Gearbox Malfunction, Oil Cooler Coupling, and Saab Goodwill

I have a 2004 9-3 Aero with an automatic transmission. A couple weeks back, I drove my car for about an hour on the highway. When I got off the
highway and hit city streets, I noticed that it was shifting funny. I'd try to pull away from a stop and it would accelerate for a few seconds, then pause for a few seconds (the RPMs would hold steady despite my giving it gas), and then it take off. I figured it was just a fluke, maybe because it was so cold. On the return journey, it was started doing the same thing in the city, but then it flashed a "Gearbox malfunction, Limited performance" message as soon as I got on the highway. "Limited performance" didn't seem like a stern warning, so I drove it home carefully. If I put the shifter in drive, it would keep the car in 5th. Using the Sentronic, I could shift between 2nd and 5th, and that was enough to get home. I parked it overnight, checked it the next morning, and it was fine. I figured maybe it was a busted sensor or something.
Last week, it started doing the same thing, except the problem didn't go away. I called a few dealers and they all said it probably wasn't a major issue based on my description of the problem and the fact that the car was still running pretty good (e.g., no problems with traction control, etc.). I brought it to Wigwam Saab in Providence [1] this morning for my 60,000 mile service and to get the transmission checked. Their techs say that the transmission is slipping and that I need to replace it. They said there's an open recall for an oil cooler coupling, but I never received a notice about it and can't find any information about it online. Apparently, a defect was allowing engine coolant to leak into the transmission, which is what may have caused my problems. My engine coolant was down a while back (I topped it up and it's been holding steady since), so their explanation seems plausible.
I'm wondering if other people have had similar problems. Has anyone been notified about the oil cooler coupling recall?
The service advisor had me open a case with Saab to see if I can get the transmission replaced under goodwill. Does anyone have any good or bad experiences with that? The service guy was optimistic about my chances because it's a known problem and I have all my service records, but the Saab representative said because it's out of warranty, they might only cover part of it.
Thanks, Shane
[1] Wigwam is closing on Friday, unfortunately. They've always been really helpful, even though I didn't buy the car from them.
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Shane,
The www.saabnet.com site has lots of information about all models of Saab. You might want to check there. And, yes this has been a known issue for a few years.
Ron
On Wed, 26 Dec 2007 21:40:15 -0600, Shane Almeida

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On Wed, 26 Dec 2007 21:40:15 -0600, Shane Almeida

They used to be "really, really good" at out of warranty repairs when it was their fault. Nowadays they are still better than most all manufacturers from what I see but GM has instituted some cost cutting.
If there was a recall and you didn't get the notice (changed address?) then they may pull back a little and not cover as much (your fault). But if you've had the car regularly serviced at a dealer... and the dealer didn't tell you about a major problem under recall when the car was in for other service, especially if it was under warranty... then the ball is back in their court. They are supposed to watch for such major recalls and advice you.
How many miles? Are you past the 4/50 warranty?
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On Fri, 28 Dec 2007 03:21:45 GMT, still just me wrote:

That's good news. It's been kind of frustrating to get Saab moving on this though. The dealer closes for good today (bought out by a local chain), but Saab hasn't gotten in touch with them yet. If they keep dragging their feet, I'm going to have to start fresh at another dealer that doesn't know me. Even though the repair itself will have to get done somewhere else, it'd be nice if Saab got to talk to same service people I've already talked to.

My mailing address hasn't changed. I'm almost positive I never received a notice about the recall. I've checked a few sites online and I haven't found anything listed about it either. I do the oil changes myself and I skipped the 45000 service because a few dealers told me it wasn't necessary, so it hasn't been in to the dealer since May 2006 for the 30000 mile service.

63000, so it's out of warranty.
Thanks for the reply.
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On Fri, 28 Dec 2007 04:51:13 -0600, Shane Almeida wrote:

I just called Saab: the oil cooler coupling issue was a service campaign, not a service recall, so I was never notified about it. The campaign started in October 2006, so it wasn't in place the last time my car was in for service.
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On Fri, 28 Dec 2007 05:12:58 -0600, Shane Almeida

More leverage to you then - they knew of the defect and never did a recall.
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On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 01:07:16 GMT, still just me wrote:

Unfortunately, because my dealer closed today, I have to start the whole process over again at a new dealer, so I'm probably going to get stuck paying for a second diagnosis. I get the feeling this is going to be a very annoying, very drawn-out process.
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On Fri, 28 Dec 2007 21:21:44 -0600, Shane Almeida

Try to shortcut it. When a dealer or an individual calls Saab, they keep records. I believe any warranty work is also centrally uploaded (maybe all work, who knows). If they made a formal request for the "customer goodwill" coverage (and I think they would for a repair this big) it should also be on file. So call Saab first, explain the situation, you can possibly get the same paperwork flowing again without a new diagnostic charge.
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