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.

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NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 1 of 15) Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague 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:
53,808 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 1 of 15)

problem #296

Nov 212016


  • 83,000 miles


Previously fixed recall has failed. Ignition does not work properly. Car remains running after key is removed. Key gets stuck in ignition.

- Fort Campbell, KY, USA

problem #295

Oct 052014


  • 51,000 miles
When you turn the ignition key to the off position sometimes you can not remove the key and when you can not remove the key you can not open the doors because it has automatic door locks when you put the car in gear to move. When this happens you must restart the car until the ignition releases the key, which puts undo wear and tear on the starter and system. I have taken it to a shop three times to have it repaired but they say they can not find any problem. So they kept the car a week to try to find the problem. I just learned that the shop I am taking it to has all the appearance of a dealership but they are not a dealership.

- Aulander, NC, USA

problem #294

May 012014


  • 107,500 miles
In April 2014, I took my car to john bowman Chevrolet in clarkston, Michigan for the recall notice 14063, ignition switch. Since the installation of the new ignition switch I am not able to place the car in park, turn the engine off and remove the key. The key will not remove from the ignition. I must repeatedly restart the vehicle until I am able to remove it.

- Ortonville, MI, USA

problem #293

Apr 112006


  • 70,000 miles


The gas tank line leaking gas

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #292

Jun 022015


  • 84,023 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving 30 mph and making a left or right turn, the steering wheel seized. The contact coasted over to the side of the road and was then driven to the contact's residence. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the igniton switch was replaced from a previous NHTSA notification; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 84,023.

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #291

Jan 052016


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. After having the vehicle repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 09V419000 (fuel system, gasoline), the engine stalled and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was able to restart. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 107,000.

- Fairburn, GA, USA

problem #290

Jan 012015


  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the steering wheel became difficult to turn and the power steering warning light illuminated. The contact also stated that the ignition switch had to be wiggled several times to be able to start the engine. The manufacturer advised that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 14V153000 (steering). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 69,000.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #289

May 152015


  • 165,000 miles
My car began with my ignition switch sticking and I received a recall notice in the mail so I took it to be corrected....after supposably being fixed I'm still having the same problem. Now about 5 months ago I started smelling a faint smell of its so severe I can't drive the car. It's actually dripping onto the ground. It takes 3 or more times to get it to crank. The gas mileage has gone down from 30 to nothing. From the VIN search my car isn't included in the recall for this which is ridiculous. I don't have the money to have this fixed. I don't understand why GM isn't taking responsibility for this. Lives are at stake here. Please help.

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #288

Aug 032015


  • 269,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle stalled and an unknown warning light illuminated. The contact stated that the fuel cap needed to be opened and closed in order for the vehicle to restart. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 09V419000 (fuel system, gasoline); however, due to the mileage of the vehicle, the manufacturer declined to honor the recall. The failure mileage was 269,000.

- Bullhead City , AZ, USA

problem #287

Aug 302015


  • 156,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system), NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) and NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). On two separate occasions, the key moved into the accessory position and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but they could not duplicate the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failures occurred after the recall repairs were performed. The failure mileage was 156,000.

- Fairburn, GA, USA

problem #286

May 012015


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. After shifting the gear lever into park and removing the key from the ignition, the vehicle remained on. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #285

May 122006


  • 2,566 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at 70 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to be restarted; however, the failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician repaired the vehicle, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 2,566.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #284

Mar 032015


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. When the key was in the ignition, it became stuck. In addition, the vehicle shuttered and stalled without warning. The failure occurred for two months. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 94,000.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #283

Jan 012011

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
I do not recall the exact date of the first occurrence. My car dies randomly while driving. It happened a several times before the recall. I had the recalled items related to this problem 'supposedly' repaired several months ago by an authorized GM dealership. It continued to die while driving. I took it back Saturday to the dealer and my car is still there. They are having problems duplicating the dying situation. I told them they don't need to duplicate it, just re-repair the recall items. If they cannot find the problem, I do not feel safe driving my car and do not want it back. The day I took it to the dealer, I was making a left hand turn from the busy main street of my town into a parking lot and it died before I even reached the curb (no bump). Luckily, there was no oncoming traffic (I take extra precautions for fear of my car dying) or I would have been creamed. A woman driving out of the lot had to stop and allow me to put my car into neutral and start it back up again. What recourse do I have if the problem is not fixed and found this time" it was supposed to be fixed the first time and it was not. How do I have a guarantee that it will actually be fixed this time? what if it is not? I do not want to out my child's life or my life or any other human being's life in danger by driving a deathtrap car. Will GM replace my car for me with a different one" my car is completely paid off. Please help!

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #282

Oct 022014


  • 79,547 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph, there was a loss of power steering without warning. The steering wheel became very difficult to turn. The failure occurred only after the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). Additionally, the vehicle was insufficiently repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14E021000 (electrical system). The remedy failed to correct the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 79,547.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #281

Apr 062012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Consumer received repairs due to recall and is seeking reimbursement. The ignition cylinder and ignition switch were replaced on April 6, 2012. On August 8, 2012, the ignition lock ad ignition housing were replaced.

- Monroeville, PA, USA

problem #280

Mar 012012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving the car will automatically shut off. I can be on the freeway at 55 miles and the car will just die. I can be at a stop light and the car will die. I have taken it in and twice they said they found nothing however the problem still exist. I thought that with the recall repair of the ignition switch it might help but it hasn't and my key still gets stuck in the ignition at times and I don't even have anything hanging on the key only the remote. Basically once you feel the car losing power and all dash lights show up, you need to restart the car to proceed. Very dangerous especially on the road.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #279

Jan 012015

Ion 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Yet one more ignition has failed. I had the recall done on the other two recalls. Yet, less than a month after the last replacement the key would not come out. I tried looking for the key release on the steering column that on prior recalls they said was there. It is not. I had to pull the battery cables as before to get the interior lights off. I came out to the car about an hour later and was able to remove the key. I spoke to the GM rep who said they would replace it with another one (the same model, etc) and I'd have to come back into the dealership. I told them no, I had received unbelievable hideous service there since buying the car and with the other recalls. Was told to drive the hour and a half to the next nearest one. Again declined. I was told that if I took it to the shop I use they would not pay the labor. This is ignition number four now. I am taking it to the shop I use tomorrow and will do battle with GM afterwards.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #278

Dec 272014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
Apparently either the "new ignitions" are also faulty or the dealership lied about having replaced it as they did about having completed the 3rd recall repairs (I'd receive a letter from GM some weeks later saying the parts were now in and to take the car to the dealership to have the work done). This evening at about 5:35pm pacific time I came home and yet one more time the key would not come out of the ignition as it was in the alt position. I tried 5 or 6 times over a span of 10-15 minutes to no avail. The headlights had to be turned off manually as did the overhead light. I was getting my house key off the ring so I could get my tools out of the house to one more time disconnect the battery and decided to try to remove the key again. It was at that point that the key finally came out of the ignition. The reason I suspect it may be the dealership is that although the Saturn was still on the recall list for the third repair on the site until about a week later, coincidently a few days after filing a complaint with GM over the continuing rude and disrespectful treatment at the dealership.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #277

Dec 112013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
My car key will not release from the ignition easily without slamming steering wheel up and down or slamming shifter into P ark over, and over again. And this is all after having the ignition switch recall repaired.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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