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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,026 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.

2002 Saturn SL electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Saturn SL Owner Comments

problem #11

Sep 292014


  • 105,619 miles


Keys come out of ignition during use.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #10

Mar 232013


  • miles
I have removed the key with the vehicle stopped and the car continues to run. The key falls out of the ignition switch. Additionally, the key can be removed before being turned to the "off" position. This causes the key to be difficult to reinsert into the ignition.

- Dallas, OR, USA

problem #9

Jun 082014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Saturn Sl. The contact stated that the ignition locked and prevented the vehicle from being started. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or mechanic. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #8

Apr 022013

SL 4-cyl

  • 162,000 miles


The key comes out of the ignition while running. There is also trouble turning the key in the ignition to start it. Similar to what can happen when the steering wheel locks, sometimes the key wont turn. This happens without the steering wheel locked and takes 20-30 tries before it finally turns over.

- Bulverde , TX, USA

problem #7

Feb 012009

SL 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Saturn Sl. Whenever the contact starts the vehicle, the ignition control module fails and the ignition will not start. She had new keys made, but this did not correct the issue. During the failure, the check engine indicator remains illuminated and will not dim. The failure has been occurring for over a year. The contact must wiggle the keys for at least fifteen to thirty minutes before the vehicle will start. The dealer has not been notified. The failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 3/19/09 the consumer also stated the engine idles very high. Over 4000 RPM/ updated 03/25/09.

- Bynum, TX, USA

problem #6

Jul 252008


  • miles
I have a Saturn SL2 and everytime I try to start the car, the key gets stuck and I have to jiggle and push and shove and sit in the hot car for over 15 minutes in the summer heat to start the car. This is after I paid to have two new keys made thinking that would solve the problem. I did some research after being told I need a new ignition barrel and saw that many many many Saturn vehicle owners go through the same thing... why hasn't this issue been addressed by Saturn"?? we must we spend so much money on a faulty item" life and gas is so expensive to have to deal with a faulty car that this dealership keeps selling. Please help us!

- Boonsboro, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 092008


  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Saturn Sl. When the contact placed the key in the ignition, it would jam and not turn to the accessory position. He described the ignition lock as "frozen". after referencing the owner's manual, the contact jiggled the steering wheel and key, but still was unable to turn the ignition. The ignition lock cylinder (or tumbler) was defective according to a mechanic. The manufacturer was aware of the issue, but offered no assistance. The dealer has not been notified. The contact had an extended warranty, which lapsed on May 30, 2008. The current mileage was 45,302 and failure mileage was approximately 45,000. Updated 08/04/08. The mechanic replaced the igntion lock cylinder. Updated 08/06/08

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jan 102008


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Saturn SL1. Whenever the contact attempts to turn on the vehicle, the ignition will not turn to the start position. The contact stated that it takes 5-10 minutes of attempting to turn on the vehicle before the ignition would turn. The contact did not notice any differences in the vehicle prior to the failure. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current mileage was 103,787 and failure mileage was 87,000.

- Markle, IN, USA

problem #3

Oct 302006

SL 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,672 miles
At my last service visit, the repair tech recommended the repair/replacement of: 1 ignition housing bolt -- he stated that without this repair, the car could suddenly "stop where it is and be unsteerable and/or undriveable". (lord help whoever's behind me on the freeway that day!) I've owned 5 vehicles -- manufactured by Ford, Chrysler, Subaru and General Motors -- nothing like this has ever happened before. It's also kind of scary to know that the only reason I'm aware of this problem is because I just happened to take my car in for an oil change! questions: If 2 little bolts are that important, shouldn't those areas, instead and/or in addition to, be soldered" is this type of breakage supposed to happen? am I driving "an accident waiting to happen""

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 172006

SL 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Put my car in park and was able to pull the key out of the ignition. The car was still running...was able to put the car into gear and drive it. I do not know how long the car has been like this!

- Swanton, OH, USA

problem #1

May 032005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
While trying to start the car with the key it will not turn the ignition to start the car. A recall was issued on the same component but for a different model car. Dealer has fixed problem, butcaller has to pay for it. Manufacturer has not been contacted yet.

- Woburn, MA, USA

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