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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:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,524 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 3 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #192

Sep 092013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles


I was driving and the power steering light went on as did their check engine light..the car was very hard to drive..I had it in and to a GM dealer--they said by the time I drove it up (40 miles)car didn't do it again..while up there they could not find problem and said because the light wouldn't go on for them--they wanted to charge me $98..I had been in touch with GM in mich.they helped me get the power steering motor replaced.at no charge.I have had the car home for about 1 week--and the same thing happened as I was driving on 10-02-13-power steering light went on..so I had to sign a statement if it happened again they would not be responsible if not there fault..what a safety hazard..I bought the car brand new and never had trouble except for this--which it's like not having a car..in touch with GM again--waiting for a call back..

- Iron Station, NC, USA

problem #191

Aug 262013


  • 157,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the power steering assist failed to operate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the mechanic stated that the power steering column had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 157,000. The approximate current mileage was 159,000.

- Wills Point, TX, USA

problem #190

Jun 142013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
On June 14th we were going along about 60 mph the first time down to salem, Oregon. All of a sudden the power steering light comes on. It's hard to steer and we turn off the car in neutral then turn it back on. It then comes back on halfway between the 45 minute drive. We do the same thing again. On Friday the 14th it happens 4X. It happens intermittently. One time it was real bad the light came on, and was turning into the parking spot for our apartment at 5mph. It was so hard to turn the wheel to get the car parked. It didn't happen much for about a week. Here and there, I did the same thing turned the car off then back on. Now, it's happening more often. This should be something that GM needs to fix and replace what ever is wrong, and do it right the first time. It should be a permanent fix not a temporary one. This can cause issues when turning sharply to prevent an accident. This is a safety issue and I know how customer service can be. This needs to be addressed and not opened then closed investigation because it's not right. Please investigate this and needs to be fixed.

- Porltand, OR, USA

problem #189

Jun 302013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 73,464 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the power steering assist failed. The contact stated that they heard a chiming sound as the power steering warning light illuminated. The contact turned the vehicle off for approximately ten minutes and once restarted, the vehicle resumed normally. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The failure and the current mileage was 73,464.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #188

May 262013


  • 120,000 miles
Loss of steering while turning. Resulted in a crash and over $2000 in damage. Car is not driveable.

- Willoughby, OH, USA

problem #187

May 062013


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the ignition failed. When the key was inserted into the ignition, the steering wheel seized and the engine failed to start. The failure was experienced numerous times. The dealer replaced the key code however, the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 97,000. Kmj

- Fort Wayne , IN, USA

problem #186

May 072013


  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated as the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 69,000. The VIN was not available.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #185

Mar 202013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 110,800 miles
I was turning at an intersection and power steering went out. As the power steering went out a warning came across the dash. I just bought the car on February 14, 2013 used.

- London, OH, USA

problem #184

Jan 152013


  • 81,000 miles
The power steering failed while driving the car and a message appeared on the driver's information panel; I had to apply a lot of force on the steering wheel in order to control the car. This is happening now everytime I drive the car and it happens randomly while driving.

- Horizon City, TX, USA

problem #183

Oct 052012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
My car leaks in the roof when its rains and has stained my interior roof. My power steering went out and on the display it was pwr steering. My outside trim near windows is warped. My sunroof doesnt work it wont open.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #182

Sep 212012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 51,700 miles


Driving on the way to work this morning, the power steering went out three times! twice on a regular highway and once on the interstate. Going 45 mph suddenly bell sounded and pwr steer light came on and immediately the power steering went off. I was able to get the car to the side of the road, but would not have been able to turn it, because the steering becomes, not quite manual, surely much harder than the manual mode I well remember. When I cut off the motor and restarted, the steering returned to normal. On the interstate, I was going 62 mph when the steering went out. Pulled over to an exit lane, stopped and restarted and everything worked again. Very dangerous! I don't know how many cars have been stopped on the road, and a car coming failed to see that they were stopped and slammed into them... I just bought this car in April. In checking online before buying, I saw the complaints about the key sticking, but didn't see anything about the steering at all. I'm a widow, still working, and repairs would be very difficult. Especially when this should be a recall, and done for free, since it was/is defective and possibly injurious. Again, I feel very vulnerable and in danger when this is going on, and it's happening more and more every day over the last two weeks (Sept 11th was the first time).

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #181

Sep 162012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 116,356 miles
Driving at 55 mph on a straight section of highway 703, the power steering warning came on and I lost the power steering. I pulled over with no power steering, turned off the vehicle then restarted the error cleared and I had power steering again. I can't trust that this won't happen again at a much more dangerous place and at a slower speed which would make the vehicle much harder to control.

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #180

Jul 152012


  • 65,000 miles
The key gets stuck in the ignition, this has been a problem for 2 years, often have to leave the car with the key in (this is very unsafe). Today the key was stuck and would not turn, I could not turn the car off --- this is an extremely unsafe situation.

- Eastlake, OH, USA

problem #179

Oct 122011


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving 40 mph when she heard a dinging sound and the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The steering wheel became difficult to maneuver and the contact was able to pull over. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage was 92,000.

- Deltona , FL, USA

problem #178

Jun 222012


  • 7,800 miles
As I was driving the power steering went completely out, I had to restart car in order to regain power steering. But it continued to go back out on me 2 mins after restarting car repeatedly.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #177

Jun 152012


  • 91,000 miles
Was driving my car out of my driveway and 2 blocks away the power steering failed as I was making a turn in a busy intersection. Luckily it was at an off time at night otherwise the outcome would have been a lot worse. Was able to pull off to the side of the road.

- West Lawn, PA, USA

problem #176

Jun 072012


  • 117,000 miles
I was pulling out of my parking space and the power-steering function stopped working.

- Woodsboro, MD, USA

problem #175

Apr 032012


  • 106,110 miles
Power steering fails while driving intermittent failure.

- North Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #174

Mar 022012


  • 149,000 miles
Loss of power steering during highway speed. Pulled over and restarted car, power steering came back on then stopped again. Ever since this incident has occurred the power steering will randomly shut off. This could be a dangerous situation when it occurs during making turns or driving sharp curvy roads as it takes a lot of upper body strength to turn the wheel at lower speeds.

- Mount Vernon, IN, USA

problem #173

Apr 042012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
While driving on the highway a warning light came on and I completely lost my power assist steering. It was hard to turn the steering wheel. I pulled over and turned the key off and when I turned the key back on the steering assist worked again. Since the first incident it has happened multiple times. Saturn customer service was no help in getting this fixed.

- Bay City, MI, USA

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