NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
156,620 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 Pontiac Aztek transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Pontiac Aztek Owner Comments

problem #8

Jun 082012

Aztek 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac aztec. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked with the engine in operation. The front driver's side door was completely open. Suddenly, the unoccupied vehicle began to roll into a nearby lake. The contact was standing by the opened door and sustained moderate injuries from being struck by the door as the vehicle gained speed. The vehicle rolled into the lake and was destroyed as a result of crashing and being submerged in water. The vehicle was towed to a savage facility. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 73,000. Updated 7/12/12 the consumer stated the vehicle jumped from reverse to neutral. She was sitting in the vehicle with her foot on the brake, with the vehicle in reverse. When she removed her foot from the brake to continue backing up, she discovered the vehicle was in neutral. It was moments later, when she standing outside of the vehicle, when the vehicle jumped from park knocking her down to the ground. The vehicle went into the lake. Updated 07/18/12

- East Lansing , MI, USA

problem #7

Jan 012004


  • 999,999 miles
Intermittently, when in park with the engine running, the vehicle can not be shifted to any gear without turning the engine off and restarting. The inverse of this has been trying to shift in to part and the it will not go !. turning the engine off had no effect on this condition and it had to be left in gear. Of course the lights don't go off and the vehicle had to be "chocked" and the battery disconnected. The date can be disregarded as this happens occasionally.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #6

Jun 012006

Aztek 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac aztec. While driving 35 mph, the rpms increased from 2,500 to 3,500 without warning. The vehicle would not move forward. The dealer stated that the gears failed and the vehicle needed a new transmission. As October 16, 2007, the dealer had not repaired the vehicle. The failure mileage was 88,000 and current mileage was 116,000.

- Circleville, OH, USA

problem #5

Jun 222006

Aztek 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


2003 Aztek with 65000 miles have to replace transmission. Contacted GM said I did not have fluid changed at 50,000 miles that the trouble was my fault. I contacted GM they said nothing they could do. I contacted 3 other transmission shops---all 3 said changing the fluid would not have stopped the problem. GM then tells me they can not take the word of another mechanic because they are not GM certified. I will never buy GM again. I was told this would be a very dependable car. Not even 3 years old. I should not have this problem.

- Barling, AR, USA

problem #4

Nov 202005

Aztek 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1. the vehicle will not come out of park without shutting it off if I leave it running and put it in park like at a drive-through etc. Have not had it checked or repaired because out of warranty and cannot afford to fix. 2. the rear window hatch will not open properly. I had the dealer repair once while still under warranty but it is doing it again. 3. front wheel bearing replaced once and is roaring like it needs to be replaced again. 4. the back middle seat belt fell apart and is too expensive to repair. 5. the vehicle goes through brakes rather quickly. Has been less than a year and they need to be replaced again.

- Oak Ridge, MO, USA

problem #3

Jan 012006

Aztek 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
While the vehicle is running - vehicle is in park - vehicle will not come out of park and go into gear. You have to turn it off and restart the vehicle to get it to come out of park.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 042004

Aztek 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,061 miles
Vehicle is automatic but still rolls backward in drive. Dealer's service department says this is normal. I've driven for almost 50 years and no other vehicle I have driven that was automatic did this.

- Maysville, WV, USA

problem #1

Aug 292003

Aztek 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,900 miles
2003 Pontiac aztec freely rolls forward(as if in neutral) when automatic transmission is in reverse, while on a grade, and also freely rolls backward(as if in neutral) when automatic transmission is in drive, while on a grade. Dealership and GM consider this normal operation. My husband and I do not we consider this to be extremely unsafe for anyone walking or driving in front or behind us on a grade where you may have to stop and go.

- Leroy, NY, USA

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