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.

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Transmission Failure


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
116,667 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (3 reports)
2002 Saturn Vue transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 112009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles


Transmission should sure last longer than 53000 miles.

- , Mobridge, SD, USA

problem #2

Mar 052013

Vue AWD V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 142,000 miles

I purchased my 2002 Saturn Vue used from a mechanic in Feb 2012. He disclosed that he had had the transmission rebuilt in 2010. The vehicle had 138k miles, so I assumed that was a fair longevity of the transmission, and felt I could reasonably expect the same life out of the new transmission, as per my experience with other vehicles. I purchased the vehicle for $3800.

A little over 1 year later, the "new" transmission completely failed again. The GM dealer quote to repair was $4500 for a replacement transmission, labor and extra parts not included. I sought out a private transmission shop, who quoted $2800 to rebuild the existing transmission. Seeing as I could not replace the vehicle for that cost, I committed to the rebuild.

As the rebuild progressed, we found that the transmission chain was damaged ($900 replacement), the front transfer case sustained damage due to transmission slippage ($1200 used part), and after getting everything back together found the motor mounts were shot. All total ended up at $6500 between the transmission shop and the dealer. A total I NEVER would have committed to had I known all the required repairs up front. I could have replaced the car with one of double value!

After conducting online research, only then did I discover the GM known, recognized design flaw with the Saturn CVT transmission, and only then did I discover that there had been a class action lawsuit settlement, where GM and Saturn LOST. The result of the settlement was to provide free replacement of the transmission, or $5000 credit toward the purchase of another GM vehicle. The only problem was that apparently the terms of the settlement had expired in 2010. Lucky me.

I attempted to file a complaint with GM, only to get the run around of everyone pretending to not know what I was talking about. Finally, one rep did acknowledge the known issue, and said she would file my complaint and pass it on. Never heard back from anyone, and when I called to check status, no one could find anything under my name.


Update: I will include this in a new complaint, but a little over 1 yr later, the rebuilt transmission has failed again. I will NOT be putting any more money into this vehicle. Total costs were somewhere near $12000 for a $3800 vehicle.

- , Lake Hughes, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 202014

Vue AWD V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 155,000 miles

So, just over 1yr, literally exceeding the transmission shop warranty by mere days, my 2002 Saturn Vue CVT transmission has completely failed again. A dealer inspection confirmed the transmission chain was slipping, and the only remedy is to completely replace the transmission.

After having spent $6500 a year ago to fix the very same issue, I will not be dropping another dime into this vehicle. I will most likely just put several boxes of ammunition though it, just to ease my frustration.

Thanks GM for such a great car, and thanks so much for the prompt attentive service I received when I called to inquire about solutions. Oh wait, neither of those ever happened!

- , Lake Hughes, CA, USA

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