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: Ignition: Switch Problems

2004 Saturn Ion (Page 3 of 3) 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:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,911 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Nov 302006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles


We own a 2004 Saturn Ion. Every time the temperature drops into the below 30 F, the vehicle will not start, even though the battery is good. Saturn has issued a technical service bulletin on this problem because it is so widespread and pervasive of a problem. This is a recall situation due to defective engineering on the part of Saturn/GM, and the owners should not have to bear the financial burden because of defective engineering on the part of Saturn/GM. In addition, putting a small electric heater in the compartment of the car to keep the car warm, so the car will start when it is cold, presents a dangerous situation (fire, property damage, etc) owners of affected Saturn's should not have to endure.

- Chimayo, NM, USA

problem #2

Oct 312006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 57,632 miles
Car wouldn't start whenever temp got below 35 degrees. This happened twice.........the second time I took the car to the dealer and they tell me the starter switch needed replaced! this on a car that has fewer than 60K on it. They also had to reprogram the BCM. Apparently, I'm one of 100's that has had this problem! Saturn dealer was very nice about the whole thing............but is this not a safety hazard if the temp is really frigid and your car needs to start to keep warm??

- Steelton, PA, USA

problem #1

Oct 242005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 37,119 miles
The consumer received recall 04V547000 concerning the exterior lighting: Turn signal. She had the recall repairs performed three separate times. Approximately two months after the recall work was performed, the problem recurred. After the last repair, she believed it will happen again. The service dealer informed her that the vehicle was no longer under warranty, and she would be responsible for future costs for this repair. The ignition switch was replaced. Updated 11/29/05. *

- Manchester, NH, USA

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