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:
68,099 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 Outlook engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Saturn Outlook Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Jun 152016


  • miles


The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Outlook. While driving 15 mph, the contact's vehicle lost power. An independent mechanic diagnosed that the timing chain failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to another independent mechanic who diagnosed that a new engine was needed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #25

Jul 202016


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Outlook. While driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle lost power without warning. The vehicle was coasted to a fuel station and was later towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the timing chain was loose and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that there was no recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 86,000.

- Lawton, OK, USA

problem #24

Jul 162016


  • 78,000 miles
Driving on a small highway and the stabili rak light blinked and a chime rang. Error message came on to service stabilitrak while car began to buck and lose power. Had trouble getting car to accelerate - car kept bucking and it was very dangerous and I was afraid of getting hit from behind since I couldn't maintain speed. After a few minutes, the error light went off and everything seemed fine. In the years I have had the car, I had three incidents where the light would go on and the chime would ring with the same error message. However, in those cases, the car hesitated briefly but maintained a more normal speed. I brought my car to a GM dealer and it was a timing chain problem. The Saturn Outlook for 2007 and 2009 have special warranties for this problem but not the 2008 model. GM doesn't want to acknowledge the issue exists on this model year - but I have found other complaints here on your site. This needs to be addressed and GM needs to take responsibility.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #23

Dec 032015


  • miles


Timing chain for 2008 Saturn Outlook not covered under special coverage for replacement but they are covering the 2007 and 2009 models which have the same part numbers and were all produced the same way for 3 years they are not covering known defects in there products look it up on the internet see all the complaints for yourself thanks for your time fyi recall # is 10287 for your reference

- Pinconning, MI, USA

problem #22

Apr 302015


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Outlook. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 35 mph, the low oil pressure warning light illuminated intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the front cover gasket needed to be repaired due to causing oil leakage. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 104,000.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #21

May 132015


  • 124,376 miles
The 2 separate incidents occurred while driving for an extended time on the highway. The incident was around 5/13/15 traveling along route 81. While driving the transmission began to fail thus losing power and causing a safety concern on a busy highway.. the 2nd incident occurred on 7/31/15. While driving along route 695 in baltimore the water pump failed causing a loss of power and over heating the engine. Thus becoming a safety hazard on busy highway.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #20

Feb 232015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


-25 F, 2 hours away from home, 7 pm at night, two kids in the car, and treacherous road conditions ~ transmission fails !!!! was in the shop less then two weeks prior for check engine light & service stabilitrak/traction control warnings. GM dealer cleared lights & said they were historic & nothing to worry about. This problem is widespread & it isn't hundred of cars affected, its thousands and probably tens of thousands (as these transmissions plague the Outlooks, acadias, traverses, & enclaves). So far GM is doing nothing ~ apparently it takes people dying to issue major recalls, and even then it takes many years and investigations by various agencies. Unacceptable and criminal !!!! I have opened up a case with GM corporate to see if anything will be done to offset or even cover the cost of replacing the junk transmission ($3800) ~ but, after reading countless blogs, webpages, ect of other peoples experiences with GM, I am not holding my breath. I will certainly jump on the class action lawsuit wagon, if it exists, or when it does come to fruition !!! this is certainly the last GM product I will ever buy! furthermore, I will take to social media and any other place I can to tell my story and make sure others know about these cars and the "service" that GM provides.

- Highgate, VT, USA

problem #19

Feb 232011

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
Driver was on their way to dr appt with small child when the car revved very hard & jerked & making loud noises. I then was able to get it back to parking, onstar was called and diagnosing it as the exhaust system was throwing codes. A tow truck came and took the car into cavender in san antonio.they found the catalytic convertors failed. They found the water pump was failing as well and replaced it as well. The next incident occurred in may of 2012, my husband was being discharged from the army & we were advised after we got settled back in Ohio to have it serviced. In which we did, to have found the engine block had a small leak. We took it to GM dealership don's automotive as we had a family member who worked there. They supposedly fixed it, then not even a month went by we found it was leaking. We then decided to take it to dave white Chevrolet to have it repaired, they explained that it was not repaired right. They then fixed it. We then had it fixed and were back on the road. Then we began to notice the revving again and it would hesitate when driving causing panic in high traffic areas for my husband and I. we then took it back to dave white to find there was a speed control sensor that was failing. We then had to have that replaced. Not too long after, we began to notice pink fluid on the drive, we immediate took it back to dave white, they explained it was leaking transmission fluid, but the coupling was not covered by power train. We contacted GM because this should be a covered part as it could cause failure. They agreed to help with paying for it, but dave white was very unprofessional. Then in November of 2013, putting in reverse would cause it to hesitate, transmission was out. We then had to have it rebuilt. Then Feb 2015, check engine light came on as driving and would not pass 1st gear on busy road. It was towed 2/23/15 to dealership mcneils.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #18

Jul 152009

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
The vehicle's engine shuts off and the steering column locks up. There is a rapid decline in speed and the volt meter drops to less then 11. I have to hope that my vehicle is not hit by oncoming traffic and that I do not guide the vehicle into something that will cause damage. The 2008 Saturn Outlook is an unsafe vehicle. I have had issues with the vehicle shutting off during operation on several occasions while driving in city traffic, highways and at toll locations including bridges and tunnels. I have taken the vehicle to several dealerships and contacted GM to no avail. If they cannot replicate the issue, then the issue does not exist.

- Nottingham, MD, USA

problem #17

Jan 092013


  • 90,000 miles
When it is really cold outside and the wind is blowing, when I accelerate the traction control light comes and the it says power will be reduced. The power is reduced down to about 10 miles a hour. The first time it happened I called onstar and they told me to turn the vehicle off about 8 times giving time in between to reset something. At the time of this I was accelerating on to a dual highway with a infant in the car. So at appoint I took it to poage's in quincy ill, they flushed out something and then proceeded to tell me that they could probably fix it with a cost around $800. I asked them if there was any others that had the same problem they said no. Come to find out a friend of mine has a 2007 Outlook and hers is doing the same thing. It only occurs when it is very cold outside and wind could be blowing. Poage said when it is really cold outthe air intake, air seems to be sucking up air under the fender, what they were going to try fixing it so the air would come off of the engine, it was like a vapor lock. The last time it occurred was the first week of January I was passing a car, once I accelerated the power was reduced down to about 10 miles, same thing traction control comes on then it states power will be reduced. There has to be a defect somewhere, I called GMC all the could say that there were no complaints, but in looking on the internet there have been others with the same complaints. Then they further said will it is a salvage title, I have had my Outlook since 02/09 had no complaints up until January 2013 when the weather really got cold. I told GMC I was going to contact you and nothing was said. Also stated to them that if anything happens to me or anyone else in my vehicle. There will be a law suit.

- Edina , MO, USA

problem #16

Jan 082015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


After a night of sub-zero temperatures, I turned my car on in the garage to warm up prior to loading my children in the vehicle. When we were all set, I pull out of the garage and continue to leave the driveway down the street when all the sudden my car begins to shake and my dashboard panel starts communicating multiple errors, including "engine powered down", "service stabilitrack", "traction control off" as well as the engine light going on. While all this is going on, my car stops excelling and literally stops me on the road only allowing me to accelerate to 1 RPM and maybe going 5 miles at most. After slowly maneuvering out of traffic, I turned my car on and off a few times without any luck. After talking to a service technician, I was going to get it towed for them to look at it. I turned the car off while I was talking to then, and then randomly turned it back on since it was cold, and all the errors went away and the car was moving properly. After another day of driving it, I was driving on the highway, and as I exited on the ramp and came to a stop light, the whole processed happened again. I had to take it in at this point, since I felt extremely unsafe in the vehicle, knowing it could stop operating randomly when driving. It turns out that it generated an engine power down code because the throttle was affected. Code P1516. There is a technical service bulletin (tsb) out for this apparent issue, but I am uncertain how this isn't a recall for this vehicle and other models who are experiencing it, considering it literally stops your car in the middle of traffic. With my two children in the car, I was extremely scared and didn't know what to do. If you car stops operating properly when driving that is definitely a safety hazard for you and your passengers as well as other drivers.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #15

Apr 142014

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Approximately April of 2014 we had the first incident: While driving on the highway, at speed, the transmission seemed to "pop" into neutral (no change of gearshift lever, just engine revved). As the truck no longer had power, we managed (thank goodness) to get the truck to the shoulder avoiding highway traffic. Moved gearshift lever to park and then back to drive with no change - engine just revved as in neutral. Turned the truck off and called for a tow. While waiting for same, we turned the truck back on, and transmission seemed to function normally. Brought the truck to both wind gap Chevrolet (place of purchase) as well as an independent aamco - verdict was the same: Broken "wave plate" and a new transmission was needed at a cost of over $3000. Problem continues to this date. When we referenced the endless online complaints of same, GM was unmoved, although the power train warranty was still in effect. Very dangerous - lose power at highway speed with multiple close calls!!!! headlights: Headlights, both low and high beam, continually burn anywhere from minutes to days after being replaced. Switch assemblies have been replaced, cannot get low beams to illuminate at times, then no headlights at times. Very dangerous. Again, endless online complaints of the same issue. Sunroof: Endless issues with the sunroof leaking and soaking the floorboards on both drivers and passenger sides. Taken to wind gap Chevrolet, told we need to have sunroof replaced. Again, endless online complaints of the same issue. Based online and on this NHTSA site: It seems that these are serious and dangerous issues with this vehicle!!!!! recent headlight recall on similar vehicles for the same issue. Why is this vehicle not recalled for transmission/power train and headlight issues!"!"

- Stewartsville, NJ, USA

problem #14

Nov 202014

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Dashboard information center warnings of stabilitrack and service brakes with audible chimes during driving. Went to dealership and found out that the master cylinder was leaking into brake booster. No evidence of brake leak ever. Seems to be ongoing failure with this model of all of GM product lines and a very expensive repair.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #13

Aug 202013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
I was traveling about 60 mph on hwy. Car shut off and back on, it was also raining. Smelt really bad like a fire. Went straight home, took car to shop the next day. The water leak I thought had been fixed was leaking into the electrical board caused a burn out while I was driving because it was raining.

- New Port Richey , FL, USA

problem #12

Jun 012013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
I have an issue with my 2008 Saturn Outlook. All of the sudden one day I went to leave my driveway, put the car in reverse and it would not go into gear. It also barley goes forward. I had previously had problems with slower than normal acceleration and rough gear change. After doing extensive research on what the problem could be I have found numerous complaints of the similar kind all over the internet. It seems there is a $25 part called a wave plate that is defective in these cars which causes the transmission to cease resulting in thousands of dollars of repairs. After finding this out I called GM customer service and was bounced around quite a bit. They are aware of the problem and discussed helping financially to fix the issue. They asked us to have it towed to a GM dealership so we did just that. After doing that they renigged their offer to help us so the car just sat there for quite a while. I bought this car used in 2011 with 98,000 and owned it 2 years then had this problem, now at 126,000. After I bought it and had this happen I have found out there have already been transmission issues with this car. I love the car but it is a complete headache. I am a single mother of three kids and do not have $3500 to shell out to get this problem fixed and believe that it is such a huge issue that something should be done and these cars need to be recalled. Meanwhile I make a car payment every month for a broken down car in my driveway. My car has been sitting for almost a year because I can't and also feel like I should shell out that kind of $ when GM is clearly at fault. I also am afraid if I do fix it the same problem will happen again. This is very unsafe. They are a terrible company who does not stand behind their products and leaves so many americans out in the cold. What horrible customer service.

- Clinton, CT, USA

problem #11

Apr 072014

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Last week we had heavy rain and rain began leaking into the car near the front pillar on the passenger side. The next day the car would not start and it appeared the battery was dead. When I had it tested it showed it needed replacement. I purchased the battery and went to have it installed. While I was there I turned the car off and the engine was still running. The technician advised that the fuse box was coroded and cleaned the connections. The car continued to remain on throughout the day until it seemed to dry out. It rained again yesterday and the same issue occurred where there was water leaking from the driver side pillar near the air bag. I noticed the car staying on one time and then the next morning the car would not start. I began researching the issue and found similar complaints from other GM users. I am concerned not only about the electrical system, but potential mold and contacted the dealer as many noted there was a service bulletin. They were unable to assist as there has not been an official recall. I would urge that this be pushed as it is another known issue with GM cars that GM refuses to do anything about: 2007 GM acadia consumer complaints ODI id number specific to water leak: 10258230 (this is my complaint id #) 10255735 10254149 10248331 10211267 10210839 10210533 2008 GM acadia consumer complaints ODI id number specific to water leak: 10246694 10243591 10241649 10230134 10229896 10212682

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 112013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 65,278 miles
I was driving on the freeway at 65 miles per hour when my transmission failed on a vehicle that had only 65,000 miles and was well maintained in accordance with dealer recommendations. The vehicle was towed to my mechanic and required replacement. I was informed that by the transmission repair facility that they had been receiving Saturn SUVS on a regular basis. Exact quote was we have been getting "a ton" of these vehicles with very low miles.

- Milton, GA, USA

problem #9

Dec 232013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Vehicle lost speed on freeway and driver control panel lite up with error messages (stabilitrak, traction control, engine reduced power, and emission control warnings). Onstar ran diagnostic with multilpe error codes and had to have vehicle towed to delarship. The dealership stated that the valve covers were leaking and oil was all over the throttle body. Extended warranty will only over throttle body and not valve cover since GM re-designed the valve covers! obviously GM knows the valve covvers fail!! my portion of repair is $1100. Again just outside of 5 year powertrain warranty.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #8

Sep 082013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Was driving my in-laws 2008 Saturn Outlook at about 40 mph and then engine revved and would not shift. Was on busy highway and had to pull over. Turned car off and back on and tried to drive and engine would not shift past 30 mph and then starting going in and out of shifting and not moving at all. Had to pull back over and then get a tow. This happened with no warning.

- Milwaukie, OR, USA

problem #7

Dec 242012

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I purchased a 2008 Saturn Outlook. In June 2012. I have had to have the water pump replaced a total of three times. I first replaced the water pump in December 2012 after a trip from Illinois to Georgia. The water pump was repaired on December 24,2012, at a pep boys in Georgia. Luckily I got an extend warranty in May 2013, I took the car to a GM dealrship for other work. They advised that they would perform work under warranty but the water pump was leaking and had to be replaced before the work could be done. I was furious and took back to the closest pep boys. Another water pump was installed at pep boys in may, 2103. I took the car back to GM in June and they advised that the water pump was leaking again. Luickily the service manager replaced the water pump for no charge. I just received notice from GM that they aknowledge a problem with water pump leaks with this model. And would cover the repairs up till 120,000 miles. I do not think that this condition is repairable in that it is unheard of that a car would need three water pumps in a period of seven months. The cmpany says that it is caused by low fluid levels. I have maintained the correct level of coolant in my car since I have owned it and beleive it something alot more than what they are telling me.

- Olympia Fields , IL, USA

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