really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
98,508 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 Sierra 1500 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 GMC Sierra 1500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #56

Jul 302016

Sierra 1500

  • 124,000 miles


ABS system is kicking in at slow speeds, as in a crawl like you were driving next to a walking person. Like I am pushing on the brake pedal and it is pushing back and not allowing me to stop truck. Very scary

- Deep River, CT, USA

problem #55

Aug 142016

Sierra 1500

  • 118,000 miles
Brake lines rusted through prematurely and without warning pedal goes to floor with no stopping power

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #54

May 212016

Sierra 1500

  • 157,468 miles
Thankfully I was in a parking lot, I was backing up and my brake pedal went right to the floor and I had no brakes at all. The brake line on the driver's side front burst. I have my truck at a local shop and its going to cost around $1500 to replace the brake lines. The cost is mostly labor. If loose the front brakes, I would expect the rear brakes to work but that is not the case. I am thankful I was not on the highway or pulling a trailer. I could of got hurt or hurt someone else. GM needs to look into the quality of parts used in their vehicle especially something as important as brakes.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #53

Apr 152016

Sierra 1500

  • 136,034 miles


While on state highway and driving the legal limit, I was approaching a green traffic signal. An ambulance with emergency lights was approaching from the cross direction. I applied brakes and without warning brakes pressure completely failed. I had absolute minimal brakes and I went completely through the intersection. It appears to be rusted brake lines. When I apply the brakes, brake fluid squirts out of the front passenger side brake line where it crosses over from the driver's side. I have had all my work done at GM dealers and they never have mentioned this issue. I searched the internet and see multiple reports on this issue and that GM states this is a maintenance issue. I am over 60 and have never had a vehicle where the brake lines needed to be replaced. I was fortunate that my lane was clear or this would have resulted in an accident. It is beyond rational thought as to how GM can say this materials defect is not their problem. NHTSA should reevaluate this issue and force GM to recall their product before lives are lost.

- Martinsville, IN, USA

problem #52

Dec 012015

Sierra 1500

  • 208,000 miles
All brake lines have rotted out

- Marlette, MI, USA

problem #51

Sep 012015

Sierra 1500

  • 125,988 miles
The contact owns a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. While driving at a low speed, the brake warning indicator illuminated and the brakes failed. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake line failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 125,988. Updated 02/12/16

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #50

Oct 222015

Sierra 1500

  • 98,300 miles


I recently took my truck off the road to replace the shock absorbers. While replacing the rear shocks, I noticed that the brake pads were worn to less than one eighth inch thick. I then looked at the front brake pads and noted that they had hardly any wear. I understand that the front brakes do 70% of the braking and the rear brakes do 30%. that made my finding abnormal. All the brake pads and rotors were replaced, at the same time, about one year ago. When I prepared to change the front shocks, I noted that the ABS dashboard light was on. I was turning the vehicle around at the time and when I approached the garage I applied the brakes and the pedal went all the way to the floor. A few seconds later, I felt the brakes modulating and the pedal was forcefully pushed back up to the at rest position. The truck continued to roll and the brakes were ineffective. I have always believed that a dual (front/rear) braking system was a safety feature. I was incredulous that this was even possible. I feel fortunate that I was only navigating in my yard. I pull a 27 foot fifth wheel with this truck several times a year. I can only imagine the outcome if this event happened on the highway with the rv attached. I found many anecdotal stories that were similar to mine on several websites. As of now, this truck is grounded until I find a satisfactory explanation for this. The brake fluid reservoir was found to be completely full of brake fluid and an inspection of the brake lines revealed no sign of leakage. I have not yet delved into the trucks ABS system, but I have strong reason to believe it is defective.

- Alma, AR, USA

problem #49

Sep 212015

Sierra 1500

  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. While driving approximately 25 mph, the brakes failed. The vehicle had to be towed to a independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake hose needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Tappahannock, VA, USA

problem #48

Sep 052015

Sierra 1500

  • 40,000 miles
Slowed down and turned into a parking spot and the ABS system kicked in. Did get the pickup stopped and noticed brake fluid leaking by the driver real wheel. Had almost no brakes getting the pickup home. Upon inspection found the rear brake line had ruptured due to corrosion. The ABS system has been kicking for no reason before this. Talked to a mechanic and he said there have been a lot of corrosion problems with the 1999 to 2003 GM pickups.

- Dunlap, IA, USA

problem #47

Aug 212015

Sierra 1500

  • 68,524 miles
On the morning of Friday August 21, 2015, my wife went to move my 2002 GMC Sierra. She pulled out of our driveway and proceeded up-hill about 300-400 feet, and then turned around in a neighbor's driveway, when coming back down the hill she tried to brake to stop in front of our house, but the brakes totally failed without any warning. She then went up a slight hill on the other side of our house, but still couldn't stop, and didn't think to put the truck in park as she slowed. She rolled backwards down the hill and was able to steer into a neighbor's yard where the truck came to rest on a berm. At the time she said there were cars parked on both sides of the street and had a car been coming the opposite direction she would have crashed into it. Had there been pedestrians they could have been hit as well. When I came home that afternoon, I added brake fluid to the reservoir, and then pushed on the brake pedal. I saw a huge stream of fluid pour from below the driver's side door. I looked under the truck and found the brake lines surprisingly corroded. If sudden, immediate loss of brakes without any warning is not cause for a recall I do not know what is.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #46

Jul 032015

Sierra 1500

  • 200,100 miles


Pulling into my driveway truck started to slow then the pedal went to the floor. Tried pumping the brakes but did not stop untill I hit two garbage cans and pushed them into my garage door. I now have a truck I cant drive and a garage door that will have to be replaced. There was no warning I am just fortinate that no one was infront of this truck. One of the lines to the rear of the truck blew out and lost its fluid all over my driveway. I thought if you lost 1 line the truck could still stop with the front brakes but I had nothing. Please warn people before this problem kills people.

- Lake Geneva, WI, USA

problem #45

Jun 202015

Sierra 1500

  • miles
I was slowing down to park to unload some recycling and I pressed on my brake pedal and it went all the way to the floor. I was barely able to avoid hitting the person in front of me (outside of their vehicle) and their vehicle. I pumped the brakes but the pedal did not resist at all. My brakes were totally inoperable without using the emergency brake. I got out and had brake fluid streaming out of the lines right below the drivers seat.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #44

Jun 012004

Sierra 1500

  • 30,000 miles
General Motors is aware of an issue with the parking brakes in some model years of their vehicles and have even issued a recall for them to be fixed. They only recalled vehicles with manual transmissions even though vehicles with automatic transmissions have the same brake parts and suffer from the same issue. The parking brakes engage on their own while the vehicle is in motion which causes damage to the pads and drums to the point where they cease to work. This is an unsafe condition especially when towing a vehicle and having to park on an incline. I have contacted them and they just keep telling me that my specific vehicle was not recalled. My vehicle has the same brakes as those that were recalled and have the same issue. 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. If you look on the recall website you will see the same make and model year recalled with manual transmissions. Again the transmission is not the issue, its the brakes.

- Waterford, CA, USA

problem #43

May 182015

Sierra 1500

  • 130,000 miles
Driving to work one morning, I noticed as I approached a stop sign that I had to push my brake pedal further than I had earlier in my trip. Instead of continuing onto the freeway I pulled into a station and tested the brakes only to find that I could push them all the way to the floor and come to a gradual, rolling stop. The truck was towed to a shop where it was found that one of the metal brake lines had rusted through. All 6 lines showed signs of severe rusting. Once the lines were replaced the mechanic told me that a second line had rusted to the point that he did not think it would have held pressure if I had only replaced the first failed line. I was advised that the brake lines in this model and year of truck were known to rust and fail early in the life of the vehicle, especially in northern states.

- Linden, MI, USA

problem #42

May 112015

Sierra 1500

  • 120,000 miles
On Monday afternoon 5/11/15 I had just hooked up a small trailer in preparation to go pick up my granddaughter from central Michigan university the following day. This was going to require a round trip distance of roughly 400 miles. While turning my truck around to park it for the night I discovered to my horror that the brake pedal on my truck went all the way to the floor with no stopping power at all. This happened suddenly and with absolutely no warning at all. I shudder to think what might have happened if this occurred during the road trip to pick up my granddaughter. I called my son in law who helped me replace a main trunk line for the brakes going to the rear axle. This could have been a disaster and but for the grace of god, did not occur during the trip the next day.

- Ruby, MI, USA

problem #41

Nov 082012

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Pulled into a parking space at a store brake pedal went right to the floor, hit building. Brake lines blew out related to poor quality brake lines from manufacturer.

- Lewiston, ME, USA

problem #40

May 032014

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I approached a busy intersection and because traffic signal was turning amber, I applied my brakes and there were no brakes. The brake lines had corroded and broke. Although I filed a complaint last year, GM has decided that even though there are numerous incidents regarding the cheap parts they used in these vehicles, they would not issue a recall. In fact, there was a newspaper article 2 weeks ago that stated there would be no recall because most of these accidents were in northern states where salt is used on the roads in winter. However, now they have issued a very limited recall for Cadillac ctss for the exact years that our GMC suffered same kind of brake failure. The cost to replace these faulty parts is estimated at $2000 per vehicle. But the danger to life and property is much greater. Don't understand how there can be such a limited recall when more than this one model is affected. And yes, I mitigated my damages by having brakes repaired. But feel that I was cheated, now that restricted recall has been issued.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #39

Feb 012015

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 72,041 miles
The brake lines are rusted so badly it will not pass it's next va state inspection. This truck has only been driven 74000 miles. Can this be normal? I am a disabled vet with limited income and can not afford the cost of replacement. There is also more than normal rust of the suspension and other parts under the body. I believe this has gone on too long and a recall is necessary.

- South Chesterfield, VA, USA

problem #38

Jan 312015

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 189,000 miles
My 15 year old son driving with me in the passenger seat he has a learners permit applys the brake and it went to the floor not being able to stop properly swerves and avoids a collision with limeted brakes I took over and made it home buy the time I got home I had no brakes and no brake fluid I was releived to make it. I work on cars for a living and never replaced brakelines do to rusting out. There will be a fatality if GM dont fix there problem. I dont live in where it snows very often my couny has 2 salt trucks and my roads I drive dont get salt, we havent got snow besides a dusting in three years. So to say its trucks in the North is a false statement. I bought a ss aftermarket brake line set I will install it myself. I know it will be labour extensive but it has to be done thanks for letting me vent thanks to you you for reading my complaint.

- Sparta, TN, USA

problem #37

Aug 182014

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Anti lock brakes at low speed activated cannot stop vehicle pressing harder brake line blew had no brakes rear ended vehicle stopped at red light.

- Erie, PA, USA

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