(1) The truck was delivered with the steering wheel off centre. The truck didn't pull to one side, but it took a total realignment on a 2nd trip to the dealer to get it right.
(2) The LS standard equipment list included a lock on the spare tire, but wasn't on the truck when delivered. Persistence was needed to get the dealer to install one readily available from their parts counter.
(3) The plastic wheel lug nut covers rattled loose even though GM issued a dealer Service Bulletin in 2000 pointing to this specific problem. GM's fix is a specific glue which the dealer had to order, so it required a 2nd trip to the dealer to get a temporary fix. (The glue has to be reapplied each time a lug nut is removed?) I bet Toyota and Nissan don't overlook defects like this.
(4) Although the truck came equipped with the optional trailer hauling option group, a fuse is missing, unlike my 2000 Silverado, so that a trailer's interior lights won't work. The owner's manual only makes a vague reference to the missing fuse for the 7th wire of the truck's 7 wire electrical trailer harness. So the 5th wheel hitch installer spent an hour unsuccessfully trouble-shooting a baffling electrical problem. It took the dealership's head mechanic with an circuit tester to determine it was a missing fuse, which was then installed freely.
(5) The automatic transmission slipped alarmingly when shifting from 2nd to 3rd and the truck seemed to lurch when accelerating moderately after making a right turn. The dealer reprogrammed the truck's computer with new codes issued on a GM Service Bulletin.
(6) The 5.3 engine is reported to be smooth. But my truck had drivetrain vibrations at 1500 rpm, which was more noticeable at 2300 rpm and worse yet at 3800 rpm. Excelerating on a freeway onramp pulling a heavy trailer, the vibration at 3800 rpm resonated alarmingly throughout the cab. After insisting something was wrong and repeated trips to the dealer, the head mechanic finally fixed the problem using "shims" that had to ordered from GM.
I enjoy driving my Silverado -- clearly it's a strong, powerful and comfortable truck that should prove a good value in the long run.
But there were some annoying and probably typical problems that leave GM, and maybe all domestic truck manufacturers, vulnerable. My Silverado had an assembly error with the wheel alignment, something that should have been caught by the dealer before delivery, but wasn't; the loose wheel nut cover problem is a minor design flaw that should have been corrected by GM long ago, but hasn't been; and the transmission slip, and new computer programming as it's fix, is peculiar. This transmission has been around for years.
But the fuse that was present in my 2000 and missing in 2003, and the exclusion of the spare tire lock, are indicative of something much bigger -- GM's marketing/assembly "shell game".
GM offers 0% loan financing and cash discounts. But then save money in shaving off parts from the truck and sloppy assembly. Compared to my 2000 truck, a number of items have been removed -- it lost one of it's power point outlets on the dash, it doesn't have an under hood light, the side trim doesn't extend past the driver's door, no longer down the whole length of the truck and there're fewer exterior trim pieces.
Compare this to Japanese manufacturers who run a tighter ship in production and quality. They don't trade off product quality for price incentives. And continually gain market share in the process.