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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,375 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.

2004 Chevrolet Cavalier seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Chevrolet Cavalier Owner Comments

problem #3

May 232008


  • 45,000 miles


Vehicle accident with seat and airbag failure on 5-23-08. Reported to GM 5/27/08 case. Spoke with GM rep then transferred to local dealership who said he would discuss with district manager. On 1/8/10 I again called for follow-up. The previous case had been closed and a new one opened and I was told I would be contacted. I followed up on 2/16/09 and was told it was being handled by motors liquidation. I expressed my concern was safety based - not money based, still had the vehicle for an investigation. The rep. Explained because the accident occurred prior to the "new" GM they were not concerned about it. I explained the accident date was of no concern to the safety considerations as there are still these types of vehicles on the road. They failed to report to you on two occasions. The bigger issue is GM's policy of reporting and investigating safety issues. If mine is an example, how many other complaints have been ignored or discarded because of the bankruptcy filing? in other words, if there was a problem with the vehicle before then we can assume it may be an issue of recall now regardless of "new" or "old" GM statues. It is very important to me this be taken seriously. We still have the vehicle sitting in our back yard for the purpose of investigating the issue. At some point we need to dispose of it and move on. I just feel a moral obligation - where obviously GM does not. I am happy to give any information or assistance to resolve this matter. Please take it seriously - I don't want anyone else to experience the injuries we have - especially if it is preventable.

- Scio, OR, USA

problem #2

Jan 312006


  • miles
I'm filing this for my dad. He wouldn't know how to use a computer. A man stole a vehicle and was being chased by police in Kansas City when my dad was in the intersection at the wrong time and was hit square on the driver's side of his Chevy Cavalier. I'm not sure of the year, but it's less than 3 years old. He had his seat belt on, but the air bag never deployed. The crash was severe enough that he has 7 fractured ribs, left pelvic fracture, left acetabular fracture, left tibia/fibular fractures and 2 fractures in the ankle of his left foot. He's still in rehab. I'm not sure the deployment of the airbag would have made a huge difference, but wanted to make sure this was not a consistent problem. I just clicked no on the previous page about release of my dad's information since you'd have to ask him that question. Thanks for looking into this. My number in san antonio is 210-492-7653 (barbara roach).

- Grandview, MO, USA

problem #1

Sep 212004


  • 7,126 miles
Vehicle T-boned at 45 mph and front air bags did not deploy. Consumer had the vehicle towed to dealer, and mechanic determined that air bag sensor was located inside the front seat belts.

- Hartford City, IN, USA

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