NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,660 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

problem #14

Mar 252009


  • 86,000 miles


I had a "direct ignition cassette" failure on my Saab 9-5 2001. I found from www.saabservices.com that there was a recall on this part for model years 2000-2002. The dealer has indicated that my vehicle, although in that category, did not qualify for a recall part replacement. However, I have copied the notice below and am filing a complaint as indicated in the notice below. Taken from the website: www.saabservices.com/Saab%20direct%20ignition%20cassette%20failures.htm "Saab direct ignition cassette failures update! a recall has been issued, for model years 2000 through 2002. Di cassettes have a serial number on them. The covered units are serial # D000000-D336210 and B083821-B096117 for 4cyl engines, and C048743-C073404 for 6cyl engines. Contact your Saab dealer for more info! be aware that the price has declined significantly, but we do not expect this to last very long. We have replaced many of these ignition cassettes, and feel that they do have a limited ( less than reasonable) life. If you have experienced a failure, and your vehicle is outside of the recall group, you may wish to file a complaint with the NHTSA."

- Washington , DC, USA

problem #13

Mar 092008

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,032 miles
We began having problems with the engine stalling and upon recommendation of our mechanic we looked to see if there was a recall or any information out there for this vehicle. I contacted Saab usa and there was a valid open recall notice for this vehicle. We arraigned to take the vehicle to heritage Saab in morrow, ga and according to their tech's they completed the replacement of the idm in accordance to the recall notice, but in a matter of a couple of weeks the problem returned. Now we can't even crank the vehicle due to it cutting off as soon as you crank it. It will appear to be running, but the engine has stalled and it sometimes will not recrank until after a few minutes has gone by.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #12

May 262005

9-5 6-cyl

  • 110,119 miles
2001 Saab 9-5 runs rough the consumer had to replace the idm due to failure. ***** after the idm repairs were made the consumer received a recall notice which referenced the problem the consumer had repaired. The consumer submitted a claim requesting reimbursement.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #11

Oct 092005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92 miles


I was driving vehicle 2001 Saab 9-5 SE (V6 engine) wagon at 45-50 mph when it suddenly lost power and decelerated. I knew about di cassettes failure and stopped immediately. No warning lights illuminated prior or after this episode. Vehicle was towed to local Saab dealer. Problem was diagnosed as a faulty direct ignition cassette and replaced with a new part for free due to future recall (di cassett only). The catalytic converter was damaged due failure of the idm too, but it does not covered and it was replaced at cost of $2026.48. +10 days I was wating for parts. This car has had other "small" electrical problems like multiple light bulb burn outs, loss of pixels on the sid display, sudden increase brightness of all lights, failure of rear seats heater.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #10

May 152005

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Add yet another direct ignition cassette failure to this list of complaints!! driving home from the grocery store the car quit in the middle of a very busy intersection. Smoke and fire ensued. Where is the recall"?!?!?!"

- Campbell, CA, 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

Jan 052005


  • miles


Add me to the list of drivers stranded on the highway with total loss of power because direct ignition cassette burnt up. The car only had 62,000 miles. It cost over $1,300 to replace.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #7

Dec 242004

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
Multiple times the car, when warm will just without warning. All electrical and engine simultaneously quits leaving the driver to deal with a situation of no power brakes and steering. Multiple trips to dealer has resulted in no diagnosis and genearl apathy about the problem. The car is stil under warranlty but it offers no value. Clear safety issue as the last event was at a elemenary school where a child was almost hit as the lack of braking and steering power. How can such a symptom betreated withsuch apathy. We will be forced to sel the car for safety reasons and no responsibility is taken by Saab. Ironically we had a similar problem with a 1994 9000.

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #6

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 #5

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

problem #4

Jun 152003

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles


Sudden complete power failure on highway! relativly new car 2001 with low miles.traced to bad direct ignition (di) module. Is a safety hazard. No injuries thankfully.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #3

Jul 152003

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,000 miles
I was driving on the highway and began exiting when the Saab completely died. No warning..all lights came on and the car had no power. I coasted down the ramp. What would have happened had I been in the left lane" Saab quickly diagnosed this as a shorted out direct ignition cassette. They repaired it returned the car. It needed to go back as it had no power. The cassette's failure destroyed the catalytic converter as well. I have now heard of this incident three times on 2001 Saab 9-5's. where is the recall"

- Marblehead, MA, USA

problem #2

Mar 052003


  • miles
Key was touched by a baby bottle (very gently). The car shut off on a busy expressway. Luckily nobody was killed. I went to the car service and gently tapped the key and reproduced the key turning. The service person said that was normal! please help before some one is killed.

- Bryn Mawr, PA, USA

problem #1

Sep 232002


  • miles
Consumer states that while driving smoke starting coming from the engine.vehicle stalled out.had vehicle serviced, fire was a result of a problem with ignition cassette. Nlm

- Basking Ridge, NJ, USA

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