Recall win for UK Saab 9-3 Convertible owners

Saab-9-3-CabrioBack in June, GM issued yet another vehicle recall – but this time it came as a real surprise, for it was a recall for a Saab.

29,000 Saab 9-3 Convertibles built between 2004-2011 (basically, all second generation 9-3 Convertible) are affected, says US safety agency the NHTSA, which issued the recall. A faulty driver’s side seatbelt retractor is the cause: it can break, so the seatbelt fails to reel back correctly when the driver unbuckles.

But if cars over in the US are affected, then won’t European Saab 9-3 Convertibles be too? Motoring Research found out, with an enquiry to GM’s British representatives, Vauxhall.

UK Saab 9-3 Convertible owners: you can claim

The response was couched with a disclaimer. “The manufacturer of Saab 9-3 vehicles is Saab Automobile AB, which is why the latter has the legal product responsibility for these vehicles.

“GM was the shareholder of Saab Automobile AB, but shareholders do not bear legal product responsibility.”

This, we expected. But then, a surprise: “Nevertheless, as Saab Automobile AB is insolvent, GM and Opel/Vauxhall are ready on a voluntary basis to help owners affected by the 9-3 convertible seat belt retractor issue in Europe to get their cars reworked.”

In other words, Saab 9-3 Convertible owners, if you think your seatbelt is faulty and you have a case for a claim, take it to your local Vauxhall dealer and ask them to have a look at it.

They probably won’t be expecting you and a bit of explaining may be involved, but there should be a bulletin in their system telling them what to do, so stick at it. You may just get a surprise free safety fix for your car (helping it pass its MoT) – despite the brand no longer existing.

Saab 9-3 Convertible owners, over to you: if you decided to give it a go and take your faulty car to a Vauxhall dealer, do let us know how you get on.

10 replies
  1. Jaap
    Jaap says:


    I have contacted opel customer service in the netherlands and they can not undertake something as they can not find something in their system. They just tell me to contact saab parts service center grrrr. So if some one can help me out how it worked for you guy’s in the UK what i have to do specificly that opel in the netherlands will solve it.
    I would be very thank full


  2. Esther
    Esther says:

    I contacted the Cheif Exec of both GM (USA) and Vauxhall, pasted below is an extract from the response I received from the Vauxhall Customer services

    ‘I can confirm that GM UK does not bear product responsibility for the Saab 9-3 Convertible, and we are not performing a safety recall I can further advise that the issue in question does not qualify as a safety issue under European product safety legislation’

    I haven’t given up, I’m going to try directly with SAAB.

    • Tara Withill
      Tara Withill says:

      Hi there did you have any joy with Saab direct? My seatbelt has just broken and I came across this article. Many thanks Tara

  3. Saab Driver
    Saab Driver says:

    This is not correct. Vauxhall/GM are not covering it in the UK.
    This article is completely misleading customers into thinking here in the UK that the seatbelt is covered, and I would question where the writer got his information regarding the UK from.

  4. Don Murray
    Don Murray says:

    My replacement part for my 04 9/3 Cab. is currently in transit from Sweden, and will be fitted sometime this/next week for a tad over £426.00. I initially raised the question of recalls, but the later response was “I’ve googled the internet comments, but as the main dealer’s Saab specialist I’ve never heard anything about it.” It would seem the regional centre hasn’t heard from the press office.

  5. scotty
    scotty says:

    My driver side seat belt has broken and I was initially excited by the post that there had been a recall and now very angry that this is not the case, so glad I went on to read the comments.

    • Don Murray
      Don Murray says:

      I will say that they fixed the non-working seat tilt mechanism while they were in there, and changed a dodgy rear lightbulb for only 80p extra!

  6. Dave Hanna
    Dave Hanna says:

    Vauxhall UK will not honour this recall. It’ll cost approx £500+ to replace through former Saab dealers. 2nd hand parts are near impossible to find and one company I found will repair if you remove and post (approx £120) but I believe all the leather must be removed and replaced. A bit of a pain to say the least. I’m not loving GM Europe!


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