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. 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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,500 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 292004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,500 miles


By 3500 miles (after 1500mi when we could have returned it), the front passenger turn signal burnt out. The car was also sputtering when we started the engine. The mechanic found a cracked head, that we were told was probably present when we purchased the car; had we known we would've returned the car. We were given a rental car, but had to drive 45 min one way to get to Saturn of green bay. Within a month, the front driver turn signal had burnt out. The wiring was replaced while we waited 2 hrs with our 3 year old. We had to drive 1 hr 1way to Saturn of appleton for repairs. In Aug 2004, the car was making a noise when we turned onto a steep grade. In mi for vacation, we had to drive over 1 hr 1way to Saturn of troy; the swaybar and mounting brackets had to be fixed. We waited for over 2 hrs with our son while it was fixed. In Sept 2004, the front passenger side turn signal had to replace the resistor. We drove 1 hr 1 way for the repair, and had to wait 2 hrs with our son. We had asked about the cruise making a funny noise, but it was checked and we were told it was fine. In April 2005, the cruise stopped working and had to be fixed. It took over a week for the part to come in, and almost 2 weeks for it to be repaired at Saturn of green bay. I had to go to the dealer 30 minutes early, be driven over to my school where I teach, walk to my second school I teach at, and wait for a driver to pick me up (20-40 min past when I was done for the day). Despite everything we've been through with a new car that should need minimal care at this point, we've been basically told that we should take the $2600 hit to buy a new car while the dealer breaks even. This is poor salesmanship, and we will not be purchasing Saturn products any longer.

- Two Rivers, WI, USA

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