By on July 7, 2015


They didn't make compromises, they made Saabs?

They didn’t make compromises, they made Saabs?

Ron writes:

Sajeev, I’ve what should be a straightforward question, but before I go down the rabbit hole with Subaru and GM, I thought I would get some advice. My girlfriend bought a ’05 Saab 9-2X recently. She loves the car and has been making plans for modifying the interior (she’s a lead electronics tech). Anyway, Subaru broadened their Takata airbag recall to include ’05 WRXs…which is essentially what her car is, under the skin.

You can see the question coming, of course.

As Saab is dead, who does she talk to about getting the recall work done? Is there some skeleton crew left keeping the lights on at Saab specifically for safety issues? Does Saabs’ former owner/assassin, GM, handle them? Or should we talk to Subaru, the company that actually built the car and certainly knows best how to work on them? Searching online gets conflicting information; the NHTSA website says that GM will handle 9-2X recalls, virtually everyone else says that Subaru handles them.

Thanks for any light you can shed on this.

Sajeev answers:

Virtually everyone else? Remember who owned Saab and is legally responsible for their products. Who would go against NHTSA on this? Perhaps you should call this 1-800 number. Or, after a little more Googling, the NHTSA link you mentioned is a resounding endorsement for GM:

Subaru will notify their owners and General Motors will notify Saab owners. Dealers will replace the passenger air bag inflator, free of charge. The recall began on June 17, 2015. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-800-782-2783. Owners of Saab vehicles may call 1-800-955-9007. Subaru’s number for this recall is WQR-53. Note: This recall partially supersedes recall 14V-763 in that model year 2004 through 2005 Subaru Impreza and model year 2005 Saab 9-2x vehicles are now only part of this campaign.

I would contact your most favorite, highest rated, local GM dealership for advice. Why? Because they are the ones tasked with getting parts, installing them and being compensated for their trouble. Odds are they’ll be overwhelmed with airbag-related queries, but you’ll be the most memorable of the flock — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as they are likely underwhelmed with replacement stock for any unique GM vehicle.

If Ford made new airbags for the rare Ford GT, your girlfriend’s Saabaru will be just fine. Eventually.

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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17 Comments on “Piston Slap: Saabaru Takata Airbag Recall Kerfuffle?...”

  • avatar

    Good advice.

  • avatar

    Disagree! It forces you to go into a GM dealership.

    /sarcasm……sort of.

  • avatar

    Go to a Caddy dealer – that’s where I take the orphaned G8 – never had an issue and swapping an airbag is not rocket science.

  • avatar

    Is anyone tracking if the prices of these cars on the airbag recall lists have dropped, then recovered after being serviced? Any sort of wave effect across the used market?

  • avatar

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything good about the 9-2X, unfortunately. An interesting used buy. Hopefully it was super cheapo.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      The 9-2X was known as “the best WRX,” mostly because it had a better interior and NVH (and arguable looks).

      That WRX generation wasn’t anything special, so it’s best at something few people care about.

      Snarky commenters were calling it “the most reliable Saab ever” at the time, but I see a lot more contemporary 9-3s and 9-5s still driving around. Maybe they were talking about JD Power 90-day reliability, rather than long-term reliability.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d say you see the 9-3 and 9-5 more often because they sold many more of them, and they were around for much longer. I thought even though it was built by Subaru, the addition of Saab parts made it sort of worse, NVH aside.

        It never looked right for a Saab, either.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          I meant 03-05 9-3s and 9-5s. Both had facelifts after that.

          Interestingly, those were the top sales years for those two models. I think the 9-2 brought in some dealership traffic, a lot of which got converted into 9-3 sales. The 9-3 started around the same price as the 9-2X (turbo, not 2.5), but it was in a different league in terms of drive, ride, style, fit and finish.

          I’m not sure there were any Saab parts in the 9-2X. Just better seats, softer springs and more sound insulation. I’m sure these were all sourced from normal Subaru suppliers. Saab Sweden had very little input into those cars, as with the 9-7X. The SRX is more of a Saab than the 9-2X or 9-7X.

          • 0 avatar

            That last 9-3 AeroX wagon thing was a looker! I didn’t even know what the engine options were for the 9-2X. When did Subaru dump the 2.2L Impreza engine?! Subarus always have less engine in them than I think they do. I guess the 2.5 turbo was in the Forester X.

            I’d have the 9-7, it was alright. Followed by a loaded Bravada, and then a Rainier after that, if I’m having to choose one of the Trailblazer siblings.

            I’ve seen a 9-4X more than once, and I feel special each time, cause that thing is super rare.

            Edit: I wonder how Alex is enjoying his 9-7. He never has said.

    • 0 avatar
      King of Eldorado

      As far as it being super cheapo, I recall there was a short period when GM was having a “friends and family” or “everyone gets employee pricing” or something like that on its entire product lineup to stimulate sales. I don’t know the dollar amounts, but during that window the 9-2X was a spectacular bargain as compared to the equivalent Subaru-branded WRX.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    FYI, Saab USA is still around. A quick search found the following info:

    North American Customer Assistance Center
    Call 1-800-955-9007

    They should know how/where to get the airbag recall done.

  • avatar

    Driving through Michigan last week, I saw an ultra rare 9-4X running around. I never even thought they made it into the sales fleet!

  • avatar

    I have a 2007 Saab 9-5, built during the time that GM owned the company. After Saab failed, I needed some warranty work done. Despite Saab being sold, GM was still responsible for my car’s warranty, since it was built when they owned it. They’ll be responsible for your recall as well.

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