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NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2003 Saturn L200 (Page 2 of 2)

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,114 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.

2003 Saturn L200 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Saturn L200 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Sep 152007

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving freeway speed. Headlights went out, overhead interior light came on. Finally got car pulled over, no dashlights. Car quit. Refused to restart. Car did not want to come out of drive. Key got stuck in ignition. Finally got it in park and key out. This was at midnight on interstate. Had to get family member to come get me. Returned later to find car had been stolen. I have no way to know if the alarm had actually set or not.

- Gadsden, AL, USA

problem #13

Dec 012006

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
Faulty body control module - all gauges stopped working, and the air conditioning quit working completely. Additionally, the vehicle would not go into gear, when you pushed in the button on the shifter to put vehicle in gear, it would not budge.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #12

Feb 252007

L200 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2003 Saturn L series. While driving at 30 mph the electrical warning light illuminated, and the front end began to shake. The check engine light also illuminated. The contact stated that she pulled over and turned the vehicle off, and restarted the vehicle after waiting about ten minutes. The check engine light remained illuminated, white smoke started exiting the exhaust pipe and the vehicle began to shake. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact stated this occurred on five different occasions. The dealer had replaced the pump and/or gas coolant, insulator assembly front suspension support, oxygen sensor and exhaust system. The current mileage was 48,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #11

Mar 142007

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,285 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Faulty body control module.

- Kasnas City, KS, USA

problem #10

Nov 052006

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,400 miles
2003 Saturn L200 with 48,000 miles died while driving. We had to quickly swerve to opposite side of road where there was a shoulder in order to get out of the traffic lane(no shoulder on the lane we were in). Car was towed, and was diagnosed with a broken timing chain, probable engine damage, and possible fuel pump failure. Since I just put a new alternator and battery in the vehicle three weeks prior, I contacted manufacturer and talked with dealer about working with me to fix this car. They would not even discuss next step until I authorized (paid for) a $750 tear down of the motor to "fully diagnose" the problem. I refused to to authorize, because all of the burden at that point would be on me, whatever happened. Situation was never resolved; I traded the car (at a drastic reduction of value due to its non-working condition).

- Germantown, TN, USA

problem #9

Feb 022003

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
The interior and exterior lights on my 2003 Saturn L200 intermittently dim. The events leading up to the failure was a defective electrical system design by the manufacturer, Saturn. The failure and its consequences are that it is difficult, distracting and dangerous to operate this vehicle at night. Nothing has been done to correct this failure, except for the manufacturer to hide behind a technical information bulletin (04-08-42-001) claiming this is "normal". I must assume then, that every other vehicle whose lights don't flicker must be "abnormal". the dealership refuses to correct this defect.

- Seal Beach, CA, USA

problem #8

Jul 102005

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,400 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Preceeding the two electrical fires in my vehicle, I had intermittent issues with shorts in the electrical system (the locks unlocking/locking at random; lights going on and off and the alarm system triggering even when not set). There was also leakage from somewhere in the car (either through the windshield or elsewhere in the front) that was quite noticeable during a heavy storm. Earlier this year, I was exiting a parking garage when I first saw and then smelled smoke coming from out of the dash. The electrical wires shorted out and caused a fire that melted a portion of the wiring in the front of the car. The dealership could not repair the car for several days and during a storm two days later, the entire system shorted out again (lights and other components would not turn off) and the battery completely discharged. The dealership determined that the leak was due to a faulty windshield placement and replaced the windshield (and water-tested it) along with the affected wiring systems, the battery and the carpeting. Now, just two days ago, I have had a recurrence of the same issue. Again, after a heavy storm, I woke to discover that the wiring in the same area of the car had shorted out. This time, the resulting fire melted the plastic housing surrounding the fusebox, and the housing is now a pile of melted goo on the carpet in the driver's side of the car. The dealership has yet to determine the cause of the short.

- Bradford, MA, USA

problem #7

Sep 232003

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
Severe light dimming; all lights dim severely (enough to cause a tractor trailer driver to think I gave him the flash to pass signal, causing him to move over into my lane) at random, sometimes 2 to 3 times per mile driven. Saturn has issued a service bulletin, 04-08-42-001, stating light dimming is a characteristic of the L-series, yet they have not driven my car on the highway at night to see the extremity of the dimming in my vehicle. Sometimes it occurs right away, other times it takes a while. Saturday night, 04/24/04 I took the car to atlanta, ga. Between mobile, and montgomery, the lights dimmed severely for dozens of miles. Saturday night, 06/19/04 I took the car on a trip to birmingham, al to try to re-create the problem and document it. It didn't occur until after driving it 220 miles. It then dimmed severely many times for around 10 to 15 miles (as many as 2 - 3 times per mile). After that point, it stopped doing it.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #6

May 252004

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
This is the third incident, second in same day, where the electrical system failed. Audible clicking sound under dash and lights repeatedly turning on & off, locks on and off and horn sounding. On 1 prior occasions, audible clicking heard and locks repeatedly turning on and off. Clearly not an isolated incident, as I can see from other complaints that other owners of this model are experiencing the same problem. Consequences of the problem --- neighbors called police to complain about noise. Unable to keep alarm on due to continuing problem, leading to insecure car. Also, safety issue with lights and locks repeatedly turning on and off with the electrical failure. Dealer will service in two days (first available appt!!) and will update then.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #5

Apr 012003

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
Constant electrical failure with 2003 Saturn L series sedan..lights don T work properly(daytime running regular lights)..constant shorting..horn blasts..cruise contrll goes on.. map light.. alarm activates while driving..sending unit failure..heater core failure..

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 092003

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,300 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

*Saturn buyers beware* I purchased a brand new L200 in March 03. To date I have had the following problems: -car does not start all the time -temperature controls does not work -remote entry system does not work properly I have taken my car into Saturn 4 times, but to no avail. They claimed that they can't find any problems with the car. Saturn customer service is terrible as well.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #3

Oct 062003

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70 miles
A tractor trailer was passing me on the interstate. Just as his trailer was approximately 2/3 past me, my lights dimmed out on my car by themselves. The driver of the tractor trailer thought I had flashed my headlights at him, to let him know he had cleared my car and was safe to come into my lane, which was not the case. This made the drivers behind me and the tractor trailer in all 3 lanes, to slam on their brakes. The truck driver almost lost control of his rig trying to keep from hitting me when he realized that he did not have clearance as my lights "suggested" to him that he had. All of us were fortunate at this time not to have wrecked. (yet I received a lot of jerking of my neck and head when braking and steering to get out of the way). Next time my lights do this it could make another trucker or person pulling an rv or a school bus full of kids or tour bus full of tourists think I have given the "clearance" to move into my lane; when I have not. Someone is going to get killed if this issue won?T force to be repaired by GM/Saturn. I reported to Saturn, what caused this severe power drain on my car. When the auxiliary cooling fan near the compressor kicks in, it puts a severe power drain on the cars lights, which was using the heat or A/C that could be dozens of times in a matter of minutes if it appears that I am flashing my headlights to those in front of me and tapping my brakes to those behind me. Last week, my local dealership was trying to fix my car. On the 2nd day of working on my car the service dept. Called Saturn incorporated for help. My dealership was forced by Saturn corporation to stop working on my car. They were told not to fix my car claiming all Saturn are designed this way. They said it is not a safety or warranty issue because my lights don't go all the way off. My lights might not go all the way out but they go out too much to be considered safe. Note:(the 2004 L-300 loaner they had supplied me does it too)

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #2

Oct 062003

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70 miles
A tractor trailer was passing me on the interstate. Just as his trailer was approximately 2/3 past me, my lights dimmed out on my car by themselves. The driver of the tractor trailer thought I had flashed my headlights at him, to let him know he had cleared my car and was safe to come into my lane, which was not the case. This made the drivers behind me and the tractor trailer in all 3 lanes, to slam on their brakes. The truck driver almost lost control of his rig trying to keep from hitting me when he realized that he did not have clearance as my lights "suggested" to him that he had. All of us were fortunate at this time not to have wrecked. (yet I received a lot of jerking of my neck and head when braking and steering to get out of the way). Next time my lights do this it could make another trucker or person pulling an rv or a school bus full of kids or tour bus full of tourists think I have given the "clearance" to move into my lane; when I have not. Someone is going to get killed if this issue won?T force to be repaired by GM/Saturn. I reported to Saturn, what caused this severe power drain on my car. When the auxiliary cooling fan near the compressor kicks in, it puts a severe power drain on the cars lights, which was using the heat or A/C that could be dozens of times in a matter of minutes if it appears that I am flashing my headlights to those in front of me and tapping my brakes to those behind me. Last week, my local dealership was trying to fix my car. On the 2nd day of working on my car the service dept. Called Saturn Inc for help. My dealership was forced by Saturn corporation to stop working on my car. They were told not to fix my car claiming all Saturn are designed this way. They said it is not a safety or warranty issue because my lights don't go all the way off. My lights might not go all the way out but they go out too much to be considered safe. Note:(the 2004 L-300 loaner they had supplied me does it too)

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #1

Aug 122003

L200 6-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
Sudden electrical failure related (according to dealer) to failure of BCM (computer module. Resulted in loss of gages in dashboard, loss of headlights, loss of windshield wipers, electric doorlocks failing, car could not be taken out of gear (park) when stopped.

- Mclean, VA, USA

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