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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
174,000 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.

1996 Chevrolet Suburban brakes problems

brakes problem

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1996 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #1

Jan 132005

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 174,000 miles


Driving from work-snowy/icy conditions. Smelled a strange odor in vehicle going from I-270S to I-370W ~ 1/4 mile from ramp. Traffic moderate. Traveling 45 mph I tapped brakes, they went all way to floor. Turned off electrical equipment. Used engine braking selecting 3-2-1 to slow vehicle. Vehicle slowed, applied emergency brake - drove to brake down lane. Vehicle stopped-white smoke coming around edges of hood. Lower portion of windshield had couple of heat discoloration marks about 1/4 size of a penny in the middle lower portion. Air bag light came on. Dash did not feel hot, nor the instrument panel - no smoke inside vehicle. Hood would not open by hood release. Power windows worked. Egressed vehicle and driver sdie air bag inflated. Called 911 awaited fire/polcie dept. Opened driver's and passenger doors. Flames coming from steering column where it enters fire wall. Flames underneath vehicle from engine near skid plate/transfer case. Used small fire extinguisher on flames in cabin and under vehicle to no avail. Front driver's side from center console to driver's side door melted away at about 45 deg angle from top to bottom of console. Inside engine the thydraulic drive unit and barke master cyclinder had melted. Significant burn damage from fire in engine. Vehicle-total loss. Very fortunate to recognize bad smell, id brake malfunction, use engine braking to control vehicle; use emergency braking to stop - moderate traffic. Minimized potential hazard to single vehicle-no injuries or fatalities.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

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