NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Switch Problems


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,283 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.

1997 Saturn SL electrical problems

electrical problem

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1997 Saturn SL Owner Comments

problem #3

Nov 282005

SL 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


When turning the switch to start the engine, the starter motor stopped an smoke started coming from the dashboard. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where it diagnosed that the switch had shorted out. Another component failure resulted from the shortening of the switch. The ignition cylinder seems to be a problem; however, I can not find information on safey recalls. Web site www.alldata.com/tsb/53/975307fc.html shows what appears to be a safey recall 97-C-02 Apr 97, tsb title ignition cylinder malfunction.

- Bloomfield, CT, USA

problem #2

Mar 262005

SL 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,849 miles
No prior indication of a fault. On March 26, 2005 my wife went to start the car and not only would it not start, but smoke started coming up from the dashboard. Upon having it towed to a Saturn dealer, we were told that the iginition switch had failed and had burnt out the wiring harness. This car has 48849 miles on it. This just does not make any reason, as should iginition swaiches go bad on a low mileage car and cause so much additional damage?

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #1

May 252001


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Saturn are an easy car to steal. Saturn is aware of this issue so they replaced the ignition switch in the 2000 models. Replaced ignition switch for $109.46 dollars.

- Omaha, NE, USA

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