NHTSA — Suspension: Front Problems

2003 Saab 9-3 (Page 2 of 2)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,894 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 Saab 9-3 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Jan 022009


  • 70,000 miles


Another front suspension coil spring failure on a Saab 9-3. on returning from a 2 week vacation I started the car in the airport parking lot and heard a clicking / rubbing noise from the front left wheel. I stopped and inspected the wheel and noted rust on the brake rotor and assumed that this was the cause of the noise and would wear off when the brakes were applied. Drove ~1/4 mile and stopped at a light before turning on to the interstate when I saw smoke coming from the wheel. Closer inspection revealed that the front left suspension coil spring had failed and the fractured spring was rubbing on the tire. The car was towed to the Saab dealer where the front springs were replaced and the damaged tire replaced. I have the failed spring hardware. Despite the large number of similar failures of the front spring on Saab 9-3S, Saab refused to acknowledge that this was an issue and charged me for the repair. I feel lucky that I stopped to investigate before turning on to interstate. If I had not it would have undoubtedly resulted in a high speed tire failure.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 012008


  • miles
I am another Saab owner with the problem described complaint "investigation # PE08051." This was discovered during other work being performed on the car. Along with other numerous problems, this may explain why we have gone through many sets of tires and alignment has always been a problem. The 1st and last Saab I will ever own.

- Brooklyn, MI, USA

problem #5

Oct 012007


  • 68,000 miles
Front spring failure from corrosion damage ¿ front passenger spring broken, completely broken off piece approximately 5-6¿ found. Every time the vehicle was driven over a rough road surface (aka pothole, dirt road, speed bump), a vibration / rattling noise was heard coming from the front passenger side. Originally, it was believed that the noise was due to a wheel or brake issue, so we drove the car for quite some time thinking it was just a minor annoyance, not a serious safety risk (some drivers have had the spring shoot out and shred their tires while driving!). we got the tires / wheels balanced, rotated and also replaced the brakes, none of which helped the problem. Then another mechanic confirmed the problem during an oil change when they found the broken off piece of spring which was causing the rattle. The broken off piece has a significant concentration of rust the last 1¿ or so where the break occurred. There is a rubber sheath that partially covers that section of the spring, but it is obviously flawed in keeping water from corroding the spring as there is a lot of rust all throughout. The other spring has rust on it as well, but has not failed yet¿ we plan to replace both springs now, hopefully with the next model year's springs which I heard have a better shield to prevent this from occurring. Researching online what the problem was, I found that this problem also occurs on this model year Saab in the uk as found on the saabscene.com forum and I read that the NHTSA just started investigating this issue August 28, 2008 as investigation # PE08051.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #4

May 092008


  • 63,000 miles


The front left coil springs snapped in half, shoving a jagged, broken spring into the inner side wall of the tire while my wife was driving our son to school. The ensuing drama consisted of a nearly uncontrollable vehicle and plumes of smoke billowing out from the front of the vehicle. Fearing for the safety of herself and our son, my wife pulled him out of the car and ran a distance away as she feared it was about to catch fire. She called me from her cell phone, crying, and in a near panic as other drivers pulled over to help. Everything turned out okay for us, but I can"T say that the same would have happened if the spring had broken after she dropped off our son and was on the interstate going to work. We are thankful she was only traveling 35 mph rather than 70 mph. After this occurred, and after a complete lack of help or explanation from our dealer, we were motivated to research this issue further to determine if this was a ?freak accident" or if in fact there was some issue with the design of the suspension system. It appears from a cursory search of the internet that there are at least several dozen other instances of this happening to this particular year, make, and model of vehicle. In most cases, the same thing happened exactly as it did to us. And when we learned that Saab had redesigned the front coil spring seats the following year (presumably to address this issue), it became apparent that even the manufacturer had acknowledged that a problem existed. I am hoping that this will lead to a full investigation into this issue which could not only potentially protect the lives of other unknowing owners and their vehicle occupants as well as other drivers, but also to help shoulder the financial burden of this problem. In all cases that I have researched, the springs broke just after the factory warranty ran out (at 4 years/50,000 miles), and consequently, the dealers have been charging for this repair. In our case it was $500!!!

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

Jun 252008


  • 36,000 miles
Both front suspension springs on my 2003 Saab 9-3 broke. A front tire was punctured while the car was in motion due to the break. No accident occurred, but could have been deadly if it was on the freeway. There seems to be a pattern of this. My car only has 36,000 miles on it. Something like this should not be happening on this type of car. It was taken to the nearest dealer that wants to charge $1100 for the fix because I am out of warranty by 6,000 miles. I am also in the process of contacting Saab usa.

- Hales Corners, WI, USA

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problem #2

Mar 102008

9-3 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 39,550 miles
1. there is a distinct sound when the vehicle goes over bumps, it rattles on the driver side, strut. Brought it to a Saab dealership they can't find the problem. Brought it to a small shop, they replaced the dust covers on the front struts and after bringing it back six times for the same problem they can't find the problem. Both shops state that the struts are just fine. Rattles like the strut is ready to fall off. Have no more idea where to go. Saab dealership states that it's supposed to sound like that because of a sport sedan. I don't believe it. Battery draw. Draws battery dead after two days letting it sit. Brought it to authorized Saab dealership they can't find a draw. Brought it to small shop, they found a draw of 1amp. After three new batteries, still draws and dead battery.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #1

Apr 292002


  • miles
At 65 mph the vehicle pulls to the right and left very hard even at the slightest turn.this pulling is really violent. Consumer has to drive at low speeds to control vehicle. Dealer suggested consumer to get skinnier tires.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

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