NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2003 Saturn Vue (Page 2 of 4)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,397 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #59

May 072014


  • 91,000 miles


I bought a 2003 Saturn Vue from auto deals located in baltimore, Maryland. Approximately 3 weeks later the car begin jerking and pulling. I had my six year old daughter in the vehicle. I notified the establishment on May 7-9 without a return call. I brought my car in on 5/12/2014 and had the owner test drive it. He felt the jerking and pulling. I stated I felt unsafe to drive it. The dealership took my vehicle and I have not seen it since 5/12/2014. I had to find my vehicle at jerry's Chevrolet who gave me an invoice for almost $7000 for the transmission having to be replaced. I had the car less than a month. I can't afford to replace this. I would like some help! I am out of my money and a vehicle. Noone is willing to speak with me. It has been a nightmare!

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #58

Apr 222014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle jerked violently. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was found that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not available.

- Hope, IN, USA

problem #57

Mar 112014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 63,400 miles
The Saturn Vue has a low mileage and the car has transmission problems and this is very alarming, the car will overheat and does not want to drive at all.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #56

Jan 112014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 121,221 miles


Los angeles ca. Heading North bound on 5 frwy doing about sixty and car sounded like the transmission slipped into neutral, engine winded up in rpms, the gear was in drive position, with no acceleration I coasted to a stop at bottom of next exit. I was towed to my mechanic and was told the transmission had to be replaced at a cost of over 5500. Dollars. I'm extremely upset and wondered is there anything I can do to recieve any compernsation or assistance to get this repaired? I looked at internet and found there are many unsatified customes with the same experience. Please let me know if there's any way you can help. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #55

Apr 202010


  • 105,000 miles
I purchased this car in 12/2009 and one day in April 2010, I was driving down the street and all of a sudden, my car didn't want to go anywhere. I have to get a new transmission that cost me $4200 and I even worked for the company where I had bought the car and where I had to have it repaired at. Then in 11/2012, good thing the transmission was still under warranty because I had to have it replaced again. Well I was once again driving down the street and my car did the exact same thing as it did the last 2 times. I had to have it towed to a garage and found out that there's metal chips in my transmission. I contacted the dealership where the first transmission was put in and my warranty expired 4/2013. I contacted GM and everyone I could with no help. I've read several people are having the same exact thing going on with their Vues and heard that GM settle a recall on Vues transmissions. When are you going to do something about this problem and when are we getting reimbursed for our troubles.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

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problem #54

Aug 192013

Vue 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Was driving one day, and I noticed that it was running different. When I would come to a stop, then press the gas pedal to accelerate. It would take a while to shift into gear. It ran like that the first day. The next day when leaving my home, it wouldn't shift into gear. It finally moved after trying a few times, then stopped again. I took it to a shop to find out the problem. Turns out that it was the transmission.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #53

Jul 012013

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles


2003 Saturn Vue. Consumer writes in regards to transmission failure and consumer seeks reimbursement for repairs. The repair shop stated the transmission had disintegrated and it could not be re-built. Ten days after the transmission was replaced, the check engine light illuminated followed by the loss of power light, at which time the vehicle dangerously slowed down to 10 mph. The vehicle was towed back to the repair shop, where they replaced the electronic accelerator pedal unit at their expense, which was a known Saturn factory service bulletin issue. The vehicle was fine for a couple of days, then the problem returned. It was towed back to the repair shop again. The repair shop performed an extensive diagnostics, but they could not find a definitive source. The problem happened again, after retrieving the vehicle. The repair shop had the vehicle towed to another facility. However, they were unable to resolve the issue.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #52

Jul 032013

Vue 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
While I was out running errands I was coming up to main intersection on the highway & lost all power. Engine was still running but I had no power at all. It stopped shifting. I was fortunate to be able to pull off the side of road before it came to a complete stop. I was stranded there for an hour before anyone could come get me. I ended up having to have it towed. This is my only means of transportation. I am a single woman in the South with no immediate family in this state. I had no way to get to work for 2 weeks and no income to rent a car. Everything that I have read online, in car forums and on complaint boards say this is a common problem with this vehicle. If so, why hasn't GM had a recall on these transmissions" I had to have a remanufactured transmission installed at a GM dealership that cost me $4200 that I did not have. The vehicle is only worth $3100, at best, at kelly blue book. Is there anything that can be done"

- Gainesville, GA, USA

problem #51

Jul 122012


  • miles
2003 Saturn Vue transmission problems and more the date of sale: 12/05/2008. The loan officer claims states everything was ok with the Vue before purchase per her review. However the transmission is slipping, rear hub bearing, noise coming from left side beginning Jan 14, 2009- to current. We reported to the dealership and return to service department with the following report: Brakes making noise all the time and burning smell from vents. Saturn dealership in concord repair: Front brake rotor refinishing and the teach comments: Unable to verify any smells this visit. A/C drain not restricted. Called GM in detroit, mi (no help) and they are aware that the Vue was return because of the same complaints; my daughter met the lady who purchases the Vue 2003 at a foster care meeting in concord in 2009, she ask about the rack that was on top of Vue 3/24/2009: Filed a claim with BBB auto line program: Claim the warranty expired on 7/31/06. I purchase the Vue in 2008. --what does that mean. On March 21, 2012 checked the transmission with transmission center in our area: Advice could not confirm trans slippage, it needs rear hub bearing. We replace the hub bearing, but the noise and slippage continued. That summer (June 2012) I traveled to oakland with the debutantes (5 young ladies including my granddaughter to eat) in route in traffic the Vue begin to lose its power and came to a complete stop. Car's going around us-it was crazy and nice men can and push the Vue to the side of the road. Called the dealership today Sunday July 8, 2013 and at 1:50pm pst.--spoke with the sales consultant who promises to have the owner call me back. He did and asks how I can help you. I explained once again the problem and he said" sounds like you need a new car". I disconnected the called...very disrespectfully--not funny. I've check the internet and called other transmission center: Cost range $3,999. Please help me retrieve some or all of my money back. Respectfully [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Brentwood, CA, USA

problem #50

May 082012

Vue 4-cyl

  • 76,592 miles
Motor transmission fails to move forward or backwards even though engine starts fine.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #49

Jun 152013

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles


Much regret I ever purchased this Saturn Vue 2003, I left my home yesterday was left stranded in the road as the transmission started felt like skipping and when I had to stop for a vehicle coming in the road it wouldn't drive at all! wouldn't go in gear for the drive or reverse!! so someone called a sheriff. I then called a friend who had to come and push vehicle out of road traffic. This transmission was replaced in 2010 it's as if it was never done! this is my only means of transportation for work so needless to say I am out of work yesterday, and today!!! calling Saturn service at 7:30 am sure they are going to jump right on it (sarcasm). The past month the electrical will blink on and off. Then after a while of driving it goes completely out. Until the next drive then the blinking starts. I hope no one has a young new driver attempting to drive these vehicles. They are by no means safe!!! my 16 year old daughter wouldn't have been able to handle what I went through with this vehicle yesterday. It would have put a young female at risk!!! I do not have thousands of dollars to sink into this vehicle I still owe $7,000 on an undriveable vehicle. I am a homeowner with a mortgage and a single parent that work hours have been cut back drastically at work. I didn't know about the lawsuit until now I now understand why when I went to try and trade this vehicle a few months back to no avail makes sense now why no car dealer wanted this vehicle!!! everything makes sense why no one would trade! I have always been able to trade vehicles until now. This is my last GM vehicle. To say the least. I have no family here to help with my problem so I am certainly open for suggestions should someone have any"?" thanks

- Mcleansville, NC, USA

problem #48

May 142013


  • 99,200 miles
The transmission of this vehicle has caused a class action lawsuit already, but they are still being sold with these horrible transmissions. I bought my 2003 Vue less than two weeks ago and while I was driving around to run errands my transmission would not go in gear in order to drive. It would go in reverse, but not forward.

- Noblesville, IN, USA

problem #47

Apr 272013

Vue 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Saturn notified me that my Saturn Vue vti transmission had a problem and offered to repair it for 1/2 price or give me a credit towards a new car. I decided to have it repaired on 8/17/2011 at a GM dealer. After 20 months and 27,000 miles, the transmission broke again. I spoke with GM, they said that the problem with the vti transmission was never fixed so that means the new one installed was defective. I asked the GM rep to see what they can do and they will not do anything. Why would they replace a defective product with another defective product and then wash their hand of the matter? GM should be held accountable for this fraud. This problem should have been listed as a recall and more information should have been given to the consumer. Especially after "we the people" bailed out GM from bankruptcy. There are 100's of accounts on the internet from Saturn Vue owners who have had the same experience. I would expect the government to look into this and do what's right.

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #46

Mar 012013

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles
Transmission dont work.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #45

Jul 082012

Vue 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
It dosent matter what time of day it is but when I turn on car there is a whinding noise that is very distinctive sound and seems to be getting louder in park and neutral. When I put car in drive it goes away put in park comes back. I also have rattling in left front driver side around tie road end area. When I turn to the right but not turning left at this time. I was told by some one the Saturn Vue 4cylinder have some real problems with transmission and that they are going out. ## VIN passed ##

- South Lake Tahoe , CA, USA

problem #44

Aug 142012

Vue 4-cyl

  • 132,585 miles
Grinding/rubbing noise from transmission when in park or neutral.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #43

Jul 012012


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the transmission slipped into second gear and would not shift to the other gears. The contact stated that the transmission also slipped into neutral while driving as well. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic for a diagnostic test. The mechanic stated that there was nothing that could be done to the transmission due to the defective components and that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact called a local dealer and the dealer stated that the vehicle had two prior transmission replacements. The dealer also confirmed that the transmission needed to be replaced again. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Elmira, NY, USA

problem #42

Mar 232011


  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that the vehicle would not respond when attempting to accelerate. In addition, the vehicle could only be driven in first or second gears. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where they advised him that he needed the transmission replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they advised him that they would possibly repurchase the vehicle back from the contact. The failure mileage was approximately 109,000.

- Big Stone Gap, VA, USA

problem #41

Feb 262012


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. While traveling 65 mph, the contact attempted to accelerate and noticed that the vehicle would slightly hesitate before accelerating. Shortly after, the contact noticed a warning light displaying reduced engine power. The contact brought the vehicle to a complete stop and the vehicle would no longer accelerate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or serviced for the failure. The current and failure mileages were 87,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #40

Aug 262011

Vue 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Purchased this vehicle in August 2010 with 85000 miles on it, one week after buying the vehicle the body control module went out. Around six months later the coil pack went out, two months after that the front bearings went out. At about eight months the tumbler in the ignition went out. At about nine months the thermostat went out. We now are being told that the rack and pinion and transmission are bad at 116000 miles and less than 18 months since our purchase date. After extensive research I have found that we are not the only ones having these sort of issues. I also have been told that there was a class action lawsuit against the maker of the vehicle in which we were not notified of. I feel that this vehicle is unsafe and it seems quite rare that one would have so many issues with a vehicle in a short amount of time.

- Portland , OR, USA

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