really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,514 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.

2003 Saturn L200 lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Saturn L200 Owner Comments

problem #10

Mar 012013


  • miles


Passlock security light stays on constantly, no problem with car start. Also passlock security light and interior dome light flicker simultaneously (in sync) when interior light in on position. Also odometer light bulb went out about two years ago as well.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #9

Aug 282014

L200 4-cyl

  • miles
I purchased a 2003 Saturn L200 in January 2014. About 4 months later I noticed that the lights were flashing on and off in the car. The lights would dim and come back on. The wipers would stop working or sometimes they would just slow down. One evening I went to the store and when I returned to the car the headlights were still on I continued on home and as I started the vehicle the steering column started smoking. When I arrived back into the parking lot the headlights would not go off. I called the Saturn dealership and also the Saturn headquarters who both stated there are no opened recalls on the car. So I asked them if I could get a copy of the service repairs for the recalls done on the car. They said there are no such records but I have a printout of recalls for the vehicle. NHTSA reference #05V245000 for the break lights #03V231000 for the ignition module and #02V283000 for the windshield wipers. The problems I have experienced are the same problems as the recalls. They informed me that I should file a complaint with your organization and maybe you would initiate a recall on the vehicle. The lady at the dealership wanted me to bring it to her so they could take a look at it. But according to the articles I read on the ignition module if you continue to drive it in that condition it may cause a fire, so I did not want to do that.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #8

Oct 162010

L200 4-cyl

  • miles
The stop light stops functioning intermittently. I replace the bulb and it sometimes works for a few days and then again, it stops working. I tried to buy the tail light socket, but they come up with a different part even though they search through my VIN at an authorized parts retailer. I believe it is related to the recall campaign number 05V245000 but since my car was of a later model by one year, it missed the recall. I wouldn't have cared if I found an exact replacement part, but since they came up with a modified part at the store, it makes me think my car has the defective tail lights but the manufacturers tried to get away with it by not including that year's model in their recall to avoid another thousands of replacements.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #7

May 012008


  • 105,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saturn L200. While driving at any speed or even while the vehicle is in park, the headlights turn on and off, the gauges constantly flash on the instrument panel, the door locks will lock and unlock themselves, and the windows will roll down and back up automatically. The windows are currently inoperative due to this failure. Whenever the contact drives the vehicle, he smells burning wires, but there is no smoke. He feels that the vehicle is extremely dangerous to drive. He took the vehicle to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the body control module was the cause of the failure. The contact did not get the vehicle repaired because he believes it should be covered under a recall due to the safety risk involved. The manufacturer stated that the owner was responsible for the repairs. The failure mileage was 105,000 and current mileage was 115,000.

- Lexington, OK, USA

problem #6

May 212008


  • 47,233 miles
Sometimes would have a hard time starting the car or the car would not start at all. After about a week, the check engine light and passenger seat airbag light would come on. When these lights were on, the speedometer and tachometer did not work. Shortly after that the engine lock light came on and then nothing worked. The defrost front and rear, A/C, heating control, interior lights, airbag failure light lit up, seat belt light lit up and the self locking for the doors did not engage when putting the car into gear. Sometimes I would turn the car off and about a half an hour later, the exterior lights would come on all by themselves, sometimes draining the battery if I did not notice this. I felt totally unsafe driving the car when this would happen - I had no safety features to rely on and I did not even know if I would have a car that would run. I took the car to a Saturn dealer and had the BCM (body control module) replaced. I also found out that Saturn is having a problem with this and I have asked others that own similar Saturn also experienced this problem. This was quite costly to replace approximately $600 (the cheapest around). Others paid more for this repair than I did.

- Hammond, IN, USA

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problem #5

Sep 212005

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Saturn L200. All of the lights on the vehicle cut on and off. The vehicle has not been to the dealership to be inspected. This has been happening for 2 days. The vehicle was being taken to the dealership. The consumer checked all of the fuses himself and not found any problem. The consumer found this was a common problem from other complaints. All of the lights; front, back, and interior lights flashed on and off.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #4

May 252004

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles


This is the third incident, second in same day, where the electrical system failed. Audible clicking sound under dash and lights repeatedly turning on & off, locks on and off and horn sounding. On 1 prior occasions, audible clicking heard and locks repeatedly turning on and off. Clearly not an isolated incident, as I can see from other complaints that other owners of this model are experiencing the same problem. Consequences of the problem --- neighbors called police to complain about noise. Unable to keep alarm on due to continuing problem, leading to insecure car. Also, safety issue with lights and locks repeatedly turning on and off with the electrical failure. Dealer will service in two days (first available appt!!) and will update then.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #3

Mar 012003

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75 miles
2003 L-200 purchased Feb 03. Soon found numerous issues with car, to this day have not been fixed. Tried Saturn 800 # to no avail. Rep was rude. Flat out told me nothing to be done by Saturn if local dealer can't fix. Told by local svc mgr supv I was making probs up & no one else had these problems. He told svc reps halt correcting or reviewing warranty work on our car. Escalated & wrkd w/ dir of oprtns. He wasn't able to fix probs due to resistance frm Saturn. Was told no more work on probs becz Saturn intervened in doing more warranty work. In "all" instances were given final resolution per Saturn all problems are "working as designed", have no intention to fix them. Said not going to invest money to fix in '03 but use complaints look at possible changes future cars. We have had and continue to have problems with 1) "safety issue": exterior lights flashing on/off 2) "safety issue": exterior auto on/off for day running and headlights doesn't register properly which one to use & when 3) interior lights dim higher & lower intermittently 4) automatic climate control does not work properly. Does not properly regulate the heat & A/C. temp must be set a min. 84 degrees for heat then will only stay for awhile when suddenly it goes away &the A/C comes on. Only 1/2 way fix for issue is to use this unit in a manual mode set to a min. 84 degrees & burn up the inside then turn off, turn back on to warm, keep repeating. In manual mode you also experience cold air when it runs out of hot air. 5) six disc cd/cassette philips system: Volume goes from very soft to very loud in 1 click with no inbetween. The dealership replaced system with like one to find it does same thing. Told an outside vendor piece of equipment & can't do anything about it. Figure out way to balance it, push all sound to back of car, listen to it low or not at all. As you might well imagine I would "not" recommend to anyone to purchase a Saturn vehicle.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,758 miles
Problems with vehicle's power steering system. Consumer noticed the failure when driving off the lot but thought I was due to cold weather. Later she learned the rack and pinion needed to be replaced due to fluid leaking. After the repair, consumer started hearing grinding noise when turning. On 10/08/03, the consumer learned the steering pump had to be replaced. After picking up the vehicle on this date, consumer heard more noises. This time it was a air pocket in the steering fluid. In addition, the automatic climate control system fails to work as designed. It's programmed at 87 degrees when its cold outside. Instead of heat, it would blow warm then cold air. The computer was reprogrammed and the problem became worst than at first. There were countless other problems with this vehicle.

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 062003

L200 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70 miles
A tractor trailer was passing me on the interstate. Just as his trailer was approximately 2/3 past me, my lights dimmed out on my car by themselves. The driver of the tractor trailer thought I had flashed my headlights at him, to let him know he had cleared my car and was safe to come into my lane, which was not the case. This made the drivers behind me and the tractor trailer in all 3 lanes, to slam on their brakes. The truck driver almost lost control of his rig trying to keep from hitting me when he realized that he did not have clearance as my lights "suggested" to him that he had. All of us were fortunate at this time not to have wrecked. (yet I received a lot of jerking of my neck and head when braking and steering to get out of the way). Next time my lights do this it could make another trucker or person pulling an rv or a school bus full of kids or tour bus full of tourists think I have given the "clearance" to move into my lane; when I have not. Someone is going to get killed if this issue won?T force to be repaired by GM/Saturn. I reported to Saturn, what caused this severe power drain on my car. When the auxiliary cooling fan near the compressor kicks in, it puts a severe power drain on the cars lights, which was using the heat or A/C that could be dozens of times in a matter of minutes if it appears that I am flashing my headlights to those in front of me and tapping my brakes to those behind me. Last week, my local dealership was trying to fix my car. On the 2nd day of working on my car the service dept. Called Saturn incorporated for help. My dealership was forced by Saturn corporation to stop working on my car. They were told not to fix my car claiming all Saturn are designed this way. They said it is not a safety or warranty issue because my lights don't go all the way off. My lights might not go all the way out but they go out too much to be considered safe. Note:(the 2004 L-300 loaner they had supplied me does it too)

- Greensboro, NC, USA

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