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: 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:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,345 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 10 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #61

Apr 102010


  • 65,000 miles


2005 Saturn Ion-3, which shares the steering system with the recalled Chevy cobalt and Pontiac G5, had exactly steering failure. It happened Apr.10/2010 in a parking lot when driving at 5mph. It chimed but I observed no light on the cluster coming up. Then the steering became very heavy so I turned the car off. After restarting it is fine again. Same thing happened twice in 09 summer, both at the speeding up stage (<10mph) after a controlled stop.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #60

Apr 102010


  • 75,000 miles
Power steering light comes on and lose all power steering until car is shut off and turned back on.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #59

Mar 072010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 38,342 miles
When driving my 2005 Saturn Ion the power steering light comes on and the power steering stops working making it hard to steer. This happens multiple times a day. Turning the car off and starting again will fix power steering for a short time. GM has recall on other makes and models with the same problem, why not the Saturn. If it would go out as your making a turn, could cause accident.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #58

Mar 152010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles


Driving my 2005 Ion at about 40 mph a ding went off and the power steering light when on. It was very hard to steer over to the side of the road. After stopping for a few minutes, I started the car and it worked fine, until the next day. Finally it would only work for a minute or two and the light and hard steering started. Had to take it to the dealer and he put in a assist motor and column kit. The cost $1041.43. The only way we got the part was that he got it from the shipment made to him for the Chevy cobalts on his lot. The part was received about a week and a half after he tried to order the part several times. There was no other way to get the part, as no one would ship it to him because of the recall on the Chevy.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #57

Apr 072010


  • 55,000 miles
The power steering went out on my 2005 Saturn Ion (55K miles). This is a widespread issue and should have been included in a recall on the cobalt, G6 and others.

- Troy, OH, USA

problem #56

Mar 102010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Power steering randomly going out. Will be driving and then hear a chime and pwrsteer warning comes up in odometer. Steering then becomes hard and unresponsive.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #55

Apr 042010


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving at approximately 75 mph, the power steering light illuminated followed by a power steering failure. The contact stated that the steering wheel became difficult to turn but she was able to control the vehicle. She turned it off and restarted. Upon restarting, the power steering functioned normally again. However, a short time later, the power steering failed again but the contact was able to get the vehicle home safely. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership for a diagnostic test. The current and failure mileages were approximately 33,000.

- Nitro, WV, USA

problem #54

Mar 112010


  • 99,800 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 40 mph, the contact heard a chime accompanied with an illuminated power steering service light which resulted in power steering failure. The contact was able to drive the vehicle home; upon restarting the vehicle, the power steering functioned correctly and the service light shut off. The failure continued to occur on an intermittent basis. The vehicle had not been taken to an authorized dealership when the complaint was filed. The failure mileage was approximately 99,800. The current mileage was approximately 100,500.

- Markesan, WI, USA

problem #53

Jan 012010


  • 95,000 miles
We have a 2005 Saturn Ion that we purchase new. It has been losing it's power steering for a while now. We have found that when this happens, we can turn the car off and restart it, and this seens to take care of the problem. The power steering seems to last for shorter periods of time, and we are not sure what to do. I found this site and decided that we also need to report the problem. Have heard different prices to have it fixed, but I think it should be covered in the GM recall (as it seems to be the same part/problem that other GM cars are experiencing). Very hard to control and not sure when it will be working from one moment to the next.

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #52

Feb 052010


  • 95,300 miles
The power steering fails and the vehicle becomes very difficult to turn.

- Maplewood, NJ, USA

problem #51

Mar 042010


  • 30,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph, the power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. A chime sounded inside of the vehicle. There was difficulty steering. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic for inspection. Also, two weeks prior to the failures the engine stalled without warning. The technician was unable to locate the problem. The vehicle was in the process of being taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The failure and current mileages were 30,000.

- Honollu, HI, USA

problem #50

Mar 102010


  • 75,649 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving at a speed of 30 mph the contact noticed that the power steering light had appeared on the dashboard moments later the vehicles power steering had stopped functioning, however after restarting the vehicle the power steering corrected itself and began working properly. The contact called the dealership and was informed that her vehicle was not affected by any recalls. The failure mileage was at 75649 and the current mileage is 77000.

- Edinburg, TX, USA

problem #49

Mar 042010


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph. A sudden loss of power steering occurred without warning. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle has not been diagnosed for the malfunction. The current and failure mileages were 79,000.

- Kemp, TX, USA

problem #48

Oct 262009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Power steering failing, very hard to turn.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #47

Mar 072010


  • 39,945 miles
Power steering has been going out on my 2005 Saturn Ion. After searching on the internet for causes, I realized many people are having the same problem. It was said that the system used has been recalled in other GM models, but not the Saturn Ion line. It was suggested by the other owners that we submit this problem in an effort for a recall. It is a safety issue when you lose your power steering without notice. Luckily at his point I have not had a situation causing any damage or injury. Just inconvenience and worry about when it will go out again. Thank you

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #46

Aug 012009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
I purchased my 2005 Saturn Ion in may of 2009. Shortly after I began experiencing problems with my power steering failing. Recently GM has recalled many Chevy and Pontiac models with the same problem. My 2005 Saturn Ion redline uses the same power steering unit as the other models recalled, but has not been covered in the recall.

- Elk Grove Village, IL, USA

problem #45

Feb 082010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Every so often when driving, I hear three dings and a "pwr str" message is displayed. The electric power steering has failed, but comes back after stopping and restarting the car. This has occurred 3 times in the past month. I have not attempted to repair yet, as the cost of repair is very high, about $1000.

- Elgin, IL, USA

problem #44

Feb 212010


  • 55 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving approximately between 55-60 mph on normal road conditions. A chime sounded inside of the vehicle. The power steering warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver experienced difficulty in steering. The vehicle was pulled to the side of the road. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle continued which required greater pressure applied to the steering wheel. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The authorized dealer was notified of the malfunction. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #43

Dec 222009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
My 2005 Saturn Ion has the same power steering problems as is being discussed for the Chevrolet cobalt recall -- please include the Saturn Ion in the recall as they share the same "platform" as I understand. In the last year, my Ion would have no power steering after starting the car (this has occurred about four times). There would be a chime sound and the display would say "power steering". I would turn off the car and restart it and the problem would be gone.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #42

Feb 192005

Ion 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. Whenever he was driving the power steering light came on prior to the power steering failure. The vehicle became uncontrollable while driving approximately 20 mph before the vehicle was moved to the side of the road. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who informed the contact that there were no recalls or warranties related to the failure and that the vehicle could be repaired at the owners expense. The manufacturer was called and confirmed what the dealer stated. The failure mileage was 34,000. Updated 11/16/10. Updated 12/01/10. The consumer received reimbursement. Updated 12/09/10

- San Francisco, CA, USA

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