NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Module Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,229 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.

2001 Saab 9-3 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #13

Nov 212012


  • 89,801 miles


Brought my 2001 Saab 9-3 for campaign recall 05V399000 idm to dirito brothers Saab of walnut creek, California. Dealer stated not required to change the idm. If my idm fails at a later date, I could be susceptible to injury or death. Need to know if dealer is required to change idm.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 012009


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Saab 9-3 convertible. The engine light has been illuminated for 3 weeks. A mechanic stated that there was a problem with the direct ignition cassette failure and needed to be replaced. The mechanic also confirmed that the spark plugs needed to be replaced. NHTSA campaign id number: 05V399000 PE05017 NHTSA action number: PE05017 component: Electrical system:ignition:module is related to the failure. The contact is concerned about the safety risk and the potential number of units affected per the recall. The manufacturer confirmed that the VIN nor year, make and model of her vehicle was related to the recall. The current and failure mileage was 74,000.

- Savanah,, GA, USA

problem #11

Apr 182008

9-3 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,347 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Saab 9-3. while driving 70 mph, the check engine light illuminated. The contact drove to the dealer and they stated that the ignition cassette failed. She then found a recall on her vehicle for the same failure her vehicle was experiencing; however, the dealer stated that her VIN was not included. The contact believes that her vehicle should be included in the recall because it is experiencing the same failure. The recall number was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 82,347. Updated 05/20/08. The door handle was replaced. Updated 05/20/08

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #10

Mar 262007

9-3 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,949 miles


- the contact owns a 2001 Saab 93. The contact stated that there was safety recall on the ignition discharge module. The first time he took the vehicle to the dealer to have the safety recall repair work done was 04/17/2006. The contact drove back home at 60 mph for approximately 40 miles, and during that time and for the first time, the engine light turned on. The contact went back a second time on 05/11/2006 because the engine light stayed on and, there were gas fumes in the vehicle. The contact went back to the dealer on 06/08/2006 because there were overwhelming gas fumes in the vehicle. Currently the engine on light stayed on consistently. The contact was told that he would be charged for repairs. The failure mileage was 15,949 and the current mileage was 17,900. The consumer provided the invoices for repairs and documents for the Saab dealership. Update 4/25/07

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #9

Dec 212006

(reported on)


  • miles
2001 9-3 engine light illuminated due to a cracked cylinder. When the consumer took the vehicle to the dealership, she was told the serial number on the module was not the one that would be replaced. A few months had passed and the service technician determined that the problem was from the recalled part which had a noticeable crack. When the consumer contacted the dealership again, she was told that the module may have shown problems in the previous inspection, but the module was not covered by the recall based on the serial number.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #8

Dec 192005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer 2001 Saab 93 stalled. Prior to receiving the recall notice, the consumer had already paid for the repairs and has since requested reimbursement, however the manufacturer requested a copy of the consumers check as proof that the repairs were made. The consumer refused to send them a copy of his check.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #7

Mar 302006

9-3 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,600 miles


: the contact stated the engine stalled multiple times. The last time the engine stalled while traveling at a highway speed of 65-70 mph. The vehicle coasted off to the side of the road without incident. The vehicle was towed to the dealership. There were no prior warning. The vehicle has been to two different dealerships. Neither could duplicate the problem. There is an NHTSA recall, # 05V399000 regarding the electrical system: Ignition: Module. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 172006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driving 70 mph on highway my 2001 Saab SE convertible engine just stopped - all of the dash lights lit up - smoke started coming out of the hood. I, fortunately, was able to pull over prior to being hit by any cars on this 3-lane highway. Previously, I have had my ignition cassette replaced - it seems that it has failed again. In addition, although I have under 50,000 miles on the car (no accidents) I have spent over $4,000 in repairs to date (not counting the numerous times it was in the dealership having repairs done under warranty). I have gone past the statute of limitations on the lemon law - otherwise I would file for that. Constantly the dash idiot lights come on - every time I bring it in, they tell me nothing is wrong (yet I have to pay the diagnosis charge).

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #5

Oct 242005

9-3 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,725 miles
I was traveling in a rotary that is an on-ramp to 128 in reading, MA. And was about to accelerate up the on-ramp when the car died, battery light came on, power steering failed. This was during rush hour and there was no safe place to pull over, luckily a state trooper pulled up within about 2 minutes and was able to push the car to a safer location. Roadside assistance was called, car was brought to the dealer and diagnosed with a direct ignition cassette (dic) failure.

- Beverly, MA, USA

problem #4

Mar 072005

9-3 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
I was driving to work on the highway from syracuse to cortland to New York when about quarter way their my car shut down right in the middle of the highway and I was almost involved in a traffic accident due to this failure. The failure was a bad direct ignition cassette which caused my car to shut down immediately. Apparently the same part has been used and failing for about 20 years to this date. When I brought the car in for the dic replacement it cost me $500 for 5 sec. Of time. When I told the mechanics about the problem they laughed and said they new what it was and that it had been failing for years and they make good money off of the part and this is the same thing I am hearing from other Saab 9-3 drivers. I then proceeded to respond to Saab corporation with which they would neither reimburse me for their part failure and they avoided my questions about thiis typical failure and how it failed. I would like to quit being avoided and get some action or response from this corporation

- North Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #3

Apr 182005

9-3 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 56,000 miles


Direct ignition cassette failed while traveling approximately 45 mph. Car lost power, including electricity and power steering. Was able to restart car, but shut down again about 10 minutes later.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 152005

9-3 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 61,550 miles
Complete loss of engine power while traveling at 55 mph on limited access highway in left lane. Loss of power was due to direct ignition cassette failure (electrical failure in engine ignition system).

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #1

Oct 162003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
At 75 mph on a major highway, my car simply shut down, engine would not restart. Had to coast across three lanes of busy traffic to get to shoulder. Car would not restart, burning electrical smell and smoke came from engine. Car was towed to dealership, where failed the cassette was diagnosed. Is still in shop 4 days later. Check engine light has been coming on for 8 months, have been told repeatedly by Saab that it's because I am not tightening the gas cap enough. Check engine light was on, as usual, but I ignored it, as it's on half the time I drive the car. Dealership seemed to know immediately that the cassette was blown. This defect needs to be remedied. Very dangerous.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

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