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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,313 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 172012


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving 25 mph, the turn signals failed intermittently. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Lake Orion, MI, USA

problem #13

Oct 042008


  • miles
I heard about a recall from a year 2007-2008 or so ago for Saturn, turn signal. At the time the turn signal was working, but I took it to Saturn and inquired about it but they said it was fine. Later on I turn signal went out on side. I replaced it but noticed that has not been working for almost a year. I took to Saturn and one man told me that the recall expired! then I took it back to get it fixed at another man said that the recall has not expired, but it is not my VIN number. I paid about 60 dollars on Saturn, and guess what they did? they charged me all that money to tighten up the bulb and put some grease on it. I drove away and went down the street and it was not working. I was upset, because I felt like they did nothing. I took it back a few minutes later, then they said they had to clean the area and saw some burnt wire and they put another bulb on. They assured me again that it was fixed. I drove down the street and took it back again. The problem is not fixed, and I want my money back. They charged my all that money to simply screw the light bulb. I told them over and over again that it was not the light bulb. It was the wiring because they light bulb would work one day and not the next. I have been blessed to not have been stopped by the police for this problem. It has been this way for a year. The put down I declined maintenance(s). As well as the 60,000 maintenance. I only declined the 60,000 maintenance, but I don't know what other maintenance they were talking about because none was offered. Saturn did non even explain to me what they were going to do to my car. My car has defects in it and because it was not a certain VIN number they did not fix it. What can I do?

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #12

Feb 012008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle is experiencing the same failure as noted in NHTSA campaign id number 04V547000 (exterior lighting: Turn signal). He replaced the bulbs for the turn signals, but they continue to fail. The manufacturer stated that there was no recall available. The VIN was invalid, and the engine size, number of cylinders, and powertrain were unknown. The current mileage was 56,000 and failure mileage was 48,000.

- Otsgo, MN, USA

problem #11

Oct 172007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


I have a 2004 Saturn Ion and there was recall (04V547000) in this vehicle in regards to defective turn signals. Approximately 3 weeks ago I contacted Saturn and was told that there was never a recall on this item. I researched this further and called Saturn again and now was told that there was a recall and the work has been done to the vehicle before I bought it. I have also read articles and people were stating that they had to have the work done a few times because what was done to the vehicle didn't fix the problem. Saturn is now telling me that they cant do anything about the defect and that I would have to pay for the work.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #10

Oct 012006

Ion 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. The right turn signal does not work on the vehicle. The contact changed the bulb and fuses several times, but this did not correct the failure. A recall was discovered for this component, however, the manufacturer and dealer stated that his VIN was not included. The recall number was unknown. The failure mileage was 34,000 and current mileage was 50,000.

- Hinesburg, VT, USA

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problem #9

Oct 302004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 51,200 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. The contact has changed the driver side headlight bulbs 10 times, which prevented the turn signals from working also. NHTSA campaign id number 04V547000 (exterior lighting:turn signal) was referenced. She was informed that the recall repair was performed prior to the vehicle leaving the manufacturing plant, therefore it was her responsibility. After the contact threatened litigation, General Motors repaired the drl jumper kit and the headlights are currently working properly. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 55,000 and failure mileage was 51,200.

- Dora, AL, USA

problem #8

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

problem #7

Dec 172004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
The turn signals worked intermittently. Also, thee car would not start. The vehicle started after multiple attempts of turning the key in the ignition. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who repaired the problem. They were aware of an ongoing issue with the ignition. The turn signals were repaired under a recall. Since then there was one incident where they did not work properly. The consumer felt they did not complete the repair. There was a tsb on the issue that the dealer used to correct it. These problems began in December 2004, and were thought to be corrected by the dealer. Last week after filling the gas tank up the vehicle would not start. The contact made several attempts to start the vehicle and was unsuccessful. The contact's husband came and turned the key in the ignition and the vehicle started. The vehicle was not returned to the dealer at that time. No further repairs on this matter.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #6

May 012005


  • miles
2004 Saturn Ion right blinker malfunctioned. The consumer stated the right blinker and the exterior blinker do not function until seconds after and in some cases not at all. The problem was intermittent, hard to diagnose and hard to predict while driving. The shifter knob broke while the consumer was driving.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012004


  • 3,524 miles
2004 Saturn Ion experiencing problems with the signals and running lights. The turn signals and running lights failed intermittently while driving. The consumer received a recall on the turn signal and running lights and took the vehicle to the dealer to be repaired. The technician explained to the consumer that they could not replace the parts because they were working on the day the vehicle was taken to the dealer to be repaired.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #4

Mar 012005


  • miles


'recall campaign' 2004 Saturn Ion daytime lamp/turn signal bulb replacement. When the consumer went to pick up his vehicle he was told the recall work had been performed, but the turn signal was still inoperative. When the consumer returned, the work was done, but condensation was inside the unit that contained the bulb in question and the dealer refused to remedy the problem.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #3

Dec 222004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,537 miles
I purchased my 2004 Saturn Ion in April, 2004. In June, 2004 my right turn signal stopped working, causing my running light on that side not to work either. In July, 2004 when opening up the hood to refill windshield wiper fluid, the hood latch inside the car came off in my hand. On Dec 22, 2004, the brakes on my 2004 Saturn Ion failed to work cause me to go through a stop sign, which resulted in a accident with another car. Both cars were only moving about 15 - 20 mph, but on impact the whole right (passenger side) side bumper broke up and was on the ground. Leaving a big gapping hole on the right passenger side of the car. No recalls have been placed on defective brakes, as of this date. In February, 2005, when coming out to start car after work, the car would not start, the key locked in the ignition, the hood and the trunk locked and couldn't get them open to get a jump from the tow truck. I had to have the car towed back to the Saturn dealership. Battery was replaced. The same day I picked the car up from the dealership, went into a store when I came out the car would not start again. This time the key didn't lock in ignition so I was able to get a jump. This has happened on about 4 different occasion, with the dealership not able to give me any solution to the problem.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #2

Jul 152004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While the vehicle parked while running the vehicle idling high on its own. The driver noticed while driving the vehicle would hesitate and would stalled. The driver tried to restart, but was able to do so. The driver was able to drive the vehicle to the dealer. The mechanic informed the driver that the vehicle was operating as design. (possible valve sticking) when accelerating from stop, the vehicle would hesitate, then take off at a high rate of speed. This would also occur in reverse as well. There were times when accidents would almost occur. There would be high RPM's of 6000 plus. This was an intermittent problem. It was believed to be a problem with the vti transmission. Additional problems: Wind noise when sunshade was cracked, turn signal would not cancel on turns and the chime would go off and was an intermittent problems, the driver's side dash seemed loose and or misaligned, and the wipers would not clear the window.

- Palos Hills, IL, USA

problem #1

Feb 012004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The left front turn signal stopped working, 3 times. The Saturn dealer eventually replaced the wiring harness.

- Fremont, CA, USA

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