Thank you for contacting the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) about your Chevrolet S-series pickup, Sonoma or S10 Blazer, GMC S15 Jimmy, and Oldsmobile Bravada. CAS has received numerous complaints from consumers on ABS failure, electrical problems, overall integrity and peeling paint.
In 1993 and 1995 respectively, the aging S10 Blazer and GMC S15 Jimmy were redesigned and renamed the Blazer and Jimmy, which is hard not to confuse with the larger sport utility that used to be called the Blazer and Jimmy before then and which became the Chevrolet Tahoe in 1993 and GMC Yukon in 1995. Regardless of the confusion, the S-series compact pickups and sport utility vehicles have several potentially dangerous safety defects. The S10 Blazer/S15 Jimmy, in particular, has performed poorly in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 35 mph crash tests. All are rollover prone.
Prompted by over 7,000 consumer complaints, NHTSA opened an investigation into ABS brakes in June 1994 on all 1991-94 S/T pickups and utility vehicles. Many drivers reported the brake pedal suddenly "went to the floor" without warning. The ABS brakes in the smaller 1991-96 Blazer, Jimmy, Bravada and S/T-series pickups and Sonomas randomly failed to stop the vehicle with consumers reporting more than 2,000 accidents and 600 injuries. In August 1999 NHTSA announced a recall of over one million 1991-96 S10, Blazer, Sonoma, Jimmy with 4-wheel drive & EBC4 ABS to replace a safety switch that caused the vehicles to go into 2-wheel drive and increased stopping distance. In addition, 1993-96 models with 3-sensor (versus 4-sensor) EBC4 ABS were to get improved computer software for the braking system. An expensive defect on all 1985-92 GM compact trucks and sport utility vehicles is peeling paint. At CAS' request, GM agreed to pay for complete repainting for paint peel and delamination through six years and unlimited mileage but, in March 1995, GM cut this back to 5 years.
You'll find more information on these and other GM S-series truck and sport utility vehicle problems below and what you can do about them plus a complaint box. Your information will help us build a strong case against GM as we fight for action on these defects.
We need you to support the Center for Auto Safety in our fight for consumer rights and against poorly designed and unsafe cars. Your contribution is tax-deductible which entitles you to our quarterly newsletter, Lemon Times. Please submit the membership form along with your contribution and complaint. If you contribute $35 or more, we will send you the current edition of The Ultimate Car Book, by Jack Gillis.
Clarence M. Ditlow
GM S-SERIES FACT SHEET
All Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) numbers are Chevrolet (GMC & Oldsmobile issue similar bulletins) or generic GM.
Chevrolet S10 & Blazer GMC S-15, Jimmy & Sonoma, Oldsmobile Bravada
Brakes: Front disc pad premature wear 1994-97 All (66-50-17A).
Electrical/Instruments: Cruise control works intermittently 1986-92 All (92-8A-89); Cruise control intermittent lose speed &/or drop-out 1988-92 All (92-9-54); Oil pressure gauge flutters &/or reads high 1990-91 Blazer (91-6A-180, 91-6A-157); Defogger & rear wiper switch become hot 1990-91 Jimmy (91-8A-127); Battery dead 1980-91 Jimmy (91-6D-88); Fuel gauge inaccurate 1998-99 All w/4.3L (99-08-49-004).
Engine/Driveability: Surge/chuggle on deceleration, cold engine knock &/or rough idle 1990-94 Jimmy (37-61-05); Freeze-up of PCV system in cold weather 1992-94 Jimmy (376518); PCV valve system hose freeze 1992-94 Blazer (94-E-06); Engine shake at low speeds & at idle 1988-92 Blazer w/4.3L (166102); Valvetrain/lifter noise 1992-93 Jimmy (376006); Cold start fan noise 1988-92 Jimmy (92-66-56A); Engine block heater leaks '76-92 All (92-613-71A); Accelerator pedal position low after using cruise control 1991-92 Jimmy (92-6A-135); Lack of power 1991-92 Jimmy J (92-7A-102); Hard start/extended crank when hot 1991-92 Jimmy (92-6C-51); Engine vibration 1990-91 Blazer (91-6-98); Rough idle/stall after start 1988-91 Jimmy w/4.3L & 4L60 transmission (91-6E-17); Shake/vibration at idle 1988-91 Jimmy (91-6A-02); Engine spark knock/surge &/or high cold idle speed 1990-93 Jimmy (93-6E-101); Oil leak at filter adapter bolts 1989-91 Jimmy (91-6A-05); Engine noise, rough idle & reduced power 1987-89 Jimmy (89-T-76); Catalytic converter odor 1988-89 Jimmy (89-T-09); Water pump/seal leaks 1987-88 Jimmy (88-T-137); Engine roughness/"Check engine" ligh comes on Code 13 or 44 1988-91 Jimmy w/2.5L (91-6-115); Rough idle after cold start 1996-98 All w/4.3/5.0/5.7L (87-65-07); Main bearing failure 1996-98 All w/4.3L (87-61-22); Oil consumption guidelines (1 quart per 2,000 miles) & tests 1996-99 All gasoline models (76-60-04A); Overheats, heater inoperative, rust in coolant system 1996-97 All w/4.3L (99-06-02-012); Spark plus wire failure warranty extended to 7 years/70,000 miles 1998-99 w/2.2L (00C032).
Paint: For information on peeling paint, go to GM Paint.
Steering/Suspension: Misdiagnosed P/S pump noise 1992-93 Blazer (463201); Torsion bar "knocking," 1988-91 Jimmy (91-3C-119); Front suspension squeak 1982-91 Jimmy (91-3C-106); Crack in P/S pump pulley 1987-89 Jimmy (89-T-43); P/S pump pulley misaligned 1996-98 All (77-60-02);
Transmission/Drivetrain: Front driveshaft CV joint boot torn or cracked 1995-97 Jimmy, 1991-94 & 1996-97 Bravada (46-41-02A); Transfer case fill/drain plugs difficult to remove 1998-99 Bravada (09-04-21-001); Rusty transmission fluid indicator 1995-98 S10, S15, 1996-98 Bravada w/4L60-E (99-07-30-004). For more info on GM transmission defects, go to GM RWD Transmission.
Other: Dust intrusion past air filter during off-road use 1986-93 Blazer (476507); Exhaust heat shield rattle 1988-91 Blazer (91-6F-148); A/C odor 1993-99 (99-01-39-004).
MAJOR SAFETY RECALLS
Copies of recalls can be obtained from NHTSA's Technical Reference Division at 202-366-2768.
Brakes: 69,698 1982 S10, S15 - Rear brakes fail (85V-048); 146,851 1996-97 S10, Sonoma w/4.3L - Front lines wear & leak (97V-146); 19,716 1998 S10, Blazer, Bravada, Sonoma, Jimmy - Right brake pipe at rear axle breaks (97V-218); 1,125,749 1991-96 S10, Blazer, Sonoma, Jimmy w/4wd & EBC4 ABS - Increased stopping distance in 2-wheel drive (99V-193); 3,947 '00 S10, Sonoma, Jimmy, Blazer - Right hand ABS system fluid leak (99V-220); 5,000+ 2000 S10, Sonoma - ABS motor & Dynamic Rear Proportioning system inoperative (00V-055); 306 1997-98 S10 - Rear passenger side brake pipe.leak (00V-159).
Fires: 102,885 1991 All models & 117,200 1994 S10, S15 - Rollover causes fuel leak (91V-108 & 94V-014); 432,183 1995-96 Blazer, Jimmy, Bravada - Fuel tank ruptured by drive shaft (96V-234); 33,973 1998 S10, Sonoma -- Wiring harness clip melts onto exhaust manifold (97V-208).
Seat/Seatbelt: 76,586 GM vehicles including S10, S15 - Bucket seatback lock fails & seat folds forward (84V-011); 7,312 1983 S/T & Blazer, Jimmy - Seat back latch (83V-046); 97,351 1991 Blazer, Jimmy, Bravada - Rear belt buckle won't latch (96V-142); 475,000 1994-97 Chevrolet S10, GMC S15 - Belt webbing fails in crash (97V-096)
Steering/Suspension: 60 1987 S10, S15 - Inner tie rod disengagement (87V-021); 144,598 1987-95 Chevrolet S10 - Steering shaft separates (96V-195); 237 1991 Sonoma, Jimmy, S15 & 72 1998 Blazer, Jimmy, Bravada - Lower control arm detaches (90V-193, 98V-053).
Transmission: 72,664 1993 Blazer, Jimmy, Sonoma - "Park" gear does not engage (94V-093); 35,919 1982-83 S10, S15 pickup - Seizes in 5th gear (84V-073); 24,906 S10, S15, Sonoma - Transmissions seize & lock rear wheel drive (96V-035).
W/S: 181 1991 S10, S15, Jimmy - Improper primer allows W/S to separate from body (90V-107); 55 1996 S10, Sonoma - Top coat peels causing W/S to separate from body (97V-008); 354 1997-98 S10 - Rapid fogging of W/S (98V-177).
Other: 7,000 1985-86 All Models -Headlight failure (86V-131); 10,064 1986 S10, S15 - Incorrect tire & wheel information on certification label (86V-140); 740 1994 Blazer, Jimmy -Trailer hitch fails (94V-114); 215,052 1989-92 S10, S15 - Engine fan detaches (93V-008); 500,000+ 1995-96 S10, S15, Bravada - W/S wipers.fail (98V-150); 1998 S10, Blazer, Sonoma, Jimmy - Daytime running lights too bright (00V-220)..