If you find CarComplaints.com is helpful ... We rely completely on word of mouth. Talk about us on Facebook, Twitter, tell your mother-in-law. Help us help more people.

2005 Saturn Ion electrical NHTSA complaints: Electrical System

NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2005 Saturn Ion (Page 1 of 2)

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2005 Ion still had power steering issues and a defective ignition switch leftover from previous model years, but hey – at least Saturn improved some of its safety rating to marginal, right? Baby steps.

If you had to buy a Saturn Ion – and I would question why anyone would even consider it – I suppose the 2005 could be considered the best of a bad bunch? I mean, GM did finally get rid of that awful VTi transmission, and both the power steering problems and ignition switch defect that plagued owners were recalled. The problem is they waited 10 years to recall the ignition and let over 30,000 warranty claims get filed before they bothered to fix the power steering. So you kind of have to wonder, is GM making these fixes to keep owners safe or just to keep government lawyers from taking all their money? You be the judge.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,178 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.

2005 Saturn Ion electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Saturn Ion:

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

2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Mar 252009


  • 63,000 miles


Since I purchased my car, it will not start in cold weather. I have to wait about 10 mins, try again and it will start right up. Well, about a week ago it "shut down" while I was driving down a busy street in my city. After about 4 hours of it sitting, I went back and drove it home with no problems. Then, a few days later it did the same thing while returning to work from a lunch break. I had to leave it on the side of the road and got a ride. After work, I picked it up and was attempting to drive it straight to the dealership. While driving on I-10 East, it shut down again. On the interstate!!!!! it was raining outside and the person behind me almost hit me. I don't even know how I coasted to the median, except god! my car would not drive anymore. I left it there and got a ride home with someone because I didn't want to sit in the rain alone on the interstate. When I went back at about 11:00 pm to pick my car up, it wouldn't start. I waited 10 or so mins and it started up. I drove it straight to a friends house that was nearby and left it there. I contacted GM and they advised me to bring it to Saturn, which I have done many times before, so I did. They tell me there is nothing wrong with my car. So, I told them to keep it until they figure it out because I will not put my life in danger again. I have been going back and forth with GM and Saturn and no one will take responsibility for this. Its ridiculous that this car is putting my life in danger. I refuse to drive it again. And now I am paying a note on something that I cant drive because it may stop working in the middle of traffic.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #29

Feb 202009


  • 15,556 miles
Electric power steering failure in 2005 Saturn Ion in less than 16000 miles but 8 months out of warranty. Power steering became operational after each restart, but failed again within 3-5 minutes of driving. Very difficult to steer posing a safety hazard for my wife. Dealer repair required replacement of complete steering column approaching $1000 in repair cost. Ignition switch has also failed to permit car from starting on two occasions. Dealer also replaced at the same time. Dealer returned both parts to me. I have learned that both are common failures with this car and other GM compacts. Several incidents of repeated failures of the electric power steering. There should have been recalls or reimbursement for these premature failures. No wonder GM is going bust with a product of such low reliability and poor design.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #28

Jan 212009


  • 45,000 miles
The ignition key gets stuck and will not come out of the car. This is the second time after having the ignition switch replaced last year. I took it back to Saturn after the warranty expired on the new part (of course) and they kept it overnight trying to get it to fail. They greased the key and told me it was fixed, did not replace anything but blamed it on the key wearing down...

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #27

Jan 262009


  • 73,000 miles


Vehicle did not start for 4 non-sequential mornings. Battery was replaced but continued happening. Saturn Ion started and ran well for remainder of days it required a jump start. Upon 4th day of not starting, mechanic suggested to change ignition switch. Since done, car has no problem starting.

- Islip, NY, USA

problem #26

Dec 202008


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. In December of 2008, the contact noticed that the ignition failed. The failure only occurs in cold weather. The vehicle will be taken to the dealer for a diagnosis. The failure mileage was 22,000 and current mileage was 22,100.

- St Louis , MO, USA

problem #25

Nov 012008

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion 3. the contact stated that she has been experiencing failures with the ignition in her vehicle. During cold temperatures in the winter seasons, the key would fail to start the engine. All of the interior lighting in the vehicle would illuminate; however, the vehicle would not start at all. Through online research, the contact discovered that numerous consumers were experiencing the same failure. She read information concerning warming up the steering column in order to restart the vehicle. The information stated that she must somehow heat up the steering column. The contact stated that shortly after she followed this advice, the engine started in her vehicle. She has not taken the vehicle to the dealer because the vehicle is out of warranty. She does not believe that she should pay for something that she feels is a manufacturer defect. The failure did not occur in previous winters because the vehicle was parked in an indoor garage. The vehicle is currently being parked in an outside parking lot. The failure and current mileages were 18,000. Updated 2/23/09 the consumer also stated the key would get stuck in the ignition when trying to turn the vehicle off. Also the anit-theft light illuminated as well. Updated 02/26/09.

- Milwuakee, WI, USA

problem #24

Jan 052009


  • 60,000 miles


Car will not start in cold weather at night will start in daytime in cold not a power issue, not starter or alternator some kind of odd wiring issue cause it does not happen in daytime.

- Lisbon, OH, USA

problem #23

Jan 032009


  • miles
I have a Saturn ion1. I have 73,000 miles on it. I have a difficult time starting it on days where the temperature is below 35 degrees. I have to turn the key and keep it turned until it can run without me holding the key and rev the engine to atleast 3-4 rpms. I have to do this for 15-20 min. Until it can idol on its own, before I decide to drive or the car will not remain on. While driving it will shut off. Now if I make a sharp turn it turns off. This problem is getting progressively worse. While under warranty I had the ignition replace once. I also had been told by Saturn that my keys were too heavy, so I began driving with only the key and the key ring. The problem is a huge safety concern to me. Luckily have been able to steer the car out of the way and have not had any accidents yet. It is my only car and I have a lot more to pay on it and subsequently can not afford a new car. I am stuck.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #22

Dec 172008


  • 37,308 miles
Two days after moving to NJ from fl as I was pulling into my driveway the power steering light came on and the steering locked up. I found that if I turn the car off and on again the steering is good for maybe 20 minutes. I have checked the fuse and took it to a shop. The mechanic suggested I do some research because a car this young should not have these kinds of problems. I have seen similar complaints on the internet about the same model. My car is a Saturn, Ion 2005.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #21

May 152007


  • miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion and it has a habit of not starting at times. This has happened several times since my husband and I have owned it. We turn the key in the ignition and the car will not start. We have to wait anywhere from 10-45 minutes for the car to start and it sometimes cause my husband to be late to work. This is an even bigger concern since we have a four month old son. We have not had the money or time during the week to go the Saturn dealership but I have called the company who handles my extended warranty and he said that this is a common issue. From the discussion boards I gather that this is a very common issue and there should be a recall.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #20

Dec 102008


  • miles


Saturn Ion 2005 problem starting-every three or four starts, the lock symbol shows up and car will not start, panel, headlamps, accessories are operating, but starter seems locked out. After 10-20 minute wait, it usually starts.

- Silver Grove, KY, USA

problem #19

Dec 052008


  • 54,545 miles
2003 Saturn Ion won't start when it's cold.

- Sanger, CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 012008


  • miles
The car would not start, this has happened several times over the last two years.

- Cavalier, ND, USA

problem #17

Sep 032007


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 55 mph on normal road conditions, the engine lost power. The check engine warning indicator illuminated intermittently on the instrument panel. Roadside assistance was called to the scene and the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The technician stated that the failure was related to the ignition control module. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle is in the process of being repaired again. The contact was concerned of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 41,000 and current mileage was 61,000.

- Glen Ellen, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 092008


  • 53,000 miles
Ignition locks. Cannot get key to turn. Happened a few times.

- Manheim, PA, USA

problem #15

May 192007


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. The failure is due to a recall relating to the ignition switch, but the dealer refuses to repair the vehicle for free. The dealer repaired the failure at the contact's expense. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 45,000.

- Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #14

Mar 162005


  • 3,051 miles
3-16-2005 car leaking red fluid: Diagnosis-axle not seated, new parts ordered, car repaired 4-7-2005 car making thud sound when shifting: Diagnosis-not duplicated (never checked transmission-just drove car) 9-29-2005 car not going into 1st and 2nd gears smoothly, car not starting when key in ignition, internal car gauges not working: Diagnosis-internal computer parts fixed-could not duplicate gear issues (again-did remove transmission and investigate) 3-24-2008 previous gear problems persisted, car would not go into 1st gear; took car to dealer, dealer would not look at because out of warranty due to mileage although problem was reported prior unless I paid 9-1-2008 car will not go into 1st or 2nd; diagnosis (paid for at my expense)-transmission needs to be repaired (at my expense) 9-11-2008 car repaired and while driving home car would not go in any gears: Returned to dealer and found red fluid leaking from vehicle: Diagnosis-additional part in transmission loose.

- Lancaster, TX, USA

problem #13

Sep 272008


  • 88,000 miles
When I shut off my 2005 Saturn Ion, the key does not always come out of the ignition as it should. I have to wait a few minutes before the key will come out. This is a recurring problem and has been going on for over a year. I am also having problems with my power steering. The pwr str comes on all the time. When I shut the car off, it resets, but after a few minutes it comes back on again. This has been happening for the past two months. I took my car to Saturn of fayetteville (nc) when the power steering first started acting up, and the mechanic said he could not find the problem, but if it kept happening I would have to have the steering console replaced. The estimated cost of fixing it? over $900.

- Autryville, NC, USA

problem #12

Dec 182007


  • 90,000 miles
In cold weather my Saturn Ion will fail to start. The ignition will click a couple of time then nothing. I wait 8-10 minutes and try again sometimes it will attempt to start sometimes not. Then I have to wait some more and try again, eventually it will start. I had 2 new batteries replaced and still problem persists. I found a Saturn message board that addressed this very problem. Hope you can get Saturn to recall this issue.

- Iola, WI, USA

problem #11

May 042008

Ion 4-cyl

  • 43,730 miles
Vehicle will not start at times. Happened at 16,000 miles. Dealership replaced ign. Switch. Happening again at 43,000 miles. Dealership says its my responsibility to pay. I disagree. Faulty switches should the company's responsibility.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

Read the next 10 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?