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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
131,339 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.

2004 Chevrolet Tahoe brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Chevrolet Tahoe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

Sep 042016


  • 73,000 miles


Brake line burstwhile driving got into accident very dangerous should be recall before some get killed

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #45

Sep 042016


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving, the brakes failed. The contact's vehicle came to a stop after bumping the preceding vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake line was corroded. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #44

Sep 042016

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Lost brakes on highway. Got in accident. Now all brake lines have to be replaced. Never going to buy another GM piece of [xxx]. and only has 73,000 miles on it. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #43

Sep 032016


  • 213,000 miles


On September 3 2016 while pulling into a bank parking lot the brake pedal depressed to the floor. Fortunately I was going slow enough to stop the vehicle with the parking brake. Brake fluid was on the ground behind the left front wheel. It appears a brake line ruptured causing instant catastrophic failure of the brake system. The vehicle was towed to jim price Chevrolet in charlottesville for diagnosis. Total mileage is about 213000. Being a holiday weekend the vehicle will not be checked until Tuesday September 6. if I hadn't pulled into the bank I would have been in an 8 lane intersection with rio rd and rt 29 and probable not here to send this report.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #42

Jul 042016


  • 129,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving 10 mph, the brake pedal was depressed but failed to immediately stop the vehicle. The contact stated that the failure occurred in a parking lot and the vehicle was able to stop after the brake pedal was depressed to the floorboard. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake lines failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 129,000.

- Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #41

Jul 312016


  • 66,434 miles
Trying to come to a complete stop coming down a hill approaching stopped vehicles ahead when the the brake system failed the pedal went to the floor I fortunately was able stop before hitting anything or anyone including myself and my pets....used emergency break and put in park conducted investigation..1st checked the brake fluid and even though it was just topped off it was down to the minimum levels I next looked under the undercarriage and saw fluid leaking underneath. Since have had it looked at by a mechanic and said my breakline blew and possibly the others because of corrosion.

- Coraopolis, PA, USA

problem #40

Nov 152015


  • 160,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving approximately 40 mph and attempting to make a sudden stop, the braking system experienced a catastrophic and instant failure without warning. The vehicle did not slow down or stop, which caused the driver to crash into an embankment. A police report was filed. During the crash, the driver sustained a right knee injury that did not require medical attention. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the cause of the failure was due to corrosion and rusted brake lines. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Sandy Hook, VA, USA

problem #39

Dec 122015


  • 240,000 miles
Brake line blew without warning. Approaching stop signal and was slowing down by braking and then suddenly the brake pedal went to the floor. I swerved into left turning lane to avoid the car in front of me and traveled halfway through the busy intersection before stopping. Proceeded into lot of nearby convenience. Brake fluid pooled under car. Could hear air coming out of brake line when brake pedal depressed.

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #38

Sep 052015


  • 136,000 miles
I was traveling towards home around 45 mph in my 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. The car in front of me attempted a non-signaled right hand turn and then continued straight ahead. I applied my brakes in a manner to avoid hitting the car as she decided what she was going do. The pedal was firm at first, then completely went to the floor. I had no brakes at all. This resulted in me taking an off road adventure through someones yard and back onto the road to avoid slamming the car in front me as she regained her sense again. I slowly crept home and spit a trail of brake fluid along the way. The hard brake lines on this vehicle are so corroded with rust and I found the front feed line into the ABS module had burst from the corrosion and use of cheap factory lines. I could have lost my life because 11 years ago GM decided cheaper brake line material in 2004 is better than my life in 2015. Now I find that the investigation is closed and they are blaming "maintenance" as the cause. In all the vehicles I have owned, not a single one had to have a hard brake line replaced. It's just not normal wear and tear. It is a material and producer flaw that is going to get someone killed. It almost took my life.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #37

Sep 052015


  • 93,240 miles
While driving on the highway, I suddenly and without warning lost my rear brakes. This caused me to have to steer on to the shoulder to and use the emergency brake/down shifting to control vehicle speed. I narrowly avoided 3 other vehicles. This failure was due to excessive corrosion on the steel brake line running to the rear of the vehicle. Even after frequently inspecting my brake lines, the routing of this line in particular makes it impossible to view. I'm very disappointed that this issue, which is widely known, has not been recalled.

- Smithtown , NY, USA

problem #36

Aug 162015


  • 194,957 miles


While away from home and towing my boat I started to lose braking power and was barely able to stop. The amount of rust on the lines and poor quality of the components and the way they route them they should be ashamed. I count myself lucky that neither I or anyone else was injured.

- Fort Washington, PA, USA

problem #35

Aug 092015


  • 127,000 miles
Travelling North on state route 741 with my family of 6. we began to slow for stopped traffic on a slight downhill grade. At once the brake pedal went to floor without warning and when I applied emergency brake the bracket fastening it to the frame broke as well. The truck was gaining speed without any brakes at all. I put it into a ditch doing 60 mph. It took me 1.5 miles to finally get the truck stopped. Took it to a garage they replace all brake lines two rear calipers, master cyclinder, and hydro boost canister. How do all these parts fail at the exact same time and the emergency brake bracket break away from frame trying to stop vehicle" apparently the size of the vehicle is to much for the emergency brake system to effectively stop this vehicle. I am told by a dealer this is a frequent issue with GM vehicle. I am very mad about this incident and putting my family at risk. This vehicle was at Chevrolet dealer in bellefontaine Ohio 11 months ago for a full inspection and nothing was found except an inner tie rod that needed replaced. How??" withouot prior warning can all these components in a brakeing system fail at the exact same time. There was zero evidence of tampering and truck mileage is below national average. Maintenance has been kept up to date. Seriously concerned owner!

- Bellefontaine, OH, USA

problem #34

Jun 162015

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
Driving vehicle on local street at approximately 15mph when I attempted to stop at stop sign. Brake pedal went totally to the floor and lost all brakes. Unable to stop I narrowly missed another vehicle which was already in the intersection. Car finally came to a stop against curb on other side of intersection. Upon inspection I found that both rear brake lines had completely blown underneath drivers door. They were completely rusted through causing them to fail. When I got home I did a simple google search of this issue and found quite a few stories devoted to this problem. I don't understand how there isn't a recall on this issue. Imagine if I was going faster than 15 mph if this event had occurred. I also have contacted GM about this problem through email.

- Bellport, NY, USA

problem #33

May 282015


  • 140,000 miles
Wife was driving with son in car went to hit the brakes doing about 40 mph and brake pedal went to the floor. Luckily she had room to swerve out of the way of the stopped car while continuing to pump brakes coming to a stop in the middle of a busy intersection. Thank god no harm was done to her or my child. 2 brake lines has been ruptured on the driver side of vehicle and was spewing brake fluid everywhere. All of the lines connected to the ABS pump were severely corroded and all have to be replaced.

- Warrensburg , MO, USA

problem #32

Apr 192015


  • 184,000 miles
A car cut in front of me and I had to slam the brakes, when I did the pedal went straight to the floor. I was able to swerve into another lane and avoid the car in front of me but after pulling over I observed brake fluid gushing out a rusted out brake line when the pedal was pushed. Very unsafe. I live in charleston South Carolina and this type of corrosion on the brake lines is totally unsafe.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #31

Apr 022015

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
As I was pulling into the drive-thru at my local bank I pushed on my brake pedal to stop at the window & the pedal went completely to the floor. There was someone at the atm & I immediately pushed the emergency brake to stop before I ran over them. Took it to a local shop & they told me before they put it on the lift what was probably wrong with it. Rusted brake line(s). I said surely not on a 10 year old vehicle. They said oh yeah we see this all the time. It's a major problem for these vehicles. I have a lot older vehicles at home that doesn't have this problem. Sounds to me like inferior materials. Something should be done about this before someone loses their life to save a buck for the company.

- Columbia, KY, USA

problem #30

Dec 302014

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 79,100 miles
Rear brake lines (hard lines) ruptured above rear axle. 1000 miles later both brake hard lines from master cylinder to proportioning valve also failed due to internal corrosion.

- Purcellville, VA, USA

problem #29

Jan 212015

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Driving about 20 mph applied brakes suddenly... next time applied brake, brake pedal went to floor was able to stop but barely... and almost hit the car in front of me...brakes lines rusted out....this is a known GM problem....please someone help.... someone could have been killed.....

- Nesconset, NY, USA

problem #28

Dec 102014


  • 90,000 miles
While braking hard for stopped vehicles on interstate highway my 2004 Tahoe brakes failed. It was later determined that my rear crossover brake line had rusted through.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #27

Nov 152014


  • 107,000 miles
Came out of the my driveway and noticed I had to put my foot to the floor to stop the vehicle. I left a trail of brake fluid down the street. Was told by independent mechanic that the brake lines had rusted and completely deteriorated. This is an incredibly dangerous safety issue. I can't imagine what would have happened if I had been driving on the highway at 65 mph and had to stop with my family in the car. I expect to pay some $600 to replace the brake line which should certainly last for the life of the vehicle. This is a major safety issue and should warrant a recall/reimbursement for owners. I have to have this fixed, and can't wait for a recall -- the vehicle cannot be driven in anything approaching a safe manner.

- Burke, VA, USA

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