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Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Brake Problems



  • Ed,

    Lots of luck dealing with GM customer service. I had the same brake line problem last year in a 2004 Silverado, with 48,000 miles. Had to replace all brake lines due to rust-induced failure. Cost me over $1,300 at Chevy dealership to repair. When I talked with GM customer service they told me that it was a problem due to me being in a northern climate (Cincinnati), rather than them using crappy material in such a safety-sensitive area. So GM's message to us living north of the Mason-Dixon Line is to beware, because we are driving potential death traps. NHTSA has an ongoing investigation, but they neither return phone calls or answer e-mails. Seems to me that a class-action lawsuit may be the only way to address this problem.

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    To contact the customer service reps, click on the blue "gmcustsvc" name in the heading of any of their posts to being up their profile. You'll see a direct link to the email address there.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host
  • I just picked up my silverado today after having all brake lines replaced along with the front calipers. Fortunately both times the brake line blew I was in my driveway. The chances of both the front and rear system going at the same time are pretty slim, but it is a little freaky when they let loose. Toyota did a nice job with their recall when their tacoma frames where rusting out. I like my silverado but would be nice if GM stepped up and acknowledged this problem.

  • Hateful Jim here- just got your email, i apologize for not replying sooner. I havent had ANY luck with ANYONE that seems to be interested in taking the time to make GM pay restitution for ALL the trouble and expense from producing CRAP trucks, and ENDANGERING the lives of hardworking AMERICANS. Obviously, the government doesnt care about its citizens either, or they would step in and make GM acknowledge the problem. Maybe GM should move to China, their quality is of that or less than most Chinese products.
    If anyone can help get a CLASS ACTION SUIT started, SOMEBODY PLEASE LET ME KNOW- I'll be HAPPY to be in the first 5 to sign on.

  • Hateful Jim here again, replying to pattipie3. Thanks again for reminding me of the crash i had at Lowes due to the brake failure, that GM said they could NOT find anything wrong with the truck, BEFORE the crash occurred, even though the brakes failed numerous times BEFORE the crash.
    I just emailed a CLASS ACTION attorney in California, and maybe, just maybe he'll be interested in representing all the folks on this site, that have had near crashes, or even crashes, along with all of us that have had to fix our trucks ourselves at ENORMOUS expense, when they should have been fixed by GM at THEIR expense.
    When/IF i get a response from the attorney, i'll post a note to let you ALL know about the reply, and if they are interested, ALL will have a chance to sign on and get restitution.
  • donl1donl1 Posts: 112
    There must be an ambulance chaser out there somewhere that would give it a shot. If they can get a brain dead woman a million $ plus settlement because the coffee she spilled was hot there should be a chance here.
  • Let us all know if you get somewhere with a lawyer. Maybe... anyone who reads this and will sign a class action suit, let everyone know on here ,so we could have an idea of how many people are together on this.

    FYI to others, I have all the posts to this forum sent to my regular emails so I don't miss anything. That way if someone gets somewhere with GM or a class action lawyer, we will know as soon as it's posted. Thanks Jim.
  • Well, I am ready to be added to the list of brake failures on a 2000 GMC 2500. I am the original owner. Just bought my first boat since I purchased the truck. Was backing down the boat ramp this past Saturday and the pedal went to the floor. The emergency brake saved the day. Although it doesn't work very well it did stop me. If we had been on the road pulling our travel trailer the emergency brake would have been useless. Found the brake line below the master cylinder on the frame that goes to the right front brake spraying on the manifold.
    I have not had a lot of problems with the truck but the ones I have had have been major ones. Transmission just past warranty time, radiator, and the cross member that holds the gas tank rusted out earlier this year. This truck has been well kept.
    Count me in on a class action. Steve
  • Hi Steve, I am in the process of researching this issue, and trying to see what can be done. In the meantime my husband also had a very close call with the brake line failure. Also found out the crossmember that holds gas tank is rusted out. Since you had the same issue, I was hoping you can tell me how you fixed it. GMC service dept. said there is no replacement part, so we are on our own to figure something out. So ANY info. you could give me would be greatly appreciated. By the was I am currently going through a Toyota Tundra recall for a very similar issue. I will keep you posted. Thanks again.
  • The crossmember has holes in it from the factory. They let it collect water and there is no way for it to drain out. The holes are on the sides and top. Mine rusted out on the passenger side.
    I formed and attached 3" angle iron across the front bed supports and supported the gas tank to it. You have to remove the bed to do this and use a little creativity. I also went to the dealer thinking I could order it. They do not have a listing for it. I did find some hits on the net for it but I didn't have time to wait so I made my own and hit the road. It is a good time to replace the fuel pump when you do this. My pump went out about 1 yr. before I found the crossmember. I did see the rust on the crossmember at the time I rebuilt the transmission but it didn't look to bad then. I couldn't get it off my mind so I checked it this summer before going on vacation to find it rusted through within about only 2" from being all the way around.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello, I am Christina a GM Customer Service Representative on Edmunds as well as other forums. You can find my email by clicking on my user name. Please feel free to email me with your VIN, current mileage, involved dealer, and a brief description of your concerns and experience. I look forward to hearing from you.
    GM Customer Service
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Solicitation for class action suits is against forums rules. You may not actively collect anyone's information for such a purpose, nor can you post attorney information. Any such posts will be deleted.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host
  • I have a 2000 Silverado with 6 cyl engine. I had to replace all the brake lines. The truck is full of rust from front to back. I can't even get the spare out from under. I only have 36000 mile on it. Only been in snow about 3 times. I have a leak right under the front of the engine it probably is another line rusted out. Has this been investigated. I would sign up if it has.
  • Jim here, since the host says that all the posts concerning info about a class action suit will be deleted, if i get an affirmative answer, if they wont let me post the info here, i'll put an advertisement in a NATIONAL PAPER, and try to let everyone know which one in a future post, and what days to look for it. I dont get to read emails daily, but i'm working on it. Let ya know something soon. THERES TOO MANY DANGEROUS CHEVYS ON THE ROAD TO LET THIS GO. Someone in MY family may just get killed, because we have ALL preferred Chevy trucks over all others. Its just a roll of the dice, the more you roll, the more chances of a serious accident.

  • Jim here- just wanted to say that GM's failures are not isolated to their trucks alone, wife bought a BRAND NEW 1990 Pontiac Grand AM, in 1990. Everytime you tooted the horn, the seat belt chime would chime. Chevrolet here couldnt figure it out, so i contacted the GM office in Michigan. Turned out that the tech's up there couldnt figure it out either. They told me- "just dont blow the horn". So you see, they build these things, but they really dont have a clue.

    Just thought you'd like to know that their trucks arent the only thing they mess up. Jim.
  • How did you hear that the host won't allow posts about class action suit? And how can they do that? I think there should be a separate web site just for people in this situation to post, so that there is an accurate head count of how many trucks are involved. If I can get that together I will post a link.

    Dear Christina,
    Two weeks ago, my husband was driving his 1999 GMC Sierra, when suddenly and without any warning, the brakes went out completely. He came very close to getting into a vary bad accident. After being towed to a GMC service center, he was told the brake lines had rusted out. We had to have the entire brake line done, at a cost of over $1,600.00. Then while the truck is being worked on we get the news that the crossmemeber of the frame that holds up the gas tank is also severely
    rusted out.Obviously this is a huge danger to be driving around in a truck that the gas tank can fall out of. The GMC service center said there was nothing they could do as this is part of the frame.

    First, I would like to say that my husband has babied this truck from day one. It has never been off road, never been even near water, mostly used to drive back and forth to work, and an occasional trip to Home Depot. My husband is a HUGE believer that we should all buy american cars, he has also always been a big proponent of GM. He is absolutely floored that this has happened.

    Second I would like to point out that this rusting issue is not something that you can really see from just going under the truck. It is not until the bed is off the truck that you can see the severity of the rusting. This is a very scarry issue, as the gas tank could just give way without any warning as did the brakes. Luckily my husband is an experienced driver that was able to avoid a potentional fatal accident, but I can't even imagine a younger less experienced driver having this happen to him/her. I have never seen a vehicle rust this badly at any age.

    I would greatly appreciate you looking into this matter. Also please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or require any additional information.

    THIS IS THE REPLY .......

    I don't see any information on a recall or anything for your concerns. I have documented your experience, thank you for taking your time out to explain your concerns and situation to me.
    GM Customer Service

    THANKS GM !!!!!!!
  • Jim here, I also have been a loyal Chevy truck owner. I have NEVER had anything but Chevy trucks, but they have made a believer out of me. They really do NOT CARE, nor do they have ANY INTENTION of owning their problems. HOPE YOU ALL SEE WHAT WE GOT WHEN OUR WONDERFUL GOVERNMENT GAVE GM THE STIMULUS- SCREWED!! As for me- wont happen again. The Chevy Silverado in my driveway will be my last GM product. Guarantee it!! Hateful JIM!!
  • Patti, I second what Jim said. Your husband was lucky as my front brake line rusted out after approx. 4.5 yrs on my 2003 with only about 45,000 miles. The rear set went out in 2010. The 5 PS steering lines rusted out along with the PS pump. Event the top of the transmission dipstick rusted and the handle fell off! After replacing the rusted out oil cooler lines for the 2nd time, ( they last less than 4 yrs), I gave up. After 33 yrs, I am now a proud owner for Ford truck. You can report the brake lines to NHTSA, as they have been investigating this. Consider that you may be saving someone's life, as you never know what a 6,000 GM truck will hit when it suddenly loses all brake line pressure. Christina's and GM's response is not only uncaring for their customers, it is irresponsible from a safety perspective. There was obviously something wrong for rust to be this highly accelerated, especially on brake lines.
  • Pattipie,

    I also sent an e-mail to Christina concerning the complete rust-induced brake failure in my 2004 Silverado at 48,000 miles. I just got off the phone with John, a GM customer service representative, who informed that GM intends to do nothing in my case. He said brake maintenance was customer responsibility, and since my truck was out of warranty they would offer no assistance. I pointed out to him that brake pads and rotors were customer maintenance issues, but certainly rusted brake lines at less than 50K miles were not. I also said that brake line failure represented the failure of a critical component that should last well more than 100K miles. Needless to say he was not swayed by my arguments. Therefore, it appears that GM values a few million dollars more than the lives of its customers. If the NHTSA investigation does not result in a recall, our only option appears to be legal. In any event, we should be active in ensuring the public is aware of this issue.

  • sorry to say, the NHTSA concluded their investigation, and there will be no recall. While doing research on this I found out that Toyota had the same rusting issue with their Tundra trucks.... the documents I read said there were just 60 complaints on file, and they had to do a full recall. From what I can see there are hundreds of complaints and yet no recall. Oh yeah I forgot we bailed out GM and have a huge financial stake in them.... but whats a few lost lives. I urge anyone that has had a premature rusting problem to make a formal complaint to the NHTSA. In the meantime I am working on getting a website with all the info. posted on it.
  • pattipie,

    Perhaps the NHTSA investigation was dismissed because of government ownership of GM. A massive recall of all these vehicles would certainly have cost many millions.

  • There was a recall for brake sensors. That didn't solve the problem. It was the cheapest thing they could do.
    I drive a Ford now. Haven't had to fix or repair daily. No problems after 125k.
  • Pattiepie3- you have my email. If theres anything i can do to help get a site up to educate the motoring public about GM's failures to do the right thing, as well as the "so called -safety" of GM products, please let me know. I want to sign on!!

    Jim I am still working on a website, but this one that someone else did is great ... you just can't add to it, which is what I am trying to do. I did however open a facebook group called: GM rust buckets that I am adding all the info. and links I have gotten so far.
    I tried to reply to your email off this forum, but it did not go through, so I hope you can get onto the facebook group.
  • Pattipie3 and hateful_jim count me in! I lived through the sudden loss of brakes 2X and saw many other lines rust out and parts fall off. I finally traded in the truck but have documentation, pictures and parts. Hopefully GM may wake up some day and realize that they will be responsible for unnecessary injuries and deaths due to their purposeful ignorance of this.
  • jim here, unfortunately i'm not on facebook, but i'll see what i can do just so i can get on the facebook group. I have it set up here on edmunds so that when a post comes in, it shoots it straight to my email, so i've been watching these things happen for quite a while now, and i thought i was the only one having trouble with my chevy, with ghost symptoms and all. thanks again, jim.
  • As I'm sure anyone reading this knows, GM has a huge rusting problem. I realize that vehicles DO rust after time, but the severity of the affected trucks is NOT normal wear. PLEASE if you are having problems with this issue, you need to make a formal complaint with the NHTSA and GM headquarters, and anyone else in your area you can think of ( newspaper, other forums, etc)

    This is a serious and dangerous issue. I have been researching this as much as I can and I have created a blog that I will list all information that I collect. I also hope people will post their issues and / or information they come across.
    the link to my blog is ...........

    The NHTSA did open a recall case on March 30, 2010 and ended it on January 5, 2011 NO RECALL. This is the same time Toyota was having the same issue with their 2000-2003 Tundra truck. Those trucks were in fact recalled.

    I know our government bailed out GM and there is a lot at stake here financially if a recall was issued, but quite honestly I think SAFETY MUST COME FIRST !!!!

    I will continue to research this issue and post anything I find, and I hope that others will do the same. if we can not get a recall then I would hope we could all file a class action lawsuit.
  • Awesome detail, saved me a lot of time with the step by step. Although I don't have a shop nearby to do the pressing I just used a 5lbs sledge to knock out the old lugs and then tapped the new ones in a little and re-assembled using the nuts to pull them in the rest of the way. Also I put some grease under the clips to help prevent rust after cleaning them up. All is good now.
    Thanks for the HELP!!!
  • Just had a brake line between the ABS module and the splitter on the rear axle burst from rust. Inspected the others and they ALL need to be replaced. I'm going to file a complaint with the NHTSA, but I'm not sure if that will get anywhere. I've had PLENTY of 20-30+ year old cars, and NEVER had an issue with brake lines rusting, even on an old Gremlin. The only time I've had to replace lines like this is when something else rubbed on it to the point of wearing through it. This is the first time I've seen rusting brake lines. This is ridiculous, they shouldn't be allowed to use whatever material this is for brake lines.

    I'll be replacing them after taking many pictures, but I won't take it to the dealer in fear that they might put new lines of the same material on it. I certainly can't trust my families safety to that kind of practice. I think this will be the last GM vehicle I own.

    The only good thing I can say, is that I wasn't on the freeway, or I might not be typing this. Even at 30mph, pedal to the floor took at least 3x longer to stop.

    I've already called my friends with GM-made vehicles, and I'll say the same thing here. If your car/truck is made by GM, take a minute and look under your vehicle at the brake lines. If they're showing signs of rust, for your own sake, don't ignore it.
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