NHTSA — Communications: Horn Assembly Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,660 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.

2003 Saturn Vue accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #20

Nov 062014


  • 166,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. After the ignition switch was remedied, the air bag and service vehicle soon warning lights illuminated. Also, the horn would not work. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 166,000.

- Toms River , NJ, USA

problem #19

Mar 012010


  • miles
2003 Saturn Vue horn failure. I have talked with many other Saturn owners online in forums & chatrooms, that all have the same problem I have. The horn will begin to blow on it's own for no reason and eventually fail. I have contacted the local Saturn dealer and the cost of the repair is nearly $800-$900. I believe that lack of a horn is a safety issue and should be the manufacturers responsibility if it is a widespread problem with their vehicles.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #18

Mar 062009


  • 14,002 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue which was purchased in December 2002. She stated that there were numerous failures with the vehicle. While driving approximately 6 mph through a brush-less car wash, water entered into the sun roof housing. On a separate occasion, she also smelled oil burning and the dealer replaced the right inner cv joint boot. The hazards lights failed to operate normally and were repaired twice due to repeat failures. When she engaged the hazard switch, it collapsed into the dashboard console. The service engine soon light illuminated and the dealer stated that the thermostat failed and it was replaced. All repairs were made to the vehicle per the warranty. The rear lateral link assembly recall number 04067001 2002-2004 Vue rear suspension recall was also replaced. The driver's side window would not close; however, the driver's side switch was replaced. The fuel gauge indicated the improper level of fuel that was in the fuel tank; although, the fuel sending units were replaced. All of the repairs made to the vehicle have failed more than once. The horn would also operate intermittently on its own. The dealer found a shortage in the body control module and replaced the operating design system which forced the mechanic to reprogram the keys to the vehicle. The valve cover gasket failed a second time when the contact smelled oil burning. There were no related recalls for most of the other failed components. The failure mileage was 14,002 and the current mileage was 70,501.

- Bridgeton, MO, USA

problem #17

Nov 012007

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,550 miles


The switch in the airbag module gets stuck and the horn blows continuously and when it wants to; it has failed for me at least 6 times in one day before burning out the horn. Then after a body control module was replaced (not needed) and the horn the following Tuesday the horn began to blow out of control again. I have had to disable the horn (a safety feature of a car) to keep from it blowing more.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #16

Mar 102007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,101 miles
Failed vti transmission..started on 12/03/03 with 9199 miles. Reduced power light, car would not go when placed in gear, fix-code P0107, map sensor low circuit voltage transmission control system on 6/28/04 with N14807 miles. Wrench lit, Saturn allegedly not found on 12-02-04 with 20178 miles not properly shifting, wrench light, fixed. Dtc B2707 into shift lock transmission on 6/30/05 with 27797 miles ses light, not found. On 7/17/06 with 48664 mi.les wont shift gears. Fix total rebuild as per Saturn extended warranty. On 11/21/06 4with 8664 miles not shifting, stopped, then went into heavy traffic. Would not go in reverse, fix ed again. On 3/10/07 with 50107 miles stopped in heavy traffic then went. Intermitently shook in heavy traffic when at operating temperatures. As per Saturn not found. Also, air bag/horn issues, on 1/31/06 with 38441 miles air bag light was on..Saturn alleged not found on 4/10/06, and on 41040 miles again air bag li, as per Saturn dtcb1800472, ,dtcb1001, replaced modual assembly.was charged $578.40.after that horn was going on own, assumed was part of alarm system. Horn burned out, and Saturn wanta about $1500 to repair when there iwas a an admitted design flaw. Alarm system was verified by outside source operational, not even sure if air bag will deploy in an accident.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #15

Feb 092007

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,180 miles
It started with having strange clicking in the turn signals. Then the temp light would come on and the needle would bury itself into the red portion of the dial. We noticed no smell or problems with driving the car and the radiator and coolant resevior checked out to be fine. Next came the oil light on after we had already had the oil changed. Then the air bag light would stay on longer after starting the car. Then as suddenly as things started, everything went back to normal except the turn signals. A few weeks later it began. This time with the horn getting stuck, then the service light coming on and staying on along with the oil light. Then the airbag light started staying on longer and longer. By this time it is winter and I'm hearing strange sounds from the front of the car. One day we notice the horn is no longer working and the front end sound like it's going to fall off. We're afraid to use the heater defroster too much for fear the car may over heat. I take the vehicle in for oil change and diagnotic. It was not bought at a Saturn dealer. I am told that the housing for the oil filter is broken and needs replacing. I pay for half of that. I need new links in the front. The horn works. The temp gauge is going into the red. After I explained what was going on with the gauges. It was suggested I take it to a Saturn dealer. I went to my local Saturn dealer and they replaced the front links. They diagnosed the other problems as: Airbag steer wheel contacts collapsed - $800, shorted BCM- $449, horn shorted- $101, fuse blown-$23.60, not including labor. Spoke with Saturn Corp, they have agreed to pay $500 toward repair of airbag as long as we go to the Saturn dealer. Presently we're seeking monetary assistance from the selling dealership which has moved over 50 miles away. This case is still pending.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #14

Jan 122007

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,050 miles


Horn was always hard to honk. I honked the horn and it wouldn't stop. I had to remove the fuse to get it to stop. I took it to Saturn and they said it would cost $889 to fix. The horn and airbag are in the same module. I've seen too many complaints about this and I refuse to have to pay to fix a manufacturer defect.

- Villa Park, IL, USA

problem #13

Oct 132006

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
Horn starts blowing when car is parked and off. This has happened 3 times. Dealer says defect in the horn module behind steering wheel air bag. Dealer says this is a common problem but will not fix as a recall. They want to charge me over $750 to fix. I declined.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #12

Jun 102006

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles
The horn on my 2003 2wd Saturn Vue has malfunctioned and is non-operational. One day, while the car was parked and turned off, the horn activated by itself and would not shut off. The horn wound up dying completely and now the horn, relay, fuses, and wiring all need to be replaced. The horn activator is located inside the airbag unit inside the steering wheel unit. The horn activator is covered by a copper protective plate which deforms over time due to the driver having to press exetremely hard on the horn buttons to activate the horn. When the copper plate becomes deformed, the horn activates and is unable to be deactivated unless the main fuse for the horn is pulled. In my car, the fuse was not able to be located and pulled in time, leading to the unit failure. Now I have no horn and the dealership wants to charge $750 to replace the unit. From what I've read on Saturn forums on the web, this is a common problem for this make/model/year due to a design defect in the horn unit. Despite the fact that so many people have had this issue (some more than once), GM has refused to issue a recall.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #11

Aug 152006

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
When stopping the vehicle and sitting still for a few seconds, there is a loud thumping sound (occurring three or four times) from the rear of the vehicle (sounds similar to a loose fuel tank baffle). The dealer stated they weren't aware of any fix for this problem, though they tried a couple of ideas. While I've found this on several websites online, nobody seems to know the cause. Everyone seems to live with the problem. It's difficult to diagnose as it seems intermittant, but happens on average once per day. Being that this seems to be eminating from the fuel system, I think that Saturn should take this issue more seriously, and more than likely this is something they can correct by replacing the fuel tank, I feel that they just don't want that expense. Also, I would like to take the opportunity to complain about the horn switch, as it is extremely difficult to operate in a panic situation, which is what it is designed to be used in. Lastly, I beleive that NHTSA should investigate the AWD system on these vehicles. I've done my own tests and I have to say I am surprised about how easily it is to loose control of the vehicle in light snow. When the rear comes on, if the engine is revving high, it can spin the vehicle around like a top.

- Grabill, IN, USA

problem #10

Jan 162006

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles


2003 Saturn Vue hood release cable and windshield wiper motor was replaced. The rear differential was replaced (warranty). While repairing the rear differential the technician noticed that the prompt shaft center bearing was broken (warranty). There was noise coming from the front end of the vehicle. The technician determined that the transaxle. The technician updated the tcm and added cvt additive (warranty). The check engine light illuminated on the dash. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who determined that the oxygen sensor was faulty (warranty). The air bag and horn were also replaced.

- Mineola, NY, USA

problem #9

Nov 282005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
The horn in my 2003 Saturn Vue malfunctioned. When taken to the local Saturn dealer for repair, they replaced several components ($400) and ultimately told me they had to replace the computer module that governed the horn ($700). They also told me that this module governed the airbags. However, the airbag warning light was not lit because the computer module had failed. A horn part shorted out and resulted in my son driving a car with no airbags and no warning of that.

- Thiells, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 012005

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,200 miles
Upon pressing down fairly hard on my vehicle's horn it honked in a normal fashion and stopped upon when I removed my hand, but then it continued to honk on its own on an intermittent basis. At the same time, the service vehicle warning light went on. I was unable to stop this condition until the fuse was removed.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #7

Nov 112003

Vue Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
The horn sounded lower when the engine was running, sometimes when the vehicle was off, it did not work at all. The horn has been replaced three times. The dealers solution was to try removing a horn from another vehicle on the lot, however most of the horns were defective.

- Dumont, IA, USA

problem #6

Nov 062002

Vue 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The padding on the horn was so thick that it was hard to blow, and when finding it under the covering, the consumer had to strike it with force. The dealer stated that the manufacturer would have to change the design. Blowing the horn required an excessive amount of pressure to be applied at a precise location.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 272004

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have had several problems with my 2003 Vue. First, the vti transmission seems to hesitate and or slip when accelerating. This has happened on several occasions at different speeds, it comes and goes. It also seems louder that it should be with clicking noises, especially when cold. I took the car to the dealer to make sure everything was ok, I was told there was nothing wrong. Second, the horn is very hard to use, my wife does not like to drive it because she does mostly city driving and needs a horn. It's not broken, just very difficult to use and I think a potential hazard. Finally there are many other sqeaks and rattles that drive me crazy. The headliner around the sunroof on the drivers side rattles a lot. Also the rear trunk/liftgate squeeks and after closer examination I saw that the inside plastic was coming apart from the rear trunk/liftgate. I pushed it back together, but I think it loosens everytime I close the trunk/liftgate. Nothing has been done to the vehicle concerning these problems.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #4

Mar 062004

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The horn on my 2003 Saturn Vue is impossible to find in an emergency. Unless you press with you thumb exactly on the horn symbol, it will not blow. The dealer and I both tried by hitting the spot with our fist. Sometime it blows and sometimes it did not. Everytime it blew when you press exactly on the horn symbol with your thumb. I was told this was normal. In an emergency, finding that exact place on the sterling wheel is difficult. I have had at least 4 incidents where an accident almost occurred because I could not find the horn.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #3

Jan 302004

(reported on)


  • 10 miles
Horn failed to engage when the botton was depressed. Dealership indicated that this was a common problem.

- Montville, NJ, USA

problem #2

Aug 012003


  • miles
Horn is hard to activate on the steering wheel. It needs to be softer or easier to sound horn.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #1

Sep 182002

(reported on)

Vue 4WD

  • miles
Due to the horn design, on the steering wheel airbag, at night it is almost impossible to activate the horn.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

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