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.

NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2003 Saturn Vue (Page 7 of 10)

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,313 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments (Page 7 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #80

Dec 052007

Vue 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While driving 50 mph and greater, the transmission makes strange noises, hesitates, jerks, vibrates, hops, slips, and slams into gear. The transmission slams into gear upon take off. The dealer has replaced the transmission four times on the following dates: 12/05/2007, 12/08/2007, 01/09/2008, and 02/11/2008. The tires were also balanced during the fourth repair, but this did not correct anything. One of the transmissions had to be replaced after the vehicle had only been driven 50 miles. The next time the transmission was replaced, the dealer had the vehicle for twenty one days. The dealer offered him a $1,000 certificate to trade the vehicle. Currently, the vehicle is experiencing the same failure and the transmission needs to be replaced a fifth time. The current mileage was 64,000 and failure mileage was 59,000.

- Yreka, CA, USA

problem #79

Feb 182008

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
Flagged. [ flag message - mark as unread ] subject: Re: Saturn defect date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 16:38:45 -0500 from: "pub inq web mailbox" add mobile alert the correct Agency to contact would be the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, www.NHTSA.dot.gov. susan stevenson information specialist ntsb records management division 490 L'enfant plaza East, sw Washington, DC 20594 800-877-6799 -----original message----- from: Publicmail@ntsb.gov [mailto:publicmail@ntsb.gov] sent: Monday, February 25, 2008 3:20 pm to: Pub inq web mailbox subject: Public correspondence the following request was received from the ntsb web sitenone usa highway message: I am tying to find out if the ntsb has investigated the vti transmission problems that Saturn is ignoring. This is well documented that Saturn knows there is a problem but will not recall them or come up with a permanent fix. I am on my third tranny and these are a real safety hazard because of the frequency and quickness with no warning that they are breaking. Mine has left me and/or my wife stranded in the middle of the road or the intersection twice now. Is it not going to be investigated until after someone gets killed or seriously hurt" has the ntsb already done an investigation and found nothing" please let me know thank you *** this request for an information product requires a response ***

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #78

Feb 182008

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles
While driving the car down the road and stopped at a stop sign when pulling off the car started to jerk and would not go when it did go after about a second and I was already out in the road the car was stalling and me and my three children was almost hit by oncoming traffic. Took the car into a shop and was told it was the transmission that needed to be replaced. Which a transmission cannot be found to fit this car but one which almost 8000. And now I am reading all the other complaints and now am scared to take a chance to fix it now that it may not take since all of the other people have had the same problem. Please recall this type transmission before something bad happens to someone and their children.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #77

Jan 202008

Vue 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,480 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The vehicle was riding smoothly on the interstate. The vehicle after 25 miles of highway travel suddenly decreased in speed. At the same time the transmission responded with a load continual roar. I was on the interstate and I was able to avoid an accident and make it to the median without injury. I had the vehicle towed the remaining 30 miles at a total cost of $120. I was told by the repair technician that it would take $5,583 to replace the transmission that was unable to be repaired. The Saturn dealership quoted the repair at $6,000. I currently owe $7,800 on the price of the vehicle purchased 2 years ago. The car is under the 5 year warranty mark but has 93,500 which falls short of the extended transmission warranty. I am unable to afford to repair it and will not since I've heard stories of others needing to replace the transmission 2 years later. I can't sell the car for 2 reasons. The 1st I don't want to pass the problem on to someone else. The 2nd I still have a note on the loan and the highest offer the Saturn dealer will give us is $1,500 with or without a new transmission. I am not in a financial position to have 2 car notes with 1 car. I do not no what else to do.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #76

Dec 102007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles
2003 Saturn Vue "vti trans". problems with the transmission, sounds, slipping, disengaging. Went into Saturn dealer several times, each time I was told that the sounds were normal, common to all vti's, and the slipping was traction control. They did not note any of my complaints into their computer. When I talked to them no one mentioned or notified me of any known problems, nor did they notify me that the trans. Warranty for the Vue had been increased to 5yr/75,000mi. I would have brought the car in for service!recently I found out about several service bulletins in 2004, I was not notified of any. Since I could not afford the costs for repair, I "limped" along with my Vue, for as long as I could, sometimes in rather dangerous situations, until the trans. Failed. After getting the work done he told me that he was sure it would happen again soon. The problem started up again that very night!check web sites like-www.carsurvey.org and www.saturnfans.com and read descriptions abt. Saturn Vue "vti" trans. Describing the exact problems I had. This is not just my problem, this is an epidemic and Saturn has known about it for a long time and they are not doing anything. Fresno Saturn dealer never "registered" us or our purchase with Saturn corporate. Some of them have nearly gotten killed, including me as power was lost as I was exiting parking lots into traffic. The mechanics, now that my car is outside of warranty, told me about known problems with vti trans. They told me before they even looked at the car, that I needed a new trans. It is defective from manufacturer. When I went in, I saw 4-5 Saturn Vues(vti's) all in lined up in a row for service. I was told all of those were in for trans. Problems(some people have put up to 4 trans. In their 2002-2004 vti Vues. Apparently it is being replaced with the same type trans. I've read that several people have nearly been killed, why has there been no safety recalls!!! does somebody have to die before someone does something about this!

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #75

Dec 202007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle shifted into second gear from high. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic and he stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The current and failure mileages were 85,000. Updated 02-06-08. The consumer stated the dealer is not at fault but the Saturn corporation for not being included in the recall due to the new type of transmission. Updated 02/06/08

- Warloo, NY, USA

problem #74

Dec 222007

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My son had my 2003 Vue at the dealer for service engine soon light. Dealer advised it was a thermostat and they needed to order the part. My son was told it was okay to drive. The next day he went to go to a friends house and it made a grinding, whine noise. It then wouldn't go up a hill. Finally got it home ( less than a quarter mile) and it wouldn't go into reverse. Took it to a private transmission shop and they said the transmission had "blown apart". the car only had 59,000 miles on it. Had a used transmission installed for $2,500. A new one would cost 5500 and rebuilt 3500. Piece of junk... why doesn't some one make the dealer recall this junker?

- Hanover, PA, USA

problem #73

Dec 012007

Vue

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
On my 2003 Saturn, the car unexpectedly will not go into drive and I am unable to go anywhere. At other times, while driving, I lose all ability to accelerate or drive above 20 mph. Extremely unpredictable and unsafe. Although I've brought the car in for service, Saturn claims they cannot recreate or fix the problem. This is a very dangerous situation.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #72

Dec 202007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,420 miles
Saturn 2003 Vue with vti transmission was purchased new in 10/02. At 76,000 miles when accelerating to get on highway, the RPM's were roaring and the speedometer was dropping. Pulled on shoulder and was able to drive car at 30 mph a few miles to the Saturn creve coeur dealer, who met us getting out of the car, and told us he could not even look at our car to go somewhere else! drove sides streets 30 mph to South county Saturn dealer where purchased. After test driving they stated they thought the range switch was bad. No longer under extended warranty it would cost $452 to replace. After read about others complaints on this site, and having never heard of a range switch I am leary of spending the $452 only to have them tell me the next time it happens that the transmission will need to be replaced. Recently had problems with ignition sticking when turning the key. They told me it was some switch then too and the next day it did the same thing. Then I was told that I needed a whole new ignition after they held the key and ground it down! I do not trust them. Car has not had a problems the past few days. I will never buy another Saturn!

- Affton, MO, USA

problem #71

Nov 102007

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles
November Saturday 10th, 2007, my 2003 Saturn Vue made a grinding noise, I heard a pop then it stopped in the middle of an intersection. The engine was still running, but the car would not go forward or backward. I put the car in neutral and coasted down the hill to park it. I called Saturn and described the situation. They said it sounded like the transmission. I had it towed to Saturn of renton. November 13th the service department called and said that the problem was the transmission belt. I said ok, so put a new belt on. The service person said, well the "transmission is shattered". I said "how on earth did that happen?!" he told me that the transmission belts in the 2003 Saturn Vue's are metal, so when they break, they shatter the entire transmission. I said, so there is a flaw in the design of the transmission then. He said, "yes, I see a lot of these". he told me it would cost $5,500 plus tax to fix it. I called the Saturn company customer service line. I opened a formal case and was assigned to an "advocate". that person called me on November 15th and said that because it is a flaw in the design of the transmission, they would honor the extended warranty, which only takes $1,000 off of the repairs. I said that wasn't good enough, Saturn needed to pay the full cost to get it fixed. My "advocate" said that was all Saturn would do, and I had 30 days to decide if I would accept. Saturn will do nothing to correct this failure. They even insulted yesterday (Dec. 11th) when they said they would give me only $500 on my Saturn Vue as the trade-in value! they said because of the $5,000 transmission job that had to be done in order to resell it. I said "that transmission job was caused by something your company did, not me...so now Saturn is saying, in essence, 'we screwed you over once, and now we are going to screw you over again'. it isn't going to happen Saturn...I'd rather take it to a junk yard that give it back to you people!!!!!

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #70

Nov 302007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Without warning, the Vue suddenly came to a dead crawl while accelerating and was almost T-boned. Vue practically died but the engine revved real high. Engine light and reduced power light were on. Got the Vue to crawl home another mile. Later, I started the car and there were no warning lights. Test drove around the block with no problem drove Vue to O'reilly auto parts and used code scanner. The code scanner (autoxray code scout 2500) displayed the following messages; engine light off, P1882 = ratio control performance, P0701 = transmission control system, range/performance, P0700 = transmission control system malfunction. Later, it happened again. Suddenly while accelerating and without warning I had no power. Engine was still running, engine light and reduced power light came on. No power and was right in the middle of traffic, almost rear ended. Picked up code scanner again and took to vehicle. Connected the scanner and read the same codes as above. This time transmission was completely disabled. Towed Vue to South county Saturn in St louis. The dealer called next day and said there is nothing wrong and there are no codes. Dealer said they must have codes in order to repair problem. (there are no specific codes that will display regarding the problem. When transmission fails codes are too broad and do not indicate specific problem. There are no sensors inside the transmission that monitor the actual problems. I insisted that they test drive the car. Reluctantly, they had a technician drive the vehicle home for the rest of the week. Later they said they put an additive in the transmission as per their technical bulletin and then the technician began taking the car home. The problem is the additive will temporarily fix the problem. Of course the transmission will not fail during the week long test drive. They called today and said we have to pick up the car and that the transmission is fine. Now the car is a ticking time bomb waiting for the next failure.

- Fenton, MO, USA

problem #69

Dec 012007

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,400 miles
2003 Saturn Vue, AWD, V6, upon pulling out of intersection, accelerating, automatic transmission not up shifting on accelerating. Loss of power. Engine accels but vehicle movement slows. Transmission does not engage. Dealership states that the computer needs to be "dummied up". vehicle is not use to a different driver. Can not pull out of intersection fast. Good car for very very slow person.. not "vti" transmission. Dealership has dummied up computer many times. Seems to help for a while but after a while we are just use to acceleration slow to let the transmission shift before applying additional gas pedal. Rear drive unit grinding on turning. Dealer states that this a known problem and has a "kit" ready with all parts needed to make the repairs in the rear end unit. Price is over $1000... I was not reimbursed for any costs. Failure on rear unit occurred at 70,000 miles. Vehicle purchased new and my wife drove, till 75,000 miles. Now I am driving the Vue and I would like to accelerate a little more quickly out of some intersection. Spark plug failed at 50,000 miles. They are to last to 100,000 miles. Very expensive repair to replace the spark plug, have to tear off the top end of intake manifold to get to it. Many expensive replacement gaskets had to be replaced and the labor also. I used my personal certified mechanic to save some money. Bad design.

- Vandergrift, PA, USA

problem #68

Apr 102007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,346 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. When changing gears, the transmission slips and the vehicle is not fluid while driving at any speed. The failure began in April of 2007. This is the third time since April that the vehicle was taken to the dealer regarding the transmission slippage. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 82,346 and failure mileage was 67,346.

- Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA

problem #67

Aug 012007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
Total failure of the vti transmission (Saturn Vue 2003, 4 cyl). Replaced 3 times. Car junked, waste of over $20,000, I can't believe there has been no recall. Multiple consumer complaints. Contact me, anyone so I can get on class action lawsuit. Saturn service and products terrible.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #66

Jun 012007

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
After regular preventative maintenance, 2003 Saturn Vue has continuously experienced transmission problems from 70,000K point on. Vehicle drops gear (often in busy traffic, at intersections, occasionally while just traveling down a road at 30-40 mph), does not shift into higher gear (causing sudden loss of speed during highway travel), makes loud grinding noises while turning and accelerating and otherwise fails to operate properly. Recently had vehicle serviced ($1,000 in charges) and was told that modular was cracked and transmission fluid needed replacement. Problems continue after servicing. Have read extensive reports and complaints involving Saturn Vue VT1 transmission. Saturn needs to have a recall - it's consumers can't afford all of these repairs for what is clearly a faulty transmission that has been discontinued!

- Proctor, VT, USA

problem #65

Jul 252007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,973 miles
Saturn of manchester has advised us that Saturn is no longer utilizing the vti transmission in any of their AWD 4 cyl. Saturn vehicles, because the transmission just did not work out. We have had problems with this transmission in our vehicle. However, as the vehicle gets older, it seems to require more and more transmission service. The 100,000 mile extended warranty we purchased ourselves is now almost over. As seniors living on a fixed income, we thought this automobile would last us for more than only 100,000 miles. Who would buy it knowing about the transmission" we think this problem makes this model a lemon from the beginning. We have read so many complaints about the vti transmission on this Vue. We read that over 88,000 were sold. The only thing Saturn has done, is extend the original warranty from 36000 to 75000 miles. Saturn claims to have all american parts, but this transmission seems to have been made in hungary. There is in progress a class action suite being formed against Saturn for using the vti transmission. We found the following online: "26th Mar 2007, 07:15 there is current a class action case under review in madison co, il for the AWD 2.2 Saturn Vue transmission. If you email or phone us, we will give you the attorney's email address, phone number, and name of the investigator and his phone number. We pursued it and have been in touch with the investigator at the law firm. He claims that he now has just about enough claims in enough states to file a class action case against Saturn corporation. Would you please be kind enough to look into this problem asap. See if this is true or not and let us know if we can claim our car as a lemon or get some kind of compensation" just yesterday, the Saturn service had to replace half of the vti transmission and gave us a 12,000 mile warranty on it. This warranty does us no good because we still have 13,000 miles of warranty on our warranty we purchased ourselves, so they overlap.

- Tamworth, NH, USA

problem #64

May 082007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles
My 2003 Saturn Vue vti transmission failed at 59K miles. It was repaired under the extended warranty on the transmission. This new transmission lasted 12 hundred miles. It was again repaired under the warranty, then 1200 miles later it failed again. It was "rebuilt" by the Saturn dealership each time. It is now driving exactly the way it did after the 2nd repair and I believe it is only a matter of time until it fails again.

- Gap, PA, USA

problem #63

Mar 102007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,101 miles
Failed vti transmission..started on 12/03/03 with 9199 miles. Reduced power light, car would not go when placed in gear, fix-code P0107, map sensor low circuit voltage transmission control system on 6/28/04 with N14807 miles. Wrench lit, Saturn allegedly not found on 12-02-04 with 20178 miles not properly shifting, wrench light, fixed. Dtc B2707 into shift lock transmission on 6/30/05 with 27797 miles ses light, not found. On 7/17/06 with 48664 mi.les wont shift gears. Fix total rebuild as per Saturn extended warranty. On 11/21/06 4with 8664 miles not shifting, stopped, then went into heavy traffic. Would not go in reverse, fix ed again. On 3/10/07 with 50107 miles stopped in heavy traffic then went. Intermitently shook in heavy traffic when at operating temperatures. As per Saturn not found. Also, air bag/horn issues, on 1/31/06 with 38441 miles air bag light was on..Saturn alleged not found on 4/10/06, and on 41040 miles again air bag li, as per Saturn dtcb1800472, ,dtcb1001, replaced modual assembly.was charged $578.40.after that horn was going on own, assumed was part of alarm system. Horn burned out, and Saturn wanta about $1500 to repair when there iwas a an admitted design flaw. Alarm system was verified by outside source operational, not even sure if air bag will deploy in an accident.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #62

Feb 232007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 vti transmission in Saturn Vue. The transmission requires constant trips to dealership for monitoring updates or repairs. Gets fixed, only to have same problems return again very soon. See www.saturnfans.com blog to see high reports of problems. Tried to trade in vehicle on newer Vue without vti transmission. Dealer offered trade-in value substantially lower than kelly blue book. Dealer stated "we won't put a vti Vue on lot for resale." Saturn discontinued problematic transmission in 04.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #61

Nov 192004

Vue

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On 11/19/2004 29,021 miles. Noise in engine area. Saturn replaced transmission fluid. Was told if it happened again would have to replace transmission. 9/12/2005 61,695 miles. Car wouldn't go when put into gear. All gears were tried. Contacted Saturn was told to get it towed in and they would inspect it. Brought to attention that the letter I received about the vti transmission having problems and again was told it was my responsibility to have car towed in. Also had to rent my own car. Was reimbursed but only for a small portion on the rental car cost and nothing for the tow. Finally got my car back on 9/21/2005. 5/31/2006 89,412 miles. Again car would not go into gear. Took it to a transmission specialist as I will not go back to Saturn. Another transmission was put in another vti as no other transmission can be put in this car. This one at my expense. 9/26/2006 105,000. Car lost power on a canyon road had to pull over and be towed. Was told transmission overheated and was now running fine. 2/8/2007 117,000 miles. Here we go again the transmission needs to be replaced again. When will a recall be issued. How many people need to complain about this unsafe and shoddy transmission. Please help. I cannot afford another transmission.

- Ranchos De Taos, NM, USA

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