NHTSA — Power Train: Driveline: Differential Unit Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,894 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Saturn Vue:

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

2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #5

Sep 092006


  • 53,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated she has had the driver side wheel bearing and ignition switch repaired. In addition, the rear differential failed and the engine coolant was leaking into the engine. The windshield wiper sprayer was also defective. The manufacturer would not provide any assistance. The contact stated she did not feel safe driving the vehicle. There were no further repairs. The failure mileage was approximately 53,000 and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Manassas Park , VA, USA

problem #4

Jun 052004

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
York pa> Saturn has patched up my 2003 Vue by replacing valves, sensors etc. Which they know will not fix the problem. After regular preventive maintenance, 2003 Saturn Vue has continuously experienced transmission problems from 10,000 point on. Vehicle while just traveling down a road at 30-40 mph), does not shift properly into higher gear, makes loud grinding noises while turning and accelerating and otherwise fails to operate properly transmission was looked at by dealer several times avoiding the issue of transmission replacement. Problems continue after servicing. Have read extensive reports and complaints involving Saturn Vue VT1 transmission. Saturn needs to have a recall - it's consumers can't afford all of these repairs for what is clearly a faulty transmission that has been discontinued! next step is class action suit by owners!!!!!!!!!! think about all of these unhappy people when sales get tough Saturn"?" all I ask is for GM/Saturn to replace my faulty drive train (engine and transmission) free of all labor and parts with the new type drive train that is in the new 2007-08 Vue !!!

- Littlestown, PA, USA

problem #3

Dec 012007

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,400 miles
2003 Saturn Vue, AWD, V6, upon pulling out of intersection, accelerating, automatic transmission not up shifting on accelerating. Loss of power. Engine accels but vehicle movement slows. Transmission does not engage. Dealership states that the computer needs to be "dummied up". vehicle is not use to a different driver. Can not pull out of intersection fast. Good car for very very slow person.. not "vti" transmission. Dealership has dummied up computer many times. Seems to help for a while but after a while we are just use to acceleration slow to let the transmission shift before applying additional gas pedal. Rear drive unit grinding on turning. Dealer states that this a known problem and has a "kit" ready with all parts needed to make the repairs in the rear end unit. Price is over $1000... I was not reimbursed for any costs. Failure on rear unit occurred at 70,000 miles. Vehicle purchased new and my wife drove, till 75,000 miles. Now I am driving the Vue and I would like to accelerate a little more quickly out of some intersection. Spark plug failed at 50,000 miles. They are to last to 100,000 miles. Very expensive repair to replace the spark plug, have to tear off the top end of intake manifold to get to it. Many expensive replacement gaskets had to be replaced and the labor also. I used my personal certified mechanic to save some money. Bad design.

- Vandergrift, PA, USA

problem #2

Nov 252003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,070 miles
I have brought my car back a total of 5 times to Saturn of morristown with a complaint of a shimmy/shudder in the car at highway speeds. Initially the complaint was from 50-75 but after their 4th fix, the shudder began at 45A nd was really bad at 65. Saturn is in its final attempt to fix the car, denies the car is a lemon, has told me Saturn knows of the problem with the car but has tried every fix and then some and my car won't respond to any fixes and that they can't fix the car yet they refuse to buy it back claiming they are within their alloted time as a final fix. February 15 is the 12th consecutive day without my car and the 24th cumulative day. They will not contact me, I always have to be the one to contact them and the woman I am speaking with at Saturn at the customer care center refuses to allow me to speak to anyone else. The shimmy/shudder has been in the car since day one and every time they gave it back to me they said it was road tested good yet I could immediately upon reaching highway speeds feel the shudder. I don't understand how they could have given it back to me 4 times saying it was good and yet keep it for this length of time and refuse to acknowledge it as lemon considering they know of the inherent defect.

- Parsippany, NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 092003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
The headlight and daytime run lights burn out when it rains... instead of finding out the cause of the problem is, the dealer just replaces the bulbs and sends me on my way. The following rainy day, there I am back at the dealer with the same problem. So far this will be the third time, not including the problems with the drivetrain/rear diff that had to be replaced, the dash and cabin rattles that none can seem to fix, and the transmission that once left me stranded at a stop sign.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

Not what you are looking for?