hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,966 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #15

Jul 012016


  • 125,000 miles


Saturn Vue 2003 has stalled while driving on multiple occasions. Has stalled doing 80 mph on hwy has stalled doing 25-30 in town. Security light comes on, power is lost to engine and when security light goes off, then the engine will start again.

- Rochelle, IL, USA

problem #14

May 042014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 159,877 miles
The reducedpower light, service engine light, comes on a everyday travel whether traveling near or far when the lights come on the vehicle power reduces and you are forced to pull off road, I keep taking it back to the mechanics they can not detect problem, also the key constantly get stuck I email Saturn about the problem I was told that other cars made by Saturn was recalled about the key ignition replacement but not the Vue. I have search the internet for solution to the reduced power problem an I found a extremely large amount of folks with the same year/make model with issues and no solution to the problem. Please help me, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #13

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 #12

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 #11

Dec 032011

Vue 4-cyl

  • 121,848 miles
My Saturn Vue 2003 experiences serious hesitation in power when traveling over 45 mph. The dangerous sputtering gets harder when I need to drive more than 45 mph such as when I have to travel on parkways or expressways. On December 3, 2011, I entered exit 36 of the grand central parkway and maintained a steady speed of 55 mph in light traffic. As the traffic increased to exit 17, the car began to hesitate and appear to want to come to a stop. It was difficult to maintain a decreased speed of 45 mph to avoid the sputtering and halting. I got into the right lane and exited the parkway as my car jolted then came to a sudden halt. I turned the car off, waited 15 minutes, put my car in drive and it would not drive forward. I put it in reverse and maneuvered it into an open space along the curb on 78th avenue. I tried again and only with heavy pressure on the gas pedal was the car able to move forward enough to allow me to straighten into a position to be towed. I called aaa and was towed to a Saturn authorized service provider, northshore Chevrolet of smithtown, where it sits to this day. The brand new 2010 VT1 transmission needs to be replaced.

- Plainview, NY, USA

problem #10

Jul 122010


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that there were multiple failures within the vehicle. The vehicle was hesitant to accelerate accompanied with a loud, humming noise. The horn sensor was melted, causing the horn to malfunction and sound continuously. The fuel tank was also fractured, causing a fuel leak and fumes to fill the vehicle cabin. The muffler was abnormally loud and the steering wheel would seize without warning and most frequently when attempting a left turn. In addition, the timing chain failed. The hazard light activation button also fractured therefore; the contact was unable to utilize the hazard lights. The dealer and manufacturer were contacted in regards to all of the failures experienced in the vehicle but neither provided any assistance to the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 64,000.

- Oceanside, NY, USA

problem #9

Jun 232010


  • 62,000 miles


2003 Saturn Vue -- service engine soon light comes on and vehicle will not move forward. Recurring issue. This particular issue began December 2006 advised by dealership, tech "reset light, " recurred May 2007 advised by dealership "wiring and/or connecter issue, " August 11, 13, & 14-21, 2008 held at dealership (recurred three times) -- advised by dealership "resistance low circuit/internal fault pedal sensor replaced, " July 16-17 & 21-24, 2009 recurred advised by dealership 1st "pedal accelerator replaced, " 2nd advised "broken wire behind left front kick panel - repaired throttle position." June 2010 issue recurred, vehicle is currently being evaluated by impartial automotive repair facility. The consequences of this on-going issue(s) is that without warning you are left stranded in the middle of the night, or in the middle of the road in need of a tow blocking traffic or in a perilous situation. This is only one of the many on-going issues that was encountered with this vehicle. The vehicle was in service more than utilized -- this vehicle is the true representation of a "lemon".

- Middleburg Heights, OH, USA

problem #8

Jun 012003

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Vue. She states that the vehicle will rev at about 35 mph. This problem is intermittent. The car will jerk and hesitate. She has noticed this on roads with a slight incline. She can travel the same road twice and the problem may or may not occur.

- Stewarts Town, PA, USA

problem #7

May 012005

Vue 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Saturn Vue experiencing problems with the transmission, catalytic converter shield, windshield, accelerator, rear suspension, defective passenger side ball joints, struts and bushings.** answer required***. the defective catalytic converter shield was replaced, there was noise under the vehicle in the exhaust area of the vehicle due to a defective muffler. The windshield rattled at high speeds. The accelerator pedal stuck resulting in sudden acceleration. The driver's door would not open from the inside.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #6

Oct 252003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,358 miles
Consumer states: Took in vehicle on 5 separate times for transmission, whining noise was heard, almost like the engine was overheating. Was on highway, and no matter how much gas consumer gave it vehicle wouldn't move. When giving it more gas the engine would rev but still wouldn't go. Before problems with transmission, at a separate time, something with the computer went wrong. It completely shut down. Such as gas gauge showed empty tank and speedometer went to zero. When at a stop idle seems to drop and when accelerating from stop, vehicle hestiates and lurches. Transaxle speed sensor replaced. Transmission control module reprogramed due to whining noise. Hood won't open. Hood cable readjusted. Driver and passenger washer nozzle missing and replaced. Steering wheel making noise. Shaft boot greased. Service engine soon (ses) light on. Oxygen sensor was contaminated and replaced.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

Dec 012004


  • miles


Upon acceleration, the vehicle would swerve off of the road. The consumer stated that this problem happened on more than one occasion. The consumer was told that this problem was a flaw in the 2003 model but corrected in the 2004 models.

- Sicklerville, NJ, USA

problem #4

Feb 052004

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
While driving on the interstate during a light snowstorm, I passed under a bridge where there was some accumulation of water. I was traveling (coasting) at approximately 50 to 55 miles per hour (speed limit 65) and when I began crossing the water under the bridge the car's engine accelerated from about 2500 RPM to 5500 RPM. The car began to slide, and only recovered after the engine stopped its acceleration of RPM. Once I was out from under the bridge and the road was not as wet the RPM returned to normal and the car straigthened out. At the point of acceleration, I removed my foot from the gas pedal entirely, and although the "traction control" button is turned on automatically when you start the car, the warning light that normally comes on during traction control did not light, indicating that it was not the traction control that was the problem. Since the car is equipped with cruise control and the controls are on the steering wheel I do not drive with the cruise control on (I rarely if ever use the cruise control as I do not believe it is safe). I took the car to the dealer and explained what happened, the technician checked the car and said that nothing had been recorded on the computer and nothing was malfunctioning. He believed I used the cruise control inadvertently, which is not possible. I believe the vehicle has an unexpected acceleration problem.

- Lafayette, CO, USA

problem #3

Nov 142003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,028 miles
While on a major highway and at speed, the vehicle stopped accelerating but continued to produce RPM's. vehicle has been to dealership 4 total times dealing with acceleration problems. Creates major safety issue! dealership has "washed hands" of problem we are now taking up issue with manufacturer.

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #2

Nov 172003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,780 miles
Was on highway and vehicle lost all acceleration. Wouldn't go over around 25-30 mph.

- Plain City, OH, USA

problem #1

Jul 062003

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,008 miles
Consumer drove 2003 Saturn Vue with the variable speed transmission on a dirt road which led to the top of chelan butte, in chelan county on July 6, 2003. This was a frequently used road because the top of the butte was used to launch hang gliders. Consumer had driven on the same road with 1986 Audi, the previous day July 5, 2003, and it completed the climb with no problems. The Saturn Vue almost stalled in negotiating any grade above 5%. transmission would reduce the rpms to 1500 and below while being driven with foot to the floor, asking for more power. There was no response. Then, suddenly a very low ratio would allow the engine to rev to over 2000 rpms, only to repeat this cycle at the next turn or grade. The factory and dealer have maintained that transmission was operating "as designed." Consumer contended that having transmission control the speed of the car was actually a car out of control. Could have easily stalled with no way to continue up the grade. Vehicle was carrying 4 passengers on the incident date. After taking the car to the dealer, who did nothing to the transmission, consumer took it up the butte alone as an unloaded vehicle. It repeated the above three times in the course of 5 miles.

- Chelan, WA, USA

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