NHTSA — Suspension: Front Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
97,865 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.

2005 Saab 9-3 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2005 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #15

Apr 062011

9-3 4-cyl

  • 74,155 miles


I have a 2005 Saab 9-3 that became undriveable after the front left coils/springs broke, puncturing the front driver's side tire. The car was in motion when a popping sound was heard, followed by grinding and a burning rubber smell. At that point the car was not able to be driven. It was towed to a local repair shop and then to a Saab dealership to complete the repairs because there is a campaign out for this issue, but not a recall. The springs/coils were replaced for free but the tire cost was prorated and the car required an alignment after the repairs which was not covered in the cost. This car had been in the dealer service department 2 weeks prior to this failure and the coils/springs were specifically checked due to the campaign. The service department determined that the parts did not show any sign of damage and so were not replaced. Both tow truck drivers and the repair shop owner commented that I was lucky that this did not happen on the highway, considering how quickly it rendered the car undriveable and what could have happened had I been going at a fast rate of speed, surrounded by other cars. I am shocked that this issue is not a recall as it is a huge safety risk.

- Melrose, MA, USA

problem #14

Apr 042011

9-3 4WD 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
Since I bought my car (new) in June '05 I have complained of a "crunching noise" in the front suspension every time the weather turned cold. I was told the problems varied from ball bearings to the sway bar, to just dirt build up. Each time the dealer made some "repair" to get me out the door. The problem continued. Now, April '11 I have a broken spring in the front passenger side. I have been told that I have to pay the dealer to diagnose the problem before they will consider fixing it under any special circumstance free of charge. I have sourced some parts for it and am considering having it fixed by myself, rather than go to the dealer who brushed me off for 5 years. Thankfully I was just pulling out of my parking spot when I heard the grinding noise from the front passenger side and I was not traveling at a high rate of speed when this happened. The spring broke downward and was very near the tire. There could have been a serious tire blowout on the highway had I not been so lucky.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #13

Mar 202011


  • miles
As I was pulling out of my garage, I heard a loud popping sound. When I got out of the car to inspect what happened, I noticed a broken strut coil on the passenger side. I am reporting this because when I visited several online forums, it seams that this is a common problem for Saab, and it could be dangerous if it occurs at highway speeds. The car had to be towed to a repair shop and is currently awaiting repair. The damaged part is available. Automobile is a 2005 Saab 9-3 convertible arc.

- Canfield, OH, USA

problem #12

Mar 062011

9-3 4-cyl

  • 55,662 miles


2005 Saab 9-3 driver's side front strut spring just broke. No warning, drove yesterday and car was fine, went to back out of garage and a terrible grinding, scraping noise occurred. Discovered the spring broke and rubbing against tire. Luckily this did not occur while driving at normal speeds. Seems like it could have caused tire blow out and possibly an accident.

- Bedford , NH, USA

problem #11

Dec 232009


  • 756,464 miles
2005 Saab 93 - front passenger coil broke and dug into tire. No warning indicated such as strange sounds or car handling differently. Just suddenly broke near bottom of coil and the broken end of the coil dug into the tire. The tire has an indentation the goes completely around the inside. Tire is damaged/dangerous now and needs to be replaced also. Was driving slowly at the time so no personal injury.

- Nashville, IN, USA

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problem #10

Jan 232010


  • 49,700 miles
The problem apparently occurred while driving down the freeway. I heard a loud "clunk" that sounded like I had hit something but there was nothing in the road. Following that, every time I would drive over an irregularity in the road I would hear a "clunk" in the front passenger side. I took it to a local shop to find out what was making the noise and they discovered the broken right front coil spring. The sharp broken end was very close to rotating into the side of the tire which would have been catastrophic. I have the broken piece of the spring. I have also learned that this is a disturbingly common problem with this model of Saab as I ran across a web site with many Saab 9-3 owners that have experienced the same thing at roughly the same mileage I have which is 49700. My four year, 50,000 mile warranty recently expired. I just found out about the broken spring yesterday and have not yet had it repaired. I intend to contact the dealer tomorrow morning but I want your organization to be aware of this dangerous defect.

- Robbinsdale, MN, USA

problem #9

Mar 152009


  • 53,000 miles


With a little over 50,000 miles an odd noise started in the front suspension. A couple of months after this clunking noise began I made an appointment at a Saab dealer and it was diagnosed as a broken spring. I had both springs replaced (the right front was broken) as a precaution, because I have learned that this is a common problem for newer Saab 9-3's. although I was able to drive the vehicle with the broken spring, a spring failure of this nature could cause catastrophic failure of the tire, hence the safety concern. The frequency of broken springs in this model of car leads me to conclude that a recall is in order.

- Middletown, NY, USA

problem #8

Dec 212009


  • 38,000 miles
2005 Saab 9-3 arc, front right spring broke and destroyed front right tires. Approximately 38K mile on vehicle.

- Bristol, VT, USA

problem #7

Dec 072009


  • 44,500 miles
My 2005 Saab 93 44,500 miles. While driving to work on a six lane divided highway (I495) in the right travel lane the right front coil spring broke and shred the tire causing a blow out. The driver had never before experienced a tire blow out and was startled and jerked the steering wheel to the left in a moment of panic and the car began to slide sideways while scrubbing off speed. The car remained mostly in the right travel lane. There wasn't much traffic on the road at 5am and the car did not hit any other vehicles or objects. The driver regained control of the vehicle and pulled off the right shoulder of the road and got out of the vehicle to examine the damage. The right front tire was flat so the driver jacked the car up and removed the tire. Immediately apparent was the broken coil spring. The driver did not want to spend the money for a tow truck. Instead, the driver decided to install the temporary space saver spare tire and limp the car home by driving on the shoulder for about 10 minutes at 30mph with the hazard warning lights flashing. The car was parked in the driveway and another vehicle was driven to work. Later a mechanic was hired to repair the vehicle where it was parked in the owner's driveway. Both front coil springs and the damaged tire were replaced at a total cost of approximately $600.

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #6

Aug 162009


  • 70,000 miles
Normal driving. Bottom six inches of front right strut coil spring just broke. I have never seen a coil spring just break before. This part is still on the car and I have the broken six inch semi-circular piece. It took almost three months before I discovered where a clicking sound was coming from in the front right suspension.

- Manchester, MA, USA

problem #5

Jul 182009


  • 67,000 miles


2005 Saab 9-3 arc sedan front coil spring fractured. Broken spring contacted tire side wall and caused irreparable damage.

- Canmore, 00, USA

problem #4

Apr 042009


  • 58,000 miles
Broken front coil springs.

- Barrytown, NY, USA

problem #3

May 012009


  • 44,500 miles
Passenger side front coil spring cracked and broke approx. 4-5 inches from strut mount. This caused the coil to bounce against the strut.

- Eastpointe, MI, USA

problem #2

Feb 252009


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that the front passenger side coil spring failed. While driving 45 mph, she heard a noise as her front passenger side tire blew out. The vehicle was pulled to the side of the road and towed to a repair shop. The manufacturer has not been notified. The contact called her insurance company. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Windham, ME, USA

problem #1

Jun 032008


  • 56,000 miles
I have a 2005 Saab 9-3 with 56,000 miles on it. Recently I experienced a broken right front coil spring which poses a significant safety issue not limited to the potential for a shredded tire. Luckily this issue was caught quickly and before causing an accident. The warranty on this vehicle lapsed at 50,000 miles and Saab is unwilling to replace the part. After researching this issue I have found numerous reports of similar cases - some breakages happening at speed and shredding tires. Similar issues can be found at: www.saabscene.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=31635698.

- Elmira, NY, USA

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