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 2008 Aura’s issues with brakes, such as worn out rotors, isn’t as severe as the prior model year, but let’s just not start awarding them any brake awards just yet. Does that even exist? “The Brakies”?

One thing the 2008 does share with the 2007 is a recall of a busted gear shifter cable which can make it look like your car is in park, when the transmission is still engaged. You can only imagine what kind of fun that causes.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,003 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 Saturn Aura drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Saturn Aura Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #44

Jun 272014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 98,150 miles


I was driving to work and my car seemed to shift oddly between second and third gears. Rough, jerky and revving when it didn't need to. When I was backing into my parking space in the garage, I put the car in reverse and it didn't have any power. It hesitated like it didn't want to go and then it finally moved. I had to do this two or three times to get into my parking spot and each time it was worse. I called the shop and had it towed because I suspected the transmission was having issues, and even saw online that there had been some recalls on the Saturn Aura for that year on the transmission, but the dealer said there are no active recalls on my vehicle. I need a new transmission now according to the dealer.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #43

Jun 212014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
While driving the car near my home I tried to go in reverse and the car would not move. The car also will not go over 20 mph.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #42

Jun 172014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 64,700 miles
Lost communication with transmission, GM told me tcm, I replaced for $1277. Got the car back still same problem now they say I need a transmission overhaul.

- Poland, OH, USA

problem #41

Jun 142014


  • 80,000 miles


On Saturday, June 14 my car would not start. I moved the floor gear shift deeper into the park position and it started. On Monday, June 16 I parked my car after purchasing an item at drive-through window. When I attempted to start it, it would not start. The gear shift moved through all of the indicators (PRD...) and the car began to roll backwards nearly hitting another car. I called for a tow, and the driver noted the problem. Today, pep boys completed repair of the the gear shift assembly. There was a missing part. The incident notice ( recall id # 103875 - power train:automatic transmission:lever and linkage:floor shiftplushide details recall date: Apr 30, 2014 model affected: 2008 Saturn Aura summary: General Motors llc (GM) notified the Agency on April 29, 2014, that they are recalling 56,214 model year 2007 and 2008 Saturn Aura vehicles. Consequences: If the transmission shift cable fractures while the vehicle is being driven, the transmission gear selection may not match the indicated gear and the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash. Furthermore, when the driver goes to stop and park the vehicle, despite selecting the ┐park┐ position, the transmission may not be in ┐park.┐ if the vehicle is not in the "park" position there is a risk the vehicle will roll away as the driver and other occupants exit the vehicle or anytime thereafter. A vehicle rollaway increases the risk of injury to exiting occupants and bystanders. Remedy: GM will notify owners, and GM dealers will replace the shift cable assembly and mounting bracket, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact General Motors at 1-800-553-6000. GM's number for this recall is 14152.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #40

Jun 082014


  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle will no longer shift into park. Transmission cable broke. There is a recall for this exact problem but GM won't honor it for this lot of vehicles.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

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problem #39

Jul 232012


  • 76,500 miles
1st problem rear door locks would keep opening and locking by themselves, same time trunk would would not unlock.had to have all repaired at a cost of $450.2nd problem while car parked in drive an in park car rolled back into mail box now have to have fender repaired, took to dealer could find no problem.3rd problem car driver door sagging chipping paint dealer tightened does not hold.

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #38

May 202014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles


2 years ago I complained to GM concerning the car moving when it was in park to no avail. On wed my grandson was approaching the stop sign in the auto would not shift. As he I tried to put the car into reverse it would not back up. I had him drive to the end of the cu-de-sac where we could turn around and brought the car home where it has sat.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #37

May 212014


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the gear shift failed and when the vehicle was placed in drive it responded as if it were in reverse gear without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #36

May 142014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 59,500 miles
This is what is wrong with my car, confirmed by the transmission center that has it: The transmission wave plate is broken and the snap ring which holds it in place is in pieces. All parts are being saved for me. A detailed report is being prepared. Technical service bulletin #09-07-30-012 was issued by GM on this defect. No recall has ever been issued. The failure resulting from this error is common, and inconsistently addressed by GM. There is no driver error or maintenance issue that can cause this fault. My car received regular dealer service the entire time it was under warranty, and no mention of this problem was ever made, nor did anyone at the dealership offer to repair it, even when another serious engine repair, also under warranty, and also due to a manufacturing error, was being undertaken.

- Sound Beach, NY, USA

problem #35

Mar 292014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Unable to put car in park, I have to place the emergency brake on in order for car to not move when in the park position. I have to place the car in neutral in order to start it, and then place it in the desire gear.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #34

May 092014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 104,548 miles


After stopping the car, the shifter would not engage in the park position. The vehicle continued to move. The shifter would not engage in any position. Therefore, vehicle could not be started. Emergency brake was engaged to prevent the vehicle from moving. Vehicle was then towed to the dealer. Dealer's diagnosis was "shift cable separated" and replaced the cable and bracket for a cost of $345.26. GM has refused to cover this under recall # 14152. I have submitted the details to them today and requested them to cover it under the recall.

- Shelby Township, MI, USA

problem #33

May 022014


  • 203,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the vehicle rolled away while secured in park. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for inspection or repairs. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number 14V224000(power train) however, the VIN was not included and the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 203,000.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #32

Apr 022014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
I experienced the recently announced rollaway problem, but my dealer says my vehicle VIN is not on the recall list.

- Groveland, FL, USA

problem #31

Feb 282014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 82,844 miles
The vehicle transmission shift cable failed while in a public street, and was only able to move in reverse (it could not be placed in park). During an automatic transmission change on the Saturn Aura the shift cable broke causing the vehicle to be stuck in the existing gear (reverse), unable to be placed in park or changed from reverse to forward. This has the identical results as recall "NHTSA campaign number: 14V224000" and "NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000". the vehicle in question had the recall work for 12V460000 completed prior to the incident, and after contacting GM was stated to not be affected by 14V224000. It is my concern that all Saturn Aura's shift cables are faulty and should be recalled.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #30

Nov 112013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I noticed that it wasn't shifting into gear like it normally does. And then it wouldn't go into reverse. I took it to a shop the next morning. I had trouble driving it there. The engine light had come on. They took it for a test drive but didn't make it very far because it wouldn't work for them either. They had to push the car. I bought this car in 2009 when it was only a year old. They told me the transmission was gone. I tried to drive it home but only got a few miles when I had to pull over and have it towed. This was and is very troubling with all the GM recalls. There a lot of people who have had this same problem. I still have another year on the car and I haven't been able to fix it. I need help with this.

- Magna, UT, USA

problem #29

Nov 092013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
When you have the car in park it is not always in park and if you turn the car off it will not start back up. So when we try to start the car again it will not start, so we have to move the gear shift to neutral to start it that way. When we move the gear shift to park it is not always in park. We think this may have happened in the above accident. The car rolls back. Before we became aware of the problem this happened twice. Once where our car hit another car and another time where I was able to avoid an accident but that was just because no one was parked directly behind me and I was able to stop it in time before I hit the cars parked several feet away.

- State College, PA, USA

problem #28

Feb 042014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
The car would not go forward or back up once you have stopped and take your foot off the brakes. The transmission failed without any warning. The warning light never came on; it had never stalled or jerked. After researching this make and model car, this is a common flaw. Another owner left the campaign number 12V460000 on the internet. I don't know the significance of this number. I do know that many owners are have the same issues with this car at 100,000 miles or 6 years after ownership. This is a $4,000 repair. Most all concerned have two years of car payments left owing on their cars. GM has selectively chosen several individual owners and repaired their transmissions.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #27

Dec 032013


  • 60,585 miles
Vehicle was at a stop sign and when it was time to move forward the vehicle hesitated and would not respond to increase acceleration. Vehicle was able to drive approximately 5 mile to be parked at home. When at home, checked to see if vehicle would back up and found that there was no reverse function.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #26

Nov 082013


  • 90,000 miles
I have had my car for about 1 year now and I have been having issues with it since I left the dealer ship. The car has begun to give me a traction control light, engine power reduced light, and check engine light. I was driving down the road trying to get to work when I came up to a hill. I started going up the hill as usual and the car all of sudden lost all power. It would not go above 45 miles per hour and was struggling to do even that. It took me about 10 minutes to get the hill where I shut my car off and waited about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes I turned my car back on and it functioned as normal. If there is a problem going on in the car why would be cleared after 10 minutes of being off? this car needs to be recalled before someone doesn't see that the Aura in front of them in being forced by the computer to slow down. The break lights do not come on when this occurs. I had to shut my car off 3 times just to make it 5 miles where I could get it looked at. The power steering in my car is also whacked out. I will be driving down the road and it will start turning the wheel back and forth. I have seen this happen in older cars, it is usually caused by a bad U joint. In this particular case it is not. After this occurred I slowed down and pulled over on the side of the road and placed my car in park. The steering was still shaking back and forth rapidly. I have taken it to many dealers and asked if they could determine a cause. All of them have said the same thing, "I have never seen that happen before". I wish I would have looked into all of the reviews about this car before I bought it. There are hundreds of instances of this happen to Aura owners and I think it time GM pays for it!

- Mears, MI, USA

problem #25

Jul 312013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
While driving my 2008 Saturn Aura ABS light, traction control, and ESC light comes on. Car starts. Transmission on route 95 South in Florida went from speed limit of 70 to 20 with no warning. Got off the highway car would not go any faster. Also could not put car into reverse.

- Melbourne , FL, USA

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