2008 Saturn Aura body / paint NHTSA complaints: Structure:Body

NHTSA — Structure: Body Problems

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2008 Aura’s issues with brakes, such as worn out rotors, isn’t as severe as the prior model year, but let’s just not start awarding them any brake awards just yet. Does that even exist? “The Brakies”?

One thing the 2008 does share with the 2007 is a recall of a busted gear shifter cable which can make it look like your car is in park, when the transmission is still engaged. You can only imagine what kind of fun that causes.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,221 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.

2008 Saturn Aura body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2008 Saturn Aura Owner Comments

problem #9

Jul 092014


  • 84,912 miles


Power door locks fail to unlock. This is now the second time this has happened. First occurrence it was fixed under warranty. Power door lock mech fails to unlock on door, this will sometimes cause door to not unlock. Concern is in a accident, you may not be able to exit car. Manufacture seems to know this happens.

- Russiaville, IN, USA

problem #8

Nov 092013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
When you have the car in park it is not always in park and if you turn the car off it will not start back up. So when we try to start the car again it will not start, so we have to move the gear shift to neutral to start it that way. When we move the gear shift to park it is not always in park. We think this may have happened in the above accident. The car rolls back. Before we became aware of the problem this happened twice. Once where our car hit another car and another time where I was able to avoid an accident but that was just because no one was parked directly behind me and I was able to stop it in time before I hit the cars parked several feet away.

- State College, PA, USA

problem #7

Dec 012012


  • 75,000 miles
After only 4,000 miles, the rotors needed to be replaced! then I started noticing the dash above the glove box was beginning to crack as well as the left change holder (below the dimmer switch). Now the entire dash just above the glovebox is completely cracked and the glove box hangs down. The same issue with the dimmer switch...the dash area is completely cracked through. I am not rough on my car...this is not just wear and tear. Other issues include the drive shaft making a clunking noise when turning (especially to the left). The auto locks no longer work (button on door won't lock the doors...only unlocks them), and a real safety issue is the driver's side door sometimes won't unlock...even when the handle is pulled. It has to be manually lifted up.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #6

Apr 122013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles


I came out to get in my car this morning and thought it was strange my husband had not closed the driver side door. I got in and closed the door and it popped open, it would not latch. I tried numerous times and check to see if anything was preventing it from latching and could not find anything. I pulled it shut and manual locked the door and it stayed latched. I drove to work, got out and shut the door with no issue. I got in the car again, no issue. Got out, would not close, so I pushed it shut and locked with remote, is stayed latched, then I tried to get back in, using the remote, the lock inside the door popped up like it had unlocked, but the door would not open. After 4 attempts I got it to open. Got in and drove, got out, door would not close. Have an appointment to have it looked at tomorrow. I don't feel safe driving if the door could pop open at any time!

- Medina, OH, USA

problem #5

Mar 012011

Aura 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Rear door locks not responding to remote, intermittently at first, over a couple months not responding at all. This would be fine if there were a key hole to unlock back doors but there are not. The only way to get the doors to lock or unlock is manually and this is a problem as locks are not reachable from front seat. If you are outside the only way is to start the car, unroll the back windows and manually unlock. Now driver side door is starting to do the same, it is intermittently not responding to the remote. I am sure it is a matter of time for this to fail too. Also, electrical system is strange. Some front speakers go on and off, as do lights. Occasionally upon starting vehicle no lights go on, with in a few minutes they will pop on.

- Medina, OH, USA

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problem #4

Apr 132010

Aura 6-cyl

  • 39,093 miles
Rear door lock unlock mechanism malfunction. Locks but won't unlock. Also, when backing up and turning wheel to extreme right, front end moans. One mechanic thought it might be engine mounts. Brought in service under warranty, and they "lubricated the steering box." Problem recurred after warranty expired.

- East Greenbush, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 092009


  • 32,482 miles


The first incident occurred while under warranty Nov 9th 2009 when the door lock became unresponsive. They replaced free of charge. Today the remaining 3 do not work. When I start the car and drive off, it is my belief based on normal operation of these locks, that my doors are locked and passengers are safe. The reality is just the opposite. Not only does it become a safety issue as described, but it also becomes an issue when you park your car, lock your doors with the remote, and walk away with confidence that your car is locked when in fact it is not due to the faulty cheap product used in this car, and others manufactured by GM. When I went online to research, I was surprised by the number of people on various blog sites complaining of the same issue. I contacted GM and the best they offered was to replace all 4 locks for half price. That is $500 instead of $1000. While I appreciate their offer, I know for a fact a replacement actuator costs between $5 and $10, and it's not entirely about the money. It's a matter of right and wrong, safe and not safe. This issue in my mind is more about the safety of people thinking they are safely locked in their car by a system that is designed to do exactly that. This is not optional equipment either. These locks are standard equipment that I expect to work and keep me and my family safe much in the same way I expect my brakes to stop the car. I would like to see this became a recall on this and other vehicles like it. Thank you for your time.

- North Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #2

Feb 042012

Aura 6-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
1st incident (2/4)- vehicle was placed in park. Driver's side door would not open. Door unlocked as it should but door remained shut. Had to exit vehicle out of passenger door. Tried opening door from outside, remained shut. Left vehicle for 20 minutes, returned and tried opening again would not open with remote. A few hours later, door opened like nothing happened. 2nd incident (2/17)- same as before. Turned on and off car again still could not open door. Exited out of passenger door. Came back to car after 2 hours and door would not open. Arrived home 20 mins later, it opened. Tried closing door and it would not close. After 4 tries, it finally shut and was able to lock car. Since then I hear air coming in the car while driving but have checked the windows and they were all up. Also noticed static in radio while driving. It would stop and start again really quickly. A lot of static when playing MP3. 3rd incident (2/19)- same occurrence as before. Driver side door would not open; started working again after a few hours. Door would not lock until after a few tries. Continued static in radio even after door issue. 4th & 5th incident (3/4 & 3/5) - same occurrence. Driver side door would not work all day. 6th incident (3/5) - door would not open this morning. 30 mins later it opened. 5 hours later after taking it to Firestone to check out problem, door would not open. (locked technician inside the car). Technician referred me to GM dealership for further diagnostics. He suggested it might be an electrical issue. This is really frustrating. Dropping vehicle off tonight to be seen on 3/6.

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 072011


  • 62,000 miles
I dropped my son off at school today. When I arrived, I did not put the car in park. He exited the car, closed the door, and I drove away. About 100 yards later, I made a left turn, and the passenger door flew open. Had some one been in that seat, they could have fallen out easily. I tried to close the door, but it would not latch. I put the car in park and tried again. It still did not latch. I locked and unlocked the door using the power lock switch, and that only worked after two or three times. Later on my way home, I stopped at the store. Turned the car off, got out and shut the door. Again, it did not latch, and went through the same procedure. Then a repeat situation when returning home. I called Saturn customer service who set up an appt with my GM dealer and was told it would be between $50 and $100 to just have them look at it. Really? to me, this is a serious safety issue and in my opinion should be investigated free of charge.

- North Brunswick, NJ, USA

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