PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Watch out for L300 series, I found out hard way. Bought one new. Lots of electrical problems. Flickering headlights, voltage issues, buzzing noise, radio turns off and on, heater turns off and on. Saturn has a corporate bulletin issued in 9/14/04 that was not disclosed to me before purchase that states this is a "normal operating characteristic" and no service is required! Lost a lemon law hearing! Looking for class action participants - anyone out there with similar issues?
FISHERS, INDIANA -- I had a complaint because a service tech at the Saturn of Fishers dealership located in Fishers, Indiana misdiagnosed the cause of failure and installed the part as the cure when in reality it could not have caused the problem.
The DRL's or daytime running lights on a '02 Saturn L300 came on in the middle of the night on several occasions. There was no key in the ignition! I had known for some time that the BCM, Body Control Module was bad. It was diagnosed as the cause of the odometer failure. It read 690K miles. I opted not to have that repaired at that time. Saturn has had recalls on a lot of items and to save $410 I was willing to wait to see if there was a campaign that extended warrant. As far as I'm concerned the odometer should be under warranty coverage to 80K miles. Saturn and GM do not agree. So be it.
More than once the DRL's Daytime Running Lights came on in the wee hours of the morning with no one in the car or the key in the ignition. Several of my old buddies at Delphi and one an employee of Motorola told me this problem was caused by the BCM. I knew the BCM was defective anyway and made an appointment to have it replaced.
By this time the DRL's were on constantly. To avoid a run down battery I pulled the headlamp fuses. I told the service rep that I had been told it was caused by the BCM. After a short wait the service rep told me the cause of the DRL's coming on was the Multifunction Lever Switch located on the steering column and it and the DRL's on was not related to the BCM. I needed it fixed so said okay. I have since learned that a defective BCM is the only part in that system that could cause the DRL's to come on in the middle of the night.
I have been ripped off and Saturn of Fishers, a Division of Lackhart Corporation, or Saturn Customer Assistance Center will seek an opinion from Saturn Service Engineering as to whether this part can cause the problem. The BCM was replaced at the same time and it did affect the cure of the problem. I can promise this, I will badmouth Saturn, GM, and especially Saturn of Fishers until the day I die or they do, whichever comes first!
PLANO, TEXAS -- In May 2000 my wife and I bought a 2000 LS from Saturn of Plano in Plano TX. This is the third Saturn I bought from them. The LS was a demonstrator with 4,000 miles on it but they said they would treat it as a new auto. At the time we purchased the car we found that the rear bumper was damaged on it so they replaced this before we receive the car.
Shortly after we receive it I noticed that the car had a bad vibration when it reached 70MPH. I took it back and they replaced all the tires on the car. But it still had the same vibration and it started to make a strange noise when the car was turned. So I took it in again and they found that a part on the front suspension was broken they also found that the coolant reservoir was cracked. After they replaced this it fixed the problem with the vibration and noise.
Next I noticed that the car was making a funny sound when it was idling. I looked under the car and noticed that the muffler was not mounted on the rear of the vehicle as it should have. When I took it back to get it fixed they said that it would cost over $700 to fix it. As I explained to them that this must have been damaged before we bought the car for the following reasons.
Damaged rear bumper. Front suspension was damaged. Coolant reservoir broken. All of these occurred before we bought the car and was fixed by the dealership. They said that we must have done it by backing into something (as was done to damage the rear bumper before we got the car) and that they would have noticed it when they worked on the other problems.
I contacted Saturn Customer Assistance Center and stated that they could not do anything because they did not own this dealership and the dealership would not fix this problem unless I paid for it. I sold the car because I could not trust it as it must have been in an accident before I bought it. I just want to warn people about this dealership.
FLORIDA -- Before I married my wife her sister owned the 97 SL. Every other time she took it to Saturn for an oil change they would write up motor mounts on the service invoice. I'm a mechanic by trade. The motor mounts going out every 6000 miles sounded fishy, especially since my wife now owns this lovely piece of **. (She owned it before we met). I looked at the mounts and they were fine even after another 30,000 miles on the car since the last mount change.
Now the sister owns a 99. Oil change time, well it is cheaper at Saturn. But the things they will tell you. You guessed it, motor mounts again. They called me about this new problem, so I had them come by the shop. No abnormal movement of the engine, nothing visually was incorrect, didn't shake going down the road. If you are told you have this problem go and get a second opinion from someone you trust.
Now back to the 97. Oil is escaping the engine, but where? My wife complained that her oil light was on only after getting the oil changed at Saturn two weeks earlier. I was fumed. So I carefully inspected the engine. No oil leaks anywhere. But where is it going, it's not burning it or is it? I found that another shop had done 6 of these 97 heads in the past month. It's not a quick and easy job. The head alone is about $850. The head gets a small hair line crack on the inside, it goes through to the outside to let oil burn off, just not enough to see.
Saturn has not re-called this part. The 97 only has 65,000 miles on it. It hasn't been hot rodded. There is no logical answer to this except for a manufacturer defect. Guess the Styrofoam they used to cast the parts needs to be changed. Saturn sucks! Everyone who ever bought a Saturn new or used should get together and over throw the company and get back our money of course at the price when it was still on the lot.
I was driving home at approximately 9:30 PM on a very busy highway (RTE 695 - THE BALTIMORE BELTWAY) and was approaching the intersection of Interstate 70 when my car (Saturn 2000 L-Series) cut out with NO warning - no "idiot lights" - nothing. I was almost rear-ended by a semi and was fortunate to coast to the shoulder without an accident. Fortunately a Maryland State Police Vehicle stopped and provided flares for more visibility while I awaited a tow to the Saturn Dealership. My complaint is similar to a pending NHTSA case (**) in that the source of the failure is attributed to a timing chain that skipped.
The dealership refuses to recognize this wide spread problem as does Saturn Headquarters in Tennessee. They offer no mitigation to the $3,200 estimate for repair. If circumstances had been different, i.e., going up hill, rain or snow, I and my family could have been seriously injured in this Saturn with this KNOWN defect that DIED on the road with absolutely NO warning. Does someone have to die in an accident before this known defect is corrected? - End of complaint to NHTSA
I urge anyone who has had this happen to file a complaint with NHTSA (www.nhtsa.dot.gov) to help build a case to cause a recall. Additionally, file a complaint with you State Attorney General's Office... MAKE NOISE or Saturn will continue to cover up this defect and we, the consumer, will foot the bill for their error.
I have a 2001 Saturn Sedan with less than 37,000 miles on it and it just stopped last week, of course 30 miles from home. I was informed that the timing chain broke with repair to be over $2,000.00. The Saturn dealership disowned any problems with the issue. Saying I must not have changed the oil properly. Well, I have a record of oil changes and maintenance so that is not the reason.
On getting it repaired the new part has been improved from the original and there is now an Oil valve (or something to that effect) that helps lubricate the new timing chain. This differently tells me something. I am in the process of getting the car repaired and plan to pursue this further with Saturn Company. Has anyone else had this problem.
LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA -- Recently purchased a 2005 Relay. With such high gas prices, I was looking for a vehicle that would seat at least 6 and would get significantly better gas mileage than my SUV. Was told that the 18 average MPG City on the sticker (with a range of 15-21) was reliable. Got app. 12.6 MPG on first tank. The vehicle had previously been driven over 2500 miles. Based on my complaint, Saturn of Lafayette, Louisiana swapped the first Relay for a second.
So far, on two tanks of gas, I've gotten 11.9 and 11.8 MPG in the city. I traded in a Yukon that I was VERY happy with on the adamant statement from the salesman that I could expect much better fuel economy from the Relay as compared to the Yukon's 11 MPG I was getting in the city. Wow, I am now driving a vehicle that is far inferior to a Yukon and I'm getting a whopping .8-.9 MPG more.
Saturn of Lafayette and the Saturn Corporation are both aware of the problem but state that since they aren't responsible for what is stated on the sticker, there is nothing they can do for me. Buyer beware of Saturn. If their vehicle does not perform as expected, they may not take responsibility for the failure.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- About a month ago I was going to work when my engine started making noise and blew up, leaving me stranded on the side of the road. I was forced to walk to work on a very busy highway. My 2002 Saturn S-Series is only three years old and has had all the maintenance requirements done by Saturn themselves. Saturn is now requesting $5500 for a new engine. They do not want to pay because the warranty has since expired. They have not even offered a loaner car for my inconvenience.
One of the reasons I bought a Saturn was their reputation of reliability and good customer service. Well, I have seen realize that their logo/advertisement of "People First" is just a gimmick. In addition, they now send me a letter saying this car is man made and problems will arise. I have not gotten anywhere with sending letters to the company. If I would have known their cars were so unreliable then I would have bought a used car and take my chances. I am still paying for this car and now it is in the shop waiting for me to pay for an engine.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- I am writing this after watching my daughter go through years of ridiculous and costly repairs on her what was once new Saturn. She got caught up in the "customer service" promise like so many have before and since her. Ha! She has had nothing but headaches with that car. It stalls out when she turns corners if the gas tank is 1/4 full. It doesn't start. It stalls at stop lights. Saturn can't find anything wrong with it. But they keep "fixing" things... like talking her into major tune ups when it's not even time for them.
This girl is anal about getting her car serviced on time (even before time). She has NEVER missed an oil change or scheduled service. Saturn cars are crap. The car is in the dealership right now because it stalled and she had to push it to the side of the road. Called her with a $500 estimate to fix a few things. What recourse does she have? NEVER EVER BUY ANOTHER SATURN EVER. I've had my Honda for 4 years... no problem EVER.
DUNDEE, ILLINOIS -- I just wanted to say I have purchased 3 automobiles from Saturn of Dundee, in Dundee Illinois and they have been wonderful with me all 3 times. I had some bad experiences with traditional dealerships including a Used car manager who took my keys and wouldn't give them back until I threatened him! But Saturn has been such a blessing not to have to haggle! I will never buy a car from a traditional dealership again because I just don't wanted to be treated that way. Thank you Saturn.