NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,469 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 #10

Jan 012016


  • 186,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that the vehicle failed to start while the battery warning indicator was illuminated. In addition, the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the ignition discharge module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 05V399000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 186,000.

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #9

Aug 222013


  • 86,500 miles
Had the engine light on for three months then I was driving on the highway yesterday and suddenly the engine wouldn't take gas. I was able to pull over off the highway slowly and it stopped completely after I made the exit. The mechanic told me that I need a new ignition cassette! so dangerous!

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #8

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 #7

May 162010


  • 110,048 miles


Driving on freeway on ramp, without warning vehicle lost all power in the middle of traffic, almost causing a serious crash. Took vehicle to mechanic and it was discover that there was a faulty throttle body. Part was replaced.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #6

Jun 022008

9-3 4-cyl

  • 78,077 miles
After doing some research, I have found that I have spent $494.97 on what was a recall previously, I have a Saab 93 convertible and was driving on the freeway when the engine light came on and started losing power. Took to the dealership and need the di-cassette replaced. On this vehicle I have also had the alternator replaced 3 times in 2 years.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 142006

9-3 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
The direct ignition cassette has been replaced four different times. The initial replacement was only 8,000 miles into the original ownership. The last two were in 2006 with 80,000 miles. It is apparent continued problems have been experienced with this vehicle.

- Mcallen, TX, USA

problem #4

Feb 122007

9-3 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 90,714 miles


Car taken to dealer twice because "check engine light" on intermittently; told there were "no problems" and instructed on how to clear message. "check engine light" and "oil" light began to flicker intermittently; taken to 2 independent mechanics for check; both stated there was oil in the pan, oil in the engine, no obvious problem. "check engine" and "oil" lights came on and stayed on; car began making noise. Pulled over and had towed to independent mechanic who stated bearings were shot and new engine needed. Saab usa has persisted in denying culpability despite letter and mechanic's statement. Told me car was under warranty resulting in towing from independent shop to dealer; dealer then said car was not under warranty. BBB complaint filed; now Saab usa insists engine must be torn down to diagnose problem and I must accept risk that if the problem is not theirs, I will owe $1500 for tear-down; dealer wants storage charges. Car out of service now 43 days and counting.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Jul 072004

9-3 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
Saab 9-3 (2001) automatic 49000 miles stalled on freeway while pressing on the gas pedal after braking (but still moving) for congestion. Restart subsequent to stall did not succeed. Had to tow the car to dealer (B&B Saab). Second time this has occurred -- first time (similar circumstances) the dealer said a software upgrade should fix the problem. Now they think it is the throttle unit. Lucky on both occassions not to get into an accident.

- Sunnyvale, CA, 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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