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NHTSA — Power Train: Driveline: Differential Unit Problems


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,371 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.

2006 Pontiac Solstice drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Pontiac Solstice Owner Comments

problem #10

May 142009

Solstice 4-cyl

  • 45,311 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Pontiac Solstice. While performing an oil change, the dealer found a leak coming from the rear differential seal. The dealer stated that she would be responsible for the repair since there was no recall available. The failure mileage was 45,311. Updated 06/09/09. There was an oil leak coming from the rear differential. Updated 06/10/09.

- Grand Blanc, MI, USA

problem #9

Dec 202007

(reported on)


  • miles
2006 Pontiac Solstice grinding noise in the differential assembly. Consumer states that the dealer is saying that the noise is normal and there is nothing wrong. The consumer stated that the grinding issue had become so bad that the vehicle would violently jerk not only while attempting to turn, but also while driving straight.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #8

Jun 012007

Solstice 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,000 miles
I purchased my Pontiac Solstice in November, 2005. Since then the rear differential has gone out twice (the first time approx. 3 months after purchase) and has been repaired once for a leaking diff seal (shortly after the first replacement). It was replaced twice since it was under warranty. However, I am concerned once the warranty has expired I will be left "holding the bag" for this problem. I am on my third diff for this car and have met other Solstice owners with the same problem. In fact, I have not met a Solstice owner who hasn't had a diff problem. I think Pontiac needs to recall this diff and provide a reliable one! (incident date provided is a "guess" of the last replacement.)

- Gloucester, VA, USA

problem #7

Jul 102007

Solstice 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The clutch packs in the differential were binding on the 2006 Pontiac Solstice with just around 11,000 miles. A major vehicle component like the differential should not bind at this early stage in the vehicle's life. In any case, it made the vehicle harder to maneuver, which I consider to be a safety risk.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #6

Jun 132007

Solstice 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 9,250 miles
Differential making clunking sounds when shifting. Nothing was done as dealer said that thiswas one of the vehicle's characteristics.

- Duncanville, TX, USA

problem #5

May 142007

Solstice 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,048 miles
While driving on I-95 southbound about 2 miles South of St. George, SC a loud grinding noise combined with vehicle jerking occurred, and about 3 seconds later the differential locked, causing the rear wheels to stop turning and the vehicle to skid along the roadway. Amidst clouds of smoke and dust the vehicle came to a stop on the shoulder facing perpendicularly to the roadway.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 042006


  • Manual transmission
  • 1,500 miles


Transmission makes high pitched whining noise during acceleration in 3rd, 4th and 5fth gear. Constant high pitched whine in 4th and 5th gear. Problem developed within 3 months of owning the car. Took the car into the service shop in August of 2006. Was told that the noise was normal and sent away. Complained to the service manner, Mr. Stone. He failed to respond to my complaints. Contacted owner of dealership, Mr. Robert hess. He drove in the car in September of 2006. Noted the noise but could not identify. Was told that he would test drive a new car to see if the noise was present. Contacted owner (Mr. Hess) in October of 2006 was told GM rep would come look at car. Took car in on the 23rd of October. Was told that car was making a louder noise than normal and they would keep car for repair. Was contacted on the 25th of October. Was told that manufacturer feels that noise is normal and no repairs would be done. Was also told if I requested repairs on the transmission, then would not be covered.

- Gwynn Oak , MD, USA

problem #3

Oct 012006

Solstice 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 7,000 miles
: the contact stated the rear pinion seal failed and leaked oil onto the exhaust pipe and caused smoke that could lead to a fire. The service dealer and manufacturer were notified and offered to replace the seal. There was an oil leak from the vent in the differential, then oil leak in the differential pinion oil seal. Updated 12/05/06.

- Uncasville, CT, USA

problem #2

Jan 202006

Solstice 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 600 miles
Vehicle was purchased on 1/8/06. Pinion seal on rear differential leaking 10 days later. Took vehicle to dealership for repair on 1/19/06. 1/31/06 dealership replaced the pinion seal and returned the car to me. 3/8/06 pinion seal began leaking again, heavily. Took back to service department on 3/9/06. 3/16/06 dealership replaced differential assembly (GM case #8733080). 7/10/06 rear differential leaking differential fluid again (for the 3rd time). 7/11/06 took back to dealership service department for diagnosis. As of today waiting for info from service department.

- Rancho Cordova, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 222006

Solstice 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Rear differential leak. Potential safety issue if differential was to dry out before vehicle is taken in to service. New differential seal was installed.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

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