The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2008 Saturn Outlook, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA08010

    Component(s): Electrical System
    Electrical System:Battery
    Electrical System:Fuses And Circuit Breakers
    Electrical System:Wiring
    Electrical System:Wiring:Front Underhood
    Engine And Engine Cooling
    Engine And Engine Cooling:Engine
    Visibility:Windshield Wiper/Washer
    Visibility:Windshield Wiper/Washer:Switch/Wiring

    Summary: In a letter dated August 27, 2008, General Motors Corp. (GM) notified NHTSA that it will conduct a safety recall (NHTSA recall number 08V-441) to address a safety relateddefect that can result in engine compartment fire in approximately 850,000 vehicles equipped with a heated windshield washer fluid option.the subject vehicles of this investigation comprise over three-quarters of the recall population. According to GM, a short circuit on the printed circuit board for the windshield washer fluid heater module may overheat the control-circuit ground wire. This may cause other electrical features to malfunction, create an odor or cause smoke and in rare cases it may cause a a remedy, GM dealers will install a wire harness with an in-line fuse. In addition to the subject vehicles, several other GM models with the heated windshield washer fluid option are included in recall 08V-441: MY 2006-2008 Buick lucerne (manufactured August 2005 through November 2007); MY 2008 Buick enclave (manufactured February 2007 through April 2007); MY 2006-2008 Cadillac dts (manufactured May 2007 through November 2007); MY 2007-2008 Saturn Outlook (manufactured August 2006 through April 2007); and MY 2007-2008 GMC acadia (manufactured August 2006 through April 2007) vehicles.GM is instructing owners to take their vehicle to a dealer for service if they experience symptoms of windshield washer heater module short circuits. GM's recall resolves the safety defect concerns pursued by this investigation.this engineering analysis is closed.

  2. INVESTIGATION: Loss of Headlamp Illumination

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP12003

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: June 04, 2012
    • Date Closed: July 24, 2014
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting:Headlights

    Summary: As of July 16, 2014, out of a population of 248,453 subject vehicles, NHTSA received 473 consumer complaints of inoperative head lamp. Many of these complaints indicated that the head lamp harness suffered damage from overheating. After reviewing the complaints, ODI found: -69% (328) alleged that a single head lamp was inoperative. -18% (86) alleged that both head lamps were inoperative but not at the same time. -9% (41) alleged that both head lamps were inoperative but the complaints did not indicate whether the failures had occurred at the same time. -4% (17) alleged that both head lamps were inoperative at the same time. -One additional complaint cited wire harness damage to both sides but did not specify an outage -No crashes or loss of vehicle control were reported. -Any alleged thermal damages were limited to melting of the head lamp harness and the head lamp housing. -A head lamp would intermittently fail to come on or flickers before becoming completely inoperative. For the seventeen complaints that alleged simultaneous failure of both head lamps while attempting to turn them on or while driving, the head lamp failures likely had occurred one at a time. The subject vehicle's head lamps are connected in a parallel circuit and each circuit is fused. Therefore, failure of one head lamp or its harness should not affect the other head lamp operation. Over the last 25 years, ODI has opened numerous defect investigations of the loss of headlamp illumination.Investigations that resulted in safety recalls involved simultaneous loss of illumination from both headlamps. NHTSA does not consider the loss of a single headlamp as presenting an unreasonable safety risk-such failures are readily detectable by the driver while allowing the vehicle to retain forward visibility and conspicuity from the remaining headlamp.There is typically enough time between the failure of the first headlamp and the second during which the vehicle operator can obtain the needed repairs. Based on the information currently available, NHTSA does not believe that the headlamp condition as alleged by the petitioner indicates the likelihood of a safety-related defect that would warrant a formal investigation.Therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the agency's safety mission, the petition is denied.Further specifics can be found in the Federal Register Notice ODI complaint ID numbers are referenced on the next page.