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:
17 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
14 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,597 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Dec 022013


  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure was recurring. Additionally, the contact would have to move the key around in the ignition and apply extreme force to the brake pedal before being able to insert or remove the key from the ignition. The contact also stated that the power steering assist would sporadically fail. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer however, they were unable to diagnose the failure. The contact later received notification that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags and electrical system) after the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #11

Nov 062013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the air bag warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the clock spring was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 136,658.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #10

Jan 012008

Ion 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
#1. key. In 2008 the key started getting stuck in the ignition when I attempted to turn the car off. The car kept running. It would take up to 10 tries before the engine stopped. Even then I could not always get the key to come out right away. I could not get the key to turn when trying to start the car. The key often would also get stuck in the ignition and I could not get it out and would have to leave it in. 2014 I could not get it to come out at all and at one point the car would not shut off. Mechanic replaced (at my expense) the ignition. #2. when I purchased the car an add on offered was a passive kill switch called id system. Repeatedly the air bag light would come on, and the on-star system also notified me. It would go back off. I took it to the dealer in 2006 and 2007 was told since the light was not on then that they could not/would not do anything. In 2013 the light was always on. I was also having other electrical problems (see #3). I went to an auto electrical shop. While diagnosing the initial problem the shop found that when the kill switch was put in the company had taken out the relay for the air bag and put the put the id system relay in it's place. The result was that neither worked. The shop pulled out the kill switch relay and replaced the air bag one. Which I paid the bill for. Now the air bag light is starting to come back on at times. I assume the air bag is not working. #3. in 2013 the alarm on the car started going off by its self.that day it went on and off 5 or 6 times till I realized it might be my car. The neighbor said there was no one around it at the time. I don't turn on the alarm. I ended up disconnecting the battery. I took it to the shop (see #2) but since it was not doing it then they could not find the problem. #4 I have never been notified by GM that others were having these problems.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #9

Apr 052013


  • 103,408 miles


My daughter had just gotten off the freeway, she called me hysterical. She couldn't steer the car. Someone helped her push it to the side. I called aaa to have the car towed and was told what happened was ver rare and dangerous. My maintenace personel who has worked for BMW for 17 years says he's only seen this once in his life. A couple of days later I had my car towed to fh dailey in san leandro, and the total cost was $965 a few days later my air bag light came on and my horn wouldn't blow nor would my cruise control work. Again I had to have the car towed I wasn't going to take the chance and drive it with the airbag light on. The cost for that repair was $172.57 I was told that it was going to be $240 but it was actually lower. I've googled this problem and there are a lot of complaints regarding this matter it should have been a re-call. I am asking for a full refund.

- San Leandro, CA, USA

problem #8

Feb 102013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
My son lost control of the car hitting a pole head on and then the car spun three times in a 360 and then a 180... air bags didn't deploy and he and the passenger are badly injured. The air bags could have saved them from several injuries...

- Edgewood, MD, USA

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problem #7

Oct 122012


  • miles
While I driving my 2006 Saturn Ion the passenger air bag light is on. I think my 2006 Saturn Ion the warranty was expired. For safety driving on the freeway I need help for fix the air bags. Thank you;

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #6

Sep 232011


  • 120,234 miles


While driving my 2006 Saturn Ion indicator chimed and pwr str light displayed. I lost steering control and almost wrecked. I pulled off the road killed the car upon restarting engine everything was fine. Five minutes into my trip problem happened again. Also, sometimes when I drive the car the passenger airbag is on at other times it turns off on it own. Both are these are very dangerous especially for me being a single mother.

- Sulphur Springs, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 112010


  • miles
Auto accident on 8/11/10. Accident totaled front end of car. Air bags did not deploy, on star did not work could not call for help, electric system failed and could not open doors, windows. Emt had to break rear window glass to get to me to help. Seat belt had made severe pain in chest. Was taken to hospital for help with the still suffering severe pain. Auto is a 2006 Saturn Ion. Insurance co is evaluating the damage to auto. As a senior elderly woman and cannot depend on auto to get help when needed, that is very scary. That is what I pay monthly fees to on star for. I want to feel safe in my auto.

- Sun City, AZ, USA

problem #4

Dec 052009


  • 57,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion-3 automatic 2.4L 1. power steering: Power steering goes out nearly every time I drive the vehicle. Saturn dealership changed a sensor I the steering column, but problem persists. It is very dangerous to be driving in the city without power steering. 2. ignition: Car refuses to start when temperature is below 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit. I have been stranded in below freezing weather for almost an hour because of this common Saturn failure.

- Brookville, IN, USA

problem #3

Oct 182008


  • miles
2006 Saturn Ion air bags did not deploy in an accident. The consumer stated her son was driving the vehicle, when he came upon a vehicle traveling on the wrong side of the road. The consumers son was run off the road and the vehicle rolled over several times.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #2

Jun 272008


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that she could not manually turn off the vehicle because the ignition module locked on its own. She took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the ignition cylinder was corroded and needed to be replaced at the cost of $400. She is in the process of having the cylinder repaired. In addition, the passenger air bag warning indicator would illuminate on the instrument control panel, which meant that the air bag was inoperative. The dealer replaced the air bag sensors at the cost of $800. The manufacturer stated that they would partially reimburse her in the amount of $398.80. The failure mileage was 58,000 and current mileage was 67,000.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #1

Mar 032007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I was driving down a 4 lane road and I went to stop at a red light and the street was covered in black ice. I spun out and crashed straight into a car sitting in the left turn lane. My car is totaled and my air bags did not go off. I suffered whiplash and some muscle soreness and bruising. The mechanic said there is no reason that the air bag should not have went off and that I was very lucky.

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

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