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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,347 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.

2003 Chevrolet Avalanche electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

May 192009


  • 102,000 miles


2003 Chevy Avalanche caught on fire from defective wires behind radio panel that shorted. Burned all the wiring and smoked the vehicle.

- Butte, MT, USA

problem #30

Apr 012010

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) my 2003 Chevy Avalanche Z-66 has just now developed speedometer problems and I am sorry it is a safety issue and concern but General Motors has brushed it off as no case closed. My speedometer started acting weird, it only works for short distance driving then either shows last speed obtained or zero. My example for GM is this: No other GM vehicle I purchase ever had this problem and even though you may not think of it as a safety issue perhaps you might rethink this thought by getting into a vehicle where the speedometer sporadically works then stops working all together while you are driving. Perhaps GM can tell me how they would/could tell the speed they are going when this happens 0 reading so that I can tell the law enforcement personnel who pulled me over for speeding or driving under the limit that I tried to judge my speed but my GM speedometer stopped working and GM said it wasn't a safety issue. It's a defect and GM has a limit of 70,000-80,000 miles or 7 years which ever occurs first...this is a cop out. I even wrote and addressed an email to [xxx]to no avail. I would like to copy and paste my letter so that you will see that I am seeking a free repair/ replacement including free labor for a new ipc. It is a defect they admit and it is a safety issue and concern that affects many vehicles besides mine no matter how many miles the vehicle has on it. God..this is an american car company, have they not learned anything about loyalty?

- Monroe Township, NJ, USA

problem #29

Oct 012009


  • 110,000 miles
Speedometer on 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche not working, stuck at 120mph. I consider this a safety issue. Other cluster gauges -- tachometer and fuel gauge -- have also failed. Complete cluster needs to be replaced. GM will not correct problem because it is out of warranty. There was a tsb issued by GM to repair the cluster. However, the tsb only requires GM to repair vehicles (at their expense) with less than 70K miles. My vehicle has over 110 miles. Is this problem any less of a safety issue for me than it is for those with less than 70K miles" GM is charging $500 to repair the most important instrument in the car. Speedometer failure is clearly a safety issue that should be corrected. The vehicle"S mileage should not be a determining factor as to whether GM or the owner have to pay for the repair. A speedometer should last for the expected life of the vehicle, not just 70K miles.

- Boylston, MA, USA

problem #28

Jan 062009


  • 92,000 miles


My speedometer in my 2003 Avalanche randomly started going back and forth between working and not working. Now it isn't working at all. I can't afford to have the instrument cluster replaced, with all the problems I have read about, this is something Chevy should fix at no cost.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #27

May 122009


  • 69,000 miles
Engine stalls shortly after starting. Unable to get any response after the initial stall (it would not crack). Battery cables must be disconnected from the battery and reconnected after two to three minutes in order to restart the vehicle. No engine trouble code displayed after the incident.

- Brackettville, TX, USA

problem #26

Mar 052009


  • 100,000 miles

- West Bend, WI, USA

problem #25

Jan 142008


  • 66,000 miles


Just driving my truck to work and the speedometer just quit working now when driving you never know how fast you are going it might stop at 50mph and the next time you drive it will start from there I have not yet had this serviced as I feel this is a major safety issue, and apparently it is a well known problem with Chevy's but they will not stand behind it. I have even gotten a speeding ticket over this.

- Oakland, MD, USA

problem #24

Aug 152008


  • 91,000 miles
At approximately 91K miles the speedometer began to intermittently fail, then at approx. 96K miles, the tachometer began having the same issues. I've noticed on multiple bulletins where hundreds to thousands of people are having this same issue and we're all curious to know why GM has not been instructed to issue a recall. GM has stated (via customer service reps) that knowing your speed is not a safety concern. I pose the question then, why do we have speed limits" of course your speed is a very important safety concern or it wouldn't be regulated. They need to replace these defective products they've put on the road & reimburse those that have already paid to have the repairs completed. Putting a mileage limit on this issue is absurd considering that most people experiencing this issue either got the letter from GM after the 70K mile mark or don't experience the defect until afterwards. Since when does safety have a mileage limit"

- Statesville, NC, USA

problem #23

Feb 202009


  • 78,000 miles
I have 79,000 miles on my 03 Avalanche and about a month ago the speedometer started failing at around 78,000 miles. Researched this problem online and found there was a fix for this defect up to 70,000 miles or 7 years. Was told I would have to pay for it myself! why!! this is a safety defect that shouldn't have a mileage or year stipulation on it!! if you read all the complaints, this happens over the 70,000 or 7 years stipulation with many other owners!!! I've owned many trucks and never had a speedo or cluster problem!! this should be recalled with no mileage or year restraints on it!! very dissatisfied customers out there about this!! this is a safety issue defect that the consumer shouldn't have to pay for!!

- Pine River, MN, USA

problem #22

Sep 152008


  • miles
Had to replace cluster two times for the gauges. Now I am in for the second time in a month for the 4X4....Chevy has had my vehicle more then I have......

- Calrksville, TN, USA

problem #21

Oct 102008


  • 99,000 miles


The speedometer on my 2003 Avalanche sticks at random points and then indicates an incorrect speed which is very unsafe. For example it will stick at 45 mph and then increase from there as the vehicle sped is increased. Or it may slip to some other indicated speed from one moment to the next. Very unsafe. I checked the internet and this problem is being talked about by many, many consumers. I believe that you should issue a recall to require GM (Chevrolet) to fix this problem. Thank you.

- Laveen, AZ, USA

problem #20

Sep 222008


  • 70,000 miles
2003 Avalanche speedometer fluctuates.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #19

Jun 222008


  • 65,543 miles
My speedometer needle started going haywire. Some days it works and some it doesn't. when it isn't working it will say I am doing any where from 30 to 120 when I am not moving. This is a genuine safety hazard and there needs to be a recall done asap. I called the dealership and was told that they would have to duplicate the problem and to see if the vehicle qualifies. I have read many other complaints regarding the same problem.

- Hurlock , MD, USA

problem #18

May 122007


  • 90,000 miles
Speedometer stopped working correctly on my 2003 Chevy Avalanche. Received a letter from GM saying they would replace the cluster on vehicles under 75,000 miles. My vehicle had 90,000. This issue is being experienced by a large amount of owners and is a safety hazard.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #17

Dec 012007


  • 98,000 miles
Speedometer failure- read anywhere from 20 -80 mph while at rest then would move back down to 0 after starting the car several times (dropping 5-10 mph per start) now it is pegged at over 120 mph and will not move.

- Arlington, TN, USA

problem #16

Jul 182007

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,565 miles
Since purchasing this truck on 02/01/2007, there have been multiple problems with the transmission, engine, and electrical system that have not gotten resolved, however they do seem to get worse. The worst of these problems has occurred while driving on the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania turnpike. While attempting to pass another vehicle in the left lane the engine "shut off". I was doing approx. 60-65 mph when this occurred during the am rush hour. After losing engine power I somehow made it safely to the right hand shoulder and let the truck "coast" to a stop. The power steering was not working, nor were the power brakes. After finally stopping, the truck did restart and I slowly continued on my way to work. The truck was taken to a dealership, and for almost (2) weeks the truck sat there while they tried to figure this out. After getting the truck back, the same problem occurred, and it went back to the same dealership. Since then it has been ok, except I have lost dashboard lights, radio lights, and also the cruise control indicator light, they claim other problems, however these issues were never a problem before they worked on the truck. Now I have air-bag lights flash at me while driving, and the transmission is slipping, this was the first problem with the truck that I reported on 03/14/2007 to the dealership that I purchased this truck from. I have already paid over $1500 I repair costs, only to have them tell me it will cost approx. Another $800-$1000 to correct the air-bag, and transmission issues. These should be covered by my warranty, except the dealership insists I pay for the repairs. I have paid enough, and I am at my wit's end with this truck, and the dealership. I feel that I can no longer "safely" drive my family around in this truck, and I still have many years of payments left. ( I have never been late on a payment) please help me, I feel as though I have been sold a "money pit".

- Zionsville, PA, USA

problem #15

Nov 102006

Avalanche 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
After purchasing a 2003 in Aug, its now at 80,000 miles as Nov 06, and the speedometer has broken. According to chev, the fuse for speedometer is location in dash and is part of a cluster unit supporting many instrumentation parts. It cost $550 to replace. I worked with chev for a month trying to obtain a clear answer for this defective safety item. All I got was 75,000 mile warranty has expired. I explained that if anything, a speedometer should work for the life of the car. Six calls later and plenty of "ill get back with you", chev would not stand up to any repair or review of this faulty item at their expense. I would like to know if any other reports on this item have be found and if any recourse is available to consumers with this issue"?" thank you.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #14

Nov 222006

Avalanche 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
2003 Chevy Avalanche - 48K miles. While driving, the speedometer "ticks" somewhat like a watch and does not measure accurate speed. The speedometer will slowly reduce to zero, even though the vehicle is still moving.

- Northville, MI, USA

problem #13

Nov 102006

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
2003 Chevrolet Avalanche; my speedometer suddenly quit working. The readings are crazy, showing that I am going over 100 mph when I am only going about 50 mph. At one stop sign, the speedometer insisted I was going 120 mph! this situation is dangerous.

- Mansfield, TX, USA

problem #12

Oct 152006

Avalanche 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,500 miles
About 3 weeks ago my speedometer needle started going haywire. Some days it works and some it don't. when it isn't working it will say I am doing 30 when I am really doing 70 or I can come to a stop and it says I am doing 20 mph. This is a genuine safety hazard and there needs to be a recall done asap. I have read many other complaints regarding the same problem and they all have seemed to start over the last few months which is right after the 3 year warranty for most of us. My truck has 80K miles on it and I am not about to pay $500 for a safety hazard that GM should pay for.

- Athens, AL, USA

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