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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,810 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.

2002 Chevrolet Avalanche brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Chevrolet Avalanche Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #43

Feb 202011

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 15,000 miles


2002 Chevy Avalanche parking/emergency brake issue. Its inspection sticker time again and for the 7th year in a row I am dumping my wallet into the E brake. I understand stuff needs to be replaced over time but this is not right. This year all new cables and new adjustment screw kit....and behold still no holding power need new shoes again. This for something that is never needed in practical sense.

- Athol, MA, USA

problem #42

Dec 032010


  • miles
Emergency brakes continue to fail although rarely used. Repairs never last. It is impossible to repair a design flaw. NHTSA is just like the sec in that they have dropped the ball on this one. This is a very, very common failure on the Avalanche. The emergency brake is now called a parking brake on the complaint form and most people stop at "brake, hydraulic" instead of scrolling further down. The form should have the selection---"brake, emergency", but it doesn't. therefore, there is no emergency.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #41

Apr 302010


  • 25,000 miles
2002 Chevy Avalanche, parking brake wears out and fail with out being used. Replaced under warranty and it failed again within 3 months, has not worked since. I feel my safety is at risk, but cannot afford to repair every 3 months.

- Murphy , TX, USA

problem #40

Dec 272009

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 134,700 miles


At the end of December, we were traveling down the highway at approximately 55 mph. I went to apply my brakes and the pedal went completely to the floor. I realized that I had no brakes. I down shifted and coasted to the nearest garage. After a thorough investigation, the mechanic informed me that the entire brake system needed replaced. At a hefty price, I replaced it all. The old parts are not available.

- Oakdale, PA, USA

problem #39

Mar 042010

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Parking brake fails to hold vehicle in any attitude. System is poorly designed and is typical of GM SUVS and light trucks. System design and execution is a safety hazard.

- Springfield, TN, USA

problem #38

Jun 232009


  • 160,000 miles
My emergency brake failed almost causing my car to roll into traffic. The emergency brake should be there when you need it.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #37

Nov 182003


  • 15,000 miles


The parking brake has not worked since 2003 on my 2002 Avalanche which has 53000 miles on it. Had it checked out and could not find the cause.

- Clinton Twp., MI, USA

problem #36

Nov 012007


  • 92,000 miles
Parking brake failure - does not work - due to premature corrosion technician at dealer stated this is a common problem with the Avalanche. The cost to repair the parking brake and all the affected parts is approx. $ $600. Technician stated this should be a recalled item.

- Holyoke, MA, USA

problem #35

Dec 032007

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,602 miles
I was refused an annual inspection because of no emergency brake. I was then informed that 2002 series of Chevrolet truck had a common problem with emergency brake failure. I was then told Chevrolet did a silent recall on trucks with a standard transmission and paid for the repairs. However I have an automatic transmission and the repairs cost $525.88. Also I was told to set the brake to insure that it wouldn't fail in the future. Nothing in owners manual tells you to set em. Brake so it wouldn't wear out by not being set in order to keep it aligned to prevent wear.

- Greenville, TX, USA

problem #34

Dec 272007


  • miles
General Motors service bulletin #02-05-26-002 2002-2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 series models I have this problem and GM or the dealership tells me 'tough luck' this is !@#$% and they need to address this parking brake issue!!! every repair person I take to knows about this issue so it's not something obscure!!

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #33

Oct 012007

Avalanche 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


At the first of October I received a letter from onstar stating that my service would no longer be available for my 2002 chevorlet Avalanche beginning Jan 2008. Onstar is a safety device on my truck...and was the deciding factor in choosing a GM vehicle. Some other family members have 2003 gmcs and they are repairable but mine is not. I find this hard to believe..they just do not want to pay for it. I have had some trouble with my truck, eg- hardbody fading, would not pass inspection 3 years back B/C emergency brake was recall but the part was redesigned..hmmm, tailgate leaking water, a loud popping noise that took 4 long times at the dealer for them to find, but I can live with all this...but my onstar was a great piece of mind, esp with an illness and now a new baby. I will never purchase a GM again, B/C they have dumped all of us with analog service like a disease...I was told I could trade my truck and onstar would give me an additional year free! big wow...that is an insult. My truck was just paid for in August and in October I find out the big safety device of onstar is over.

- Mount Airy, NC, USA

problem #32

Sep 202007

(reported on)


  • miles
2002 Chevy Avalanche with a non functioning parking brake. Customer states that if any of the defective vehicles were to get into an accident it could seriously injure or maybe even result in death for someone.

- Ringwood, NJ, USA

problem #31

Aug 102007

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
2002 Avalanche emergency brake isn't working and the rear end went out in it yesterday 8/10/07 at 92,000 miles.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #30

Jan 282007

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
- the contact stated that the 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche had parking brake shoe. Problems. The contact stated that the rear shield came off and had exposed the parking brake shield to the elements. The emergency brake pad wore out, and the emergency brake didn't work. The contact replaced all of the brakes in the vehicle. The contact had the emergency brake adjusted, and the service mechanic stated that this is not common with the Avalanche vehicles.

- Dracut, MA, USA

problem #29

Sep 222002

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
Failure was/is inevitable. Parking brake shoes are poorly secured, they are allowed to float inside of hat of rotor. Drivers side has the retaining clip oriented (upside down) where the floating brake shoe is kept in contact with hat area of rotor by gravity at all times. What is worse, is that the area of the shoe having no pad is in contact. This caused the metallic portion of the shoe to grind over a 1/4" into hat area of rotor. Bought new and after 1 month, emergency brakes failed, had to rely on transmission in park. Dealership said I must use emergency brakes frequently to keep adjusted...not true, there is no adjustment w/O pulling rotor off.

- Colbert, OK, USA

problem #28

Aug 072006

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
Parking brake failure. 2002 Z71 Chevrolet Avalanche brake did not last a year. General brake failure. Brakes were never enough to stop car safely. Note they really fail when going over bumps. Replaced rotors twice and pads 3 times and I'm at 60K!

- Charlton, MA, USA

problem #27

Oct 012005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Alot of squeezing in parking brakes. Parking brakes didn't work, check breaks, rt. Brake pad burnt out. Release system doesn't release. Had to remove pads. I am currently driving around w/O emergency brake ring pads.

- Howell, NJ, USA

problem #26

Jul 152006


  • miles
Parking brake doesn't work.

- Bridgewater, NJ, USA

problem #25

Jun 202006

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
I own 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 that will not pass inspection in Texas due to the failure of my parking brake to keep the vehicle from moving after the parking brake has been applied, and the vehicle put into drive. I understand that a recall has been issued for vehicles with manual transmissions that are equipped with the same type of parking brake that my vehicle has. I read federal notice DP05-009 outlining a response from a complaint regarding the parking brake failure that was due to a faulty retaining pin that GM has now corrected. The response stated that since automatic transmissions had parking pawls, a recall was not warranted. If the state of Texas considers the failure of the parking brake to be a safety hazard in automatic transmissions, why does the NHTSA deem that it is not a defect.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #24

Oct 252005

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The parking brake on my 2002 Avalanche has corroded. The Chevy dealership wants $500 to fix it. GM has changed the parts, which requires a complete change of the entire parking brake system. This is a defect that should have been recalled.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

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