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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,070 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #50

Jun 032011

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph when the brake warning light illuminated and the brake pedal was depressed to the floor board, reducing braking pressure. The contact stated that the failure was constant and the brake pedal needed to be depressed to the floor in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostics or repairs. The contact referenced an open investigation relating to the failure under NHTSA action number: EA11001 (service brakes, hydraulic service brakes, hydraulic:foundation components:hoses, lines/piping, and fittings). The approximate failure mileage was 76,000. Updated 08/01/11 updated 08/11/11

- Cohoes, NY, USA

problem #49

May 132011


  • 86,830 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start immediately; however, after several attempts, the contact was able to turn the vehicle on. The failure recurred the following day. She purchased a battery but the vehicle was making an unusual noise. She also noticed that the ABS light illuminated on the instrument panel. She turned the vehicle off but the noise continued. When she tried to start the vehicle the following day, the battery was dead. The dealer advised her to unplug the ABS motor. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the ABS motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included in recall 05V379000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock). The current mileage was 86,835. The failure mileage was 86,830.

- Rayville, LA, USA

problem #48

May 062011

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
2002 Chevy Avalanche brake failure due to corrosion of brake lines and loss of fluid.

- Corry, PA, USA

problem #47

Feb 262011


  • 230,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche. The contact was driving 15 mph when the brakes were applied and the brake pedal went to the floor abnormally followed by the illumination of the brake warning lamp. She mentioned that the driver was able to stop the vehicle by using the emergency brake. The vehicle was taken to a local shop who stated that the master cylinder and the brake lines needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileage was 230,000.

- Metamora, MI, USA

problem #46

Mar 012011


  • 89,000 miles
Sudden brake failure while driving. Upon inspection 1 brake line burst the other 3 were severely corroded and about to fail.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #45

Mar 012011


  • 89,000 miles
Sudden brake failure while driving. Upon inspection 1 brake line burst the other 3 were severely corroded and about to fail.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #44

Feb 202002


  • 160,000 miles


2002 Chevrolet Avalanche Z-71, brake lines rusty to the point of failure at anytime, spongy pedal, and difficulty stopping. At present time have not repaired due to extreme cost. If there is a catastrophic failure of the brake system there will be a massive class action law suit (if my family and I survive).

- Homosassa, FL, USA

problem #43

Feb 062011

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 89,580 miles
I experienced a brake line failure on my 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 4X4 while vacationing in Florida. On Sunday, February 6, 2011, I noted that the brake pedal feely spongy. Upon investigation, I noted a leakage behind the driver side front tire. When I checked the brake fluid reservoir it was below the normal level. An inspection of the brake lines indicated severe rust and corrosion. I had to drive to the nearest repair shop and rent a car until the repair was complete.

- Honeoye Falls, NY, USA

problem #42

Sep 252008


  • 125,000 miles
I wanted to add to the complaint about brake erosion on 2002 Chevy Avalanche. My front brake line blew out when braking. I nearly missed the car in front of me that was stopping when I drove off the side of the road. I've also had to replace nearly all my brake lines due to leaks. I live in up-state New York.

- Verona, NY, USA

problem #41

Dec 232010

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I was driving down the highway and came up to a traffic light that changed just as I was getting to it. I had to hit the brakes a little harder than normal to make sure I stopped in time. Everything seemed fine at first but about 30 feet from the light the brake pedal went to the floor and I wasn't stopping. Fortunately, no one was in front of me and the cross traffic hadn't started to move yet. I ended up not being able to stop until I was well into the intersection. When I got the truck to the shop they found out that one of the steel brake lines that run along the frame had blown out. All of the metal lines on the frame rails are very rusty and need to be replaced. The repair is estimated at $1000. Thankfully no one was hurt but this could have caused a very serious accident. These lines should be made out of noncorrosive metal like stainless steel to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

- Chesapeake Beach, MD, USA

problem #40

Nov 122010


  • 75,685 miles


While travelling on interstate 95 I applied my brakes to slow the vehicle only to learn that the brake system had failed. This was caused by a leak in the ridge metal brake line which comes in contact with the cars frame. Upon investigating I have learned that this condition is a known problem for this vehicle. If I hadn't tried to apply the brakes on the open highway and had waited until exiting the highway this could have resulted in a very serious multi car accident.

- Newtown, PA, USA

problem #39

Oct 172010


  • 93,000 miles
According to my local GM dealer's service manager my problem with my Chevrolet Avalanche break lines rusting through and causing break failure is due to the fact that GM built these vehicles with a material that is not resistant to corrosion. Hundreds of complaints can be found on the internet regarding this problem, but thus far no recall has been made. For a few extra dollars vehicle manufacturers should be required to make this (break lines) from a rust resistant material. GM will probably do everything it can to avoid recalls but believe me it's not an isolated problem... it's accidents waiting to happen!

- Patton, PA, USA

problem #38

Oct 172010

Avalanche 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Re: Chevrolet Avalanche brake failures... the brake lines on Chevrolet trucks are made of a material that is not rust resistant and leads to brake failures such as it did on my 2002 Avalanche... although my failure happened at low speed, it is a definite safety concern for owners of these GM products. Hundreds of complaints are listed on various web sites detailing this problem, one that GM will not hone up to because the repair bill to replace the entire break line system costs owners over $800 at a GM dealer. Please look into this GM failure to put rust resistant materials on this very important part of any vehicle.

- Patton, PA, USA

problem #37

Jul 272010


  • 57,490 miles
On 07/27/2010 I was driving my Chevy Avalanche, 2002, with 57000 miles on it. I came to a stop sign and the brakes failed. I investigated and the drivers side rear hard brake line had rusted through. I replaced both rear lines, bled the brakes drove the truck to test the brakes and the drivers front hard line blew out, it had an 1/8 inch hole rusted in it.

- Coatesville, PA, USA

problem #36

Aug 162010


  • 120,000 miles
The brake lines on my 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche are severely corroded (rusted). I already had a ten-foot section of the tubing replaced this summer. Since a 'hard stop' last week, my brake pedal now has a soft mushy feel, and braking distances are longer. Another section of the brake lines seems to have 'burst' and is leaking brake fluid. I'm taking it back to the shop to have the entirety of the brake lines replaced. Hoping I'll eventually be able to get the cost of this repair covered by GM, as I don't think these should fail (ever), even after the warranty has expired.

- Grafton, MA, USA

problem #35

Aug 162010


  • 105,500 miles
Truck sitting in yard and brake line failed.

- Hampstead, NC, USA

problem #34

Aug 092010


  • 133,005 miles
Sudden loss of brakes upon brake application. Brake fluid leaking from brake line where brake line connects to brakes.

- Moscow, PA, USA

problem #33

Jul 152010


  • 48,000 miles
Frame corroded/buckled; brake failure(had a near accident) due to rust. 2002 Chevy Avalanche, well cared for 48,000 miles. Never seen this on any other vehicle I have owned. $6,000 dollar repair. GM won't look into/address problem. I have read numerous messages on this same problem with GM vehicles. It is not an isolated incident. Had to replace brake lines twice(rust) and now the frame!

- Pittston, ME, USA

problem #32

Aug 282009

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • 46,798 miles
Coming up to stop sign on a downhill back road, I experienced partial brake failure followed quickly by complete brake failure as I tried to stop the vehicle. Fortunately, I was only doing 5mph or less at that point but I went thru the stop sign and had to make an abrupt turn to the right and onto a shoulder to avoid hitting a car coming from my left. Again, I was still heading downhill and picking up speed. I tried to use the emergency brake but it wasn't effective much so I pulled the tranny down into second and ultimately down to first to get the speed down. I was able to turn into a local cul-de-sac which at first goes down hill and then uphill. I was finally able to stop and from there I limped the 1/4 mile back to my house in first gear and park it. I called aaa for a tow truck and had it towed to my mechanic. He reported to me that the entire brake line system was badly corroded and asked me if I parked the vehicle a lot at the seashore. I told him "no" but I don't garage the vehicle either especially during the winter. He said that ha had never seen anything like it. He had to replace all of the brake lines, hoses, fittings and bleeder screws. It cost $1,246.12 and, yes, he showed me all of the lines and parts which he removed---I couldn't believe it. I considered filing this report at the time but #1: I'm a procrastinator and #2 I thought it was a fluke since again I don't garage my vehicle, I don't drive it that much ( 50K miles in approx. 9 yrs) and I get a lot of salt on the vehicle during the winter since I live on a hill. I'm now sorry for not reporting this sooner since I no longer have the old parts of my braking system available to me but I figured I better let you know just what happened in my case because I read a newspaper article on 04/05/10 that said you were looking at 110 complaints of brake failures in General Motors SUVS of all sorts.

- Mahopac, NY, USA

problem #31

Apr 212010

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 93,158 miles
I am currently having a problem with my 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche as to unwarranted ABS activation. The vehicle is unable to stop a low speeds or hesitates at 5 mph coming to a stop. I began to have this problem about a week ago, on or about April 14th, 2010. I conducted a search of your web site and saw that there has been previous complaints from 2005. I contacted Chevrolet at the number provided in your recall bulletin # 05V-379. When I spoke to a customer service representative they told me my VIN # did not qualify for the recall. Chevrolet will not honor any repair to this vehicle which I believe clearly falls within the make/model/year. I plan to have the repairs made, and file suit against Chevrolet for the cost of those repairs.

- Ramsey, NJ, USA

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