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 6 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #141

May 282011


  • 94,227 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph when the power steering warning light illuminated on the dashboard and the steering wheel became extremely stiff. The vehicle was shut off and upon restart, the vehicle operated as normal. Approximately one day later, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 94,227.

- Camden, NJ, USA

problem #140

May 202011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 45,811 miles
Power steering stops during driving. Warning chimes come on and pwr strng message is displayed in odometer window. It first occurred 5/20/11 and has several times since. Often several times on the days it happens (5 X yesterday 5/29/11alone) but so far not every day. It happens under various conditions (never the same) (city, hwy, hot, warm, cold etc.)

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #139

Apr 012011


  • 120,100 miles
The steering wheel got hard to turn back and forth. Car got does this once in a while.

- Harrisburg , AL, USA

problem #138

Apr 012011


  • 25,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds and within a 5 to 10 minute timeframe, the power steering would fail sporadically with an illumination of the power steering warning light after the failure. The vehicle was not inspected by a dealer nor was it repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 25,000.

- Albany, NY, USA

problem #137

Mar 212011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
Power steering message comes on and car is very hard to steer. If I stop and restart the car the power steering comes back. At first this happened once every few weeks. Now it is becoming a daily occurrence; even more than once per day. It appears to be a common problem for Saturn Ions. The local dealership that inherited Saturn told me they have not heard of this problem. I have not taken the car to be serviced yet.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

problem #136

Feb 182011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 88,100 miles
2005 Saturn Ion.88 K miles.sudden loss of power steering. Fuses replaced. Resets itself with restart but recurs frequently. Very hard to steer and dangerous when occurs unexpectedly. GM customer service called but they deny a general recall. Not helpful. The VIN is [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Blue Ridge, GA, USA

problem #135

Dec 172010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 91,000 miles


2005 Saturn Ion I power steering recall I had the recall notice - called Saturn of cool springs - and they point blank asked "is it doing it now" I said "no" and their response was "don't worry about it". on my way home from work, a light (a warning light) came on my dash, they next thing I know the steering jerked and I crossed over 5 lanes of traffic during rush hour and hit a concrete wall head on. I could not control the steering as it was locked. GM states the recall is for only going at low rates of speed - I think that is a cop out from GM.

- Nashville , TN, USA

problem #134

Jul 012010


  • 60,000 miles
The power steering on our 2005 Saturn Ion just shut off one day while driving. It now shuts off at least once per trip. Sometimes it happens while making a sharp turn making the car very difficult to maneuver. We have already tried replacing the fuse and it did not solve the problem.

- Denmark, ME, USA

problem #133

Feb 112011


  • 106,000 miles
Traveling approx. 65 mph instrument panel *dinged* the pwr str* came upon the panel. At that time I lost power steering while traveling full speed and had a hard time pulling off the exit. Once off the exit car was turned off and restarted and began to operate properly. This happened 3 times within 2 hours.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #132

Nov 242010


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the power steering became inoperative and the wheel was difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic who informed the contact that she needed to replace the motor kit and the steering column. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 75,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #131

Dec 102010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 64,982 miles


2005 Saturn Ion power steering goes out randomly while driving at any speed. Very dangerous and potentially deadly.

- Richmon, IN, USA

problem #130

Sep 282010


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel intermittently. The vehicle was inspected by the dealer who stated that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 75,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #129

Sep 262010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 106,800 miles
Power steering message comes up on my 2005 Saturn Ion 3-- I was driving and it all of a sudden became very hard to turn the wheel left or right-- I have replaced the power steering motor and it still doesn't work and now they tell me I may have to replace the whole power steering column- GM extended the warranty to 10 yrs or 100,000 miles whichever occurs first -well I have 5 years with my company and I bought it brand new and I have obviously gone higher than the 100,000 miles and now GM will not cover the expenses.. there needs to be a recall for this defective powersteering issue.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #128

Nov 042010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 122,242 miles
While driving my 2005 Saturn Ion the power steering went out. After I stopped and checked things under the hood I restarted the car then the power steering was working again. A few minutes later the power steering went out again.

- Haines City, FL, USA

problem #127

Nov 032010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 101,499 miles
2005 Saturn Ion 2 coupe, power steering goes out accompanied with a chime and a pwr str warning on dash. Resets after car is turned off and restarted. Problem recurs shortly after reset. Dtc code C0475.there is a recall on Chevy cobalt for this same problem but not on this car, from what I understand they are accentually the same car. Part # on the power steering motor is 995-10800 which is the part # for a cobalt power steering motor. GM says there is special coverage on this issue but only if it fails. No recall ? I will be installing a new motor part # 19257875 to fix this problem.

- Winnsboro, SC, USA

problem #126

Sep 222010


  • 101,000 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion which is now over 100,00K miles. The power steering suddenly went out with no warning signals on dashboard. There is no fluid reservoir to put the fluid and the car is not under warranty because of mileage. I tried turning the car off and on again and still no luck. After reading up on the Saturn issue, I learned that there are many others with different makes and year of the same model having the same issues. I have no money to repair this vehicle and would like to know if Saturn (GM) is going to do a recall on this issue. It cost over $900 to fix this issue. I have tried contacting Saturn dealers but of course the company has been sold. I have contacted a GM dealers repair shop and was told that they just try to repair the issue they are not able to help with warranty issues.

- Blue Island, IL, USA

problem #125

Aug 252010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 33,330 miles
No failure yet. Electric power steering on my 2005 Saturn Ion.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #124

Sep 052010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
I was turning into a parking lot 7/5/2010, in a 2005 Saturn Ion, when the power steering light came on, and power steering stopped working. Now, it happens almost constantly, the power steering keeps going out, it happened 10 times just today 7/7/2010. Every time, I have pulled over shut the car off and waited a few minutes, before restarting car and continuing, just as the tsb from GM advises. The car only has 50,000 miles, and yet the power steering is out on it. GM has issued a recall for Chevrolet cobalts, Pontiac G5, etc, for the electric power steering, yet have not for Saturn Ions, even though they are nearly the same vehicle, and have the same parts and problems.

- Michigan City, IN, USA

problem #123

Aug 282010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 37,345 miles
My power steering unit on my 2005 Saturn Ion 3 (with only 37,345 miles on it) went out while on the highway almost causing a serious accident.

- Lambertville, MI, USA

problem #122

Apr 132007


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving 65 mph when the steering wheel became extremely tight. The power steering warning light was illuminated followed by the sounding of the power steering warning alarm. The contact was able to drive to his residence using extreme bodily force to maneuver the wheel. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure became progressively worse. In addition, the contact's keys would continuously become lodged within the ignition switch. The contact stated the vehicle was previously repaired for the exact same failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000 and the current mileage was 92,000.

- Orlando , FL, USA

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