really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,406 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 2)

problem #36

Nov 012012

Sierra 1500

  • 65,250 miles


While driving home, someone pulled out in front of me. I applied the brakes and the pedal went straight to the floor. I managed to avoid a collision and made it home as this happened luckily around the corner from my house. I looked for the problem, it didn't take long as under the hood the frame was covered with brake fluid. I was amazed to find that one of the metal brake line had rusted through and the others don't look to be in very good condition. Needless to say I will be replacing all the brake lines with stainless steel lines (a cost of $350). I can't imagine why stainless steel lines are not original equipment. Rust seems to be a problem with this vehicle not only the brake lines but also parts of the suspension.

- Burlington, NJ, USA

problem #35

Mar 012012

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 62,500 miles
Brake pedal goes to floor and is kicked back, no brakes at low speeds 5 to 8 mph. Was subject to recall when still under manufactures warranty. Problem is same now. No brakes at low speeds. Purchased this vehicle new, very low mileage. GMC will not respond to complaint. This is a serious issue.

- Castleton, VT, USA

problem #34

Mar 012012

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
ABS activates at slow speeds when not needed, causing vehicle to be unable to stop in a reasonable distance. This most often occurs when pulling into a parking space at slow speeds with the steering wheel turned to the left or right.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #33

Jan 012012

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 62,500 miles


Vehicle brake pedal goes to the floor at low speeds 5-10mph during stop. The ABS light does not illuminate. Very close to serious accident (s). This is not a traction or lack of traction issue. This seems to be wheel speed sensors that continually require replacing. Rear calipers on this vehicle with less than 65K miles have been replaced twice. Brakes have been a problem since new. Brake lines rotted with less than 60K miles on vehicle and GM refused to consider this a defect which it was and is.

- Castleton, VT, USA

problem #32

Jan 182012

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 67,340 miles
Was driving donw sreet in came to stop sign brakes failed, almost was hit by 2 cars, had truck towed to garage, mechanic said he is replacing more brake lines on GM products than ever before, same thing happened to my 93 eldorado. GM is using very cheap brake lines that corrode very quickly, they are not protected be any anti-corrosive material or spray. Truck is at an auto serv waiting for repair, was told will be between 6-7 hundred to fix! GM should pay for this! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Palmyra, PA, USA

problem #31

Apr 012011

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact stated the brake light illuminated constantly, the vehicle lost brake fluid prematurely, and a brake line ruptured while driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who performed a diagnostic test that located the failure in the brake lines, and calipers due to corrosion. The vehicle was repaired. The dealer replaced the brake lines, and calipers. The failure mileage was 102,000 and the current mileage was 109,963. Updated 12/20/11 updated 01/19/12

- Smoaks, SC, USA

problem #30

Sep 292011

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 140,100 miles


The contact owns a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. While attempting to reverse from a residential driveway while towing a trailer, the contact applied pressure to the brakes however, the pedal went to the floorboard abnormally and did not stop the vehicle. The dealer had not been notified. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and the vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who diagnosed the vehicle with rusted and corroded brake lines. The brake lines were replaced by the mechanic. The current mileage is 140,272 and the approximate failure mileage was 140,100. Updated 11/03/11.

- Clatesville, PA, USA

problem #29

Oct 072011

Sierra 1500

  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact was driving 15 mph when the brake pedal was depressed into the floorboard abnormally. The contact had to utilize the emergency brake in order to stop the vehicle. After the vehicle was parked, the contact discovered that brake fluids were leaking. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who inspected the brakes and brake lines and found that the brake line system was rusted. The mechanic stated that all four brake lines would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who advised that the brake failure was caused by normal wear and tear. The manufacturer then advised that a representative would return the contact's call at a later date. The failure mileage was 114,000.

- Ripley, WV, USA

problem #28

Aug 042011

Sierra 1500

  • 29,000 miles
Total brake failure due to brake line rust through. No partial system brake was available, the pedal went right to the floor with the only indication being a couple of soft pedal pumps with minimal braking before total failure. Vehicle was traveling in city traffic. There had been no panic stops up to this point. No accident occurred. I had to use emergency brake to stop vehicle. Vehicle is now parked, waiting for repair. Total brake line replacement needed due to massive rusting.

- Amston, CT, USA

problem #27

Jul 032011

Sierra 1500

  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. The contact stated that when pulling into his driveway, he noticed that the brake pressure was low and the pedal depressed to the floor. The vehicle was diagnosed by the owner and he noticed that the brake lines fractured and needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer had not been notified. The failure and current mileages were approximately 66,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Port Deposit, MD, USA

problem #26

Jun 012011

Sierra 1500

  • 70,000 miles


2002 GMC Sierra 1500 5.3 std cab slt while braking at low speeds the anti lock bracket system triggers causing unsafe stopping distances. Luckily, I've not crash into another car or person, but curbs, shopping carts and ditches have been run into due to the truck not stopping. This happens while braking under 10mph and it is rarely possible to get the truck to normally brake, often I have to kick the emergency brake to try and slow the truck. When braking the trucks ABS system kicks in the brake pedal goes from soft and mushy to extremely hard and you can't press the brake pedal. I weigh 220plus and when this happens there is really nothing you can do besides steer out of harms way and keep taping the brake pedal waiting for the ABS to stop. This happens everyday I've already had changed out the hubs before knowing of this issue and now I have to replace them again. I'm expecting to have to pay more than1000 us dollars for poor design and recall efforts on GM. I've in Chicago and suburbs for the entire life of the truck. I can be reached at [xxx] my name is [xxx] in my most recent brake failure, I was turning into my driveway and the ABS activated and brake pedal got extremely tough to press and my truck rolled into my other parked car. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Darien, IL, USA

problem #25

May 232011

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
2002 GMC Sierra brake line failure. I was driving to work today when a school bus stopped in front of me to drop off some children. As I tried to stop my brake pedal went right to the floor and I was unable to stop, I was going down a fairly steep hill and had to steer onto the roads shoulder in order to avoid a collision. My truck traveled about 400 feet before coming to a stop.

- Columbia, CT, USA

problem #24

May 102011

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 92,900 miles
Recent pre-purchase inspection of 2002 GMC Sierra 4WD indicated excessive corrosion of chassis and brake lines which resulted in a recommendation of immediate brake line replacement to pass Pennsylvania vehicle safety inspection certification.

- Pottstown, PA, USA

problem #23

May 122011

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 63,212 miles
Driving along at approximately 25 mph and tried to stop for red light and brake peddle went to floor. Was able to stop against curb. Checked and found brake fluid leaking from under drivers side door. Vehicle found to have rusted out brake lines. Specifically leaking were the lines to and from the ABS unit. All four forward facing lines were rusted in clip in frame. At least two were leaking. Replaced four lines out of nine may need others replaced in future. Took picture of leaking area and have section of old line with leak. Cost to replace the four lines was lines was $515.83. This pick up only has 63K miles. Brake lines should last.

- Bethel, CT, USA

problem #22

Apr 252011

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Brake failure. Went to stop at a stop sign and no brakes. I was fast enough on the emergency brake to avoid a collision. Was able to make it home. Checked under truck and the metal brake line had ruptured. Brake lines and fuel lines are rusted. Truck in shop now.

- Woodstown, NJ, USA

problem #21

Feb 252011

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
2002 GMC Sierra 1500 brakeline failure due to severe corrosion of hard lines under drivers side. I was backing out of a parking lot when brake pedal went to floor and had severe loss of braking power. Under further investigation one line was rusted through and others severely corroded.

- Holbrook, NY, USA

problem #20

Jul 312009

Sierra 1500 8-cyl

  • 39,200 miles
* 3-may-06: Vehicle taken in to dealer at 29 K mi for recall to inspect both front wheel ABS speed sensors. Total inspection time approx 10 min, no repairs made. One possible braking incident occurred 3.5 yrs earlier. * 24-Sep-08, 38 K mi: Front brake pads replaced, normal wear patterns. Both rear inner disk brake pads worn to metal and jammed, both rear outer pads little wear, both rear disks heavily scored and replaced. Vehicle has been used little for towing. Rear caliper nuts required an estimated 350+ lbs torque to loosen. * 31-Jul-09, 39 K mi: Near accident on hwy at low speed after very long stop at slow speed, then 3 mi later crash into concrete abutment occurred while parking at idle speed. Loud groaning heard fr engine compartment. Scan tool info by GM dealer indicated both front ABS speed sensors were not sending a signal. Body repair to front $800 using used parts and excluding ABS sensor replacement. * near total, reproducible brake loss occurs between approx 3 and 7 mph. Pressing harder on the brake pedal seems to lengthen the stopping distance. Headlamps dim when trying to stop at slow speed while the ABS pump is groaning. * problem has yet to be corrected.

- Chesterton, IN, USA

problem #19

Oct 102010

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
I have had to replace front wheel ABS speed sensors and related parts twice on my 2002 GMC Sierra 1500. The first time was in 2006, the second just this week. The truck has just over 86000 miles. The ABS engaged below 10 mph. I almost hit other cars or objects several times when this occurred. Speed sensors were corroded. Hub bearings were also replaced due to speed ring faults. It has cost me over $1500 both times to have this work done to make my truck safe to drive. My request for warranty coverage was denied.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #18

Sep 272010

Sierra 1500

  • 27,000 miles
2002 GMC Sierra brake line blew, follow up shows massive rust including parts of frame - so bad that brake bleeders on rotors are a pile of rust, cannot be opened. All brake line fittings rusted beyond removal with a wrench, therefore repair shop could not provide a remedy. 27,000 miles.

- Niantic, CT, USA

problem #17

Aug 052010

Sierra 1500 4WD 8-cyl

  • 60,600 miles
ABS sensor activation at slow speed. The truck does not stop normally when brakes applied at slow speed. This is a known defect by GM and NHTSA. Recalls have been done but not in my state. This is a safety issue and the recall needs to be expanded to all affected vehicles. Despite GM saying that this issue is limited to 20 states and Canada, this is not true. A search of the internet has shown this defect is nationwide. ABS was added to vehicles to help prevent crashes. This defect causes them.

- Jeffersonton, VA, USA

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