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NHTSA — Suspension Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,700 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.

2004 Saab 9-3 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #18

Jul 132016


  • 79,000 miles


Takata recall" my car keeps giving me the following alert: Airbag malfunction. How can I verify it is part of the recall"

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #17

Feb 152016


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that the front springs and front struts failed without warning. The contact stated that the fracture happened twice, once on each side. A mechanic diagnosed that the springs prematurely fractured and the front struts and sprints needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Burnham, IL, USA

problem #16

Jun 192015


  • 55,000 miles
This is a serious issue known to NHTSA and GM under PE 08051. It needs to be addressed and a recall issued. Backing out of garage I heard a pop from right front area of car when put in reverse. Drove about 200 feet before I smelled burning rubber. Car became very difficult to steer. I had car towed to independent service garage. It is determined that the right front spring broke and became entangled in front suspension, steering and tire. Had I been going at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour I would have not been able to steer the car to a safe stop. Both GM and NHTSA know of the breaking front spring in salted road areas including Missouri. This vehicle has only 55000 miles and is stored in a garage at home and work. Please put out a recall issue immediately, this is a very serious issue. Also a front seat belt recall went out last summer. I have contacted the manufacturer several times, the replacement seat belt is always several month out. Mine has become knotted and does not lay flat across my body but is more like a rolled rope. GM needs to address this issue and get the parts out asap as well. Again GM needs to recall the known issue on the front springs on 2003 - 2006 Saab 9-3's and fulfill their current recall on the damaged recalled seat belt. Updated 09/08/15

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #15

Jun 022014

9-3 4-cyl

  • 94,484 miles


I took my vehicle in for a blower motor malfunction and a brake job to my regular mechanic who works on all my vehicles. While they had the vehicle up on the lift, he noticed that the right front spring had broken and gouged the tire leaving the tire damaged and the car inoperable. When they called the dealership to order a new spring from Saab, the parts department said that B/C of mileage and age it would be covered under a service bulletin. Yeah! so, I called dealership and inquired about having the vehicle towed (100 miles) and the Saab dealership do the work. Mileage on 9-3, 94,484 good! 6 months past the "time" limit! bad! needless to say, after $700 later I have replaced both front springs as well as the $175 damaged tire. The spring could have caused serious damage to the car, occupants as well as others if I was driving while the damaged tire gave out, due to the spring breaking! the vehicle drove perfectly & I was not aware of the broken spring! this is not my only vehicle and I honestly feel that Saab should honor the mileage before the "time" B/C the amount of the vehicle being driven is what seems to be the cause of the failure of the springs.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #14

Aug 142010


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that while driving at various speeds over turbulent road conditions or when making a turn, the vehicle would exhibit a creaking noise from the front end. The contact also mentioned that an abnormal clicking noise was heard when first starting the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken diagnostic testing or repairs. The manufacturer was also no longer in business. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Reno, NV, USA

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problem #13

Apr 012014

9-3 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Right front spring broke off during travel. 2nd incident. Note broken coils replaced in 2010.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #12

Feb 252014

9-3 4-cyl

  • 141,000 miles


The left front strut spring snapped and the right front strut spring is moving (circular back and forth motion).

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #11

Jan 152014


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the front passenger's side tire blew. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic, who replaced the damaged tire and also advised that the failure was caused by fractured coil springs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 140,000.

- Menomonee Falls, WI, USA

problem #10

Jan 132014

9-3 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
I was traveling at 50mph when I heard a loud pop from the front suspension. After the pop the front end would rattle over bumps. Upon further inspection I discovered the front right coil spring had cracked. After looking at the spring more I found another crack in the same spring.

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

problem #9

Mar 152013

9-3 4-cyl

  • 77,245 miles
Heard strange noises in front end while turning. Had mechanic check it out and found right front spring broken. I understand there is a recall. Concerned with how to get this handled before it breaks entirely and causes an accident.

- Vestal, NY, USA

problem #8

Mar 232012

9-3 4-cyl

  • 42,100 miles


Loud cracking noise when going over a small bump in road. Inspection showed broken right front coil spring. Could have punctured tire and caused an accident. Updated 08-03-12

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #7

Mar 252012


  • 62,000 miles
I was backing out of my garage when I heard a loud clunk coming from the front left area of my car, accompanied by a burning rubber smell emanating from somewhere. I got out of the car and thought it looked a little lower on the left side. I felt it was unsafe to drive due to the loud noise when I put it in reverse, not to mention the smell of burning rubber. I got my car towed for $75, only to find out I was correct in my online assessment of the problem being my front suspension coil being broken (as per a local auto body diagnostic), due to the numerous and very similar sounding complaints especially for the 2003 and 2004 Saab. I'm lucky that I didn't end up shredding my tire and losing control of my vehicle as I as about to embark on an hour drive, using highways, to meet a friend. However, now I come to find out that Saab, since going bankrupt in mid-December of 2011 no longer is manufacturing or releasing any parts - so I am left with a car that is not drive-able until I can find a solution to this very frustrating problem.

- Mchenry, IL, USA

problem #6

Mar 212012

9-3 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Front right tire started smoking, followed quickly by blowout. After removing tire, discovered the spring part of the suspension had fractured into 2 pieces, one piece loose and unattached, the other still intact with the car. The piece still attached to the car was out of place and in the way of the tire which caused it to rub up against the tire and caused it to blow out after cutting through the entire circumference of the tire.

- Lindstrom, MN, USA

problem #5

Jan 312012

9-3 4-cyl

  • 82,888 miles
Coil springs broken, campaign 15917, inspect and replace broken coil springs.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #4

Jan 062012

9-3 4-cyl

  • 55,400 miles
Broken front coil springs caused the vehicle to be unsafe to operate. Both left and right springs are broken with spring material extending towards the tire. Will require tow for service. Tire failure is likely if driven.

- Waynesville, OH, USA

problem #3

May 102011


  • 92,000 miles
Was driving 2004 Saab 9-3 vehicle when the strut spring broke, and started digging into the tire creating a lot of smoke from burnt rubber. Upon closer inspection it appears that the strut strings had broke on both sides, only the passenger side spring came off of its 'mount' and dug its way into the tire. Nothing was hit to cause this reaction. Upon searching the internet, this seems to be a more common, than not problem with this model of 9-3. Saab has agreed to extend the warranty to fix the problem, but this is a very serious safety hazard and these springs should be recalled. A significant amount of damage was done to the tire before I stopped. If the vehicle had been traveling any faster, I believe the consequences could have been significantly worse.

- New Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 012010


  • 55,600 miles
In Feb 2010 I received a letter from Saab saying that the front springs of my car could fail due to corrosion. They said could cause the height of the vehicle to decrease by an inch or two. What they neglected to say was that the broken spring can hit the tire and cause the tire to fail, which is what has happened to me and may other Saab owners. Their letter should have mentioned this since tire failure caused my car to break down in the middle of a busy road which had no shoulder and I had no warning that this could happen.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #1

Dec 132009


  • 49,875 miles
Driver side front coil spring "broke" while driving my 2004 Saab 9-3 on the highway at over 50 mph. Caused significant strut damage and rattling over the next few days as I was working to schedule in a mechanic visit. They finally quoted me $930 in repairs to replace both front springs, struts and to perform an alignment. Apparently, a lot of other Saab of the same model has had this issue arise for them, I think the springs should be recalled. It is a significant safety issue.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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