Notes: The Saturn Aura was a mid-size car meant to replace the somewhat problematic L-Series. Unfortunately, the Aura brought its own problems: namely cheap brake parts that needed early replacement and a gear shifter that could say it’s in park while the transmission was still engaged.

Brake problems, including uneven wear and warped rotors that cause the car to wobble, are common complaints from 2007 owners. Did GM use metal for its rotors that can’t stand the heat? That’s what some say, and it’s hard to argue when reports show that rotors could start to warp as early as 500 miles off the dealer lot.

Meanwhile, a busted gear shifter cable lead to some unwanted rollaways. That’s because the shifter could say “Park” while the transmission was still in drive, reverse or neutral. A defect investigation into the issue was opened in 2011, eventually leading to a recall of 56,000 vehicles in 2014.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,514 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.

2007 Saturn Aura drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2007 Saturn Aura Owner Comments (Page 4 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #78

May 212013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 93,944 miles


Vehicle would not accelerate past 20mph and would not go in reverse at all. According to repair facility, also slipping in forward gears. This is due to the 35R clutch being damaged by the wave plate which needs replacing and is a known issue with the vehicle.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #77

Jan 252014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 77,777 miles
Purchased car 8/2010. On Jan 25, 2014, while driving the car did was not shifting gears. I pulled over and the car did not want to go back into drive.. you could move the gear shift but it was not catching.. the engine just kept escalating.. I pulled off the road, pulled the emergency brake and called for a tow.. the vehicle was towed to a transmission center and on Monday they gave me a estimate without opening the trans. Of 3600.00.. while trying to figure out what to do, I went on line to look up any recalls there maybe on the transmission and found the recall on the gear shift.. I called the GM recall center and they stated there were no open recalls on my VIN #, but they instructed me to have the car towed to there selected dealer.. I towed the car again to daniel longs at 670 automotive dr Colorado springs, co..(719)632-5591... I phoned the NHTSA to report the incident and was given a ref # 599701, but I was not given any other instruction.. since that time the dealer has given me a estimate of $3500, with 10% off.. but they are charging me for the parts even mentioned in the recall.. is that legal ? updated 02/07/14....updated 09/29/15

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #76

Jan 122014


  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the transition failed without warning. The contact took the vehicle to an independent mechanic where they stated that the transmission would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 84,000. The vehicle was not repaired.

- Duncan, OK, USA

problem #75

Dec 262013


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Aura Saturn. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact restarted the vehicle and the vehicle failed to engage into reverse. The vehicle was taken to a transmission specialist but was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #74

Nov 142013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 87,892 miles
I parked the vehicle at the airport in honolulu hi. Placed the shifter in park, removed the key and started to get out of the vehicle when it started rolling down the hill. I jumped back in the vehicle and used the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. It now will not shift into park or reverse. Also the vehicle will not start without disconnecting the shifter in order to place it in park.

- Kaneohe, HI, USA

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problem #73

Nov 012013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 50,404 miles
At the mall, car sputtered 5-10 times before finally starting. As I was leaving mall parking lot doing 15-20mph, car suddenly loss engine power and began to shake / shutter. Dashboard console displayed reduced engine power and service traction. Car wouldn't go faster than 20-25mph. I had to take side streets to get home. Car later towed to dealer. Dealer found leaking fuel pump and throttle body cable connector loose/dirty. Tech removed connector from throttle body, cleaned it, added di-electric grease and re-connected it. Engine power regained. Fuel pump replaced at another garage due to cost at dealer. Note: This was 2nd time car was taken to same dealer with same problem. I was told it was "bad" gasoline and was charged about $86 (not including towing charge). Also told to use premium gas at another gas company. Fuel pump problem not found even when they were told about strong fuel smell coming from rear, drivers side after car sits for awhile. Asked for reimbursement from dealer owner, but it was denied.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #72

Oct 112013


  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the vehicle would not shift out of park. The contact also stated that the vehicle would move forward while the vehicle was in park. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign I.D. number: 12V460000 (power train) and called the manufacturer. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle was not included in the recall. The contact did not take the vehicle to a dealer or mechanic for a diagnostic. The failure mileage was 94,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #71

Aug 202013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
My check engine light came on in my 2007 Saturn Aura xr. I had the codes checked out and was told that the cam sensors were bad. I had them replaced with the crankcase position sensor. After replacement the check engine light came on again and remains. I had the vehicle checked again and was told that the "timing chain was stretched and would need replacement. My mechanic suggested that I get rid of the car because of the cost of repair. This occurred just after my powertrain warranty was up. Is there any recourse with General Motors regarding the repair costs of my vehicle. It appears to me that GM has known about this problem for sometime even though my vehicle didn't have any problems until last month. Thank you for any information that you may be able to give me. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Liverpool, NY, USA

problem #70

Sep 252013


  • 92,875 miles
Intermittently the brake lights do not function correctly. When the vehicle is in park the brake light remains on. When thee vehicle is in drive, the brake light stays on. When accelerating, the brake light remains on. Other symptoms may include extended pedal travel required to shift out of park and cruise control does not function correctly.

- Byron Center, MI, USA

problem #69

Jan 072012


  • 65,000 miles
Hard shifting from park to drive/reverse. Most of the time I have to press on the brakes really hard to get out of park and when I press on brakes it makes a scraping sound. Also while driving the center brake light comes on and will not go out until I press on the brake. When I press on the brake the brake light goes out and cars behind me almost run into me. This occurs often. I don't know if it happens during the day but it does at night because I can see the center brake light via my rear view mirror.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #68

Jul 242013

Aura 6-cyl

  • miles


First it was my gear shift, I had to get it fixed back in may of this year 2013 because when I tried to put the car in park, and did not park at all, matter of fact, when I placed the car in park it started reversing, literally going backwards. I got it fixed but yet there seems to still be issues with the gear shift, just hasn't been the same. Now when I drive my brake lights stays on, but when I press on the brakes my brake lights shuts off. Very dangerous situation, and also inside my car the lights seem to flicker on my dash board and everywhere else lights are in the car so I'm assuming that's a electrical problem. Updated 08/15/13 the rack and pinion was replaced.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #67

Nov 212012


  • 103,000 miles
Driving along a 35mph road. The automatic transmission just locked up and broke internally.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #66

Jul 092013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that after parking, the vehicle rolled away. The contact immediately applied the brakes. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 12V460000 (power train). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 98,000.

- Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #65

Jul 062013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 106,803 miles
On July 4th 2013 while driving the car, I could feel a hard kick on the transmission this went on until Saturday July 6th, accelerating to merge to traffic on route 50 chantilly Virginia the car all of a sudden started to accelerate and decelerate rapidly it was like a while Bronco ride then will not move forward or engage any gears. I had to pull to the side of the road and turn off the engine. Restarted the car but will run only on second gear, managed to drive the car to the auto shop (german auto diagnostics) where I was told the transmission failed (solenoid).transmission will have to be rebuilt at a cost of $4800 dollars.

- Chantilly, VA, USA

problem #64

Jul 042013


  • miles
My car was working fine after parking for 10 minutes I came back to start my car and it wouldn't start I called my mechanic and he told me that the wire for shifting of the gears was damaged the carb wouldn't go into park and would roll on its own.

- Lodi, NJ, USA

problem #63

Jul 012013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 40,680 miles
Put car in park and took foot off brake and car began to roll. Doors did not unlock automatically when put into park as they usually do. Now car will start, but not shift out of gear. It will also get "stuck" in park.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #62

Jun 082013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Parked car and was leaving vehicle with keys in hand. Vehicle started rolling backward. Got back into car, reinserted keys and made sure gear shift was in park position, which it was. Has happened numerous times since. No problem getting into other gears or feeling like transmission is slipping. I did look up on this site and saw there is a recall notice for similar problem with other Auras, but my VIN is not included.

- Findlay, OH, USA

problem #61

May 302013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 85,747 miles
I was on my way to work, in rush hour traffic, when I accelerated after being at a stop light. Just as I started to accelerate when the light turned green I could tell the engine was racing but I was going no where. I managed to drift off the side of the road and had to call a tow truck. The car won't go forward or reverse. Dealer now putting in a new transmission at $3000. Very scary situation and now that I have gone online and seen how many other Saturn auro's had to replace transmissions I don't understand why GM hasn't had a recall/reimbursement. They obviously know that there is a problem. I have had to take a loan out at the bank to pay for this. Thank god my 15 year old daughter hasn't started driving it yet.

- Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #60

Jun 042013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 54,615 miles
Vehicle would not turn over, towed to mechanic, timing chain determined to be at fault checked policy 11340A which references other 3.6L vehicles with the same issue - the Saturn Aura xr is not listed here, but is displaying the same issues. Vehicles covered under that policy indicate an extended warranty demonstrating knowledge of the issue, but acceptance of the full scope.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #59

May 242013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 99,800 miles
While driving the car the check engine light came on and the transmission failed to operate. The engine power was also reduced to almost 0 and the car would not move. This happened while driving the car and I was fortunate that I was in a residential area at a lower rate of speed. The diagnosis by the repair shop was a failed wave plate in the transmission which seems to be a common issue for this transmission. This is a severe issue that could cause accidents based on when the transmission part were to fail.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

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