Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,320 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.

1998 Cadillac Catera electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Cadillac Catera Owner Comments

problem #5

Sep 082008

Catera 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Cadillac Catera. The contact was driving approximately 55 mph. The warning light indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. There was smoke coming from outside of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the engine was in satisfactory condition. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on a separate occasion for electrical diagnostic testing in which the manufacturer was responsible for the cost. The failures were related to the pcs light and other electrical components. The failure mileage was 100,000. The current mileage was 121,000. Updated 06/03/10 the consumer wanted to know the status of his complaint. Updated 06/07/10

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 202000

Catera 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
1998 Catera problems: Transmission failed 3 times caused by electronic part mal function; alternator failure; battery has been replaced 3 times; heater and A/C inoperative-burned harness and electronic component; door hinges failed; engine oil leak; vehicle cranks but will not start; premature tire wear; vehicle wanders; front end aligned 3 times in one year; warped disc rotors twice in two year period; differential seals leak; vaoltage meter ambiguos reading; sidemarkers inoperative and corroded; high underhood temperature; remote keys filed; rear view mirrors do not adjust to night driving.

- Burton, MI, USA

problem #3

Feb 012005

Catera 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Cadillac cater 1998 experienced multiple failure that caused engine damage. The trunk light bulbs failed. The trunk light bar failed. The key fob failed. The cd player failed. The window washer hose failed. The switch for heating and cooling system had to be replaced. The bottom gear of the crankshaft broke causing engine damage. The front and rear end had to be aligned due to the vehicle pulling to the right. The center link was also replaced.

- Beloit, WI, USA

problem #2

May 042004

Catera 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,600 miles
Like all Cadillac Catera owners we know, we have had and are continuing to have endless major repair bills on the Catera (98 model). The water pump has failed and caused the engine to run hot. The water pump was on recall. Cadillac replaced the pump but charged for belts and other parts damaged by the failure. We have spend over $1,900 trying to solve a morning cold start skipping problem. The problem comes and goes. Cadillac dealer replaced the heater control valve and charged $953. Problem still occurs. Then a repair shop charged over $600 to replace the spark plugs and spark plug wires. Problem still occurs. Then they told us it had to be the coil pack. We spent over $300 on that. Problem still occurs. The car in back at the Cadillac dealer's shop yesterday and today. So far they cannot locate problem. A co-worker of my wife's at the Georgia motor vehicle safety department ownes a Catera. She and her husband have spent over $9,000 on their Catera in the past two years for repairs. They cannot keep tires on the car. The co-worker said they had the same cold start problem with their Catera. It cost over $500 for a starter switch part. It appears Cadillac threw the car together from an engine from england, a transmission from france and assembled the car in germany. I don't think it is fair for consummers to have to foot the bill for Cadillac's neglegency in not properly testing the car prior to marketing. This is nothing short of consummer fraud. We have owned two Cadillac Seville, a Deville, and a small Cadillac back in the 80's. we presently drive a Seville. We have never had any major problems with Cadillac products until this Catera. It is not Cadillac quality and appears to have been marketed without proper training of mechanics in the field in spite of GM's constant advertisements about the excellence of "Mr. Good wrench." Cadillac should be required to fix their problems with the Catera design.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #1

May 012002


  • miles
While driving, vehicle stalls and surges, intermittently the vehicle will not start, dealer has replaced the battery, alternator and crank sensor as the problems.

- Ostrander, OH, USA

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