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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 1 of 4)

problem #78

Jan 122017


  • 110,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. When the vehicle was started, the brake pedal traveled to the floor. The contact exited the vehicle and noticed brake fluid all over the driveway. The contact inspected under the vehicle and discovered that the brake line was corroded and leaking fluid. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed by the dealer or an independent mechanic. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Ft Washington, MD, USA

problem #77

Jan 092017


  • miles
I have an 03 Tahoe Z71 200000 mile and brake lines are rusted out, now I have read over several hundred complaints on this vehicle ranging from 40000 mile all the way up to 280000 mile, even complaints back to where this truck was a few years old, why are you still allowing GM to mass produce these vehicles with no punishment with faulty brake lines. There where 2015 model Silverado's, and Tahoe with this issue. Demand a recall on this issue please.

- Hartford, KY, USA

problem #76

Oct 272016


  • 83,000 miles
While braking a little harder than normal to avoid hitting a deer, the brake line just below the drivers area blew and the brakes went to the floor and the service alarms went off on the dash. I was going down hill at the time but still had enough brake to stop. I was going about 35 mph at the time of failure.

- Elmira, NY, USA

problem #75

Jun 182016


  • 130,000 miles


Front brake line blew out just as I was pulling in my driveway.I bought the truck used in July of 2015 the brake lines rusted and peeling

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #74

Apr 012016


  • 68,000 miles
I was on the highway when I had to slam on my brakes and the pedal just went to the floor I had no brakes at all. I was forced to steer into the ditch to avoid a collision. After having the truck towed home I discovered a brake line had popped due to rust. I understand this is an ongoing problem with these vehicles

- Metamora, IL, USA

problem #73

Mar 312016


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. While driving 60 mph in rainy weather, the brakes were abruptly applied to avoid a collision. The brakes did not respond and the contact swerved to avoid crashing into the rear of another vehicle. The contact crashed into a ditch. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was not filed. The contact was not injured. The vehicle was able to be driven to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Metamora, IL, USA

problem #72

Feb 262016


  • 162,000 miles


Metal brake line under truck burst. Looks like it rusted through. All other lines rusted also. Vehicle was parked in driveway.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #71

Jan 222016


  • 140,000 miles
Driving on icy road anti lock brakes activated and brake line ruptured, adn was not able to stop.

- Lebanon, TN, USA

problem #70

Dec 232015


  • 131,000 miles
Hard metal brake line failure during emergency, high pedal pressure, stop. No injuries. The vehicle was unable to avoid entering an intersection, as the lead car. Braking was firm, before pedal descended steadily toward the floor. Pumping provided some friction, but was unable to restore a minority of the system's capacity. The failure was a hole developed in the line, along its path to the passenger front brake caliper. The brake lines showed alarming corrosion levels, which while potentially understandable for a 13 year old northeast outdoor winter truck, was a symptom of catastrophic potential.

- Dover, MA, USA

problem #69

Nov 092015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe. While towing a 6000 pound trailer and descending down a hill at approximately 20 mph, the vehicle suddenly experienced catastrophic brake failure. The vehicle would not stop or slow down when the brakes were applied. The contact was able to drive into a field to eventually stop the vehicle. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Sandy Hook, VA, USA

problem #68

Sep 082015

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 91,000 miles


My wife was driving our 2003 Chevy Tahoe to the doctor's office without any warning brakes totally went out, god must have been watch over her because this could have been deadly, thank god for emergency brakes. GM state that the vehicle will stop when the brake line give away will that bull sh*t! this is the second vehicle that we have had brakes line go out on first my 2002 Chevy Silverado with 41000 miles on it and now our 2003 Chevy Tahoe with approximately 90000 both within a week of one other. Also my stepson has a 2006 Chevy Silverado that the brakes went out on two weeks ago is a hospital parking lot that was almost devastating.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #67

Sep 052014


  • 130,000 miles
First incident occurred 9/05/2014. Second incident occurred 09/06/2015. First incident brake line was rusted and fluid pooled under truck. Brake line broke in driveway. Second incident the brake line was rusted and the truck was driving 20mph with children in the car on a busy street. There were no brakes to be used.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #66

Aug 112014


  • 218,000 miles
Rusted brake lines resulting in failure of braking system. Brake lines should last longer than the service life of the vehicle. Hence no brake lines should ever be made out of steel. Especially on on a system as critical as the braking system. This failure could have costed me my family. The the ethical thing for any company to do. Is rectify the problem. I really don't understand why this would be an issue. We are talking about the braking system on a vehicle that by itself weighs 5,000 pounds. Without a trailer or any payload attached to it.many of people have not been as fortunate as myself. The vehicle is. Otherwise in excellent condition. To this day.if faulty ignition switches get recalled it's common sense to recall a brake issue. Especially since the brakes totally fail without any warning. I have been building cars since I was a kid.and this is a first. To see a brake line burst. Because of the corrosion. If GM doesn't want to recall these vehicles. The at least let the owners buy the parts and GM install them. And for GM to state that this a normal wear and tear issue. When was the last time anybody thought to check for rusted out brake lines when. They were changing the oil or doing a tune up.or changing brake pads or tires. Those are normal wear and tear owner maintenance issues. My 2004 Ford F350 has 220 thousand miles. Runs great to but the brake lines aren't rotting out of the vehicle. What GM is claiming is a extremely weak argument. Thanks for your time.

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #65

Jun 062015


  • 128,000 miles
Brake failure caused by corroded brake lines. Incident occurred at boat ramp, could have easily lost truck in water. Master cylinder nearly empty and no indication of issue prior to failure. The truck gives warning with low washer fluid but not brake fluid" mechanic repairing broken lines, but how soon until another has issue"

- Chester, MD, USA

problem #64

May 282015


  • 102,356 miles
Brake lines rusted out and leaked fluid resulting in brake failure

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #63

Apr 252015

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
Was backing up to park and brake line ruptured sending brake pedal completely to the floor. I was able to safely park the car. When I checked on it later there was a puddle of brake fluid by the back driver side tire. Upon examining the brake lines a visible rupture could be seen behind the back driver side tire. The brakes lines had completely rusted out. Thank goodness I was already going slow don't want to imagine if I was on the highway and needed to stop.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #62

Feb 252015


  • 156,125 miles
Stopped at mailbox to collect mail. Braked, put vehicle in park. Stepped on brake pedal to place vehicle in drive, felt 'pop' sensation in the pedal. Brake pedal went to floor. Upon visual inspection, at least one line has ruptured.

- Southbridge, MA, USA

problem #61

Dec 232014


  • 109,000 miles
1) 12/23/2014 - sitting in pharmacy rx drive-thru with foot on brake. Without warning, brake pedal went to floor. Assessed problem and determined brake line feeding rear brakes burst from corrosion. Fixed brake line next day. 2) 1/27/2015 - ironically, sitting in fast-food drive-thru. Exact same as above occurred. Determined all 4 brake lines leading to the front of vehicle were split and corroded causing loss of fluid and full braking capability. I was fortunate (and lucky) that I was at a stand still each time this happened. Could have been catastrophic if I had been traveling at any speed. Especially with the size and weight of this vehicle.

- Conneaut, OH, USA

problem #60

Jul 152013

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
This is the first of three (3) occasions that a metal brake line on this vehicle has ruptured. The results were an immediate and complete brake failure. I have to let the vehicle coast to a stop while using the emergency brake to assist. I live in a rural area so in all three times I was very lucky that were light or no traffic.

- Ocean View, DE, USA

problem #59

Jan 032015

Tahoe 4WD 8-cyl

  • 176,512 miles
Driving down a residential road approaching an intersection attempting to slow down and brakes failed, I was able to slow down enough(downshifting the transmission) to make a turn but not able to stop and narrowly avoided another car.

- Apopka, FL, USA

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