NHTSA — Power Train: Driveline: Differential Unit Problems


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,367 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.

2004 Saturn Vue drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 232004

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2004 Saturn Vue AWD. Saturn replaced the rear differential (rdm) with a redesigned part in November. The new part is designed to engage later than the original part. This part change causes a significant change in the vehicle's handling- increased torque steer, excessive front wheel spin and unpredictable rear differential engagement. The fwd model of the Vue has traction control that limits the amount of torque steer and wheel spin. The AWD model does not have this function and the crippling of the AWD feature makes the vehicle unsafe.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #2

Dec 232004

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
I recently had my 2004 Saturn AWD Vue serviced at Saturn of livingston, NJ, and had two recalls performed. One was for the voluntary recall of a rear suspension link which was changed due to a NHTSA test failure. The other was the recall of the rear drive module (rdm), which was causing a moaning noise in all AWD versions of this vehicle. After the rdm was changed I immediately noticed a change in the vehicles AWD function characteristics. When on a slight incline in wet conditions a full throttle acceleration from a stop resulted in severe front wheel spin without engagement of the AWD system. In fact I could hear a discernable clicking noise emminating from the rdm which sounded as though the AWD faunctionality was in effect being neutralized. I have performed this maneuver several times with my vehicle in the past year (with the original rdm), and the AWD system has been successful in eliminating front wheel spin and providing ample traction going up the incline. I believe the new version of the rdm being rolled out to the masses has only served to convert all the AWD versions of this vehicle to fwd, and I believe Saturn must be persuaded to re-engineer their rdm to restore the AWD functionality.

- West New York, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jul 142004

Vue 6-cyl

  • 8,102 miles
Complaint received via E-mail. " my car is once again in the shop for replacement of the rear wheel differential. This is the second time that the problem has arisen in a spam of 3 months. The dealership replaced the first one, and is working to replace it a second time. Rear differential module replaced at 8,102 miles, then again at 12.136 miles.

- Seattle, WA, USA

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