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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,800 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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1996 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #5

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 #4

May 262001


  • miles
Vehicle caught on fire on driver's side door due to an electrical short in wiring. Vehicle was totaled. Manufacturer has been notified. Please provide additional information.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #3

Oct 011998


  • miles
Upon exiting freeway I noticed a burning odor. Parked the surburban and lifted the hood and discovered the left front area of engine on fire. I extinguished the flame and the resulting damage exhibited spark plug wires 1 and 3 totally burnt to ash. Wire harness to air conditioning and engine temperature sensor insulation was burnt away. Oil filler neck is completly melted away as are the sparkplug wire mounting brackets. Plastic vaccuum hose for emmission device was also melted in half. Upper radiator hose is badly burnt. Suspect electrical wire harness problem with vehicle since the battery split open 1 year prior spilling acid all over brake lines and air conditioner plumbing.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 041999


  • miles
Drove vehicle & made a stop. Returned to vehicle with children & started vehicle. Noticed smoke coming from under the hood. Retrieved children out of vehicle & left. Vehicle exploded. Fire dept. Arrived to put flames out. Gave no indication of cause of fire.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 101998

Suburban 4WD Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle experienced continued stalling due to failure of the fuel injector pump and wiring harness.

- Duvall, WA, USA

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