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NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,100 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.

2008 Saab 9-3 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 192015


  • 130,000 miles


Upon starting my vehicle it had a rough idle, I went ahead and put it in gear and began to leave my garage, then my check engine light started blinking and there was a burning smell. I then put it back in park and got my husband to check it out when he opened the hood smoke was coming from the first cylinder on the engine. He quickly unhooked the battery and removed the oem Bosch coil pack with gloves on because it was extremely hot (took over an hour to cool down after removed from the car), so hot that the coil pack came apart, had split open and melted. I have pictures and kept the pack for evidence. I do believe had he not got the pack out it could have very quickly been an electrical/engine fire. Part number from coil pack #12613057.

- Dewey , AZ, USA

problem #4

Jan 012014


  • 65,000 miles
The passenger-side taillight bulbs have become so dim that they are visible only upon very close inspection. The taillight bulbs also serve as the brake lights, emitting a brighter light when the brake is depressed. Because of this malfunction, following cars may not have sufficient visual notice that the car in front of them is braking, resulting in a traffic collision. I understand that this is a relatively common problem and was able to have the connector for the malfunctioning taillight replaced. This was an exercise in futility as, almost immediately, the taillight became as dim as it had been prior to the connector replacement. This issue, which evidently cannot be easily remedied, creates a hazard to vehicle occupants, and those in cars following the affected vehicle.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

Nov 262012


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saab 9-3. the contact stated while parked in cold temperatures the vehicle would not start. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing where the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- Natick, MA, USA

problem #2

Feb 162013

9-3 6-cyl

  • 38,500 miles
Driving on turnpike and car hesitated very badly at 1/2 throttle in 3rd-5th gear at 50-70mph. Car stuttered so badly I backed off then engine malfunction light comes on for 10 secs, goes off and car then in a driving very poor - almost like its in limp mode. I belive it was limp home mode. Car felt like it was running on 3 cylinders with a hose blown off (not that I know what a hose is !!). I basically couldn't accelerate without the car feeling like it was going to fall apart. You could feel the car vibrating. I drove home very steady at 50 mph, being passed by all other vehicles. There are many problems with this model Saab turbox 9-3 2.8L V6 and faulty ignition coils. I know of scores of others having the same issue, with only 600 of this model produced. Https://

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #1

Dec 012008


  • 7,000 miles
2008 Saab 93 2.0T sedan stalled (no sputter or buck, but just a loss of power) while driving. Resulted in a collision. Initial dealership mechanics have "no findings" - they will have a field engineer investigate tomorrow.

- Creedmoor, NC, USA

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