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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
12 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,217 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 202011

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • 167,000 miles


Mva occurred while swerving to miss a deer. Driver unable to negotiate the right hand turn resulting in a head on collision in an embankment. Car skidded across the road over a ditch appx 3 feet wide and apxx 1-2 feet deep, then hit the embankment head on at an unknown speed. Driver stated she was going appx 40-50 mph prior to swerving for the deer, she thinks she might have slowed down to appx 30-40 mph prior to hitting the embankment. After the initial impact with the embankment the car rolled appx 1.5 - 2 times landing on the driver side door. The air bags did not deploy, unrestrained driver hit the windshield causing bruising, concussion, abrasions, laceration to the scalp. No passengers noted to be in the vehicle other then driver. Car is totaled. Driver is currently off of work due to closed head injury as advised per er physician.

- Hastings, PA, USA

problem #11

Jan 012008


  • 60,000 miles
2003 Chevrolet Cavalier- at 64,000 miles fuel pump died while parked at a store upon restart $700 replacement. At approximately 60,000 miles front clunking noise started, dealer could never find a problem, now at 76,000 miles, having front upper strut mounts replaced. Found alot of complaints online about same issues. I determined cause of front clunk on my own. Also, was in collision that involved front driver side, down driver side front fender, airbags did not deploy, don't know if they should have. Noone was hurt, was slow speed crash. Still cannot believe no recall on fuel pump or front suspension. Apparently GM doesn't want to foot the $700 bill for the fuel pump defect.

- Adams, MA, USA

problem #10

Sep 152007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I T-boned another vehicle at 35mph and I received a concussion from my head hitting the steering wheel because my airbag split apart at the seams.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #9

Feb 152005

Cavalier 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


On Feb. 15 2005 I was driving a 2003 Cavalier when. As I was driving and switching lines my light turned red and I did not realize it. I went through causing a head on collision with another car. My complaint is that the air bags on my car did not deploy after the accident. My speed was somewhere between 14-20 M.P.H. the vehicle I hit was making a turn at about ten M.P.H. or so. The bumper of my car is completely off and is now being repaired. I was not severely injured but I was very appalled at how the air bags did not deploy. I could not imagine what would have happened if I was not wearing my seat belt. I believe that the airbags are faulty and I also plan to file a lawsuit.

- Round Lake Beach, IL, USA

problem #8

Jun 282005

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vehicle was undergoing repair for a minor vehicle accident that occurred on 11/11/04. It was determined that the vehicle had a previous accident and the airbags had been previously removed without being replaced. Diagnostics on the airbag module showed that the airbags had been deployed and were missing. The airbag dash warning indicator also has been disabled somehow. None of these deficiencies were reported at the time of the vehicle purchase. It is uncertain when the original repair was made and by whom. The accident on 11/11/04 was not severe enough for the airbags to deploy. No injuries resulted from the missing airbags.

- Idaho Falls, ID, USA

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problem #7

Oct 022004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
The consumer's vehicle was involved in a front impact at 18 mph. Upon impact, the air bags did not deploy. The consumer contacted the manufacturer.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #6

Sep 092003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Driver was involved in a frontal collision. Upon impact, both frontal air bags failed to deploy. Driver sustained major injuries. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The cause had not been determined.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #5

May 292004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My grand daughter was in a low speed accident. No body damage but the air bags inflated the passenger side broke the windshield. The driver side nearly broke her arm ask the dealer to reload air bags and replace the windshield they refused.

- Grand Jctn, CO, USA

problem #4

Jan 052004

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
While driving at 30 mph, the consumer had a front end collision and neither of the air bags deployed and the seat belt did restrain the driver. No air bag light warning prior to the crash.

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

problem #3

Jul 272003


  • 12,603 miles
While driving approximately 20 mph consumer's vehicle rear ended another vehicle, and the front air bags did not deploy. Driver's chest hit the steering wheel, causing muscle spasms from the neck down. The seat belts also failed to lock.

- Tarrant, AL, USA

problem #2

Oct 012003

(reported on)


  • 4,000 miles
While driving at 45 mph vehicle was involved in a frontal collision. Upon impact, front air bags failed to deploy. Driver sustained serious neck and back injuries.

- Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 272003


  • miles
Consumer states that vehicle was in a head on collision with another vehicle, and both front airbags did not deploy.

- Plant City, FL, USA

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