Transmission Failure

2001 Saab 9-5

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Saab dealer.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
70,350 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. dealer replaced with Aamco transmission (1 reports)
2001 Saab 9-5 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Saab 9-5 Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 192005

(reported on)

9-5 SE V6 Turbo

  • 70,350 miles


I've had a very bad experience with Santa Monica Nissan. The transmission on the 2001 Saab 9-5 V6 turbo that I purchased on Monday, 1/31/05, went out on the car 3.5 weeks after the date of sale on Friday, 2/25/05. I am a professional single mother of two who is in need of reliable transportation. I purchased this newer 2001 Saab 9-5 as our sole means of transportation to replace our 1994 Saab 900. Given the outcome, this situation has created incredible stress and hardship.

On top of the stress, time and energy required to cancel plans and travel approx. 320 miles round-trip to deal with the car's failure and needed repairs, on Sunday, 2/27/05, the dealership refused to extend a courtesy vehicle comparable to the car I purchased as they had previously, when on Tuesday, 2/15/05, they replaced a component that did not compromise the cars function or safety as the transmission failure had.

Subsequently, they had the car in for repair for over 2 weeks before the vehicle was ready for pick-up on Monday, 3/14/05. For that reason, I incurred $600 in rental car fees, although the actual labor was recorded at only 14.5 hrs. This qualifies me for only 2 days of reimbursement for the rental car through my extended warranty plan. Despite promises from the general manager, Dan Kraus, on the weekend of 2/25-2/27/05 after the car failed that they'd "take care of it" regarding either rental reimbursement or a decent courtesy car, they reneged on both counts. I was left without a car for 3 days from Friday through Monday, 2/25-2/28/05, and because they refused a comparable courtesy car as they previously offered in taking care of a minor repair, I had to put my daughter in a taxi just to get to school that Monday, 2/28/05.

I asked general manager, Dan Kraus, on Saturday, 2/26/05, that they have Saab inspect the car and transmission and make the necessary repairs to the vehicle. He said "sure, they (as a Nissan dealer) would not be working on it". My request was not communicated to the service department, along with my request for an owners manual, which was promised to me at the time of sale. It took them a month and one-half, from Monday 1/31/05 to Monday 3/14/05, to finally supply a manual.

Instead of having the car checked by the Saab dealer 2 blocks from SM Nissan by a trained and certified Saab technician, the vehicle was sent out to a repair shop that carries Aamco transmissions that the dealer has a special arrangement with. The transmission was "reconditioned" with non-OEM parts, the majority of which are noted on the receipt as used or rebuilt. Despite the 3 mo/3,000 mile dealer warranty which covers the automatic transmission, the dealer billed my extended warranty plan for the repairs. The dealer covered only the $100 deductible for the transmission failure and refused to extend a comparable courtesy car or rental reimbursement. I reported this to my extended warranty company on Wednesday, 3/16/05. They are issuing a hold on authorization of payment to the dealership for the necessary repairs that SM Nissan should have covered under their 3 mo/3,000 mile dealer warranty.

Now, upon driving the car immediately after repair the evening of Monday, 3/14/05, there is a significant difference in how it drives. My Saab mechanic in Santa Barbara said on Tuesday, 3/15/05 it "drives like a truck". It is stiff, noisy, jerky, rough and does not shift smoothly as it had when I purchased the vehicle. These changes in the vehicles performance were verified and documented by another exclusive Saab dealer in business since 1967 on Wednesday, 3/16/05. When I communicated this today to Rodney, the SM Nissan service manager, he said to take my complaint to a nearby Aamco. Since the dealer received a check for the car direct from my lender, I've been given the runaround by multiple members of their staff, from the general manager on down. The fact is, after they were paid, their behavior indicates they no longer want to deal with me or further issues with the car.

At this point the feeling is mutual. Overall, this experience has been appalling. The customer service has gone from negligible to downright abusive, specifically on Sunday, 2/27/05 by Marta Ricciardi, the floor manager, who refused to extend a comparable courtesy vehicle then retracted their offer of one altogether, when the car I purchased could not be driven due to transmission failure.

Under the circumstances, given the failure of such a major component of the vehicle immediately after sale, this dealer should have followed through with professional courtesy and customer service. Instead, I have been treated rudely, inconvenienced multiple times between my place of residence in Santa Barbara to Santa Monica, forced to take time off from work, ignored without the benefit of having my calls returned checking on the repair status of the car, incurred considerable expense for replacement transportation while the Saab was in for repair, was not consulted in choice of repair shop and work was done without my authorization, was denied a copy of the line item repair estimate before repair, denied associated warranties on transmission work and have finally been left with a car with repairs that have left it's performance permanently and significantly altered.

- lm emerson, Santa Barbara, CA, US

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