NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,373 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.

2004 Saab 9-5 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Saab 9-5 Owner Comments

problem #7

Mar 182011

9-5 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


I have owned a 2004 Saab 9-5 sport combi wagon since 2006. Twice, over the last several years (2011, 2014), my husband and I have been on the highway and had an ignition switch incident where he was the driver and I was the passenger. In both incidents, I turned around to talk to my daughter (2011) and then daughters (2014) and inadvertently bumped the key in the ignition with my knee. The ignition switch is located in the center of the car by the console. It only took a slight tap of my knee and my car shut off while going at speeds of 75-80 mph on the highway. Fortunately, both times my husband was able to put the car into neutral and get the car off to the side of the road.

- Indian Harbour Beach, FL, USA

problem #6

May 112010

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 sabb 9-5. the contact stated that while driving 75 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle and took it to the dealer for inspection of the failure where the technician replaced the ignition module. The contact was made aware of a manufacturer's recall for the ignition switch but was advised that the vehicle was not included. The manufacturer was contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 64,000. Updated 10/23/2014 the consumer stated the check engine and no automatic warning lights would illuminate on frequently. Updated 8/10/2015

- Ellicott, MD, USA

problem #5

Mar 142014


  • 51,108 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saab 9-5. the contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was found that the crank shaft position sensor, fuel pump, and the twice unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 51,108.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #4

Mar 012007


  • 95,000 miles


The contact owns 2004 Saab 9-5. the contact stated that she was traveling 55 mph with her purse on the passenger's side seat. The contact proceeded to exit the highway when the water bottle that was in her purse toppled over and struck the ignition switch, causing the vehicle to stall. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 95,000.

- South Riding Va 20152, VA, USA

problem #3

Nov 222009

9-5 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saab 9-5. the contact stated that when driving on the highway, the vehicle would suddenly shut down completely. The engine and electrical systems would turn off completely. The failure occurred several times. The vehicle was able to be immediately restarted when the failure occurred. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic who stated that the ignition switch was most likely the cause for failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The current mileage was approximately 74,00. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000. Updated 12/30/10 updated 01/10/11 updated 3/31/14

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #2

Jul 152008


  • 46,500 miles
Purchased the car used 5/23/08 with 42,700 miles from Saab dealership. Within a month the headlights worked randomly, check engine light would come on randomly. Called the dealership and was told that it wouldn't hurt anything and should it become more frequent, bring the car in. 8/18 took the car in to dealership when the light was coming on more frequently. Headlight relay replaced, engine light was due to a direct ignition cassette failure. Saab dealership ordered the part which was on national back order, part came in 10/9. vehicle was taken in 10/6 due to steam coming from under the hood, temperature gauge never moved above the middle. Bypass valve replaced ($450 parts/labor). Vehicle has approx. 48,500 miles and is out of manufacturer warranty and repair is not covered under dealerships limited warranty. After an internet search for information relating to the di cassette failure I found that there was a recall for 2000-2002 models for the same issue. My vehicle is a 2004 Saab 9.5 aero sedan.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

problem #1

Apr 142006

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
My wife was driving our 2004 Saab 9-5 wagon at or around 35 mph when the car, suddenly and without warning, lost its electrical power. She was unable to steer, brake or control the vehicle in anyway. All of the lights were illuminated on the driver's panel. Luckily, there was no on-coming traffic or any vehicle following behind her because she was approaching a curve in the road at the time the car failed. She coasted straight ahead, through the curve, to a stop. She turned the car off, then restarted the car. We called the dealership the next day, and returned the car a couple of days later. We notified Saab usa that we no longer felt safe in our vehicle and have lost faith in the line as a whole. This incident was not the first one. We experienced this same electrical power loss twice previously in our 2001 Saab 9-5 wagon. We had thought it was a problem unique to our specific car, but we now believe that the Saab 9-5 wagon presents a serious safety concern to the general public, in our opinion. We regret that we did not think to report the previous incidents in the 2001 model to NHTSA. We did, however, alert the dealership, who could not find any explanation for the power loss. We decided not to keep the 2001 model when our lease was up, for that very reason. We felt comfortable driving a new 2004 Saab, because surely this problem only existed in our one car, right" the "what-if's" for these electrical power failures are scary and unthinkable. What if we had been traveling at highway speed? what if there were pedestrians in our line of steering at the time? what if we were turning left at a major intersection" we've had this frightening experience three times in two different model years of the same car. We will no longer be Saab customers. Saab should recall all 9-5 wagons before a fatal accident occurs as a result of this power failure.

- Louisville, KY, USA

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