NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,497 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 #20

Aug 192015


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Saab 9-5. while driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was eventually able to restart. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 05V399000 (electrical system). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- New Smyrna Beach , FL, USA

problem #19

Jun 122014


  • 174,621 miles
My 2001 Saab 9-5 has been experiencing a check engine light for awhile on and off. The vehicle will sometimes stall randomly and not start until engine cools down. The codes for cel lead to direct ignition. A previous recall on these vehicles, one my vehicle received. I called dealer and they said seeing as it was already taken care of once nothing can be done. I know I will to have to get it fixed to pass emissions testing due to faulty direct ignition. Not to mention how unsafe it is if it stalls.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #18

Jun 212013

9-5 4-cyl

  • 101,550 miles
I just bought this car. The check engine light comes on indicating a serious problem. I had the error codes checked. They are P1312 and P1334. These codes indicate a problem with the "dic" (direct ignition controller). Earlier models were subject to recall. There is apparently still a problem. I keep clearing the warning signal, but it keeps recurring.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #17

Aug 162009


  • 120,000 miles


I have a 2001 Saab 9-5. I have had to replace the direct ignition coil twice in my car. I recently read that this items have been recalled and I want to see if I am eligible for a refund for the work done.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #16

Apr 012009


  • 89,074 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Saab 9-5. the contact noticed that the engine warning light would sporadically illuminate on the instrument panel. She also experienced a no start condition. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalls without warning. The idm was the cause of the failures. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign id number 05V399000 (electrical system:ignition:module) in 2006; therefore, they would not assume any responsibility. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 89,074.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #15

Aug 052008

9-5 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
On two occasions our 2001saab,9.5 6 cylinder transmission cassette failed. Leaving my husband and my self stranded with a smoldering car. On Oct 19th 05 we were able to get off the hwy in the nick of time, heavy smoke had begun to pour out from under the hood. The fire was contained but the ignition cassette, the cause of the fire, the wire harness, battery and, spark plugs were destroyed and had to be replaced. At the time of this incidence we were driving in the southern Sierra in a seasonal dry forest area. It was fortunate that a we were able to pull off the road in a safe spot. On Aug.15th, 08. The replacement part failed again and as before the spark plugs, installed several months previously had to be replaced the continued failure of this part in an intrinsic manufacturing defect. Specific VIN numbers of this part has been recalled, but Saab/ G.M needs to be made to recall all of these auto's and replace the flawed ignition cassette. Neither of the two ignition cassettes installed in our car have had the VIN numbers recalled.

- Pacific Palisades, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 272008

9-5 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


2001 Saab 9-5 V6. Direct ignition cassette failure. Recall was issued, (recall 05V399000: Ignition discharge module overheating) for this car year and type. Mine failed and they will not replace, even though the part # matches the recalled part #. all I wanted was the part replaced. Thank you

- Middletown, CA, USA

problem #13

Nov 112006

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,198 miles
Driving on thruway, cruise went off sudden loss of speed, ck engine light on. Engine stalled would only idle and shake wouldn't move. Had it towed to shop cleared code ran 1/2 day ok then ck light came back on, pulled it back into my shop. I searched internet for solutions pointed to faulty throttle body. I"M a certified for 34 year motorcycle technician so I took it off and disassembled it as I wanted to get to the bottom as it"S reason for failure. I discovered everything was ok except all of the wire insulation within the internal area of the throttle body had failed and peeled away causing a electrical short or spike. This is due to the use of inferior wire insulation not designed for it"S application. Dlr had new $457 part in stock. I installed it, worked fine dlr inspected it. I left the old part with them for possible special warranty consideration with Saab usa.Saab declined warranty 01/02/07, I now have the old part. This car has also had 12 ign switch problems where 6 times it was replaced, the last one was 11/17/06 covered by warranty, also 6 headlights & 6tail lightbulbs replaced & counting not warranty. I have all work orders.

- Canastota, NY, USA

problem #12

Mar 012005

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
I have a 2001 Saab aero 9-5. I have taken this vehicle into the Saab service department over 15 times trying to fix my problem. My vehicle shuts down while driving and many times will not restart. I have also had many electrical issues with my vehicle including but not limited to the electrical modules for the heat and air conditioning, heated and air conditioned seats not working and many other electrical modules going out.

- St Charles, MO, USA

problem #11

Jun 302005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,500 miles
I was driving vehicle at approximately 30 mph when it suddenly lost power and decelerated to 3-5 mph. Vehicle stalled about 30 seconds later and could not be restarted. No warning lights illuminated prior to this problem and the car seemed fine immediately before power loss. I observed heavy smoke coming from engine compartment and detected a strong burning odor. Vehicle was towed from scene to local Saab dealer. Problem was diagonosed as a faulty direct ignition cassete and replaced with a new part at a cost of $500. Damaged part is available.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #10

May 282005

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


My car has only 50,000 miles. No warning, no escalation, just sudden. Sid L.C.D. display is missing dots and lines causing unreadable display. Checked several "Saab" discussion forums and apperantly this is a very common problem which damages the value of a $40,000+ car. I am afraid to find out how much this is going to cost to repair after seeing how many 9-5 owners have posted "home remedy" repair methods for this. Upper radiator hose- third one in fifty thousand miles from myself and the previous owner whom I knew. They all burst in the same place. Pressure relief cap tested ok. There is no aftermarket manufacturer of this hose that I know of to fall back on for a possibly more reliable product. And also, I again after searching through discussion forums discovered I am not the only one with this problem. Hood badge. Enamel cracked and flacked off of the hood badge on this garage kept car. Luckily I hear (because I'm not the only one) that these are cheap. My car has lost value to no fault of mine and I am going to have to have these things repaired (although they should not need to be) to regain that lost value.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #9

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 #8

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 #7

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 #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

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

problem #1

Jul 062001


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The car has stalled twice without warning, on the second occasion the vehicle was able to be restarted, in the first instance the dealer replaced the D1 cassette becuse it malfunctioned but in the second instance diagnostic test did not reveal a cause for the shut down. Nlm

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

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