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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 1 of 6)

problem #106

Aug 212018


  • 190,000 miles


I lost my brakes totally not just half of them pulling a small trailer with iron going down a long hill in mankato, mn. On madison ave. I rear ended a pick up which pulled over and I continued rolling down the hill building speed so I had to drive my truck into a wall with my daughter instead of reaching the next intersection. GM has now changed their brake lines in to stainless steal since 2003 because they knew they had problems with their brake lines. My brake lines are on top of frame running back to the rear axle with the gas tank blocking most of the lines. There is only 1.5 inches between the frame and body. Along side is the wiring harness going back to the rear, no room to inspect or see your brake lines. This could of been so worse because of all the traffic and our lives. Do something pls... police report 18-25773 mankato police dept. Before someone gets killed!

- Wells, MN, USA

problem #105

May 102018


  • 195,000 miles
Turning into my driveway, slowing down, applying brakes, the pedal went to the floor, no resistance, park brake didn't, help almost hit my garage, steered toward garden landscape ties, that stopped me, looked under truck, large puddle of brake fluid dripping, both brake lines from the master cylinder to the ABS were rusted badly and dripping.

- Newton, NJ, USA

problem #104

Apr 282018


  • 78,000 miles
Excessive rusting of the frame, brake lines, transmission lines, and fuel lines. The brake, transmission and fuel lines rusted completely out and required a full replacement. The frame has extensive rust and has deteriorated well beyond the frame of my 2003 camaro Z28 which is 9 years older! the truck has less than 80K and has been well maintained, so there is no explanation for the amount and level of rust, except that there were inferior metals and manufacturing materials used in its construction.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #103

Nov 082017

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,258 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. While driving approximately 35 mph and attempting to make a sudden stop, the driver forcefully depressed the brake pedal and the pedal extended to the floor. As a result, the braking distance was extended. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake fluid was leaking due to corrosion in multiple brake lines. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer and local dealer were not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 134,258.

- Floyd Knobs, IN, USA

problem #102

Aug 052017


  • 140,000 miles
The brake line broke due to rust and as I have seen this is a on going thing. GM says it is not a safety issue but it very much is as when the line brakes you lose paddle and at high speed this could kill people. The fact that they do not see this as a safety issue tells me a lot about GM and how they don't care about the people that buy from them. My truck was on the boat launch when the brake failed I'm lucky I did not lose my truck and boat. This needs to be fixed at no cost

- Sadorus, IL, USA

problem #101

Jul 152017


  • 120,000 miles
ABS pump or speed sensor are damaged and not working on this truck. When my vehicle was turned off the ABS pump kept running causing me to pull the fuse for the ABS. Chevrolet is aware of this problem as I have been calling them trying to have them include my truck in the ABS/speed sensor recall which is on other trucks like mine. Chevrolet continues only to recall these trucks which were manufactured in the "salt states" only. As stated on: service brakes, hydraulic:antilock recall for 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche recall announced August 29 2005 NHTSA reference #05V379000 number affected 1,353,718 summary: Certain pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles may experience unwanted antilock brake system (ABS) activation. This condition is more likely to occur in environmentally corrosive areas. This recall will be launched in the "salt belt" states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia only. Consequence: This can cause increased stopping distances during low-speed brake applications, which could result in a crash. Fix: Dealers are to remove the wheel speed sensor and thoroughly clean the wheel speed sensor mounting surface on the bearing, apply rust inhibitor to the cleaned surface, grease the mounting surface, reinstall the wheel speed sensor, and check the peak-to-peak output voltage to ensure the wheel speed signal is within specifications. The recall began September 22, 2005. Owners may contact Chevrolet at 1-800-630-2438 or GMC at 1-866-996-9463. For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning recall #05V379000

- Church Hill, TN, USA

problem #100

May 012017


  • 98,000 miles


With my Avalanche, I was towing a trailer with a car loaded and traveling at less than 10 mph, I applied the brakes to slow for a turn and lost nearly all the braking power. I pulled to the shoulder and noticed that one of the brake lines forward of the ABS module located inside the left frame rail directly beneath the drivers seat had ruptured due to corrosion. Further inspection showed all brake lines in that area were covered with corrosion. All brake line were replaced with new stainless steel lines after researching that this very common problem was not authorized for recall. Repair cost: $950. It would appear that brake problems of this frequency and magnitude should have been subject to recall as it is apparent that it is a design flaw and very dangerous.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #99

Apr 032017


  • 98,000 miles
The brakes failed due to rusted lines almost causing me to wreck

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #98

Feb 042017


  • 97,000 miles
I started to pull out of my drive way and pressed on the brake pedal and it went all the way to the floor I got out and checked under the truck and there was brake fluid leaking out of the line and I found out that the lines had rusted into and this shocked me because I don't think a brake line should rust.all my brake lines are really rusty.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #97

Dec 272016


  • 150,000 miles
Brake lines corroded

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #96

Oct 312016


  • miles


Repeated parking/emergency brake system failures. The vehicle fails commonwealth of Virginia safety inspections at least every other year. Repairs end up costing around $800. This is a common feature in most cars and trucks. The internet is filled with complains regarding the Chevy Avalanche. Why was a recall never issued for the automatic transmission models?

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #95

Sep 112016


  • 200,000 miles
My son was driving my 2002 Avalanche when the brake pedal went to the floor without any prior warning or dash lights. Although he did go through the intersection he was trying to stop for there was no traffic and no accident. The problem was a brake line failing.

- Bloomington, MN, USA

problem #94

Sep 062016


  • 268,000 miles
Lost all braking power while driving. Pedal went to the floor. Drove home slowly, looked underneath and the front brake line had rusted through. Puddles of brake fluid.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #93

Jun 232016


  • 92,894 miles
Engine stall with loss of steering and brakes when turning from tower oaks St onto jones road, a busy 4 lane road. Car stopped in oncoming lane on jones road, just avoiding a head on collision. Crankshaft sensor failure. Had car towed to dealer who infomed me that there was no recall on the crankshaft sensor of the chevrolete Avalanche paid dealer $540. For cransshaft sensor replacement. Have not had a stalling problem sence replacing the cranshaft sensor. This is a very dangerous situation and can cause severe accidents as the loss of steering and brakes is critical.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #92

Jun 152016


  • 260,000 miles
My 02 Avalanche has had all the fuel, em brake, wheel hub while husband was stopping at light when the top caliper bolt came out wedging the caliper between the wheel and bolt this stopped the truck sounded like gun fire and the rest end went 8 ft into the air. Air bag not deployed. Cost days pays and $ new bolt to get back on road, no injury. Plus drvr fr axle pass too. 2nd tranny only 4yrs apart has failed again with my 6 grkids on my 56th B.D. in tx 105 * heat index. It took 4 hours to get home having to stop every 10 min for 20 min because it was overheating. My grkids were heat exhausted as was I. I have had to replace the short column in my steering and I have been jiggling the key to start it for appx 8 years now. 2 fuel pumps in less than a year the last one was stuck for 3 hours at gas station w/3 grkids while my D-N-law was waiting to meet me 2 hours from her home. I think that covers most of the investigations and complaints and not one did Chevy pay for. I didn't bother asking my husband has 2500 school hours in auto mechanic repair. My trim is faded and have to oil it to keep it from cracking. The truck still drives excellent but you people are who I'm going to sue if something catastrophic happens in that truck for your lackadaisical attitude in enforcing the safety laws. How much kick back do you receive from the car companies to not recall their cars and trucks? don't be shocked it is obvious big money dictates what gets recalled. People die for the greed of others and that is pathetic. If you enforced the safety laws stricter there would not be people dying or badly mft'd vehicles causing wrecks scaring people causing ptss. I think this Agency is all about making people think you do something when you don't, at least not until 600million cars have to be recalled. 2 should be enough. 1 a repair 2 not a coincidence. Thank you, [xxx] all while driving information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Canton, TX, USA

problem #91

Jun 042013


  • 50,400 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. The contact stated that brake fluid was leaking and the brakes failed to stop the vehicle. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact mentioned that the brake lines were corroded. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 50,400. Updated 08/04/16

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #90

Jun 042016


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. While driving 20 mph, the brake pedal was depressed but failed to stop the vehicle. The contact collided head on into another vehicle. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was filed and the vehicle was towed. The contact sustained minor injuries, but did not require medical attention. The contact, a licensed mechanic, diagnosed that the brake line was corroded and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was approximately 136,000.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #89

Apr 052016


  • 130,000 miles
I am an owner of a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. Lately I have had continued and consistent unwanted anti-lock brake (ABS) activation when traveling at low speeds and approaching stop signs, stop lights, and yield signs at or near intersections. The unwanted ABS activation appears identical and consistent with GM product recall 05068 and NHTSA campaign number 05V-379 in which 804,000 GMC and Chevrolet vehicles were recalled for unwanted ABS activation. The primary geographic regions affected appears to be the salt belt states. The problem appeared to be ABS wheel sensors not properly prepared prior to installation causing rust and/or corrosion to affect the wheel sensors. Although a check of my VIN does not yield any safety recalls on my specific vehicle, I believe my vehicle is affected by the same front wheel sensor corrosion issue as those vehicles listed in the recall. My vehicle Avalanche which is one of the vehicles affected. I also reside in Illinois which is one of the states affected. I am concerned this may cause and accident. I also believe this is a manufacturer defect and therefor the manufacturer should be accountable for any defect that may jeopardize consumer safety. I would like my wheel sensors cleaned and/or replaced per GM recall and at no cost to me.

- Ingleside, IL, USA

problem #88

Jan 232016

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
Saturday January 23, 2016 during a snow storm my 2002 Chevy Avalanche 2500 VIN# [xxx] lost all brake control due to failed and corroded brake line under driver side door at retainer clip on side of frame without any warning signs of soft pedal or intermittent braking. This is the second truck driven a 2004 1500 with the same failed line in same place on frame. Just before the brake line failed there was a small car in front of me with two small children in the back seat that turned right if they came to a full stop I would have not been able to negotiate around them that could have resulted in injury and or death of the other occupants in the car. I do think that this is a big safety concern for all not just drivers of the affected trucks but anyone or object in its path. I asking for GM to recall all affected vehicles for a repair and replacement of all brake lines at the cost of General Motors with brake lines coated like the poly armor lines to aid in the resistance of corrosion. The current lines are only made of steel with no top coating and are routed in direct spray off of tires and road with no splash shield to protect line from spray or foreign objects from striking lines. Sincerely [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Bristol, VA, USA

problem #87

Dec 262015


  • 7,900 miles
Brake lines are made out of defective materials GM knows they have a problem the lines rust out prematurely. The first one blew out I was backing in a parking space pedal went to the floor. The second one blew at a traffic light pushed on the brake went thru the red light dodged traffic.the third on the interstate traffic was stopping suddenly pushed on the pedal another brake line broke went to the floor and I managed to hit the median cross the middle and get it stopped before a head on collision with the traffic heading the other direction on interstate 81. The rest of the under side is rust and corrosion free only the brake lines are rusted out !.that being said GM has a repair kit with coated lines they always have in stock because they know its a major problem !!! I got a repair estimate from my local dealership $1580 I am replacing all steel lines. Please make them recall this is going to kill someone

- Callao, VA, USA

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