2008 Saturn Vue electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2008 Saturn Vue (Page 2 of 3)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,006 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.

2008 Saturn Vue electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Saturn Vue Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #33

Nov 242014


  • 123,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. While driving 65 mph, smoke started to emit from the air vents. The contact stated that the firewall under the hood was damaged by fire. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 123,000. The VIN was unknown.

- Knox City , TX, USA

problem #32

Aug 212014

Vue 6-cyl

  • miles
While driving @ 60mph on I75 in toledo oh in the middle lane of highway vehicle shut down. I was able to drift over to curbside. Vehicle refused to restart I drained battery attempting to restart. My airbag sensor light has been on in my vehicle for approximately 3 months. When I turn key to start my vehicle I have no connection until I release key then it kicks in and starts. On occasion when depressing lever on gear shifter I hear a ticking sound in ignition switch. All mywarning lights in dash come on and some remin on until next start example: ABS brake traction control seatbelt check engine. Etc

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #31

Jun 062012


  • 50,000 miles
In 2012 electronic control module went out in my car, (Saturn Vue 2008 model) when this happen you lose all control of car (power steering, brakes, etc.) this occurred again August 21 2014. Second occurrence it was not under warranty. Just wondering if there has been a recall on this electronic control module.

- Pickens, SC, USA

problem #30

Aug 052014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 2,500 miles


My husband drove the car to Florida. During the trip he noticed the lights out on the dashboard. He stopped for gas and went to turn it off. When he gabbed the key he noticed the lights on the radio came back on. A few hours later he noticed the lights out again. Pulled into a gas station and carefully looked at the ignition switch and found the switch to be in between positions. This did not happen during his two week stay. But it happened on the way home.

- West Orange, , NJ, USA

problem #29

Jul 022014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 90,115 miles
Got in car and noticed that my radio had been reset, and that my car wouldn't start. I got a jump from my insurance company, and shortly after turning on the air, the odometer panel faded off. You can no longer see the odometer reading or the outside weather temp. The car also delays when it starts. Sometime it wont even start the first time around, unless you pump at the pedal a few times. This car has had several recalls in the past, and I am almost certain none of the recalls were fixed by the GM dealership that sold it to me in 2011.

- Englewood, OH, USA

problem #28

Jun 032014


  • 154,612 miles
This is the third time the drivers side sun visor and bar that extends visor was scalding hot! I turned the visor to the window for sun and burned my hand on the metal bar which did not have a plastic covering on it this time after a repair from October for the same issue. The overhead airbag was warm to touch and the lights in the car were shorting on and off continuously, even after the car was off and keys were out of ignition.last time in ocober 2013 had repair and bought anew battery because it run down after lights stayed on all night at the dealers until they worked on it.this was a very scary situation each time this happened because the car smelled like it was going to catch on fire! I burned my left hand fingers and went to urgent care upon returning home, luckily I was not too far away. I have paid for the repairs from pat moran's Chevrolet and would like to warn you of the possible fire issue here. The stress from this experience was awful. This definitely should be on a recall for this vehicle, as I have heard others with the same problem occurring..the simple fact is that the repair should of been done in October and this never happen again, but I know they did not replace the plastic covering also on the metal bar which extends the visor and this is where I touched it to turn and extend. I was told it was deemed safe from a repair in October, it was not. I may be possible that the high resistance short in the drivers side visor resulted in the BCM sensing an overcurrent issue. The BCM might of been removing power to that circuit as a matter of preservation. I do not feel safe driving this vehicle now after I have had another yet drivers visor put in and also a passenger side visor which is what the dealers blamed it on this time. Last time the blame was on a passenger pres module program--.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #27

Mar 192012

Vue 4-cyl

  • 109,677 miles


Initial problems (May 2011) were power down while driving, losing power while driving, ABS and traction dash lights went on and off while driving, onstar attempted to connect by itself even when the vehicle was shut off, draining the Vue battery. In Dec 2012, while parked with radio on, an extremely loud noise was emitted through the radio speakers. Shortly, the ignition and the entire electrical system shut down (door locks, dash lights, ...). the Vue was picked up by GM dealer. Extensive testing over a week or more finally indicated that the battery for onstar (under right passenger seat) failed. The vehicle communication interface module battery (vcim) was replaced. The Vue has not had this problem since, although some sensors had to be replaced. This was an extremely difficult problem to diagnose, and is potentially a lethal defect with the vcim. All traditional tests failed to pick up the problem. Astute techs at GM finally did.

- Fairplay, SC, USA

problem #26

Jun 032014


  • 121,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. The contact attempted to start the ignition however, the key failed to turn in any direction. An independent locksmith was in the process of replacing the ignition key tumbler. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 121,000.

- Cherokee, NC, USA

problem #25

Jun 072014


  • 87,000 miles
Multiple electrical issues. Sometimes car would start and other times it wouldn't. the radio would turn off when turn signal turned on. The ignition would try and eat my key and not release it. The cd player would continue to cycle with key out of ignition. All power in car would reset. Was just told that I would need a new control module.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #24

May 072014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
While backing out of a parking spot, my car just quit, locked up steering, everything dead. Could not move the steering wheel or anything. Car did start up again. Drove down the road a 1/2 block and car stopped again, dead in road, no steering, could not operate door locks or anything. Car started again and managed to move the car to a safe spot before it went out again. Nothing was workable. When the car was taken to Chevrolet dealer in llano, tx it was diagnosed as the positive connection to the main fuse box had come loose. The only fix was complete replacement of the fuse box assembly because the main positive lug to the fuse box is only held on by plastic. The design of this fuse box is definitely poor creating the possibility of a very dangerous situation. Had I been driving on the highway at a high rate of speed when this occurred, the outcome could have been disastrous causing an accident and possible death. This poorly designed fuse box with main lug nut held by only plastic needs to be addressed immediately to prevent future accidents and possible death to occupants of the vehicle.

- Doss, TX, USA

problem #23

May 202014


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. The contact stated while driving the instrument panel lights suddenly shut off. The audible turn signal, fuel gauge signal also failed and the air bag and tire pressure sensors illuminated. The contact indicated that after turning the vehicle off and on multiple times the vehicle began to function normally. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 84,000.

- Cobalt, IN, USA

problem #22

May 172014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
2008 Saturn Vue has electrical malfunction. 3 months ago I parked my car in the garage, turned car off but the key would not come out of the ignition. The car would not start either. Called a tow truck, took to local mechanic. He advised the ignition switch was faulty and installed new ignition. Today new electrical problem occurred. Airbag light came on and off multiple times then stayed on. When car was re started light was off but came back on after about 15 minutes. I believe this vehicle should have been included in recall. It appears to have exactly the same issues. Updated 11/24/2014

- New Market , AL, USA

problem #21

May 042014


  • miles
My power steering and transmission doesn't work, I just found out that my vehicle is on recall and the dealer never told me.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #20

Apr 162014


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that the ignition would not turn and the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was being diagnosed. The manufacturer has not been made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 83,000 and the current mileage was 84,000.

- Oswego, NY, USA

problem #19

Apr 162014

Vue 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
Key wouldn't engage in ignition and steering wheel locked up while parked.

- Oswego, NY, USA

problem #18

Mar 302013


  • 63,000 miles
We had problems before March 30, they were still under warranty. Sadly, the dealer never told us we would be stiffed with time in certified GM pre-owned warranty nor any of the issues we have had. Got car May 2011 and has been in and out of shops since approximately September of 2011. We have replaced sway bar links 3 times in less than 1 1/2 years. Tires, battery, windshield wiper motor linkage, electrical issues, replaced driver side air bag. The kicker was the transmission on March 30 2013 while husband was deployed. Had both of my children in the car when it just stopped- on the road. Had it towed to davidson in watertown NY. Diagnostic done 4/1/13 revealed 4 codes from tranny, had to remove it to test further. We have never received any recall info at any pint since 2011; most of them seem to be listed under 2008; we have no idea haow we would have known about them, or if the issues have ever been fixed. The tranny went right after power train warranty conveniently expired- it was the 3-5 wave plate, which I just read on internet was a recall. GM case manager, [xxx],was supposedly trying to assist me. He also was in contact with [xxx], service manager @ davidson. As soon as they knew I had a loan secured for $4000, no one could help all of the sudden! I was told by GM that I would get help with cost; either certificate with smaller amount for trade in, or 30% of repair cost. I said repair cost to lower my loan. Then neither would help me and both became unprofessional. I have sent letters to GM with no response. Also, I had to pay for rental car. It is noted that clutch spring and piston also damaged. I feel that we were given this car under false pretenses as far as safety and being GM certified pre-owned. Multiple issues. The dealership had to know these issues, prior to scamming us, to make this car certified GM advertised!! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Fort Drum, NY, USA

problem #17

Dec 142013

Vue 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
We were driving I55 South near batesville, Ms. At about 7:30pm when the lights started dimming and all the lights on the dash lite up airbags, check engine etc. I immediately pulled off at the batesville, Ms. Exit and headed East to the walmart..the mechanic checked the battery and decoded the SUV and said that the problem was the wiring harnesses which rest on top of the battery.the main brain of the SUV literally rest on top of the battery.the mechanic shook the harness and the SUV cranked but the lights were dim and we drove it home.I looked at it the next day and the harness is fastened to the top of the battery and it wasn't completely fastened.when the person installed the new battery at autozone it must have not gotten completely fastened.I looked further and noticed that the conduit on all three branches had disintegrated and wires were exposed.there was a wire tie that was clipped below to the battery box and since the conduit disintegrated this causes the wires to pull out from the brain of the SUV.I pulled the wires back up and wrapped these three branches with tape separately.at the bottom where the three went together, I put extra tape and another wire tie to the battery casing.it still jars loose on occasion and I can tell when the light dims at the odometer.I generally raise the hood and push on the first harness until the light stops dimming on the odometer.I won't drive this SUV out of town.I think this was a poor design and GM could have put the brain somewhere else.I retired from GM's delphi packard electric division and used to check first piece sample wiring harnesses.I am thinking they probably used the wrong conduits because they weren't heat resistant, but these wires shouldn't shake loose unless they are unseated or broken.these three connections can completely shut the SUV off even when you are driving if they come loose.

- Clinton, MS, USA

problem #16

Feb 112014

Vue 6-cyl

  • 75,337 miles
The vehicle became difficult to start with the interior lights blinking wildly. While driving, the vehicle would hesitate and surge. Had new ignition switch installed. Axle shaft seal leaking transmission fluid. Transmission failed shortly thereafter (NHTSA compl #10565714).

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #15

Mar 062013

Vue 6-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
While driving I noticed the tachometer, speedometer, compass, and outside temp gauges were not working. I arrived at my stop and turned the engine off. Upon starting the engine and proceeding on home the gauges all worked fine and have done so since that day. After this happened, I noticed the automatic door locks no longer work. (which is a good thing in my opinion). This car has always had a history of the compass and temp gauge acting up. If it ain't broke they cannot fix it so they said at the dealer. Along with the gauges not working at times, I cannot get the change oil light to reset. I just gave up on that as I did on the other gauges. I have chalked it up to another cheap GM product with poor customer relations at the Saturn dealer before going out of business. No more GM products for me.

- Saddlebrooke, AZ, USA

problem #14

May 152010

Vue 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Saturn Vue. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the transmission would have to be replaced. After the repair the contact noticed hesitation while accelerating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer a second time where repairs were performed to the transmission. The contact was unaware of the exact repairs. Additionally, the contact stated the oil pressure light illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer performed an oil change but the failure continued. The contact stated that the battery was replaced three times because the vehicle would not start. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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