2008 Saturn Aura drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Saturn Aura (Page 5 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 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Dec 282011


  • 44,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. While driving in reverse approximately 5 mph, the contact attempted to shift the gear selector into drive; however the shifter failed to respond and remained in reverse. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who stated the transmission shifter cable fractured. There was an open investigation associated with NHTSA action number EA11015 (power train: Automatic transmission: Gear position indication; prndl). The vehicle was in the process of being repaired at the owner's expense. The manufacturer was notified of the transmission malfunction. The approximate failure mileage was 44,000.

- Conshohocken, PA, USA

problem #6

Dec 262011


  • 43,689 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. The contact stated that the driver shifted the vehicle into park and exited. Upon exiting, the vehicle rolled backward. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the shift cable fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure and the current mileages were 43,689.

- Murrieta, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 222011


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. While stopped with the gear in drive and the brake pedal depressed, the contact switched the gear to park and noticed that the gear would not engage in park. The failure recurred intermittently and more often when the weather was warm. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic. There was an investigation under NHTSA action number: EA11015 (power train: Automatic transmission: Park/neutral start switch power train:automatic transmission:lever and linkage:floor shift power train: Automatic transmission: Gear position indication (prndl) that could possibly have been related to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #4

Jul 122009

Aura 4-cyl

  • miles


I came to a complete stop, the car was in drive. I accelerated and my car drove backwards, in reverse. I was frightened and deeply concerned. I took my car to the dealership for repair, no repair was done on this serious problem. The work order states, they could not duplicate concern.

- Lago Vista, TX, USA

problem #3

Nov 122011

Aura 6-cyl

  • 79,934 miles
I pulled into a parking space, put my car into park(2008 Saturn Aura)turned the key off took the key out of the ignition and exited the vehicle, the car started rolling backwards as I had parked on a slight hill, the car rolled backwards and almost knocked me down as I had not closed the door yet. The car rolled approx 15-20 feet before I could re-entered the vehicle and apply the parking brake. I tried to restart the car as it was now part way into the street and blocking the sidewalk. The car would not restart, the shift lever was in the park position. When I shifted the shift lever from park down to drive and back to park it felt like it was not engaging all the way into the park position, just before the lever got to the park position there was a little resistance and it felt like something was making it not go all the way into park even though the selector was at the park point in the column. I opened the hood and looked around & noticed the shift cable casing just before the mounting bracket was broken. I was able to push the rod by the mounting bracket where it connects to the transmission slightly and heard a click noise. I re-entered the vehicle and it started it as it was now engaged fully into park. I put the car into drive and drove it 4 blocks to my house and parked it in my driveway where I shut it off, applied the parking brake, opened the hook and manually pushed the rod into the park position. I feel that the 2008 Saturn Aura should be recalled as this is a highly dangerous condition and I've been reading that many people have been having this exact same problem with many different year Saturn Aura's. I have found the 2009 Aura's have a recall. Why not 2008? I feel that every Saturn with this style shift cable should be recalled and cable replaced ! not to mention, there should be a redesigning of this cable so this doesn't happen again.

- Elmhurst, IL, USA

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problem #2

May 282011


  • 56,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. The contact stated the vehicle continued to roll forward after shifting into park gear. In order to stop the vehicle, the contact engaged the parking brake. The contact also stated she was unable to remove the key from the ignition. The vehicle was examined by an independent mechanic who stated that the shifter cable was fractured. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer where the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered to cover half of the expenses. The failure and current mileages were 56,000.

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #1

Apr 012008


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Aura. The contact stated while driving at approximately 15 mph, the vehicle would intermittently exhibit abnormal shaking and jerking. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The failure persisted. The contact also stated that while driving at approximately 55 mph, the engine would begin to rev unusually loud without warrant. The vehicle was not taken in to be examined for the failure. The failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 25,000.

- Panama City Beach, FL, USA

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