NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems

2004 Saturn Vue (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,839 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Saturn Vue Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Jun 152012

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Vue. The contact stated while driving 60 mph the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the transmission would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the manufacturer of the transmission was no longer in business. The vehicle manufacturer was contacted but provided no assistance. The failure and the current mileage was 115,000. Updated 07/06/12 the consumer also stated she returned to the dealer several times, to fix the fuel gauge problem. The check engine light illuminated, which turned out to be a faulty 02 sensor. Updated 10/02/12

- East Windsor , CT, USA

problem #37

Mar 172011

Vue 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
My 2004 Saturn Vue is on it's second transmission. After 50,000 miles the transmission went out and I had to get a new one. The mechanics did not see any reason why the transmission would go out. Another 50,000 miles my car started making a noise almost like something was dragging on the ground. The mechanic did not see anything wrong and did not see a reason to inspect. About 20,000 miles later the noise got louder and my car would move but was not picking up speed as I press the gas. I had to park my car in a walmart parking lot and wait for a wrecker to come pick it up. The mechanic at the yard where the wrecker came from told me that the transmission went out and they could not see a reason why. My car is not under warranty anymore and I do not have 6000 dollars to get it repaired.

- Vacherie, LA, USA

problem #36

Jan 182011


  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Vue. While driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle stopped responding to the accelerator pedal. The driver applied pressure to the accelerator pedal but the vehicle would not accelerate further. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was advised to replace the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 127,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #35

Nov 182010


  • 138,700 miles


I own a 2004 Saturn Vue with 137,000 miles on it, the transmission has went out on it. I was told it would cost between $3,800 and $4,200 and they still could not guarantee to fix it. I notice the numerous complaints on the Saturn Vue and decided to voice mine also. Mainly, because I notice that the 2004 Saturn Vue is still being sold by dealers when they know of the transmission problems with this vehicle. I am one of the ones that is having to let my vehicle be reposessed due to lack of funds to get the vehicle fixed. I brought my car new and never received any information on a recall. Saturn (or dealers selling this vehicle) knowing of this problem should be made to recompense people for their expenses. I am having to depend on friends/family to get around. With all these complaints something should have been done about this by now!

- Burgaw, NC, USA

problem #34

Jun 102009


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Vue. She stated that in June 2009, while driving 45 mph the vehicle lunged forward and began losing power at a low speed. The contact was forced to shut the engine off and allow the vehicle to reset itself. She contacted the dealer and was informed that the vehicle had a faulty transmission and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure re-occured four times within a year and the vehicle had to be taken back to the dealer to be repaired. The failure mileage was 93,000 and current mileage was 104,000.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #33

Mar 052010


  • 85,000 miles
2004 Saturn Vue. Transmission gone, over 5 grand to fix due to there being problems with the Vues, junk yards do not carry them. It was apparently a known defect yet they sold it to me. I still owe 110000 on the car and I cant drive nor do I have the cash to fix. With the dealerships gone I can't even take the piece of junk back to them. I found out that most shops do not work on these (3 of the 4 I called) due to the fact that even with a rebuilt one, you are still putting in a transmission that is faulty and they can't guarantee them. Since I now need another vehicle, this heap will certainly be repossessed.

- Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #32

Nov 092009

Vue 4-cyl

  • miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) in November of 2009 I had received a letter from Saturn in which it states that my car is a recall, due to a faulty transmission and performance problems. (three month prior to the recall letter I had experienced some difficulties with the car.) Saturn/GMC do not want to pay the repair in full, $5,927.03, they want me to pay the half of it. Neither do they help me to get a car of the same year or value. I wrote them a hand written letter and never received an answer from them. After three months I contacted them by phone, to ask what they are doing about the car, I was told that my case is dismissed?( I call that discrimination) I went to court and filed a small claims court against Saturn. Three weeks after they were served the paperwork I received a letter from them that I would have to dismiss this claim since they go through bankruptcy. I am a divorced mature female, and have a small residential, light commercial and janitorial cleaning business. I need the car on a daily basis, and have to drive sometimes far to get to my clients. And since the economy has turned bad for lots of small business owners, like me, I barely make ends meet. I do not have the money to pay for a replacement transmission, nor do I have the other half of what the new transmission would cost. And since I did not design the car neither manufacture the car, I don't see why I have to pay for it. A recall needs to be taken care off from the company who puts them on the market. The time for my car is running out, and for me as well. If I have a serious accident on the road due to a transmission failure and performance issue, or if the transmission catches fire that would be horrible. If I loose all my clients if the car breaks down I won't be able to pay my rent, and end up living on the streets with my animals. Please can you help me to resolve this bad problem? I have run out of options. [xxx]

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #31

Apr 242010


  • 94,000 miles
Driving at speeds between 30-45mph the RPM's rev up but the car slows down! on hills, it won't accelerate at all! even in low gear it won't move. RPM's jerk at high speeds as well. Had diagnostic done 5-7-10 they said that the transmission is failing between 2nd & 3rd gear, it's not reading any codes and the fluid is discolored. Estimating cost to fix is $3,000. Truck has less than 100,000 miles on it!! problem occurs everyday -- transmission hasn't completely failed yet, but I fear is going to happen soon! I have no idea how I'm going to pay for this... I've only had this car 2 years. I think it is a safety concern when you're on the hwy and your car won't accelerate and people behind you are swerving to miss you and blowing at you.

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #30

Apr 142010


  • 42,615 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle "pushed back" and slowed down when she attempted to accelerate. She also noticed that the check engine light remained illuminated. She drove on to the emergency lane and had the vehicle towed to her home. She called the manufacturer and was informed of a current lawsuit regarding the vti transmission and was advised to take the vehicle to the dealer for a diagnostic test. The vehicle had not been repaired when the complaint was filed. The current mileage was 42,623. The failure mileage was approximately 42,615.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #29

Apr 122010

Vue 4-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
I own a 2004 Saturn Vue with a variable transmission. It has 83,000 miles. I took it to the dealership to be looked at because of hearing all the transmission problems these cars have had. Somehow while they were looking at it the transmission went and I couldn't drive my car over 20 mph. I was stuck there at the dealership and told I had to get a new transmission. Saturn will only pay for half so now after paying over $20,000 for this car I have to pay another $3,000 to get a new transmission. I was told then that the new transmission might have the same problems this one has had. This is unacceptable that they don't stand by their products and will not cover the whole replacement of something they know to be faulty.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #28

Jan 052010

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,450 miles


On many occasions my 2004 Saturn Vue V6 AWD appears to shudder when the automatic transmission is shifting from a lower gear at speeds usually less than 40mph. When this happens it is unnerving to say the least. I have read accounts of similar problems from other Saturn owners and have found that a service bulletin was issued 2/09/06. Concerning torque converter shudder. I believe that a recall should be issued as my vehicle had only a bit over 50000 miles when the problem first occurred. I subsequently took it to the local Saturn dealer and they could not find a problem although they had access to the service bulletin information. Shortly thereafter my extended warranty ran out and although they advised me to bring the vehicle back should the problem reoccur it is not at all clear whether the repair will be made at no cost to me. I believe that GM should fix this problem for all vehicles on a case by case basis whether under warranty or not, especially for vehicles under 100K miles. Any suggestions or assistance would be most helpful. ( the service bulletin number is 3713).

- New Paltz, NY, USA

problem #27

Jan 012008

Vue 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns 2004 Saturn Vue. The driver stated that she received a letter dated November 2009 regarding the transmission being repaired within 5 years, at no cost. The driver stated that her 5 years has expired. The transmission has failed and the dealer is willing to pay 50% of the repair cost. The contact doesn't agree with the cost. The contact also stated that the transmission failed about 2 years ago. The failure mileage was 50,000. The current mileage was 70,000. Updated 04/09/10. The consumer stated the transmission should be repaired at 100%. updated 05/06/10. Updated 06/14/10.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #26

Feb 232010


  • 100,260 miles
I bought a 2004 Saturn Vue 4 months ago. I also bought a extended warranty thro wyns. My transmission has now gone out. I have 100,260 miles on it. The warranty was for 100,000. Saturn says I am out of the warranty coverage but wyns will cover the cost of the transmission minus my $100 co pay. They however will not cover it until Saturn faxes them the bulletin on this transmission problem. Saturn called me back and said that they will not fax this information to wyns and will not mail me the warranty information to me. Saturn stated to me if I took it to another repair facility that they would loose out on the money of repairing my transmission. So now I cant get my extended warranty company to fix it because they have no proof that the warranty is no good at my mileage. I bought the vehicle at West 40 auto sales who did not tell me about any problems or bulletins on this vehicle.

- Cambridge, OH, USA

problem #25

Dec 122009


  • 55,500 miles
I was driving on speed of 55 mph and then the car suddenly stop abruptly. I took to the dealer, they said it is a vit transmission manufacturer problem on the Saturn 2004 Vue. This is very danger situation because the transmission stop without any warning.

- Miami , FL, USA

problem #24

Feb 022010


  • 95,000 miles
While driving my kids to school on the highway, my 2004 Saturn Vue started to slow down in traffic. My car completely stopped and would not go forward. All the cars behind me had to swerve around me quickly as not to hit us. A cop and another car stopped to physically push my car to the side of the road. The police officer then had to push my car to an auto repair shop off the highway. They told me that my transmission was gone. After the auto repair charged me for a diagnostic, I was told that my transmission has to be repaired and that GM has had issues with these engines.. I cant understand how Toyota can issue a recall, but GM can't. will it take someone "important" to get killed in one of GM's cars before our government does anything for the common people?

- University Hts, OH, USA

problem #23

Aug 012009


  • 85,000 miles
2004 Saturn Vue transmission failure estimated 150,000 cars have this failure faulty transmission wire installed in autos from 2002 thru 2005.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #22

Dec 242009


  • 100,500 miles
Transmission failed with no warning on my 2004 Saturn Vue with 100,000 miles. The dealer tells me its my problem because they don't have to issue a recall unless they feel its a safety hazard. Well I was in the middle of a busy highway going 65mph when the transmission just stopped. My RPM's revved really high but the car would not go forward anymore. I was almost hit 3 times trying to get off the highway with this faulty transmission and I am 6 months pregnant and had 2 toddlers int he back seat! I would say this is a serious safety hazard!

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #21

Aug 122009


  • 69,000 miles
Transmission was replaced at 30,000 miles while under warranty. Now at 69,000 miles the transmission failed again. When it failed this time I looked online and found that GM had extended the tranny warranty to 5yrs/75,000 miles. I called Saturn about it and they said my VIN didn't qualify for the extension even though it was not 5 years until September this year. Now in November of this year I got a letter saying that it now qualifies for the extension. Now it's over the 5 year time period. I now have a lawyer who says that GM will give half of the money to fix it but I have to go to a Saturn dealer but I have to pay to tow it. In the beginning the lawyer said I would get a heck of a lot more then just half the repair costs plus recover monies for a rental car. How am I going to get the other half plus the tow fees up front to pay. Why isn't there a recall to eliminate this vti tranny. They will only replace it with the same kind but with a stronger drive chain. This is not the fix. They don't want to have to replace the engine in order to upgrade to a different tranny. Someone please help all of us with this problem.

- Hawley, PA, USA

problem #20

Nov 102009


  • 118,000 miles
I have a 2004 Saturn Vue & the transmission just died. It is a vti transmission & Saturn is aware that it has issues. I would think with so many people complaining about the same issue that a recall would have been done. Now I am stuck with a car that will cost $5,000 to fix.

- Salisbury Mills, NY, USA

problem #19

Sep 202009


  • 97,500 miles
Transmission in 2004 Saturn Vue has gone out twice now, the 2nd transmission after only 32,000 miles!

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

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