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Crazy Saturn odometer Readings !?!

**after a battery odometer jumped from 42,000 to whopping 692,608 miles. Problem is noted and there is a recall from GM BUT my vehicle should be in recall by age and model BUT my vehicle has a V6 3.0L engine that has a spin on oil filter instead of the typical insert. This seems I believe to mean that my engine was to be used in Saab autos. Hence GM to distinguish it from other engines seems to have place a number 6 as the first number of the final six numbers of the VIN
thereby excluding my vehicle from a recall. The recall identifies the problem as a software update glitch

First, keep your copies of the shop order along with all relevant information.
Look at the paperwork that came with your car. There should be a process for appealing things that came with the car. It’s required by law. Follow this process of appeal, and include copies of all paperwork including the battery change, which should list your mileage. Request that a factory rep look at the vehicle.

Good luck.

I presume you’ve taken your car to a dealership and asked for their help on this, right? It’s a very make/model/year specific problem. You’d have to get lucky to find help in a broad-based forum like this on something specific like that, but not harm asking of course. As @the_same_mountainbik suggests above, the factory rep is your best bet. I’d be surprised that the dealership wouldn’t just fix it, if they knew it just needed a software update, just for customer interest reasons. Remind them that you’d like to be able consider GM as a vendor for your next vehicle purchase, that should get their att’n.

Remember that there’s a variety of notices commonly published by the manufacturer on cars. Recalls, customer interest, extended warranty, and technical service bulletins. Just b/c there’s no recall for your car doesn’t mean one of the other doesn’t apply either. The dealership can search their database for what applies to your car based on the vin. The data base 'All Data" can do that too, if you have access to it. Many public libraries subscribe to that service. Or you can purchase a yearly subscription for short money, applicable to just your own car.

We have all the info as you describe Unfortunately either because Saturn is a dead dog or because GM is still recovering there is no positive or interested response from them in all the places we have tried with them Very much appreciate your feedback Thanks

Hi thanks for your feedback Well, even though this odometer change from 42,000 miles to almost 700,000 miles has taken place after the battery change and vehicle is a 2000 GM says it does not have the correct VIN to qualify for their fix (though it meets all the symptoms of the the fix). GM dealers don’t want to get involved. As an aside we own 3 GM vehicles and own stock in GM. GM doesn’t care. A young woman in Bara’s office recommended we purchase another car to replace this old one! Yikes

I’m guessing that you have an L series Saturn. Have you had it since new? Try this forum, these guys know Saturn’s

Here’s an idea . . .

Simply agree to pay out of pocket to have that software updated

IMO you shouldn’t have to pay more than 1 hour shop time

Apparently your VIN number is not on the recall list and your vehicle is 16 years old and a discontinued brand. No wonder the dealers don’t want to reprogram for free. As DB says just ask how much it would cost. Next time you need a battery make sure who ever does it knows how to keep from losing settings.

Agreed . . . a decent 12V memory saver can be had for under $100

I expect you know what to do next time you need a new vehicle then.

Are you suggesting OP punishes GM by choosing to not buy another GM vehicle . . . ?

And maybe dump the GM stock, as well . . . ?!

Trust me, the company will NOT get the message, because it would only be one person

More than that, OP’s car technically doesn’t qualify for the recall, so they’re not obliged to offer financial assistance in any way or form. And Saturn doesn’t even exist, anymore.

If people were to follow your advice . . . assuming I didn’t misinterpret . . . people would be switching brands every time they were forced to pay out of pocket for a 16-year old car. And an orphan, at that

IMO . . . OP should act rationally, not emotionally, and not out of spite

After all, the goal is to get the vehicle repaired.

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This isn’t a normal wear and tear problem, like a worn wheel bearing or CV joint. And it isn’t something routine maintenance could have prevented. And neither is it a problem that can just be ignored, since it is illegal to own a car with an inaccurate odometer reading. It’s a computer glitch for which the owner is completely fault-free, and sort of puts the owner in between a rock and a hard place. Let’s just say, I was at one time the owner of a small business, and if repeat business customer of mine needed me to do a 15 minute re-programming job to fix a one-time glitch, and there was no other source to get the job done other than my business, I’d be happy to do it gratis.

It is illegal to operate or own a vehicle with an inaccurate odometer in California? I don’t know if that is illegal in my state but it is not enforced, the odometer in my Jeep quit 20 years ago.

From what I read about the campaign for the 2001-2002 L series, the software update will prevent a mileage change when the battery is disconnected but if the mileage reading has changed the Body control module would have to be replaced. Rock auto lists a replacement BCM for $264.

I don’t believe any manufacture would offer a warranty repair on a vehicle this old.

Good point. If new hardware is needed, the owner may indeed have to pony up for that. My comment applies if it’s just a 15 minute re-programming job using equipment and software only GM dealerships for the most part have access to.

Can’t speak to Calif, but in my prior home-state of Colorado if the car is less than 10 years old you can’t legally sell it if the odometer reading is incorrect. And an increased odometer reading decreases the value of the car. I don’t expect the OP will get a ticket for this, as they’re not at fault. But it may well place a burden on them at some point.

“If the vehicle being sold is 10 years old or less, a valid odometer reading is required.”


I don’t know of any state where it is illegal to own a vehicle with an inaccurate odometer reading. In all states it is illegal to sell a vehicle with a inaccurate odometer reading without disclosing it to the new owner and the state.

Odometer statements upon sale are a federal requirement for vehicles less than ten years old, does not apply to this vehicle.

Yes, the odometer reading technically needs to reflect actual vehicle mileage

That said . . . I doubt OP is going to be in legal trouble if the next time they register the car, the odometer suddenly reads over 700K

I don’t think anybody at the DMV or the insurance companies is going to lose any sleep over that

Furthermore, we’re still talking about a 16-year old car, which wouldn’t be worth much, even with low mileage. Going from the true mileage to 700K isn’t going to affect the value much. Because it wasn’t worth much, to begin with

Sorry if I offended anybody, but I stated my opinions

And even if OP is willing to pay for the software update, and the mileage still shows over 700K, the easiest and least frustrating thing would be to just live with it

If the software doesn’t fix it, I don’t think it makes much financial sense to fight anybody over this, whether it be GM, the DMV, or whoever

Thanks much. Got it :blush:

Good info. Thank u much