really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,688 miles

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problem #23

Oct 072009


  • 97,000 miles
All of these repairs in about a two year period: ABS module, oil cooler, throttle body, upper radiator hose, and both dic cassettes. This is completely unacceptable for what was originally a $40K car. I have loved Saab's since my childhood, but this one car has completely turned me off of them. First the ABS module went, had it rebuilt ($150) and no improvement. So I bought a new one ($350). Then just after that the throttle body died ($450). Then just a few months later the oil cooler ($1100) went out. It ran smooth for a short time, but then both dic's died at the same time ($850). It is time for this car to go away, and I will never buy another Saab. Why is there a recall on the dic for all subsequent years, but no the 1999's? thank Saab!!!

- Willoughby, OH, USA

problem #22

Jan 142011

9-5 4-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
My 1999 Saab's direct ignition cassette has failed -- a very common occurrence in this model, for which a recall was issued. That recall, however, excluded 1999 model years for reasons unknown to anyone I have spoken with. My car is essentially identical to a 2000 Saab 9-5, which is covered under recall. Had my part failed while driving, I would have been left with no power brakes, steering, etc... this is my wife's car, in which we carry our newborn daughter. It's a very low-mileage car (83K miles) that I take meticulous care of. This part should not fail, and should certainly be recalled if a pattern of failures exists (which it does). Thank you!

- Charleston, IL, USA

problem #21

Jun 012010


  • 140,000 miles
Ignition cassette failure.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #20

Feb 102009


  • 150,000 miles
1999 Saab 9-5 engine just shuts down while driving or idling. There was a recall of the ignition control unit on the 2000. Dealer said it's the same problem on the 1999 but wasn't included in the recall. Icm has been replaced twice at the dealer, the last time being 2 years ago and needs to be replaced again. GM says nothing they can do since the 1999 wasn't included in the recall. Someone is going to get hurt taking an off ramp on the highway and having the car just turn off.

- Windsor, 00, USA

problem #19

Dec 182008


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 1999 Saab 9-5. the contact stated that her ignition cassette was failing and needed to be replaced. When she starts her vehicle, it moves sluggishly and makes noise. The check engine indicator remains illuminated and an excessive amount of fumes exit the exhaust. The dealer stated that the ignition cassette needed to be replaced and was harming the engine. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #18

Jul 302007


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 1999 Saab 9-5. while driving approximately 35 mph on normal road conditions, pressure was applied to the accelerator pedal and there was excessively low power. The vehicle was operating roughly and was towed to an independent mechanic. The technician stated that the failure was related to the ignition cassettes. The vehicle was repaired. On a separate occasion, the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for an identical failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 73,000 and current mileage was 109,000.

- Princeton , NJ, USA

problem #17

Jun 252008


  • 60,000 miles
I was driving down a hill (jackman St. At water St., appleton wi) when my 99 Saab, went dead. At the bottom of the hill there is a blind turn to the left, a stop sign, and a railroad crossing just beyond the intersection. This is a very dangerous spot to have your car fail and have no power to the brakes or steering. The reason my car stalled was a failure of the ignition cassette. The first time this part failed, in 2002, the situation was not as dangerous, and then it was covered by warranty. I contacted Saab customer service and sent a photo of the hill. They responded by phone that there have been no recalls for this part, nor would there be a recall. They refused to cover the cost of the tow and repair. I think that leaves Saab owners vulnerable to accidents. I was lucky to be able to pull off at the bottom of the hill without hitting a train or causing serious injury to anyone.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #16

Jan 152004


  • 70,000 miles
Dash board digital display (referred to as sid) inoperative and unable to report vital safety related information.

- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA

problem #15

Mar 242006

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,847 miles
I have a 99 9-5 turbo. Over the course of the past week, my vehicle has stalled on me three times. The first, I was traveling alone at 20 mph and the car stalled when I made a left turn into a gas station, leaving me vulnerable to ongoing traffic. An hour later, I had my children in the car and we proceeded to get onto the highway. The car stalled as I was going into highway traffic. Thanks to the skillful maneuvering of the other drivers, our lives were spared. The other occurred when we reached our destination. The car stalled as we pulled into the parking space. This led to the inability to turn sufficiently and almost hitting the neighboring cars. I have read various forums of fellow Saab owners who have experienced these same life threatening incidents. It seems to me and many others that Saab does not care about the safety of their dedicated consumers. We are not asking for hand outs, just the reliability and safety any one should have from a company that "allegedly" prides themselves on those things. I just hope that the next time I submit a report it doesn't include a death or dismemberment of myself, child, or another loved one because of Saab's lack of integrity.

- Smyrna, GA, USA

problem #14

May 012005

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer experienced three complete engine and electrical failures on the 1999 Saab 9-5. there were no warnings. The di cassette and throttle body was replaced. The consumer stated he has experienced bulb failures failures on a regular basis and he truly believed the vehicle has an electrical problem.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #13

Apr 252005

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 35,810 miles
Car is a Saab 9-5 2.3L, lpt wagon, 1999. The direct ignition cassette failed, fortunately the car was not totally disabled and we could get to the dealer for diagnosis, with the cell on. There have been numerous reports of the failure of this part at highway speed, which risks a catastrophe. This vehicle began to run badly and within 4 days the cell came on and the next time it was driven was to the dealer. The problem was diagnosed and the dig and plugs replaced. The car is 5 months old on a 4 year warranty, but mileage is on 35,900 at the dealer. After discussion with Saab consumer service, Saab agreed to pay for all parts but not the labor. Apparently they are aware internally of this problem on 1999 and later Saab 9-5's and the direct ignition cassette. There ought to be an absolute recall for this, and if so we should also be reimbursed our labor charge. We are also uncertain as to whether the cassettes now produced are equally susceptible to failure.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #12

Apr 202005

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 118,000 miles
Complete, instantaneous shutdown of the entire vehicle at speed. Loss of power, loss of power steering and brakes, had to angle across two lanes of high speed traffic while coasting! thankfully, no one hit me! had to replace the "direct ignition cassette". this failed completely.

- Far Hills, NJ, USA

problem #11

Feb 242004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,566 miles
While driving on the interstate in the passing lane in my 1999 Saab 1995 accelerating from 65 mph to 75 mph, the engine suddenly stopped running when I reached about 75 mph. It smelled like plastic was burning and nothing on the car was operational. Traffic was very heavy and luckily I was able to roll to the right side of the road without getting hit or causing an accident at that high speed. Such catastrophic failure of a component is unacceptable when driving at today?S speeds and traffic. After having the car towed to the dealership, they replaced the dic (direct ignition cassette) for $738.10. The car was just out of warranty.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #10

Dec 272004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,612 miles
Station wagon stalled traveling at speed of 40 mph. Was able to start car after about 1 hour. Took car to Saab dealer following day, they were unable to identify problem. Next day car stalled going up hill at 20 mph - car had to be pushed into service station. New ignition cassette was installed by fritschs exxon 99 S. newtown square, pa 19063 12/30/2004. They kept old part. Phone 610-353-3007. They obtained new part from mainline Saab in ardmore, pa. I had to rent a car.

- Media, PA, USA

problem #9

Nov 212003

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 85,000 miles
There was no indication that this part would fail, until it did fail. I was driving and the engine just shut off, on the highway. I was able to pull to the side of the highway and roll off an off-ramp, but did create an unsafe condition while still on the highway. The part was a "direct ignition cassette", part #9197559, and it was easily replaced by my mechanic after the car was towed to his facility.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Sep 292004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
I had a failure of the direct ignition cassette on my Saab. This resulted in an immediate, unanticipated engine failure with no warning on the highway. This caused my vehicle to immediately die in the middle of the highway. I have since learned that this is not an uncommon problem with Saab. To me this constitutes a serious safety issue for Saab drivers and passengers. In my case I was fortunate enough to have 2 police vehicles respond within minutes to divert highway traffic. This part is now being replaced.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #7

Sep 042004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 76,000 miles
1999 Saab 9-5 direct ignition cassette failed. Left car stranded. This item should be recalled. Many Saab owners have experienced dangerous failures of this component.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #6

Jul 122004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
While driving at 70 mph vehicle intermittently stalled. This caused loss of steering and the brakes. Dealership replaced 3 times the cassette ignition module, part 9197559 at consumer's expense of $400.oo.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #5

Mar 152004

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
Car started running badly (misfiring). Based on number of failures reported on the saabnet website, I figured the direct ignition cassette was failing. Removed it and found a cracked component in the cassette. Replaced the cassette with new one ($414 list price) and problem cured. Saab now wants failed cassette back and is charging a $250 core charge if it's not returned. Another expensive and common failure with the 9-5.

- Washington, IL, USA

problem #4

Dec 012003

9-5 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
1999 Saab 9-5 stalling problem. Sometimes when in traffic. Happened when traveling at low speeds (25-40 mph). Dealer kept car for one week then diagnosed problem as defective "ECU" which it replaced at a cost of more than $900. This happened many times in November and December, 2003.

- Williamsville, NY, USA

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