hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,000 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.

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2003 Saturn L200 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Saturn L200 Owner Comments

problem #1

Nov 262008


  • 83,000 miles


I was driving my kids to school down the left hand lane of interstate 290-in Chicago, while in the flow of the morning rush hour, when suddenly, without alert or warning light, my car lost all it's power, causing numerous cars that were directly behind and next to me, to swerve off their destined lanes-avoiding a chain reaction pile up. I was lucky enough to get my kids safely out of the car and on to the side of the expressway, if it were the way around I don't think I would be alive right now. In total, there were 7 cars involved in the entire ordeal. Luckily none crashed into each other but their occupants where severely shaken up by the incident. All pulled over to await a patrol man who was very concerned and understanding about the entire situation. My vehicle was towed to my mechanic, who couldn't believe what had just happened. He had serviced and inspected the vehicle a few days before. Alleging that the vehicle indeed has been serviced, maintained and inspected regularly. A few days looking into the car he found out that it was indeed a timing chain failure. As he looked further in to the car he saw that oil was encrusted along the walls under the manifold and that the indication of that was poor lubrication to the chain and tensioner. The repair will cost me an estimated 900-1200 dollars. Not to mention the possibility of replacing the entire engine which would cost about 3500 in total. My car has only 83,000 miles, it was bought used when it had 17,000 miles on it. When I bought my Saturn L200 in 03', I was bought off by it's striking efficiency and safety features, to the point where safety was never an issue up until now. As a highly responsible and experienced driver, I was caught off guard with this incident. I sincerely hope that this issue with the timing belt on this car is carefully considered and corrected before it causes death. I would be more than willing to provide you with an "in depth diagnosis" and parts if needed.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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