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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,023 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 Outlook drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2007 Saturn Outlook Owner Comments (Page 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #46

Sep 242012

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 92,077 miles


While driving with my 3 children in the vehicle with me, I stopped at a stoplight. Upon the light turning green I found my vehicle seemed to lack the power to go and the check engine light illuminated. I inched my way through the intersection and off to the side of the highway. Thankfully, no one collided with my vehicle during this long scary process. Onstar informed me of codes relating to the transmission. Once I got the vehicle to the dealership, I was informed this was very common for this vehicle. It turned out to be the wave plate had busted causing multiple other transmission damages. Even though my vehicle was under the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty provided by GM, I was over by a few months time wise. Now it is June 2013 and I am at just a few miles under the 12,000 mile warranty on the repair work done last October and I encountered a very similar incident. I inched my way down the rest of the very windy and dangerous highway to my home as it was Saturday and the dealership had closed 20 minutes earlier. Onstar again gave me the same diagnostic codes as before too. On Monday, I contacted the dealership service manager who sent a tow truck to pick my Outlook up. After not hearing from them, I called this afternoon (Tuesday) to see what was going on. I was informed this time it was different parts of the transmission and they would not be covering the repairs. She also stated there would be a charge for the towing! these are all issues common to all Outlook, acadia, and traverse owners. I am very thankful neither my family nor anyone else was hurt during these incidents, but is that what it is going to take for GM to be forced to recall these transmissions?

- Hillsboro, MO, USA

problem #45

May 222013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
It jerks really hard around 50-60mph about 10 times a week. About every other day, within the first quarter mile from my beginning destination, and before reaching a speed of 30mph, my 07 Outlook jerks really hard, the check engine light comes on, and it will not shift down.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #44

Jun 082013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 99,786 miles
Transmission failed to keep in gear while traveling on freeway at freeway speeds. Would not re-engage. Limped to side of road. Towed to dealership and mechanic noted internal transmission failure due to faulty wave plate. Vehicle has less than 100K miles, howver 6 years old.

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #43

Jun 142013


  • 61,500 miles


Was sitting at stop light and accelerated normally going through first gear when the tranny slipped and the rpms revved up. I stepped back off the gas and was able to get back home doing only 20-25 mph;when I got into the garage, I found I had no reverse and the engine would only go up in rpms with no movement. I entered a ticket w/ GM cs the next morning and called around, learning the repair job would be $4K-5K because of course, I was out of warranty due to time. It appears this has happened to many, many Saturn owners and GM is doing nothing to help the american consumer when it's clearly obvious there is a mass failure of the wave plate. I finally got a callback from GM 3 days after I filed the complaint and they 'offered' to pay for roughly 25% of the cost of the repair with me footing the rest. Too late. I traded it in yesterday and was not happy with the trade-in value but didn't have much choice. I plan on joining any lawsuit that comes along against GM if one hits my mailbox.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #42

May 312013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
As I was pulling away from a stop light, the car would not shift out of second gear. Made it home at a speed of 25-30 mph. My check engine came on. After taking it to the dealership, I was told that the transmission needed to be torn down and repaired for possible broken 3-5-R wave plate. Car is 5 years 10 months in service with roughly 65,000 miles on it. The cost of the repair or transmission replacement will be $3000-$4000. Timing chains were just replaced in March of 2013. I found a service bulletin dated 1/12/2010 that stated new plate should be installed when transmission is disassembled for any reason. GM knows it's a problem and isn't doing anything about it.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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problem #41

May 192013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Driving on hwy 377 and the car started to go in and out of gear. The engine was running fine but the transmission would not engage and we ended up pulling over in traffic as to not cause an accident. We had to have it towed to the dealership in grandbury tx where they said the transmission had to be rebuilt. The issue is the wave plate and it is quite often documented when you search Saturn issues on the internet. The car has 78,000 miles on it and is outside of the 5 year warranty from GM. The dealer said this repair is incredibly common on this make of GM care, ie. Outlook, acadia, traverse, encore. Looking up on the various forums on-line this same incident has happened to 1000's of people. I feel that GM knows about this unsafe mechanical issue and should be held responsible for it since it is effecting 1000's of people and could cause major accidents let alone expense to their customers who have purchased these models.

- Southlake, TX, USA

problem #40

May 012013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • miles


When I was picking my son up from school, I tried to accelerate, but the car wouldn't go much faster then what I was already doing, but the rpms were going high. It was as if the transmission wasn't shifting gears properly. If seemed like it was in second or third gear when it should be in fourth or fifth. I have been reading online and everyone seems to be talking about a wave plate"???" it seems to me that it will become very dangerous when driving on main roads (I was on a back road to his school). We just bought this car, it doesn't have a warranty and I can't afford to fix this problem!!! how does this go on without having a recall if sooooo many people have the same complaints?

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #39

Apr 292013


  • 87,000 miles
While driving my 2007 Saturn Outlook down the highway, my engine light came on and my RPM's went up. I pulled to the side of the road, turned the vehicle off and waited a couple of minutes to see if the computer system needed to reset. I have had a few issues with this car and that seems to be the suggested answer in the manual. I started to car and couldn't go faster than 40mph. I tried reverse and found that I did not have any reverse at all.

- Livonia , MI, USA

problem #38

Apr 122013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Wife called me and said her car wouldn't move - belt problem? had heard clattering and high pitched whine earlier and yellow check engine light came on. Was able to start car and shift it into reverse and drive. We decided to drive it to the dealer - champion GMC Buick in brighton. Going up a hill near maltby intermediate school, the car began to stall and slow. Blue smoke came out of the engine. Stopped at top of hill. Got out and inspected engine again...acrid burning smell. Was able to limp car down other side of hill and park in mt. Brighton parking lot and called aaa to tow the vehicle. No flames detected. Dealer said gaskets transmission had failed, coating underside of hot engine.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #37

Apr 102013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
The transmission was replaced by GM at 80,000 miles with a new GM transmission. I know have 156000 miles on the car and the transmission is slipping again in 3rd gear. The tech is telling me that there is a plate in there that usually breaks on theses cars, to rebuild it is 2600, or a new transmission is 3500. The car has less than 80,000 miles on the new transmission and the same thing is happening again.

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #36

Mar 262013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 41,755 miles


I was driving on a freeway in New Jersey when I noticed the vehicle RPM was over 3000 and the vehicle was not going anywhere I couldn't believe it, I thought it was a dream I heard the stories about other GM SUV's having transmission problems and here I am, experiencing the same problem at only 41750miles, just outside my warranty and still paying for the vehicle.I was just able to make it to work, thinking that I must be dreaming eight hours later I tried to reverse the SUV and it would hardly move, the car was finally diagnosed by GM with a broken wave plate (surprised! ) and a transmission that needed replacing with a $4000 price tag.thank you GM for stealing over $40000 of my hard earn money. There has to be a recall on these vehicles they all have the same problem.

- Bloomfield, NJ, USA

problem #35

Apr 062013


  • 87,000 miles
07 Saturn Outlook transmission wave plate went out. Have seen numerous issues with this in Outlook, traverse, acadia. Recall should definitely be issued, GM is really screwing a lot of people.

- Cheyenne, WY, USA

problem #34

Mar 112013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 76,261 miles
Original owner. Transmission failure at 76K miles. Powertrain originally warranted for 5 years/100K miles. However, since the vehicle just outside of warranty timeframe (not miles), the cost was $3500 rebuild from dealer. Based on internet research this appears to be a widespread issue with 2007, 2008, 2009 Outlook and acadia due to "wave plate" failure. (not clear whether this is the problem with our vehicle since we did not repair.) although we were happy with vehicle until this issue, we elected to trade in vehicle at a loss (due to issue disclosure) for a non-GM product since internet bulletin boards indicate that transmission rebuilds not reliable in long term for this model.

- Fayetteville, AR, USA

problem #33

Mar 082013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
My husband had left to take our kids to school on March 8, 2013. He said when he pulled out of the drive way it would not shift out of 1st gear. It would only go about 15 mph. We were planning to take this vehicle on a weekend trip to the mountains (4 hour drive one way). He turned around and came home to get his vehicle to take the kids to school. We decided it was not a good idea to try taking the Saturn to the mountains. The check engine light came on and we went to advanced auto parts to have them check it. It said that the transmission shift solenoid was faulty. The check engine light went off on the following Monday. We were hoping it was just a fluke. Less than 2 weeks later, March 20, 2013 I was driving the Saturn on my lunch break and when I went to accelerate at a traffic light (when the light turned green) it would not shift up. And was stuck in 1st gear. Luckily I navigated across the double lane traffic into a parking area and turned the vehicle off for a minute and started it back and then it did fine. The check engine light also came on and we contacted a GM dealer that had worked on it just months before for an oil leak and they wanted to look at it the very next day. Once they looked at it they said the transmission shift module was faulty and needed to be replaced and that it would cost $1237. My Saturn only has 85,000 miles on it. It should not be having transmission problems. The warranty just went out on it on July 31, 2012, so of course GM will not cover the repair. I have seen that this problem is happening alot with this particular vehicle. It is only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured or killed. Thankfully both times it has happened with our vehicle we have been in light traffic although it is a very scary situation when it does happen.

- Westmoreland, TN, USA

problem #32

Mar 222013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
I was in a traffic circle and my rpms revved up high and then dropped even though I was accelerating smoothly. I could not go faster than 20mph. This was a sudden problem, with little to no warning. After getting onto a less busy road, I drove slowly as the car would not shift properly. The rpms kept going up and down. I pulled into a business to get off the road. I tried to see if restarting the car would help. The vehicle started fine but there was no reverse. Since I was now stuck in the driveway, I called for a tow truck, which took my car to the dealership. They diagnosed the wave plate (known issue) or the transmission (known issue). This could have been an accident-causing issue if I had been on the highway or if the traffic circle had been much busier. I use this vehicle to Transport my children. It is only a matter of time before someone gets injured or killed due to this known problem at +/- 100K for this vehicle. With more and more of them approaching this mileage every year...

- Stratham, NH, USA

problem #31

Mar 152013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
My husband was driving on the highway. All of a sudden the vehicle downshifted. So when I decided to drive it. The vehicle will not shift in to gear past 20 miles and hour. I took it to the local dealer. I told him I have research this online and it better not be this thing called a waveplate. Well to my surprise it was. They are charging me for the parts and labor $2200. I stated to him, I have had several cars there is no way the transmission should have started slipping so soon. This vehicle had so many issues and it is too soon for me to trade it in. But if I could I would. There needs to be a recall on this entire transmission.

- Kingsland, GA, USA

problem #30

Mar 142013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
While driving my car out of the neighborhood it wouldnt switch out of 2nd gear. The faster I would go the higher the rpms. I stopped the car at several stop signs and tried to shut the car off and restart it but the problem continued. When trying to shift the car into the L position and manually shift the gears it would not shift out of D. I was able to creep back home in second gear with the hazard lights on. I took the vehicle to the GM repair shop that has always serviced this vehicle only to be told that though the wave plate was replaced approx a year ago. The particular issue with my vehicle which is some seal on the back of the module to hold the pressure is no longer covered and it will be a nearly $1300 repair!!! according to the dealer this is a recalled part on several models from the GM brand but it is not recalled on my 2007 Outlook! if this is a known problem I really think it would be right for GM to fix this part apparently it is an issue on the 2007 as well! I am so disappointed with GM right now. My husband owns a Chevy and I really hoped our loyalty to the brand wouldnt bite us in the butt. Guess we will see what can be worked out with this repair before the verdict on that is made. I am only grateful that this did not happen while I was trying to make it back home. I had all three of my children in the car with me and though traffic was light it was very scary hoping people had enough time to stop and go around us.

- Dacula, GA, USA

problem #29

Mar 132013


  • 56,000 miles
I have a 2007 Saturn Outlook, since I purchased the car, there were problems with the transmission. In 2011, after 2 repairs, a new transmission was put in. 34,000 miles later the transmission went again. I have a 5 year old car that has had 2 transmissions and 7 repairs and the dealership will not honor the original warranty. Today after speaking with customer service for the 5th time, they told me that they would only assist me partially with the repair. I asked for a bill w/ detail on parts and labor, what was done on the last repair that went wrong and what the total cost would be for this repair, including all parts and labor charges. Now at 4 days later I have no information, no car, and no restitution. Customer service offered to find out about getting a loaner car, but when they asked the dealership, she came back to tell me that I would have to call hertz and they would help w/ the expense. After she spoke w/ the dealership again, she came back to say that the dealership said hertz had no cars available..anywhere" how can an american car company, that was bailed out by taxpayer money have this kind of customer service? looking at all the complaints on multiple boards, how is it possible that there are not 1000 complaints about GM transmissions? how are they getting away with this? why is there not a recall"

- Pompton Plains, NJ, USA

problem #28

Feb 222013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 59,700 miles
My 2007 Saturn Outlook suffered complete transmission failure at only 59,700 miles. The incident occurred while driving across town at a rate of 25 mph. Car has been babied since we got it. Basically an all-wheel drive mini-van. No off-road activities. Did not use it to pull any trailers or other vehicles. Was a great car until this occurred. Warranty expired in Sept. Of 2012. I had the car towed to a local mechanic who said that the "wave plates" had broken and caused the transmission to fail. I am not a mechanic and do not know much about cars, but I contacted GM and was told that I had to have the vehicle inspected by a certified GM repair specialist. So, I had it towed again to a GM repair shop and they confirmed that it was the wave plates that had failed. They also informed me that the wave plates were a universal problem for this make and model of car - they had repaired numerous vehicles with the same issue... all transmission failures at or before 75,000 miles. In their opinion this was a defective part and they thought GM should issue a recall. No car should have a completed transmission failure on a vehicle that early! GM contacted the repair shop I was working with and informed them that because my warranty had expired, the best they could do was to offer me a "co-payment" of $1500 to "repair" the transmission. If I wanted to replace the entire transmission I would have to pay the full cost of $4500 out of pocket. I opted to have the transmission repaired for $1500. I felt it was my only option. Cash is tight and $4500 out of pocket is way too much for what is obviously a defective part. I did not feel I should have to pay anything at all - GM built a bad vehicle. These vehicles should all be recalled and the wave plates should all be replaced - and all of it should be on GM's tab. So, nhtsb, do your job... put pressure on GM and get the recall in place.

- Thornton, CO, USA

problem #27

Feb 172013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 44,470 miles
I was driving home on highway with kids and went to accelerate and SUV would not go faster. Luckily, I was close to exit and able to get off right away. The SUV would not go faster than 25mph so I was able to limp home the final 3 miles. Once home the SUV would not go into reverse or any high gears. Only works in first gear at 25mph and rpms at 4000. The check emission symbol is lit on the dash. Researching this on internet seems major problem with wave plate broke and requires new transmission.

- Mahwah, NJ, USA

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