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NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Module Problems

2001 Saab 9-5 (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,538 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 9-5 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Saab 9-5 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Mar 142008

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles


Complaint is that Saab usa has declined to replace/reimburse the cost of the idm/dic which failed on our 2001 Saab 9-5 V-6 VIN #. this was a recall by NHTSA in 2006. (NHTSA campaign # is 05V399000) Saab usa denied this repair as their data base did not include this VIN #. (this service request # to Saab usa is 17613448567) the final decision on this from Saab usa came from an un-named supervisor at 1-866-790-5600 ext # 31078. The cost for this repair was $677.50, including $70 for towing to a nearby foreign auto repair facility. From exhaustively searching the internet and also provided to me by the repair facility, the serial numbers of the defective idm/dic were found. The faulty units for a V-6 engine are C048743 through C073404. The serial # from this vehicle that failed is C061858. This information was also given to the supervisor at Saab usa (message-recording), but has never responded to this additional finding and continued claim for cost reimbursement. Your assistance is requested on this matter. From internet info, others have been similarly "stonewalled" by Saab usa compliance to your order.

- Olympia, WA, USA

problem #24

Oct 222007

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Saab 9-5. the contact stated that the check engine light illuminated intermittently. The dealer stated that the di cassette was the cause of the failure, which is the same as the ignition discharge module. Currently, the vehicle is at the dealer waiting to be repaired. The VIN was invalid. The current and failure mileages were 55,000. The consumer stated there was a recall issued for this vehicle, however the manufacturer stated the VIN was not included in the recall. Updated 12/12/07

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #23

Mar 132007

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,467 miles
- the contact owns a 2000 Saab 9-5. the contact stated that when he called the toll free number noted on the safety recall #05V399000 for the electrical system:ignition:module, and provided the VIN he was told that someone would get back to him. The contact believed that he could have been told whether or not the safety recall applied to this vehicle at that time. The recall stated that stalling may occur. Recently the vehicle stalled while he was driving at 5 - 10 miles, and that the vehicle had only stalled once. The weather on 02/06 was chilly, but clear. The failure and current mileage were both 102467. Consumer states manufacturer is not willing to honor recall. Update/23/07

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #22

Jul 312006

9-5 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,500 miles


: the contact stated the recall work for NHTSA recall # 05V399000, pertaining to the electrical system ignition module was performed unsatisfactorily. The dealer service manager was contacted, who determined a second repair would not be done without charge. The manufacturer was also contacted on several occasions, however there was no return calls provided.

- Chatham, NJ, USA

problem #21

Feb 012005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,894 miles
: the contact stated while driving there was a noticeable loss of power. The vehicle was taken the service dealer where a 24 point inspection was preformed and the throttle body was cleaned. While traveling at 35 mph., on the interstate highway, on a clear, dry day, there was loss of all power. The vehicle was towed to the service dealer where the contact was informed the engine suffered a complete engine failure and needed to be rebuilt. The manufacturer offered to cover $2,000 of the estimated repair cost however the contact was unable to proceed with the repair work. Since then a recall notice (05V399000) was received regarding the ignition discharge module (Saab recall # 05087). The contact believed that the recall defect was responsible for the engine failure.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #20

Jan 182005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,701 miles
2001 Saab 9-5, consumer has not received reimbursement for the recall work done on the vehicle. The consumer received a recall letter in the mail one month later, after the repairs were already paid for. When the consumer called to inquire about her refund, she was told by the manufacturer, that they didn't have all of the paperwork and also they didn't have her address. Nine months later, the consumer still has not received reimbursement. The catalytic converter was replaced.

- Spring Branch, TX, USA

problem #19

Apr 102006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


Idm (ignition cassette) failure 1st occurrence: 10/11/2005 (48,000 miles) 2nd occurrence: 4/10/2006 (54,000 miles).

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #18

Jan 092006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
Ignition module failed while driving, leading to loss of power making vehicle inoperable. Catalytic converter was damaged and it and the ignition module needed to be replaced. Second time was after ignition module replace in 10/05.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #17

Sep 242005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,500 miles
On a 2001 Saab 9-5 SE (V6 engine) stationwagon while driving on an interstate highway, the car suddenly lost power and the check engine light started flashing. As I pulled the car off the highway onto an exit ramp (within less than a minute of the malfunction), the car stalled and a burning smell was detected inside the car after which the car was turned off and parked. The car was towed to the local Saab dealer where the ignition discharge module on the rear cylinder bank was determined to have failed. Failure of the idm on only 3 out of 6 cylinders caused unburned gas to be discharged into the exhaust where it reacted in the catalytic converter, clogging the converter and stalling the engine. The catalytic converter was ruined which caused the burning smell. No fire was detected. The idm and catalytic converter were replaced.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #16

Aug 282005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,636 miles
Direct ignition cassette failed on two separate occasions, causing car to lose power and stop. Vehicle is a Saab 95, 2001, V6, SE wagon, date of second incident is below.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #15

Aug 052005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


Ignition cassette failed while driving car. Car speed was appx 40 mph, check engine light flashed and I lost engine power. Pulled car over and found black smoke coming out of ignition cassette. Cassette was very hot and I was concerned it would catch on fire. Car would not start thereafter.

- Euclid, OH, USA

problem #14

Aug 192003

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,453 miles
I have an '01 9-5 and have had the di cassettes fail twice, once causing damage to the catalytic converter. The first dic failure was on 8/19/2003 at 62,453 miles without warning. I was driving 45 mph and the vehicle stalled without warning and would not restart. I had one di cassette and 6 spark plugs replaced on 8/20/2003. On 12/22/2003 (4 months later) with 64,080 miles on the vehicle, while driving 60 mph on the highway, the engine light came on and suddenly I was only able to travel around 20-30 mph with much shaking to the vehicle. This dic failure caused the catalytic converter to burn up. The technician said that both di cassettes have to be replaced when one fails or you run the risk of recurrence. I had two di cassette, one catalytic converter, one thermostat, and spark plugs replaced on 12/23/2003 (one dic was credited because of the previous work on 8/20/2003). I was advised on 7/22/2005 that I do not have the latest Saab 9-5 trionic update that includes changes to protect against di cassette failures. Perhaps there were errors in the old code that were causing all the dic failures, or perhaps this is an update to add fail-safes to minimize the change of dic failures.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #13

Jun 132005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles
While driving my 2001 95 Saab at approximately 40 mph the engine abruptly died in traffic, this I found out was due to the di module, it appears that many Saab are having this issue according to my dealer, they have had many failures recently with no warning(s) to the driver. Fortunatley I was able to pull to the side of the rod to avoid any collision. I strongly feel that this should be investigated as a safety hazard and a recall for all Saab 9-5 vehicles be generated, as I am sure many of these instances are not reported

- Farmingdale, ME, USA

problem #12

Jun 052005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,899 miles
Add my 2001 Saab 9-5 wagon, 6 cyl, to the list of those with di cassette failure. Traveling at about 50 mph on a beautiful June morning the engine suddenly lost power. When I pulled off the road, a puff of smoke came from under the hood and there was a distinct burnt electrical smell when I raised the hood. My mechanic believes the faulty di cassette may have been the cause for the 2 previous catalytic converter failures. The car has had other electrical idiosyncracies, including frequent light bulb burn outs, loss of pixels on the main display screen, sudden extreme brightness of all display screens, and sporadic traction control and ABS failure warnings on starting. The latter generally goes away when the car is restarted. The Saab dealer in flint and the dealer rep have been unresponsive to the point of negligence on the cat failures, luckily I have a good and honest local Saab mechanic at rallye imports in midland. Saab should recall for the di cassette and should reimburse for replacement of the display screen. In 40 years of driving, this is the most unreliable car I've ever owned.

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #11

May 182005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
1. driving at approximately 40mph, complete engine failure with out any warning. 2. car could break but power assisted steering was non funtional, steering functioned with out power assistance, but very hard to safely steer vehicle. 3. was able to move car off road into grass ditch away from rear traffic. 4. black smoke came from drivers side of engine with smell of burnt plastic and rubber. 5. certified Saab mechanic diagnosed car and found that the ignition cassette failed and burned from within. Replaced ignition cassette at a cost of $500. 6. there are two ignition cassettes in the Saab 95. The remaining unit has 60,000 miles on it. 7. if this failure took place on a highway in fast moving traffic, a tragic accident could result. There is no warning of the failure. I had three children in the vehicle. 8. there was some minor smoke damage in the vehicle compartment, the fire was internal to the failed unit and did not spread. However toxic like fumes from the burning plastic existed in the passenger compartment causing passengers to cough. 9. Saab usa knows of this problem. After the incident I reviewed many Saab websites and found other incidents of complete engine falure due to this problem. It is an expensive problem to fix. It also poses a major safety issue that could result in tragic consequences. 10. Saab usa should fix this problem at no cost to the consumer.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #10

Oct 152003

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
Vehicle stalled on the highway. Driving at about 50 mph, and the vehicle just stalled and stopped. Vehicle was towed to the dealer, and dealer reported that the ignition discharge module was defective.

- Medford, MA, USA

problem #9

Sep 162004

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
Driving at 65mph in far left lane of highway and sudden loss of speed--could only go 20-30 mph for a few minutes before burning smell. Was able to come to right shoulder while dodging highway traffic. Direct ignition cassette (dic) failure 1 of 2 dic's in 6 cylinder engine). Second visit required for check engine light--was catalytic converter. Third visit for another cel for second dic failure.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Nov 292004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Wife was driving on hwy us 202 sb and suddenly the car dies without any warning. She almost got rear ended by the traffic behind her. Luckily she was able to coast to the shoulder. He car was towed to a dealer and they replaced the direct ignition module.

- King Of Prussia, PA, USA

problem #7

Oct 142004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
There were no unusual events leading to the failure. My wife was driving a 2001 Saab 9-5 station wagon when the engine shut down and she lost all power. Thankfully she was driving on a local road and managed to pull over to the side. The engine would not restart and we had it towed to a local garage. The person who towed said he thought it was a "crank sensor" that failed and when it fails it completely shuts down the gas to the engine. I had it repaired and the local mechanic confirmed that it was a sensor that he called direct ignition which includes the cam sensor. My concern is that if it happened on a highway at 65 mph, there would have been a serious accident. I don't understand how a car can totally shut down like that without any warning. Saab would not take my complaint because I did not have it checked at their garage. I think that policy, when it comes to safety, is ludicrous!

- Natick, MA, USA

problem #6

Jun 092004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Exiting the highway on an overpass bridge the engine stopped without warning and would not restart. A few moments later smoke was visible from under the direct ignition cover and small flame was apparent. The flame went out after a few moments. However, we were left stranded on an unlit bridge overpass that was under construction at dusk (with an infant and toddler). Saab roadside assistance was contacted (they suggested we wait with the vehicle for approximately an hour until a tow truck could reach us.) this incident follows a string of minor electical / electronic "bugs" in which erroneous signals about light failures were displayed and the headlights failed to turn off when the key was removed (this is an automatic feature on Saab).

- Rehoboth, MA, USA

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