NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2007 Saturn Aura (Page 5 of 7)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com 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 5 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #58

May 222013


  • 141,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that he attempted to shift from drive to reverse when there was a pop in the gear shifter. The contact stated that he shifted to reverse and then into park but the vehicle was still engaged in drive. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for inspection where they stated that the shift cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 141,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #57

May 172013

Aura 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,298 miles
I experienced the same issue as a lot of other owners, the gear shift would not go into park so therefore my car started to roll away. After several attempts I was still not able to get it in park so I left it in neutral and put on the emergency brake. To start my vehicle I have to have my car in neutral or else it will not start. I researched the issue and saw that this was an apparent issue that several owners have seen so I called GM to get some information. The lady that answered the phone had a heavy accent and it was very difficult to understand her but she started a case and told me to take my car to the local authorized Saturn repair facility. The service technician investigated the issue and determined that this problem was indeed the exact issues that the recall was to address, the GM service representative was notified and they refused to authorize the dealer to proceed with the repair. Her reason was that the car had too many miles and that the cable broke because of normal wear and tear. The dealer informed me that it would be close to $600 to repair my car and at the point, I informed them not to do the repair due to lack of funds on my part. I am still driving this car with this problem, I just have to remember to always engage my emergency brake after shutting of my car. I'm so glad that our government agreed to bail out GM and then have them outsource their call center and refuse to honor their recalls, great move. Updated 6/13/13 invoice received. Updated 06/17/13....updated 10/19/15 updated 11/03/15.

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #56

May 202013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
On Friday, May 17th the vehicle was driven and drove normally on Monday, May 20th the car will not go into reverse and will not go forward. It was towed to a mechanic as it was completely unable to be driven. Mechanic indicated that the transmission was not operating and trying to engage three gears at once. I called a local transmission shop and they indicated this is a common with the engine/transmission in this vehicle. Estimate is $2,800 to $3,000 to have the transmission rebuilt. The vehicle only has 92,000 miles. I can only imagine what would have happened if it had this suddenly while driving in traffic.

- Scotts, MI, USA

problem #55

May 062013


  • miles


All of sudden the vehicle lost power. The traction light and check engine light came on. Then the vehicle read lost of engine power on the screen. This appears to be happening a lot with Saturn vehicles with as view as 25,000 miles of them.

- Jackson, MO, USA

problem #54

Mar 082013


  • 80,340 miles
Transmission has started to slip around the same time the recall was released concerning gear shifter cable. I am highly concerned that this is related and now my power train warranty has expired.

- Centennial, CO, USA

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problem #53

Jan 172013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
I have a 2007 Saturn Aura xr with the 3.6L and 6 speed automatic and began to notice a bucking, when put into reverse, on January 16, 2013. I called my mechanic, who has serviced the Saturn since 11/08, who asked that I bring it in to the shop. An evening later, I lost the transmission and had to have my car towed. It was determined the transmission failed and I made the decision to invest $3,000 to have it replaced. I've not learned what caused the transmission failure and am very dismayed that there was no forewarning. The car has been serviced on a regular basis; just had the transmission fluid changed as the Saturn reached the 100K mark. After doing some research on the internet, I've noticed a trend with this car and that is quite a number of owners have had to replace transmissions sooner than expected.

- Cudahy, WI, USA

problem #52

Apr 102013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 48,500 miles


Our transmission started slipping and jumping between 40 and 50mph and attempts to stall out. In reverse, the vehicle will barely move without the transmission slipping and making horrible noises also attempting to stall out. The vehicle has less than 50,000 miles! this is ludicrous! the danger is that the vehicle could stall out at any time while driving, therefore, placing the driver in an unsafe situation with the potential of being struck by oncoming traffic; rear ended, etc. I spent hours this morning researching this issue extensively, via numerous consumer forums, and discovered that this is an extremely common issue with this particular vehicle. GM's response, in one forum, was to have the system software upgraded, thereby fixing the problem. This apparently did not solve the problem in almost all posted cases but is the apparent "go to" response. I believe if there are hundreds of consumers experiencing the same issue with the same vehicle, and that issue is potentially dangerous, the manufacturer (GM) is responsible to correct the issue at no charge to the consumer. I do not believe it is a coincidence that so many vehicles "randomly" have the same dangerous transmission failure issue. When contacting GM's customer assistance department this morning, I was instructed that the local dealer (which they tried to contact with me on hold to no avail) would provide the software update free of charge (that's the standard solution for first time complaints apparently). After that is completed, and if it doesn't solve the dangerous transmission issue, we're basically on our own to replace a faulty transmission. Something must be done about this issue before someone has to die or get seriously injured by a faulty transmission failing for action to be taken. Thank you.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #51

Mar 012013


  • 97,000 miles
While driving the car turned all the way off and steering wheel locked had to put in neutral and turn off and back on. Also the brake lights are always on and when I press on the brake the light go off. This car is becoming so problematic the shift is also stuck a lot of the time where I can not even shift it out of park, I have to press down hard on brake to release the park. Hopefully complaints from many people will cause a recall this is not safe.

- Lomita, CA, USA

problem #50

Mar 112013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Car suddenly lost the ability to accelerate, followed by the transmission light coming on. Had to veer across lane to prevent blocking traffic. Was told by my mechanic that the "transmission went out" and would have to be replaced, though I still need to verify this with a transmission specialist. In looking for people with similar issues that evening, I found that there is an ongoing NHTSA investigation for this issue (EA11-015).

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #49

Mar 072013


  • 60,600 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the gear shifter only operated while in reverse after the vehicle was started. The manufacturer was not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 60,600.

- Washington, PA, USA

problem #48

Feb 182013


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that after placing the vehicle in park, the vehicle continued to roll away in reverse. The contact immediately applied the emergency brake. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer or an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was contacted and advised him that there were no recalls for the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 120,000.

- Oneida, TN, USA

problem #47

Jan 232013


  • 72,000 miles
I was just informed by the dealer that the timing chain on my 2007 Saturn Aura needs to be replaced. The car has only about 72,000 miles on it. This seems highly suspicious.

- Mcfarland, WI, USA

problem #46

Sep 142012


  • 69,500 miles
The first time my car was parked, and my keys were in my purse, I was getting something out of my trunk. My car moved forward and hit the concrete pillar in the parking garage, my bumper was damaged on the left drivers side. This scared me. The second time my 77 year old mother was sitting in the car, the car was in park the keys were removed and in my purse, my car moved backward. My mother was freaked out, and she was trying to get out of the car when I returned to the car. The 3rd time was just last week, again my car was parked, my keys were in my pocket and my car moved forward and almost hit another car.

- Calumet City, IL, USA

problem #45

Sep 192012

Aura 6-cyl

  • 131,006 miles
I was in the process of parking my vehicle at the grocery store with my 1 year old daughter. I went to put my car in park and it was very difficult to do so. I thought that something may have occluded the gear shift, so I took the car out of park and attempted to shift into the different gears and it eventually became impossible to shift any further and my car was stuck in drive. The vehicle was taken to our usual mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transmission gear shift cable was "all but separated". I researched a bit on the internet where around 400,000 other vehicles (Pontiac, Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn Auras) had the same issue that I was having and saw a bulletin issued for September 18, 2012 warning of this particular issue of the gear shift cable becoming separated and that individuals may think the car is in park when the vehicle may really be in a different gear and the vehicle may roll away. I called the General Motors headquarters regarding this situation, they informed me that the vehicle would have to be diagnosed at a General Motors dealership before anything regarding compensation could be discussed. Vehicle was towed to superior Chevrolet in conway, ar where the same thing was said about the gear shift cable. Called GM headquarters again, the stated that there was no recall regarding my issue, and if I wanted to be reconsidered for compensation, the repair would have to be completed at the dealership. The car was repaired at the dealership costing $625 including the tow bill. GM still maintained that the repair was not under a safety recall, I would not be compensated and for my troubles at $100 cash letter good at any GM dealership. Spoke with larry with NHTSA about this situation and I was asked to provide my statement. Updated 01/10/13 updated 1/11/2013

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #44

Dec 162010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that when the vehicle was turned off, parked and the key was removed from the ignition, he was still able to erroneously move the gear shifter from park. The contact stated that the vehicle had never rolled away because he constantly used the emergency parking brake. The contact was told by the auto parts store there was a NHTSA recall campaign id number: 12V4600000 (power train: Automatic transmission: Gear position indication (prndl) for the transmission shift cable, but when they spoke with the manufacturer, they were told their vehicle was not included in the recall. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 55,000.

- Valencia, PA, USA

problem #43

Oct 222012

Aura 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Vehicle started to lunge forward in a stopped position. Would not go into drive or other gears. No dash warnings appeared. 2 months over the 5 year warranty under the 100,000 miles.

- Monee, IL, USA

problem #42

Oct 242012


  • 95,000 miles
Car fails to accelerate at normal rate and engine rev's very high while trying to accelerate - if you let of gas car almost immediately slows to a stop. Car starts jerking, won't reverse. Even when putting car into manual mode the car will not shift. Getting code P2723 with machine from auto part store.

- Eagle Mountain, UT, USA

problem #41

Oct 052012

Aura 6-cyl

  • 54,121 miles
Attempted to start car, would not start in park, shifted it to neutral car started, attempted to put car in reverse discovered I had no reverse. Was able to drive car home but when I attempted to put car in park and shut if off it would not allow me to do so. It appeared to be in park but car continued to roll finally was able to get it to stay in park turned car off and put on emergency brake on. When I tried to start it again car would not start.

- Deer Park, NY, USA

problem #40

Sep 022012


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that when the gears were shifted, the transmission would hesitate and jerk abnormally, causing the check engine light to illuminate. In addition, the vehicle would become resistant to acceleration when the failure was present. The vehicle was towed to the contact's home. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed or for repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 38,000.

- San Bruno , CA, USA

problem #39

Sep 152012


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle began to jerk violently. The contact stated that after turning the vehicle off and restarting it the transmission failed. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or mechanic for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The failure mileage was 63,000.

- Monroe, LA, USA

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