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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
114,707 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.

2004 Chevrolet Suburban brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Chevrolet Suburban Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #54

Nov 162016


  • 149,587 miles


While avoiding another vehicle I applied my brakes suddenly. The bake like connecting the ABS unit and the rear brakes failed due to corrosion/rust that was not observable due to the line being ran between the vehicles frame and body and gas tank. Although this location might have made for easy manufacturing it has led to the line being in a location that cannot be visually inspected to prevent dangerous conditions from building up from lack of awareness..

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #53

Oct 062016


  • 93,267 miles
Total brake failure (vehicle has 95,387) miles) at 40 mph in motion. Stabil-trac light indicated at the time of failure, service brake indicator on display information console.. deployed 4WD low, dropped to lower gear and hit emergency brake to stop the vehicle on shoulder of road. Got out of vehicle saw brake fluid all over the skids and frame. Cause: Towed to local shop indicated that brake lines on driver side and lines going to front wheel were completely rusty and "like paper". this was unsettling I don't live near saltwater but drive the vehicle a lot in winter. Had I been in a densely populated area, there certainly would have been loss of life. This vehicle weighs over 6000 lbs and no brakes is like to trying to stop a train. Please investigate similar failures as this failure in similar vehicles/any vehicle could cause loss of life.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #52

Sep 172016

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
Steel brake lines: Directly under drivers feet beneath vehicle is cluster of four brake lines held in place by a plastic bracket.these brake lines are hidden by a large corrugated black wiring harness. All four lines are extremely corroded at bracket and at least one of them failed completely and instantaneously. Unlike GM reports that it's a dual brake system and vehicle will retain braking capabilities in our case this is false. Word needs to go out about these vehicles but preferably a recall. My 15 year old newly issued permit holder was at the wheel and we were one left turn from descending a 200 foot tall 6% grade hill with a busy intersection and stop light at the bottom. Also living in Minnesota knowing classic car owners with original steel brake lines with no issues I'm led to believe design is a contributing factor in these brake failure issues. Thank you for your time.

- Cottage Grove, MN, USA

problem #51

Aug 302016


  • 133,282 miles


2004 Chevy Suburban - sudden & complete loss of brake pressure at highway speed. Vehicle brakes were inspected in July through the va state inspection program - no issues found - today on 8/30/16 while exiting a freeway ramp at 60mph traffic came to sudden stop. When the service brake was applied in what would be considered a stab/emergency braking maneuver there was a complete and sudden loss of brake pressure - pedal went to floor without warning, brake would not pump up adequate enough to slow vehicle. I had to use a combination of parking brake application and utilizing the soft shoulder and ditch to stop the vehicle. The brake warning indicator (red) and service indicator did not illuminate until after the third or fourth application of the brake pedal. Suburban was towed. Causative factors = ruptured brake line.

- Henrico, VA, USA

problem #50

Aug 202016


  • 175,000 miles
Brake line (hard line) catastrophic failure. Unable to stop on coming to highway intersection using hydraulic brakes. Had to resort to applying parking brake to stop vehicle. On inspection main brake hydraulic line ruptured- fluid spewed on roadway and approximately 1/2 of fluid from master cylinder. Limited residual pressure from secondary was unable to stop vehicle without mechanical assist from parking brake.

- Lemont, IL, USA

problem #49

Jul 102016


  • 103,500 miles
Brake lines between the area of the brake fluid reservoir and ABS modulator heavily corroded. One or more lines failed on 7/10/2016 requiring vehicle tow. Vehicle was operational aside from the failure of braking system. When depressed, vehicle brake peddle had little resistance and traveled completely to floor panel under normal pressure from foot. The incident/failure occurred during normal travel and during an attempted stop at red light. Brake system failure prevented a safe stop and the vehicle continued through the intersection running a red light. Fortunately, the intersection was clear and no accident occurred. The vehicle was parked immediately afterwards and a tow vehicle called. The vehicle is currently parked until repairs can be applied. Towing expense- $125 parts expense- $85 (replacing all affected lines, front braking system.) labor- $100 approx.

- Proctorville, OH, USA

problem #48

Jan 052016


  • miles


Driving as normal attempt to stop and pedal went to the floor. No brakes. Coasted to stop luckily not traveling at high speed. Inspection revealed rusted through brake lines. And all fluid gone from master cylinder.

- Oil Springs, KY, USA

problem #47

Nov 132015


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban. While driving 25 mph, the brake pedal was depressed and the brakes seized. The service brakes warning indicator illuminated after the brake failure. The contact stated that the emergency brake was engaged in order to stop the vehicle. The contact also stated that brake fluid was leaking under the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake lines failed due to corrosion and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 114,000.

- Crownsville, MD, USA

problem #46

Oct 272015


  • 184,236 miles
Brake line failed while towing boat on city street normal braking lost 3/4 braking power, pedal went almost to the floor, just stopped in time before rear ended someone.

- Lake George, NY, USA

problem #45

Oct 042015


  • 167,500 miles
Brakes failed under hard stop (highway, in motion). Intermediate steel brake line failed to rear brakes in a mode of rupture due to corrosion. All other steel lines were corroded and contacted GM. 2 other Silverado line vehicles owned also failed this year due to corrosion. GM response was that no recall existed. Replaced all steel brake lines in vehicle with stainless aftermarket lines. After multiple contacts with GM customer service, I was told to save my receipts for repairs. This is an incorrect material specification, latent defect and GM needs to be held accountable. Saved brake lines from this vehicle for any potential use. 3 vehicles that I own with the same repair in 8 months. Inexcusable!

- Latrobe, PA, USA

problem #44

Oct 012015


  • 170,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban. While driving at approximately 55 mph, the brakes did not engage when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact was able to pull over to the road side. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that front brake lines were corroded and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000. The VIN was not available.

- Hanna City, IL, USA

problem #43

Sep 132015


  • 102,000 miles
Backing out of a parking space went to stop and brake pedal sunk to the floor ABS and brake light came on I put the truck in park opened the hood the master cylinder had fluid then looked under the truck and under the drivers side door brake fluid was leaking from 1 of the 2 steel rusted lines had the truck towed to a repair shop the shop said the 2 lines from the master cylinder to the ABS block had severe corrosion and the rest of the brake lines aren't much better im sorry guys but this is a serious problem to me I could have been killed or killed someone else im one of the lucky ones I guess so now the truck is in the shop having all the brake lines changed for a cost of $ $600 and guess what we also own a 2003 Tahoe with 90000 miles on it I guess they will have to be changed also same condition all brake lines rusted badly how many people must be seriously injured or killed before something is done about this problem its wide spread look on line how many people have gone through this its a shame make G.M do the right thing here

- Coram , NY, USA

problem #42

Aug 112015


  • 180,000 miles
Brake lines rusted through and leaked fluid from system.

- Elgin, IL, USA

problem #41

Jun 202012


  • 120,000 miles
The brake lines on my 2004 Suburban have now failed three times. The first time one of the lines had to be replaced at a cost of over $1000, the second time a separate line was patched, and now the third time the same second line that was patched has failed again. All of the brake lines are incredibly corroded, so much so that a friend of mine wondered if it had been submerged during hurricane katrina. But now upon reading up on the subject it appears that is is all gms of that time frame that live in saltier air. While GM appears to think that these are components that should wear down over time, this is only the second time in the 30 years that I have owned cars to find this problem.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #40

Aug 142015


  • 190,650 miles
I was driving down a two lane highway at 50 miles per hour a dog ran out in front of my SUV, I hit the brakes hard and noticed the pedal went to the ground. Drove the car home carefully. When I got it in the garage found rusted through brake lines going to the rear of the car leaking. There is excessive rust on the lines and an electrical harness that goes to the gas tank has rubbed a hole in the line.

- Holland, MI, USA

problem #39

Jun 242015


  • 160,000 miles
The brake line from the front to rear rusted and ruptured resulting in virtually no braking. Upon further inspection the brake lines are all badly rusted and in need of replacement. Very unfortunate GM chose to use such an inferior material for such an important component. Very dangerous situation GM should be making owners aware of.

- Marlborough, CT, USA

problem #38

Apr 282015

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
I was driving to pick my son up from school when I lost brakes. We barely avoided an accident and had to swerve off the road to avoid the vehicle in front of us stopping at the light. I had just redone my front and rear brakes/rogers. After inspecting the brake lines we noticed my lines are completely rusted and will not hold any fluid. I live in Florida. No snow, no salt on my roads. It disgusts me that GM isn't taking care of this known issue. This is my 4th Suburban and will be my last. I will now be looking toward the Ford, Toyota, or Nissan SUV. GM should be making this right. Maybe after a few more deaths they'll see how serious this is. How many deaths do they need on their hands to see it's a problem? absolutely disgusts me!

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #37

Apr 192015


  • 77,000 miles
Went to back out of the driveway, brake pedal went to the floor, no brakes had to take extreme steps to stop the vehicle and all I was doing was backing out of a flat driveway onto the street. Towed vehicle to auto shop - brake lines before safety valve broke causing the entire braking system to fail. Previously I had a brake line burst, however it was post the safety valve which allowed me to stop safely. The lines busting before the safety valve is extremely dangerous and would have resulted in severe injuries had we been driving down the road at normal driving speeds. GM has an issue and prior to this I was not happy with them saying it isn't an issue, now that it broke in a place that does not have any safety mechanism I consider it extremely poor of GM to cover their face and say there isn't an issue.

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #36

Apr 032015

Suburban 4WD 8-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Headed out on a quick trip into town. As I turned off of the street I live on I came to a stop sign and as I went to hit the brakes they went all the way to the floor and I could not stop my vehicle in time. I was lucky because I was going downhill at the time but as luck would have it, no cars were at the stop sign and I was able to go through the stop sign and turn left onto an uphill road and let gravity stop my vehicle. Had this had happened once I hit the busy street I was headed to it would have killed someone else as well as myself! I have read that this problem has been reported and no recall from Chevrolet... that is just a crime, in my opinion!

- Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #35

Dec 282014


  • 81,783 miles
I took the vehicle to local Chevrolet dealer for oil change and yearly state inspection. The vehicle passed the state inspection/emissions control test. I was not notified that there were any issues concerning the vehicle. The vehicle was driven 5 miles to home. Two days, started the car, but had no brakes. The brake pedal went to the floor. A warning light was on. There were puddles of brake fluid in the driveway. I had the vehicle towed back to the dealer. They informed me that te brakeline had completely corroded. The cost for repair was quoted at $800. From what I understand, this sudden and complete brake failure could have occurred at any time, even while driving the vehicle.

- Allentown, PA, USA

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