. It seems, based on the number of complaints I have seen, that the hinge is defective but GM will not admit this and, therefore, will not pay for the repair.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #4

Aug 102009


  • 82,000 miles
The rear windows of the 2003 Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe automobiles (and presumably other model years as well) are simply glued to hinges. A great number of these windows have delaminated from the hinges. I was told by the Chevrolet service advisor two days ago (when I took my Suburban in for replacement of the rear window) that he has seen a large number of the window delaminations. He further advised me that if both hinges delaminate (which will eventually occur due to the extra weight being placed on a remaining hinge) that the window will separate from the automobile. If this occurs at high speed the consequences could be fatal for the automobile following behind. The service advisor stated that there should have already been a recall on the rear windows of Suburban and Tahoe.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

Jul 172009


  • 107,000 miles


The hinge for the rear liftgate window failed. There is a horizontal crack across the hinge. It appears to be metal fatigue. This failure is a safety hazard for the following reasons: 1) the window no longer seals properly and could allow exhaust gases to enter the vehicle cabin, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning. It is very possible that this failure would not be detected immediately. 2) the hinge failure causes additional strain on the remaining hinge and latch. Further failure would result in the window detaching from the vehicle. A) if this occurred while driving, the window could impact vehicle behind the Suburban or shatter on the roadway leading to debris related accidents. B) if this occurred while stationary, the glass could (which is heavy and sharp edged) could injure a person standing or walking at the rear of the vehicle. This exact same failure occurred previously on this vehicle at ~ 13000 miles of operation. The repair was made by a dealer at no charge to the owner. The recent recurrence of the failure of the same hinge occurred at ~107000 miles. The problem was reported to General Motors customer service and was logged as service request # 71 743 851 820 by jatta flores. Jatta denied owner's request that GM repair the defect.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 202008


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban. While the vehicle was parked in the contact's garage, she noticed that the rear window hinges separated from the body of the vehicle. The contact did not notice any differences in the vehicle prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was informed that the rear window needed to be replaced. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 85,000.

- Darien, CT, USA

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problem #1

Mar 162008

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2003 Suburban with 72K miles. About 12 months ago, the rear window began making a whistling noise while driving. When I inspected it I found that the hinge on the passenger side had separated from the window. I have tried to go through GM with no avail. Their answer is "it shouldn't have happened", but they are not going to do anything about it.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

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