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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,850 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 - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Dec 102012


  • 84,000 miles


The problem is with the speedometer. I was traveling at what I thought was about 40 mph and I looked down and my speedometer showed 65 mph. When I cam to a stop my speedometer only went down to 25 mph. The next morning it was down to 0. one week later it went up and didn't go below 35 mph and it has kept increasing. Now when I get in the car the speedometer is at 95mph. This is a huge safety issue. Please issue a recall for these items. The cost to repair is $500 and makes it too expensive for it to be feasible.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #30

Mar 032011


  • miles
Speedometer stoped working! saftey issue!

- Horton, AL, USA

problem #29

Dec 132011

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
Speedometer is not working looks like there's been several complaints on the internet about this issue with other Chevrolet Cavaliers.

- Pendleton, IN, USA

problem #28

Jun 302010


  • 89,000 miles


The instrument panel stopped working. I ordered 2 used ones they did not work. I had the dealership rebuild it and it still does not work. I have searched online and several people have the same problem. GM has recalled this item on several models but not on the Cavalier as of yet. I have spent hundreds and still have not fixed the problem. No speedometer, gas gauge.

- South Point, OH, USA

problem #27

Jun 082011


  • 60,000 miles
Speedometer goes haywire so you have no idea how fast you are going. Other gauges (fuel, temp) also erratic. Seems this is a common problem with many GM vehicles and is very dangerous!

- Ardsley, NY, USA

problem #26

Jul 042011


  • 30,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2003 Chevy Cavalier and I have 2 complaints that should have been recalls as there are many with the same 2 problems, first every gauge in my car quit working no RPM, no gas guage and no speedometer. Second ever since I bought my car for no reason at all it would just stall at redlights when I would take off, dealer said no problem, I have nearly wrecked many times because of this, the latest was today I have read many forums that say they found out it was the faulty plastic fuel pump, why no recall this is going to get someone killed.

- Sherman, TX, USA

problem #25

Jan 182011


  • 70,000 miles


Speedometer registers over 120 miles and beyond even when stopped.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #24

Feb 282009

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle instrument panel cluster no longer works accurately. Started with tachometer but now effect all gauges - fuel, speedometer, tachometer and temperature. Electrical outlet on driver side also doesn't work and dome light turns on sporadically. The failure is now constant and I am unable to tell how much fuel I have, if my vehicle is overheating or how fast I am traveling. I will have to replace the entire panel to the cost of $800!

- Deland, FL, USA

problem #23

Oct 012009


  • 60,000 miles
My speedometer began operating erratically about 1 year ago for the last 3 months it has not operated at all stays below 0 at all times.

- Powell, TN, USA

problem #22

Aug 212010


  • miles
2003 Cavalier, the defroster knob cable has gone bad 2X's before it is gone again, the driver side window motor went last year, last month the fuel pump went, the passenger side motor is going, the speedometer is messed up along with the tack, it sticks. My daughter drives this car just turned 17, the speedometer said she was going 105, when she shuts the car off it says she's still doing 35, at times the car wont start, don't know exactly why, this is bs, there is only 72000 miles on it, GM needs to start fixing these problems, some one is going to get killed.

- Freeland, PA, USA

problem #21

May 012006


  • miles


I have a 2003 Chevy Cavalier and the instrument panel has stopped working. I purchased the car in 2005 and in about 2006 it started acting up. At first the gauges would flicker in and out one at a time sometimes reading incorrect speeds or fuel level and sometime not working at all. They would sometimes seem to be affected by the temperature and other times not. I took it in and the mechanic fidgeted with the fuses and it started working again and he said that was the problem. So each time they acted up I would adjust the fuses & they would start working again until even that didn't work. So I went to buy new fuses and the employee at the part store checked my fuses and said they were working fine. I haven't been able to afford to have it fixed. In about 2008 or 2009 I had some other work done on the car and the mechanic said that he had actually seen other Cavaliers with the same problem and that the panel needed replaced. My dad wants to fix my car but we are waiting to afford it and not sure if that will fix the problem. I have looked online and seen many other complaints about the same problem and I am wondering why there isn't a safety recall to fix the problem that is obviously characteristically a problem with the Chevy Cavalier in more than one year. I don't believe that this is something that the consumer should have to worry about and pay for when it is obviously a manufacture default. It is not only monetarily inconvenient but it is a safety problem. You are unable to know how fast you are actually going, or how much fuel you actually have. There is a reason we have those gauges and it isn't simply to look pretty. I would appreciate if someone would take the time to look into this and realize that this is a serious issue for a lot of people. Thank you.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #20

Jun 032009


  • 71,000 miles
While driving on the highway, I looked at my speedometer and it was not moving above 35 miles per hour. I pulled over and saw that the speedometer did not go to zero; it stayed at 35 miles per hour. I turned my car off and on, and the speedometer decreased to 30 miles per hour. After turning my car off and on six to seven more times, the speedometer finally went back to zero. After that, I began driving again. The speedometer worked fine. The next day, the speedometer got stuck at 50 miles per hour. Without pulling over and turning the car off, the speedometer began working again, however, it showed I was driving at 100 miles per hour, when I was driving with highway traffic at about 50-55 miles per hour. This happens just about every day during the summer months. When it is cold, this tends to happen less frequently, maybe once a month. The car has been taken to two or three mechanics and each time I am told that there are no problems. The computer says there are no problems with the car. This problem, when first noticed, could have created a serious hazard if the speedometer was stuck at 55 miles per hour, and the driver exited to a city road at 30 miles per hour. The driver would hit their brakes, thinking they were driving fast, possibly causing a collision. When the speedometer is not working there is no real way to tell the exact speed that you are driving. General Motors was called the day of the problem and a report regarding the problem was created.

- Grand Island, NY, USA

problem #19

Mar 062010

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 49,240 miles
2003 Chevy Cavalier speedometer failed at 49,240 miles. Resulting in potentially unsafe driving speed in otherwise perfect driving conditions.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #18

Jan 072010


  • 72,000 miles
Speedometer in my 2003 Chevy Cavalier jumps and doesn't display the correct speed.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #17

Feb 122010


  • miles
The fuel gauge began to malfunction about a year ago. Assuming it was just the float, I decided I would ignore it and use the trip odometer to determine how much gas I had left. Unfortunately, because the gas gauge went well past full, into the realm of what would be considered two tanks of full, the temperature gauge needle could not move. Eventually, the gas gauge needle went past the temperature gauge (now at what would be considered two and a half tanks) which freed the temperature needle to actually register. Now, the temperature gauge is malfunctioning, resting at the half way point even after the car sat all night in our recent frigid temperatures. It now runs in the red even though there is nothing wrong with the engine. Now, the speedometer is showing signs of malfunctioning, as it reads 5 mph though I am at a complete stop. Research on various internet message boards suggest this is a very common problem in not only 2003 Chevrolet Cavaliers, but other years and models of Chevy vehicles. When I complained to GM that a malfunctioning speedometer was a safety issue, I was greeted with "there's no recall, it's no longer under warranty, can't help, your problem, deal with it." Following this logic, what's stopping GM from creating more defective vehicles, if the problem happens after the warranty expires" they've adopted the attitude it's "not their problem." At what point is a defective speedometer not a safety problem worthy of a recall"

- Fairview Heights, IL, USA

problem #16

Jun 092008


  • 27,500 miles
Problem is with instrument cluster. First tach starting failing now and then. Now engine temp gauge is doing same thing. Sometimes tach works sometimes it doesn't. temp gauge sometimes works, sometimes shows engine hot, sometimes cold when engine is at operating temp. Problem started while car was being driven. So far, nothing has been done to fix problem, mechanic says cost to fix is $375.

- Milford, NJ, USA

problem #15

Oct 032009


  • miles
I own a 2003 Chevy Cavalier and the temperature gauge does not work and now the RPM gauge isn't working. I have about 45,000 miles on it and the dealership says I need to replace the cluster. After doing a lot of research on the internet about the repair, I have discovered that this is a common problem among all Cavaliers; the cluster needs to be repaired. I will have my car repaired this week and will need to spend $500 to repair it. I have even called GMC's customer service to see if their is a warranty on the part or a recall. Why are car owners spending $500 plus to fix this problem when it is a known problem?

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 012006


  • miles
I have replaced fuel pump 3 times. Cluster panel works occasionally.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #13

Mar 122009


  • 39,000 miles
The instrument cluster on my 2003 Chevy Cavalier went crazy just before 40, 000 miles. Sometimes it works, sometimes the gauges take turns working or not working, sometimes nothing works. Some days I don't know how fast I'm going, how hot my car's running, or how much gas I have....not to mention rpms. This is very unsafe, and at 40K, I feel it's a bit premature.

- Dyer, IN, USA

problem #12

Sep 152008


  • 68,000 miles
The cluster board has gone out. It does not light up, the speedometer, the fuel gage and RPM gage all does not work. Chevy has already recalled trucks for this problem but I have a Cavalier and on ebay you can buy a fixed cluster board and send back your old one and get $100 back so it must be a big problem not just my car.

- League City, TX, USA

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