Transmission Failure


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
116,700 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (3 reports)
2002 Saturn Vue transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Saturn Vue:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 112009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles


Transmission should sure last longer than 53000 miles.

- Lee R., Mobridge, SD, US

problem #2

Mar 052013

Vue AWD V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 142,000 miles

I purchased my 2002 Saturn Vue used from a mechanic in Feb 2012. He disclosed that he had had the transmission rebuilt in 2010. The vehicle had 138k miles, so I assumed that was a fair longevity of the transmission, and felt I could reasonably expect the same life out of the new transmission, as per my experience with other vehicles. I purchased the vehicle for $3800.

A little over 1 year later, the "new" transmission completely failed again. The GM dealer quote to repair was $4500 for a replacement transmission, labor and extra parts not included. I sought out a private transmission shop, who quoted $2800 to rebuild the existing transmission. Seeing as I could not replace the vehicle for that cost, I committed to the rebuild.

As the rebuild progressed, we found that the transmission chain was damaged ($900 replacement), the front transfer case sustained damage due to transmission slippage ($1200 used part), and after getting everything back together found the motor mounts were shot. All total ended up at $6500 between the transmission shop and the dealer. A total I NEVER would have committed to had I known all the required repairs up front. I could have replaced the car with one of double value!

After conducting online research, only then did I discover the GM known, recognized design flaw with the Saturn CVT transmission, and only then did I discover that there had been a class action lawsuit settlement, where GM and Saturn LOST. The result of the settlement was to provide free replacement of the transmission, or $5000 credit toward the purchase of another GM vehicle. The only problem was that apparently the terms of the settlement had expired in 2010. Lucky me.

I attempted to file a complaint with GM, only to get the run around of everyone pretending to not know what I was talking about. Finally, one rep did acknowledge the known issue, and said she would file my complaint and pass it on. Never heard back from anyone, and when I called to check status, no one could find anything under my name.


Update: I will include this in a new complaint, but a little over 1 yr later, the rebuilt transmission has failed again. I will NOT be putting any more money into this vehicle. Total costs were somewhere near $12000 for a $3800 vehicle.

- diydrummer, Lake Hughes, CA, US

problem #1

Jun 202014

Vue AWD V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 155,000 miles

So, just over 1yr, literally exceeding the transmission shop warranty by mere days, my 2002 Saturn Vue CVT transmission has completely failed again. A dealer inspection confirmed the transmission chain was slipping, and the only remedy is to completely replace the transmission.

After having spent $6500 a year ago to fix the very same issue, I will not be dropping another dime into this vehicle. I will most likely just put several boxes of ammunition though it, just to ease my frustration.

Thanks GM for such a great car, and thanks so much for the prompt attentive service I received when I called to inquire about solutions. Oh wait, neither of those ever happened!

- diydrummer, Lake Hughes, CA, US

Not what you are looking for?