NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,988 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 152014


  • 108,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle stalled and the check engine warning light illuminated. The contact diagnosed that the ignition control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired four times, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 108,000.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #9

Jan 172014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 110,482 miles
I took the car to a GM dealer for routine service. Service manager said key was worn down and could be removed while not in park. Said a new key needed to be cut and they charged for it. I told the manager I never had a key wear down, and the key was on a ring with other keys, including an older car, and there were no issues with keys wearing down. Manager said there was nothing he could do about it. Sounds related to the ignition recall, so I'm concerned that the service manager was not even aware of it, and still has not contacted me about the recall. If that is not covering up the ignition issue, it is a good example of poor reporting and tracking of the issue.

- Doylestown, PA, USA

problem #8

Nov 262013


  • 139,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that she was unable to place her key in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed that the ignition cylinder needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 139,000. The current mileage was 145,000.

- Tonganoxie, KS, USA

problem #7

Mar 312014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


I have a 2003 Saturn Vue. I have had it for three years bought it used. Before the recall my car started having problems with the key coming out of the ignition while the car is on. When I heard about the recalls on the cars I reached out to GM and told them that I know my car is not in the recall but I think it should be because it is having the same problem. They contacted me gave me via email and gave me a service request number. I went to a dealer by me which they contacted. I had the car inspected and the dealer did in fact state that it should be replaced. I then recontacted GM told them what they said and told me they would get back to me in a few days. Never happened. After three weeks of waiting and not hearing from them I contacted them via email last Friday. I finally received a voice mail this past Monday stating that they could not help me which I know I told them I knew. They also said due to the age of my vehicle and the warranty would have been up years ago they could not do anything for me at this time. I was furious and called back left a message stating that the age of my vehicle has nothing to do with the problem at hand and that with all the attention they have been getting I threatened to go to the media. My car has only 50000 miles on it, runs great but has this problem and I do not feel safe driving it. They still told me sorry can't help. When I bought the car used it did not do this at all. I have noticed on safercar.com there are many complaints about this with no resolution. I feel since GM knew about the problem in 2003, the year by the way my car was built that they should add 2003 Saturn Vue's to the recall list.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #6

May 092013


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, the key slipped out of the ignition and caused the vehicle to shut off. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000. The current mileage was 104,000.

- Burgerttstown, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 052006


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that she was unable to turn the key in the ignition. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the ignition needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred three times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 30,000 and the current mileage was 125,000. Updated 06/17/14

- Moorehead, MN, USA

problem #4

Dec 012008


  • 10,000 miles


Ignition problems. Locks up. Ignition was replaced at least 2X and worked on a few times. Lock finally disconnected. Cost $

- Rugby , ND, 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 112007


  • miles
This car is a piece of crap. I cannot even sell it because people whomever look at it says it runs horribly. The truck doesn't accelerate properly, the gas tank float doesn't always work, there's a problem with the key getting stuck in the ignition when you attempt to start the car (if you can get it in it doesn't always turn), it makes grinding sounds when it turns, the cd player scratches your cd's, there are burning smells for no reason.... on and on and on. Don't know why there has never been a recall on this vehicle. I can't afford to fix everything that goes on with it. If anyone is interested in a class action suit please email me at.

- Lino Lakes, MN, USA

problem #1

Jan 062005

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Have taken car to dealer more than once for following items: (1) ignition does not release when key removed. The first time all they did was make a new key, today (Feb 16, 2006) they changed a spring on the 1st "level". problem still exists intermittent, after I left dealer. First reported apx Sept 2005. (2) major skidding on slight grades when sudden braking. Dealers maint fluffed it off each time saying nothing wrong. Problem since 2004. (3) when shifting down from drive to park intermittent sticking at reverse position, very subtle but definitely not normal. Problem just started (Jan 2006). Date listed under "incident date" was just to be able to input into computer. There are 3 different issues from different dates and yrs. All are apx.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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