NHTSA — Service Brakes Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,264 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 Cadillac CTS brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Cadillac CTS Owner Comments

problem #15

Dec 162015


  • 42,473 miles


Customers brake light came on while driving to repair shop, 3 mile trip, fluid was low, P/S front hose was swollen and busted leaking fluid, D/S front hose was swollen. Loss of breaking control evident while pulling car into shop. Contacted dealer to check on recall, was informed vehicle was not included. All signs, including VIN break were the same. Repair is being done in facility, not under recall.

- Keswick, VA, USA

problem #14

Dec 192014


  • 54,578 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer to be serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 14V394000 (electrical system). The contact was informed by the technicians that the brake lines and calipers needed to be replaced due to corrosion. The contact was advised of NHTSA campaign number: 10V105000 (service brakes, hydraulic) however, the vehicle was not included. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 54,578.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #13

Feb 212015


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle failed to stop after the brakes were engaged. The brake pedal was depressed to the floor boards. The vehicle was not taken in for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Sioux Falls, SD, USA

problem #12

Oct 282014


  • 115,909 miles


Was entering the on ramp on to a freeway and just tapped the brake and noticed and heard the left front tire grind and the steering wheel pulled to the left real hard. I was going into a blind under pass and thought that if it seized up around the blind corner I would surely be in an accident. I first thought that a stone chip was in between the brake and rotor. The car was towed away to a aaa location about 3 miles away. The service station then took it out around the block and was not able to duplicate. The put the car up and the lift and could not see anything that was wrong. Then I took them out around the block real slow and the left front brakes would grind away. They tested it and could not find anything wrong no error codes. They I said could drive the car home from san diego to South orange county not didn't make it a block away before it locked up the left front tire. Was able to limp to marvin K. brown auto center about a mile away and it was there for two weeks and $500 for a steering sensor replaced. Then it continued to happen and the Cts was taken to tustin Cadillac and they tried to correct the problems after spending 2 days at the dealer and $1700 later the car continues to have not only the left front but now it is the right front. The brakes continue to activate on both the left and right front at anytime at any speed. This last time it felt like the left rear activated, the car got out of control every one around me backed off. I have been driving the car through the locking of left or right front tires and it does say ding and read " check stability system" this car it no longer save to be driven and I was told the last part to fix it is "obsolete" the only thing that might work is to disable the "stability system" by unplugging the fuses on in the trunk on up front.

- Mission Viejo , CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 092015

CTS 6-cyl

  • miles
Noticed oil puddle under vehicle which lead to discovery of total brake failure. When discussed with dealer service manager stated "so what I have a denali at home with the same problem". GM offered no relief or solution when contacted.

- Roselle, NJ, USA

problem #10

Oct 102014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 10V105000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and NHTSA campaign number: 14V394000 (electrical system). The contact stated that the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The contact did not experience a failure.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #9

Jan 122014


  • 104,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. While driving approximately 70 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver and the engine stalled. The driver side door latch became inoperable, and the brake, check engine, and traction control indicators illuminated. The contact waited for a few minutes and the vehicle restarted. The failure occurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, but the cause of the failures could not be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 104,000.

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #8

Aug 012014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that the brake pedal was depressed and traveled to the floorboard abnormally. The contact applied the emergency brake and shifted into park in order for the vehicle to stop and avoided rolling away. The contact mentioned that the failure was becoming progressively worse. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unavailable.

- Selma, AL, USA

problem #7

May 302014


  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and traveled abnormally to the floorboard. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the mechanic diagnosed that the caliper was corroded and detached. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 10V105000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The approximate failure mileage was 131,000.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #6

Jun 202013

CTS 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
My car fail to stop on the interstate I-80 caused a crash. With alot injury on my body.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #5

Aug 052013

CTS 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles


This morning when I backed my Cts out of the parking spot to go to work I noticed the brakes were a little soft. I then parked the car and opened the hood to look at the brake fluid reservoir and noticed it wasn't completely full but there was still a sufficient level of fluid. I then looked at the ground and noticed a line of liquid that traced my movement backwards out of the parking spot and then back into the parking spot, this liquid was brake fluid. Imagine my surprise at having a second GM vehicle with a brake line failure 30 days after experiencing a brake line failure for the first time in my 40+ years of driving and owning vehicles. The first was a 2001 Tahoe which I reported last month to NHTSA and which cost me over $1,000 to replace all of the brake lines. After work this evening I examined the Cts and discovered extreme corrosion in the two brake lines running from the master cylinder to the ABS unit in the front of the engine bay. The corrosion is worst where the lines run behind the radiator and it appears both lines have failed. The lord must have been looking out after me because last night I drove 37 miles from baltimore on the interstate. Had the brakes failed then I imagine I would have been in a spectacular accident on I-95 that may have taken my life as well as others. GM recalled the Cts for brake line corrosion by the calipers where the line connects inside a rubber piece. NHTSA is investigating brake line corrosion on 1999 to 2003 full size GM trucks and pickups and I suggest the investigation be expanded to include all GM vehicles of this vintage as it appears GM used an inferior grade of steel in their brake lines in all of the vehicles.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #4

Apr 102013

CTS 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated while driving various speeds the third brake light would not illuminate upon depressing the brake pedal and the rear brake light plastic panel housing was faulty. In addition, the center of the frame exhibited severe corrosion. The defect was not diagnosed nor was it repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the defect. The failure mileage was unavailable. Updated 09/05/13

- Aurora, OH, USA

problem #3

Nov 132012

CTS 6-cyl

  • miles
As I was driving down the highway, the stability control light came on, then the brakes seemed to jerk a little and the car lost most of it's power. I had a mechanic test it, and they said they couldn't find a reason for it. The stability control light stayed on, but I didn't seem to have the problem again until about 2-3 months later when I was going 70 down the highway, lost all power and the motor shut down. Cadillac would not restart, had to have it towed over 2 hours back home, only to find that this time the timing belt had broken and the motor is blown since these cars have interference motors which causes the valves to get bent when the timing belt breaks. I am now without a vehicle and was almost in 2 accidents due to this. Another issue is the light cover from the lights on the trunk came off in the car wash and broke. Apparently this is a known issue yet Cadillac refuses to fix it. Their adhesive was not strong enough to hold on the plastic. This was my first Cadillac, and will be my last. They are dangerous and they refuse to fix their failures.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #2

Oct 082012


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Cadillac Cts. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle hesitated and all of the lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the ABS control module failed. The vehicle was not repaired because the contact was advised by both the dealer and the manufacturer that the part was not being manufactured by them any longer. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- Clive, IA, USA

problem #1

Jan 022012


  • 108,000 miles
I was driving home from work when this first happened. All of a sudden a loud screeching noise and the brakes would not stop in time. I had to pump the brakes to work. I took my car to Cadillac in Arizona and they had it for 2 days and could not find an issue. I drove home that day with it and sure enough it did it while I was home. It had now began to jerk me to the right and left when I press on the brakes, scaring me thinking I am going to hit the car next to me. I took it to midas this time and they noticed a problem and said maybe its a wheel barring. They replaced issue duplicated itself shortly after. Since I did not have a second car or pay for a rental I had to take my car home to go back to work the next day. This problem is a safety hazard and I have even been pulled over because the cop asked why I was swerving while driving. I told the office its the code that comes up on my screen and it makes my car halt while driving and I can not control it. He stated that its a very serious issue and if another officer was on duty they might impound my car due to a safety hazard but he would give me a chance to take it home to go to the shop. I am almost close to trading in my vehicle and buying a new one, but not a Cts. If Cadillac can't solve this, the creator, who can? I am scared I'm going to veer off the freeway or hit a car on the way to work. I drive an hour to and from work everyday and my safety is the utmost concern to me and my family.

- San Tan Valley, AZ, USA

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