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 — Power Train: Manual Transmission: Floor Shift Assembly 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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,160 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Saturn Ion:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #1

Aug 292005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 17,160 miles


I have a 2004 Saturn Ion red line with a manual transmission (only transmission offered). I was shifting from first to second gear, in traffic, and the entire shift knob assembly came off in my hand. The knob fell to the driver's side floor, causing me to look down. I was able to stop the vehicle in time to avoid the car in front of me. The vehicle is then difficult to shift, and the pull up for reverse feature was very difficult. There are a number of complaints on the "fix" is to epoxy the knob back onto the shifter bar as it is a press fit design (no mechanical lock or fasteners).

- Highland, MI, USA

Not what you are looking for?