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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,753 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 Vue transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #9

Nov 032010

Vue 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles


I was driving home from night classes one night and my car would start to shake at the stop light (while idling) when I proceeded to go the car would not go into gear and would putt through the intersections. As I was driving home I got stuck in the middle of an intersection with oncoming traffic. This got worse as I drove and I prayed all the way home that I would not encounter another red light. When I got home I remembered that Saturn had sent me a letter stating that " this letter is intended to make you aware that some 2002 model year Saturn Vue vehicles, equipped with a vti, may exhibit excessive noise or reduced performance." So they are aware that their transmissions are faulty. If you google "2002 Saturn Vue transmissions" you will find a multitude of other customer complaints about the same issue. If this had of happened a day earlier my children and I could have been impacted and died due to the faulty transmission. I still owe $7000 on this car and it will cost almost that much to replace. If Saturn or GM knows about this problem they should be willing to fix it, unfortunately they are not.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #8

Aug 152009

Vue 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Purchased a brand new 2002 Saturn Vue 6 cylinders 3.0 engine. Had to replaced every electronic component in this vehicle. Computer, accelerator sensor, transmission and transmission control module. The "service engine" lights is constantly on. Therefore, I took the truck to the dealer. They tell me I need a new throttle body and a brand new harness since the new throttle body will not work with the existing wires. They want $3,000 for this. Within the warranty period I made the dealership aware of transmission problems. They reply that this SUV was operating normal. I replaced the transmission after the warranty had expired. Now the transmission control module is defective. The dealer wants $860 for the part plus programming charges.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #7

May 062010


  • 108,500 miles
I'm the original owner of a 2002 Saturn Vue AWD with the GM vti transmission and engine. Two days ago I experienced my transmission/engine failing for the fifth or sixth time since 2006. The very first time I took my Vue to the dealership in austin, tx where I had to argue with first my service rep. Followed by his manager that the problem was with the transmission. Since the faulty GM design was still relatively new, they originally blamed me for poor driving, resulting a bad BCM which they made me pay in spite of my argument the faulty GM design was the origin of the problem. First time it cost me $1500 to repair my car that had less than 60,000 miles on it. This however was quite an ordeal since my vehicle actually lost power on three or four different occasions. I would immediately go to the dealership for assistance with what I knew was the transmission. After bugging them almost everyday with the same problem they finally admitted gms transmission problems and replaced my transmission on the third visit. The second transmission lasted approximately a year. In 2007 I had relocated within the state and was experiencing similar problems and reluctantly called my local Saturn dealership. Here we go again another $500 for odds and ends and this time it was supposedly the ECM and of course it did not fix the problem! the transmission was finally replaced on my third trip! however they did not pay for my loaner car though I requested one. Brings us to 2009, when the above mentioned dealer had gone out of business and I of course had transmission problems! luckily I found a dealership near and had my car towed to them. They confirmed by that afternoon that the transmission was bad! they replaced the transmission, and closed for business within three days. No loaner car again. Here I sit again with the transmission dangerously going out, and dreading the thought of the Saturn dealership fiascoes. At what point will GM take these dangerous 2002-2005 cars off the road?

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #6

Jan 172010


  • 94,000 miles


2002 Saturn Vue AWD and the transmission died. We were on top of a hill and luckily were able to force it up before it completely failed. There were no special circumstances as we were at a stop light when it appear to fail. When contacting Saturn we were notified that it is not a "recall" although it was admitted to be a manufacture issue. Due to an additional manufacture defect with reading the mileage they will not cover the cost to replace the transmission.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #5

Jul 172009


  • 55,292 miles
2002 Saturn Vue transmission problems on highway. The car made a loud sound and the speed dropped down quickly to 5 miles/hr. Over the past 4 weeks I had to replace the alternator and pulley belts because they stopped working as well.

- West Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #4

Jul 082006

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,300 miles
I have a failed transmission, on a 2002 Saturn Vue with 56K miles on it. I brought it in three months after I bought because the transmission was slipping they claimed they changed the fluid, did a tune up etc., but the ride really didn't change. Well the transmission finally went out, and they're ordering parts to "fix" the transmission instead of replacing it. In fact they don't make the transmission anymore (which is understandable, who would continue to make something that doesn't work) but now if mine goes out I have to either have parts replaced, or get one out of a wrecked one.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #3

Sep 152004

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,937 miles


9/15/04 vehicle lost power when accelerating to make a left turn. I almost had a collision from an oncoming vehicle. Vue hesitated again and lost power while attempting to accelerate to get up to posted speed. I had the accelerator floored, rpms shot up to 6000 and I was only able to go 20 - 25 miles per hour down the road. Attempted to drive home at the end of the day, but Vue wouldn't exceed 20 - 25 miles per hour. With 21,937 mile, I drove to Saturn of rochester (mn) and dropped off advised dealer that transmission slipped and engine raced. 9/16/04 Saturn of rochester (mn) technician drove car and felt transmission slip. Technician drained fluid and found metal in fluid and belt slipping. Dealership called to advise that transmission needed to be replaced! returned to owner on 9/23/04. 9/27/04, with 22,060 miles, brought Vue back to Saturn of rochester (mn) because service engine soon light was on. Saturn vie was only able to go 20 - 25 miles per hour down the road ┐┐ once again, had to take back roads to safely get to dealership. Technician indicated that they had to rebuild the transmission that they had replaced! when I asked if they had any problems with the Saturn vie the sales person said he hadn't heard of anything. The general manager made the same statement. Using the internet I discovered numerous listings on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site. I printed out the information and provided it to the general manager - - he plead ignorance. While my vehicle was being repaired I asked the shop manager if they had experienced any problems and he told me that they had replaced several transmission and that it was widely know that there was a problem.

- Rochester, MN, USA

problem #2

Apr 282003

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,750 miles
While trying to stop by applying the brakes when approaching an intersection, the accelerator would not disengage and caused the vehicle to be unstoppable in that short distance. The transmission on this vehicle has had several problems of this type and has been reported on the internet and by other owners. The result was a collision that totaled the Saturn and another driver's Volvo.

- Bartlett, TN, USA

problem #1

May 122002

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
I have also found a metal clanking sound coming from the front driver┐'s side of the vehicle when shifting the car out of park, or reverse. It still continues to have problems between the speeds of 12 to 30 mph, again the problem presents itself mostly when the vehicle is coasting and losing momentum. The vehicle would be slowing down without any aid of braking of any kind and as the vehicle would attempt to down shift, it would sometimes make a clanking noise, or buck, or in the most extreme cases completely stall out. Also the wiper sprayers have broken twice, and the dealer expects them to break again.

- Chicopee, MA, USA

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