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.

CarComplaints.com 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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
12 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,835 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 1 of 16)

problem #301

Aug 282014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles

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

My name is [xxx]. I own a 2004 Saturn Ion. I have owned it for about 5 years. There has been many recalls including power steering recall that we had repaired 08/28/2014 1.5 yrs ago and 15,000miles. The problem is back. The problem has been back for a while. I got hold of GM dealer and GM themselves and they told us they did recall now its our problem. The issue is you loose power steering and my daughter is the one that drives the car and she is only 100 lbs and when the car looses power steering she can not control the car. This is a real safety issue and I need help resolving this issue. We have filed complaint with many deptartments please someone help. The dealer is St jay auto Buick GMC 500 memorial drive St jaohnsbury, vt 05819 802-748-1355 my info is [xxx] and [xxx] [xxx], vt 05855 [xxx] or [xxx] VIN# 1G8av12F74Z[xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Newport, VT, USA

problem #300

Apr 082015

Ion

  • 266,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 30 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated continuously. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure persisted. The contact received a recall notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 266,000.

- Newport, VT, USA

problem #299

Mar 172016

Ion

  • 150,000 miles
No power steering at low speed or after more than 5 minutes driving. Very hard to steer. No control of the car.

- Islip Terrace, NY, USA

problem #298

Aug 062015

Ion

  • 167,100 miles

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

After stopping at an intersection and preparing to turn left, the car could not steer to the left. As he car drifted forward the steering became easier and the car was able to negotiate the turn. As the car picked up speed, the steering appeared to be normal until approaching another 90 degree right hand turn (1/2 mile away from the stop in which it was hard to turn). Not knowing what was happening with the vehicle, he slowed down to negotiate the right hand turn and the car failed to steer right leading him straight thru and into an oncoming vehicle. This vehicle was in the shop one week after we purchased it to have the ignition switch replaced. After having the ignition switch replaced the problem with the steering occurred. There was much damage done to the car and our insurance picked up the cost of the other drivers damages. This was our sons first car and a terrible experience. The car was towed by GM to a dealership that deamed the car safe. He said that the steering shaft was rusty which caused the accident. We had a claim thru GM due to the steering recall and they denied us since the dealership that looked at the car deemed it to be safe. We took it to another garage that told us that it is not safe and not to put our son back in it until we speak to you about how to move forward. The vehicle can be replaced, but our son cannot!!! he was very lucky that the accident was not more severe. We will not put him or anyone else back in that car if nothing is done to prevent it again. We don't feel that it's our financial responsibility to have the parts replaced. Please let us know if there are any options available to us in regards to this situation. We are dissatisfied with GM and the dealer that said the car was safe. Our sons life is at stake and the poor decisions of the dealership and GM have created a potentially critical situation. Thanks

- Clearville, PA, USA

problem #297

May 022009

Ion

  • 48,752 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving at approximately 65 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated continuously. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure persisted. The contact received a notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). The vehicle was serviced under another recall, but the failure suddenly recurred. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 48,752.

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #296

Dec 112015

Ion

  • 211,600 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while parked, the vehicle was shifted to reverse and the vehicle started making an extremely loud noise. The power steering warning light illuminated. The steering wheel became difficult to turn and the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was previously repaired for the same failure but the details were unknown. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 211,600.

- Fort Washington, MD, USA

problem #295

Dec 062015

Ion

  • 97,000 miles

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

Power steering failed when traveling on a city street. Luckily, was going slow at the time & was able to come to a controlled stop. No damage to vehicle or others.

- Ridgefield, NJ, USA

problem #294

Jun 082015

Ion

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 30 mph, the steering became inoperable and made a grinding noise. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Kendallville, IN, USA

problem #293

Feb 052011

Ion

  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving at various speeds, the steering wheel seized without warning. The contact stated that there was also a smell of fuel coming from the vehicle. The contact stated that the steering shaft and fuel lines failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 20,000.

- Clinton Township, MI, USA

problem #292

Jul 232015

Ion

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While pulling out of a gas station at approximately 1-5 mph, the power steering malfunctioned and caused the contact to use significantly more effort to move the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to an independent dealer or mechanic. The vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) approximately one year prior to this incident. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- Omeha, NE, USA

problem #291

Feb 202015

Ion

  • 142,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving at 30 mph, the steering wheel was difficult to turn and the power train warning light illuminated. The failure recurred once. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 142,000.

- Harrisburg, IL, USA

problem #290

Apr 212015

Ion

  • 82,348 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 20 mph, the ability to steer seized without warning. The contact had to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road to a complete stop. The vehicle was driven to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or independent mechanic. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 82,348.

- Port Huron, MI, USA

problem #289

Dec 122014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
Talked to service dept of anthony Chevrolet on 12/12/2014 about the recall on my Saturn was told it would be about 7-10 days to get the part and they would call to make apt to repair the steering. Called back after about 1 month and not hearing back was told there was a supply problem. I stopped by the service dept today 2/16/2015 and was told GM would not send them the part for some reason and I would need to go to a dealer in a different town for this recall. Per the letter I received I could take my Ion T O any GM dealer to have the recall work performed. I do not have the time to take the car out of town to have the recall work performed. Please advise what I'm to do.

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #288

Feb 112015

Ion

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system), 14V171000 (electrical system), and 14153000 (steering); however, the parts to do the repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repairs. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #287

Oct 152013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2004 Saturn Ion 2 the ignition switch turned off numerous times on me, and the power steering went out probably 10 times a week. The consumer stated he was able to remove the key from ignition, at any time in any gear. The consumer was involved in two accidents due to the vehicle shutting off, during a turn. The second accident occurred in February 2014. While attempting to make a turn, he soon discovered the vehicle had no power steering and was unable to steer the vehicle. Consequently, he ran off the road and struck the right edge of a driveway. The ignition lock cylinder was replaced on September 12, 2014.

- Wentzville, MO, USA

problem #286

Sep 092014

Ion

  • 131,000 miles
I bought this car as a first car for my daughter that is a new driver. I has been off the road more than on the road for recalls. The first ignition recall could have injured or killed my daughter..as we were awaiting parts, we were following directions of no weight on key ring and only key in ignition. The incident still happened causing loss of power steering and loss of speed. As a new driver this incident scarred her and she did not feel comfortable driving the car. I put the car up for sale. Then another recall, the eps which also causes the car to lose power steering and causes speed loss. So, back to garber and we just drove the car back home on January 2, 2015. Seemed to start out fine, then loss of speed and the car only drove at 35 mph with a lot of effort. I paid $3500 for this car for my daughter..still paying on the loan and now I cannot get it to run correctly or sell it..I am stuck with a non-running vehicle that I have to insure as well. This total is costing me over $300 a month while the car sits. I don't know if my dealer did the recall correctly. I have had issues with my Impala as well with recalls being done correctly. One including my airbag recall and a seat belt issue that I paid out of pocket $100 after several issues. I feel GM should reimburse me for this vehicle as I cannot sell it or drive it. It is not fair that I purchased this from a dealer only pay for a non working vehicle.

- Sanford, MI, USA

problem #285

Aug 012014

Ion

  • 250,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. The contact stated when she turned the ignition switch, the vehicle failed to turn on intermittently. In addition, the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 250,000.

- Marcellus, MI, USA

problem #284

Sep 132014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Was on way home car started going to the right and when tried to correct it car wouldn't turn left kept going into a tree and car is now damaged. Over two months ago GM sent out somebody to look at car this was around October 15 and have not heard a word back from anybody. Which isn't a surprise because the accident happened September 13 and we were given the run around from the beginning. Appointments made and not kept, phone calls transferred from one person to another all with different answers and responses. My question to you is when is somebody going to contact us and give us some answers" I took the car in for the first call back and had no problems but this is ridiculous, not only has nothing been done or said but the air bags didn't even go off but the car had to be towed away and the adjuster you sent out said he didn't know why as we were told it was because it was between the censors. I wasn't born yesterday but didn't say anything was waiting for the report. Still waiting, I know we live in a rural area but three months is a little long to wait don't you think"

- Mount Shasta, CA, USA

problem #283

Apr 022012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 43,450 miles
I backed in, my 2004 Saturn Ion, in my driveway, put the gear shift in park and turned off the ignition switch. The doors did not unlock automatically as usual, the key would not go past acc position. I restarted the car and tried again to no avail. After many tries it some how vent to off. Couple days later I took the car to Saturn - Chevrolet dealer to get it fixed. The dealer came back with an estimate of $615 listing as follows: Check out - code fee, ignition cylinder 15785084, npc, key 22679805, , adjust shift cable, reprogram, labor 3 hr. I did not get it fixed so they charged me $129.57 for their estimate. When the recall came through I figured that my problem was part of the switch.wrong. Today the dealer completed the recall and the problem did not go away. This time it is blamed on gear shifter and would cost me $462.76, no listing of parts or labor but just scribbled on back of my recall bill of $0. also informed me that those parts were on back order and not available at this time. I have found a way to get the key out manually with my left land thumb through an opening under the steering column.

- New Carrollton, MD, USA

problem #282

Aug 012014

Ion

  • 127,371 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While attempting to park, the power steering failed without warning and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. After the engine cooled down, the power steering operated normally. The vehicle regained power steering when the engine was turned off and restarted. The failure occurred continuously. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering); however, the failure persisted after the remedy was performed. The repair did not remedy the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 127,371.

- Frostburg, MD, USA

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