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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,657 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.

2005 Saturn Relay electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Saturn Relay Owner Comments

problem #19

Jan 022005


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Relay. While operating the vehicle, the speed sensor and traction control sensor lights illuminated and the braking distance increased when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic body control module was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. Also, the sliding door chime activated even though both sliding doors were closed. Also, the steering wheel suddenly became very difficult to turn. The cause of the failures were not diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 09/08/16

- Cromwell, CT, USA

problem #18

Oct 152014


  • 100,000 miles
When I drive at night I have to turn my headlights off to use my turn signals. I have noticed that the turn signal on the driver's side of the 2005 Saturn Relay will not work unless the headlights are turned off. I have not had any accidents...yet. This is a real safety issue.

- Evans, GA, USA

problem #17

Oct 232013


  • 110,000 miles
The first time I was parked and the van would not start. I was told it might be the fuel pump. I had the van tow to a service center. They said it was the fuel Relay. I paid to have the fuel Relay replaced. A few days later same thing happened again. The van would not start. This time we thought it was the battery or spark plugs. I paid to have a new battery, new spark plugs, spark plug cables. A few days later I was leaving from work and the van would not start again. I had it tow and they said it might be the fuel pump. They were going to replaced the fuel pump but then noticed the wires located on the passenger side of the van. The mechanic wiggled the wires and the van started. A few weeks later I was driving down the road doing about 50 and the van just lost power. It was as if it ran out of gas. I was able to safely pull over and had the van towed again. After this several times, while driving the van will act as if it ran out of gas. I have been very lucky I have not been in an accident...yet. I have to get out of the van, go to the passenger side and wiggle the wires located under the glove compartment of the van.

- Evans, GA, USA

problem #16

Jan 122015

Relay 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles


On 1/12/15, while my 2005 Saturn Relay was parked in my garage, started on fire. Vehicle was not started or going at the time. Last drove the vehicle approximately one hour prior. It was determined that the ceiling component that has the buttons to open the back sliding doors, onstar and garage opening, is what started the electrical fire, which burned a whole in my roof, burned the drivers side visor, which in turn burned the driver side seat and car seat behind the driver's door. GM determined it was not there problem because the vehicle was 10 years old and no other cases were on file. A very very very scary situation.

- Columbus, WI, USA

problem #15

Jun 292014


  • 250,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Relay. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle restarted briefly but stalled immediately after. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the ignition switch was defective and needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 250,000.

- Columbia, TN, USA

problem #14

Mar 312013

Relay 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Relay. The contact stated that the vehicle sporadically failed to start. The vehicle was not taken for inspection or repairs. The manufacture was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 75,000. Updated 05/28/14

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #13

May 212013

Relay 6-cyl

  • miles


After having my brakes replaced, the ABS light continues to come on. The light will go off for awhile, but every time I apply the brakes it will come back on for days. I am also having issues with my brake lights, turn signals, and headlights. They keep going in and out. Sometimes the passenger side door will not open or close correctly, I check to make sure nothing is in the way but still have the problem.

- Evans, GA, USA

problem #12

Dec 082011


  • 80,000 miles
ABS warning light appears intermittently even after brakes were replaced. Seems to be electrical issue as opening the door doesn't always turn on light or turn off radio. Drained battery. Now I have to pull fuse. Steering wheel radio controls have never worked properly often performing opposite functions.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #11

Dec 192011

Relay 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
12/19/2011 wife was driving car on 4 lane highway when brakes engaged for no reason. Foot was not even on the pedal. Van lurched, tires squealed, drastically reduced speed down to 20 mph, and car pulled to the right. She pulled off onto shoulder of road. T/C light came on. Van drove normally after that until 1/5/12 when it happened again. This time it happened at a lower speed, while slowing to turn left through an intersection. Made car skid and she almost missed the turn. It happened again on 1/6/11 while turning into a parking lot. Same symptoms, this time car pulled to left. I inspected vehicle to find that right rear brake caliper was leaking brake fluid. Thought that would solve problem, however, it was an unrelated issue. Happened 5 times on 1/10/11, once again on 1/11/11 at 60 mph, and on 1/12/11 at a lower speed. Diagnosis by a GM certified mechanic determined the problem to be the ebcm. Currently the fuse has been removed from the ABS and ABS pump to prevent this very dangerous condition from happening again. Switch in car to deactivate traction control was not stopping it from malfunctioning. My wife and kids use this car, and I was very worried about their safety, and I had to consult 3-4 different mechanics to brainstorm and figure out what was causing this problem.

- Mohnton, PA, USA

problem #10

Mar 212011

Relay 6-cyl

  • 111,934 miles
I have a problem with the ABS/traction control light coming on and the braking system will not opererate properly. There has been a few times where the brakes will not stop the vehicle properly or have locked up a couple of times. We also had to replace the egr valve do to a code 0414/0414. We also had to replace the PCM because the system locked up and deleted all the codes causing the engine to fail to start while tring to update the PCM to recognize the new egr. I also have proplems with the lights flickering and dimming all the time. These problems exist every day and I feel the vehicle is getting unsafe to drive. I have contacted GM several times and took the vehicle to a local dealership to get the PCM replaced. They would not give me the old PCM but I have the original delphi egr valve. GM said ththat the 2005 Relay has recalls on the egr and PCM but my VIN was not affected and refused to pay any on the repairs or pay to have the van checked out at a GM dealership.

- Washington, MO, USA

problem #9

Nov 182010

Relay 6-cyl

  • 148,000 miles


I bought a used 2005 Saturn Relay 3 in January 2010. I have 2 major issues going on: Power sliding doors will not recognize that they are closed and will continue to ding as if I was driving with them open...on a few occasions I have heard the power door motor start on its own as if it was trying to open the doors while I am driving! second issue is ABS/traction control lights have been coming on sporadically since I purchased it. Of course, no one can find the problem because they can't replicate it. It doesn't matter the driving conditions, driving time, weather or anything else. Both have happened at various speeds. Currently the lights are staying on more than off and yesterday while driving, the warning lights were off until I stepped on the brakes, felt and heard a clunking sound, the brake petal gave way some, and the service ABS/no traction control lights came back on again. The car did stop. Talked to the used car dealership that sold it to me and I am currently making arrangements to have vehicle looked at. In researching I have found numerous complaints about these same issues on a number of forums.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 012008


  • 38,752 miles
1. chiming sound all the time as if the sliding doors are open. Door opened on its own willing driving. They replaced the motors. 2. same problem as above. Replaced the sensors 3. having the same problem again.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #7

Dec 012004

Relay 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
2005 Saturn Relay has numerous design flaws, and Saturn is unable to fix. Onstar disables speedometer when used, radio mutes and car must be turned off and back on to reset, ABS system malfunctions repeatedly even after replacing ebcm, ABS pump, BCM, lights flicker both interior and exterior, alternator found to have erratic output, new alternator did not solve problem. Brake rotors warped within 25K miles. Saturn will only keeping trying to repair, but is unable to solve problems.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #6

Dec 162004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Saturn Relay 2005: After turning the car on, no sound comes from the radio, or cd. The no sound disables the on-star function and rear parking sensor. Thus I can not call on star or hear the chimes from the rear parking sensor. This issue is not a repeatable event. I have not found a way to duplicate the event. I have determined that if I shut off the car and open the door and wait at least one minute, the sound will reset and work fine. Every 3 months when I take the car back for oil change I identify the problem, but since it can not be duplicated the dealer will not investigate or attempt to repair. The concern is the non-functioning of on-star and rear parking sensors. This are safety features that can not be used if required in an emergency and the sound is not working.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 172005

Relay 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
There is a definite problem with either the engine or the electrical system on the 2005 Saturn Relay. We have been to dealerships and complained about these problems, but they have brushed us off by saying that it could be the weather, and they did not see any problem. The car actually goes down in rpms and the whole dashboard and lights dim when in idle. Also, the idle is very rough. This should be looked at since after doing some research on some web sites there are many people with the same exact problem with this vehicle and they are also been given many different answers. P please investigate this since we have a one year old and I do not want anything to happen to her while we are using this minivan. Thank you.

- Beach Park, IL, USA

problem #4

Jan 182006

Relay 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Lights on dash and exterior dim and fade erratically. Radio decides to mute itself if car is unlocked and tail gate is opened first. They don't know the mileage for oil changes. Has a hesitation from rolling start that makes the wheels break free as if a turbo. Saturn dealer can not "see" any of this even when shown. Also they say I must contact Saturn to find out how to fix. Saturn is not returning my calls.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #3

Jul 272005

Relay 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,427 miles
Headlights flicker even after 5 repair attempts. Heater intermittently inoperative after 5 repair attempts. Power sliding doors do not close properly after 4 repair attempts. Difficult starting after 3 repair attempts. Fuel gauge erratic below quarter tank.

- Sonora, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 202005

Relay 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,878 miles
The contact states there was an ongoing problem with exterior and interior lighting. While driving, the headlights and the dashboard panel lights flickered from bright to dim. Also, the idle was very loud and rough. She took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer replaced the alternator. This did not correct the problem. The dealer was unable to accurately diagnose the problem, and no further repairs were made. Updated 12/27/2005. The horn springs were deform which resulted in the horn being inoperative. The sliding door would chime as if the door was not closed. The tech adjusted the top middle and bottom latches. The brakes pulsated when braking. The technician had to resurface both front rotors.

- Marlboro , MD, USA

problem #1

Oct 102005

Relay 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
We purchased a Saturn Relay from Saturn of charleston huntington, Sept 05, we were told it had a previous owner but they had brought it back because they didn't like the color, at Saturn you have 30 days or 1500 miles to do this. It had 665 miles on it. Almost like brand new right? well the first week I had it had to go back in to have a part serviced in the dvd I have had it 4 weeks and have had nothing but electronic trouble and Saturn says there is nothing wrong with it and I know there is, the speedometer goes up and down when I am doing about 20 mph, and now the headlights and the dashboard are blinking from light to brighter as I drive at night time, they say they can only fix this problem if they can duplicate it. B ut since their service department closes before dark how can they do this, they had it one time for 3 days and said they couldn't fix it. What am I suppose to do I have 3 kids and I am afraid to drive this van for fear of it catching fire, thanks.

- Charleston, WV, USA

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