Print this page Notes: Widespread instrument panel failure is a common and frustrating reality for many 2004-2005 Chevy Cavalier owners. They're often left in the dark when it comes to knowing how fast they're going, what their engine temperature is, or even how much fuel they have left in the tank.

The likely culprit is a series of bad "stepper motors" which control the gauges and are no longer covered under warranty. Think not being able to see your speed is a safety issue and should be recalled for all owners? We'd agree. Trouble is, apparently the NHTSA does not.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,407 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.

2004 Chevrolet Cavalier body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #3

Apr 062010


  • 100,120 miles


2004 Chevy Cavalier. Back door will not stay close. I have it locked now but can not open it. I am afraid while my child is sitting back there the door will swing open. Please help!

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #2

Nov 272007

Cavalier 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
We have three Chevrolet Cavaliers (years: 1999, 2000, 2004). All three of these vehicles have at least one crack in the part of the dash that is immediately next to the windshield. The concern is in a significant crash if this crack would cause facial or upper body injuries or even death. In addition, only the 2004 Cavalier has had repeated issues with the drivers seat -- springs are coming through the rear upper portion of the seat, the seat cushion is less on the left side of the drivers seat than the right and the recliner handle has broken twice (was repaired once by tincher williams Chevrolet in london, ky; but remains broken today). Today's date was used because there has been no actual incident.

- Barbourville, KY, USA

problem #1

Dec 102003


  • 100 miles
A strong fuel odor entered the inside of the vehicle when the vents were used. This odor caused nausea and headaches to any one riding in the vehicle. At any temperature, the vehicle took a very long time to crank up. Also, while driving at 50 mph, the vehicle suddenly decelerated and bogged down. The vehicle would eventually pick up speed and act as if nothing ever happened. These problems occurred eight times. There was rattle in the drivers side door panel due to the regulator, there was also an intermittent noise on the passenger side rear, the vehicle would not start due to the power train control module, the engine was hard to start at times and was unable to be duplicated, the engine would lose power, the driver door made a rubbing noise, the floor area was buckling, and the A/C displayed a burning smell.

- Sumter, SC, USA

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