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 3 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #255

Dec 052013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 3,200 miles


Lost power/control while driving, felt like the bottom of the car was falling out, upon repair was informed a bad ignition coil.

- Oakland Park, FL, USA

problem #254

Feb 062014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
As I drove my car turned off not allowing me to use my brakes now the key gets stuck in the ignition every now and then.

- Hallandale, FL, USA

problem #253

May 302014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
While driving I heard a series of chimes and power steering indicator came on. I then was unable to turn the steering wheel. When I tried again I had to turn wide into traffic because even though I was turning the wheel as hard as I could I couldn't control it. I contacted GM about the recall and they told me that along with that there was the ignition switch recall. I was given a loaner because I was afraid to drive the car after the above incident. I was contacted on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 and was told the ignition switch parts were in. I informed them that I couldn't drive the car to kelly Buick GMC because of the power steering issue so they made arrangements to tow the car to their location. Now they are telling me to turn in the loaner, because even though the wheel is hard to turn, that it is safe to drive. I told the service person that I am a middle aged woman and do not have the strength in my arms to turn that wheel and that I am afraid. I was told to contact GM which I will in the morning because now I have no way to get the car from kelly Buick, when they knew when they towed it in I was afraid to drive it, because of the struggle to turn the wheel. They told me they would see what they could do, however they did nothing to the power steering and I do not know what to do at this point. I will contact kelly and GM tomorrow about this situation that I have been put in.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #252

Mar 052014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles


Ignition recall, on waiting list from March not available.GM informed me of dealer in jacksonville Florida to do replacement. I'am staying with daughter waiting repair. How long does GM make us wait..

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #251

Feb 032014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
I purchased my 2006 Saturn Ion 3 in 2008 from a dealership. I have had all the recall issues happen to my vehicle. 1) I have replaced the ignition switch and cylinder twice due to the car being unable to shut off. This happened in 2008 and again in 2012. Both times it was covered under warranty and repairs were done by GM dealership. Even though these have been replaced I was told they need to be replaced again under the recall because those parts are faulty as well. I have been in contact with the dealership and was told they do not have the parts yet and will let me know when they are available. 2) in November 2013 my vehicle smelled of gas and was making me and my children sick. I had it checked out at the dealership and it was the fuel module. This was covered by a ntsb warranty extension. 3) my vehicle will intermittently shut off or lose power steering. When I took it into the dealership in 2013 they told me they would not touch it if they could not replicate the problem. It has not been fixed. 4) this issue is not mentioned in any of the complaints I have read here, but I have seen others complain on the internet. Beginning in January of 2014 there is a strong odor of exhaust fumes in my vehicle. My personal mechanic said there is a leak that is going into the cabin. My vehicle is slow to accelerate and feels shaky. There is also a loud noise coming from the engine compartment. I have to drive with the windows down at all times. I have had nothing but problems with this vehicle since right after I purchased it. I do not have a second vehicle nor the means to buy one. I rely on it to get me to work and to Transport my family. It is very disappointing to have to deal with these issues over and over again.

- Kaneohe, HI, USA

problem #250

Feb 082014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
I was driving home early one morning and my ignition had shut off like it had many times before this time the weather conditions being snowy and slushy caused me to get stuck and the vehicle was yanked into the ditch. I had called the claims number after my car had sat at the dealership for about 2 months maybe longer and they told me since the claim was not filed as of the recall came out they are not responsible for it. There is nothing that GM can do they will not refund me for the money to replace my radiator, condenser, and cooling fan that I needed repaired at that time to make my vehicle run. I did not have money at the time to fix the cosmetic damage in the fender and the bumper so that is still broken. The claims department advised me since it was so long after the acident they could not check the vehicles records to see if the vehicle had actually shut off. Now the reason my car is sitting at the dealer ship is because this time my car was stuck running the key is in the on position and couldnt be turned off. I would like some action to be taken or someone to contact me in order to get this taken care of.

- Orchard Park, NY, USA

problem #249

Sep 182012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 82,710 miles


On or about 9/12/2012, I was driving in my Saturn Ion going 45 miles an hour, in heavy morning traffic, when in an instant my car decelerated and was at a slow crawl. I could not get any acceleration even when pressing the gas. I was only a couple blocks away from work, so I coasted until I got there. I was almost hit. But I could not go any faster. I was afraid to turn off the car for fear that it would not start up again. I was afraid to drive it and I called to have it towed to the dealership to have it looked at. Henderson Chevrolet looked at it and said that it was the computer motherboard of the car. This was replaced at a cost to me of $800+. it happened again on 11/20/12. The car went from 30 to 5 miles per hour in a split second! no warnings. I took it back to the dealership. They said that they had no idea what want going on with it nor why it was doing this. Their suggestion to me was to get another vehicle. What my Saturn did is the same thing described in the ignition recall. When this happened to me, there was no recall. No one thought of looking at the ignition. When I lost power, my thought was not gee, maybe my keys are too heavy & my car turned off! me see if my ignition turned off when I went over that bump. Had the recall ignition problem had been something that GM was aware of at the time and notice was received, the mechanic would have known that this was the problem. But I replaced the brain of my car at $800 when it was not needed. Not wanting it to happen again (say on the freeway), I traded in the car. I feel that I should be reimbursed for the costs I paid to repair my vehicle¿¦when it should have been taken care of by the recall. My experience happened before anyone knew about this kind of thing happening to these vehicles. The consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 07/28/14

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #248

May 302014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system) and 14V171000 (electrical system); however, the parts were unavailable to repair the vehicle. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer could specify when the parts would arrive. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Clayton, OH, USA

problem #247

Jun 172014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
I have a 2006 Saturn Ion I just got my new ignition put in on  6/12/14 and on 6/17/14 I was driving down the road about 55 mph and  the car turned off,  I was able to get to the side of the road safely,   I took it to the GM dealer and they said it was the ECM that cost $873 , I have heard of a few other people that this happened to. just wondering if this is related to the ignition,  or if they did something?

- Lexington, MI, USA

problem #246

Jul 102013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch reimbursement.

- Hopkinsville, KY, USA

problem #245

Mar 252013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


I first bought my 2006 Saturn Ion in March of 2013. Three days later I notice that when I would get on the highway my car would sway extremely bad. Our hwy speed is 75. Going 70mph was too much and it would sway a lot. Mind you I was pregnant at the time. The car spun out as I was exiting the highway. I was terrified because cars were right behind me. Thank god I got out of the way before I got hit. You can understand how upset I was due to the fact that I was 4months pregnant at the time. Since then my husband has spun out 5 times driving our car. We've taking it to the mechanics multiple times and they don't even know what to do with it. Our wheel alignments are fine. Also, our key gets stuck in the ignition a lot upon turning it off. So we have to use the button which is in the steering wheel just to get them out. Also, lately the car picks and chooses when it wants to accelerate. Lately I can floor it and the car will still be going 30mph. Also, lately when we go to turn on the car, it takes awhile and makes a sound as if the battery is dead, but then it soon comes on. I have had nothing but problems with this car from the start. I thought this was a good buy, but everyday I regret it and I fear for me, my husband, and my child's safety. Please do something about this issue. Matter of fact just take our cars. We don't need them fixed. Just take them please!

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #244

Jun 152014


  • 79,826 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated there were numerous attempts before the vehicle would start. Additionally, the vehicle stalled and the failure recurred five times. There was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system. The failure occurred after the recall repair was performed. The vehicle was not repaired for the recent failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 79,826.

- Mt. Hollie, NC, USA

problem #243

May 152014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
The steering column assembly (including key switch, turn signal, wiper control, etc.) was loose upon getting the vehicle back from the repairs for the key switch recall. This was not like this prior to the recall repairs and represents sloppy workmanship by dealership employees repairing the vehicle or poor design that won't stay tight. By this being loose, there could be damage to the wires or the wires could come unplugged inside the steering column. This would include air bag wires, key switch wires, etc. There would also be a possibility of fire if this problem isn't corrected as the wires could short out. I believe all the vehicles that have been repaired should be recalled again to check for this problem and repair them if it is found that it is loose.

- Adams Center, NY, USA

problem #242

Jun 022014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle electrical system issues. Recently, the emergency brake the consumer stated the check engine light illuminated twice and finally, the fuel injectors were replaced. Recently, the emergency brake light illuminated and stayed on without the emergency brake being pulled. Also, when she pushed the shifter knob, there was a noise in the steering column. There was an issue with the electrical power steering. It would go out and resume normal operation, while driving. The consumer stated she heard a knocking noise, when she drove over a bump and the check engine light illuminated again. Updated 08/06/14

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #241

Apr 262014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
Submission from constituent re 2006 Saturn Ion safety defect. The consumer experienced a problem with the ignition switch. She was informed, by the dealer, the part was not available.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #240

Apr 232014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 107,234 miles
I was driving to kids school and as I was turning onto school property my ignition binged and pwr str appeared at exact same moment I lost power steering and ran car up on curb onto lawn. I could have seriously injured if not killed an elementary school kid that day.. I've tried to call about problem since I received a notice for vehicle alert in mail just days B4. But when I called I was told that they couldn't help me after all because it already went out.. what kind of bull is that?

- Ft Worth, TX, USA

problem #239

Apr 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
I am the unfortunately owner of a government motors products that is subject to a recall. I have received now 10 notifications in almost 90 days demanding I have this recall performed immediately. In the course of nearly 90 days, I have contacted 5 different dealers and have been told the same thing; "we will take your name and number and contact you when we can perform the recall?. while I understand with an inferior product, made worse by government intervention into a private business, requires recalls and due to the high volume of cars subject to the recall due to the government picking GM as a company to promote, part production may be limited, I do not understand why I get these letters. I would happily comply with the recall, as a matter of safety, but when the dealer refuses to provide the recall, I cannot comply. The last letter I received was a post card that implied serious consequences could result and even had a date ?as of May 24th this has not been performed." I am fully aware and I have not spent over 3 hours between calls and letters trying to comply with this pseudo-government demand. Please provide guidance on how to proceed. The last agent at GM I spoke with said that they would continue to mail letters as they are directed by the government to do so. So I ask you, the government Agency partially responsible, please stop sending me letters to do what is not possible to do. I am aware of the recall. I have done what I have been instructed to do by each letter I have received and I have been assured my name and number is on a list to contact me when they can provide the recall. Unlike the average american I do have a little bit of common sense and take personal responsibility for my vehicles.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #238

Feb 132014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 60,020 miles
The first time it happened, I was driving about 20 mph in traffic when my Saturn Ion shut off in the middle of the road. The person behind me was only inches away from hitting me; she had to slam on brakes. I was able to start right back up, but it was very close to causing an accident. The incident with the car shutting off has happened multiple times. Mechanic could not figure out the problem, the problem is still happening, and I'm afraid to drive my vehicle.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #237

Mar 112014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign id number 14V04700 (air bags, electrical system); however, the part was not available to do the repairs. The manufacturer had not been notified. The vehicle had not experienced the failure.

- Canton, MS, USA

problem #236

May 242014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 108,244 miles
I was driving the 2006 Saturn Ion in my neighborhood. I reached the intersection at the end of my street and came to a stop/yield. As I took my foot off the brake to shift to the gas and began steering to turn left, the engine suddenly turned off. The battery light on the dash appeared. I was able to put the car in park, turn off the vehicle, and restart it. I returned home instead of continuing my trip. My vehicle is affected by the recall with campaign id number 14V-047. I had removed all additional keys from my keyring as recommended in the three recall letters I received, but I still believe that this issue was related to the issue the ignition switch. I have chosen to file this complaint because one of the letters I received from [xxx]of GM asserted that the vehicle was safe to drive as long as there were no additional keys on the keyring. A link to the letter in question is: information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Norman, OK, USA

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