Recall Alert: 2004-2011 Saab 9-3 Convertible


Vehicles Affected: About 28,789 model-year 2004-11 Saab 9-3 convertibles

The Problem: The automatic tensioning system cable in the driver's-side front seat belt retractor could break. If this happens, the seat belt webbing spooled out by the driver would not retract. GM said the convertible and sedan versions were investigated at the same time, but the convertible parts were not identical to the sedan parts. Click here for the original sedan recall. GM has since learned of customer complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the convertibles.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's-side retractor for free. In addition, GM has issued a special coverage so that if the same repair is required to the passenger-side retractor, it will be covered for the life of the vehicle. GM also extended the special coverage for passenger-side belt retractors on the 2004 Saab 9-3 sedan from the original 10-year coverage to the life of the vehicle. The automaker said it is unaware of any crashes or injuries resulting from the problem.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call GM customer service at 866-418-8168 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 13, 2014 | Comments (5)

Daily News Briefs: June 14, 2012


More details have emerged on the potential Saab asset sell, according to Automotive News. The deal, devised by a Japan-Hong Kong partnership, so far only includes the purchasing rights to the current Saab 9-3 vehicle and a platform Saab was developing called "Phoenix," which was supposed to be the next-generation 9-3. The firm also wants to buy the old Saab factory, but it plans to hire only 200 employees instead of the 3,500 that used to work there. The new Saab company, called National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, aims to become the world’s largest purveyor of electric vehicles, turning Saab exclusively into an EV maker. The new company won’t have the rights to build the Saab 9-5 or the Saab 9-4x, according to GM, which owns the technology rights to those vehicles. The company won’t own Saab’s spare parts company, either. The biggest omission to the deal is the rights to the Saab brand name; those discussions are still ongoing, according to the company. If the deal goes through, the new company aims to build EVs using Japanese technology on the Saab platform by 2013 or 2014.

In other news:

By Colin Bird | June 14, 2012 | Comments (0)

Daily News Briefs: June 13, 2012


Bankrupt Swedish automaker Saab has found a new suitor; a Chinese-Japanese investment group wants to buy the brand and turn it into a builder of electric vehicles, according to sources who spoke with Reuters and Bloomberg News. The group formed a new company in Sweden, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, and has agreed to buy Saab's assets, according to reports. The companies that have invested to buy Saab's assets include Japanese-based Sun Investment and Hong Kong-based renewable-energy power plant builder National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd., according to Automotive News. The first vehicle the new company plans to build will be an electric version of the Saab 9-3, which it expects to start selling in early 2014.

In other news:

By Colin Bird | June 13, 2012 | Comments (0)

Saved: The Last Saab 9-3

Although loyalist group Saabs United wasn't able to save the brand, it was able to rescue the bankrupt Swedish automaker's last vehicle when it rolled off the production line.

Saabs United raised enough money to purchase the last 9-3 sedan ever built: a 9-3 Aero Griffin in Arctic White. The vehicle was taken off the production line in February, and the group raised enough funds through its website to purchase the 9-3 and donate it to the Saab museum in Trollhattan, Sweden.

According to the group, the cost of this specific model was $48,672, and the group's members raised extra funds to support the museum. The names of more than 450 people who chipped in for the 9-3 are listed on the group's site.

"We set out to do something that has never been done by any enthusiast group for any auto-brand in the world. We, the fans set out on a mission to buy a car, and not just any car, we set out to buy the last of a production series, the last Saab 9-3 Griffin," the group said on its website.


What Saab's Liquidation Means to You
Saab Fans Rally Across the World
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Saving the last Saab 9-3: Mission Accomplished (Saabs United)

By Jennifer Geiger | May 10, 2012 | Comments (0)

Saab Stops Covering Warranties


As it falls into liquidation, Saab confirmed today that will no longer honor warranties on any models. This includes not only cars still on dealer lots, but all 2010 and 2011 models already sold. If you bought a Saab while the automaker was still part of the GM stable, warranty work will be covered, GM told Kicking Tires this afternoon. The sale was completed in February 2010.

The bankrupt Swedish automaker told dealers yesterday it would stop covering its policies, according to Automotive News. Warranty booklets were to be removed from cars on lots, and all cars should be sold "as is," according to Automotive News.

All warranties have been suspended, regardless of model year, Saab spokeswoman Michele Tinson said, but "Saab owners should be advised to keep receipts of all related warranty work done or services performed until further notice." A service representative at True Saab, a dealership in suburban Chicago, confirmed the news, saying the dealership was charging customers for all Saab repairs and maintenance. The dealership had no immediate provision to offer its own replacement warranty, a sales representative told us.

By Kelsey Mays | December 20, 2011 | Comments (15)

What Saab's Liquidation Means to You


As the automotive industry digests the news that embattled Swedish automaker Saab filed for bankruptcy liquidation this morning, current Saab owners and prospective buyers likely have serious questions.

Breaking: Saab Stops Covering Warranties

Saab is seeking a true liquidation, meaning there will be no future buyers, and Saab will no longer make new cars. GM sold Saab in 2010 to an independent firm in Sweden. At the time, GM said it would honor any Saab warranty because the cars were still built with GM technology and parts.

A Saab representative told us there are no details at this time about future warranties and who will honor them.

By David Thomas | December 19, 2011 | Comments (33)

2011 Saab 9-5, 2011-12 Volkswagen CC Earn IIHS Top Safety Pick

2011 Saab 9-5The 2011 Saab 9-5 and the 2011 and 2012 Volkswagen CC received the Top Safety Pick designation in the midsize luxury/near-luxury category from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

These cars had previously earned the title, which is awarded to vehicles that receive the agency’s top rating — Good — in front, side and rear crash tests, and have electronic stability control. But that was before IIHS implemented its tough roof-strength test, making it harder for new cars to be named Top Safety Picks. To pass the test, a vehicle’s roof must be able to withstand the force of four times the vehicle’s weight. The VW CC’s roof can withstand 4.4 times its own weight; the 9-5 can withstand 5.85 times its own weight.

The Top Safety Pick designation on the CC applies only to the front-wheel-drive model because the heavier all-wheel-drive model was rated Acceptable in the roof-strength test.

Neither vehicle has been fully tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, whose tests include more side impact test data.

Altogether, IIHS recently completed roof-strength tests for eight midsize/large family and luxury cars. The 2011 Lexus ES 350 earned a Good rating in roof strength, but it was rated Acceptable for rear crash protection. The 2011 BMW 3 Series, Chevrolet Impala, Infiniti G series, Lexus IS and Saab 9-3 all earned Acceptable ratings in the roof-strength test.

By Colin Bird | June 16, 2011 | Comments (4)

Chinese Partner Throws Saab Another Lifeline

2011 Saab 9-5Saab used up another of its nine lives today as the company announced a new partnership with a small, private Chinese car company, according to USA Today. Hawtai Motor Group bought a 30% interest in Saab in exchange for $223 million.

Saab has been shut down for nearly a month because it lacks money to pay for the parts it needs to build its vehicles, USA Today reported. Before the recent turmoil, Saab was threatened by the bankruptcy of former owner General Motors before the big American carmaker reached an agreement with small Dutch boutique carmaker Spyker. Ever since, Spyker has struggled to keep the lights on.

Along with the new money from Hawtai and a short-term loan from an investment fund, Saab will now have enough money to restart production of 9-3 and 9-5 vehicles. Despite the lull in production, Saab has plenty of inventory in the U.S. is showing some 2,602 new Saabs at its estimated 130 dealerships. That’s equivalent to 141 days of inventory, the highest in the industry, according to Ward’s Automotive. A new 9-4x crossover was supposed to go on sale this month, but we don’t know if that model has been delayed. A Saab 9-5 SportCombi is scheduled to come to the U.S. this fall.

The deal still needs to be cleared with European and Chinese authorities, but Saab expects the agreement will clear regulation hurdles in six to 12 weeks.

Saab Buys Time by Selling 30% to Tiny Chinese Carmaker (USA Today)

By Colin Bird | May 3, 2011 | Comments (8)

Saab Confirms Next-Gen 9-3 for Fall 2012 Launch

2012 Saab 9-3

In a going-away blog post, Saab’s former CEO confirmed that the automaker will launch a redesigned Saab 9-3 on or before October 2012. By that time, Saab’s entire vehicle lineup will consist of new models, including the new 9-5 SportCombi and 9-4x crossover. The current generation 9-3 is shown above.

There have been growing concerns surrounding the sustainability of the recently formed independent Saab because the CEO recently resigned amid new financial losses.

The 9-4x will go on sale in May with a starting price of $34,205. The 9-5 SportCombi will go on sale this fall. Saab confirmed earlier that the underpinnings of the Saab PhoeniX concept we saw at the Geneva International Motor Show will underpin the new 9-3.

By Colin Bird | March 29, 2011 | Comments (5)

2012 Saab 9-3 at 2011 Geneva Motor Show


  • Competes with: Audi A4, Infiniti G37, Lexus IS, Buick Regal
  • Looks like: We’ll have to wait a long time for a truly new 9-3
  • Drivetrain: 210-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder, front- or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2011

If you were hoping Saab would roll out a significantly upgraded 9-3 to sell besides its revamped 9-5, you’re in for a bit of a letdown. The independently owned company may have distanced itself from General Motors on the corporate side of things, but the 2012 9-3 being rolled out at the 2011 Geneva International Motor Show is barely changed from the 2011 model you can buy in the U.S. today. And that car is barely altered from when it was last overhauled as a 2003 model.

That’s a long time for any vehicle, especially one at luxury prices. The power plant remains the same as the current model. U.S. buyers will get a 210-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder in front- or all-wheel drive. It’s a fun package with lots of turbo boost pressing you back in the seat, but it isn’t as refined as more modern turbos.
The exterior gets some significant stylistic changes in terms of headlight and taillight treatments and lower bumpers, but otherwise it looks similar to the 2011. Inside, there are some new trim pieces, but we can tell from the early photos that it, too, maintains the dated GM feel of the current model.
Saab does have the new 9-4X crossover going on sale in the U.S. this spring. The 9-4X is based on one of GM’s more modern designs that is also the basis of the Cadillac SRX. The new 9-5 sedan is also a step forward for the brand, but not a huge one, according to our full review.
A completely redesigned 9-3 will be vital to the brand’s resurgence, and we hope one will get to market soon.

By David Thomas | February 23, 2011 | Comments (11)

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