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Saturn Vue Transmission Problems

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  • I started experiencing the shuttering on my Vue over a year ago and thought it was just time for a fluid change. This never helped the shutter and I've been attempting to ignore it and compensate my driving to deal with the issue as long as possible. This last weekend, I drove the vehicle and it started missing gears at low speeds and producing this grinding sound. It made me nervous so I took it to my local mechanic who immediately diagnosed it and said this has been an issue with the Honda Pilot as well. I looked online and found this thread, which led me to take it over to the dealer.

    The dealer inspected the vehicle and confirmed my mechanics diagnosis, however due to it being a late 2004 build, it doesn't qualify under the TSB. The dealership's hands are tied, so I called Saturn Corporate who opened a case to see if they could assist me. Two days later, I received a phone call back stating that even though the vehicle shows the same symptoms as those covered under the TSB, the vehicle doesn't qualify for warranty repair.

    I've dealt with auto manufacturer's through the legal system before. It's a long process, but I will not sit by to let them say this isn't covered under an issue Honda and GM have both acknowledged. Is there a class-action suit already in process for this issue? If not, I'll be contacting my counsel who's helped me in the past this afternoon.
  • oneupsetladyoneupsetlady Posts: 5
    edited December 2011
    Could you give me the number you used to call Saturn? BTW what is a TSB?
  • I can't find anything in writing that the torque converter has a recall...Can you please tell me where I can find it so I can show the dealership?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,059
    You can find a list of TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) in the Edmunds Car Maintenance Guide.
  • I have also dealt with GM regarding the faulty transmissions and GM goes through the so called process of opening a case but they will not do anything. There was a class action lawsuit but GM filed bankruptcy and is no longer obligated to fix the problem. Here are a few things that you can do and remember the more people who file complaints the more likely that these problems will be looked into.

    Information regarding the class action lawsuit
    http://www.lakinlaw.com/CM/ClassAction/ClassAction55.asp

    You can file complaints with (takes about 5 min):
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
    Website http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners/

    Better Business Bureau
    Website http://www.bbb.org/

    Post your problem for the VTi transmission on forum boards

    Write your local politicians
    Congressmen, local officials and attorney general you can find your local officials at c-span. You may have to Google your state and attorney general separately to find out who that is.
    http://www.c-span.org/CongressDirectory/

    Last but not least you can write the CEO of GM
    Mr. Daniel Akerson
    CEO GM
    300 Renaissance Center
    Detroit, MI 48265
  • If you were to provide us with your case number in an email, we would be happy to further investigate the situation.

    Regards,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • I too have a 2003 Saturn Vue LEMON. I wanted to ask you about your horn issue. My husband was driving and pounded on the horn when someone cut him off and the horn stuck on. Eventually it blew the fuse and from what I understand that is a comon problem with these vehicles and in order to replace the horn sensor, they have to remove the air bag. Is that what you experienced as well? How much did they charge you to fix it?

    Mine is in the shop right now because the service engine soon light was on for about 2 weeks and then went off. It lags when you first accelerate. They told me today that it is something with the transmission and that the fluid is full but it is black meaning there is metal in it due to something coming apart. They agreed to split the cost of the transmission repair/replacement with me 50/50. It seems others have been able to get GM to foot the entire bill. I am not sure how though. Any ideas?

    They also told me my sway bar links are bad and need to be replaced. Is that the same thing as you indicated (rear stabilizers)?

    My CD player broke. My hood release lever has come off multiple times. The hazzard light button has been pushed inside my dash board twice. This is my 5th Saturn and the WORST car I have even owned.

    I am sick about this. We live on one income and have two small children. I am about to return Christmas presents in order to pay for this. Sickening.
  • Sorry to hear about your problem I had to have the BCM (body control module) replaced on my Saturn. The problem began with the horn malfunctioning but then the computer components on the car quit working also. My headlights began going off and on then the locks kept locking and unlocking (even when the car was off). Eventually I was not able to roll down the windows. When we took it in the Saturn dealer they told me it was the BCM and it cost over $500.00 to replace because the whole dashboard had to be taken off. These are not very good cars and I really wish I had reasearched this information before I purchased mine.
  • Oh and I forgot the 50/50 split on the transmission would cost me $3000.00 to pay for the defective Vti transmission that was installed. I did not want to invest this much money in this car so I bought a Toyota. I still own the Saturn which is just sitting in my garage. I will probably sell it for what I can with a non working transmission. I believe that GM hiked the price of the transmission up to $6000.00 then said they would pay half. Good luck.
  • While driving my 2006 AWD Saturn vue it stopped getting gas, the engine was on and i was able to steer however when i tried to accelerate the pedal would go all the way to the floor and nothing would happen, i turned it off and waited a few minutes, started it back up and off i went, two days later the same problem occurred. Anybody have any idea what that may be?
  • 442dude442dude Posts: 373
    I'm going to guess that the engine light with the downward facing arrow is on? Its likely that you are in "reduced performance mode" due to a communications problem between your gas pedal and your throttle body under the hood - Most likely one of 3 problems in this order:

    1. Gas pedal position sensor NG
    2. throttle position sensor NG
    3. Wiring between them NG

    Basically, your car can't figure out what position the gas pedal or throttle body are in or its reported position does not agree with what it thinks it is...the car goes into reduced performance mode as a safety interlock so it doesn't accelerate wildly out of control. To protect you from harm it limits how fast the car will go. When you turned the car off and back on you were able to reset it and it was OK until the values didn't agree again. Any good dealer or otherwise mechanic will be able to help you easily...pretty sure that the accelerator pedal position sensor is the most common one to go bad.

    Good Luck :shades:
  • Cool, I'll look into that, thanks.
  • I'm glad you've gotten such great feedback!

    If you plan on working with a dealership and would like Customer Assistance to help in the process, feel free to contact us via email with more information including your name and contact information (phone and address), Edmunds username, the last 8 digits of your VIN and current mileage, and involved dealership.

    Happy Holidays,
    Sarah
    GM Customer Service
  • Just an update on this. I took my Vue to a local transmission specialist and they came back to let me know that they don't think anything is wrong with the transmission itself, but the two mounting brackets are both broken. He said that this is what's causing the grinding noise in my tranny and that I shouldn't even be driving it in this condition. How the heck those mounts broke is a big question, but they cost $250/pair, plus another $270 for labor. The whole motor and transmission needs to be lowered in order to change out the mounts. I'm hoping that this fixes the problems we have with the tranny. I'll keep everyone posted.
  • My name is brittany zimmerman an I just got my 2003 saturn vue about 2 mounths ago an im havin alot of the same problems as listed on site when I go to take off the rpms go to about 3 before it gets to 40 mph when it gets to that point it dont want to shift also my horn had came on an wouldnt go off knw it wont work my car has problems startin i think do to the battery it has 103k miles on it I had purchesed this car cuz i have a baby on the way an needed a family car but i have come across so many prblems.. plz email me back at zimmerman.brittany@yahoo.com
  • ....Well can we get any money for our broken Saturns from GM?

    Answer is likely no. We the taxpayers gave GM the bailout, in turn they outsourced many jobs overseas.

    If you get anything for them it will be a 50/50 split for overpriced dealership labor.... this is not the same GM that built my '62 Pontiac.
  • bismarck318bismarck318 Posts: 49
    edited December 2011
    This was sent out as a service bullitin to all dealerships. If a customer brought it in complaining about shudder at low speeds, they were check 7 possible parts that would cause this condition. My car is doing this and was repaired under warrenty at the time but is considered unresolved becuase its still doing it.

    My condition happens during low speed travel on level grade around 30-35 mph and the engine taching at 1300-1400rpm. You must keep your rpm's steady. It shudders the whole car and rattles to body panels, like the engine is running on only 3 cyl.

    This problem was a recall for torque convertor or related issue.

    Mine is gonig in and will be repair still covered from the recall bullitin


    What are these 7 possible parts?

    Per GM Customer Service, once the car goes in, the reprogram is completed, & the car does not throw a code, the vehicle is deemed ok & the issue is closed.

    The tech who did my reprogram late on a Saturday reported the car still had issues needed resolved after a test drive, I could bring int back at my convienence since a rental would not be provided. When I returned it to the dealer in the next month, they had the vehicle for nearly 2 weeks & claimed they could not find a problem, yet the tech that reprogramed it was no longer employed there. Yes the techs report is documented... so far he/she was the only person to find this problem.

    The dealer had been giving me vague answers on this issue, my mistake was taking it home that Saturday afternoon. Per GM I now have to pay the dealership diagnostic fees for any further issues, & they are telling me that this erratic, & abrupt jerky shifting is either normal or it's not misbehaving for them, & not 'throwing codes'.

    I initally complained in March of 2009, to Saturn when the vehicle was still under powertrain warranty, I was given a $115 car wash, told that I didn't understand a 5 speed transmission, & sent on my way.

    It still shifts often like someone learning to drive a manual.... :mad:

    Off topic, but has anyone had their rear tailgate start rusting on the '06 & '07 also?
  • I am SO glad to find other dissatisified VUE owners!!! I can't begin to explain the BS I went through with mine! I owned the car for a little over a year. It was a 2003 Saturn VUE, with that stupid VTi transmission or whatever the hell it is.

    It broke down one day out of nowhere. I had it towed to the garage, and they said it was the transmission, and that I can expect to have to replace it again. I held on to the car for over a year with a dead transmission because I couldn't afford the 5,000 dollars it would cost! I ended up having to take out yet another car loan again because paying another car payment was easier than being to fork up the 5,000 to fix the tranny. Im a single working mother who doesnt have much of a savings account! I also go to school full time...anyways....

    So, 500 dollars a month for over a year, and it finally came down to having to have it reposessed because my hours at work were cut in half. The sad thing is, I miss the HELL out of that car. It was beautiful to look at, drived well (minus the grinding) and had great storage. Does anyone know if the transmission issue applies to a 2004 Saturn VUE with a manual transmission? I really do miss that car!
  • So, 500 dollars a month for over a year, and it finally came down to having to have it reposessed because my hours at work were cut in half. The sad thing is, I miss the HELL out of that car. It was beautiful to look at, drived well (minus the grinding) and had great storage. Does anyone know if the transmission issue applies to a 2004 Saturn VUE with a manual transmission? I really do miss that car!

    No, you are safe with a manual, I wish I could have purchased a manual, due to arthritic conditions during winter months made that impossible.

    I had lost my job back in May, (outsourced overseas in a nutshell), reason I can not be throwing money away at this point. When & if the torque converter dies, I'll have to go out for a beater which should be a fraction of the cost of a repair.
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