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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
116,722 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 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #56

Mar 082014

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 180,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and the ABS engaged without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. There was a recall related to the failure under NHTSA campaign id number 05V379000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and the contact's VIN was included in the recall however, the contact's state was not mentioned as one of the salt belt states that were eligible for repairs under the recall. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 180,000.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #55

Feb 142014

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 189,567 miles
Slowed rapidly for a vehicle that pulled out in front of me. Brakes worked fine until speed dropped to 15 mph. Then brake peddle went to the floor and brake light flashed and warning chime sounded. Limped vehicle to dealership at closing time. Awaiting estimate and cause.

- Rockford, MI, USA

problem #54

Nov 162013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 62,313 miles
The Avalanche is our tow vehicle (only) which is why it has so few miles for a 2002 model year vehicle. Normally it is towing a 9000 pound 28 foot toy hauler, but just by pure luck it was towing a single axle flat bed trailer with the cab for a 1935 Chevrolet pickup on it back from the body shop. I pulled into the driveway and tried to stop and there were no brakes. Tried to apply the parking brakes and the cable snapped. Stopped by driving up a hill into the grass. Took the Avalanche to the dealer where they told me the brake lines all had to be replaced and they were no longer available from the manufacturer. In the course of getting the brake lines out they found that the fuel lines were also leaking and had to be replaced. The total bill for repair was $2900, plus the vehicle was out of service for 6 weeks. Granted the vehicle is 12 years old, but I have a 1963 studebaker that still has solid brake and fuel lines. It is only by the grace of god that the Avalanche wasn't towing a 9000 pound 28 foot long trailer at 70 mph when the brakes failed. There was no warning light, no indication at all that there was a pending problem. Someone could have been killed. These vehicles need to be recalled, and I need to be reimbursed for the repairs.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #53

Jul 012012


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds, the ABS engaged without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 05V379000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 150,000.

- Roebling, NJ, USA

problem #52

Dec 312013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
Brake pedal went to the floor, used emergency brake to stop. Found brake line under drivers door rusted through and gushing fluid.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #51

Jun 282013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 168,000 miles
Was driving on street from store to home when I noticed brake light on dash came on and then parked in driveway. My son went to use the truck the next day and when he pulled out of driveway to street, could barely stop. Subsequently discovered brake fluid on driveway. Checked brakeline and it was rusted completely with a hole in it. Car has been laid up and not drive-able. Rusting through the brakeline should not happen. This should be repaired under a recall.

- Bridgewater, NJ, USA

problem #50

Dec 272013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


Was driving on NY state thruway with wife and three small children. Women cut in front of me. I pushed on brakes and pedal went to floor. I swerved out of the way and went off the road. Luckily it happened near a clearing otherwise we would have hit something and been seriously hurt and/or killed. Turns out all of my brake line are rusted out and need replacement. Turns out GM used cheaper brake lines and not stainless steel ones.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #49

Oct 142012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 97,930 miles
1. first incident: 10/14/12. Catastrophic brakeline rupture due to corrosion near rear left tire resulting in complete loss of brakes 2. second incident: 10/19/13. Catastrophic brakeline rupture due to corrosion on side of frame near driver side door resulting in complete loss of brakes.

- Staffod, VA, USA

problem #48

Oct 242013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 134,250 miles
Complete brake failure while towing a trailer, pedal right to the floor I'm lucky to be alive. No warning whatsoever brakes had been working fine before incident. Subsequent inspection revealed blown brake line below drivers door at frame rail and all lines look terrible. Online investigation shows this to be very common problem lets get this recall issued before anyone dies. The ability to stop is priority one there is nothing more important.

- Charlton, MA, USA

problem #47

Oct 232013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
When leaving the highway I applied the brakes and they immediately went to the floor, almost rear ending the truck ahead of me. I was able to limp the vehicle home using low gear and what I found out were the rear brakes. After getting home I looked underneath the front end and noticed brake fluid dripping from the front of the truck. The brake lines were horribly rusted. I can't believe in today's age that steel lines would be used when stainless lines are available. The entire brake line system will need replaced.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #46

Oct 062013


  • 76,000 miles


When pulling into my driveway, the brakes pedal went all the way to the floor. I ran into my utility trailer, but no damage was caused. Avalanche is at the garage now, he informed me this is common with Chevy trucks. All brake lines need to be replaced and it will cost between $1000 and $1200.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #45

Sep 172013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Coming up to a traffic light at 45mph the light turned red, I stepped on the brake and it went to the floor. I pumped the brake and used the emergency brake to stop the truck but not it did not stop until I was through the intersection. Luckily there was no crash. The brake line to the rear brakes was blown do to corrosion. After inspecting all the brake lines all were heavily corroded. I replaced all the brake lines with stainless steel lines. After being under the truck for a few days I can see the fuel lines will be the next to change plus the frame and drive shafts look like they came up with the titanic. I really don't expect anything to come of this, as this my way of telling GM how disgusting I find there business model of maximum profit over safety. For a few dollars more for better material this could all have been avoided. If this was Toyota or Honda the news media would be all over it but because it's GM we here crickets.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #44

Sep 212013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
While backing up to connect to a travel trailer brake pedal went to floor and fluid leak developed from underside truck. Limped truck to repair station and have been quoted a price of $1,300 to replace all brake lines. According to shop owner, all of the brake lines appeared to be compromised due to premature rust and were unsafe. Updated 1/15/2014

- Ossining, NY, USA

problem #43

Sep 162013


  • 85,562 miles
Sitting at red light all of a sudden brakes seemed to let go car started to roll back a bit had to push brake pedal to the floor.

- Bath, ME, USA

problem #42

Sep 072013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
After replacing the rear calipers, attempted to bleed the brakes to remove air from the system. While pumping up the system pressure, heard a loud "pop" and the brake pedal went to the floor. Discovered brake fluid leaking under the frame rail underneath the driver's door. Brake lines are completely rusted. Though I currently reside in a salt belt state, the first 6 years of this vehicle's life was in AZ. GM needs to correct this issue before someone is hurt or killed.

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #41

Sep 072013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
I was parked in my drive way, when I released my parking brakes and began to take off. When I applied my brake pedal, I heard a small bursting sound and my pedal went to the floor board of the truck. Luckily I wasn't driving at a faster speed. I pulled the truck over to the side of the road. I looked back onto the pavement. I saw a puddle of brake fluid. I immediately entered the truck and tried to press the brake pedal and it hit the floor, which meant I had no brakes to drive my vehicle. It was a scary to think I could have been driving down the highway with my wife and kids in the truck. I lifted my truck on the rear and perform an inspection. I noticed the black rubber hose had a split in it and the other brake lines were severely corroded. I bought a new rubber and installed it (banjo union-in the center rear) and then began to try pressing the brakes again to see if the problem was solve. Next, I saw more fluid dripping out of driver side metal brake line. I couldn't believe it!! I still could not drive my truck because the rusted driver side brake line had a hole. I wish the dealership tech would have brought this to my attention when I had my brakes and rotors installed. Very dangerous situation!! after reading multiple post on various websites about GM position regarding the rusted lines, I am not going to buy another GM vehicle if I decide to trade this one.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #40

Oct 292009


  • 110,000 miles
10/2009: As I was driving and approaching a red light my brakes went to the floor. Almost going through a busy intersection I was able to maneuver around traffic until I came to a stop. 8/2013: As I was approaching a red light my brakes went to the floor. My brake lines are so badly corroded and rusted as well as my fuel line. Total cost to fix everything is $1500, which with the value of the truck seems absurd to fix, but with the economy I can't afford to trade in and have car payments. I feel that something like this shouldn't be happening multiple times as it is costly and dangerous, I was fortunate to avoid an accident both times. I feel that these lines should have more life to them and shouldn't be so cheap but yet so expensive to fix. Something needs to be done with how "cheaply" vehicles are being made and especially something like this that can cause a fatal accident.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #39

Aug 152013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 150,365 miles
On 8/15/13 in the evening hours I was traveling in my 2002 Chevy Avalanche with my wife and daughter to a friends house when I went to stop for a turn. As I applied the brake I felt a little pressure then heard pop noise and the peddle went to the floor with no warning and the truck would not stop thankfully there was no one stopped to make the same turn. I was able to get slowed enough further down the road at a turn around and got stopped. I got out to look at what had happened and noticed brake fluid leaking from under the truck on the driver side upon further investigation I found the metal brake lines running from the master cylinder to the ABS module on the frame rail corroded severely, about half way down the line I found a large pin hole blew out the side and was leaking, at the time it happened I got no warning lights just brake to the floor. The vehicle has 150000 miles on it and for the last 5 years has mainly been garage kept averaging under 1000 miles a year the last 5 years. I have owned it since 2002. I keep this vehicle very clean, I am in a salt belt state and if I drive it in the winter I always wash under it frequently. I feel this is a direct manufactured problem I also own a old 77 pick up and it has the original brake lines in it and have hardly any corrosion on them. In researching for new brake lines I noticed alot of complaints with this issue and finally got here seeing a case opened way back in 2011. This problem is not going to go away and GM needs to address it before someone gets killed. After talking to my local Chevy dealer there is not even a prebent brake line option to purchase.years ago Chevy issued a recall for the tailgate cables in a quick fashion not sure why a brake problem that is more serious is taking so long to correct.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #38

Aug 152013


  • 195,000 miles
A guy pulled out in front of me and I almost T boned him if he didn't get out of the way, since I didn't get it stopped for another 40 yards past were the accident would have happened. After further inspection the brakeline exploded causing loss of brakepeddle pressure. All of the break lines, especially in the back, are rotted and scaling, and rotor splash guards have rotted away completely. I'm sure GM will point to mileage as a excuse, but there really isn't any rust on or under the except on the brakelines and my none existent splash guards. I drive 600 high way miles a week and expect normal pad/rotor/bearing wear and tear but this is clearly a faulty part.

- Warren, OH, USA

problem #37

Jun 102013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
During a recent brake job done by a dealer, on my front axle, a brake line that runs from the left to right was found to be rusted out and leaking. On further inspection, other lines were identified as having rust on them. The two lines coming directly from the brake cylinder assembly showed heavy rusting where they bend to go back under the chassis. If one of these would have rusted through, half of the braking system would be inoperable. With both of these lines, being installed during manufacture and being in the same environmental conditions, there is a possibility of both failing at the same time or shortly after the other one. If that would happen, the driver would have no way to brake and stop the vehicle.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

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