4th Dec 2008, 04:33

My 2001 Saturn LW200 has been running very well and has 189,000 miles on it without any problems. I received a postcard from Saturn advising me to have the timing chain replaced. Yesterday, Saturn installed a new chain at no cost to me. I am one of the lucky ones I guess, that had no engine damage before it was replaced. I would purchase a new Saturn again someday, but first I have to wear this one out. This Saturn LW200 is the best, most dependable and economical automobile I ever have owned.

26th Jan 2009, 11:09

My Saturn would not start in my driveway just 2 days ago. I had AAA service come out to try and jump start it after I failed, and thought it might be the starter, and just wanted to verify it before I brought it in for service.

While I waited for the service truck, I surfed for any recalls and found this and several other sites with references to the timing chain problem. My VIN, "1y511xxx" fell early between "1y504884 and 1y559453". I am an original owner with the same address and never received a recall notice. AAA tech did verify it was the timing chain.

I called my local dealer the next day to verify it would be covered after all the the previous horror stories listed. The first dealer service person said it was VIN specific and not covered, I asked for her supervisor and already had his name from their web site before calling. He said he would call me back after researching the recall. In the mean time my wife called the corporate office to push the issue expecting a denial from the dealer. I meantime went onto the website for the US national highway traffic safety administration. They started a new complaint for us to try to add us to the affected class for the recall. They handled the actual forms by mail and are sending the form for signature for return to start the investigation.

Right after that, the service manager for the dealer called us back and said we did fit the class according to the technical service advisory from the manufacturer. My Saturn L200 was towed to the dealer within an hour by AAA (great to have, worth every cent). The dealership said the would call me within a few hours and also that the actual job takes about 3 1/2 hours to do.

Please make your complaints or push the issue if you think you fall within the class of the recall, be polite, nice and "firm" when you make the calls. You've paid good money for your vehicle and deserve value for that. Always take names, write them down with dates and times and ask for someone higher to talk to if you don't get what you want. Even have someone with you when you make your calls, a spouse, a good friend, adult child, a parent, brother or sister. Treat your call as if you bought an expensive gift for that person and it was defective and you want the company to make good on that product. When our car is done I'll add a short comment with the final results, good luck with your cars and thanks to all of you for making your comments available to us.

28th Jan 2009, 21:29

Continuing... I left the dealer service dept without signing anything, everyone was very polite and nice. They just took my phone number and told my the job normally takes 3.8 hours, & that they would call later with some news.

No calls all day, and we call them before the service dept closed. They told us that the tech assigned had worked on it a few hours & was gone for the day & to call back the next day. We waited about 3 1/2 hours after opening to call. The same service manager said the chain and most of the other parts and adjustment were done, but... there were several valves that were damaged, it was covered. In fact a prepacked head with valves was put on along with anything else that was damaged, no charge, all covered by the extended warranty recall program. The said it would be ready in a few hours and they would call.

About 2 hours later they called to pick up the car. I went to the cashier expecting a surprise, but instead got a four leaf clover, a repair authorization form to sign without charges, a final statement form with all parts and services and labor used, cost $0.00. I drove out after shaking the service managers hand and said thank you very much.. I also found a class action law suit, use engine description to find it, "2001 saturn g61 2.2 liter 4 cylinder engine", you might have to add "recall" to the end.

Good luck and thanks for all of your help!!

24th Feb 2009, 14:16

I would like to add to this list as well. Our 2001 L-200 died of timing chain failure while driving on the Interstate 70 in Columbus OH in 2006. The car had 108,000 miles on it. We still paid a little over $2500.00 for repairs after negotiating a $500.00 discount. We did register a complaint with the NHTSA. The dealer as you have heard, before claimed no knowlege of timing chain failures and claimed poor maintenance on our part. They said it was because I didn't change the oil frequently enough. They wanted to see all my receipts from oil changes for the past several years. I received very little help from the Saturn corporate customer service. Unfortunately my car falls just outside the recall parameters. If I would have been told that I should have the timing chain replaced for $800 to avoid a $2500+ rebuild I would have done it. I am disappointed with Saturn and GM to say the least. I am still driving the Saturn everyday. It now has 179000 miles. I hope when the dealer rebuilt the engine they installed the new and improved parts so that this won't happen again.

10th Mar 2009, 10:00

I was lucky enough to have the timing chain on my 01 L200 replaced for free under the recall, only to have the exhaust cam burn up the left most bearing a week later.

I am a mechanic, so I removed the valve cover after hearing a terrible banging noise coming from the top end. The intake cam looks well oiled and in good shape, as does the right side of the exhaust cam. The left side however is black and ground down from lack of oil. The last bearing is in two pieces, and laying in the head with the broken bolts.

I towed it to the dealer, and had the tech that performed the timing chain swap look at it. He said this has happened to other vehicles after the recall. The service manager, who explained to me that he knows nothing about engines, claims the two are not related.

After reading the tech bulletin myself, I have discovered that the oiler nozzle that lubes the chain is replaced with a larger one, which means less oil to the head, and also the repair requires the tech to change the oil to make sure pieces of the old gasket do not clog oil passages. This also was not done at the time of repair.

Still no help from my local Saturn dealer or the customer service 800 number, who claim the timing chain is OK so it's an unrelated problem. This was the last Saturn I will buy.