Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2003 Saturn Ion (Page 3 of 11)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,368 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Saturn Ion electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 3 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #177

May 142014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Key gets stuck in the accessory position when car is turned off requiring many attempts to get it out. The consumer stated the ignition coil was replaced. However, the key continued to get stuck in the accessory position at odd intervals. When the consumer returned to the dealer, he was informed the problem was not related to the recall and he would have to pay for the repair. Updated 12/17/14.

- Lincoln Park, MI, USA

problem #176

Jun 012009

Ion

  • 42,000 miles
For years, and with increasing frequency, when I turn my car off, the key is stuck in the ignition for a while as if the car still thinks it's in drive. (you will see the same behavior if the shifter button is blocked from extending by a bottle in the cupholder after you put the car in park.) nevertheless, even when the shifter is in park properly, often there is a long pause and clicking in the steering column before the key will release. Sometimes you have to turn the key on & back off before the car registers this. Now at 71,000 miles it happens more often than not. I hope the ignition recall corrects this problem, but see from your existing complaints that it hasn't for some, so here's documentation of this happening in another car.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #175

Apr 302014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle not starting intermittently and ignition switch recall notice repairs. The consumer received a recall notice, in the mail. However, when she called the dealer to inquire about an appointment, she was informed, the parts were not available. The consumer went to her local mechanic and had the ignition switch replaced. She is now seeking reimbursement. The consumer was informed, she the replacement, was not performed by a GM dealer, she would not be entitled to reimbursement.

- Ormond Beach, FL, USA

problem #174

Dec 062010

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2003 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall notice and states no longer owns vehicle. The consumer no longer owns the vehicle. It was declared a loss, by his insurance company.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #173

Jun 092014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Key came out, but car was still running. Put key back in managed to get turn off engine, however key would not release for over 15min! this keeps happening to me. Scheduled appointment with chapman Chevrolet tempe, AZ to repair according to recall instructions that I submitted to their customer service dept. They say they will notify me when the parts come in, but it has been approximately one month or more already. I believe my family and my self are in danger of a fatal accident or something; sometimes the car will not surrender the ignition key for in hour. Already had new key made at chapman Chevrolet which makes starting somewhat easier, before, it would take, often times, 10min or more just to get the key to turn. Please help chapman Chevrolet get the parts they need or stop ignoring my request for the honoring of the recall work I requested of them. Im afraid this will not hold up much longer as is.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #172

Jul 252013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall notice and seeks reimbursement for previous repairs.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #171

Mar 202014

Ion

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V171000 (electrical system) and 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system) had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for repair. The dealer stated that part was not available. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact had not experienced a failure. The VIN was not available. Updated 8/11/14 the consumer stated the vehicle was repaired. Updated 08/20/2014

- Irondale, MO, USA

problem #170

May 072014

Ion

  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that when powering off the vehicle, the key failed to be released from the ignition switch. Additionally, the engine would remain powered on when the key was removed from the ignition switch on several occasions. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system), however the failure recurred two weeks after the repairs. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #169

Mar 132013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
When driving my car. My power steering power light comes on and beeps. It is difficult to steer, I have to pull over and restart my car. Also my power windows will work after the car is off and doors are opened. These items are on the recall list, I was told because it was not my year it was just a coincidence. Really?? thanks for any help.

- Haverhill, MA, USA

problem #168

May 282004

Ion

  • miles
Periodically the Saturn will lunge fwd will stopped or even driving the rpms spike while driving. Breaks will not stop this issue. I've put my car in the ditch to miss major wrecks..this has been going on for yrs. Also the losing power when turning has happened but not as much as the accelerator sticking. Bought a new car just for my kids to be in they aren't allowed in the death trap Saturn. Wish someone would investigate these problems because they keep getting worse as the yrs go by. Have had the vehicle since it was new..would even be willing to show anyone these problems if they would sit in this death warrant.

- Hamiton, MT, USA

problem #167

May 122014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2003 Saturn Ion and my car keeps turning off. And when I try to turn it off I cant I called to make an appt but no parts are in yet. I have been taking the bus to work.

- Compton, CA, USA

problem #166

May 052014

Ion

  • 81,011 miles
The contact own 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph attempting to make a right turn, the vehicle stalled without any warning. Another vehicle crashed into the front passenger's side wheel of the contact's vehicle, causing the axle to break. A police report was filed. There were no injuries reported. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician advised him that the vehicle was included in recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system) and that the part was on order. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 81,011.

- Indio, CA, USA

problem #165

Dec 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch repairs. The consumer stated the ignition is still not working properly, even though her daughter had it fixed in December 2013.

- Oxford Junction, IA, USA

problem #164

Mar 072014

Ion

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated received notification of NHTSA campaign id 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system), however the part needed was unavailable to perform the repair. The dealer informed that the part would not be available until two months. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Nassatequa, NY, USA

problem #163

Apr 302014

Ion

  • 167,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that after the ignition switch was replaced under NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system), the key continued to become stuck in the newer ignition switch. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the failure was caused by faulty wiring that was connected from the ignition switch to the shifter. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 167,000.

- East Point , MI, USA

problem #162

Apr 292014

Ion

  • 186,495 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled after the battery light illuminated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 186,495.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #161

Jan 262004

Ion

  • 183,000 miles
The contact owns 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact also stated that the key seized in the ignition and the battery had to be disconnected to shut the vehicle down. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who replaced the ignition switch and issued new keys but the failure recurred. There was recall under NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 183,000.

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #160

Feb 042014

Ion

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, smoke emitted from the radio. Upon inspection, it was found that the radio wires were burnt. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Center Point, LA, USA

problem #159

Apr 012014

Ion

  • miles
2003 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall. The consumer found it unacceptable that GM allowed the cover-up for so many years.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #158

Mar 032014

Ion

  • miles
TL-the contact owns a 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact received the recall notification related to NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). The contact stated that repairs was not taken care of in a reasonable amount of time. The dealer indicated parts are not available. Contact had not experience a failure. The manufacturer has been contacted.

- Appleton, WI, USA

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