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Sunroof leak on my Saturn Outlook



  • smoore812smoore812 Posts: 2
    I was wondering if anyone had contacted a attorney. I purchased my 08 Saturn Outlook 6 days ago.. on the 5th day the car would not shut off.. I took it back to dealer, and they now have it and are sealing a seam and replacing the fuse box due to corrosion, however after reading all these, I know this will not fix the problem, my plan was to seal the moon roof again once I got the car back but im sure that wont help.. Im not sure what to do at this point. I have this car financed for 5 year. and im only 6 days into it. Why are dealerships able to continue selling this vehicle! I read the reviews before I made the purchase and all was good.. then I had this issue and it wasn't till I seen this forum that I realized I just got screwed! Please help!
  • mklvkcmklvkc Posts: 3
    Abandon ship! These vehicles are JUNK. Get an attorney (through if you are in WI) or try to return the vehicle under return clauses in your contract. If financed through a bank or non-dealership source they may be willing to help in order to protect their interests. Good luck.
  • smoore812smoore812 Posts: 2
    I purchased my 08 Saturn outlook exactly 7 days ago.. I have already had to take it to have the fuse box replaced do to corrosion from leaky sun/moon roof. Now I am being told there is nothing that can be done. I have only had this car for 7 days, I love it! but I am financed in for 5 years, haven't even paid my first payment yet, and I already am faced with a vehicle that I cant drive. I don't want anything accept for the sun/moon roof fixed replace the seals/tubes whatever it is that is causing the issues, please! all im asking is you stand behind your product and fix its issue. Please help me!
  • nancy1960nancy1960 Posts: 54
    edited May 2013
    I was in your same position. A month after purchasing our Outlook massive problems started to occur.... We too had a loan. Too make a long story short, we had to return the car to the bank despite all the extensive repairs. We could not continue to pay on a car that continue to have serious electrical problems and unsafe to drive. Our fuse box was flooded along with the motor to the back hatch. I was devastated to say the least... When I returned the car to the bank, I gave the bank all the documented repairs and history on the well known problems the Saturns have had. The car was in the shop a total of 40 days combined. I could not in good conscious trade this car in and pass along this nightmare. I would like to note that GM paid for all the repairs and rented us a car. There was a service bulletin to extend the sunroof drains and despite repairs, as you can see, that repaired failed many of us! There is a little secret that GM has and it's called a Secret Warranty!! This is why they pay for repairs to prevent a class action.
    There are some States like CA that not only have a Lemon Law (that does not apply to so many of us) but breach of warranty of mercantability. This only applies to certain States. It allows a vehicle owner a repurchase if the vehicle has so many problems that it does not meet the legal standard for ordinary goods of this type. Check your State and see if this applies to you.
    I don't think the dealers can take all the blame. The blame lies with GM as this is a manufacturer defect. It's criminal and has hurt their customers financially, emotionally and with a flooded fuse box your car can just die, thankfully, mine died in my driveway! If I/we were on the freeway it could have been fatal.

    I feel so bad for you as I know how blown away you are. Research these pages and be prepared when you talk with GM.

    Here is information on the Secret Warranty. As you go down this unfortunate path you will see how this information applies to us all!!

    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.

    CAS has uncovered secret warranties on all auto companies with little differences between them. A 1972 Mazda secret warranty bulletin doubled the coverage for rotary engine damage but cautioned, "Since this is a temporary program which may be terminated at [any] time, owners are not to be informed of the extended coverage." Honda had secret warranties on head gaskets and rusting fenders in the mid-1970's; Chrysler had rusting fenders on Volares and Aspens in the late 1970's; GM had the transmission secret warranty caused by a ban on sperm whale oil as a lubricant; Peugeot and Subaru both covered defective head gaskets; and VW covered valve stem seals.

    Secret warranties soared after 1980 when the federal government dropped all efforts to ban them. GM had a 5 year/50,000 mile secret warranty covering repair of defective rack and pinion power steering systems on all 16 million of its 1981-88 front wheel drive cars. Toyota covered pulsating brakes on its 1983-86 Camry in a $100 million secret warranty. Ford never told owners of its 1985-92 F-series pickups that America's most popular truck had peeling paint because Ford skipped the primer layer. According to Nissan documents provided to CAS by a whistleblower in 1990, Nissan had at one time up to 48 secret warranties covering various cars and trucks.

    There is no doubt that auto manufacturers presently have many other secret warranties. However, assessing how widespread secret warranty programs are is difficult because these programs, by definition, are not intended for public disclosure. Since CAS began exposing secret warranties more widely in the 1980's, the auto makers having gotten better at keeping them secret. Even CAS can no longer get lists of secret warranties to disclose. one Honda insider told CAS that Honda has only one secret warranty book for each of its regions. The book is chained to a desk.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I can certainly look into your concern with your sunroof. Can you please email me your information at ATTN: Erica? I will need you to provide me with your name, VIN, mileage, address, phone number, and the name of the Certified GM Dealership you are working with in regards to this concern. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Erica Tiffany
    GM Customer Service
  • anglins4anglins4 Posts: 7
    PLEASE.... file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at Everyone having these problems needs to file a complaint to help keep this from happening to others. We are still fighting with GM to help with our repairs. Now we can't even get a rep from GM to call us back. It has been a nightmare for so many. We also went thru "Sara" here on this forum and got NOWHERE... We were offered $3000 on a new GM vehicle....who can afford a new car when we can't in good conscience trade in our Outlook! Our latest is we found a service bulletin on one of our problems and the dealer tells us because our VIN number is not included they can't do anything for us! It's all so unbelievable! We all need to file a complaint! Good Luck to you!!
  • dompdomp Posts: 24
    Agree 100%. I've just hit 100k miles and now the transmission is acting odd. I can't afford repairing a wave plate transmission issue right now. I've just finished paying for all the repairs caused by the sunroof leak. Wondering what it's going to take for gm to own up to these issues.
  • anglins4anglins4 Posts: 7
    PLEASE.... file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at Everyone having these problems needs to file a complaint to help keep this from happening to others. We are still fighting with GM to help with our repairs. Now we can't even get a rep from GM to call us back. It has been a nightmare for so many. We also went thru "Sara" here on this forum and got NOWHERE... We were offered $3000 on a new GM vehicle....who can afford a new car when we can't in good conscience trade in our Outlook! Our latest is we found a service bulletin on one of our problems and the dealer tells us because our VIN number is not included they can't do anything for us! It's all so unbelievable! We all need to file a complaint! Good Luck to you!!
  • ghman59ghman59 Posts: 1
    Sunroof leaking 2008 outlook xr: there is an easy fix to this problem if you are mechanically inclined. There is a drain tube that runs from the sunroof corners if sitting in your car looking out the front on the left and right side. If you open the roof and climb up the running board look into the front most right and left hand corners of the plastic cutter and you will see a hole the size of a Q tip head or 3/16 th size drill bit thickness. Take an air hose from a compressor with an air nozzel (not a tire nozzel) the type you would blow the dirt off a floor with. Put this agianst the hole and pull the trigger you will see either dirt or water come shooting out of the wheel well on what ever side you are doing. There is a rubber grommit that is at the end of the water drain that gets clogged by very small debri and pollen which is set into the firewall and once that is slightly wet it drys and hardens because of the design in the grommit. It has a very small slit in it like an X to not let I guess bugs crawl in it and this is where the dirt rests and drys which then cloggs the hole. Trust me I had to totally take mine out by dropping the front of the head liner and take off the plastic along the colunnm and part of the dash board to pull mine out. I threaded a wire through mine which was explained in a way to clean it out and the wire got stuck. This is in my opinion that there is a flaw design in the grommit not allowing enough water to flow through without getting clogged. So the best way without going through what I have is to use an air hose occasionally and just blow the dirt out even though this shouldnt be after paying all this money for an SUV. :mad: So the drain hose runs from the sun roof corner down the windshield post to slightlly under the dashboard to a grommit in the firewall.
  • tallgolftallgolf Posts: 8
    I am so sorry the sunroof/moonroof complaints continue to grow. This is such a hideous problem. I hate to read about the safety issues people have. We did contact the NHTSA - no response. These people from GM who come on here, all they do is tell you to get your car fixed. No offer of any help with paying for it, despite the design flaw in the car. If we could afford endless repair bills, I think we would all take the cars in, right? My husband believes its just to get you to stop posting here. My advice is to try and get to your regional GM rep. They have the connections to help you. And, may even feel sympathy for you. Ours did. Gratefully.

    We are happy with our Dodge Crew now. Liked the Outlook more, but that chapter is closed. GOOD LUCK everyone.. keep pushing. Remember - YOU are right!
  • I emphasized how bad of a family vehicle this is under a prior post with the user name fixtheproblems. At that time in march my transmission went out 1 month after supposedly having the leaky sunroof repaired. Not only did it not get fixed, it cost me $700 to get it dried out as it was the middle of winter. The dealer at that time tried telling me that it was just clogged drains.

    Now fast forward 4 months and it has been back to the shop twice, the first time after my wife went to the car wash and got wet. She was told at that time by the service manager that she should know better than to take a vehicle with a sunroof through the car wash as some leaking is normal. My past vehicles with sunroofs have mysteriously never had a leak after performing the same task of making sure I have a clean vehicle. As the weather continued to get warmer and into the rain season, guess what more leaks and the growing musty smell of mold - which of course is great for my toddler and infant children to breathe in as we travel In our "family" vehicle.

    We of course brought it in again and were told the Drains had magically plugged again and that they took care of it. I received a call later that week where they told me that they read replacing the front seal "might" take care of the problem.

    As I don't like paying for uncertainty, I decided to investigate myself. Pulled the headliner down and doused the vehicle with the hose. All drains are perfectly clear but the stationary moonroof is leaking. Next stop will be to a glass installer to have it reseated, which of course will be a bill paid out of my pocket to fix the manufacturer defect.

    I will update the status of the fix after we get rained on. Sorry for the rant but one day somebody is going to have a serious accident or lasting health issues from this problem.
  • zippadeezippadee Posts: 1
    I have one that I purchased in May of this year and so far have over 1500.00 into leaks and still leaking again . I am beyond frustrated and disappointed this wasn't ever recalled and no one will help with the repairs. I have so much money invested into this car and now its sitting in my garage with soaked floors and I believe a wiring issue related to it now. Such a disappointment and too much money to fix it :(
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251

    I am sorry that you are experiencing an issue with your vehicle. Have you contacted GM Customer Care? If not, we cannot guarantee anything but we would be happy to look into your concern. You can reach via email at or you may contact Saturn Customer Assistance Center at 800-553-6000

    Jennifer T. (Assisting Amber)
    GM Customer Care
  • kmy25kmy25 Posts: 1
    My sunroof has been leaking on my 2007 saturn for the last 3 years non-stop when it's raining. I live in Seattle, WA so all winter long I have to change out towels that I keep on the passenger side floor to soak up the puddles of water all day long. I have had both the driver and passenger tubes changed at a GM dealership, costing $400 each time, resulting in the sunroof still leaking. There have been at least 3-4 times when the vehicle will not start for no reason.

    The GM dealership told me is was not because the sunroof was defective, but because it was full of pine needs, leaves, etc... I beg to differ. It leaks because the sunroof was designed poorly and is defective.

    I'm tired of having a lake on the passenger side floor all winter long, changing out towels and having moldy smelling carpet.

    Thus far, thankfully I have not had any issues with the fuse box or electrical system.

    GM needs to figure out how to fix this problem and issue a Recall so all Outlook owners can have this fixed permanently for Free.

    I have also submitted my complaint as suggested on-line to NHTSA. Thank you for posting how to file a complaint.
  • trpmomtrpmom Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 Outlook that has leaked for 4yrs and after constant repair, replacement of sunroof over the back seats, replaced rubber striping throughout roofing and around sunroofs, and years of stress; finally found the HIDDEN PROBLEM. The Manufacturer drilled holes on the left and right side of the window above the rear seats the size of a pencil and DID NOT USE THEM. They left them open to rust and therefore flood our vehicles. This was found when the dealer had a glass repairman remove my window to replace it again and he found this defect. The dealer rep was shocked and had no words. The holes were filled in back in February and I have had NO MORE LEAKS! The mechanics aren't looking for holes that don't belong. Please share with other owners with this problem so they can get it fixed properly.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello trpmom,

    I am sorry to hear of the ongoing issue of your vehicles leaking sunroof that you had to deal with. I am glad you were able to work with a dealership who helped resolve and fix this concern for you and that there have been no leaks since. Thanks for sharing your experience with everyone. If you ever have additional concerns or questions, please reach out to us by email at socialmedia(at)


    Laura M.
    GM Customer Care
  • I have been having the same exact problems with my 08 xr. Were the holes by the third row windows, and do the Windows have to be removed for the holes to be visible? Trying to pinpoint my leaks too. :( so frustrating
  • I also have a 2008 outlook and I am also having a sunroof problems. The back sunroof over the second row seems to be fine but the front sunroof is terrible! It does seem as though the resevor around the sunroof does not drain so when there is a heavy rain there is water leaking out of the interior liner. Mostly out of the air bag sign (which makes me wonder how much good that air bag is gonna do if I ever need it), the sun visors, the buttons for the garage, the liner in general on the passenger side (I have no idea why the passenger side is leaking worse?) and when there is a lot of water and im driving around it will even drip out of the lights above the second row passenger seats. I am worried about electrical issues in the future, about the mold smell in my car and how safe this is, most importantly if it will affect the airbags? It looks as though someone found a fix for leaking for the second row sunroof but nothing for the front one? any suggestions? I don't know if I should bother trying to fix these issues or just give up and get rid of this thing... I love the amount of room, the layout, the ride and the styling but it seems like there are an awful lot of cons building up against this thing. thanks in advance for your help and opinions!
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello avoss,

    I am sorry you are experiencing a sunroof issue. I would like the opportunity to further discuss your situation with you. Please contact us by email at socialmedia(at) and include your contact information, VIN and current mileage. We look forward to hearing from you.


    Laura M.
    GM Customer Care
  • I took my 2008 Outlook in earlier this summer. They finally agreed after noticing I bring it in every summer (rainy season in SWFL) that maybe there was an issue. They took off the wind guard in the front of the sunroof and re-sealed it. SO far so good.

    However, the damage between the inside and outside of my car remains to be seen. Of course they don't think any water damage could occur. It is amazing how water can come from the outside of your car to the inside of your car for YEARS and no water damage be done between the out/insides (sarcasm meant).

    Have a great day!
  • Hello kmy25,

    I also own an 08 Outlook and have had the same problems and woes as you. I am extremely happy that you found a resolution to your leakage. Would you mind sharing with me a couple of more details about these mystery holes? I am taking my car to a non-GM repair facility I trust and would like to describe this to them.

    Where exactly are the holes? Under the roof racks or near the 2nd moon roof?

    Is this something that is easily accessible?

    Are you still leak free?

    I would greatly appreciate any info you give me. Thank you so much for reading and taking time away from your life to help me out.
  • Be careful for the leaks, they got so bad with us, even with multiple repairs... the fusebox was affected. Our car was starting on its own and refusing to shut down because of the water leaking in. We even tried at one point to DuctTape our sunroof because we just can't keep throwing money at this black hole of repairs that is our 2009 Outlook.
  • njrazdnjrazd Posts: 2
    If Laura from GM is hanging around, please note that this will be the LAST GM PRODUCT I PURCHASE, even though we are GM family. The local Chevy dealership wants $550 to clean out the drain lines, even though he has stated that keeping my sunroof closed 24/7 would not alleviate the problem of build up in the drain lines. Sounds like a design problem to me! My previous vehicle was a 1993 Honda Accord Wagon with a sunroof that never leaked in the 15 years we owned it. After a rainstorm the other day, I had water leaking from the light fixture above the dashboard. Do I have to wait until a major electrical malfunction occurs due to this issue? Time to find the attorney that is pushing through a class action lawsuit.
  • I just unloaded my 2008 Lemon Outlook finally!! Bought a KIA CADENZA! Beautiful car! I will NEVER be a GM customer again. Definitely a defect. I wouldn't pay the dealer either for the lines to be blown out that's a rip off!! We did it ourselves and it worked! I'm sure since it is a problem in every Outlook it will return just not for me anymore thank goodness!! Problem after problem with that car!!
    Such a shame that the company won't just make good on the problem they created!
  • 2008 Saturn Outlook, possible other years affected as well. We have been having this problem the entire time we have owned this vehicle. It got so bad last night that water was dripping from the airbag tag on the drivers side column, and I have wondered why the airbag warning light comes on on the dash. This is a serious safety concern. I fully expect this vehicle to be recalled for this defect and repaired immediately. If satisfactory resolution is not reached, I will take it upon myself to move this to a class action suit. It is obvious GM cares about their customers, yet not obvious why you follow this problem here yet offer no fix through an admission of guilt in the form of a recall. We have replaced the speaker in the driver's side door twice and the car smells like mildew if we leave it sitting after a rain. If this has damaged the airbag and has caused any serious injuries due to the airbag not being deployed, or deploying slowly that is a serious issue. This should be brought to the attention of a GM employee that can escalate this issue ASAP. In the meantime I am going to move forward with an investigation into possible damages and related injuries that may have been caused by this definate defect in workmanship. Tom at Foulkes dot com.
  • dompdomp Posts: 24
    Good luck. Please post any progress. I've been battling the same issue for years. Leaky sunroof repaired several times by the dealer, airbag sensors repaired at least once due to water damage. Now the airbag light's back on again. The dealer told me that if the airbag light is on indicating some type of failure, none of airbags will deploy. So either it's a major safety issue, or the dealer scamming (or both).
  • Good luck on your attempts to get resolution. After several attempts to stop water from running out of the rear pillar airbag plugs, I filed a complaint with the NHTSA. That was back in 2009 or 2010. I got an computerized acknowledgment. No further word since then. I've posted this suggestion several times over the years, but apparently there's no interest by NHTSA until there are several deaths due to airbag failures in the 2007, 08, & 09 Saturn, Buick, and GMC versions of this vehicle. Also, since at the time I filed the complaint the Federal Government actually owned GM, that might explain why there was no interest. There has never been any doubt in my mind that the issue is an engineering flaw in the way the vehicles were constructed, and it wouldn't be cost-effective for GM to recall and destroy/replace all the affected vehicles. Much cheaper to defend a few lawsuits and settle claims, if necessary. This stonewalling by GM will work; eventually all the vehicles will be past the age that anyone might care.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,251
    Hello rfoulkes68,

    I recognize your dissatisfaction with this situation and apologize that you are experiencing a sunroof leak in your Saturn. If you would like for us to look further into this issue for you, and work towards a possible resolution we are available by email for assistance. We can be reached at [attn Amber]. Please include your screen name, VIN, exact mileage, contact information, as well as your current and selling dealership.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • I agree, I too have filed a complaint with NHTSA with no results. I have spoken with reps from GM and the dealership to no avail. It's sad that GM is ignoring these issues. I pray every time we get in our Outlook we make it. We can't afford a new vehicle and there is no repair for this one that will last. We come from a family of GM retiree's and have always been loyal to them. That has come to an end after this experience. Good Luck to you!
  • I have not filed a complaint yet with NHTSA, but I will soon. I have been a person who has always worked on vehicle when I can, so instead of paying a dealership hundreds or thousands of dollars I decided to try and fix the problem myself. So for $10.00 I downloaded a service manual off of a website. It wasn't a complete manual, but for what I needed the info was in the files. So, yesterday I opened my sunroof and put water in the gutter near both front openings of the drain. The right side drained fairly quickly because I was able to get the dealer to fix it for not draining last year, and GMC covered the costs except for a $100 deductible. Now I'm out of warranty. The left side backed up and the water sat in the gutter, so if it was raining hard the water would overflow the gutter and get down into my car like everyone else. So, I looked at the manual and started to do some investigating. Here is how I fixed the left drain. I removed the small airbag plastic access cover on the left windshield pillar. Underneath is a screw holding the pillar trim. Remove screw and tilt top of trim towards passenger side and slide upward. There is a small plastic tab on the bottom front side of the pillar, so pull up and out. Now you can see two drain tubes running down the pillar. In my case (2008 Outlook) the harder plastic tube was the one that was for the front drain. The other hose is a soft rubber hose with a connection in the middle of the pillar. You can verify this by sticking a piece of wire it and moving it back and forth and feel for this in the tube. It should be the tube without the connection halfway down the pillar, that is something else. If you follow the tube down the pillar, it will turn right and go into a rubber almost 90 degree drain hose plug. That is the end of the drain system. It is just underneath the trim of the most forward part of your dash board. If you take a flat tip screwdriver working from left to right, this trim pops open fairly easy and I didn't need to take it out, just lift it up about halfway across the dash. Now pull the drain tube out of the clips running down the pillar, but do not disconnect from the gutter. Then gently pull the drain plug out of it's opening in the front wall. That is it. The drain plug is a bad design that seems to clog very easily with a build up of dirt and debris. Once I removed the drain plug from my hose, the water poured out on the ground, so don't do this over the dash, hang it outside the car to drain. Now look inside the drain plug, and you will see that the plug is designed with the rubber in the middle, sliced in quarters and that allows the water to drain. It doesn't take much to get blocked. So since my car is no longer under warranty, I removed the four small rubber tips, and wow the water flows out like it should. If the right side starts to slow down, I promise I will do the same to that side. This is what I think GMC should have done to fix this issue, but I'm not an automotive engineer and they probably have their reasons to limit the flow, but the design needs to be changed. I will tell you that it's not the easiest of tasks, but if you are a mechanic at all I know you can do this like I did and save over $400 for the one side. A couple of hours later, and my drains work great. I hope this helps some of you who have thought of taking on this task before, instead of paying a dealer $100+ an hour.
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