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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 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #16

Dec 292012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 103,000 miles


This is second failure of brake line. No indication other than severe rust under vehicle. Loss of stiffness in pedal when attempt to brake down hill in snow/ice. Brake light came on, needed to use transmission to control speed. Vehicle did sustain damage when unable to control speed enough it crashed into a structure. This also caused damage to structure. No injuries because most people in vehicle were able to get out. This vehicle has had both wheel sensors fail and entire hub assembly fail. The brake line has failed at about 40,000 miles but was covered by warranty by manufacture. No injuries at that time because of experienced driver behind the wheel as well as this incident as reported.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #15

Dec 072012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph and depressing the brakes, the brakes failed and the pedal abnormally traveled to the floorboard. The contact coasted through an intersection before applying the emergency brakes to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic for diagnosis where they advised him that the brake lines were rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the brake lines. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 120,000. The current mileage was approximately 143,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Elysburg, PA, USA

problem #14

Nov 132012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
Approaching a traffic light and going about 35 mph, I was planning on stopping so I was coasting at a slow speed, however as I pushed on the brake pedal to begin braking the brake pedal went right to the floor and applied very little braking. I did stop in time however if there were a car in front on me I am certain that I would have rear ended that vehicle. Upon inspection it was determined that the left rear brake line broke and depleted the system. The break was caused by corrosion to the brake line. All the brake lines had considerable corrosion. The repair cost $1400 because all the brake lines had to be replaced. I feel that I am very lucky that this failure occurred where it did. I also feel that GM has a very serious problem on their hands and should be doing more to prevent this failure. I did call Chevrolet customer service and received no help what so ever. I have to hope that there is a recall to get any reimbursement. This problem has the potential to hurt or even kill people. I hope the NHTSA is paying close attention and can somehow take action sooner than latter. I am more concerned about preventing injuries than getting my $1400 back.

- Southampton, NJ, USA

problem #13

Nov 112012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 168,613 miles
Getting ready to leave home and noticed a leak near the left rear tire. I crawled under the truck and noticed a drip from the brake line. At this time, my wife was going to move the vehicle from out in front of the garage and I advised her not to hit the brakes to hard as there was a leak. When she hit the brakes to start the vehicle the petal went to the floor and fluid sprayed everywhere. I feel fortunate it happened when it did versus out on the road.

- Mineral Wells, WV, USA

problem #12

Jul 022012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
Was going to dinner and when we were coming up to the entrance, I hit the brakes and they went to the floor. Luckily I was able to get stopped in time and no one was in the way. The 2nd time was coming back from the outer banks. I haven't seen a truck rust out so bad before in my life.

- Vienna, MD, USA

problem #11

Oct 142012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 97,065 miles
Complete brake failure due to brake line rupture near rear left tire.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #10

Oct 042012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
While backing out of driveway, I hit brakes, pedal went to the floor and I hit my dumpster. Found that a rusted brake line burst.

- Berkley, MA, USA

problem #9

Sep 192012

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
As I was about to park my Avalanche in the street in front of my home I pressed the brake pedal to come to a stop and the brake pedal was firm and then became soft and depressed quickly quite farther than normal. The Avalanche continued to roll and I had to pump the brakes to get it to come to a full stop. After getting out of the vehicle I inspected the underside of the vehicle and found a great deal of brake fluid on the under body and puddled on the ground. As I inspected the vehicle I found that the brake lines were heavily corroded and flaking off rusted material. The brake line failed because of weakened tubing caused by excessive corrosion. The brake light did not come on and there was no preliminary warning of brake failure. The failure of the brakes caused the vehicle to have an excessively longer distance to stop than normally would be acceptable. I frequently tow a 6,500 lb pull behind camper with my Avalanche and if this brake failure had occurred during towing and in traffic during a stop it most likely could have caused an accident.

- Huxley, IA, USA

problem #8

Sep 112012


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact stated that while stopped at a traffic light with the brakes applied, the vehicle continued to move forward. The contact inspected the vehicle and discovered that the brake fluid reservoir was completely empty. The contact added more brake fluid to the vehicle and noticed later that there was an abnormal increase in stopping distance and time after the adding the brake fluid. The contact later discovered that the brake lines were rusted. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic to have the brake line replaced. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Youngsville, NC, USA

problem #7

Aug 062012

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 154,200 miles
Rear brake line had completely rusted and caused brake line to rupture. Causing no brakes and had to put truck in ditch to stop vehicle. Rusted line was above frame rail just above left rear tire. Found other area where line was rusted severely.

- Springfield, WV, USA

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