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:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,546 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 13 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #254

Apr 262011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 185,762 miles


I recently have experienced a loss of power steering in my 2006 Saturn Ion. This has randomly occurred four times over the past two weeks. Suddenly, the warning message "pwr str" will appear in place of my digital odometer reading and the car will immediately lose power steering and becomes extremely difficult to steer and dangerous to drive. I have found that am able to "reset" the steering by pulling over and turning the car off and back on again. I have never experienced this problem prior to two weeks ago. The car has approx 185K miles on it. After experiencing this issue today (the fourth time it has happened), I did a search on the internet and learned that NHTSA is currently investigating Saturn Ions for this issue (NHTSA action number : RQ10004), to determine whether the vehicle should have been included in a recall for the same issue with other GM cars. Please consider this complaint in your investigation.

- Antrim, NH, USA

problem #253

Apr 222011


  • 33,967 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion level 2. while driving approximately 20 mph, the contact stated that the power steering failed without warning. The contact did not inform the dealer or manufacturer of the failure nor was the vehicle diagnosed or repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 33,967.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #252

Apr 212011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 84,400 miles
Have a 2006 Saturn Ion 2 and was making a left hand turn when the warning chime went off and displayed "pwr stg" in the dash display. Immediately after the chime the power steering went out making it very difficult to turn the vehicle. Started car the following day and the power steering worked again. Approximately 15 miles later, I was making a right hand turn and the power steering went out again. Car is now sitting in driveway unused. Taking car into GM dealership tomorrow for diagnosis but they seemed to know what was wrong before looking at it.

- Oshkosh, WI, USA

problem #251

Apr 012011


  • 73,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion level. While driving at any speed, the contact stated that the power steering would fail intermittently. The contact would power the vehicle off and restart it to allow the power steering to reset independently. The contact was awaiting an appointment with the dealer for diagnostic testing. The contact did not inform the manufacturer of the failure. The current and failure mileage was 73,000.

- Cabot, AR, USA

problem #250

Apr 222011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 31,900 miles
Power steering failure, and the pwr str warning light comes on. Have to stop vehicle and restart to get home.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #249

Apr 192011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 94,112 miles
06 Saturn Ion sedan loss power steering while turning corner and barely missed hitting parked vehicle.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #248

Apr 072011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 28,057 miles


2006 Saturn Ion power steering failure. When driving an alarm will sound and a message will show up on dash that says "pwr str" immediately the power steering will fail. This has almost caused 2 accidents with this vehicle because it is intermittent with no warning.

- Commerce Twp, MI, USA

problem #247

Feb 082011


  • 130,000 miles
Power steering light comes on and I have no power steering. This happens when idling or going down the road. Plenty of fluid and tests fine at the shop. They suggested it may be an electrical problem. I do notice it happens when I open the door sometimes as well.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #246

Mar 012011


  • 61,987 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 25 mph, the contact noticed that the power steering warning light illuminated. The dealer informed the contact that her vehicle was not included in a previous recall and advised her to bring the vehicle in for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who informed the contact that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired due to the cost. The current and failure mileage was 61,987.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #245

Nov 012010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 109,847 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion 3. the contact stated that the power steering warning lamp illuminated and there was a loss of steering capabilities. The contact stated that the power steering would reset itself once the vehicle was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed the failure as the electric power steering being defective and needing replacement. The manufacturer was contacted but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 109,847. Updated 4/11/2011 updated 04/14/11

- Cedar Hill , TX, USA

problem #244

Feb 212011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 47,073 miles


While driving at 70mph the power steering light came on and I lost power steering. I exited the interstate and pulled off the road. I turned the engine off then counted to 10 and started it up, the light went out and the power steering was back. The next time I was in city traffic when the power steering light can on and the power steering died. Again I pulled over and restarted the engine and it was ok. The problem is intermittent and unpredictable. I went online with Saturn and they recommend a Saturn service center. I also read blogs that the repair will be over $1000 and not covered by a recall or warranty. I have parked my Saturn Ion in the driveway and may have to tow it to a dealer.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #243

Feb 192011


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 5 mph making a left turn, a chime sounded inside of the vehicle which was followed by the illumination of the power steering light. Suddenly, the power steering failed and the steering wheel was difficult to turn. The contact engaged the hazard warning lights and turned the engine off. When the engine was restarted, the power steering reset. The contact was able to resume driving normally. The vehicle was in the process of being taken to a dealer for diagnosis. The failure mileage was 52,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #242

Feb 172011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 44,500 miles
Power steering failure.

- Bismarck, ND, USA

problem #241

Feb 192011


  • miles
Was turning onto highway and "power steering" light came on and steering became difficult. We were able to drive to a parking lot and after a few minutes, we restarted the car and drove about 1 mile to a grocery store. After the store trip, we started home and approximately 2 miles further the light came on again and steering became difficult again. The problem seems to occur when we make too many turns in a short time.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #240

Feb 152011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 64,181 miles
The power steering quits and reverts to manual steering without warning on average 6 to 8 times a day. The light on the dash warning system comes on and I have to turn the car off and restart it to reset the system. The car only has 64,000 miles on it and I have had it since it was new.

- Euless, TX, USA

problem #239

Dec 192010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion - power steering failure. Occurs intermittently with no repeatable pattern of mileage, time, speed, etc. Chime sounds and pwr str appear on the dashboard display. At that point, the power steering assist no longer works and steering becomes difficult... especially at low speeds and cornering.

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #238

Jan 222011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 76,940 miles
I own a 2006 Saturn Ion and the power steering seems like it's going bad some times I can't turn and have to stop in the middle of traffic. It's getting worse buy the day. I have called GM several times but have not gotten an answer. The last time it happen was the other day 1/22/2011 and I almost caused an accident. I'm not sure how I'm suppose to handle the issue, or why I wasn't sent out a letter in the mail. Something has to be done. It happening more often now seems like everytime I drive my car.

- Byram, MS, USA

problem #237

Jan 142011


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 2 mph the steering wheel became stiff and locked making it difficult to control the vehicle. The power steering light illuminated on the dashboard. The contact stated that the power steering would not function until he shut the ignition off and back on. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 48,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #236

Jul 122009


  • 63,257 miles
Sometimes as I am driving, the power steering in my 2006 Saturn Ion stops working and I can't turn the vehicle. If I have to make a turn, I have to try to move the wheel. I have caused major delays and almost been in a few wrecks due to troubles turning the steering wheel. The power steering will not work until I turn the vehicle off and then restart it after a few minutes. The other problem I am having is turning the vehicle on in the morning which I have done the research on and found it is a very common problem for Saturn. There is a problem with the wiring components of the vehicle and once I turn the key I have to give it at least 10 minutes before it will turn on. Then I can't turn it off until I get to where I need to go or I have to wait again for at least another 10 minutes. This presents a big problem if I have to stop for gas, because I can't turn my car off at the pump or I am stuck at the gas pump for at least 10 minutes and sometimes longer.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #235

Jan 012011


  • 54,935 miles
TL - the contact owns 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving the power of steering light is illuminating intermittently. She mentioned that she has to apply more force in order to maneuver the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and it was not repaired. The failure and current mileage is 54,935.

- Austell, GA, USA

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