Passenger Airbag Not Active Seal Of This Might Hurt 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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
102,450 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace the passenger seat air bag module system (2 reports)
2007 Saturn Aura seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2007 Saturn Aura Owner Comments

problem #4

Sep 052016

Aura XR V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,045 miles


When driving with a passenger in the front seat, the passenger airbag warning comes on saying, "passenger airbag off." This happens several times each time there is a passenger in the front seat, and has been happening for several months. I took it to the dealer and they say the car need a new passenger seat airbag module. I understand that there is a recall notice for the airbags but at this point they say this item is not covered under any recall actions which I think it should be. The quote for the repair is approximately $1300 parts and labor. My understanding is that if I get in an accident while the sensor says the passenger airbag is off, it will not deploy.

- chayesor, Troutdale, OR, US

problem #3

Aug 012014

Aura XR 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

The "service air bag" warning would come on intermittently while driving. It has been happening for quite some time least 18 months. I ignored it until a friend said that means the air bag will NOT work if I got in a wreck. When the warning came up, on the middle dash it would also say, "passenger airbag off." If I cleared the message, it would then say, "passenger airbag on." This can happen several times in the course of even a 10 minute drive.

I finally took it to the only Saturn authorized dealer in Savannah and was told (after 10 hours of running diagnostics, test driving, etc. that the passenger air bag module and sensor, which is under the passenger seat, needs to be replaced. Code B0081 Sym 71. Code 56...internal fault. They recommend replacing the "passenger presence system."

The cost for this is just over $1,000 and NOT covered by GM despite the fact there have been numerous complaints on the issue.

This web site says to report each time a problem happens as a separate issue. If I did that with the service air bag warning, I'd be here all month typing it all up. In all honesty, this issue has come up just this month of October 2015, while I'm driving, with my son, daughter or wife in the passenger seat, probably 300+ times....just this month!

GM needs to do the right thing and fix this issue in all 2007 Saturn Aura's before somebody is killed because THEIR passenger airbag module and sensor failed to realize there was someone sitting in the passenger seat.

- Jas R., Savannah, GA, US

problem #2

Mar 302015

Aura XE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Driving down the road when the airbag light comes on the dashboard. I take to the repair shop, since I'm not under warranty at approximately 125k miles. It takes two to three days tearing apart my car to figure out the airbag sensor under the passenger seat has failed, for no discernible reason, and NONE of my airbags will deploy if I'm in a head-on or side-collision. $1,100 to replace and there's no way to determine if any other sensors are failing. I love this car, but for a safety issue like this not being covered by a recall, I won't be considering a GM product for my next vehicle or my child's first car. Hopefully, this single mom can scrape up some money to keep her 9 year-old safe.

- kristiar, Rogers, AR, US

problem #1

Jan 042013

Aura XR 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,636 miles

Random issue that has occurred maybe 5 times where passenger side airbag does not activate while passenger seat it occupied. A few times the airbag activated mid-trip, the others it stayed off. Has not happened in awhile. One time this was accompanied by a service passenger airbag warning.

- Dennis M., South Nyack, NY, US

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