The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Thank you for contacting the Center for Auto Safety (CAS)
about your GM Suburban, Tahoe/Yukon, full-size C/K or Silverado/Sierra
pickup or Blazer/Jimmy sport utility vehicle. For years, GM had two Jimmys
and two Blazers – one full size and one mid-size. In 1993, the big GMC
Jimmy became the Yukon while the smaller S15 Jimmy became the only Jimmy.
In 1995, the big Chevrolet Blazer became the Tahoe while the smaller S10
Blazer became the only Blazer. In 2000, GM dropped the ill-fated C/K model
name in favor of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra which had formerly
been trim lines. CAS has received numerous complaints on fires,
stalling, ABS malfunction, paint peel,
engine failure, and transmission breakdowns.
Over 1,600 people have died in fire crashes
involving 1973-87 full-size C/K pickups with side-saddle fuel tanks. Although
more than 30 times as many people have burned to death in GM pickups than
in the infamous Ford Pinto, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), in December 1994, condemned 200 more people to burn to death
in GM pickup crashes in exchange for GM agreeing to spend $51 million
on public education, research and child seats. In 1996, attorneys for
the numerous C/K class action lawsuits against GM renegotiated a settlement
in which GM would give truck owners coupons and fund research into fuel
system safety on any vehicle other than a C/K. CAS negotiated a stipulation
with the class lawyers that they would contribute $1 million of their
fees to test and develop a safety retrofit for the GM trucks. GM appealed
its own settlement so coupons will not be sent out before the year 2002.
Prompted by thousands of consumer complaints, NHTSA opened
an investigation into ABS brakes in September 1995 on
all 1992-95 Suburbans. Many drivers reported the brake pedal suddenly
“went to the floor” without warning or randomly failed
to stop the vehicle. In July 1999, GM agreed to recall the smaller 1991-96
S10 and Sonoma with 4-wheel drive and the EBC4 ABS but not the larger
pickups and Suburbans. A particularly expensive defect on all 1985-92
GM trucks is peeling paint. At CAS' request, GM agreed
to pay for 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 truck
and SUV 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
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 FULL-SIZE (C/K) TRUCK
& SPORT UTILITY FACT SHEET
All Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) are either Chevrolet or GM broadly.
Improved pedal feel 1984-89 All Models (88-300-5 & 88-311-5); Brake
rotors 1988-90 C/K pickup (90-379-5); Slush on parking brake cable 1988-89
C/K (89-288-5); Brake noise 1990-92 C/K (92-166-5); Lead/pull, front brake
wear 1992-99 C/K, Suburban (86-50-20A, 99-05-24-001).
4.3 V6: Idle rise between shifts 1989-90 with manual
transmission (90-320-6E); Engine overheats 1987-88 (88T07); Main bearing
failure 1996-98 (87-61-22); Rough idle after cold start 1996-98 (87-65-07).
5.0/5.7 V8: Engine overheats 1987-88 (88T07)
& 1988-91 (91-145-6B, 91-167-6B & 91-224-6B); Rough idle after
cold start 1996-98 (87-65-07); Bearing knock 1996-99 (99-06-01-003).
6.2 diesel V8: Black smoke at idle 1988-89 (89-181-6E); Difficult/no
cold start/no restart 1983-89 (89-39-6 & 89-264-6E). 6.5L
diesel: Hard/no start 1994-99 (87-63-04; No start/stall 1994-98
(77-63-06A); Hesitation, rough idle, power loss, hard/no start, stall
1994-98 (87-63-03, 87-65-13); Replace injection pump 1994-99 (87-63-07);
Long crank on hot starts 1996-99 (87-65-25). 7.4 V8:
Surge 1987-88 & 1996-99 (88-162-6E, 88-195-6E & 99-06-04-016);
Engine overheats 1988-91 (91-167-6B); Belt noise/wear 1988-89 (89-61-6B);
False “service engine soon” light 1987-89 (89-263-6E); Engine noise 1988-90,
1996-99 (90-299-6E, 99-06-04-014); High oil pressure 1992-93 (93-8C-31).
All: Reduced performance 1988-91 pickup (91-139-6C);
Starter grind/clash 1985-88 (88-305-6D); Oil cooler line leaks 1988-89
pickup (89-208-6A); In-tank fuel pump loose 1987-88 Suburban (88-137-6C);
Engine roughness 1987-88 (88-40); Engine noise 1982-93 (376602); Oil consumption
guidelines (1 quart/2,000 miles) & tests 1996-99 All gasoline models
For detailed package on how to get GM to pay for peeling paint, go to
Free front end alignment kit with greaseable ball joints 1988-90 C/K (90-277-3C,
90-392-3C); High P/S effort 1988-91 C/K (88-308-3B, 88-415-3B,
91-173-3B); Steering “hoot” 1988-89 4×4 C/K (89-55-3B); P/S pump pulley
misaligned 1996-98 C/K (77-60-02); Reduced steering effort '97-98 C/K
Cracks/leaks 1988-92 All 6.2L diesel models (92-182-7A); Clutch chatter/shudder
1988-90 C/K (90-336-7C); Vents leak fluid 1988-90 C/K (90-252-7B); Transfer
case leaks 1988-92 K pickup(91-508-7D); Clutch hydraulic system fluid
leaks 1992-95 C/K with A/T (66-73-01); Fluid leak 1995-96 C/K, 1996 Bravada
(57-71-26); Clutch chaffer/shudder on launch 1994-95 C/K with 4.3L, 5.0L
or 5.7L engine (66-73-04A); No upshift 1995-96 C/K with 4L60-E or 4L80-E
A/T (57-65-08A); Lack of power, early shifts, late shifts, or erratic
shifting 1993-96 All models with 4L60E & 1994-96 All models with 4L80E
(343); 4th gear loss/slip, 3-4 busy shift, TCC cycling 1996-97 C/K with
4L80E (77-71-7); Slow or no engaement of front axle when 4WD selected
1988-97 (76-43-01A); 4WD inoperative 1998-99 C/K (99-04-21-002); Transmission
fluid low, transfer case overfill 1996-98 (86-74-04). For more
info on GM transmission defects, go to GM RWD Transmission.
Wiper chatters/streaks 1988-90 C/K (90-323-10); Odometer seizure/dust
1988-91 C/K (91-92-8C); Wind noise/cold air intrusion at doors 1985-86
C/K & 1985-89 utility/Suburban (90-347-10); Tailgate window chipping
1985-87 utility/Suburban (87-T-75); Slow power tailgate window 1984-88
utility/Suburban (88-317-10); W/S washer pump fails 1985-86 All Models
(86-C-06); Inoperative reverse lights 1980-91 (91-4598A); Reduced power
assist 1988-92 (92-333-3B); Tire slips on wheel 1988-93 (93-3E-63); Tire
damage 1991-93 (93-3E-19); Rear axle vent leaks 1993-96 C/K with 10.5″
rear axles (56-42-03A); Fuel gauge fluctuation 1995-97 C/K (76-83-05);
Fuel gauge shows empty with 7-8 gallons left 1995-97 C/K (76-83-03A);
A/C odor 1993-99 (99-01-004); Reduced range of Remote Keyless Entry 1997-99
(86-90-06); Front seat belt bunching, replace retractor assembly 1999
Silverado, Sierra (86-16-20).
MAJOR SAFETY RECALLS
Copies of recalls may be obtained from NHTSA's Technical Reference Division
through the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Unless otherwise indicated, all recalls apply to both
Chevrolet and GMC.
194,243 1989-90 C/K extended cab – Seat belt adjustment instructions (90V-170);
3,651 1995 Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon – Location of airbag label (95V-140);
8,323 1995 Tahoe/Yukon – Center rear lapbelt improperly routed (95V-081);
630,099 1994-95 C-series & Sierra – Belt buckle releases (95V-241);
40 1994-95 C/K Extended Cab with diesel engine – Front belt missing energy
management loop (95V-242); 279,132 1999 Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon – Airbag
exceeds neck injury allowable levels under safety standard (00V-122).
63,196 1988 C/K – Hose rupture (87V-136); 50,000+ 1994 C/K – Pedal push
rod retainer missing (93V-152); 300,000+ 1988-92 C/K 100, 200 – Rotors
corrode (93V-119); 1,000+ 1998 C-series, Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, – Rotors
crack (98V-033); 13,684 1998 C10 – Rear brake line wears hole (98V-226);
988,587 1994 C-series, Suburban – Brake switch wiring reversed & contacts
wear out (99V-025); 5,000+ 2000 Sierra, Silverado – ABS motor & Dynamic
Rear Proportioning system inoperative (00V-055); 3,758 2000 Suburban –
Kinked brake booster vacuum supply hose (00V-222); 1,383,922 1999-00 Sierra,
Silverado, Tahoe, Yukon – Right brake pipe wears at body cross sill (00V-345).
1985-86 All Models -Headlight failure (86V-131); 36,641 1995 Suburban,
Tahoe, Sierra, Yukon – “Park” indicator light fails (95V-139).
976 1994 C/K Short Bed – Fuel tank sags (94V-030); 2,595 1992-93 Chevrolet
C10, C20 & GMC C15, C25, Sierra – CNG tank cracks (94V-044); 3,493
1994 GMC C-series cab-chassis – Fuel tank straps crack (94V-187); 10,000+
1995 C/K & Suburban/Sierra – 4L80-E A/T case casting leaks oil onto
exhaust system (95V-026); 623 1996 C/K pickup with 7.4L engine – Fuel
rail assembly leak (95V-243); 1,702,880 1988-93 C/K – Transmission vent
tube leaks (93V-016); 55,272 1995-98 Chevrolet C10, GMC C15 Crew Cab –
Fuel tank cracks or wear hole at front inner corner (98V-187).
303 1993 C/K – Seat becomes detached due to improper rivet (93V-163);
1,375 1994 C/K – Seat loose due to missing bolt (93V-216); 1,720 1995
C pickup – Driver seat collapses (95V-027); 624,433 1995-97 C/K Extended
Cab & 2-door Utility Vehicles – Recliner mechanism on Easy-Entry feature
pinches hands or severs fingers (97V-037); Seat back suddenly reclines:
250,000+ 1989-90 Suburban (93V-187), 2,400 1994-96 C/K (96E-010), 675,661
1993-94 C-series Extended Cab (95V-246), 32,596 1991 Suburban (96V-226),
57,264 1992 C/K (99V-130); 6,418 1997 Chevrolet C10, C20 & GMC C15,
C25 – Seat mounting bolt missing (97V-176).
3,047 1995 C-series – Steering shafts separate (96V-004); 30,148 1994
C/K – Loose lower control arm bolt (94V-060); 2,750 1988 C/K – Tie rod
nuts fall off (87V-126); 15,000+ 1996 C/K – U-bolts nuts on rear axle
loosen/fall off (96V-082); 3,957 1998 Chevrolet C10, GMC C15 – Steering
shaft separates (97V-142); 8,367 1999 Silverado, Sierra – Steering gear
separates (98V-242); 1,462 2000 C35 – Steering linkage improperly assembled
8,893 1988 C/K – Cruise control cable lock mechanism disengages (87V-125);
1,521 1988 C/K – Cracked/broken striker nuts cause door to open (87V-127);
29 1994 C/K – W/S separates (94V-212); 379,004 1995-96 C/K, Suburban,
Tahoe, Sierra, Yukon – Throttle sticks (96V-057); 5,000+ 1995-96 C/K with
General Ameri*550 tires – Sidewall bulges &/or flat tire (96V-117);
73,162 1995 Blazer/Jimmy – Fan blade rivets break (95V-180); 5,683 1989
C/K Extended Cab (89V-078) & 4,821 1994 C/K Extended Cab (94V-057)
– Hitch failure; 750,000+ 1994-96 Chevrolet C10, GMC C15 – W/S wipers
fail (98V-150.001); 35,659 2000 Tahoe, Yukon – Exhaust gases enters passenger
compartment through rear wheelhouse (00V-343).