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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,418 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2007 Saturn Aura Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #28

Sep 242013


  • 57,125 miles


Power steering failed mid-turn. Power steering line contacted hot exhaust, which burned a hole in the hydraulic hose. Failure was immediate. Car was not controllable. Luckily, no one was in the path of the vehicle.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #27

Jun 032014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
While driving I got an engine light, then a service ESC then a service traction. I contacted onstar for a diagnostic (after I returned home). I then had it towed to a garage where the mechanic informed me that after replacing a sensor the problem still existed and was due to a stretched timing chain. He then said he thought there might have been a recall concerning this issue. I have had issues prior to this and got no satisfaction from the dealer service center in santa rosa ca. I even filed a complaint with Saturn.

- Point Arena, CA, USA

problem #26

Apr 022013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Had brakes change the first time under warranty for faulty brake pads. Same thing with the brakes in about a little over a year. Power steering whines and leaks somewhere. No power steering. And now wheel bearing hubs humming and bad. Went to dealer for brakes they replace both times but not without a fight. Told them I believe both wheel bearing are bad only replace one. And know other one is worse then before. And also told them power steering was not good they told me it was the braking not the steering. Also I had told the tires lost air the replaced one of the tire sensors because of manufacture defect. Now have problem with the other ones. And now all is not covered under warranty. Everything I told the dealership and they denied is what needs to be replaced.

- South Boardman, MI, USA

problem #25

Sep 222011

Aura 6-cyl

  • 48,987 miles


Steering wheel locks up during turns. Vibration in the steering wheel felt during turn.

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #24

May 122014


  • 45,000 miles
"service airbags" light came on 5/12/14. Owner's manual lists this as potential hazard as airbags may fail to deploy or deploy without warning. Took vehicle two blocks from my home to service station station on 5/13/14, but station said they do not work on airbags. Took vehicle home and parked it. Sent E-mail to Saturn's customer service center on 5/14/14, and eventually spoke to a supervisor on 5/17/14. He said that in order for GM to do anything, I would have to take the vehicle to a dealership in fairfax, va. I explained that I do not believe that I should spend any more money on the vehicle as I feel that it is defective. The supervisor said that he would arrange for towing and GM would pay for it. He also stated that I would be reimbursed for repairs or compensated for the loss of the use of the vehicle and that he would work with me "every step of the way." On 5/20/14, I called for the supervisor and someone else returned my call. When I requested that GM provide me with a written document as to how they intended to resolve the issue, I was told that this would have to be discussed with the supervisor and then they would get back to me. They did not call me back all day Monday. I called and left a message on 5/21/14 and they have not responded to me in any way. The vehicle has been parked in my lot since 5/13/14 and I don't know what to do. I am afraid to drive the vehicle because of my own history with it and the recent spate of recalls for similar issues that have involved injury and death. (my vehicle is not currently under recall but does have similar issues to vehicles that are under recall). I don't know what to do. After promising to assist me, GM now will not return my calls.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #23

Mar 162010


  • 45,000 miles
While turning the wheels, there is humming sound from the power steering.

- Germantown, TN, USA

problem #22

Apr 012014


  • miles


I have experienced numerous defects with my 2007 Saturn Aura xr. Since purchasing this vehicle, I have performed routine maintenance (I.e. oil changes, tire replacement, brake service, etc). However, the vehicle requires continuous repair and is frequently problematic. On 6/6/2012, the transmission was replaced with only 71,945 miles on the vehicle the vehicle does not start from time to time. I thought the battery was the cause so I went to advance auto parts where I purchased the battery. The technician performed a diagnostics test on the battery, alternator, and starter. The report showed that all three components tested normal. On 11/29/2012, (while still experiencing issues with the vehicle starting) I went back to advance auto parts and asked them to replace the battery again to see if it resolved the problem. Soon after, the vehicle continued to have trouble starting. When having the brake pads and rotors replaced, I was informed that the power steering rack needed to be replaced with 84,718 miles on the odometer - estimated over $700 to repair. There is also a malfunction with the interior controls of the vehicle. The door locks as well as the controls on the steering wheel including the horn do not operate! consequently, the dashboard displays an airbag service message. (a major safety concern) recently on April 1, 2014, the vehicle made an alarming noise when I started it. I had the vehicle towed to a local GM service center to be diagnosed. I was informed that it would be $100 for the diagnostics check. After the initial inspection, I was told that there was a problem with engine and that it would be another $200 - $300 just to remove the engine and disassemble to further investigate. My vehicle is currently not drive-able. The engine and steering issues are also documented on service bulletins related to 2007 Saturn Auras

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #21

Apr 102014


  • 110,300 miles
Heard clunks while steering then it was hard to steer..on highway speeds car gets pulled with the groove of an uneven surface. I almost crashed to a divider on the highway.

- Winchester, CA, USA

problem #20

Jan 212013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
The steering on the car is very tight, meaning it does not turn smoothly. I feel every and any sort of bump the car goes over. When turning it feels as if the car is scrubbing the payment, not a thorough movement. There is also something loose or sounds as if something in the interior or under the hood is rattling or is may come apart. The dealership I purchased it from is saying that the sway bar and end links need to be replaced or tightened. Also, my air bag light popped on saying it needed to be serviced.... I have no idea about this alert on my display!!they explained to me it happens over time, however from reading other Saturn car owner's reviews this is a recurring complaint amongst many others. It is or was the top luxury sedan when it came out and it would appear the suspension would be a lot smoother on a sedan. Unhappy with results and I feel the history of car was not revealed at time of purchase. The repair bill estimate is around $500 and that is a lot of expense....there is another review referencing to the struts or type of strut to use should be the one made by Chevy. Frustrated and confused in memphis, tn!!

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #19

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 #18

Feb 012013


  • 107,000 miles


While making a left-hand turn, the steering seemed to catch as if it was locking up. This does not happen with each left-hand turn, but is happening more frequently. It now happens with both left- and right-hand turns.

- Farmington, MN, USA

problem #17

Nov 302011


  • 10,000 miles
I was told that I am leaking steering fluid and I need a new rack and pinion. This is a major job and I feel shouldn't happen at 22K miles.

- Evanston, IL, USA

problem #16

Apr 022013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
In late March 2013, I took my car to curry's auto service in dulles, va to determine the cause of squealing sound when I back my car out off parking spaces. I was advised to have rear rotors resurfaced, rear pads replaced and replace shocks and struts. On April 2, 2013, while in ga for business/personal purposes I took my 2007 Saturn Aura xr to tires plus in suwanee, ga to have the necessary repair work. Despite the completed repair work, for the next few weeks the sound kept coming back only occurring when I back out off parking spaces. On April 27, 2013 I took my car to the tires plus in chantilly, va. They determined the rear rotors were not resurfaced properly and rear left shock was loose. On May 4, 2013 tires plus, chantilly, va location resurfaced the rear rotors and tightened the shock. Within two hours off the repair the squealing noise is back again. The consistent noise occurs daily whenever I back out off parking spaces. I have already invested over $1,100 in repairs with no resolution. Scanning the internet, I found numerous other complaints from other 2007 satura Aura owners with the same exact squealing issue.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #15

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

problem #14

Dec 082012

Aura 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,145 miles
Came home and attempted to park in driveway. Upon attempting to park, car would not shift all the way into park initially. I attempted to put the car into park. After several attempts car seemed to be in park. At this point I exited the vehicle. Upon returning to my drive way I found the car had drifted into my garage causing damage to my bumper and my right passenger side. Car will not start unless its in neutral. Gear shift will move to park but the car is not in park. Similar complaints on NHTSA. Spoke with GM and they're not taking any action until a recall is issued. So I have to pay for damages not caused by driving, but by GM's defect as well as pay GM to have car fixed since the car still will not stay in park causing a driving hazard.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #13

Jun 102008

Aura 6-cyl

  • 17,537 miles
Both in 2008 and 2010 was forced to have repairs made to steering to replace power steering gears due to groaning/grinding when turning. The car again has the same problem. Concerned about steering failure.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #12

Jun 012011


  • 46,093 miles
On approximately 06/01/2011 I noticed a small leak under the front end of the vehicle. About 6 days later the car started making a loud whining noise when accelerating and when turning in either direction. I checked the power steering fluid level and found the reservoir almost empty. I filled the reservoir with power steering fluid and made an appointment to have the vehicle inspected by ted & earls service center Inc. In Plymouth Michigan. Ted & earl's service center diagnosed the leak as a failed rack and pinion and performed all repairs. I feel that the rack and pinion should have lasted many thousands more miles and its premature failure presented a serious safety risk that should be investigated.

- Dearborn Heights, MI, USA

problem #11

May 012009


  • 32,000 miles
I purchased this Saturn with 32K on it, two days after having the vehicle it started overheating and the air conditioner went out. I contacted the dealership because it was still under factory warranty. It took them a week to fix the vehicle because they had to completely rewire a few things. One month after that happened, I noticed when I turned I felt a popping in the floor board on the driver side. I again contacted the dealer and they had me bring the vehicle in and stated something was loose in the axel shaft and they ¿fixed¿ the popping by tightening it up. Three months following the above events, I noticed the popping started again. I took the vehicle to the dealership and they replaced the front ball joint, rack, and pinion. I drove away from the dealership and immediately had to turn around and return the vehicle because the problem continued. At that point they had the vehicle for five months straight. They say they replaced everything from the steering column down. Every time I called for an update they always had a different answer. I have replaced the rotors on this car 3 times now and it only has 60K. The service airbag light continues to stay on. The dealership says they replaced the airbag coil but yet it continues to come on. Now the transmission is slipping constantly in 5th and 6th gear. This car has been the worst car I have ever owned. I will never purchase another GM product again. I have had nothing but issues with this car since the day I brought it home. My husband was called to deploy to iraq and we had a 2 week old baby so we had to get a bigger car before he left. We only had 3 days when he was called up to leave (he was inactive reserve and was called up). I did not have time to research this car before we bought it. If I could do it all over again I would never even consider this car. Reading into it now, it seems a lot of people have had the same issues with this car.

- Barnesville, GA, USA

problem #10

Oct 182010

Aura 4-cyl

  • 16,192 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. When depressing the brake pedal, the radio turned off, the red battery light flashed and the engine made a cranking noise. While the contact was driving, the power steering failed after the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer but had not been diagnosed. The current mileage was 16,291. The failure mileage was 16,192. Updated 01/18/11 the consumer sated while waiting for the replacement hybrid battery, the vehicle would occasionally attempt to go into hybrid mode. When applying the brake, the vehicle attempted to go into hybrid mode but couldn't. the battery warning light then illuminated and the radio went out nd the engine made a strange noise as though the vehicle was just being started. Updated 04/15/11

- Malverne, NY, USA

problem #9

Sep 012010


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the steering was very hard to handle while attempting to turn left or right the steering had to handle with force to maintain the turn without causing a crash to occur. The passenger drove the vehicle. The manufacturer stated that the VIN wasn't included in the recall; therefore, they would not offer any assistance, but he should take the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed. The failure mileage was 38,000 and the current mileage was 47,446.

- Waynesburg , OH, USA

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