NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2004 Saturn Vue (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,483 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Aug 032016


  • 155,000 miles


I just brought a 2004 Saturn Vue, and it takes a long time to get to 2nd and 3rd gear, and if I am driving 30 mph or lower it shakes. I have taken it back to the dealer twice already and it is still doing the same thing. It also makes a rough grinding, and growling sound. It does all of the above while driving on the highway and city streets. It is also hard at times for me to turn the key to start the car, and the key can come out at any time.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #38

Feb 142016


  • 102,000 miles
I am paying on a 2004 Saturn Vue and after 101,000 miles I was on my way to daycare with my 3 year old daught and the car transmission slipped into neutral now it continuously slips into neutral while driving. 3 months after buying vehicle the steering wheel started creaking and making like a honking sound and we took it back to dealership and were turned away due to it being a personal problem. It also makes popping noises and slips into neutral while on freeway after 50 mph and when making some right turns.

- Riverdale, CA, USA

problem #37

May 012016


  • miles
Takata recall it starting making a whistle noise and it feel that it's slipping it is unsafe to drive

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #36

May 132015


  • 95,000 miles


I recently experienced a transmission vibration or shaking motion (judder or shudder) while driving at speeds between 20 and 45 mph. GM has issued customer satisfaction program recall 10285 - V2386 in February 2001 for this exact same problem but it only covers 2005, 2006 and 2007 Vues. The recall reprograms the power train control module to correct the problem. The exact same engine/transmission is used in the 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 Vues yet GM has chosen to ignore 2004 Vue owners with the problem. The 2004 Saturn Vue with the Honda supplied engine/auto transmission has this problem and GM needs to reprogram the 2004 power train control module as they have done with the other model years.

- Portage, MI, USA

problem #35

Oct 202014


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Vue. While driving at various speeds or while idling in traffic, the vehicle jerked roughly without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission was failing and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 99,000.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

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problem #34

Oct 132010


  • 64,000 miles
While driving down a city avenue during rush hour, the transmission failed. No warning, just failed. Several good samaritans pushed me across 3 lanes of traffic to get me off the busy road. It died while I was in gear and driving. I did find out that this model was part of a recall and I ended up paying 2500 for a new transmission because they said the recall had expired that I did not take in on time. 5 years later, it's doing the same thing. A new transmission costs around 3000. What part did they pay" did they even replace it" 2 years after that the engine quit on a highway off ramp with less than 100K miles. I had to replace that. Then 1 year later, the entire brake system had to be replaced to the tune of 1200. We got a tune up and oil change as we were headed to breckenridge, the tech said we were lucky because the brakes would have been useless in mountain driving. That was a scary thought for sure.

- Wheat Ridge, CO, USA

problem #33

Mar 192015

Vue 6-cyl

  • 177,987 miles


3.5 L Honda with Honda mdra 5 speed automatic. 78930B Honda transmission lube correction kit (6 cylinder models) and valve update for transmission is not known to Saturn/GM. Valves failed, overheated transmission on I20, burned up torque converter, lost 4th & 5th gear, temp light came on, revved from 2000 RPM to 4000 RPM and loss of power/surging. Got off interstate before semi hit me. Transmission shop stated recall / update / service bulletin for new self cleaning lube/cooling valves and vale body update for smother shifting. When ignition recall done GM showed nothing about Honda mdra transmission also GM recall department unaware Saturn used Honda power train. Honda is aware of problem but GM wasn't. GM VIN so Honda can't pull up any info.

- Roswell, NM, USA

problem #32

Dec 052014


  • 73,000 miles
After I got out of work I got in the car had some trouble getting it into reverse got it out of the parking lot and drove home. Now the car wont go into reverse any more, it goes in to drive but no reverse.

- Port Chester , NY, USA

problem #31

Apr 072014


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that the key would eject from the ignition while the vehicle was started on several occasions. In addition, while parked in a driveway, the vehicle started to roll away independently. The contact had to apply the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Hillsboro, WI, USA

problem #30

Aug 012013


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that the shift lever became stuck in third gear and the vehicle failed to accelerate past 30 mph. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 92,000.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #29

Oct 192012


  • miles


1st insident was driving down busy bulivard and the vehicle quit and costed to a stop there was no steering. We had to get a ride home and pay towing. 2nd insident we were driving down a hill in Alabama just finished the last curve and the vehicle stopped no steering no ability to get off road and coasted to a stop in a parking lot. We were stranded on out trip to see my grand kids. We had to get a tow to a Mercury dealer because this vehicle is no longer made. We had to get a motel and a ride for the rest of the trip as it would take a week to get fixed. GM was ordered by the court to pay 100% for this part and for me it failed twice the second time almost taking our lives. I've tried for over two years now to get some justice! each time I was forced to pay 1/2 the repairs that is $2400 each time! let alone getting letters of this recall taking the letters to the dealer and being told in fine. I want at the very least what the court order them to pay and that is 100% of this part that stopped working twice. $4800 and if I could get my motel and towing I would be grateful.

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #28

Jun 102013

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles
Vehicle was going thru an intersection and the transmission quit. Car would not move.

- Girard, OH, USA

problem #27

Jun 042005


  • miles
I have contacted GM several times to be passed on, hoping I will go away. I have had several problems with my Saturn a new transmission was installed at 8,500 miles. After the warranty I had to replace the main brain. I called approximately 2 months ago to tell them about the ignition switch. My key will pull right out while the car is running and my air bag light comes on. They want me to pay to see what is going on. I know this model isn't in the recall, but I have spoken to [xxx] who's wife has one and a friend of mine his brothers does the same thing. They don't want to admit that there is a problem with the ignition. It also stalls and has that was why they replaced the main brain. I feel like my vehicle is a death trap and I am stuck in it and hoping I don't get killed while driving it. I want an investigation into this make and model. I don't want to become one the statistics because GM won't admit that there is problem like they have with all the other recalled vehicles. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Salisbury, MD, USA

problem #26

May 292014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
Sitting at a stop sign the transmission stopped working.

- Eden, NC, USA

problem #25

Jan 132014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 172,244 miles
My car is having transmission problems again wont kick into drive until car has been running atleast 30 min then when I was driving on the highway about 40 is what I got to the car just stopped accelerating and was coming to a stop which could have caused a big accident if it would have been during high traffic times and when driving in town I come to a full stop and the car wont kick into drive again until I put it in low and move up manually. Then it is having a serious problem with the axel or something I was driving at 35 hit a small bump in the road and the car reared off to the right and I had no control of the steering for a few seconds and then it was like it locked back in when I started moving the steering wheel side to side and the T/C light is always on now and I was told there is a switch to turn it on or off and that could have something to do with the steering problem but I have found no such switch. Please help me and tell me what I can do about these issues as GM will not do anything they should recall this yrs model completely and pay the owners for a new vehicle since this is there fault.

- Joplin , MO, USA

problem #24

Feb 192014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 99,485 miles
Transmission totally destroyed as per towing company. As many claimants before this is a well known problem of this year car. I think a class action settlement was reached with General Motors.

- Cocoa Beach, FL, USA

problem #23

Feb 092014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 145,192 miles
The transmission for my Saturn Vue (2004) was replaced in 2010 when my vehicle had 77637 miles. The transmission was replaced in 2010 after receiving a letter from Saturn notifying of issue with intelligence (vti) transmission and my vehicle experiencing issues. My now second transmission is having the same problems the first transmission had. The mechanic who diagnosed the vehicle has said that it is not normal for a vehicle to have the same transmission issue and I know my family and friends have not experience this type of issue with their vehicles. This leads me to believe that this is not normal and that the issue with the intelligence (vti) transmission has not been resolved. I am asking for GMC to cover the cost to replace the new defected transmission for my vehicle. I would like for this issue to be escalated. My experience with GMC product and customer services I receive from jay has left me very disappointed and dissatisfied with GMC. I would like to know if there is anyone who can help me fight this issue with GMC.

- Azusa, CA, USA

problem #22

Jun 162013


  • miles
2004 Saturn Vue. Consumer writes in regards to transmission failure.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #21

Jul 222013


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle would not accelerate and began slipping out of gear. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the transmission was slipping and would have to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 114,000.

- Garnet Valley, PA, USA

problem #20

Jun 072013


  • 140,000 miles
We bought a 2004 Saturn Vue IN2007. In 2010 we started having trouble with the transmission. We were told that there was a class action suit because we had a vti transmission. We paid 50/50 to have the transmission changed. Now 40 000 miles later the transmission is gone again. GM knew this was a faulty transmission. The only compensation we were offered is $4,000 toward a new GM car!

- Westbrook, ME, USA

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