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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,655 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.

2001 Chevrolet Suburban brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

May 022008


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. Upon inspection of the vehicle, the emergency brake did not function and the vehicle failed inspection. There is an open and closed investigation regarding this failure. The VIN and investigation number were unknown. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Grapewine, TX, USA

problem #39

Mar 032008

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles
I own a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 2wd 5.3L V8 with automatic transmission. This vehicle was bought new and from day one, the emergency brake has been completely ineffective in holding the vehicle when applied. A cursory check on the internet reveals that this is a widespread and very well-known problem for owners of similar GM vehicles. Visits to two separate GM dealerships in dallas confirm that the dealers know of this as a widespread and well-known problem as well. Oddly, the NHTSA had a chance to review this vehicle safety defect at the request of the North Carolina consumer council back in 2005, yet the NHTSA decided at the time that this defect did not warrant a safety recall. The summary concludes that for auto-transmission-equipped vehicles, the presence of a "park pawl" serves as sufficient holding power for these vehicles and therefore the appeal for a safety recall was denied. There is at least one major problem with this conclusion -- no state is going to allow a vehicle without a working parking brake to pass a state safety inspection. I know this first hand, at least in Texas I do. It of course makes no sense for the NHTSA to have a different standard of vehicle safety than the constituent states do. Either this is an issue worthy of a national safety recall, or the lack of a working parking brake should not serve as a vehicle for failure of a state safety inspection.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #38

Nov 012001

Suburban 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
Parking brakes fails to work. Tried to adjust. Did everything short of replacing to whole thing. I did not work from day one.

- Highland, CA, USA

problem #37

Aug 142006


  • miles


Emergency brake went out for no reason. We have never used emergency brake since owning the car in 2001.

- Prospect, KY, USA

problem #36

Aug 272002

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
My parking brake has been defective since I purchased it. I did not know this until the first inspection. It did not pass and I had to pay $150 to "fix" it. Every year after that is has failed. I have called my dealer with the problem but have not had any luck. I sure hope someone does not die because of this problem.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #35

Oct 212006

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
The parking brakes have failed and unable to restrict movement of the vehicle. This was discovered while a safety inspection was performed. The cost to repair the parking brake system is extensive.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #34

Aug 282006

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles


: the contact stated the vehicle's parking brake was not working. The contact never used the parking brake. The vehicle was inspected by the dealership, who informed the contact that the parking brake would go bad if it was never used. Updated 9/13/2006 -the vehicle failed state inspection because the parking brake did not work.

- Colleyville, TX, USA

problem #33

May 192004

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,157 miles
Multiple locations will not inspect vehicle due to faulty emergency brake design. Dealership will not cover and manufacturer will not warranty. $600 dealership repair or $400 at local repair facility.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #32

Apr 072006

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Parking brake failure. Appears parking brake system defective which has caused brake to be inoperable and triggered a failed state inspection on 4/7/06. This will have to be fixed in the next 15 days in order to obtain inspection. Have been told the defect in the parking brake system will necessitate another repair at the 15K mark from the date of original repair, as the system eats the brake shoes due to the defect. This problem is in no way related to use of the parking brake.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #31

Nov 022005

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
Went to get my 2001 Chevy Suburban inspected and it failed because the emergency brake would not hold. The inspector said this is a extremely common problem in these vehicles and if he got 100 Suburban in to be inspected 90 would fail because of this problem.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #30

Aug 172005

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles


The parking brake on our 2001 Suburban has failed for the 3rd time in 4 years. From discussions with repair shops and other Suburban owners, it is apparent that GM has a real design flaw in the parking brake mechanism for the 2000 plus Suburban. We live in a very hilly part of the state of Texas and a good parking break would normally be considered essential. I hope that the NHTSA opens an investigation and gets this bad design recalled before one of these large SUV's accidentally breaks loose when parked on a hill and kills some child.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #29

Apr 012005

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 385,000 miles
I have a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban 1/2 ton with 39,000 miles on it. The emergency (parking) brake is defective. It will not hold the vehicle. I have never used my emergency brake, and was told by various repair people that it was a known defect and a recall should be ordered. This is a safety issue, as I am sure there are many unknowing owners with an unusable emergency brake. There was a service bulletin issued: # 02-05-26-002A.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #28

Aug 092005

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
2001 Chevrolet Suburban, parking brake (emergency brake) has never worked. I thought this was a simple adjustment and since this vehicle is normally driven only on long trips--rather than daily use I was not too concerned. Did not bother to report to dealer because too much hassle over other defects under warranty. Recently consulted my mechanic friend (former GM) and have found this is a significant manufacturing flaw--wrong parts installed at date of manufacturer. A service bulletin was issued to dealers on this problem. Because the vehicle now is four years old and has approximately 58000 miles the dealer will not address the problem without significant expenditure on my part. I believe this is a problem that should be addressed at the manufacturers expense. I have talked to other owners of similar vehicles experiencing the same problem. Time and mileage should not discharge the manufacture from this safety issue.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #27

Jul 052005

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles
Parking brake on 2001 Chevrolet Suburban won't hold. When pedal is depressed to the floor, the vehicle can still roll.

- Pampa, TX, USA

problem #26

Aug 092001

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states that his 2001 Chevrolet Suburban parking brake has never worked in his vehicle. He has taken vehicle to the dealer and they have told him it's a faulty design and there's nothing they can do about it. The transmission won't stay in park due to the problem.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #25

May 012004

Suburban 8-cyl

  • miles
Parking brake on 2001 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 does not hold. This is a known problem on Chevrolet Silverado pickups which have the same type parking brake. I am having to pay to have the brake repaired in order to pass state inspection. The design and functionality of the parking brake is apparently a known problem.

- Hewitt, TX, USA

problem #24

Nov 012004

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The parking brake was inoperable. The dealer would not fix because the brake was not under warranty. The brake shoes were replaced. The parking brake had never been used, yet the parking shoes were worn out. The lower left cowl cover was broken and was being held together by putty.

- Rifle, CO, USA

problem #23

Oct 252004

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,445 miles
On 2/12/04, I took my 2001 Chevy Suburban in to the dealer because the emergency/parking brake did not work. Being the first time I tried to use it and it did not work, I assumed it would be a warranty repair. The dealer said no, this is common and a normal wear and tear adjustment. I said I have never used it, how can it be! not being safe w/out a emergency parking brake, I had to pay! after their "adjustment" the brakes or something squealed. Upon returning to the dealer, I asked them to check their adjustment and mentioned where I had seen on the NHTSA site about parking brakes wearing all the time. They adjusted again to spec and when I got it back, brakes still did not hold the vehicle well - it would never have held on a hill! I took it back again to the Chevy dealer on 7/13/04 and asked them to check it again, and they said it was to spec and it was not an emergency brake, just a parking brake. I told them it would never hold a vehicle this size and weight on a hill! on 10/25/04, the vehicle was making a grinding/scraping sound when moving, so I took it to a tire store and they determined that the parking brakes were totally worn out and needed to be replaced ($160). I think there is a engineering design defect with this system in these vehicles. First the brakes do not appear to hold the vehicle well and second the way they are designed they fail without ever using them! you don't know they don't work until it's too late! very dangerous!!! please look into this asap - I think brake failure is a very dangerous problem.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #22

Dec 072004

Suburban 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,967 miles
Consumer was told that because of normal driving emergency brake wore out, even if the emergency brake was never being used. Consumer decided to call dealer because he felt that it was a safety factor, knowing that the emergency brake was not effective.

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #21

Jul 212004

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
Parking brake does not hold when depressed. Pedal goes completely to the floor. Removed rear rotor and pads were very thin with only 48000 miles, and the only time the brake is used is during inspection one time each year. There are numerous reports on this problem and it is puzzling that Chevrolet does not fix this problem.

- Orange, TX, USA

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