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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
109,659 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 Tahoe brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Chevrolet Tahoe Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Jul 032013


  • 83,978 miles


Brake line failure on 2003 Tahoe near the spare tire. Complete loss of brake line pressure. Vehicle only has ~ 84,000 miles. Vehicle operated in Ohio and Massachusetts. Reference existing NHTSA action number (EA11001) on Chevrolet vehicles.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #17

Jun 222013

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 114,201 miles
Just hooked up my boat and trailer and proceeded to head out my lane, when I hit the brakes they went to the floor and a message came on dash to service brakes. I got my wife to press on brakes while I looked under vehicle, brake fluid was pouring down on ground. When I saw the steel line was rusted and burst I wondered if this was a common problem so I looked for a notice or recall. I found that the problem was investigated several time but no notice or recall sent out if this had happened at highway speed it could have been catastrophic. I have had other GM vehicles that had severe rust problems. My Avalanche was recalled after I had put all new rotors and brake parts on from rust. After reading of several other failures I cant believe GM didn't even send notices out.

- Denton, MD, USA

problem #16

Jun 192013


  • 125,000 miles
Rear brake line burst... fluid leaking and no brakes!!! this is dangerous... lucky I was going slow when this line burst... brake lines completely rusted.. this truck is only 10 years old, brake lines are rusted and needs to be replaced... GM needs to use better steel...

- Hudson, MA, USA

problem #15

May 082013

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 163,000 miles


I started my 2003 Tahoe up to drive to york and when I stepped on the brake the pedal went all the way to the floor. We took it down the road by using the emergency brake to our local shop. They said all of the brake lines were rusted and all needed to be replaced.

- Felton, PA, USA

problem #14

Sep 182010

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I own a 2003 Chevy Tahoe. I first begin having issues with the ABS system in 2010. The brakes would flutter before coming to a complete stop. While traveling out of state the brakes completely failed and went to the floor. I was stuck in traffic in a residential area with passengers in my car. The parking emergency brake would not work so I had to carefully drift into a parking spot using the curb as a brace. I ended up having to replace all the brakes lines which were completely corroded. I was just told by my mechanic today that the pads, rotors, backing plate, parking brake system, etc. Is all corroded and has to be replaced costing me well over $1000 dollars. I like my vehicle and other than the issues with the brakes it runs fine. But for such an expensive luxury vehicle to have this type of safety issue is completely unsatisfactory to the customer. To many manufacturers are cutting cost at the expense of customer safety and vehicle reliability. This matter has to be addressed quickly and a recall and/or help with cost is greatly needed.

- Belcamp, MD, USA

problem #13

Dec 152012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. The contact stated that while inspecting the vehicle, he noticed that the brake lines were corroded. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the brake lines would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000. The consumer stated when he backed up and applied the brake pedal, it went to the floor. The consumer noticed fluid leaking from the driver side front of the vehicle.

- Rural Retreat, VA, USA

problem #12

Jan 142013


  • 140,000 miles


Rear brake line rusted through and lost brakes. Brake pedal went to floor losing 95% of braking ability. I wasn't in the car, wife was driving with my children. If this had been at a higher speed or going down a hill I shutter at what could have happened. Mechanic replaced 90% of the brake lines as he said they were in bad shape. Thousand dollar job. My wife's highlander (other vehicle) has 175K on it, same year and we don't have this problem, I will double check them though. I asked the mechanic if he sees a lot of Toyota's in here for brake lines, nope. They use better stuff with a special coating. Mostly Chevy, Dodge, Ford come through. You would think these manufacturers would know better with some states being in the "salt" belt.

- West Suffield, CT, USA

problem #11

Dec 182012


  • 107,000 miles
My wife went to start the vehicle by placing foot on the brake pedal. At start-up the brake pedal went all the way to the floor and she realized she had no braking power. I crawled under the vehicle to notice a significant amount of brake fluid leaking from very corroded brake lines. Luckily, we were two blocks from a repair shop. Once at the repair shop they advised that not only were the front brake lines leaking but all of the brake lines were corroded and needed replaced immediately. This repair cost me over $815 on a 9 year old vehicle. I've never had brake lines go bad on any vehicle I've owned.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #10

Aug 142012


  • 105,831 miles
My brakes failed completely as I was driving home I was only able to stop by going up hill. The brake warning light did not go on until the brakes were failing. We had the car towed to our service station and had to replace the complete brake system.

- Southold, NY, USA

problem #9

Oct 162012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 64,801 miles
I was advised by a GM technician during visit to dealer for regular maintenance to replace corroded brake lines if I intended to keep the vehicle. Cost would be approximately $2,000 to $2,500 and that I shouldn't wait too long to do so for obvious safety reasons. Service manager at this GM dealership stated that they have replaced a "ton" of them at owners' expense. My vehicle is never driven in snow or ice and I have never had to replace brake lines on any vehicle that I have owned over the past 50+ years - very disheartening.

- Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #8

Oct 162012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 44,200 miles


I was driving on the highway, and a truck cut me off. I applied the brakes, and the pedal went to the floor. I was able to avoid crashing by pumping the brakes. I pulled off the side of the highway, and saw brake fluid under the truck. As I was only a few miles from home, I crawled home using the emergency brake. Upon further investigation, all of the brake lines, from front to back, were rusted and rotted. I paid a mechanic shop to replace all of the brake lines with stainless steel lines. In all of my years of driving, I have never seen brake lines rot out after only nine years and 40,000 miles. I would like to be reimbursed by Chevy for the replacement of the brake lines. A very serious accident could have occurred. And to think that just a few days before, I was driving with my family in the truck!

- Port Chester, NY, USA

problem #7

Oct 072012

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
Returned to a friends from a trip to access my vehicle and head for home. Brakes pushed to the floor and when I tried to move a little, car wouldn't stop with either the brake or emergency brake and proceeded to roll forward into a steep embankment in front of my friend's home. Luckily I was not injured but needed all the brakes repaired and drivers side door replaced. I am in the process of waiting to hear from my claims adjuster.

- California, MD, USA

problem #6

Oct 012012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 128,002 miles
I was driving down the street at 10 mph and then went for my brakes and the but they were gone. Pedal went to the floor and bells started ringing and my warning system indicated (check brake system) bad brake lines.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #5

Sep 032012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 113,936 miles
On September 3rd, 2012 I was driving my 2003 Chevy Tahoe and I had just pulled into a shopping center and as I was approaching a stop sign I applied the brakes. The brake pedal went straight to the floor. I went straight through the stop sign, but, luckily there were no other vehicles at the intersection. I was able to put the vehicle into 1st gear and guide it into a parking spot away from other vehicles. When I exited the vehicle and looked under the truck, I could see all of the brake line fluid pouring out of the brake lines. The Tahoe was towed to my mechanic. During the repair, the mechanic showed me all of the brake lines and they were all severely corroded. Every brake line had to be replaced. There is no other corrosion on the vehicle.

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #4

Aug 232012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 87,128 miles
Complete failure of brake lines and calipers secondary to rust. Truck (a GM Tahoe) was inspected at the dealer one month ago and passed pa inspection. Approximately 1 month later (1000 highway miles) my truck had to return to the dealer to rectify something they had previously been fixed, unrelated to the brakes. Upon picking up the truck after that repair, the brakes were applied after starting the car to put into gear and the entire break system blew. Thank goodness, the vehicle was not in motion because I would not have been able to stop. The dealer them put the car up on the lift and I was told the entire system was rusted, including all the bolts to the system. The only way to repair was to cut the entire brake line system off and replace. The rear caliper covers also began to rust, so they are also being replaced. I can provide pictures of all areas prior to repair.

- Doylestown, PA, USA

problem #3

Aug 252012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 115,531 miles
The brakes failed approaching a downhill T intersection with a busy highway. A severe collision was narrowly avoided.

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #2

Jul 132012

Tahoe 8-cyl

  • 116,184 miles
On the evening of July 13 my wife was driving the Tahoe when the check brake warning light came on. She was able to enter our driveway and stop the vehicle. The next morning I checked the vehicle and there was no resistance on the brake pedal and the pedal went to the floor. Looking under the hood I found the brake fluid reservoir was empty. The mechanic that repaired the vehicle found the rear steel brake line rusted out. The vehicle is only 11 years old and has 116,184 miles and I feel that it is a bit premature for the brake line failure due to rust. I owned two Chevrolet's and a Ford product for over 20 years each and never had a problem with the steel brake lines.

- Fairfield, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 012007

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Brake lines began to corrode at attachment points near all wheel wells. Of most concern is 4 brake lines mounted with steel support brackets on drivers side front wheel well. These lines are not protected from environmental conditions. The corrosion began at the support brackets in 2006 and has worked its way down the lines to the point where they need to all be replaced. This is simply bad engineering---unprotected steel placed in the most environmentally vulnerable area on the vehicle and secured with corrosion vulnerable steel clips.

- Mount Laurel , NJ, USA

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