2008 Saturn Outlook drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2008 Saturn Outlook (Page 1 of 6)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,394 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 Outlook drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Saturn Outlook Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #104

Dec 162016


  • 116,000 miles


11/17/2016 replaced 2 transmission in two years within a few weeks after getting the car back from repair shop wife was driving to work on 12/16/16 the car stop running on the expressway. Dealer states throttle body was freezing do to condensation building up within throttle body stated this is common in these cars. Again got the car back after spending a ton more money getting it fixed had to take it right back engine light came back on within 20mi of driving. Don't waste you time buying these lemon cars.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #103

Nov 242016


  • 136,000 miles
During transit on interstate the engine stop providing power to the transmission and RPM decreased to 1,000 while decelerating the vehicle from 70mph to 45mph making it difficult to change lanes to pull off the road almost resulting in a fatal motor vehicle accident. After about 30-45 seconds the engin reengaged. 30 minutes later the vehicles system alerted that the transmission is overheating and recommended that we place the vehicle in nutral. This is the second time this has happened.

- Lyman, SC, USA

problem #102

Nov 052016


  • 99,000 miles
3-5-R waveplate in transmission is known defective. Transmission first went out at ~4 years old and 50,000 miles leaving us stranded. About 1 year later tcm (valve body) in transmission failed (likely debris from waveplate failure). Forcing you to pull over and turn car and off hope it would begin shifting again. Fortunately, made it to dealer under its own power for that one. GM did not cover this, $1000 out of my pocket. 8 years old and 99,000 miles waveplate out again stranding us on highway... again. 2 weeks later the transmission went out again, this time shaft that holds gears was scarred up (likely debris from waveplate failures) stranded again and $3200 to fix with some help from GM. 2008 to 2013 acadia, Outlooks, traverse, enclave all having this issue stranding people on roads.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #101

Oct 112016


  • 176,680 miles


"takata recall" having problems with stabilitrak affecting the brakes, transmission, and engine while driving on city street car now will not start.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #100

Mar 012016


  • 104,000 miles
Transmission problems. 35R wave plate known to be defective (causing complete transmission failure) in Outlook, acadia, enclave, vue, etc. Thousands and thousands of customers having this issue.

- Racine, WI, USA

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problem #99

Feb 222016


  • 82,770 miles
Second transmission failure, loss of power and failure to upshift while accelerating in heavy traffic. Had to pull into center lane to avoid interfering with traffic nearly causing collision with oncoming traffic preparing to turn. Was notified by dealership that it is a transmission problem. Awaiting estimate for repairs. First transmission failure at 42K miles second failure at 86K miles. Other vehicles of this type had extended warranty for this type problem but for some reason, this vehicle was not included

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #98

Oct 162014


  • 132,653 miles


October 16, 2014 transmission 6T75 AWD failed. Into shop 10/17/14. Cost $4281.45 for transmission plus $366.53 for car rental. [have bills] transmission went into "limp" mode due to loss of all gears except 6th gear. March 2015 received letter from GM stating "this letter is intended to make you aware that some 2008 model year Saturn Outlook vehicles may experience a cracked or fractured wave plate, resulting in loss of 3rd, 5th and reverse gears. The affected vehicles are all equipped with a 6T70 or 6T75 6 speed automatic transmission and fwd or AWD." The letter went on to say "if you have paid for repairs for the condition described in this letter, please complete the enclosed reimbursement form and present it to your dealer with all required documents. If this is not convenient, you may mail the completed reimbursement form and all required documents to reimbursement department, po box 33170, detroit, mi 48232. I submitted two forms on April 11, 2015, one for the transmission [$4281.45 & one for the rental car while Saturn being repaired [$366.53]. May 22, 2015 both claims were rejected by GM. Reason given: "the vehicle is outside the time and mileage parameters of the customer service action program. To me this is clearly a safety issue. Traveling on the freeway and/or highway and suddenly loosing your transmission [momentum/vehicle speed] creates a safety hazard for both the driver and other vehicles in close proximately. There should not be "time and mileage parameter" that has been subjectively imposed by GM in order to avoid responsibility for poor engineering.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #97

Oct 312015


  • 127,024 miles
Transmission slipping and high engine rev during commute from work to home.could not get over 40 mph and had to take side streets home. Was fearful that it would not make it !

- Brighton, MI, USA

problem #96

May 132015


  • 124,376 miles
The 2 separate incidents occurred while driving for an extended time on the highway. The incident was around 5/13/15 traveling along route 81. While driving the transmission began to fail thus losing power and causing a safety concern on a busy highway.. the 2nd incident occurred on 7/31/15. While driving along route 695 in baltimore the water pump failed causing a loss of power and over heating the engine. Thus becoming a safety hazard on busy highway.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #95

Jul 062015


  • 180,000 miles
We bought the vehicle from GM, as we pulled off the lot and made it less then a half mile down the road and the engine light came on. The engine was running rought so we took it to a mechanic. They advised us it was a power train issue. We called GM and the requested us to bring the vehicle in so they're mechanics could look into the issue. Confirmed that we have a timing chain and a power train that needs to be fixed. Ultimately they refused to foot the bill and said they would only go in half. Now we are having to pay $1700 to fix a vehicle before we even make our first car payment.

- Muncie , IN, USA

problem #94

Dec 132014


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Outlook. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated to shift gears and jerked forward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and it was determined that the 35R wave plate failed. As a result, the entire transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Buna, TX, USA

problem #93

Apr 202015


  • miles
Transmission has completely went out due to waveplate.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #92

Apr 142015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
While driving car, I noticed a vibration at 30 to 40 mph. A transmission shop said it was caused by transmission problem. I was informed there is a recall repair for this transmission, but no response from General Motors.

- Sapulpa, OK, USA

problem #91

Jan 012014

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 65,533 miles
Jan 2014 had problems with stabilitrac / traction control and transmission entering expressway. The stabilitrac / traction control service soon light came on and then the car began shifting hard as we began to enter traffic, the car then started to lose power we got off the expressway in fear of being hit and went to the dealer were they found nothing wrong. The car continued to do this on and off for some time for the next few months. In June 2014 coming home from a soccer game I my wife our son and another player had this happen again while traveling 70mph on the US23 expressway, stabilitrac / traction control service light came on transmission started shifting hard and then the transmission lost the ability to engage, the car began to slow almost getting hit. (thank god we made it to a safe place) we replaced the transmission because of broken wave plates within the transmission. On 3/7/15 took car in again for stabiltrac / traction control same thing again is happening dealer found nothing wrong told us to bring back when lights are on. 3/14/15 lights came on again took in dealer was unable to find anything wrong. Service adviser there was no danger driving the car but that I might after time begin to loss power and may not be able to travel over 20mph. I explained the history to him his advice was to avoid the expressways. My fear is to die in this car when merging into expressway traffic. After reviewing many complaints about the transmission and traction control / stabilitrac on the internet about the following cars Saturn Outlook, GMC acadia, Chevy traverse and Buick enclave I hope that GM can come up with a fix before anyone has to die!

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #90

Jan 052015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 55,890 miles
Have had several leaks, took it to GM dealership for repair and it cost me $1,600, still leaking, took it back to GM dealership paid $1,300, still leaking. Vehicle on has 57, 000 miles I was told that it could be the transmission. That is why I took it in the first place GM service is an embarrassment, and rip-off to its customers. Will not recommend either one of these dealership in Massachusetts, unless they can prove quality service. Currently, still having the same problem, but can not afford to spend another penny, will have to result to walking, something I cannot physical able to do on long stretch.

- Mattapan, MA, USA

problem #89

Mar 122015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
Shutters in reverse shifts hard at times. Its a problem GM knows about but wont own up! they will see were that gets them. I only get Ford the only reason is my wife liked it should have GM junk.

- Marathon, NY, USA

problem #88

Feb 232015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
-25 F, 2 hours away from home, 7 pm at night, two kids in the car, and treacherous road conditions ~ transmission fails !!!! was in the shop less then two weeks prior for check engine light & service stabilitrak/traction control warnings. GM dealer cleared lights & said they were historic & nothing to worry about. This problem is widespread & it isn't hundred of cars affected, its thousands and probably tens of thousands (as these transmissions plague the Outlooks, acadias, traverses, & enclaves). So far GM is doing nothing ~ apparently it takes people dying to issue major recalls, and even then it takes many years and investigations by various agencies. Unacceptable and criminal !!!! I have opened up a case with GM corporate to see if anything will be done to offset or even cover the cost of replacing the junk transmission ($3800) ~ but, after reading countless blogs, webpages, ect of other peoples experiences with GM, I am not holding my breath. I will certainly jump on the class action lawsuit wagon, if it exists, or when it does come to fruition !!! this is certainly the last GM product I will ever buy! furthermore, I will take to social media and any other place I can to tell my story and make sure others know about these cars and the "service" that GM provides.

- Highgate, VT, USA

problem #87

Feb 232011

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
Driver was on their way to dr appt with small child when the car revved very hard & jerked & making loud noises. I then was able to get it back to parking, onstar was called and diagnosing it as the exhaust system was throwing codes. A tow truck came and took the car into cavender in san antonio.they found the catalytic convertors failed. They found the water pump was failing as well and replaced it as well. The next incident occurred in may of 2012, my husband was being discharged from the army & we were advised after we got settled back in Ohio to have it serviced. In which we did, to have found the engine block had a small leak. We took it to GM dealership don's automotive as we had a family member who worked there. They supposedly fixed it, then not even a month went by we found it was leaking. We then decided to take it to dave white Chevrolet to have it repaired, they explained that it was not repaired right. They then fixed it. We then had it fixed and were back on the road. Then we began to notice the revving again and it would hesitate when driving causing panic in high traffic areas for my husband and I. we then took it back to dave white to find there was a speed control sensor that was failing. We then had to have that replaced. Not too long after, we began to notice pink fluid on the drive, we immediate took it back to dave white, they explained it was leaking transmission fluid, but the coupling was not covered by power train. We contacted GM because this should be a covered part as it could cause failure. They agreed to help with paying for it, but dave white was very unprofessional. Then in November of 2013, putting in reverse would cause it to hesitate, transmission was out. We then had to have it rebuilt. Then Feb 2015, check engine light came on as driving and would not pass 1st gear on busy road. It was towed 2/23/15 to dealership mcneils.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #86

Feb 072015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Driving when the car jerked and reved and then went squealing away. Going 40 mph and cars behind were not following closely. This happened for about 50 feet and then the car would not move - reverse and D and L would not work. We were in a city for an audition for college admission which was 400 miles from home. We had to have the vehicle towed to a nearby independent mechanic. The transmission is gone. Needed to rent a car to return home and will now have to fly back to pick up the vehicle again after paying $4400. We were lucky that nothing had happened when we were on the interstate or driving around the city and campus. Also, forunate that we made it to the audition. This is a family car usually carrying kids and animals. Besides the repair bills, the vehicle is junk because no one would want to buy this. The $4400 to bring the vehicle home and wait for the next thing to happen like the power steering issue. This car was a large purchase and very sad to know that you have to keep investmenting money in it or junk it. This needs to become widespread and definitely a recall before something tragic happens.

- Lake Villa, IL, USA

problem #85

Jan 152015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Transmission failure transmission would not go into reverse, drive, and was shifting hard. Upon further research found numerous like failures for Saturn Outlook, GMC acadia. Big safety issue. I was fortunate it didn't happen while I was driving. Please review failure rates and propose GM recall transmissions for failures.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

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