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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,020 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 #6

Oct 112014


  • 115,000 miles


One of the two rear plastic window hinges has snapped. I first noticed on 10/11 as I was accessing the rear of the vehicle by unlatching the window. I went online to check the issue and now realize this issue is widespread, that GM is aware of it, and actually re-designed the hinges starting in 2005. What they haven?T done (as I know it) is issue a recall for this obvious manufacturing defect. I'm writing to ask whether the NHTSA is aware of this issue, and if it and/or GM have already decided this does not warrant further attention. The concern is it?S easy to latch the window in place, even with 1 of the 2 hinges broken, and therefore delay or simply ignore the repair need (as the repair cost is significant), assuming it?S safe as long as you don't use the window further for access. By continuing to use the vehicle w/out repair, the one working hinge and window latch itself are forced to keep the window in place. This is a potential disaster waiting to happen. Under the added stress, the single hinge will eventually fail, and likely at speed as the vehicle hits the last bump the hinge can withstand, or as reported by owners online, a window is simply rolled down, increasing wind force on the rear window. If either happens the result is always the window is jettisoned from the frame and lands on whatever it lands on behind the vehicle. As you might imagine, this would be a significant event, as the window is 4-5 feet wide and large and heavy enough to potentially cause disaster to traffic traveling behind the vehicle. I've called 2 Chevy dealerships in the area so far and asked their service departments if this issue is being addressed and their response has been they've never heard of the part failing. That may be true, but in my opinion not likely. I worry this is a trained response, specifically targeted to minimize attention on the matter.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

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

Apr 102002


  • 40,000 miles


Read on about hitch failures. Contacted hitch shop, had mine inspected. Upon inspection found that the drift pin holes were elongating and fracturing. Since I tow a travel trailer often, it was determined by the hitch shop that the hitch would eventually fail due to the excessive wear around the drift pin area of the hitch. They stated that the metal may not have been hardened correctly.

- Willoughby, OH, USA

problem #2

Sep 232003

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,900 miles
1. 2003 Suburban Z71, rattle and clunk in steering column, nothing loose in the steering just clunking noise while driving. The steering shaft has been replaced 3 times. 2. second row middle seat belt failed to retract and unable to fasten belt without force. Corrected 3. latches located on the back of the second row seats to hold up the third row floor boards when using third row have broken numerous times (latches are plastic which makes no sense) 4. paint on the rear bumper and left by gas tank fill rusted (this was corrected) 5. driver seat motor runs after vehicle turned off. This has been brought to the dealers attention many times and they were unable to duplicate problem. 6. rear access door weather striping stretched. 7. truck failed to start for numerous reasons other then dead battery. Fuel tank pump module went bad. Crank shaft position sensor went bad. The most recent of 1/20/07 has not yet been determined. This is a major problem as the truck is not reliable. Infact my 1994 Ford Explorer is more reliable then this truck problems began in 2003, starting with 2nd row seat belt issues 8. excessive squeaking from front end, numerous complaints made to dealer, belts replaced and pulleys cleaned several times then pulleys readjusted. 9. left rear door failed to open.

- Gillette, NJ, USA

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problem #1

Feb 072004

Suburban 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,222 miles
Paint peeling from dash board. With air on, could fly into infants mouth and/or eyes.

- Antioch, TN, USA

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