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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NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2003 Saturn Vue (Page 8 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 8 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

Dec 052006

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Vti transmission has a propensity to reduce power when wheels slip. If pulling out into an intersection, when engine rpms drop there is a chance for being broadsided by vehicles. We've had several near misses. Driver is never quite sure if the power will be available to safely enter traffic or cross intersection. This reduction in power can result from a light dusting of snow to slippery crosswalk painted lines, to dirt, gravel or oil on roadway.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #59

Nov 092006

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 60mph on the interstate, the vehicle operated at a reduced speed without warning. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who determined the automatic transmission needed to be replaced. After the repair, the problem persisted, and the vehicle was returned to the dealer. The dealer determined the automatic transmission was not large enough to accommodate size of the engine and the automatic transmission needed to be replaced again. The manufacturer was not alerted.

- Edwardsville, IL, USA

problem #58

Aug 022006

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,500 miles
Saturn has ongoing problem with transmissions that they are refusing to recognize. My wife's Vue suddenly lost power today in traffic when the transmission failed and almost got in to a wreck. I am tired of them failing to take notice of this; the complaints about this are all over the internet.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #57

Apr 012003

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3 miles

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

: the contact stated there has been ongoing problems with the vehicle since it was purchased. The suspension was unstable which caused the vehicle to sway and transmission caused the vehicle to pull to one side. The sales dealer has inspected the vehicle several times and determined there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The contact was informed by the dealer the 30-day limit on a lemon had expired.

- Birdsboro, PA, USA

problem #56

Jun 162006

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,500 miles
The vti transmission in my 2003 Saturn Vue has failed repeatedly and without warning, usually on highways at high speeds. Suddenly, the transmission will disengage and the car cannot be driven. Saturn has now fixed the problem five times in 38,000 miles and most recently admitted that it did not know why this failure occurred and did not know if the repairs it made would fix the problem. The incident date noted below is the most recent date this occurred. When these incidents occur, sometimes the transmission will reset after turning the car off and restarting it. But other times, the vehicle has required towing to the dealership. We are concerned about the ongoing safety and reliability of this car, as the consequences of one of these unannounced failures could be catastrophic. So far, we have been lucky that no injury or accident has occurred.

- Peninsula, OH, USA

problem #55

Jan 062005

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Have taken car to dealer more than once for following items: (1) ignition does not release when key removed. The first time all they did was make a new key, today (Feb 16, 2006) they changed a spring on the 1st "level". problem still exists intermittent, after I left dealer. First reported apx Sept 2005. (2) major skidding on slight grades when sudden braking. Dealers maint fluffed it off each time saying nothing wrong. Problem since 2004. (3) when shifting down from drive to park intermittent sticking at reverse position, very subtle but definitely not normal. Problem just started (Jan 2006). Date listed under "incident date" was just to be able to input into computer. There are 3 different issues from different dates and yrs. All are apx.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #54

Feb 032006

Vue 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,062 miles

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

First time driving Saturn Vue on free way, motor started racing and Vue had no gears, lost speed, had to get off road and have Vue towed to dealership, they installed new transmission calibration and new transmission fluid and additive and informed me for the first time that my Vue had a vti transmission and this type of transmission may experience certain transmission concerns that might affect customer satisfaction and may require repair or replacement. 2nd time I was driving on road and again motor started to race and gears would not work, again I had to get off road and have Vue towed to dealer, they replaced transmission speed sensor inside transmission valve body cover. 2nd time driving on road.

- Lodi, CA, USA

problem #53

Feb 102006

Vue 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving at any speeds, the engine revs high and the vehicle completely stops. The transmission slipped out of gear and the vehicle became inoperable. The vehicle was towed into the local dealership for inspection. The dealer determined the transmission needed replaced. However, the same transmission would be used. Although, the dealer was aware of the problem but no repairs were made.

- Lodi, CA, USA

problem #52

Sep 052005

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,272 miles
The problem I encounter with my car is transmission related. Last year, I was stopped at a traffic light, then the light turned green, I accelerated as usual, the engine??S speed increased and the car did not move. Suddenly, with a loud noise the car jerked forward. The car behind me almost crashed into my car, and the driver screamed at me and waiving his hands. The car was taken to the Saturn dealer on July 30, 2004. They kept the car for a week, and repaired or replace the transmission. The problem recurred, and I brought the car to the dealer again on June 30, 2005. They could not duplicate the problem this time. Last July, the 07, I brought my car to the dealer for the same problem, and this time they replaced the transmission fluid, and reprogrammed the tcm. Septembers, 2005, I stopped at a stop sign to leave the complex where I reside, and the same phenomenon recurred: I accelerated, but the car did not move, then suddenly jerked forward, and again I almost crashed in the car coming from my left. I love my car, but I am afraid to drive it now! the first time the transmission was repaired, the car was about 10,000 miles. I had the same problem last June at 21,831 miles, and again last July, at 22,164 miles.

- Mami, FL, USA

problem #51

Sep 152005

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased my 2003 AWD V6 Vue new from the same dealership that I take it to for repairs. Since I have owned it, I have reported several times that the vehicle "stalls" while accelerating. Usually around 40 mph. The RPM's rev up (to the red) and the car goes nowhere, like it has suddenly shifted into neutral. This happens while accelerating after a stop. Needless to say, I have had several incidents where I was almost rear-ended. I feel the dealership is trying to resolve the problem, but have been unable to get it to repeat. We are now looking at having one of the service tech drive it for a week or two to see if they can get it to occur. It happens to me at least 3-6 times a month, but intermittently. I do not have a vti transmission. I have two other problems with my Vue that have been unable to be fixed; the first is the steering/alignment. If I hold the steering wheel straight on, the car goes to the left. The dealership will fix the alignment, and within 2 days it off again. I have to steer to the right to keep the vehicle straight. It has never been involved in a wreck and I can see no reason for the alignment to go off so quickly. Secondly, the car makes a loud popping sound when idling if the A/C or heater is on. The dealership says this is normal. It just doesn't seem right. The vents also blow air when the system is off. My Vue has 46,001 miles. I stand behind the vehicle and my dealership. I just wish they could figure out what is causing it to rev out the way it does. It is quite alarming when it happens.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #50

Jul 022005

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles

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

I have a 2003 Saturn Vue AWD V6 VIN [xxx]. when I had bought this vehicle there was a popping sound in the front drive-train while turning at any speed. I was about to purchase another Vue from a used car dealership, but upon reading the car facts report it was a 'factory buy back' for an un-fixed popping sound in the front end subsequently I did not purchase this vehicle. The other day I was out fishing down a dirt road I had passed my favorite spot. So, I had to make a 3 point turn on the uneven road, I turned the wheel all the way to the left and the front left tire went into a pot hole, I put it into reverse giving it gas while turning the wheel to the right and heard a sound pop!-cruuunch! after a quick field inspection it looked like the cv boot came loose and lost all the grease. So I drove it real slow back home and after taking the tire off I saw that there was metal shavings, bearings, pieces ect. On the front left axle. Saturn told me they would take care of it through the warranty an I am still awaiting the return of my vehicle. It is to my belief that this is an often occuring problem. Should this happen to someone who did not realize the seriousness of the problem death could result from hard braking or evasive manuvering with this existing condition to the axle. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #49

Oct 252003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,358 miles
Consumer states: Took in vehicle on 5 separate times for transmission, whining noise was heard, almost like the engine was overheating. Was on highway, and no matter how much gas consumer gave it vehicle wouldn't move. When giving it more gas the engine would rev but still wouldn't go. Before problems with transmission, at a separate time, something with the computer went wrong. It completely shut down. Such as gas gauge showed empty tank and speedometer went to zero. When at a stop idle seems to drop and when accelerating from stop, vehicle hestiates and lurches. Transaxle speed sensor replaced. Transmission control module reprogramed due to whining noise. Hood won't open. Hood cable readjusted. Driver and passenger washer nozzle missing and replaced. Steering wheel making noise. Shaft boot greased. Service engine soon (ses) light on. Oxygen sensor was contaminated and replaced.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #48

Feb 062003

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles
Problems with transmission equipment on 2003 Saturn Vue.** answer required***. three weeks after the vehicle was purchased the consumer was notified of a transmission related recall on the vehicle. Four months later the transmission failed without warning in traffic. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was determined that the transmission needed to be replaced (vti transmission). The manufacturer is aware of the problems with the vti transmission but instead of replacing the with a different type of transmission they extended the warranty. The starter and rear wiper motor was replaced. Both fuel senders failed resulting in inaccurate fuel readings. The liftgate became stuck when opened.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #47

Feb 062003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,637 miles
After having my (brand new) 2003 Saturn Vue for 4 months, it stopped in the middle of an intersection on my way to work. The car was towed and the transmission was replaced by Saturn. After that, I have had other instances of poor performance by the vehicle, which, again was related to the transmission. Each time, Saturn either replaced or repaired the part(s) that were causing the problems. I just recently had a problem with the way the car was driving and I took it in to find out that I had yet another transmission problem as well as a malfunctioning rear suspension, which I found out had been recalled. All parts were either repaired or replaced.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #46

Feb 072005

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
2003 satun Vue transmisson failure it stop right in front Saturn show room

- Garden City, MI, USA

problem #45

Jan 222005

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,600 miles
I have been having continual all wheel drive issues with my 2003 Saturn Vue. It has been stuck in both sand and snow of moderate depth and been unable to drive out under it's power. I have had it to the dealer a number of times and now I am told that the problem is in fact a "safety feature". the feature nearly resulted in a serious collision with a snow plow when my vehicle became stuck in only 4" of snow. I am being told by other Vue owners that they have experienced similar problems associated with both the transmission and rear differential bearings. I bought an all wheel drive vehicle and paid extra for this feature. I am now saddled with vehicle that does not perform as advertised and has already caused a near disaster. I have reported my problem to Saturn and the dealer. A formal file has been started. No repair has been made since satrun claims this to be a "safety feature" per the service manager at the frederick Saturn dealership. It is not safe and will result in additional problems.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #44

Jun 012004

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,000 miles
2003 Vue, purchased new 9/03- 4 cyclinder vti transmission failed on 4 occassions, car would lose power while driving. Occured between 6-04 and 9-04 - very unsafe pulling out into traffic. Happened on 4 occassions, once car lost power totally - had to be towed. Dealer fixed a different problem 3 different times, problem remained, traded car in 9-04.

- Poland, NY, USA

problem #43

Aug 022004

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
Vehicle would decelerate while driving from a stop postion, and transmission would make a grinding noise. Dealer was notified.

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #42

Aug 202003

Vue

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20 miles
When the consumer applied gas pedal, the vehicle did not move. The transmission was replaced.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #41

Nov 142004

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
From the beginning of the warranty transmission has continued to make horribly loud and annoying grinding and whirring sounds that continue to get worse and worse. I have had the transmission in 8 times and the problem remains. When attempting to evoke the lemon law, both corporate and the dealer were extremely belligerant and uncooperative--denying that any problem existed. This is despite the fact that the transmission problem was so severe that Saturn stopped production on the Vue with cti transmission and has made the decision not to continue to use it after this year's model end. Immediatgely upon evoking the lemon law, not only did corporate refuse to honor it, but orporate told the local dealership not to have anything to do with fixing my car without their approval.

- San Clemente, CA, USA

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