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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,000 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.

2003 Chevrolet Suburban body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments

problem #10

Jul 162007


  • 50,000 miles


I noticed a sound like that from an open window and check all driver and passenger windows verifying that they were closed. Upon utilization of the rear hatch, it was noted that one of the two (50%) latches that hold the rear window/door to the car had separated. I brought it to Chevrolet dealer at the time and was told there was nothing they could do. They did not consider the doors as required or this to be a safety issue. At the time, I found 1000's of people online complaining about the same issue. I'm sure that this has increased 10 fold since then. I only use this car as a 2nd car now and do not utilize it daily. I fear that the 2nd rear window/door latch will also fail and cause the entire window/door to separate from the vehicle thus landing on the highway behind me (hopefully) or on the poor family in the vehicle behind me (worse case). Unfortunately, I live in the Washington DC area where people like to tailgate. Traveling on highways with the wind rushing through the window causing additional stress on the latch make the later scenario more deadly and more of a reality. GM/Chevrolet should fix what seems to me as a minor repair to ensure the safety of the general public why hasn't this been addressed if so many people are having issues with the latch?

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #9

Apr 302014

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
I was driving my friend to work in ok 4/30/14.. I have no recollection of what instigated our head on collision but I have several injuries, had to cut out of the dashboard and airlifted to ou medical ctr. In ok city.. shattered ankles/feet, broken neck including sustainable facet disruption that is permanent and 8 broken ribs combined both R & L due to severe impact with out any airbag deployment. and I was in the white Suburban.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #8

Apr 062014

Suburban 8-cyl

  • 60,100 miles
As I was backing out of a parking space, I experienced a total brake failure. Fortunately, I was going slow enough to stop and avoid injuring myself or another person. Thank god I wasn't going 50 mph with my wife and 4 children in the car or I might not be writing this today (or someone else could have been injured by me due to this brake failure). I discovered the reason for this failure was because my brake line prematurely corroded and this problem is well known to NHTSA and you have done absolutely nothing. How dare you and GM put my family and other innocent bystanders at risk because of your incompetence!!! why hasn't there been a recall"?? a simple google search shows this problem has been experienced by thousands of Chevy owners as well as premature rusting of the body and undercarriage which I am also experiencing. This car only has 60K miles and has been well cared for, but I am experiencing problems that cars with 3 times as many miles shouldn't experience. Perhaps congress would be interested in this dereliction of duty by NHTSA. How many americans have to die or get injured in accidents before you take action??? if total failure of a vehicle's breaking system doesn't spur a call to action by NHTSA then what will? what could be more vital to safety than brakes on a 1/2 ton truck" repairs for the brake line will cost me over $1,200 and that just adds insult to this whole disgraceful situation. I demand to be reimbursed for this well known safety issue that I have to correct. NHTSA has failed and it's costing way more than $1,200; it's costing americans their lives.

- Norridge, IL, USA

problem #7

Aug 212013


  • 147,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for an unrelated repair when they noticed that the brake and fuel lines were rusted severely. In addition, the spare tire carrier exhibited rust corrosion and was removed from the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 147,000.

- Churchville, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 152010


  • 60,000 miles
While driving on the freeway a loud pop was heard inside the vehicle followed by a sudden and pronounced increase in wind noise. The vehicle suffered a structural failure in the rear tail gate window hatch. Metal fatigue caused the left window hatch hinge to separate from the vehicle frame. This produced a potentially hazardous situation if as a result of the vehicle speed the window had fully separated from the vehicle at high speed in traffic. The glass window and frame would have struck the trailing vehicle resulting in possible injury or death.

- Houston, TX, USA

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problem #5

May 132007

Suburban 4WD

  • miles
2003 Chevy Suburban 4WD rollover resulting in roof compacting and seat belts failing, 3 major injuries;: all wearing seatbelts: Driver: Road burn, cut's, bruises, broken rib. Front passenger: Severe, traumatic brain injury, C2, stage 3 spinal fracture. Window's broke out & car landed on right arm resulting in elbow dislocation, fracture and muscles torn from the bone; broken rib. 2nd seat passenger: 1/2 thrown out of the car sustaining 3 spinal fxs, rib fx., scapula fx. And road burn. 3rd seat passenger: Thrown from the vehicle into the fast lane on oncoming traffic. Sustaining head injury, bilateral collarbone fracture's, scapula fx. And road burn. Chevy Suburban's cannot withstand a rollover and Chevy was aware of this. We have not been given our constitutional right to a court trial. Impeach obama obama & his circus for defying our U.S. constitution!

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #4

Jul 172009


  • 107,000 miles


The hinge for the rear liftgate window failed. There is a horizontal crack across the hinge. It appears to be metal fatigue. This failure is a safety hazard for the following reasons: 1) the window no longer seals properly and could allow exhaust gases to enter the vehicle cabin, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning. It is very possible that this failure would not be detected immediately. 2) the hinge failure causes additional strain on the remaining hinge and latch. Further failure would result in the window detaching from the vehicle. A) if this occurred while driving, the window could impact vehicle behind the Suburban or shatter on the roadway leading to debris related accidents. B) if this occurred while stationary, the glass could (which is heavy and sharp edged) could injure a person standing or walking at the rear of the vehicle. This exact same failure occurred previously on this vehicle at ~ 13000 miles of operation. The repair was made by a dealer at no charge to the owner. The recent recurrence of the failure of the same hinge occurred at ~107000 miles. The problem was reported to General Motors customer service and was logged as service request # 71 743 851 820 by jatta flores. Jatta denied owner's request that GM repair the defect.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #3

Jun 272009


  • 75,895 miles
I own a 2003 Chevy Suburban 1500. I noticed a leak on the back window. I have a hatchback with a liftgate window. I opened it to check the leak and when I went to close it I couldn't. I noticed that the hinge on the passenger side was coming off the glass. I had to push the top right of the window down to close it. Now the rear access door warning is on.

- Huntingtown, MD, USA

problem #2

Nov 232007


  • 60,000 miles
The hinges that support the back window are separating from the hinges. This causes the entire window to realign and now there is a gap where you can feel and hear wind constantly. It looks like it could fall off at any moment. Occurred around 60,000 miles.

- Valley Park, MO, USA

problem #1

Jan 312009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 1500. The contact stated that he was experiencing catastrophic failure with his vehicle. The hinges that support the back windows are separating from the hinges. This causes the entire window to realign and shatter at any time. It is currently being held together with adhesive tape. The dealer and manufacturer stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 03V037000 (structure:body:door:hinge and attachments). The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

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