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Sunroof leak on my Saturn Outlook



  • dompdomp Posts: 24
    Any luck finding any info on clearing the drain tubes? If it's as simple as blowing them out with compressed air periodically, I'd do it myself.
  • Blowing them out with compressed air is exactly what I did. Worked fine but its too bad that the design is so poor that this is necessary. In a heavy downpour they may still not drain fast enough.
  • Yep but unfortunately gm doesn't want to issue a recall for this or headlight problems or transmission or any other known problems for a lot of people I guess they just don't believe in standing behind their products integrity gains trust and business, just sayin i am with u all on these problems and all they say is sorry actions speak louder than words. :mad: :sick: :confuse:
  • Just wondering how many of you that gm wanted to reply to actually got help not out of pocket. Do they not see these post numerous problems people are having with these vehicles it is not coincidental gm recall for these and stand behind your products integrity is everything actions speak louder than words :mad: :cry:
  • After taking my 2008 Outlook in twice due to the front sunroof leaking, I got really worried when the BACK moonroof started leaking. After reading many posts on this site I called GM customer service first and got a case number. I then called my service place (GM/Chevy, former Saturn), told them my problem (and that I had contacted GM as I felt this was a faulty vehicle issue) and asked for an appointment to verify where the problem was coming from, and an estimate so I could tell GM. Now I really like our service guys but this was the best service I've had yet. By the time they called me with the estimate, they had already contacted GM, gotten it 100% covered, and were ready to get started. The back moonroof had to be removed, holes in the roof filled (design flaw-if this doesn't get fixed it will keep leaking), then moonroof replaced. This was also causing engine probs due to water dripping on the fuse block. Fixed too. I live in the Pacific Northwest so they have likely had more experience w/ these issues due to the rain, and since it's been fixed we haven't had any monster storms. I'm hoping the next rainy season doesn't cause me any problems since I really love my Saturn. But it's very disappointing to read of all the frustrations and difficulties for others. Hoping this info is helpful and best of luck.
  • Thank you for sharing your great news with us, amyjean01! Many more happy miles to you!
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • I'm very happy for you amyjean01!! I hope this repair is successful. I too live in the Great Northwest and had the same problems such as a flooded fuse box, and extensive repairs including a new motor to the back latch motor as that was flooded too. Most importantly, they sealed the holes for you!
    I noticed after extensive repairs I continued to have electrical issues with interior lights, temp gauge and radio not going off. Eventually, GM offers a warranty that after much research does not cover water intrusions.
    It's interesting that during the summer months this forum slows down with posts regarding water leaks. We bought our car in June 11' and by Jan 12' it was a lemon and not a safe vehicle.
    You are now aware of the design flaws of GM, please, report your issues with your car to National Highway Traffic Safety admin. on line. This is criminal that GM knows of these flaws and hundreds of consumers lives have been devastated by these known , extensive problems.
    Best of luck to you!!
  • I left work yesterday to find the check engine light on in an 07 Outlook XR (warranty expired, 138K km). I turned off ignition and the engine ran on for a good 30 seconds before shutting down. The check engine light remained lit even with keys out of the ignition. I took it to the dealership and just found out the fusebox is completely corroded and needs to be replaced due to a water leak. This vehicle was repaired under recall for the sunroof drainage tube issue. Searching the net, I found that this is a known issue and GM has issued a notice on it.

    I am now lookinig at a major repair bill to replace the fusebox and correct the water leak. Why hasn't a recall for this problem been issued?

    This is a serious health (mold) and safety (electrical malfunctions) issue.

    An unhappy, long time GM customer
  • dompdomp Posts: 24
    I had the exact same issue. Only suggestion I have is to make sure you report it to Don't think it will help with your current bill, but maybe a recall will be issued helping the next victim, or if it happens again. Customer service at one point offered me some credit towards another GM or some free oil changes, but they didn't follow through on it.
  • Good morning tgrace,

    As you're using kilometers as your unit of measure, I'm supposing that you're writing from Canada? If you had wanted to connect with Customer Assistance, GM of Canada can be reached at 800-263-3777 (Hours: M-F 7:30am - 11:30pm, Sat 7:30am - 6:00 EST).

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • Hello domp,

    I saw your post and that you had been extended an offer but it was not carried out? It sounds like this was with your District Specialist? Given the way Christina and I divide and conquer (forum posts vs. emails), I don't have your case number. If you could get that to me or Christina we can check to see what happened on that.

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Hello tgrace, Please, look back on post on this forum and you will find a wealth of information that will help you deal with GM. You will also find GM is fully aware of the water leaks. I was shocked when this happened to my car. The electrical box was corroded which caused extensive water damage and electrical problems , as well as the rear lift motor flooded. The electrical problems continued after extensive repairs that GM PAID FOR IN FULL!! The health issue from the mold can be serious! Also, the water leaks have happened to many consumers of the owners of the GMC Arcadia and Buick Enclaves. Apparently they are all the same vehicles. I'm grateful my car died in my driveway and I was driving when it decided to shutdown. I see that gmsarah contacted you. You need to contact GM. GM did put out a Service bulletin to extend the sunroof drains from the sunroofs..... repairs were done to prevent water leaks.... the repairs to prevent the problems failed and happened despite repairs from the service bulletin....GM knows this... I believe it is under what is called a Secret Warranty...Unfortunately, with all the extensive repairs, my car continued to have serious electrical problems... and is a lemon... Good luck to you and don't give up.
    Remember, GM HAS PAID FOR MANY REPAIRS ON THIS FORUM. THEY WANT US ALL TO GO AWAY.... I hope you can be reimbursed. Also, our sunroof glass was not installed correctly when it was built and the glass was replaced as well.

    Although there is currently no federal law concerning secret warranty programs, they are illegal in various states, including:

    Secret warranty laws typically require manufacturers to disclose their secret warranties by giving direct notice to affected owners, including information about the terms of the warranty program and reimbursements that may be available to those who already paid for repairs.

    Manufacturers often stonewall the consumer over secret warranties knowing that many consumers will give up in utter frustration and go away mad. Don't.

    Tell the local media about your secret warranty problem. Many consumers get reimbursed because a local Action Line, newspaper or television station starts to take an interest in a secret warranty. After all, if a manufacturer is trying to keep a secret warranty secret, the last thing the company wants is publicity on the secret warranty. A particularly good strategy is to announce the formation of a group to expose the particular secret warranty affecting your car. Even if the group is small as you and your neighbor, a group is powerful and attracts more attention than an individual.

    Small Claims Court
    Manufacturers often stonewall the consumer over secret warranties knowing that many consumers will give up in utter frustration and go away mad. Don't. Take the documentation on the secret warranty and your repair efforts to small claims court. At this point, it's the manufacturer who often gives up knowing that the legal rights are on the consumer's side. The manufacturer relies on its own complaint handling mechanism to wear down consumers. once you show you won't be beat by the manufacturer's complaint handling mechanism, you should succeed. The manufacturer will finally recognize its responsibility for the defect in your car and reimburse you.

    The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The consumers who complain the loudest get reimbursed under secret warranties. The good customer who goes away quietly gets ripped off. Until auto companies wake up and realize that consumer protection is good business, consumers have to be aggressive or they will wind up paying for an auto company's mistake. Since billions of dollars in repairs are covered by secret warranties, the total benefit to consumers in exercising their rights is enormous.

    Secret warranties are a multi-billion consumer abuse. Every auto company makes mistakes in building cars. Whether they are design defects that affect every car or whether they are manufacturing defects which affect only some cars, they must be repaired. The only question is who pays for the manufacturers' mistakes, the manufacturer or the consumer. Although the auto manufacturer often establishes a secret warranty to pay for the repair, all too often it is the consumer who pays for the manufacturer's mistake because the consumer never finds out about the secret warranty. That's wrong and the Center for Auto Safety wants to change it.

    In a 1987 report the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) created national headlines by identifying 10 exemplary secret warranties covering 30 million vehicles and $3 billion in repair costs. Yet this is but the tip of the iceberg for we estimate that at any one time over 500 secret warranties exist for all auto companies. According to a Toyota whistleblower who provided a complete list in May 1988, Toyota alone had 41 secret warranties at that time.

    By exposing secret warranties, CAS forces manufacturers to pay for their mistakes and creates a strong incentive for them to build better cars in the future. once secret warranties are disclosed, consumers will save hundreds, if not thousands, in repair bills on their personal cars. Spurred on by CAS exposes, state legislatures are moving to pass secret warranty disclosure laws that will protect consumers. Until then, consumers must rely on the strategies suggested in our book, Little Secrets of the Auto Industry, to discover and use secret warranties to pay for repairs in their vehicles.

    What is a secret warranty?
    Auto companies hate the term secret warranties. They call them policy adjustments, good will programs, service campaigns or extended warranties . But whatever they are called, they are a longstanding industry practice. When a car company has a major defect that occurs after its written warranty expires, it establishes an adjustment policy to pay for repairs rather than deal with many thousands, if not millions, of complaints on a case by case basis. But the auto company communicates the policy only to regional offices and not even always to its dealers. The auto manufacturers never notify the consumer; so only the consumer who complains loudly enough gets covered by the secret warranty. Other consumers end up bearing the costs of the manufacturer's mistakes.

    Examples of Secret Warranties
    CAS has documented case after case of secret warranties since our founding in 1970. one of the first and most famous was Ford's J-67 Limited Service Program which covered rust on 12 million 1969-72 cars and trucks. In this case a bulletin which went out only to Ford regional offices stated, "This is a limited service program without dealership notification and should be administered on an individual complaint basis." Under this program, Ford would pay up to 100% to repair rust and paint damage on its vehicles even if it cost over a $1000.
  • Sarah, thank you for your reply to my post. I have contacted GM Canada and am waiting for a callback after missing the call this morning and leaving a message on the reps voicemail.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Thank you for keeping us updated. If you don't hear anything from your agent by Tuesday please let us know. Thanks! Hope your weekend has went well!
    GM Customer Service
  • September 29, 2012 , I have posts # 313&316 under Transmission Problems too. We have had about 3 inches rain today in North Central Texas, badly needed, except my Outlook is soaking wet inside the passenger side front floor, it's been dripping from the side airbag all day and when I stopped quickly, water gushed out from the headliner onto the dash on the passenger side. I've used several towels so far.
    This is not the first time, this has been the worst ongoing problem I've had. Shortly after I bought it I had it in more than once and then the recall came and the drain lines were too short so they were changed out. It has leaked a couple times on BOTH sides and dripping to the third row seat over the backup sensor. Today is really bad with all this rain!
    My transmission went out in April, luckily in warranty, but warranty is now out. I paid alot to get the steering fixed at the same time though, it was grinding and power steering would fail when I went through water. So that must be fixed cause I was in alot of water today and no steering problem. But this leak is rediculous! GM should fix this ongoing problem! My mats were ruined long ago, but I'm afraid the airbags are also ruined, and I have water spots on the ceiling liner. Guess I'll call my local Chev dealer Monday but they couldn't find the leak last time I told them it was dripping from the backup sensor!
    Any comments GM?
  • The''08 Outlook that I purchased new has been in the shop 8 times to repair the roof leak issues.
    The solutions have ranged from short drain tubes (replaced via recall 1 month after purchase), to my fault for allowing leaves to accumulate outside the lower edge of the windshield. Both sunroofs have been removed and re-sealed more than once.

    I have no doubt that the problems stem from an engineering defect in the design of the vehicle, and that GM should have probably recalled and replaced all vehicles as soon as this issue surfaced. By stonewalling customers, they have largely won.

    I would suggest that everyone with continuing leak problems, be it the Saturn Outlook or sister vehicles from Buick and GMC, file a complaint with the NHTSA, citing serious concerns over potential airbag failure due to water intrusion into the pillar posts where the 4 side/corner airbags are located. Its a little late to find that an airbag has failed after a collision resulting in serious injury or death.
  • I am completely vexed and disturbed by the response I'm getting from GM on this issue. My 2008 Outlook, which I had purchased brand new, recently began leaking from the roof. The water was coming down the "A" pillar on the driver's side and was actually coming out of the airbag badge on the pillar. It was then coming out onto the floor from the emergency brake. The emergency brake warning bell was sounding for approximately 30 minutes, obviously indicating an electrical disturbance. Having seen the countless such complaints on this forum and others including the TSA website, I am baffled that GM has not come up with a viable solution to this problem. I was actually told by GM's business response center today that my vehicle was not included in the two service bulletins that were issued concerning the manufacturing defect/design flaw. As such, I was told I would not receive any assistance from GM if it were confirmed to be the same cause on my vehicle. Essentially, she advised that because my vehicle was manufactured at a different plant, I was out of luck. I find this absolutely absurd and frankly, criminal. The damage this water may have caused could be catastrophic. Anything from electrical problems with other vehicle functions to mold. I have personally owned 5 GM vehicles. My immediate family has purchased over 20 in just the past 15 years. This experience and GM's lack of responsibility for this, a known problem, has completely turned me off on the brand.
  • We bought our 08 Saturn outlook brand new. at 800 miles I noticed there was water inside the vehicle and door. I brought it back to the dealer and they said it was nothing, just "dust" from the manufacturing process. I had them add that statement to my receipt. I then went back at 18,000 miles (still under warranty) with the same problem and they said there was nothing wrong with the car. I never received any recall info from Saturn or the Gov't on the recall for the drain tubes. Fast forward to 40,000 miles and the leaks got much worse. The entire interior of the car was soaked. I brought it to GM and they said its not under warranty and I would have to pay, until I showed them my first receipt from the 800 mile issue. They cleaned the carpets and checked the drain tubes (but never replaced them because they said that recall was done) and said they couldnt figure out what was wrong. Ive recently noticed that now there is water coming from the side curtan airbags. Brought it back and now they said they think its structural and has something to do with the frame. They wont give me a loaner car and said I need to rent one from them so I can leave the car so they can look at it. Im sick of GM and their BS. I hope all of you with the problems fight this because this company has known for years about all these problems. Mold and airbag damage is extremely serious and can cause many health problems. If this issue doesnt get resolved with them Im thinking about starting a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT. whos in?
  • Hello ofcparker,

    Have you opened a file with Customer Assistance yet on this issue? If you would like to get one started through us, please email us at with more details (including your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Hi ofcparker,
    Go to page 42 and you can read the information about Secret Warranties. It is also very informational to go back and read many of the other posts. It is criminal what has happened to the consumers of GM. These leaks have devastated people. We ended up giving our car back to the bank with over a 100 pages of documented communications with GM and repair statements. It ruined our credit and devastated us. Unfortunately, the bank could care a less and the car went to auction.... it looked brand new inside due to the extensive work done to stop the leaks. The electrical could not be fixed and the car was unsafe. It poured in the North West yesterday and all I could think about was some poor soul has our car and the disappointment to follow.... I did not go down without a fight!
    I just want you to know GM paid for EVERY expense, my car was in the shop for a period of 2 months and still could not fix it. The repairs were extensive. GM paid for my rental car as well. GM pays for these expenses I believe because of the Secret Warranty to prevent a Class Action. I contacted the firm below and they informed me of laws in certain States that will protect consumers. Unfortunately, i don't live in those States. If you do, this will be helpful for you. I would like to know the steps taken to have this law in all states. When and if you talk to GM they will give you the run around and tell you things like pine needles get stuck in the tubes etc...and how each case is case by case. It's BS they are well aware of the problem. Good Luck to you and keep up the fight!!

    Does your car company have a secret warranty program?
    A "secret warranty" program, also known as a "silent recall," is a program where a car manufacturer offers repairs for free or at a discounted price to some, but not all, of its customers. Secret warranty programs are hidden, meaning that auto manufacturers do not notify consumers of their warranty program, leaving consumers to discover these programs on their own or pay for repairs themselves.
    With secret warranties, an auto company avoids the costs of having to offer the program to every eligible customer. These programs are inherently unfair and are illegal in several states. At Girard Gibbs, our attorneys represent consumers in class action lawsuits involving unlawful secret warranty programs. Learn more about our secret warranty lawsuits.

    Car Secret Warranty Laws
    Although there is currently no federal law concerning secret warranty programs, they are illegal in various states, including:
    Secret warranty laws typically require manufacturers to disclose their secret warranties by giving direct notice to affected owners, including information about the terms of the warranty program and reimbursements that may be available to those who already paid for repairs.
  • tgracetgrace Posts: 4
    I had the same issue. It was caused by water leaking in from the sunroof and ending up in the fusebox under the front passenger dash. A $1400 repair to replace the fusebox :( although GM did offer a small credit when I complained to them about the persistent water leaks in the Outlooks.
  • tgracetgrace Posts: 4
    You are likely getting water in the fusebox under the passenger dash. Mine originated from blocked sunroof drain tubes.
  • crazyoutlookcrazyoutlook Posts: 6
    edited October 2012
    My 07 outlook does not have a sunroof however still leaks through the rear view mirror casing down onto the shifter which will consequently freeze up with condensation in the winter. Add this to the transmission, leaking power steering fluid, broken seat adjuster, broken motor on the auto lift gate. This car is a lemon and has caused us nothing but problems. We have only put 20,000 miles on this vehicle for a total of 60,00 miles after purchase. Not what I was expecting from a GM vehicle that we paid way too much for!
  • ssr22ssr22 Posts: 2
    I was relieved, and also frightened, to find an entire forum dedicated to the problem I just started having with my '08 Saturn. I haven't read through this entire thread, but almost every issue I've seen here has suddenly developed with my car (see below). I'm particularly upset because the car is almost paid for and I am not willing to pay for repairs that are clearly related to a design flaw/issue--this better be covered by warranty. I actually like this meets the needs of my family and planned to replace with an Acadia when the time came, but I certainly wasn't planning for that already! Now I'm questioning whether I'd buy another GM at all.

    Any advice for successful tactics to get this resolved by GM is appreciated!

    Issues w/2009 Saturn Outlook after and/or during rainy weather:

    - water leaking from both driver and passenger front airbag badges
    - water streaming down inside passenger windshield when stopping/breaking
    - water dripping from overhead light between front and middle row seats
    - audible sounds of water splashing around in the ceiling and trickling to either side when turning corner
    - parking break light came on and warning signal chimed for hours
    - radio no longer works
    - backlight on left side of dashboard is out
    - parking assist/back up signal not working
    - blinker no longer sounds (no clicking sound when you signal)
    - car continued to run after removing keys from ignition after rain last week
    - dead battery later that day
    - keyless entry didn't work yesterday—began functioning again after opening doors with key
    - musty/moldy odor beginning to set in, particularly on warmer days
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    While we cannot promise up front what the end resolution will be, we would be willing to check into this further with you. Please email us at if you would like for us to do so, and include a brief recap of the situation, your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of the VIN and mileage, and the name of your preferred dealership.

    Thank you,
    GM Customer Service
  • ssr22ssr22 Posts: 2
    Thank you for your note. I sent an email to the address you mentioned above and also included the Saturn customer service email address from your website. An agent already contacted me and set up a service request.
  • I have to say, I'm a bit disheartened. My '08 Saturn Outlook has had this issue for years. We did the recall for the channels thinking that this would solve the minor leak we had in the driver's side window, only for it to turn in to a full blown leak that comes out over the third row. I have taken this car in every year, save last year (as it didn't rain), to have this looked at and all I EVER get is "we can't replicate the problem."

    There's now a leak in the right front passenger panel as well.

    I took the car in today to the dealership and he flat out told me that his manager would not approve them doing anything for free as they're "getting rid of this car." I reminded him that I've been in here every winter and he told me, "except for last year, and because it's been over a year I don't know what we can do."

    Seriously?? I told him I've read this blog post and that I know GM knows about this problem and while the guy was really nice, he told me there's nothing they can do but run a diagnostic (which I'm sure I'll have to pay for) and get back to me. He added, "Unfortunately, you're looking at 5-6 hours of labor at $180/hr." $900 to start fixing a problem I've been telling them about for years and GM knows about??

    Not to mention our transmission just had to get completely replaced and it still doesn't work right. I've seen Customer Service respond to posts here. I'm hoping they see this and can give me a course of action that I can take. A couple weeks ago during a rain (and the car was leaking) the radio started to short in and out. I'm now concerned that this leak is affecting other things in the car.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello simone_89,
    We can certainly understand why you're frustrated and are available to check into this further (although we cannot promise up front what the end resolution will be). Please contact us at and include the following information: your name and contact information, the last 8 digits of your VIN and mileage, and a brief summary of the situation so far.

    GM Customer Service
  • I've heard back from GM Customer Service. Basically they reiterated what the dealership said. The channels will have debris build up due to our not getting them cleaned out. The funny part is, is that every time we've taken the car in they said the first thing they did was blow them out. I'm done.
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