NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,958 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.

2004 Saab 9-3 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #10

Aug 072016


  • 1,855 miles


While driving, without any warning the car engine stalls. No warning at all!! once it stops, ignition key won't work. The only way to restart the car is to disconnect the battery. This is all done in the emergency shoulders, breakdown lanes, its also happened on the highway exit ramps. Luckily each time there was a place to pull over. We could get killed. It has happened numerous times. Sometimes it stalls 2-3 times a day. I am so disappointed in this car. I am afraid to drive it, and how can I sell it knowing that something bad could happen to the new owner.

- Hopedale, MA, USA

problem #9

Dec 112015

9-3 4-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
I have a 9-3 Saab everytime I stop and turn car off when I get back in a put key in I get a steering wheel lock contact Saab dealer it won't even let me turn the key I have the car for about years and now it's doing this I have to disconnect the battery and reconnect for the computer reset and restart me car can you help me with this thank you.....

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #8

Jan 022012


  • 116,000 miles
The rear driver's side door lock actuator doesn't always lock or unlock using the keyfob. It sometimes clicks like it's trying to lock/unlock, but is always.5-1 second slower than the other doors. It does not have a key slot to unlock the door via a key. The door can be locked/unlocked using the push/pull rod on the interior - until the actuator fully freezes, then it can't be locked or unlocked at all.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #7

Jul 012010


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Saab 9-3. while driving approximately 45 mph the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle; however, the failure occurred intermittently. The fuel gauge on the instrument panel was also functioning erratically while driving. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #6

May 142010


  • 45,000 miles
2004 Saab 9-3 arc. The circuit located in the rear of the car, which controls the rear light clusters including the top mounted brake light often fails. I have replaced it twice in just over a year and it has failed again. It starts with one bulb failing and the warning message shows up on the display. Then in a series all the other bulbs start to fail. They either don't work or are always on even if the car is switched off and locked. The entire circuit board was replaced twice at a price of over $700 Inc of labor.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #5

Mar 172004


  • 115,000 miles
Car instrumentation panel turns off while driving. Car "acts" as if it was off with the red circular alarm flashing, console lights off, clock off, yet I am driving at 50 mph and the brakes, steering are performing as if I was driving down the road (as I am). Stopped for dinner came out and car did not turn on, light came on, engine light came on but nothing else - could not open trunk from the key fob thing or from the driver side door switch. Called aaa they could not turn the car on and the car battery was charged. Key in ignition and brake depressed did not release car shifter to neutral. This went on for an hour. Finally I need to get into trunk and found a plastic cap behind the rear seat head rest and depressed a switch that owned the trunk although it was to pull down the rear seat... we joked that now the car would turn on and it did when by happenstance the high beams were depressed. Got in the car and drove it home but again the car still driving normally lost the console lights and functionality so I flashed the high beam and all came back except for clock, oh, did I mention now I have a "gear box malfunction" displayed as an error code. Oh, I reported that I replace headlights almost every 2-3 months. My interior cabin fan isn't working and that was after it worked even with the car turned off.

- Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #4

Dec 122006

9-3 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


The keyless entry and alarm system have not been working. They started slowing down in working, but then the keyless entry module (the actual key) just stopped. I changed the battery on the key, yet it still does not work. This has been going on for so long.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #3

Aug 152007

9-3 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
Interior cabin fan.. the fan stays on although the car is "off" (key out of ignition), and while ac or heat are off (at 0). There is also a noise at time coming from the fan under the glove box. Dealer claims this is not a defect and will cost around $1000, the darn car is less than 3.5 years old and not a defect.. sure.

- Trenton, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jul 222005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,961 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saab 93arc. Could take the key out of the ignition switch without the car being in park. On July 22, 2005 car rolled down driveway, causing property damage. The contacted concern was that someone may not know about this problem a may get hurt. The problem was corrected by the dealership, who replaced some parts to correct the problem. But the contact was uncertain of what parts were replaced. The dear replaced the ignition, ignition switch, reprogrammed the key and installed the latest software.

- Darien, CT, USA

problem #1

Nov 172003


  • 766 miles
While driving at 5 mph and leaving a shopping mall consumer depressed the brakes, and seconds later the traction control failure light came on. Vehicle stalled, and could not be started. Vehicle had been to the dealer twice, who replaced the T6ecm or main computer.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

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