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NHTSA — Visibility: Rearview Mirrors/Devices: Exterior Problems Seal Of This Might Hurt Notes: Ahh, the 2004 Saturn Ion: defective transmission, deadly ignition switch, temperamental power steering and a cheap plastic exterior that won’t protect you in a crash. What more could you want?

The 2004 Ion was part of GM’s massive ignition switch recall where it was revealed they waited 10 years – and let 13 people die – before doing anything about it. It also features GM’s now infamous VTi continuously variable transmission. Let me tell you, the only thing the VTi did continuously was fail on its owners. GM scrapped it after only two model years.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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.

2004 Saturn Ion accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #1

Feb 282006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


No specific accident has occurred but numerous close calls have occurred as a result of what apparently is a design flaw. The driver-side outside rear-view mirror cannot be adjusted (electrically or manually) over the angle ranges needed for safe driving and always available on previously owned vehicles. The mirror can be adjusted so that the driver can see well back into the vehicle (which is worthless) and only outwardly to the point that the left side of the car is still visible. Adjustment to allow visibility other than straight back is not possible. The service person said that a physical stop inside the housing prevented any movement further out and there was nothing that could be done. Entering a freeway this way is very hazardous since the on-coming traffic in the near lane cannot be seen. In an attempt to show the service person how it should work we went to another model of Saturn and the results were exactly the same indicating that (at least) more than one model of Saturn has this same visibility problem.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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