NHTSA — Power Train: Axle Assembly: Axle Shaft Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
174,000 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.

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.

1998 Saturn SL drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1998 Saturn SL Owner Comments

problem #1

Nov 062004

SL 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 174,000 miles


My 23 yr old son was traveling from ventura, ca at 75 mph on fwy 99 N bound in the middle lane (of 3) at about 1 a.M. in fresno, ca. Just before arriving at his exit to hwy 41 N, the rear end began to skid to the left. Driver steered into the skid to correct while stepping on the brakes to reduce speed. Suddenly the rear end of the car was hurled into the air causing the entire vehicle to go airborne, clearing the third lane (far right lane) and landing on top of asphalt berm and soft, sandy embankment resulting in the car rolling and going airborne, bouncing off the rear end of the car and going airborne yet a third time landing upside down on the shoulder of the freeway with the nose of the car extending into the third lane. Driver received minor injuries but chp officers were astonished it was not a fatality. Car was totaled. Talks with Saturn headquarters has only resulted in denial that the spindle could have caused the accident. They insist a tire blowout was most likely the cause. Personal investigation revealed there was no blowout. Evidence points toward the spindle breaking allowing the wheel assembly to fold down under the car causing it to skid to the left. The application of brakes brought the front end of the car down enough to allow the wheel assembly to catch the frame assembly and pitch the car into the air while tearing out the entire rear wheel well assembly. Parts of the wheel assembly were found 40 feet before the impact of the car on the driver's side (which would be impact #2) as it tumbled across the freeway embankment. No one seems to want to further investigate the wreckage including our insurance and Saturn.

- Fresno, CA, USA

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