2nd Jul 2008, 13:38

OK, here we go, Yes another '01 L-series timing chain failure. Mine broke as I was leaving a busy construction zone in Northern Louisiana (I live in Michigan) on I-55. I just started accelerating from 60MPH to 70MPH when it went. I had the car towed to an independent repair shop in the Kentwood LA. area and the guy was saying close to $1800 to repair if the cylinder head wasn't damaged. Well after hearing this, I figured I'd be better off to tow the car home (1200 miles) and do it myself. ($500 in gas + cost of timing kit, gaskets and head = cheaper than $1800. Made perfect sense to me.)

Then I found the recall information, so after speaking with the Saturn SA, I opted to tow the car to my local Saturn dealer to get this taken care of under the recall. (even cheaper than doing it myself right?) Well now I'm being told that my L-series isn't covered under that recall campaign, even though the VIN (1Y519XXX) falls between the vehicles covered, but they'll split the labor and parts with me and essentially only charge me the labor, 9.8 hours. ($810 still better than the initial quote of $1800)

In my opinion, that's similar to, if not the same as, admitting guilt. They know there's a problem, it's the same as every other vehicle covered under the recall, so why shouldn't they repair it as if it were covered under recall? Besides that, what's up with this, the recall states, "certain vehicles between 1Y504884 and 1Y559453", that statement gives the manufacturer the ability to pick and choose which vehicles they repair under recall, which just isn't right!

Anyway, I put in another call to Saturn Customer Care and I'm now awaiting a call from the District Representative who will hopefully resolve this issue for me. I'll keep you all informed of what goes on.

4th Jul 2008, 23:10

I have a Saturn L200 2001 sedan with 89k miles. I was accelerating from an intersection and the car stopped as if the engine had no power. I had it towed to a transmission repair shop. The owner told me that it wasn't the transmission but the "timing chain" that had broke.

I called the Saturn dealership and asked them how much it was going to be to repair my car with the failure of the timing chain. Saturn said it would be at least $2500 to repair it.

Luckily (and Thank You!), I found this website listing the recall for the "timing chain" problem. I called the 800 number for the recall notice. The person answered and asked me a few questions about the car such as the year, model number, vin number and number of miles on the car. They said that the car did qualify for the recall and that they would pay for the repairing of the car.

I had the car towed to the local Saturn dealership and the car was repaired in two days (no charge).

Thanks again for having the recall notice - it saved me a lot of money!

7th Jul 2008, 14:01

An update to my July 2,2008 post and a request...

Well after speaking with the Saturn District Representative, I have finally decided that this whole attempt to get my vehicle covered under this recall is futile.

The only recourse I/we have at this point is to file a complaint with the NHTSA at safercar.gov or phone 1-888-327-4236. The more complaints that are filed, the better the chance we (those of us whose cars are allegedly NOT covered under recall) have of getting the recall expanded to include all vehicles in the VIN range listed in my earlier post.

Now obviously this is not immediate relief, but there would at least be a possibility (as slim as it is) of recouping our losses. However sitting on our butts whining and crying about it leaves us still holding the proverbial bag for sure.

So if you are an owner of one of the vehicles that wasn't covered under the recall, I implore you to take action, as it could possibly lead to an expansion of the vehicles covered by this recall.

11th Sep 2008, 19:46

I must consider myself one of the lucky ones. I drove my car cross country twice, with my service engine light, going on and off. I checked the light before I left for the first trip, but the only thing the mechanic could tell me was that it was an electrical problem that he couldn't fix. But he did ask me if my car had ever stalled on me, my answer "No". When I returned home after my trip I received a recall letter from saturn. And after piecing together what the mechanic had told me and what the letter said, I brought my car in promptly and had it fixed. Now, I'm hearing a ticking sound and my engine jerks when idle. But I'm pretty sure it is merely my sparks plug, with a misfire in my 3rd piston. But we'll find out tomorrow.

Other problems:

A hole in my axle pinion steering.

Seepage around my oil pan.

Changing thermostats.

Water pump.

3rd Nov 2008, 16:09

Yes, another one - 2001 L200 Saturn. The timing chain broke this morning - thankfully not at high speed or in heavy traffic (and not on a dark country road)! My VIN also falls outside of the recall parameters (by one month), but I'm having it towed to the nearest Saturn dealer just in case they can do something. Otherwise, it's $2,000+. It's been a great car (I've had much worse). They know which timing chain kits are defective - I hope they start including all of the vehicles manufactured with it. Thanks for the posts!

16th Nov 2008, 11:02

I also had to replace the engine on my Saturn L200 2001 due to the timing chain. Just thought I would add to those of you having had the same issue. Other issues I have had are with the brakes. Anyone else have any brake problems? Thanks!

20th Nov 2008, 17:23

I will add my wifes car to the list. Her 2001 L200 with 62,000 had the timing chain break, with damage to the heads. Total cost of the repair would have been $2300. After calling the number as provided by the dealer, Saturn said that the dealer would split the cost, they eat the parts cost and we paid the labor, about $1200.

26th Nov 2008, 15:26

You can add me to the list as well: My Saturn L200 (2002) left me on the side of the highway at +/-18:50 on 18 November 2008 with about 107,000 miles on the clock. Lodged a complaint at the General Motors customer service, NHTSA, as well as added my name to the Class Action Complaint list at http://www.sfmslaw.com.

In the meantime Toyota is willing to give me $800-$1000 for the car, as is, while GM is still arguing with me about who should pay $800 to open the engine and determine the damage. In my opinion, they should pay for it all since my vehicle was serviced 3 times in the last 12 months by them, and not one time did they suggest that I should replace my timing chain - knowing how many customers have already complained about similar issues. They should pay the whole bill in my opinion, and restore it to the way it was before the timing chain took a bite at my engine.

We shouldn't let them off the hook by having to pay for parts only, since the parts include their profit share, thus they are not really paying 50/50; maybe it ends up rather 30/70 if you take the profit off the parts. All we ask is pro-active customer treatment and transparent dealings when it comes to known defects - that's not asking a lot, is it?