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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,854 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.

2003 Saturn Vue seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Aug 102011


  • 100,000 miles


Horn starting sounding off, kept sounding until battery died. Horn switch is in the steer wheel and connected to the airbag. Only way to fix is by having horn fuse in plugged. This is a major safety issue.

- Park City, UT, USA

problem #24

Aug 102010


  • 60,000 miles
Takata recall the air bag is being inflated and making the horn go off nonstop and I have to drive with the fuse for the horn taken out. To prevent from either the horn going off and exploding while I drive to work or etc... I have had the horn replaced a few years ago and the problem is worse again especially with the summer heat in Georgia.

- Sugarhill, GA, USA

problem #23

Aug 242014


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While driving at approximately 30 mph, the air bag warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the failure was unable to be determined. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 11/18/15 updated 1/12/2016 updated 01/26/16.

- Dekalb, IL, USA

problem #22

Nov 152014


  • 160,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While driving at an unknown speed, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 160,000. Updated 6/18/15

- Dekalb, IL, USA

problem #21

Nov 062014


  • 166,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. After the ignition switch was remedied, the air bag and service vehicle soon warning lights illuminated. Also, the horn would not work. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 166,000.

- Toms River , NJ, USA

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problem #20

Sep 122007


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated while driving 45 mph, the vehicle stalled which also caused the brakes to fail as the contact approached a stop sign. As a result, the contact went through the stop sign and crashed into another vehicle. The air bag failed to deploy. The contact sustained head injuries that required medical attention. The driver in the other vehicle also required medical attention for unknown injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign id number: 14V490000 (electrical systems). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unavailable.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #19

Jul 312014


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that the gears failed to shift into place properly. Also, the air bag warning light was continuously illuminated. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle had been taken to the dealer for a diagnosis. The technician stated that the air bag components were working up to standards and was unable to diagnose the failure related to the gear shift lever. The manufacturer had not been notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000. The VIN was not available. Pam

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #18

Jan 132014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 22,807 miles
After talking to a Saturn car care specialist in January 2014 because of a loud noise in steering column, and after having been told there was no recall for the problem I was experiencing, it was recommended that I make an appointment with local GM dealership to have problem inspected which I did. When I turn the steering wheel, there is a loud noise like a rubber band is being stretched to the point of breaking. The following is what dealership reported on repair invoice: "steering wheel air bag coil making a noise. The noise is due only to plastic items making contact with one another. This noise is common in cold weather and is not an area of concern at this time". I live in a high temperature/high humidity state and the problem is constant - not only in winter. After visiting the dealership and they inspected, the noise was gone but that lasted only for a week or so and it returned and it still persists to this date. I was then advised by the service department manager to use a dry silicone spray on the steering column/air bag area and that should take care of the problem. It did not. Or, I could have the current driver's side air bag replaced at my own cost which I opted not to do because of the expense. I have been concerned about this air bag problem for a long time. It originally started while I was still living in another state until three years ago when I moved to my current address. My question is this: Have other owners of vehicles with air bag problems also experienced this noise prior to the air bags exploding with sharp metal objects seriously injuring them" or, was a noise like this reported to friends/relatives by those killed prior to the incidents? other comments by Saturn owners on web site also could not get answer from GM as to cause of this noise which they were also experiencing. Am I driving a time bomb??"

- Mabank, TX, USA

problem #17

Apr 092014


  • miles
My 2003 Saturn Vue continues to run when the key falls out of the ignition. If involved in a crash will air bags deploy ? this model is not on the recall list for GM products with this problem. Help!!!!

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #16

Nov 122005


  • 35,343 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the air bag warning indicator illuminated. Additionally, smoke emitted from the center of the steering wheel where the horn was positioned. The contact also mentioned that the key released from the ignition while the engine was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician was unable to locate a problem. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 35,343. Updated 06/10/14

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #15

Nov 182013


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled and the low power light illuminated. The contact also mentioned that the vehicle would not restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who was unable to diagnose the vehicle. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system) that the vehicle was not included in. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000. Updated 6/10/14

- London, KY, USA

problem #14

Apr 082013

Vue 4-cyl

  • 65,100 miles
Car parked at work - informed horn was blowing on car. Turned off alarm - still blowing. Thumped center of steering wheel - blowing stopped. Happened one week later - same scenario. Two days later - blew horn at dog while driving - had to thump center of steering wheel to make blowing stop. Have had six (6) more incidents since April '13 = seems to happen when heat builds up in car. Thumping center of steering wheel stops blowing. Afraid to disconnect horn due to safety of having a horn. Have read multiple, similar complaints on internet - focuses mainly on '02 and '03 Saturn Vue. Wondering if there is a recall" have seen estimates for repair of horn switches and airbags above $700. Seems to be chronic problem - could lead to fire in airbag due to faulty switch???" very concerned. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #13

Jan 142013


  • miles
I notice the beginning of the week when I started my car the air bag light and the service engine light remained on in my vehicle. I called my mechanic immediately and he told me that seemed be be a wiring or mechanical issue with the vehicle. He stated that Saturn did have a recall on the vehicle for this issue and I needed to get a hold of someone immediately. That is why I am filing his complaint asking for immediate assistance with the critical issue with my vehicle. Please if someone can contact immediately.

- Lawrenceville , GA, USA

problem #12

Jul 092012


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while attempting a turn, another vehicle crashed into her. The air bags did not deploy and the contact was injured. The vehicle was destroyed. A police report was not filed. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 128,000.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #11

Dec 172011

Vue 6-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
My horn started blowing early 1 morning and I had to disconnect my horn the switch went out the horn switch is in the air bag assembly. This was a common problem with the 2003 Saturn Vue.

- Bloomfield, CT, USA

problem #10

Aug 142011

Vue 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Driving on highway in 55-mph zone, forced to lane change by merging traffic traveling fast. Had to come back into first lane as another car sped up in passing lane at same time we moved over. Nowhere to go; car spun out, rolled and hit hill on side of highway. Vehicle had front airbags (driver and passenger), and side curtain airbags for front and rear passengers. Airbags never deployed throughout accident. Vehicle was totally demolished. Thank god, we are alive, but total demolition with no airbag deployment" how and why did this malfunction"

- Old Forge, PA, USA

problem #9

Dec 072008


  • 67,600 miles
Air bag light remains on- for a few years. Which, in turn, keeps the check engine light on. Dealer looked at it a few years ago, and said all that could be done would be fix the computer. It would need a replacement and that would be my responsibility. It would cost well over $500. Wonder if there is a recall or some way I would not need to pay.

- Millbury, OH, USA

problem #8

Apr 202008


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While driving 15 mph, the horn engaged without warning. The contact stated she removed the fuses for the horn however, the failure continued to occur. The dealer stated that the airbag padding caused the failure. As of April 29, 2008, the dealer had not repaired the vehicle. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Millersville, MD, USA

problem #7

Jan 202008

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle slid on ice, traveled down a hill, and crashed head on into a tree. The air bags failed to deploy. The driver was wearing a seat belt, but sustained neck injuries. A police report was filed. The front end and sides of the vehicle were damaged. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer or the insurance company. The current and failure mileages were 89,000.

- Springfield , MA, USA

problem #6

Jun 012006

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Saturn Vue horn failure due to poor engineering design. Dealer advised that airbag, horn, and horn relay has to be replaced. However, the horn relay is the same relay part number as the rear window wiper - trading out the relays did not cause the rear window washer to stop working, therefore the problem is not in the horn relay. The dealer disconnected some of the systems, including the flasher, to disconnect the horn when it would have been easier to unplug the horn at the horn rather than under the dash. The dealer advised that this is a design failure but wants ~$800 to replace the airbag, horn, and relay. This is not an uncommon problem based on the other complaints listed. I purchased a Saturn strictly because of service dependability --- and apparently that is not sufficient reason to remain with Saturn now that GM has taken over.

- Jackson, MS, USA

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