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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
111,097 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 Tahoe brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Tahoe Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #56

Dec 032014

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 135,803 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I backed out of my driveway and I started down the street. I got to the first stop sign in my neighborhood hood and when I pressed the brake I lost all pressure and my foot went to the floor. Upon further investigation, rite behind the driver side rear tire where the brake line is attached to a clip is where the line has a hole in it. The clip had worn a hole in it. The clip that holds it, has 2 pieces that are bend down that hold it down, and that's where the hole was worn into my line.

- Williamsburg , VA, USA

problem #55

Oct 302014

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 118,237 miles
Applied brakes to place vehicle in reverse to back out of parking spot. Brake failure message appeared on instrument panel message display. Brake pedal went to the floor and vehicle started rolling. No brake pressure was available to stop the vehicle. Had to utilize parking brake to stop vehicle motion.

- Grand Blanc, MI, USA

problem #54

Aug 122014

Tahoe

  • 60,000 miles
Brakes failed at stop sign due to brake line failure corrosion. All brake lines and parts of fuel lines very rusty!! there should be a recall!!!!

- Newland, NC, USA

problem #53

Sep 292014

Tahoe

  • 36,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving at 35mph went to apply brakes and lost all brakes, this incident also happened in June 2013. This is a known defect since the early 2000. GM refuses to recall these vehicles in the northeast claiming its owner responsibility.since June 2013 I invested over $1000 in repairs. Had I been going a faster speed I could have caused a serious accident and seriously injured myself and others.

- Hicksville, NY, USA

problem #52

Aug 292014

Tahoe

  • 145,000 miles
I was towing my rv (travel trailer) to a campground for labor day weekend festivities utilizing the heavy duty tow package that GM installed on these vehicles. I arrived at the campground and was driving to my campsite when the brake pedal went to the floor followed by a loud chiming and a warning light. I was going down a hill and the 2 ton travel trailer was pushing my Tahoe as I tried to stop. I barely had any front brakes and no back brakes at all. I had to use the emergency brakes and use the gear selector on low to try to stop, which it finally did after much effort. It was labor day weekend so there were lots of people camping. There was a crowd of kids riding their bikes on the camp road in the drive path of my Tahoe however the kids moved out of the way only when I screamed out of my window that I could not stop my truck. This incident could have caused death or major injury. Luckily it did not otherwise I would not be able to live with myself. I now have my Tahoe at a local mechanic that I trust. He is stating that he has to replace all of the steel brake lines because they are all in bad shape and will eventually go. I am waiting to hear from him about how much this will cost me. I am a single father and do not have extra money to spend. My nerves are shot and that incident ruined our family camping weekend. I have nightmares that the kids on the bikes did not move and I ran them all over. I am definitely scarred for life.

- Sellersville, PA, USA

problem #51

Aug 222014

Tahoe

  • 143,000 miles
I was letting my mother borrow my vehicle and thankfully she was on a side street on her way home from work. She went to apply the brakes and the pedal went to the floor and she lost all brake power. Had it towed to a mechanic and they said all my lines are rusted threw and would like $1400 to replace them all. Unfortunately this is the second time this has happened and I think should be closer looked at by GM as we were lucky both times that we were not at high speeds were an accident could have occurred.

- Deale, MD, USA

problem #50

Aug 262014

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 110,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Noticed fluid spot on concrete below drivers side front door. Investigated further and noticed frame was damp. Jacked up vehicle and had brakes applied. Fluid now spewed from brake line where it is supported to frame rail. Contrary to GM's response to NHTSA action ea 11001 the brake petal went all the way to the floor so my estimation is I had no brakes not impaired brakes as GM assessed would occur. Had vehicle towed to dealer for repair. Long time Chevy owner, they have cheapened the parts to a point where they have jeopardized driver and passenger safety. My assessment is the rusting brake line problem on "all" GM vehicles 10 plus years old that have even got close to some form of salt in their lifetime are ticking time bombs. My vehicle resides in Georgia. Salt maybe once every couple of years.

- Jasper, GA, USA

problem #49

Jun 022014

Tahoe

  • 263,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated while driving 10 mph, the brakes failed. The brake pedal extended to the floor when it was applied. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing and confirmed that the brake lines were rotten. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure occurred twice. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 263,000.

- Pleasant Valley, NY, USA

problem #48

Aug 092014

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
As I was backing out of my driveway I hit the brakes and the truck didn't stop causing me to hit my neighbors tree... the brake system failed with no warning or signal light or a sound. As I looked under the truck there was brake fluid all over the street. I called a buddy mechanic of mine and stated my brake lines are rusted out.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #47

Jul 262014

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
I saw fluid on the driveway so I checked the truck and discovered the brake lines were rusted and leaking.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #46

Jun 042011

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While backing out of the driveway on a sunny Saturday afternoon (June 4, 2011), I applied the brakes when approaching sidewalk and street. My 2003 Chevy Tahoe brake pedal went all the way to the floor with minimum resistance. The Tahoe rolled past the sidewalk, out into the street, and up the neighbors driveway before coming to rest. Fortunately the vehicle did not strike anything. I would estimate the braking capacity of the vehicle at 5%, as I drove it to the service station at 5mph in low gear about 1/2 mile away. Tim lally Chevrolet in bedford, oh determined brake failure caused by corrosion of the brake lines. All brake and fuel lines were replaced in a frame off restoration costing about $4,000 usd.

- Shaker Heights, OH, USA

problem #45

Dec 262013

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
While starting the vehicle, with my foot on the brake pedal, the brake pedal went to the floor. It was a short drive to the repair shop. The brakes worked poorly with a much longer stopping distance. I kept the vehicle in first gear and drove slowly. The repair shop said the brake line failed. I have owned several vehicles with many more miles and many years older and have never experienced brake lines rusting out like this.

- Chester, NJ, USA

problem #44

Mar 132013

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Driving West on I-78 in NJ. Went to get off the highway and the brakes failed without warning. The vehicle did not sufficiently slow down to allow me to enter the exit ramp. Used the transmission to help slow the vehicle and left the highway at the next exit. The repair shop replaced a rusted brake line. I drove a 1978 Suburban for over 20 years with 250,000 miles and never had a brake line fail.

- Chester, NJ, USA

problem #43

Jul 082014

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
I have not had an accident yet, but the brake lines on this vehicle are badly rusted. Since it is used to tow a boat, it could become unsafe to drive if the lines should rust enough to fail. A braking accident while towing a 3000 lb. Boat could be particularly nasty. The brake lines on this vehicle have corroded far more than other vehicles of the same approximate age.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #42

Jun 192014

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
While driving down a hill with my kids in the car I went to apply brakes and the pedal went to the floor. I was able to turn my truck into a side street and slowly come to a stop. When I got out I noticed brake fluid everywhere. I looked under the truck and the brake lines are completely rusted through. After researching this I see that this is a common problem and shame on GM for not notifying people of this serious safety concern and endangering my children's life!!

- Ardsley, NY, USA

problem #41

Jun 122014

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 199,667 miles
Getting on an interstate ramp I applied my brakes to reduce my speed. As I applied my brakes in a normal manner to slow down, my brake pedal sank all the way down to the floor. The truck wouldn't slow down or stop. I brought the truck to a stop my dropping down in gear and applying the parking brake. I pulled the truck over to the left shoulder (only shoulder available on this ramp) and stopped. I opened the hood and looked in the engine compartment and checked my brake fluid. Didn't see any problems from that angle. I checked around the truck and noticed leakage of what appeared to be brake fluid coming out from the front, passenger side. I called for a tow to my preferred service shop. After a day my mechanic called and said that one of my brake lines was fully rusted, had busted and was leaking. He said that upon inspection of the rest of my brake lines, they were all very rusted and in danger of also busting open. He recommended immediate replacement of all brake lines at a cost of more than $2,200. This vehicle is less than 11 years old. In all my years of driving, nearly 40 years, I've never seen a vehicle with rusted through brake lines at the 11 year mark. I believe the design is flawed and that using steel (corrosive) versus a non-corrosive material such as stainless steel is a "cutting corners" technique which put drivers at risk and into life threatening situations to themselves on onto others. I'd like to request that GM be required to issue a recall on this issue and that owners of these vehicles are either offered a no cost repair for the entire brake system or full reimbursement for repairs made to their vehicles to correct this clearly dangerous flaw.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #40

May 272014

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 160,115 miles
As I approached a traffic light in town and prepared to stop, the brake pedal suddenly and without warning, went to the floor. I managed to use the parking brake to stop the vehicle within inches of the car stopped in front of me. The warning light on the dash illuminated indicating a brake system failure. It had never come on before. One of the steel brake lines running along the frame, approximately under the drivers door, has rusted through and burst. It was a miracle this did not result in a crash. Had this happened at a higher speed or exiting a freeway ramp, I fear the outcome would have been very bad.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #39

May 142003

Tahoe

  • 79,000 miles
Brake lines are completely rusted out, and fuel lines, whole undercarriage is bad, brake lines fail with no warning, brake pad goes to floor.

- Prescott, Wisconsin, WI, USA

problem #38

May 182014

Tahoe

  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated while driving 35 mph and attempting to stop the vehicle by applying the brake pedal the brake line broke. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician diagnosed there was erosion on the brake lines and they needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 143,000. The current mileage was 143,050.

- South Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #37

Oct 182013

Tahoe

  • 125,000 miles
I was sitting at a drive through waiting for food. Suddenly with my foot on the brake pedal, it started getting a mushy feeling and the pedal sank to the floor. When I got it home, I found there was a leak in one of the front brake lines which were rusted pretty badly. The next morning, I took the truck in to get the front brake lines replaced for just over $300. The rear are rusted pretty bad but my automotive shop said they usually don't replace them if they aren't leaking. I was very fortunate to not be dead or injured (along with anyone else) as I was on the high way earlier that night and driving around quite a bit. I heard there was an open investigation on this issue, so I wanted to offer my experience and inquire on why the investigation is still open and no recall has been issued? it seems like something so crucial to safety should be either more protected or be less prone to rust, even in the snow belt with all the corrosive salt on the roads. This is something the car manufacturers must account for.

- Parma Heights, OH, USA

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