NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Module Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,419 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.

2002 Saab 9-5 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Saab 9-5 Owner Comments

problem #15

Jun 042010


  • 103,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Saab 9-5. while driving at speeds of 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle lost power steering and braking ability. The contact was able to move the vehicle off the roadway and restart the vehicle. The vehicle resumed normal operation upon restarting. The dealer was contacted and advised that the electrical ignition module would need to be replaced. In addition, there was a recall for the failure yet his VIN was not included in the campaign (NHTSA campaign id number 06V410000- electrical system: Ignition: Module. The manufacturer confirmed the dealer's advice and would not provide any assistance. The failure and current mileage was 103,000.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #14

Aug 152007


  • miles
We have a complaint regarding recall 05V399000 for our 2002 Saab 9-5 aero. Our idm serial number falls within those required to be replaced by the recall. However, Saab will not replace it because our VIN # does not fall within their recall. Our idm needs to be replaced. This does not make sense. Our Saab was delivered in germany (it is us spec) to a servicemember stationed there. We bought it used while stationed over there. No recall notices were sent to us over there. We just started getting recall notices once we shipped the car to the states. We had to provide our certificate of origin to Saab. Saab told us they had no idea our car existed until we gave them the certificate of origin (which sounds fishy). This recall was issued before we moved back to the states. Our dealers service department says our idm serial number and the problem with it fall within the recall. But Saab will not reimburse them for replacing it.

- Abilene, KS, USA

problem #13

Sep 152006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
Leaving the I-287 in NJ Friday around 3.30 pm the car started to loose power by not responding to any throttle pressure. I pulled over to the right hand side as soon as I could and came to a faltering halt on the exit ramp. I turned the ignition off and on again to see if any warning display information was given. I looked under the bonnet but could see no sign of any leakage or excess heat. I got back in and started it again and it fired up but only with little power and would hardly rev up. I wanted to move forward off of the exit ramp as I was in a very dangerous position on a fast uphill gradual 90 degree two lane ramp with no shoulder, there was traffic coming constantly, it was Friday afternoon and pouring with rain. When ever I put it into gear it would start to move but as it was uphill it was not very productive. I gave up after the engine stalled and would not start again, but did manage to get the car as close to the right hand barriers as possible so that traffic could pass me without straddling lanes. I called my local garage who arranged for a breakdown truck to come and get me. In the 45 mins it took to for them to get me I was extremely nervous that a truck or fast car would hit into the rear of my car, so I had the hazard lights on and kept my foot on the brake to illuminate the brake lights. It was a dangerous position to be in and the traffic was building quickly for the evening rush. The tow truck got to me at around 4.30 pm and took me and the car to my local garage. The garage diagnosed the idm units as failed, and replaced them. Once I had the car back, the very next day the check engine light came on and this has been identified as being the catalytic converter being faulty, which I understand is a result of the ignition units failing and unburned fuel being pumped in to the unit.

- Maplewood, NJ, USA

problem #12

Aug 212006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,830 miles


We have a 2002 Saab 9.5 (6 cylinder engine) which had a di cassette failure-lead to car losing acceleration on the expressway and ultimately requiring police assistance. Di cassette failure lead to catalytic converter failing as well. Car is not part of recall and Saab won't pay as a result.

- Ann Arbor, Mi, MI, USA

problem #11

Aug 122006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,518 miles
August 12, 2006 our 2002 Saab 9-5 sportwagon caught fire. Returning home from vacation the check engine light displayed. Information in the owner's manual and a phone call to our Saab dealer lead us to believe that the car was safe to drive. As we approached the toll plaza in mays landing, NJ the car stalled and began to smoke. We evacuated the car. Toll personnel extinguished the fire and summoned the laureldale fire company and the NJ state police. The action taken by the toll personnel prevented a potential disaster. The car was towed to an impound lot in egg harbor ctiy, NJ. After a few hours we were able to arrange fora rental to Transport us and our vacation baggage home. At this time we did not know the extend of damage to the car other than it could not be driven to our home and it was a Saturday. The closest Saab dealer in cherry hill, NJ was not open for service calls. We arrived home 5 hours later than expected with a rental car that cost $125/day and $0.20 a mile + gas. We droveback to NJ in the morning to return the rental because we did not want to incur any unnecessary expenses. Sunday August 13 we traveled back to galloway, NJ to return the rental vehicle. This fire should not have occurred and Saab should pick up any expenses relating to a car fire of a 2002 vehicle with 59,518 miles. The car has been repaired, we picked it up from the dealer in cherry hill, NJ August 19, 2006. Repairsr were covered by Saab along with the towing to the dealership. The failure of two ignition cassettes caused a fire in the catalytic converter, damaging the converter, exhaust pipe, and mounts. Saab has not explained why the mechanical failure caused the fire and has given us no assurance that it will not happen again. Saab has declined to pay the additional cost we incurred which total less than $500 we filed a complaint with Saab customer service and a claim with our insurance carrier.

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #10

Jun 212006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,285 miles
I was driving in traffic when my engine started to stall and lost power. I noticed a burning smell coming from the engine compartment. I pulled the car over and could not re-start it. It was towed to the dealer who diagnosed a failed ignition module. My car is a 2002 Saab 9-5 and had been re-called because of failures of this component. However, despite the fact that the car engine was of the type that should have been covered by the recall, when Saab notified its' dealers it limited the modules to be replaced to only certain serial numbers. This, despite the fact that according to NHTSA all engines not having the QP3 modification, which my car does not, should have been re-called. Thus, Saab refuses to pay for replacement of the part even though it is the same part that was failing and prompted the recall initially. I believe that this is a hazard due to the overheating of the part which led to stalling and could have started a fire. Saab should not be allowed to limit the serial numbers replaced because other serial numbers appear to have the same defect. Consumer called on 9/12/06 to report a second idm failure incident that occurred on 8/18/06. The following is per a conversation w/ Mrs. Alder on 9/14/06: During this incident, his wife was driving the vehicle on the highway in heavy traffic when the vehicle started to lose power. As she was pulling off the hwy, she smelt a burning smell and saw smoke coming into the car. Pulled over and started to call husband when she saw flames coming from underneath the front of the vehicle. Fire department put out fire and vehicle was towed. She reported that the dealer said her catalytic converter had burned.

- Chappaqua, NY, USA

problem #9

Apr 202006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


I would like to cite NHTSA campaign #05V399000. While driving my 2002 Saab 9-5 6 cylinder on 4/20/2006 I began to experience rough operation and reduced power of the engine. I was a short distance from my destination where I parked thinking I would need to be towed. At first I thought my car was overheating because there seemed to be steam coming from under the hood but there was an odd smell. I went into the coffee shop I was visiting and within a minute or two I turned to check on my car and I saw that the interior was filled with smoke. I went outside and noticed sparks and flames coming from under the vehicle in the area of the back seat and I immediately called the fire department. They arrived and put out the fire under the car and in the back seat where the flames had burned through the carpet. I called a tow service and went back into the store to finish my coffee and wait for the tow truck. When I came back out I noticed that there was still smoke coming from under the hood so I called the fire department again to put out the remnants of the fire. The car was then towed to the nearest Saab dealer which is in gainesville, Florida, about 40 miles away. Later that day I called the dealer to ask about the above referenced recall which I had discovered on the internet, and they told me that my particular car was not covered. In the letter of acknowledgement dated September 13, 2005 from GM to the nthsa, GM states that "a sustained vehicle fire is unlikely and GM knows of none." Due to the exactness of my situation and the recall, I can only assume that GM now has at least one fire on record.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #8

Mar 122006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,674 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle completely stalled while driving 20 mph. It was towed to the contact's home and then towed to the dealer. They determined the ignition module failed resulting in vehicle stalling and produce damage to other engine parts. The module, spark plugs and the catalytic converter were replaced which appears to remedy the problem. There is a NHTSA recall, # 05V399000 regarding the ignition module. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN. Updated 04/06/06.

- Needham, MA, USA

problem #7

Feb 012006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,940 miles
: the contact stated while driving 40mph in normal conditions, the engine light illuminated and the vehicle smelled hot. The vehicle was pulled to the side of the road for inspection and the engine turned off. However, the vehicle immediately restarted. The vehicle was driven to a service station where oil was added to the engine. The contact decided to have the vehicle towed to the dealer for additional inspection. The dealer performed diagnostic testing and determined the vehicle displayed an internal open circuit in the ignition. The dealer replaced the ignition module and the vehicle performed normally.

- Keene, NH, USA

problem #6

Feb 102006

9-5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 30 mph the engine stalled without warning. There is a NHTSA recall, # 05V399000, regarding the electrical system ignition module. The vehicle has the same problems as indicated in the recall; however it is not included in the recall due to the VIN.

- Centerport, NY, USA

problem #5

Jan 242005

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,000 miles


Direct ignition cartridge failures. On three occasions my car has suddenly stopped with no warnings. Fortunately in each case I was able to get to the side of the road safely. In each case the dealer has replaced the cartridge calling it "defective". I am not on my fourth cartridge in 35,000 miles.

- Huntington Woods, MI, USA

problem #4

Dec 082004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,041 miles
My 2002 Saab 9-5 stalled and would not restart in the middle of a very busy 4 lane road. I have also noticed there are 14 other complaints on the NHTSA website with the same problem as mine. This an extremely dangerous problem a vehicle stalling on a highway or anywhere else can result in a crash or death. There was no prior warning of said issue. Saab dealer found code P1310 referred to tsb248-2428 and reprogrammed the sps. New #5387691 completed idm test and found current status 141 idd check code 57047. Located as an internal fault in the idm and also found the spark plugs fouled. Replaced idm and spark plugs. Direct ignition cassette. A tsb means that Saab knows about this problem. I feel unsafe getting into my vehicle now.

- Brewer, ME, USA

problem #3

Nov 072003

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
Car failed at 70 miles/hour on expressway. Just stopped. Cause was diagnosed as direct ignition cassette-web search shows this to be a common Saab problem. Was quite terrifying and dangerous to lose power on expressway-definite safety hazard.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #2

Jan 312003

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
Driving at steady 65 mph, car suddenly lost power, and engine stopped after I pulled to side of interstate.diagnosed as failed direct ignition cassette and replaced by dealer.

- Leo, IN, USA

problem #1

Feb 102003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
The vehicle stalled without warning, the dealer diagnosed the direct ignition cassette failed. Scc

- Irvington, NY, USA

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