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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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #26

Apr 012013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 5,000 miles


It's common knowledge that GM light trucks emergency brakes do not hold, even on brand-new vehicles, encompassing many year and model numbers. Do a google search. GM has issued several bulletins but no recalls. What gives and how many injuries/deaths have to occur for your department to act"??"

- Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #25

Mar 012013


  • 92,529 miles
My brake line rusted and leaked. I now looked online a saw all of the GM vehicles that is affected by this. I am glad I wasn't driving, but somebody is going to be killed. I had no warning and no brake light, the line just started leaking, it is severely rusted.

- Bergenfield, NJ, USA

problem #24

Mar 142013


  • 129,000 miles
Today while I was at a stop with my truck in gear and the brake pedal depressed with minimal pressure, I heard air release and my brake pedal fully depressed to the floor. My brake lines had ruptured causing brake fluid to spill out and my brakes barely worked at all. I had to push the brake pedal into the floor with excessive effort just to slowly roll to a stop at low speeds. Luckily I was just a mile or so away from home and I was able to make the rest of the trip without incident. However, just minutes before the failure I was traveling on the freeway at 65 miles per hour during rush hour. At those speeds it would have been impossible to stop quickly, or at all, if needed had the brake lines had ruptured then. This could have caused a multiple vehicle accident with potential injuries or fatalities. I may not have made it home alive if that were the case which is a very scary thought. This issue really should be addressed.

- Sunbury, OH, USA

problem #23

Feb 152013


  • 135,000 miles
While coming to a stop the brake pedal went to the floor and no brakes were available. Luckily I was towing atrailer with brakes at the time which stopped the truck preventing a crash. A brief look to determine the cause revealed a failed brake line.

- Glen Mills, PA, USA

problem #22

Feb 012013

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 105,242 miles
The first time this happened I was going home from work on the freeway. I was going 65 mph and my engine died I had no power steering and the brake pedal was very hard to push. I was able to put my truck in neutral and restart it. The second time the engine died I was sitting at a red light and it shut off. The third time it happened I was going home from work, just got off the freeway and stopped at the red light. When the light turned green I made a left and was going to the next light to make a right and the engine died. I tried to put the brakes on, but they were very tight and I had no power steering. I had to fight to turn the wheel and just made the turn without hitting the other traffic.

- Salem, OH, USA

problem #21

Feb 082013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • miles
I had an accident on the hwy in Georgia, the steering was hard to control/lock, the tire sled, was rust and corrode on structure, brake area, wheel area, frame, tire broke off, almost flipped and was hit from the back, and twice in the front after slamming into a cement divider and the air bags didn't deploy at all, I injured my left side, neck, back, and hip. Blessed that my pregnant daughter in her 8th month wasn't in the truck with me. I had done multiple repairs on the fuel tank, tire rod, knock sensor, ABS brakes, running board, brakes, rotors, etc, and was told that the rust on the frame won't effect the trucks performance and it was safe to drive because everything is attached to the frame good. I almost lost my life and two of us got injured. If these trucks are having and been having these issues- why do they just pull all of them and give people other options.

- Lil Burn, GA, USA

problem #20

Feb 112013


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the contact attempted to decelerate but the brake pedal went to the floor. The contact downshifted and applied the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. The contact was a certified mechanic and upon inspection, it was noticed that the brake line that leads to the master cylinder had rusted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 61,000. The VIN was not available.

- Murrysville, PA, USA

problem #19

Dec 282012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 113,976 miles
Pulling out of driveway and brakes completely went out. Luckily I was only going around 5 mph. Was able to use emergency brake to slow truck down next to the curb.

- Glen Rock, PA, USA

problem #18

Jan 182013


  • 200,000 miles
Brake lines severely rusted, causing a burst. Emergency brake failed to engage as it was too badly rusted to work.

- Mackinaw, IL, USA

problem #17

Jan 012013

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 87,500 miles
I've noticed a need for increased stopping distance for several weeks then my brake light came on. I checked the brake fluid level and it was low so I filled it up. Two weeks later it came on again. Brought it to the dealer and they informed me that the brake line from the brake pump to the rear brakes was blown out and needed to be replaced. After the repair I visually inspected the other brake lines and they appear to be fairly well rusted and I would not be surprised if they are the next to fail. After reading reports of accidents as a result of brake line failures, my wife and I are growing extremely concerned for the safety and well being of our family, especially our two young children, as this vehicle is our primary means of transportation.

- New Bedford, MA, USA

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