2003 Saturn Ion
CarComplaints.com Notes: The Saturn Ion was a compact bundle of hurt wrapped up in a cheap, plastic shell. With so many defective components and a safety rating that a bicycle would be ashamed of, it’s a blessing this car only lasted five model years.
The 2003 (and 2004) Ion was cursed with GM’s flawed attempt at a continuously variable transmission, known as the VTi. It had such a high failure rate that a class-action lawsuit was filed against GM, eventually prompting a settlement and a warranty extension. GM discontinued the VTi for the 2005 model year – surprise, surprise.
The 2003 Ion was also part of one of the largest and most controversial recalls of all-time. A defective ignition switch in millions of GM vehicles could accidentally turn the car off and disable important safety components like the power steering and airbags. The problem resulted in at least 13 deaths, but what made it worse was that GM knew about the issue for 10 years before doing anything about it.
So was the transmission warranty extended? Yeah. Was the ignition switch recalled? Eventually. Is this car safe to drive? Not really. Honestly, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Worst 2003 Ion electrical Problems
Click on a problem below to read more.
- occasionally won't start6
- won't start - anti theft device-passlock5
- car will not decellerate / letting off gas2
- no radio due to short1
- NHTSA: Electrical System217
- NHTSA: Electrical System: Ignition: Switch65
- NHTSA: Electrical System: Ignition51
- NHTSA: Electrical System: Ignition: Anti-Theft Controller19
- NHTSA: Electrical System: Battery4
- NHTSA: Electrical System: Ignition: Module4
- NHTSA: Electrical System: Fuses And Circuit Breakers3
- NHTSA: Electrical System: Wiring2
- NHTSA: Electrical System: Starter Assembly1
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Compare Saturn Ion Model Years
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Check out our Saturn Ion overview to see the most problematic years, worst problems and most recently reported complaints with the Ion.