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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,692 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.

2009 Saturn Aura drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Saturn Aura:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Saturn Aura Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Aug 042016


  • 171 miles


Need double check my car

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #36

Aug 052016


  • 86,000 miles
For two days when starting it made a weird noise but it sounded like the fan to the A/C might be going. Then my warning gauges started appearing warning of my air bag and oil. The next time I went to start the car the car would not start at all and the lights inside the car flashed and the car made a strange noise.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #35

Mar 152016


  • 72,000 miles
One evening I got in my car and it refused to start. After a few minutes of troubleshooting I tried starting in neutral which worked. Since that night the vehicle does not go into park. The gear position indicator does not match the current gear. The only way to park the car is to set the gear shift to park and set the parking brake. You can then take the key out. To start it again you have turn the key on and move the selector neutral. This is a hazard because you need to remember to set the parking brake when you turn the car off or it will roll away. Even if you set the car in park while the engine is running the car will reverse or roll away if you don't apply the brake or set the parking brake.

- Orange, MA, USA

problem #34

Mar 232016


  • 74,000 miles


Cracked wave plate requiring a rebuild of the transmission. Lost all gears except for 1st while driving on city street.GM refused to cover the repair completely even though they do for some 2009 Saturn Auras that have the exact same problem.

- Grand Rapids, Mi, MI, USA

problem #33

Mar 222016


  • 82,500 miles
I was on my way home from work, during rush hour, on March 22, 2016 and noticed that I was having difficulty accelerating past 40 mph. The vehicle felt as if it was not shifting gears. I thought about going directly to the dealer for service but could not accelerate past 25 mph at that point. I was able to make it home safely and had the car towed to the dealer the very next day. The dealer called to inform me that there were several issues with the most expensive being a transmission tear down with repair or replacement. This should be covered under service bulletin #14404. I am very disappointed with the number of recalls I have had on my vehicle. It has just been paid off and now I feel it is turning into a money pit and a death trap. I have received service bulletin #15356 but not #14404 which seems to apply to my issue. Prior to this date, I had not experienced any known transmission issues.

- Southfield, MI, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #32

Oct 262015


  • 71,910 miles
Went to take daughter to school vehicle would not move in reverse or drive. Yesterday transmission bucked all day while driving. Looked on internet I'm not the only one with this problem on this same vehicle. I called the dealer they said no recall for this problem want me to pay $3000 or better to fix a problem that they know about. If GM knows about it why is there no recall on the faulty part? please help me and the other dissatisfied customers that got screwed on these vehicles and launch a recall for another flaw by GM. They are making money on their mistakes and that is wrong.

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #31

Oct 122015


  • 88,889 miles


The car would not start, would not even turn over. We though it was a starter problem but noticed when we shifted to neutral it would start right up. We also notice the shifting did not seem to lock into gear as it normally does. Then we noticed that if we put the car in park and were on even a slight hill the car would keep rolling. The doors normally unlock when the car is placed in park but that stopped happening. We checked to see if there was a recall for this problem and there was one issued in 2009 for the exact problem we were having. We took it to the nearest dealer who said our car wasn't included in the recall even though it stated in the recall the exact make, model and year.

- Beacon Falls, CT, USA

problem #30

Oct 072015


  • 90,000 miles
After existing the freeway I stopped at a light. Once I tried to accelerate, the transmission started to slip. I was able to achieve 20-25mph before the engine would rev up to 6000-7000 RPM without accelerating significantly. Once I got home, I found I could no longer go in reverse either. Vehicle does not accelerate above 25mph normally or go in reverse. I took the car to a repair shop and they identified that the wave plate in the transmission was an issue. There is a 3-5-R wave plate fracture issue with GM automatic transmissions that this car seems to be affected by, but not covered by GM's service bulletin / extended warranty. GM obviously has not identified all vehicles that have this issue. I am at 6.5 years and 90,000 miles and have a broken transmission.

- Oxford, MI, USA

problem #29

Sep 042015


  • 72,600 miles
When accelerating up to speed limit of 45 transmission shifted from third to fourth with a sharp thunk that shook the vehicle. I just had dealer service transmission {flush}. it hesitates when shifting into fourth gear a fraction of a second at slightly elevated engine speed {200-300} RPM then engages and shifts into fifth and sixth normal every time I drive it. The harsh shift only occurred once.

- Springboro, OH, USA

problem #28

Aug 102015


  • 63,470 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the shift lever failed to switch into the park position without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the shift cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000 (power train). The failure mileage was 63,470.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #27

Jul 212015


  • 110,800 miles


Car has had intermittent transmission issues for years, mainly stutters and slipping. At the dealership, we'd just get a shoulder shrug and were told it was not repeatable, despite our several visits for the same issue. Well it acted up more than normal as my wife was driving around town (bucked and raced with no power), barely making it home. She refused to drive it the next day, so I did. It drove to work fine. While running errands on the way home (2 miles, no highway, 35 mph), it really hesitated from the green light and the engine would race as power to the wheels was lost (coasting slowly through the intersection). Then suddenly it would engage and act normal until it shifted to the next gear....and repeat. So, I found a wide spot in the road with no traffic and attempted to turn around, but the turning radius was not tight enough for the available space and I stopped at the edge of the road and put it into reverse. It was as if I put it into neutral. The engine raced and before I realized what was happening and catch it, the front end of the car had fallen off the edge of the road into the ditch with the car's rear end 90 degrees to one lane of traffic. The front end was embedded into the far bank of the ditch, but it was retrievable by the towtruck. The garage said it was the 35R clutch plates and needed an entirely new/rebuilt transmission to the tune of $4900 installed!!!!

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #26

May 262015


  • 60,500 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Saturn Aura. While driving 40 mph, the gear became stuck in second gear. The failure occurred sporadically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000 (power train); however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,500.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #25

May 262015


  • 79,820 miles
Transmission shifter cable failure exactly as per GM recall for the 2007/2008 Saturn Aura with the 4 speed transmission. My GM dealer says my vehicle is not covered due to it being a 2009 with the 6 speed transmission although the fault is exactly the same.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #24

May 192015

Aura 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,782 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and failed to shift into park. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission shift cable was defective. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000 (power train); however, the VIN was not available. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 67,782. Updated 7/21/15 the consumer would like to be reimbursed for the repairs documented in the recall. Updated 11/9/2015

- Pinckney, MI, USA

problem #23

May 102015


  • 79,997 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Saturn Aura. While driving at 65 mph, the vehicle lost power. In addition, the accelerator pedal was depressed. The vehicle failed to accelerate but increased in rpms. In addition, the contact stated that while attempting to reverse, the gear shifter was shifted into reverse but the vehicle failed to move backwards. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the output shaft in the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 79,997.

- Coventry, RI, USA

problem #22

Apr 222015


  • 67,390 miles
Transmission plates and gears blew out. This happened while driving and could have easily caused an accident had I been on a more crowded road and/or going a faster speed. There is a service bulletin from GM (#307164) regarding harsh shifting or no reverse which may be a broken clutch wave plate dated 3/1/2011 action #10038284. What that bulletin fails to indicate is that the damaged/broken wave plate can cause the gear to "explode" taking out the other gear. Since a service bulletin was issued it is highly likely that this is a known problem. My car has 67K miles (7K out of warranty). Clutch wave plate broken. This issue needs to be looked into. If GM knows this is a problem (which the bulletin indicates) then they should be responsible for any and all repairs for same. This is a major complaint by many on various forums.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #21

Jan 312015

Aura 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
My car will not go into park. I was reading on it and it said that the shifter cable has been recalled before. We do not know if it was fixed, and we need to get it fixed before it causes an accident. The recall number that has been entered in 2012 is 12V460000. Can you please tell us what we need to do.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #20

Jan 222015

Aura 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The car does not go into reverse and does not seem to get out of third gear. The car will only get out of third gear after the engine revs and seem to shift hard. Stalls on highway and city streets and at times cant go faster than 20-25 mph. I changed the transmission fluid the other day which seemed to help temporarily however it went back to the way its acting currently. Please help.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #19

Jan 202015


  • 86,057 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the transmission failed to shift into park. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for further inspection. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 09V073000 (power train) and 12V460000 (power train). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 86,057.

- Ashveville, NC, USA

problem #18

Dec 272014

Aura 4-cyl

  • 81,651 miles
Transmission clutch plate cracked per dealership. Car started shifting hard. Had the transmission failed on the expressway it could have caused an accident.

- Burton, MI, USA

Read the next 17 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?