really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,869 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.

1997 Cadillac Catera electrical problems

electrical problem

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1997 Cadillac Catera Owner Comments

problem #5

Aug 082003

Catera 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,343 miles


Electrical smoldering fire within the dash harness P/N90493373 of my 1997 Cadillac Catera VIN #[xxx]. no actual flames were seen before the 80 amp main fuse opened. I did see the actual harness at the Cadillac dealership and most if not all the wires in the harness had their shielding melted clean away about 1/2". the exposed wires shorted together to cause the fuse to open. I was told the authorized dealership was the only people able to determine if this was a manufacturing failure but that they were not able to actually able to make the determination. They pointed out, its possible that anyone could have done something to contribute to this issue. They would not say if there was any evidence of tampering though, even when asked to look for it. Cadillac factory service rep [xxx] opened file #[xxx] on 8-14-03 and offered to look into any possible assistance, but said there would be little to none. When I asked if I should report this to NHTSA they then threatened to withdraw the file and any possible assistance. By talking to the manager [xxx], the file I was told would remain open but not available to anyone. The consumer wanted to know the status of the complaint submitted. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #4

May 302001

Catera 6-cyl

  • miles
The consumer is experiencing the following: The engine is overheating/there's a loud tapping sound, the brakes are grinding on the right side, the power locks at times won't unlock/must play with the floor shifter, and the clock was repaired. The dealer suggested that nothing was wrong with the vehicle, in reference to the engine. Scc

- River Rouge, MI, USA

problem #3

Sep 042001


  • miles
Instrument panel displaying faulty reading. Vehicle towed to dealer for inspection. Feel free to provide any further information on this matter.

- Sherman Oak, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 281998


  • miles
This is a seriously unsafe vehicle. No safety defect (s) mentioned in summary.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #1

Jun 051999

(reported on)


  • miles
This car has had ongoing problems with various electrical components. The dealer is often unable to replicate the problem while in the repair shop. The car has been serviced for electrical malfunctions of various nature 19 times, and in the repair shop 44 days. It has been out of the shop 2 days and again the door locks will not let us in the vehicle. This started with the rear door lock not letting us out of or into the car. The problem now affects all four doors. They cannot be locked or unlocked using the remote, the key, or manually. We therefore must exit and enter using the windows. The windows (all4) have also malfunctioned. The dash lights ABS, traction control, replace wiper fluid, illuminate when there is not a problem. The O2 sensor has been replaced. The alignment on the wheels has also caused repeated problems and I have replace 4 tires. The car intermittently dies while driving. The dealer is unable to replicate the problem and says Cadillac just do that sometimes! my daughter ended up in the median of 71 hwy after the car died at 70 miles per hr. The dealer has replaced the battery, the starter, many various doorlock parts and harness wiring, ABS wiring, traction control wiring, and worked on the ignition switch. The problems still occur. We now carry a hammer with us to break out of the car in an emergency should the doorlocks not work.( dot number: Tire size: Fits cater )

- Bentonville, AR, USA

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