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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,281 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 Cavalier steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #9

Oct 092014

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Driver was heading South on I684, on the exit ramp to 287 West, in heavy traffic. Vehicle suddenly appeared to shut off, making it impossible to steer and brake. Driver ran off the road and went nose first into a ditch, damaging the frame, radiator, airco and nose of vehicle. The vehicle was totaled as a result.

- Mount Kisco, NY, USA

problem #8

Nov 242012

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
While accelerating on an on-ramp onto an interstate, I was using my multi-function device (signaling my merge into traffic, then once at 65mph setting cruise control) when the car lost power. I was able to turn the steering wheel slightly to the right before the wheel locked. I turned my emergency flashers on and coasted/braked my way to the shoulder of the road. The car was towed to a mechanic who tried to find the source of the problem. The incident was on a Saturday. On Monday when the shop was open for business, they tried the car and it started/ran just fine. They couldn't duplicate the problem so they charged me for the tow only. Previously, the car would fail to start. Similarly dead. I have been told it was the ignition - replaced that twice. I was told it was the fuel pump - replaced that. I was told it was the multi-function switch-replaced that three times. Winter 2013 the car started fine and then a block from home all power went out and engine failed to start up again. Towed car to electrical specialist. They ran diagnostics and found that there was a rusted out wire. Replaced the wire. It happened again six months later. They replaced another wire. I've notice the car will think a blinker is out before the whole electrical system just fails.

- Robbinsdale, MN, USA

problem #7

Apr 292014

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving on the highway and a driver traveling well under the posted speed limit cut in front of me. I stepped on the brakes and the car started sliding and when I attempted turn the wheel to avoid collision, the wheel was locked and would not turn causing me to hit the car square in the rear. Upon impact, both airbags deployed. Airbags never touched me, but the driver's side cover shattered the windshield and the passenger side cover shattered the passenger window.

- Oakland Park, FL, USA

problem #6

Aug 192009


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier. While driving approximately 50 mph on normal road conditions; the steering column and wheel exhibited severe looseness. Immediately, the vehicle speed rate was reduced and continued operation with caution. There were no prior warnings of the failures. The driver experienced extreme difficulty steering the vehicle. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction at this time. The contact had concern of the safety risk involved. The failure and current mileages were 100,000.

- Greenfield, OH, USA

problem #5

Feb 152005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,850 miles
Bought vehicle at 48,048miles...2 weeks after buying vehicle, steering knuckle on drivers side was in need of repair, causing vehicle to make clicking and high pitched noise under coasting and slowing of vehicle. Dealer is replacing steering knuckle on vehicle under warrenty.

- Apalachin, NY, USA

problem #4

Jan 172005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When turning steering wheel could hear grinding noise. Dealer greased the problem which went away for awhile. When the noise came back the dealer said the steering gear needed to be replaced. This car has 58000 miles. The steering has become extremely dangerous and saftey hazard.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

Nov 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles


Had a problem with steering, noticed it before I purchased the car, the dealer said they would fix it. What they did was install rack and reset alignment. The car was fine after this for about a month and then started having the same problem again. The dealer is saying now it is a different problem, but I am still having the same kind of steering problem. And so they want me to pay for the repair, even though they haven\\'t fixed the original problem.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #2

Mar 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,677 miles
Bought the car on 5/27/02. Since then the rack and pinion failed in March 2003, the dealership realized it was a problem only in May 2003. The steering grinds metal on metal when driving----the horn died 2 times, their was and still is a pulsation in the brakes--a rattling in the suspension. GM put out a pi (product investigation out on it)--said their is no fix, but steering problems are not dangerous, and they will not do anything, I have filed complaints here, w/ the BBB auto-line, and NHTSA as well as hired my own personal lawyer as I heard GM fights people tooth and nail.

- Milford, MA, USA

problem #1

Mar 252003


  • miles
I own a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier and was driving down the road the road bends to the left (slightly) the speed limit was 30 mph I proceeded to negotiate the turn at 20-25 mph which I have done thousands of times the car came out of the turn and would not recover the steering went out and the car went out of control striking a tree and injuring myself the car was a total loss.

- Folsom, PA, USA

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