2008 Saturn Aura drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Saturn Aura (Page 3 of 5)

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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,980 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Saturn Aura Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #47

Jul 182014


  • 107,000 miles


From the owner's manual: "this vehicle is equipped with an electronic shift lock release system. The shift lock release is designed to: (1) prevent ignition key removal unless the shift lever is in park (P) with the shift lever button fully released, and (2) prevent movement of the shift lever out of park (P), unless the ignition is in on/run or acc/accessory and the regular brake pedal is applied. The shift lock release is always functional except in the case of an uncharged or low voltage (less than 9 volt) battery. If your vehicle has an uncharged battery or a battery with low voltage, try charging or jump starting the battery. See jump starting on page 5-43 for more information." The car has a V6 engine and from park, with the keys in the ignition and the ignition in the off position, I was able to shift the car into drive after depressing the brake. The car rolled backwards but I was able to stop it before any personal injury or damage occurred. I was also able to turn the engine off with the car in drive and remove the keys from the ignition. The battery is fully charged and does not have low voltage. While I've been luck there has been no personal or property damage sustained, it's easy to see that it can happen. Especially if an automatic transmission can be left in gear, the engine turned off and the keys removed from the vehicle. I purchased this car October 10, 2007 and the door label indicates it was built in October 2007, so the build date for this car was between 10/1 and 10/10/2007.

- Platte City, MO, USA

problem #46

Jul 042014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Vehicle will not shift out of park. Had it towed to the local Chevrolet dealer and was told by them that the shift cable and bracket were broken and needed to be replace. The dealer says this vehicle is not covered under the current recall 14152. Called GM customer assistance but was referred back to dealer. This vehicle and the problem appears to be the listed in the recall.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #45

Jul 042014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
While driving our car along coastal highway near bethany, de our transmission became disengaged ( no forward or reverse gear). I was able to coast across four lanes of traffic and parked the car on a side road. At that time I noticed an engine alert and we received an on-star alert message but could not get the information without intent. We called aaa and they towed my car to a local repair shop in belin, md. At this repair shop I was informed that my transmission was "toasted and would cost around $4,800 to replace. I had to rent a car and move out of my rented condo and then returned to my home near baltimore, md. I discussed my problem with my local mechanic and he suggested that a transmission company look at the condition of the transmission it could be repairable because the transmission for my car (xr 6-3.6L) has had numerous problems with the GM 6T70 in the wave plates. I arranged at great expense to have my car towed 150 miles to a local transmission repair shop near my home. We have been GM owners since 1985 with many good experiences but the 2008 Aura has been had many problems (last yearfor Saturn) and we have not been happy with the GM dealership. If GM has had these problems with this transmission why was I not informed to bring it in for service. My searching the internet I see that my car has several recall notices ( transmission shifting cable, steering power assist system etc) but we have never received any notice although we are the original owners and have lived at this address for the last 17-years.

- Towson, MD, USA

problem #44

Jun 272014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 98,150 miles


I was driving to work and my car seemed to shift oddly between second and third gears. Rough, jerky and revving when it didn't need to. When I was backing into my parking space in the garage, I put the car in reverse and it didn't have any power. It hesitated like it didn't want to go and then it finally moved. I had to do this two or three times to get into my parking spot and each time it was worse. I called the shop and had it towed because I suspected the transmission was having issues, and even saw online that there had been some recalls on the Saturn Aura for that year on the transmission, but the dealer said there are no active recalls on my vehicle. I need a new transmission now according to the dealer.

- Blue Springs, MO, USA

problem #43

Jun 212014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
While driving the car near my home I tried to go in reverse and the car would not move. The car also will not go over 20 mph.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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problem #42

Jun 172014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 64,700 miles
Lost communication with transmission, GM told me tcm, I replaced for $1277. Got the car back still same problem now they say I need a transmission overhaul.

- Poland, OH, USA

problem #41

Jun 142014


  • 80,000 miles


On Saturday, June 14 my car would not start. I moved the floor gear shift deeper into the park position and it started. On Monday, June 16 I parked my car after purchasing an item at drive-through window. When I attempted to start it, it would not start. The gear shift moved through all of the indicators (PRD...) and the car began to roll backwards nearly hitting another car. I called for a tow, and the driver noted the problem. Today, pep boys completed repair of the the gear shift assembly. There was a missing part. The incident notice (www.motortrend.com/cars/2008/Saturn/Aura/recalls/) recall id # 103875 - power train:automatic transmission:lever and linkage:floor shiftplushide details recall date: Apr 30, 2014 model affected: 2008 Saturn Aura summary: General Motors llc (GM) notified the Agency on April 29, 2014, that they are recalling 56,214 model year 2007 and 2008 Saturn Aura vehicles. Consequences: If the transmission shift cable fractures while the vehicle is being driven, the transmission gear selection may not match the indicated gear and the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash. Furthermore, when the driver goes to stop and park the vehicle, despite selecting the ┐park┐ position, the transmission may not be in ┐park.┐ if the vehicle is not in the "park" position there is a risk the vehicle will roll away as the driver and other occupants exit the vehicle or anytime thereafter. A vehicle rollaway increases the risk of injury to exiting occupants and bystanders. Remedy: GM will notify owners, and GM dealers will replace the shift cable assembly and mounting bracket, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact General Motors at 1-800-553-6000. GM's number for this recall is 14152.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #40

Jun 082014


  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle will no longer shift into park. Transmission cable broke. There is a recall for this exact problem but GM won't honor it for this lot of vehicles.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #39

Jul 232012


  • 76,500 miles
1st problem rear door locks would keep opening and locking by themselves, same time trunk would would not unlock.had to have all repaired at a cost of $450.2nd problem while car parked in drive an in park car rolled back into mail box now have to have fender repaired, took to dealer could find no problem.3rd problem car driver door sagging chipping paint dealer tightened does not hold.

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #38

May 202014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
2 years ago I complained to GM concerning the car moving when it was in park to no avail. On wed my grandson was approaching the stop sign in the auto would not shift. As he I tried to put the car into reverse it would not back up. I had him drive to the end of the cu-de-sac where we could turn around and brought the car home where it has sat.

- Ellenwood, GA, USA

problem #37

May 212014


  • 128,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the gear shift failed and when the vehicle was placed in drive it responded as if it were in reverse gear without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #36

May 142014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 59,500 miles
This is what is wrong with my car, confirmed by the transmission center that has it: The transmission wave plate is broken and the snap ring which holds it in place is in pieces. All parts are being saved for me. A detailed report is being prepared. Technical service bulletin #09-07-30-012 was issued by GM on this defect. No recall has ever been issued. The failure resulting from this error is common, and inconsistently addressed by GM. There is no driver error or maintenance issue that can cause this fault. My car received regular dealer service the entire time it was under warranty, and no mention of this problem was ever made, nor did anyone at the dealership offer to repair it, even when another serious engine repair, also under warranty, and also due to a manufacturing error, was being undertaken.

- Sound Beach, NY, USA

problem #35

Mar 292014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Unable to put car in park, I have to place the emergency brake on in order for car to not move when in the park position. I have to place the car in neutral in order to start it, and then place it in the desire gear.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #34

May 092014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 104,548 miles
After stopping the car, the shifter would not engage in the park position. The vehicle continued to move. The shifter would not engage in any position. Therefore, vehicle could not be started. Emergency brake was engaged to prevent the vehicle from moving. Vehicle was then towed to the dealer. Dealer's diagnosis was "shift cable separated" and replaced the cable and bracket for a cost of $345.26. GM has refused to cover this under recall # 14152. I have submitted the details to them today and requested them to cover it under the recall.

- Shelby Township, MI, USA

problem #33

May 022014


  • 203,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the vehicle rolled away while secured in park. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer for inspection or repairs. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number 14V224000(power train) however, the VIN was not included and the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 203,000.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #32

Apr 022014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
I experienced the recently announced rollaway problem, but my dealer says my vehicle VIN is not on the recall list.

- Groveland, FL, USA

problem #31

Feb 282014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 82,844 miles
The vehicle transmission shift cable failed while in a public street, and was only able to move in reverse (it could not be placed in park). During an automatic transmission change on the Saturn Aura the shift cable broke causing the vehicle to be stuck in the existing gear (reverse), unable to be placed in park or changed from reverse to forward. This has the identical results as recall "NHTSA campaign number: 14V224000" and "NHTSA campaign number: 12V460000". the vehicle in question had the recall work for 12V460000 completed prior to the incident, and after contacting GM was stated to not be affected by 14V224000. It is my concern that all Saturn Aura's shift cables are faulty and should be recalled.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #30

Nov 112013

Aura 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
I noticed that it wasn't shifting into gear like it normally does. And then it wouldn't go into reverse. I took it to a shop the next morning. I had trouble driving it there. The engine light had come on. They took it for a test drive but didn't make it very far because it wouldn't work for them either. They had to push the car. I bought this car in 2009 when it was only a year old. They told me the transmission was gone. I tried to drive it home but only got a few miles when I had to pull over and have it towed. This was and is very troubling with all the GM recalls. There a lot of people who have had this same problem. I still have another year on the car and I haven't been able to fix it. I need help with this.

- Magna, UT, USA

problem #29

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 #28

Feb 042014

Aura 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
The car would not go forward or back up once you have stopped and take your foot off the brakes. The transmission failed without any warning. The warning light never came on; it had never stalled or jerked. After researching this make and model car, this is a common flaw. Another owner left the campaign number 12V460000 on the internet. I don't know the significance of this number. I do know that many owners are have the same issues with this car at 100,000 miles or 6 years after ownership. This is a $4,000 repair. Most all concerned have two years of car payments left owing on their cars. GM has selectively chosen several individual owners and repaired their transmissions.

- Memphis, TN, USA

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