NHTSA — Air Bags 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:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,104 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Oct 052015


  • 35,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving 10 mph and attempting to depress the brake pedal, the vehicle independently accelerated and crashed into a building and the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #26

Apr 282015


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owned a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving at 50 mph, the vehicle crashed into the guard rail. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained head injuries that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #25

Feb 172015

Ion 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
After owning this car for a few years now and becoming highly involved in the forums. I've learned that it's a common issue for the clock spring to break. When it does, it cuts power permanently to the driver air bag, and cruise control until repaired. This is a big safety concern as no power to the airbag would result in more serious injury or possibly death.

- Good Thunder, MN, USA

problem #24

Dec 062011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


I was driving my car and a deer ran out in front of me, I was able to miss that one but another one came out and I hit it. It hit so hard and my steering was hard like a car without power steering and the brakes were like that too. The airbags did not deploy nor did the safety belts catch me and my granddaughter. It did $3500 worth of damage to my car and my head slammed up against the driver window, my granddaughter was in her carseat but I had it in the front seat so it released the carseat. She had bruises and a black eye, and now 3 years later, that same eye is causing her problems seeing. Everyday I feel so bad because she was in my Saturn that night. People asked me over and over what about your airbags, etc. I never knew what to say until I started getting the recalls and realized what GM had known all along about my ignition. This year my car got stuck in the run position and I called the dealership and was told they were gone for the day. I unhooked the battery cables and the car still would not turn off. Finally after total disgust, all of a sudden the antifreeze overflow tank lid popped off and shot antifreeze everywhere, it just barely missed my granddaughter and myself. The dealership coyle Chevrolet of clarskville in came and picked up the car, and in the process ripped the wind shield for the sunroof off, and called me to tell me my car now had a noise in the lower end of the engine and it would be $600 and up. They test drove it, and told me there was no antifreeze in it. I had already told them what happened. GM and coyle both say sorry the ignition is the original reason for the engine that is now locked up after I was told I had to come get it or I would be charged a storage fee locked up on me on the expressway home. That was in September and I still have nothing and they won't help.

- Corydon, IN, USA

problem #23

Jun 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall. The part was not available to complete the recall. Also, the consumer was involved in an accident, and the air bag did not deploy.

- Amherst, NY, USA

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problem #22

Aug 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My son was driving and the truck in front of him stopped suddenly. He hit the brakes and felt the steering lock up, brakes locked and he couldn't stop. Hit the truck hard enough to crack the core support in the Saturn but the air bag do not expand. He was not injured but this is definitely a safety issue if you can hit another car enough to crack the steel frame but no airbag was deployed.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #21

Jul 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles


2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle theft remote for each key. The dealer informed the consumer, they would not replace the second remote for free, because it was not a part of the recall.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #20

Jun 022014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to the ignition switch recall and seeks reimbursement for repairs. The consumer stated after the recall was performed, the shifter had to be replaced, because the consumer was unable to remove the key from the ignition switch.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #19

Aug 132012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 89,450 miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to reimbursement request information.

- Nome, TX, USA

problem #18

Jul 102013


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key failed to release from the ignition switch after numerous attempts. In addition, the ABS warning light illuminated continuously. The failures occurred after the vehicle was repaired under the NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bag, electrical system). The vehicle was repaired but the failure was not rectified. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #17

Aug 082012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles


2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall and seeks reimbursement for repairs. The consumer stated she was having problems with the key getting stuck in the ignition, long before the recall was issued.

- Visalia, CA, USA

problem #16

Aug 072013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 120 miles
My airbag light has stayed on. My ignition key fails to come out. I have to stall car out every time I park. And unplug steering column from battery.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #15

May 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regard to concerns about ignition switch recall.

- Somerset, KY, USA

problem #14

Apr 122014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
In March 2014 we noticed the air bag light was staying on and the cruise control and horn had stopped working, I assume the air bag would not have worked. After checking online I found out that this is a common problem with Saturn Ions and the sir coil needed replacing. On 4/10/2014 we took the vehicle in to have the sir coil replaced, we picked it up on 4/11/2014. On 4/12/2014 less than half a mile from our house the power steering went out. We brought the car back home and parked it until we could take it back to the dealership who replaced the sir coil. On 4/15/2014 while driving the car to the dealership the power steering went out 3 times, the first time we were pulling out into traffic on a busy road and almost caused an accident when it went out in mid turn. The dealership says that the work they did replacing the sir coil would not have caused the power steering problem that it now has.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #13

Sep 232008

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle ignition switch recall notice and repairs. In September 2008, the ses light illuminated. The dealer replaced the ignition coil. In June 2011, the ignition switch was replaced. In May 2012, the ignition switch was sticking, and the consumer was unable to remove the key, the ignition switch and tumbler were replaced.

- Klamath Falls, OR, USA

problem #12

May 212012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall notice and seeks reimbursement for repairs. According to the invoice, the vehicle would not start. The technician found a blown amp ignition fuse, bare wires at the ignition switch and the ignition was internally shorted out.

- Pontiac, MI, USA

problem #11

Apr 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to air bag malfunction and faulty ignition problems. The consumer stated he was involved in an accident, a couple of years ago, and the air bags did not deploy. He also has paperwork for the ignition problems he experienced.

- Oak Lawn, IL, USA

problem #10

May 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition recall. The consumer stated on several occasions, the vehicle would not start. On 3 occasions, the vehicle shut down while driving in May 2013, the consumer was locked inside the vehicle due to know electrical power. The ignition was replaced and the black box was re-booted. The consumer has since traded the vehicle.

- Bardstown, KY, USA

problem #9

Mar 122014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
My daughter was driving to work through a wintry mix precipitation when she lost control, was turned to the right into a guardrail, which heavily damaged the front end and caused her to spin coming to a stop on the road. The damage seems like it should have caused airbag deployment, but the airbag did not, and she struck her head on the steering wheel. She felt as though she hit a patch of slush that pushed her to the right. The vehicle is a total loss and in custody of my insurer. The following day I received in the mail the GM recall 14063 (14V-047). My concern is that is failure of the ignition switch, causing the engine to stop turning and the airbag to disable could have caused the loss of control, and the subsequent minor neck injury, and the total loss of an otherwise sound vehicle. My insurer was given the recall information and after review decided I should move forward with a claim against the manufacturer, and this avenue is detailed on page two of my recall mailing. Thank you.

- Corning, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 042014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 58,106 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated and blinking. The engine was turned off but after restarting the vehicle, the warning light continued to illuminate and blink. The failure recurred with or without a passenger seated in the passenger's seat. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 58,106.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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