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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,375 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 Cavalier accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #8

Aug 102011


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier. The contact was driving 30 mph when the defroster was engaged and the contact began to see black smoke coming the vents. The contact merged onto the side shoulder and seconds later, the vehicle caught fire from the ventilation system. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer were notified of the failure. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and current mileage was 90,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 9/27/11 updated 3/29/12

- Dratut, MA, USA

problem #7

Dec 252009


  • 108,000 miles
I own a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier ls and on Dec. 25 when I turned on the rear defrost button smoke started to come out from inside the steering wheel column. I could not get the rear defrost to turn off so I had to turn off the car and remove the fuse to it. Shortly after this incident the power windows have stopped working and the fuse to them is still good, I replaced it just in case but the windows still do not work. The odometer has also stopped working so I have had to guess my speed. I feel that this is a huge safety concern since the rear defrost does not work I cannot see out the rear window on cold days, I also cannot tell how fast I am driving which can cause an accident, and the power windows have stopped working. The car is due for inspection next month and I cannot afford to fix these problems, this is my only vehicle and rely on it to get to and from work everyday. I have also placed a complaint with General Motors concerning this issue as I feel that the problems that have occurred are a result of poor or hurried workmanship in that area of the vehicle's manufacture.

- Ephraim, UT, USA

problem #6

Nov 022007

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
Defroster control broke due to freezing weather (about 30F). Defroster no longer functions so it is difficult to clear windshield in cold or damp weather. Dealer attempted to repair, but could not for original estimate of $477. Wanted to charge another $630 to fix the problem (for a total cost of almost $1100). I feel the cost is outrageous to repair a necessary safety item.

- Petaluma, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 072006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I bought my 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier in Feb 03.the cable that connects to the adjustment knob for the ac, defrost has broke 4 times since I have owned my car. It gets stuck where it just blows out of the vent and only the vent. No defrost so in the winter as you are driving down the road the windows are fogging up because you have no defrost. The last time I took my car into the dealership they said it was the cable that binds up they did fix it but here we go again it breaks. So now that my warranty is over in order for it to be fixed I will have to fork the money out of my pocket and to me if it has broke 4 times there is something wrong. To me this should be a safety issue.

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 262006

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I just got this car at a used car lot about two weeks ago and it rained one night and the front windshield became foggy so I tried to put on the defroster and it would not work no matter where I moved the switch it would only blow the air forward so I had to pull over every little while and wipe it off just so I could get home. The next morning I took it to a mechanic and he looked at it and said the cable that controls the flow of air was broken and he tried to get one from the junk yard and said 3 out of 5 Cavaliers of around the same year 2003 had the same cable broken the same way and he told me the flap that the cable controls was sticking and causing it to break so I told him to leave the same cable on the car and he put the flap to the defrost position manually in case it rains again it seems very dangerous if you cant see where you are going this is in the summer time that I am having this problem I don't even want to think about what might happen in the winter time.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

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problem #3

Dec 012004

Cavalier 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer noticed that the defroster was inoperative. It failed to defrost both passenger's side and driver's side windows, and the front windshield. This caused poor visibility to the driver. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. The cause has not been determined.

- Carlin, NV, USA

problem #2

Oct 152004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
The cable which controlled the air flow for the defroster/defogger broke. Could not defrost front windshield, causing poor visibility while driving. Dealer was notified.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #1

Sep 232004

Cavalier 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My new car stalls out completely while driving and my ventilation system has had numerous problems since purchasing the car. It has happened numerous times in oncoming traffic which poses a threat to myself and family. Clay Chevrolet said they couldn't find anything wrong with it.

- Watertown, MA, USA

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