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: When it comes to the 2006 Ion, the biggest questions are: what big problem is going to pop up next? And how long until GM chooses to address it?

The 2006 Ion has a defective ignition switch that gave owners fits. Their keys would get stuck in the ignition, the engine wouldn’t shut off or in some cases it would shut off at the most dangerous time. The ignition was eventually recalled as part of one of the largest recalls of all-time , but it took GM 10 years to do it. Then there’s this car’s temperamental power steering which is prone to stop working randomly while driving. It too was eventually recalled, even if GM took their sweet time about it.

Lastly, it turns out a car built with plastic doors, fenders and bumpers – while fun for a game of “shopping cart bocce” – is horrible for safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 1
Average Mileage:
53,709 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.

2006 Saturn Ion electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 10 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #115

Sep 222011


  • 35,256 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key would not turn in the ignition to shut off the vehicle after several attempts. The vehicle was immediately taken to an authorized dealer where the battery was disconnected and a diagnostic test was performed. A part was ordered and the vehicle would be repaired upon availability. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 35,256. Updated 10/27/11 updated 3/30/12

- Brockton, MA, USA

problem #114

Oct 012010


  • 43,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key could not be removed from the ignition. The vehicle was left parked and running until the battery died. The vehicle was later towed to the dealer and they advised her that the housing ignition needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred approximatley ten months later. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 43,500.

- Patterson, NJ, USA

problem #113

Apr 232011


  • 75,862 miles
Driving with traffic, the car dies and the steering gets very hard to turn then battery light comes on. Car will restart with no further problems. This will happen at least once a week. Took to the dealer they fixed the gas tank leak and other recall parts. This continues to happen almost caused several accidents. Do not know if it is the steering or electrical. It doesn't matter what speed your going or if your going straight or turning. Please look into this problem. I have had the battery checked the thermostat, checked the fuse box checked. The dealer checked and fixed the other 3 things from recall as stated. The ignition sometimes gets stuck when the steering goes out you can not get the key to do anything until you turn the steering wheel that has no power then you can restart the car. Also the car heat gauge never goes above half way so car is not over heating.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #112

Aug 102011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 81,000 miles


Power steering and ignition problem. Went in to have the power steering checked then the ignition failed on me and the computer in the engine went nuts.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #111

Aug 142011


  • 71,935 miles
Ignition stuck in "on" position, can't remove key.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #110

Jul 252011


  • 69,000 miles
My key has gotten stuck in the ignition in the "on" position three times now. I have had to purchase the pay for parts and labor three times. My ball joints have gone out. Mechanics say this is very odd for a newer vehicle (2006 Saturn).

- St. Louis Park, MN, USA

problem #109

Aug 052011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 88,869 miles


After inserting the key into the igition to start the car, the key becomes jammed in the igition. The repairman was unable to turn off the engine. He had to take a loose my entire steering column to remove the igition switch to turn off the car. Now the igition lock and switch has to be replaced.

- Marrero, LA, USA

problem #108

Jan 122011


  • 19,052 miles
Continual computer/electrical problems beginning - 1/12/10 + 1/14/10 + 12/29/10 + 6/21/11 + current problem 6/25/11 dealership charged $120 for diagnosis each incidence since 12/19/10. Current mileage 22,170.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #107

Jun 262011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 111,400 miles
For the second time in a little over two years, my key got stuck in the ignition and I could not get it out or turn off my engine. It happened when I stopped for gas. I have a stick shift and so I stalled the car in order to stop it from running. I had to leave the key in the car and, thankfully, had another key to lock the car door when I wasn't in it. The cost to repair by the dealer was between $500 and $600. The first time I paid $100 but I was still under warranty. The repair is being done locally by a mechanic for $300. They have to take apart the steering wheel so that they can get to the ignition. It is a tumbler problem within the ignition. This has to be replace.

- Nevada City, CA, USA

problem #106

Jun 162011


  • 161,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn ion2. The contact stated the key became stuck in the ignition. The contact had to disconnect the battery in order to turn the vehicle off. The key remained stuck in the ignition although the vehicle was turned off. The dealer stated a cylinder in the ignition switch caused the failure to occur. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileage was 161,000.

- Poplarville, MS, USA

problem #105

Jun 122011


  • 40,130 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion 2coupe. The contact stated that she was unable to power off the vehicle. On one occasion, the vehicle would not power off and was left running for seventeen hours. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who disconnected the ignition and diagnosed that the ignition lock cylinder needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileage was 40,130.

- Bridgeport , CT, USA

problem #104

Jun 022011


  • 41,400 miles
My 2006 Saturn Ion will not shut off and the key is stuck in the ignition. They GM company says that it is not covered under any warranty. I have read alot about this problem from Saturn owners and I feel that the problem needs to be addresses for safety reasons.

- Parsons, WV, USA

problem #103

May 192011


  • miles
Vehicle door and truck locks quit working, at the same time engine light came on and stays on. I took vehicle to dealership where they replaced fuse locking mechanisms started working and engine light went off for a few days, then after a few days the locking mechanisms went back out along with the engine light coming back on. Took vehicle back to dealership was told that the BCM was going out on vehicle and I would have to pay over $800 to replace BCM. BCM is now starting to effect the electrical in the vehicle. Air stopped working, I had it charged and still will not work.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #102

May 302011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
In the last year the ignition cylinder in my car has malfunctioned causing my car to remain on and locking the key in place. The key is unable to be removed and the car continues to run. The cylinder was replaced on 8/26/10 and malfunctioned again today 5/30/11. This appears to be a fairly common problem that Saturn has ignored. This presents a safety risk and the parts should be recalled.

- Fountain Hill, PA, USA

problem #101

Apr 012011


  • 135,000 miles
Power steering repeatedly goes out. Turning the car off and on "fixes" it for a short time then it happens again. Sometimes after 20 minutes of driving and sometimes 30 seconds after restarting. It started as a very intermittent issue but has since gotten worse as time goes on. Before this started I had other electrical issues. First the odometer would flash on and off and occasionally flash "trunk". later the indicator light for the parking brake would come on without touching the brake. They eventually went away then the steering issue started.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #100

May 222011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 66,368 miles
Key stuck in car every day since I have purchase the car. Car cuts off while driving since I have purchased the car, now car wont start at all, lights on dash come on then about 20 seconds later they all go out car wont turn over, it was parked got in to start it up to head home from where I was with my 11 yr old daughter and car would not start. Luckily I have road side assistance they towed the car to my home.

- Metairie , LA, USA

problem #99

May 222011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 62,690 miles
On 4/26/11, I took my car in for repairs and the dealer replaced the fuel pump, which was covered by a recall. At that time, I purchased an extended warranty that had a 30 day and 1,000 miles waiting period. On 5/22/11, I drove home and went to turn my key off and it would not turn off. I had to call aaa to come out and they pulled a fuse to get the engine to shut off. Then they disconnected the battery and put the fuse back in. I had to hook the battery back up to drive the vehicle to the dealership. They had to replace the cylinder lock and housing for a cost of $594. This problem should be considered a safety issue and be subject to a recall! I have seen 138 complaints just on this issue alone. What does it take?

- Fair Oaks, CA, USA

problem #98

Apr 302011


  • 55,803 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that her key remained stuck in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where they replaced the cylinder and housing. The manufacturer advised the contact that there were no related recalls to the failure and provided no assistance. The current mileage was 56,000 and the failure mileage was 55,803.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #97

May 062011


  • 85,961 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While parked, the contact attempted to turn the ignition off; however, the she was unable to turn the key in the ignition switch. The contact was in the process of notifying both the dealer and manufacturer for assistance regarding the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 85,961.

- New Ulm, MN, USA

problem #96

Mar 182011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
Car was on and the ignition key would not come out of the ignition and vehicle could not be shut off.

- Commerce Twp, MI, USA

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