Print this page


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
92,533 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1996 Chevrolet Suburban:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1996 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 102011

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • 174,231 miles


While driving through the neighborhood at 35 mph, the posted speed, we lost brake control of the vehicle when the service brake was applied approaching an intersection with a stop sign. We were unable to stop the vehicle which entered the intersection and passed all of the way through it. The brake pedal was to the floor and not working properly. Fortunately for all there were no other vehicles ( or pedestrians) in this intersection as we would have certainly hit them. It appears the brake line(s) on the K2500 Suburban have rusted through in an area that is difficult to see where they go through the frame and blew out at this critical moment. The dealer is unwilling to take any responsibility for the repair as the vehicle is out of factory warranty. When we purchased the vehicle they did not tell us the brakes could only be relied upon for the time the truck is under warranty. This could have been a serious, possibly deadly outcome since we tow a trailer with the truck on the highway. I understand this is actually a common occurrence with these Chevrolet and GMC trucks. Why is there no recall given the potential deadly possibilities" Toyota was in the news about their unexpected acceleration issue but we have heard nothing about this unexpected loss of braking issue? why is that? is not being able to stop not a problem for the NHTSA"

- Fort Washington , PA, USA

problem #6

Nov 132008


  • 150,000 miles
The ABS braking system on this truck has been very poor since it was built. I have talked to many other owners and collision shops who say that the failure of the ABS to work properly has caused their accidents. I myself had a very close call the other day because as I was stopping, one wheel hit a wet spot and all four wheels stopped their braking action and the vehicle did not recover the braking function for over 3 seconds. This is very dangerous. My local Chevrolet dealer told me this is a common complaint/problem. And, although he completely checked out my entire brake system, he said there nothing was wrong. He said that some 96 Suburban had a rust problem with some brake components but that mine was not rusty. This is very very dangerous and has undoubtedly caused some serious if not fatal accidents!!!!!

- Marysville, MI, USA

problem #5

Jul 302008


  • 149,500 miles
1996 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 - mileage 149,000 - professionally maintained & cleaned. Recently the vehicle ABS system activates at low speeds under all except very light brake applications. ABS will activate at vehicle speeds of less than approximately 10 mph during braking. This unnecessary activation causes vehicle stopping distances to increase and has caused one "near miss" at a controlled intersection when the vehicle brakes released due to the ABS application. I understand that there is an issue with the ABS and that GM has issued a recall on newer vehicles. I wanted to let you know that this ABS issue is occurring in vehicles outside the parameters of the GM recall (pre 1998 vehicles) and constitutes a significant safety hazard. I have disconnected the ABS system until tomorrow. At that time I will have my mechanic address the problem and rectify it.

- Malta, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 182004

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


1996 Chevrolet Suburban developed problems with the brakes, intake manifold, engine cooling, transmission, tires, fuel injectors, fuel consumption and wipers. Consumer stated that the dealer did not do anything but take the battery cable off to reset the computer and the brakes were never looked at.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #3

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

problem #2

Feb 201996


  • miles
Having breaking problems that were being caused by incorrect clearance at the spindals, spindals corrected.

- Lajolla, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 021997

(reported on)


  • miles
The engine is noisy and vibrates, battery has been replaced three times, brake lines and pump have been replaced, emergency brake cable corroded, and air bag warning light is on.

- San Juan, PR, USA

Not what you are looking for?