2003 Saturn VUE FWD from North America - Comments

10th Feb 2005, 07:37

I to am experiencing this hesitation in power. I have been to the service department 5 times and had the transmission replaced. Now I have been told by Saturn corporate that the problem is "normal operating procedure." I refuse to accept this. I am now dealing with GM corporate and a lawyer. I would also like to talk with someone else experiencing this DEFECT. Please contact me at gshadejr@verizon.net. I have two small children and as far as I am concerned this vehicle is a safety hazard.

17th Jun 2005, 21:23

Well I guess it seems our VUE problems are just getting started. For the past month and a half it has been making a rubbing/screeching noise upon initial acceleration and nearly always when in reverse. Then it started to loose acceleration going up even the slightest inclines. Then it started to be really sluggish starting after a complete stop. I took it to the dealership and they seemed very helpful. They explained that Saturn had "put out a bulletin" and they would take care of it at no charge by changing the transmission fluid and a few other adjustments. Pretty good so far. The only problem is that I noticed that the screeching sound was still there and the sluggishness seemed even worse, even the same day I picked it up. The noise got even worse. After about four or five days following the service, I got a call from someone from the dealership asking how the repair effort was working. I told him it wasn't. He said give it a few days and things should improve. Four of five days later it was worse then ever before. I called the dealership and told them I was bringing it in. And they said the correction would take 100-500 miles of driving to really take effect. I was content enough to wait. Now the service engine soon light has just popped on. I'm running out of patience with Saturn, I just want to get it fixed. I also have a feeling there going to tell me I need a new transmission. Prior to this we were very loyal to Saturn. Our other car is a 1996 SL with over 125,000 miles and runs very good. This experience is starting to erase that goodwill.

14th Jul 2005, 22:40

We have had three transmission (Torque Converter) failures with our 2003 4 Cyl CVT Vue since new. First problem started out at 4,000 miles on the odometer while we were driving at about 50 MPH on a divided highway. The transmission seemed to disengage and the tach just about red lined. We pulled off the road and cycled the transmission and went on. After about a mile, same thing happened again (seemed like a standard transmission clutch slipping badly) and we limped into the dealer with an overheated transmission that was putting out quite an odor. The dealer had it for 3 days and amazingly could not repeat the problem. The next week, a transmission grinding noise at about 35 MPH began and became progressively worse. Back to the dealer again, demanded that the service manager go for a ride and they finally decided to investigate. They took the tranny apart, found and replaced a badly overheated torque converter and updated the computer.

At 17,000 miles, same exact problem, same repair and this time in addition to the torque converter they also replaced the valve body.

At 24,000 miles, same problem AGAIN and this time they replaced just about everything except the gearing with assistance from the factory and claim I now have the most up to date transmission improvements. The dealer states that they have never seen this happen before, but shortly after the second failure, I received a letter from Saturn Corporate providing me with an extended warranty period of 5 years or 75,000 miles (whichever occurs first) on the entire CVT assembly.

I believe it might finally be repaired because since the last repair at 24,000 miles (we now have 27,500) we have noticed that the engine tachs about 200 to 300 less at 70 MPH than before and we obtain a consistent 25 to 27 MPG. Before, we were getting about 20 to 22. We love the vehicle, but wish Saturn would have road tested this new technology transmission for a much longer period of time.

By the way, since after the first failure, Saturn Service has been great and they have always provided me with a new 3.5 Honda Drive line Vue Loaner which I must say is one of the quickest small SUV's out there and would most likely get me in trouble with the Highway Patrol!

23rd Sep 2005, 12:15

I have a 2003 Vue with about 44,000 miles on it. I have experienced the problem with the transmission as if it is a standard shift vehicle with a severely slipping clutch. This is my second time to Saturn and they can’t find anything wrong. I think I will be looking to trade this vehicle in as soon as I can. I drive to far to work and if we want to go anywhere on the weekends we just have an uneasy feeling because we can’t trust the vehicle. I understand things break, but fix it when it does.

22nd Oct 2005, 17:50

Update to my July 14, 2005 Vue CVT (VTi) comments.

At 30,450 miles the transmission failed exactly the same way as before (slipping badly and disconnect). Saturn replaced the entire Transaxle Assembly and I contacted Saturn Customer Service requesting that they exchange my 2003 for a new 2006. They will provide an extended warranty (5 yr or 60,000 mile) for no cost if I purchase a new vehicle (totally unacceptable). Currently exploring legal action as well as requesting assistance from the BBB.

20th Dec 2005, 15:55

I would recommend you do just that. The 2006 VUE has several improvements over the first version, and the 4-cyl version now has a tried-and-true GM automatic. It works very well with the ecotec engine and will have no problems at all.

You can also get some serious incentives right now. It would be worth it and I really think you'll enjoy the new VUE. The new interiors are beautiful.

22nd Mar 2006, 13:22

We have a 2003 Saturn Vue 4 cylinder that has the same "hesitation" problem. Have taken back to the dealership several times and they can never find anything wrong with it. I am going to contact Saturn again and inform them of this website and all the other people that are having similar problems.

2nd Apr 2006, 20:36

We are having the same problem with our 2004 4-cylinder Saturn Vue. It has been going on for several weeks. The car suddenly loses power, and almost stalls, usually after the engine is warm. We have almost been in two rear end collisions because of this. We have had it to the Saturn dealer twice, and both times they have said that they could not find a problem. They are telling us that they have never heard about this problem, but I am finding that hard to believe, after reading about so many others with the same issues. It is frustrating, because our 36,000 mile warranty is expired (the car has 41,000 miles). I believe that the transmission has a 75,000 mile warranty though... maybe that is why Saturn is not helping us with this, because they do not want to foot the bill. It is getting very frustrating, and I am worried that my wife is going to experience a rear end collision because of this. It comes on without warning, and is quite dangerous. I am not sure what we should do next!