NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Saturn Vue (Page 1 of 4)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,070 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.

2008 Saturn Vue drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Saturn Vue Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #68

Aug 232016


  • 130,000 miles


Driving down the road and the car began having issues shifting gears. Pulled over and checked my fluids. Proceeded to continue driving and the car will not shift into reverse. Had to call for a tow. The car is now parked.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #67

May 242016


  • 79,167 miles
My transmission wave plate shattered in my 2008 Saturn Vue. I was driving home when the wave plate shattered. I had the vehicle fixed at a third party auto shop as I was not aware that GM had extended the transmission warranty to 3/20/2018 or 120,055 miles which ever occurred first. My wave plate broke on 5/24/2016 at 79167 miles on the vehicle. I have denied reimbursement sating I did not submit by receipts by the expatriation date. When I inquired on what that date was I was informed they had no idea. I will continue to fight this until I am rightfully reimbursed for these repairs per the extended transmission warranty that GM put out for the known wave plate issue. I have attached my original email chain with Saturn/GM customer service that indicates the extend transmission warranty date and mileage and the my vehicles VIN qualified, my reconsideration letter after first denial and receipt of the repair work that was completed. All I am looking for is to rightfully reimbursed by GM for the extended transmission warranty they put in place for a known issue with there vehicles.

- Blaine, MN, USA

problem #66

Jan 022016


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. While driving approximately 30 mph, the rpms suddenly increased, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 63,000.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #65

Apr 192016


  • 94,446 miles


Transmission fault and/or check engine light with code P0716, P0776, P0717, P0777, P2714, P2715, and/or P02723 on Saturn Vue vehicles with a 6speed automatic transmission may develop one or more of the following faults related to a broken 35R clutch wave plate inside the transmission: Illumination of the check engine light with code P0716, P0776, P0717, P0777, P2714, P2715, and/or P02723, loss of reverse gear, slipping or harsh 3rd or 5th gear shift. Removal and dis-assembly of the transmission will be required to replace the broken 35R wave plate. It is also extremely important that all debris from the failed part be cleaned from the transmission while it is disassembled in order to try and prevent future problems this affected 4 model years: 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2009 why wasn't a recall done on this? now I'm out of pocket for the expense of replacing my transmission.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #64

Mar 242016


  • 40,000 miles
Car has 40000 miles on it. Lost reverse gear and has trouble shifting gears. Is in shop. Told we need to replace transmission. Problems occurred while driving.

- Edison, NJ, USA

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problem #63

Mar 242016


  • 16,799 miles
The transmission has episodes where it will not shift out of second gear. I have to pull over, turn off the car and re- start it. Most of the time it will shift into gear after doing this, but this past week it has not taken care of the problem. I bought the car in Oct. 2015. And it started doing this 3 days after I bought it. I am aware that GM has several model vehicles, including some Saturn, which have on- star that have faulty wave plates and have been recalled for this problem. After reading some of the complaints from some of the owners of these vehicles, it sounds exactly like what my car is doing.I don't know who to contact about this. But fyi...Saturn has already had a class action suit against them for the 2004-2005 model transmission problem- or so I'm told.

- Lynchburg, OH, USA

problem #62

Feb 282016


  • 42,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact pulled the vehicle to the side of the road and called aaa road service. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that a metal part within the transmission fractured and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact to submit a letter, detailing the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 42,000.

- Lake Balboa, CA, USA

problem #61

Jan 042016


  • 150,000 miles
Steering wheel locked. Key would not turn in lock cylinder. Car would not start. Onstar communication was disabled. Lock cylinder had to be drilled out and replaced. Housing in steering column was damaged. Saturn Vues were recalled for ignition lock cylinder replacement, but 2008 models were left out of the recall. They should be on the recall list for ignition cylinder steering wheel lock problems along with the other Saturn Vue models. Steering wheel locked and prevented me from leaving a nearly empty parking lot at dusk. I had no way to call for help from the car. I depend on onstar for emergency assistance where cell signals are weak

- Fairplay, SC, USA

problem #60

Jun 012015


  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. The contact stated while driving at approximately 20 mph, there was a grinding noise emerging from the engine. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence. The next day the vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission module was damaged and needed replacement. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 119,000. The VIN was not available.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #59

Oct 092015


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while attempting to reverse the vehicle, the transmission became inoperable as an unknown warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure and the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V200000 (power train). The failure mileage was 200,000.

- Eutawville, SC, USA

problem #58

Sep 212015


  • miles


When parking, whether on an incline or level ground my vehicle continues to roll forward. So a majority of the time I have to utilize my manual brake when placing my vehicle in park just to be on the safe side and to void any mishaps. Also, when in drive my vehicle makes a very strong noise that intensifies the longer I am driving. When I make turns or reverse it sounds like the transmission is struggling to perform. The best analogy I can give is when a person with asthma first begins to struggle with breathing and if they don't have their rescue inhaler that struggle immediately begins to kick up a notch. I reviewed the open recalls and found that there is one regarding the issues that I am experiencing with my vehicle (correct make/model) whoever, I am being told that recalls are VIN specific and that my VIN doesn't qualify. It was like I was being handled and the oh well tone regarding my concern that it can't be that issue because your VIN is not associated with the recall approach was quite unnerving.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #57

Aug 132015


  • 139,500 miles
Ive had this issue fixed by 2 different mechanics. I didnt list the first incident because I dont remember the mileage. What happens is everytime I put gas in my vehicle it wont crank. This happens no matter how much gas I put in it. The first time it happened in February I was coming from out of town and needed gas, but prior to that the vehicle would jerk when I turned on the air which wasnt often in February because it was mostly cool out. So ive had to buy brand new parts twice because its what the computer read as an issue. The other issue I have every once in a while, I could be just getting in vehicle and it cranks fine, I would put the vehicle in reverse to back out and it wont bulge. Id then put it back in park thain drive itll move forward perfectly. When I put it in reverse again it would back out without control without ease. Once I almose hit a car passing my driveway. This happens once or twice a month. Ive also had the issue with the door opening handles where they stick I just thought my kids werent closing the door all the way. Now theyve gotten used to slamming the door because they dont want to hear my mouth everytime I get an open door notification.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #56

Dec 152014


  • 49,190 miles
Vehicle was parked inside the garage in parked transmission position, suddenly the vehicle rolled backward and hit the garage door without any warning!

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #55

Jun 252015


  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. While parked on a hill, the vehicle rolled backwards independently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact was made aware of NHTSA campaign number: 08V470000 (power train); however, the VIN was not included. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 106,000.

- New Haven , CT, USA

problem #54

May 212015


  • 73,400 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. While driving approximately 45 mph, the speed of the vehicle decreased to approximately 10 mph. The check engine warning light illuminated and the contact noticed a burning odor. The contact maneuvered to the emergency lane and shut the vehicle off. The vehicle was able to restart, but the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and diagnosed as a transmission failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 73,400.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #53

Feb 132015

Vue 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Driving on highway at 70 mph with my wife and 3 kids car reduced gear from 6 to 5 and I lost ability to accelerate and almost got rear ended by the car behind me because of sudden loss of speed without applying the brakes and sending the warning by the brake lights to the car behind me. Car just started to slow down but whoever was driving behind me couldn't know that because of no warning. Transmission valve plate 35R failed which is a very common issue in this car and model. There should be recall in my opinion. I read many people's reports of that happening and almost causing an accident. Does someone need to get hurt or killed to get this recall done?

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #52

Jun 252014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 53,351 miles
Purchased a certified used vehicle Saturn Vue 2008. Was told by sales man it had a 1 year bumper to bumper warranty and 2 year on the power train. Just after my 1 year mark my transmission went out. I took it to the dealer and felt assured at least it was under warranty, only to find out it, that is was only covered for 1 year on the power train, I was very displeased to have the transmission go out with only 50K miles on it. After speaking with several "managers" about the problem and how I felt they should cover it under the warranty, they finally agreed to absorb some of the cost, I paid 1K dollars for the transmission, while my car was being worked on they did the service that it was due such as rotating tries etc. On my way home from the dealer my air conditioning stopped working :( now it works off and on, then a day later my low tire sensor comes on, showing my tire pressure system is faulty. Really"?" now when I make a left turn, my traction control/ABS warring lights come on and ding. Wow why as this car not been recalled for all of these problems I now find so many other people having same issues to the tee, this is a common problem with these cars. Now I remember why my 3 previous vehicles have been Toyota and Honda's I paid 5K down all the money I had buy a certified car thinking it would last me longer than 1 year. I was wrong and I owe more on it now that I am sure it is worth.

- Bakersfield , CA, USA

problem #51

Sep 242014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Driving on interstate 10 pensacola fl heading northwest going 70-75 miles an hour semi truck about 2 car lengths behind me I M int the right lane cars to my left traffic is heavy 3:45 in the pm. My car makes chunk then a bump engine shuts off no power no power steering semi locks up his brakes almost hits me pulled the car to side of the road. After I collected myself car wont turn over no smoke or fluids popped the hood nothing to indicate what happened. Had it towed to vinnc whibbs I was told the engine locked up no reason why. Put a new engine in found out in fact it was the transmission which caused the engine to lock up. I did research on this and come to find out it is a defective part in GM cars int the transmission the 35R wave plate has not been properly heat treated and can cause transmission failure it affects hundreds of thousands of cars 2007-2009 Saturn. Taverse, acadia, outlook, Malibu, arura. GM knows about this defect but wont do a recall. This is wrong as a consumer im suppose to be protected by law from defective products. This dept the NHTSA has looked in to this issue and your dept has detirmened it to be a defective part but no safety issues, I be G to differ I was almost in a terrible accident due to this defective part. Once again GM has a defective product, and no one is doing anything about it how many lives lost does it take before we take action.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #50

Nov 212014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 50,437 miles
Pulled out from a stop sign, at normal speed. And the car wouldn't shift out of second gear. Pulled over right away to avoid an accident. The car was in very good running condition with reg maintenance on car. I had a small child in the car with me at this time. I had to make it home going 5-10 mph. This should have not happened at this low of miles and reg maintenance on car. Why is there no recall?

- Myerstown, PA, USA

problem #49

Sep 172014


  • 60,000 miles
Car is not shifting appropriately when going into reverse. Also notice issues when driving where car appears to struggle shifting to third gear. Has stalled out.

- Saint Paul , MN, USA

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