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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
11 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
117,977 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 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #36

Aug 112013


  • 204,000 miles


I was parking and when I stepped onto the brake pedal it went the wholeway to floor. Luckily there was a curb in front of me or I wouldhave crashed into a stored loaded with people. After investigation found out brake line rusted through. Found out you are investigating. How many years is it gonna take or how many must die before you take action.

- Felton , PA, USA

problem #35

Aug 022013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
Driving with my children on the highway.. went to apply the brake to stop.. pedal went to the floor and vehicle won't stop... then went to apply E-brake and that failed as well... (I up keep the truck very well so this was not issue)... I was lucky enough to avoid a serious wreck... upon investigation I have found all of the brake lines rusted out.. I also have researched this as a major issue... with these trucks.... are we really gonna wait till somebody is killed?

- Tewksbury, NJ, USA

problem #34

Jul 192013


  • 204,000 miles
I was visiting family and I was getting ready to drive back home (3 hour drive) and I was in the vehicle and put my foot on the brake to start the vehicle and my foot all of a sudden went to the floor. I got out and saw oil coming from my left rear wheel and determined that it was brake fluid. I had to have the vehicle towed to the mechanic shop and found out that the brake line was rusted through and just started spitting out brake fluid. This appears to be something that is common due to the material that is used to make the brake lines. This could have easily happened in traffic causing injury to my family and others. This should be looked into before someone is seriously injured.

- Berlin , MD, USA

problem #33

May 242013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
Brake line burst while driving at 30mph. Had two brake lines replaced. Then three weeks later another brake line popped. Had two more brake lines replaced. Total cost $900.

- York, PA, USA

problem #32

Jul 082013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Wife driving home when approaching a stop sign she applied brakes. Vehicle continued through stop sign exposing my wife and 14 year old daughter to possible injury from cross traffic. Wife had to pull vehicle onto grassy median to get it to stop completely since (by her estimate) brakes barely worked at all (maybe 20%). the brake warning light only came on after I had the vehicle almost to the repair facility. There was no other warning or indication that anything was wrong with the brakes before they failed. I managed to get the truck to a repair facility after noting severe leakage from one of the rear brake lines and topping off the brake fluid reservoir. Waiting on confirmation from repair shop but it appears that all the brake lines are rusted to a great and will need to be replaced to ensure safety of vehicle operators. I am shocked and dismayed that the NHTSA has allowed this issue to go on without some type of notification from Chevy or the NHTSA regarding this very serious safety issue. Why would Chevrolet build this truck with a stainless steel exhaust system yet use inferior meatl on the brake lines?

- Rockaway, NJ, USA

problem #31

Jul 052013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 43,983 miles
Driving on the highway at 50 mph applied brakes to stop at traffic light and pedal went to the floor. I had no brakes, pulled over to the side of the road and after examination saw brake fluid under truck.

- Delran, NJ, USA

problem #30

Jul 052013


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while driving 7 mph and applying the brakes, the vehicle did not slow down. The contact stated the ABS was active but the vehicle would not stop. The contact then pumped the brakes to stop the vehicle. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic and the mechanic discovered rust around the ABS and brake drum. The mechanic stated the ABS sensors needed to be replaced and the brake drums and mounts needed to be cleaned. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign I.D. 05V379000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and called the manufacturer. The manufacturer stated that due to the state the vehicle was registered in, the vehicle was not included in the recall. The failure mileage was 93,000.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #29

Jun 252013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Rusted brake lines burst causing brake failure.

- Gilford, NH, USA

problem #28

May 242013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
I was traveling at 55 mph when I came to a stop light and while slowing down for the light my brake pedal went to the floor and ended up going through the light. It was a good thing no one was in front of me or I would have collided with their rear end of their car at 55 mph after looking into what happened I noticed my brake like has corroded enough to cause a leak which upon inspection all 4 brake lines running from the master cylinder to the brake management/ equalization system was rusted beyond repair.

- Utica, NY, USA

problem #27

May 232011

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
At 95,000 miles, transmission exploded, replaced. 1 year later, brake line exploded, lost all brake fluid, all 4 brake lines replaced as they were not made of stainless steel and had rusted. 6 months later, differential bearings all worn, affecting steering, differential and related parts all replaced. All explosions took place while driving on local roads, not on the highway, thank god! mechanic (friend of mine) says he never saw any car with as many bad parts as my Avalanche! I also thank god I bought it used. American engineered cars have such bad engineering design that I never buy them new.

- Warren, NJ, USA

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