Notes: You know the phrase "they just don't make 'em like they used to?" They weren't talking about the Safari specifically, but it definitely qualifies.

It's rare to see such an old van with so little complaints. Not to mention this thing can tow up to 5,500lbs. The only real area of concern is the brakes, but some would say that's just because the Safari can't be stopped.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,684 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.

2002 GMC Safari brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 GMC Safari Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 092006

Safari 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,514 miles


When backing out of garage brakes failed and the pedal went all the way to the floor. Dealer told me there was no brake problems, but could be ABS sensors rusted or had dirt build up. The dealer cleaned ABS sensors and sprayed a rust inhibitor on sensors and hubs, and said they hoped this would solve the problem. If problem persists to come back.

- Washington, PA, USA

problem #6

Dec 292005

Safari 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,500 miles
I was very nearly broadsided when my vehicle's anti lock brake sensor failed when attempting to stop at an intersection of a secondary road with a state highway. My vehicle proceeded into the intersection at a very slow rate of speed while my brake was pushed to the floor. I have subsequently discovered that there has been a recall for this problem but that it is limited to selected states and the District of Columbia. I live in the adirondack park in upstate NY where towns use dirt only on its roads. I can't imagine a worst situation for this condition to occur than the combination of salt and dirt (like DC I suppose). How many crashes or fatalities are required in each state on known problems before recalls are expanded?

- Dolgeville, NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 292005

(reported on)


  • miles
2002 GMC Safari brakes would not perform properly. ** answer required*** the brakes would not stop the vehicle and resulted in extended stopping distance. The consumer mentioned this problem to the dealer several times but each time they claimed that no problem was found. The consumer heard of the recall on some GMC vehicle's but soon found out the her vehicle was not included in the recall due to VIN. *

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #4

Jul 012005

Safari 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 GMC Safari. The contact stated that when trying to stop the ABS activated, and vehicle lost the braking capability on the right front wheel. There was more braking on the left side of the vehicle, and this caused the steering wheel to pull to the left. The consumer asked the service dealer about this problem, and they stated the right hub needed to be replaced, and that the consumer would have to pay for the repairs. The dealership stated that the consumer could take out the fuse to the ABS and this would disable the ABS brakes. The consumer was not aware of a recall for this specific type of vehicle regarding the ABS. The consumer stated that there was a technical service bulletin (tsb) regarding this problem.

- Cobleskill, NY, USA

problem #3

Aug 192004

Safari 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,544 miles
While applying the brakes, the pedal went to the floor and bounces up and down. The vehicle continued to accelerate. The consumer was able to pull over. The vehicle was later taken to a mechanic, who informed the consumer that the switch to the anti-lock brake modular had shortened out and needed replacement. Please fill in additional information.

- Cochrane, WI, USA

problem #2

Sep 122003


  • 20,000 miles
While driving at 30 mph in rush hour traffic consumer tried to apply the brakes but the brakes locked up. Vehicle shuddered, the ABS kicked in, and a collision occurred. Consumer felt that the brakes failed. The dealer have been notified of the problem.

- Columbia Heights, MN, USA

problem #1

Jul 302003

Safari 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,231 miles
Vehicle had brake failure while going down an incline. Brake pedal went all the way to the floor but didn't hold. The vehicle was totaled. Consumer felt GM should replace the vehicle.

- Juneau, AK, USA

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