2009 Saturn Outlook drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,663 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.

2009 Saturn Outlook drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Saturn Outlook Owner Comments

problem #13

Apr 052016


  • 78,700 miles


When I was entering moving traffic from a completely stopped position, a car was coming faster than I realized so I floored the accelerator and this is what happened: 1.all power to my car shut off and the car rolled forward slowing down. 2.all of the dashboard lights and symbols lit up. 3.my car jolted strongly once, sputtered (many times), and hiccupped (many times). The jolt was so strong that it threw me forward and made my seatbelt catch me. 4.at the same time as # 3, the gps rebooted itself 3 times in a row and all of the car door locks unlocked and locked themselves 3 times in a row. 5.I gently pressed the accelerator and the car accelerated but the car felt weak and I felt uncertain. I was not sure what would happen if I tried to accelerate normally so I put on my emergency blinkers and slowly drove home.

- Land O Lakes, FL, USA

problem #12

Apr 052016


  • 72,000 miles
Transmission lost reverse and lower gears.GM dealer said to replace the trans for a cost of about $4600. Car only has 72,000 miles. Have found numerous complaints for same reason. GM knows of the problem and should pay for the replacement or at least half.stop at single and tried to go thru intersection and trans started slipping only drove it one mile home, pulled into garage. Called GM in morning to be towed to dealer. Transmission would not go into reverse. Will not get complete bill until April 8th when vehicle will be fixed.

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #11

Aug 292015


  • 70,000 miles
Wave plate shavings caused transmission to fail while driving on interstate.

- Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #10

Aug 152015


  • 122,000 miles


While driving my vehicle came to a stop, I tried to move forward and it had no power and was making a weird noise. It also had no reverse or power in any gears. I took it to mechanic and he stated that it is the wave plate in the transmission. He also stated it is very common in these vehicles.the cost of repair would be around $4000. Me and my children could of very well been injured by being hit. This is very unsafe. I have replaced a fried headlight socket, which was melted badly. I've put new struts on this vehicle. Also had the AWD sensors repaired because the vehicle kept clicking in and out of AWD when driving, cost $400.

- Brandenburg, KY, USA

problem #9

Jan 052015

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 54,524 miles
Transmission failed and would not allow vehicle to operate.

- Moonachie, NJ, USA

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problem #8

Dec 172014

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
I was waiting at a stoplight and heard an unusual noise from the engine. When I accelerated on the gas peddle, I noticed that the transmission would not shift normally and would not exceed over 30 mph. I made it to work but when I tried to reverse out of the parking lot, the car would not move at all and displayed "check engine light" icon. I had to push it out of the parking lot then drive forward slowly back home. I called around town to check the best solution for the problem. I also checked online and discovered that other Saturn Outlook owners had the same issue and the same broken part when it was diagnosed and repaired which leads me to believe that General Motors is aware of the problem and failed to recall my vehicle and add the failed transmission problem to the recall list.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #7

Oct 242014


  • 55,400 miles


On 10/24/2014, while driving my 2009 Saturn Outlook with my children in the car, I was entering the ramp onto a major expressway, pushed down onto the gas pedal to speed up to enter the highway traffic when a loud bang was heard and I felt the vehicle rev to higher RPM and then the check engine light came on. I noticed immediately that the vehicle responded like it was stuck in 3rd gear and would not shift up or down in "D". I was almost smashed by a odot dump truck but averted that by pulling to the far right lane. The vehicle would not accelerate any faster than 50 mph on the expressway. I was within 5 miles of my dealership and babied the vehicle to their location. I explained my vehicle issue to the dealer service rep and he said they could not get it in that day to check it because it was a Friday and they are not doing service work over the weekend. Rental car rented and left my car there over the weekend. I was contacted the following Monday with a request for authorizing a $500 charge to pull the transmission to check internally for the problem. The service rep said they have seen a lot of problems with this and other GM made vehicle resulting in the 35R clutch wave plate breaking and the only way is to pull the transmission to see. I gave him my authorization but asked him for a rough estimate for the repairs which he said about $3,500. I have been without my vehicle for almost a week and through internet search I have come across as many as upward of 17,000 online response's about the continued problems with the 35R clutch wave plate as far back as 2008 with the GM acadia, Chevrolet traverse and Saturn Outlook. I am requesting with NHTSA that something be said to GM about this complication with a "known" problem that nothing has been recalled. I even came across a post that noted the problem with notification to reps from January 12, 2010 from a forum.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #6

Sep 162014

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
September 16,2014 around 8:30 pm we were driving on I10 westbound and accelerated to get in the main lanes. The car made the accelerated noise but was stuck in gear at 4400 rpms at 40 miles per hour. We pulled over in a parking lot to test the acceleration and it was hard to tell driving in a short distance, but as soon as we pulled off and attempted to accelerate again the same issue occurred. The next time the car began to lose power as if it would stop so we pulled into another parking lot and cut the car off. When we turned it back on and drove the issue went away.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Apr 012013

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
In April 2013 the transmission wave plate was replaced. This is August 1st the dealership calls and the wave plate needs to be replace again. By reviewing forums it seems alot of GM's transmissions are not what they are suppose to be. Please consider reviewing the transmission problems, the vehicle only has 63000 miles. We are paying thousands of dollars for these vehicles and we not getting anywhere our monies worth. I purchased in may of 2013...power train warranty 5years or 100000 miles, come on I was in a no win. For sure thanks in advance for your consideration for review.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #4

Jul 272014


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Saturn Outlook. While driving 70 mph, the contact felt an abnormal movement coming from the front of the vehicle. The contact inspected the vehicle, but was unable to locate the failure. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the wave plate and the speed sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Fortworth, TX, USA

problem #3

May 012014

Outlook 6-cyl

  • miles


2009 Saturn Outlook. Consumer writes in regards to transmission and check engine light issues. The consumer stated the vehicle had to be towed to a transmission shop, as he could no longer drive it. The vehicle was in the shop for five days. Upon driving home, the engine light illuminated again. The consumer returned to the transmission shop, where he was informed they could not fix, and in fact, they had taken a part to the dealer for re-programming. The repair shop replaced the torque converter.

- Hudson, WI, USA

problem #2

May 222012


  • 50,000 miles
Vehicle stutters and hesitates at random times. More at high speeds around 60-65 mph. Trouble shifting into gears at times.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 252012

Outlook 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Transmission slips and car bucks, shutters, and skips at a RPM at around 1400-1600 RPM's.

- Doylestown,, PA, USA

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