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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Saturn Aura was a mid-size car meant to replace the somewhat problematic L-Series. Unfortunately, the Aura brought its own problems: namely cheap brake parts that needed early replacement and a gear shifter that could say it’s in park while the transmission was still engaged.

Brake problems, including uneven wear and warped rotors that cause the car to wobble, are common complaints from 2007 owners. Did GM use metal for its rotors that can’t stand the heat? That’s what some say, and it’s hard to argue when reports show that rotors could start to warp as early as 500 miles off the dealer lot.

Meanwhile, a busted gear shifter cable lead to some unwanted rollaways. That’s because the shifter could say “Park” while the transmission was still in drive, reverse or neutral. A defect investigation into the issue was opened in 2011, eventually leading to a recall of 56,000 vehicles in 2014.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,245 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.

2007 Saturn Aura drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2007 Saturn Aura Owner Comments (Page 3 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #97

Jun 032014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 95,110 miles


I was traveling at 55 mph and exiting the expressway when the car dramatically slowed and the transmission shifted into 1st gear. Rpms jumped extremely high and the cars transmission would remain in first gear. Luckily I was exiting at the time or who knows what the consequences may have been. The car no longer shifts in reverse and remains in 1st gear. I contacted GM and reported the incident but stated there were no recalls reflecting this problem. Wave plate shifter cable? I am now awaiting an appointment at a local Buick dealer to determine the damage done to my transmission.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

problem #96

Jun 022014

Aura 6-cyl

  • miles
2007 Saturn Aura. Consumer writes in regards to airbag, transmission and other vehicle defects. The consumer stated the air bag light would display off when driving on the highway. Also, the transmission was failing and there was a loud noise emitting from the vehicle. The traction control warning light illuminated when he accelerated up an incline. A small gas spot formed under the vehicle, when the tank was full. The dealer informed the consumer the leak was from filling the fuel tank full. Another dealer, stated the issue was with the fuel pump.

- Indio, CA, USA

problem #95

Mar 052011

Aura 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The first time I noticed my brake lights illuminated when I didn't have my foot on the brake was while driving on the garden state parkway. I was passing through the toll booth and began to accelerate when I noticed through my rearview mirror that my brake lights were on. I stepped on the break and the went off. I must say because feared it would be a costly fix I ignored it for a long time until I saw another Saturn Aura with the same issue. I drove behind the elderly woman until we both at a traffic light and I pulled along side her to inform her of what I saw. I also told her my car was doing the same thing. She thanked me for telling her a drove off. I took my car to a mechanic who told me he did believe it was a electrical problem but could be absolutely sure until he was able to keep the car for the day. Again not really in a position to fix what may be costly, I continued to drive. Finally I was stopped by another motorist and he explained that while driving behind me he noticed the brake lights came on but as we approached the traffic light which was red I slowed down( stepping on the brake) and the light went off until I was at a full stop and my foot was pressed firmly on the break then the break light come back on. As soon as I saw the recall I called my local GM dealer right away and told them what was happening with my brakes and the fact that when I try to move my gear out of park into drive I sometimes have to force it because it seems stuck.they said they would check to see if my car was included in the recall. Well what do you know its not. This I find very hard to believe, that my car would be doing almost exactly what was described in two recalls but my car(based on my VIN#) is not included. I believe GM is tying to minimize their responsibility for the repair of the cars they willing sold knowing they had issues.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

problem #94

May 292014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


I put my 2007 Aura in reverse no problem, but when putting it in drive it would not engage, engine just revved as if in park. Also my check engine light was on. So I can reverse the car but not move forward.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #93

May 222014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 59,486 miles
Vehicle has been stuttering during shifting for about a week. As of three days ago it would not go into 3rd gear or over 40mph. Today it stalled in the middle of the street. I was able to get to a safe location, but now it will not reverse, go into any gears or even go to neutral.

- Livingston, NJ, USA

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problem #92

May 182013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 78,669 miles
Check engine light came on. Two months before incident, car would go into manual shift mode and then shift back to normal mode. It would also slip gears and at times the reverse gear would not work. The car is equipped with the manual paddle shifters. At the time of the incident, the car completely stalled while approaching an intersection and the shifter would not respond to any gear when moved. The car lost complete power. The car was taken to sears and the codes P0716 (turbine input shaft) and P0700 (transmission control system) appeared. Sears recommended taking it to a dealership. The car was taken to faulkner Chevrolet in lancaster, pa. Chevrolet ran through computer and found same codes. Techs drained transmission fluid and found metal in the fluid. A new transmission was installed a couple of days later. I called GM to report the problem and they responded with re-imbursing me for a portion of the cost of the transmission ($1,350 out of $4,158.38). The rep on the line said that was all that I was going to get and there was no point in trying to get re-imbursed for more. A search of the internet found similar problems and it was mentioned that it could be related to the wave plate.

- Lancaster, PA, USA

problem #91

May 162014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


I've been having problems shifting from park to reverse. The car would jolt when I put it in reverse, I had this problem for 2 months before the incident happened. I was driving on the freeway my car slowed to about 15-20 mph and was not accelerating anymore, it was making a loud sound. I almost caused an accident because of the sudden speed decrease. I pulled off the freeway and my car wouldnt go past 20 mph without this loud sound and would also not go in reverse, so I pulled over and had it towed to a local auto shop. The mechanic told me my transmission went out and would need a new transmission for $3800K. My car is only 7 years old and has 64K miles. I should not be having this issue.

- Oakland , CA, USA

problem #90

May 162014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the vehicle would not shift into reverse. Also, when the gear was in drive, the vehicle would not accelerate over 5 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they had not yet provided the diagnostic results. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 73,000. The consumer stated the transmission had to be replaced on this vehicle, which only had 73,000 miles. She contacted the manufacturer several times regarding the problem, and that was how she found out about the extended warranty. GM issued extended warranties, on 4 cylinder models, but not 6 cylinders models. The consumer believed that was unfair, because her vehicle had the same problem. GM, did offer assistance of $800 to get the vehicle fixed, but the consumer felt she should not have to absorb the balance of $ $3168.25. Updated 06/23/14 updated 08/14/14

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #89

Apr 022014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
My Saturn stopped pulling when stopped, thankfully at our driveway. It would not go forward and the engine just revved. It would pull in reverse but not in drive. Attempted the manual mode but still did not pull and did not show gear indication on dash. Upon several times turning on and off it started pulling. The dealership could not recreate. Program update to tcm and $300 later we left. One month later the transmission slipping so bad it almost stalled in intersections creating a potentially dangerous scenario. We took it to the dealership the next day to have them say we need a new transmission. The dealership was unaware of a recall on the news regarding a transmission problem for the Auras but not for this problem or model. This needs to be a recall since it is a safety hazard. Please consider a recall for this problem.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #88

May 122014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 162,000 miles
Transmission shift cable has detached.

- Columbus, MS, USA

problem #87

Jun 272013

Aura 6-cyl

  • miles


My air bags go on and off every few days ! also when I think the car in park its not sometimes I have to hit the switch put in park. Check engine light been on and off since I got the car.

- Loreauville, LA, USA

problem #86

Apr 062014

Aura 6-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle could not be shifted out of drive. No matter where the shift level was placed, the vehicle remained in drive. Once the vehicle was turned off, it could not be restarted and began to roll backwards. The emergency brake was set, and the vehicle had to be towed to a dealer.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #85

Mar 262014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 84,900 miles
My check engine light came on Monday (3/24/2014), so I drove it to my parents house after work that day. My father drove it to a repair shop on Wednesday (3/26/14). On the way to the repair job, the car stopped changing gears, and slowed to a stop. He let it rest for 10 minutes, then started it up and began driving again. After a few miles, the car once again suddenly slowed to a stop. He let it rest for 10 minutes again, and was then able to make it to the repair shop. The repair shop informed us that the transmission was completely shot. There were chewed up metal shavings, presumably from the wave plate. The transmission must be replaced. Many people have experienced this same problem according to, however, GM has failed to issue a recall or refunds for repairs.

- Msp - Minneapolis/St Paul, Mn, MN, USA

problem #84

Mar 252014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 80,200 miles
Under GM recall #12106C, dated May 2013, certain 2007 Saturn Auras were recalled due to transmission issues, namely, the vehicle was not in park despite the indicator saying so. Hence, the vehicle would roll. Problems were pinpointed to cable fraying.GM tells me that my VIN# was not part of the recall. How could I experience the identical problems outlined in GM bulletin 12106C, but be excluded from any recall" was the VIN# range intentionally limited so as to limit their liability"

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #83

Mar 132014


  • 73,500 miles
After exiting the highway I was stopped at a red light. Upon starting to move, the vehicle stopped accelerating and the engine revved to 3000rpm at 15-20 mph. I was able to get the vehicle to a parking lot and was fortunate to not cause an accident as I was in a lot of traffic. I attempted to drive the vehicle in the parking lot under the paddle system and the vehicle would not go past the third gear. I had the car towed to my mechanic and they also noticed the car would not go into reverse. The engine light then turned on. The car has been transferred to a transmission shop who has stated the transmission needs an entire overhaul which will cost $3300-3400. They are currently repairing the vehicle. I feel there should be a recall including free repairs of this obviously defective transmission. I have read many complaints with a very similar scenario.

- Fairview Park, OH, USA

problem #82

Mar 112014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Put car in park. Then I shut down engine and car began to roll backwards. I was unable to start car.

- Elmont, NY, USA

problem #81

Feb 032013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 100,100 miles
Oil is leaking on engine causing white smoke, smell filter inside of vehicle, but no oil on the ground.(use conventional oil) no accident since I purchase the car. Sometimes shift hard when going to next gear. Medal seen in engine oil.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #80

Jul 112013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 101,950 miles
I had never had problems with the transmission before this. Then one day I was just driving a couple of mile to the bank. On the way there, my 2007 Saturn Aura seemed to kick and I experienced some hard shifting. On the way back, I started to lose power at times and the car was having trouble shifting gears. I barely made it home and got it into park. The next day I had the car towed 5 miles to an independent mechanic who recommended transmission tear-down inspection, plus diagnostics & computer scan revealed codes P0717 - input speed sensor, P0756 - shift solenoid B performance stuck off, P0989-tpf switch 5 circuit low volume, P0016, P0017, P0018, P0019 variable timing actuator, P0300 - engine misfire, P0455 evap leak, P0690 engine control, P0700 -transmission controls. I paid $650 to have 4 new speed sensor/solenoid, variable timing actuators installed, but the car wouldn't get out of 3rd gear so I had the car towed 25mi to the closest GMC Saturn/Chevy dealership for the transmission work since I was given $4K - $6K estimates for the balance of the work locally. At the dealership, they looked at it and after a week, they replaced cp $1,328.11??,internal pressure sensor solenoid failed, replaced trans control module and after paying over $1,050 of the $2,167.34 bill, they told me that the timing belt was stretched, and I needed to drive it tenderly but that it wasn't worth paying to have the chain replaced and the check engine light would remain on. I drove it home and the next morning the car still wouldn't get out of 3rd gear. I had to drive the 25 miles back to the dealer at 40mph on back roads which took 2 hours. I called GM to reduce the repair costs and finally got my car back Oct. 7, 2013 in a drivable state - check engine light was still on and shifting was rough. My problem is now I can't register my car or pass smog without spending another $2K-$5K.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #79

Feb 142014


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the vehicle was stuck in park. An independent mechanic inspected the vehicle and informed the contact that the shift cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000 (power train). The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Canoga Park , CA, USA

problem #78

May 212013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 93,944 miles
Vehicle would not accelerate past 20mph and would not go in reverse at all. According to repair facility, also slipping in forward gears. This is due to the 35R clutch being damaged by the wave plate which needs replacing and is a known issue with the vehicle.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

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