NHTSA — Steering: Linkages: Knuckle: Spindle: Arm Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
155,285 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.

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1998 Saab 900 steering problems

steering problem

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1998 Saab 900 Owner Comments

problem #1

May 022005

900 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 155,285 miles


I have been driving a 1998 900 Saab since it was new. It had about 155,500 miles at the time of the incident described below. Recently, I was going to remove the front suspension uprights to replace the shock absorber inserts. After removing the wheel on the left hand side, I discovered that the "steering pivot arm" (a hollow clam-shell stamping welded to the upright) was so severely rusted out that I could actually slip my hand inside the arm. (approximately, 1/2 of its total surface area was gone and fatigue cracks were developing in the remaining portion.) the steering rack tie rod end attaches to this arm. To my knowledge all Saab 900S from 1994-2000 were designed with this type of steering linkage that uses a rack mounted high on the front-of-dash, connected to the wheel via this pivot arm welded to the upright. Had this pivot arm broken while I was driving on the interstate, it would have been a catastrophic failure resulting in loss of steering control. I have done a lot of mechanical work to my vehicles over the years, but this shocked me so much that I didn't even trust driving the car the 45 minutes to the dealer. I ordered replacement parts from a reputable (Saab only) savage dealer in New York state ($470) and replaced both LH & rh suspension uprights myself. I have returned the car to service. I have spoken to Saab customer service (report #1-75588105) but they didn't seem to want to acknowledge the severity of the incident or how critical the integrity of this pivot arm is to controlling the car. They passed this off saying "…the car is out of warranty." Does steering control go out of warranty? I have saved the rusted components and have photographs available that were taken while the part was still mounted in the car. My fear is that there are probably others in the country with a similar problem.

- Ortonville, MI, USA

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