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 15 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #214

Oct 152010


  • 53,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 25 mph, there was a complete loss of the power steering and the warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact applied force to the steering wheel and continued with caution. When the engine was turned off and restarted, the steering wheel began to function normally. The failure was not diagnosed. The failure mileage was 53,000.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #213

Sep 202010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
When I drive my 2006 Saturn Ion my power steering out of no where turns off. When I turn my car off and back on my pow steering works but then after driving for a little longer it will turn off again.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #212

Oct 062010


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. Prior to accelerating from a stop the power steering service light illuminated on the dashboard before to the steering wheel becoming very stiff. The vehicle was pulled over and shut off. Upon restart the vehicle operated as normal. The failure has since recurred twice. The vehicle was not taken to be examined for the cause of failure and was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 62,000.

- Carthage, NC, USA

problem #211

Sep 012010


  • 88,000 miles


TL-the contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 65 mph the steering wheel became very stiff and a power steering light illuminated on the dashboard. The vehicle was pulled over and shut off. Upon restart the vehicle operated as normal. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop where they were unable to diagnose the failure. She replaced the power steering fuse herself but the failure continues to recur intermittently. The failure mileage was 88,000 and the current mileage was 88,790. Sm.

- Rancho Cucumonga, CA, USA

problem #210

Oct 052010


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While traveling 15 mph the contact noticed that the power steering light appeared on the dashboard, seconds later the vehicle lost all power steering. The vehicle was not diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 81000.

- Goleta, CA, USA

problem #209

Apr 022010


  • 33,349 miles
Key will get stuck in the ignition and will not come out. It was a safety concern because the vehicle could not be turned off with the key. The only way to turn off the vehicle was to pull the ignition fuse out. There was no improper use of the ignition or the key prior to the event. The dealership replaced the cylinder case and key cylinder. They charged for the repair it was 800 dollars for the repair. The vehicle was out of warranty with only 33000 miles on it. Their seems to be alot of complaints/blogs relating to this issue with the Ion.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #208

Aug 242010


  • 104,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving, the power steering warning chimed and the warning light came on. When she turned the engine off and restarted the vehicle, the power steering reset itself and then the failure recurred. General Motors was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 104,000.

- Otisville , MI, USA

problem #207

Aug 312010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 83,293 miles
I drive a 2006 Saturn Ion. Five nights ago, I was driving home when a "power steering" alert came up on my dashboard, and then all power steering went from the car, making it almost impossible to turn. I stopped to buy some power steering fluid, assuming that was all it needed, but when my husband and I tried to find where to put the fluid under the hood, we could not find it. I started the car to try to get home, and the power steering was working fine, the alert from the dashboard gone. The next morning, I brought the car to my father-in-law to see if he could find where to put the fluid and he could not. We found out that apparently Saturn cars' steering are run electrically, so they do not require fluid. Since that first night, the power steering goes out every single day, and when I turn the car off and back on, it works again. Since it's extremely dangerous to drive a car in this condition, I am planning to take my Ion to a mechanic tomorrow to find out what needs to be repaired, and the costs. I no longer have a warranty, and I am very worried that it will be a costly repair.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #206

Aug 232010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact received a letter from the manufacturer stating that the vehicle could potentially lose power steering capabilities and that the dealer would repair the issue only after the failure occurred. The contact was concerned because he did not know if and when the failure would occur. He called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The current and failure mileages were approximately 33,000. Updated 12/23/10 updated 01/03/11.

- Hilliard, OH, USA

problem #205

Aug 102010


  • 72,000 miles
I was driving down the road and the car beeped as if warning me and the words power steering came across my cages. While driving down the road the power steering went out. I pulled over to check out car and turned off car, I couldn't tell what the problem was so I started the car back up and had power steering, but no more than a minute went by and it did it again. I repeated my same process, I was able to cripple the car home. After further checking into this I have found that there are so many more of the same car with this issue. This is very dangerous because of the nature of the part and when it can go out without warning. If you are in a major turn and it goes out you do not have time to compensate for the power loss and will most definitely cause a wreck or even serious injury to myself or others. That being said with so many others with the same problem this is obviously a recall issue and needs to be corrected. At this time im looking into parts and labor to have my car fixed because I have to, but this needs to be addressed before someone is seriously hurt.

- La Vergne, TN, USA

problem #204

Jul 282010


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving 5 mph making a left turn the contact noticed that the power steering light had appeared on the dashboard. Within a few seconds, the vehicle would not turn in either direction. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the electric power steering motor was replaced. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 68000.

- Muncie, IN, USA

problem #203

Jul 292010


  • 58,000 miles
Leaving a residential neighborhood I was traveling about 25 mph when my power steering signal chimed on. Instantly after I noticed the power steering went out, creating difficulty in turning the steering wheel. I continued the short distance to my house, not wanting to be stranded. The next day went to start my car and the power steering alert was gone. However in just driving less than a 1/2 mile down my street the power steering went out once again. I did not drive it again until I drove it into a local mechanic, and the power steering failed on this trip as well. My car is currently at the auto mechanic and I am waiting for an estimate. I was told it will most likely be pricey because it is an electronic power steering system. After research online I realize that this is happens to occur often, posing a safety hazard. My car has slightly less than 60,000 miles on it. Additionally, this happened only a few months after I experienced the ignition freeze-up that many have also experienced. Two very costly repairs in one summer is unfortunate.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #202

Jul 182010


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the power steering warning light would intermittently illuminate followed by a loss of power steering assist. The contact stated that steering would become extremely difficult, especially when attempting a turn. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where the contact was advised by the mechanic that he was unable to repair the failure. The manufacturer advised that the vehicle was not under recall and would not provide any further assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 45,000 and the current mileage was 55,922.

- Boymton Beach, FL, USA

problem #201

Aug 032010


  • 65,000 miles
I have a 2006 Ion with 65,000 miles it isn't paid for yet. The power steering is gone out. I am a widow. I do not have 500 dollars to put into this car. I went on line and many people seem to be having the same trouble. Is GM doing a recall on this. It is very dangerous to be driving and all of a sudden your power steering is gone.. I need help!

- Casselberry, FL, USA

problem #200

Aug 012010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion power steering failure - 4 times during drive on the interstate and once when driving in residential area today. This is the second time that this has occurred. Power steering light comes on and the power steering fails completely while driving. Turning the car off and on again will bring power steering back until the next time that the light comes on.

- Dade City, FL, USA

problem #199

Jul 282010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Loss of power steering 2006 Saturn Ion 2.

- Kingsland, GA, USA

problem #198

Nov 192008


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph with a sudden loss of power steering. The power steering warning light indicator illuminated. There was extreme difficulty steering the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The power steering motor and steering column would need to be replaced. In addition, the front passenger door would stick unless body pressure was applied to the door. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 30,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Sonoma, CA, USA

problem #197

May 012007


  • 35,000 miles
Power steering has been shutting off for no apparent reason sense the day I've owned the car. It happens in many cases but will always happen on every drive, let it be on startup, after 5 mins of driving, during a turn while on the freeway going about 65-70mph all the time no power steering, a recent recall has happen to two other cars with the same power steering issue/hazard with the same power steering motor and steering column but for whatever reason my car was left out of the recall so now im stuck with a issue that I've had and might I had many others have had for sometime and GM will not even consider fixing it unless its a grand or so in costs.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #196

Jul 152010


  • 60,000 miles
When I am driving, at any time, my odometer area chimes a few times and reads power steering and I am barely able to steer my car. This is so unsafe, I can barely drive it anywhere now! this is a common problem for my car and was already recalled for the cobalts and G5S but not our Saturn Ions!! it happens twice a day and I'm really getting scared. I looked to see how much it would be at my local GM place and they quoted me at least 1,000 dollars but the cobalts and G5S had the same problem with the same power steering set up and they get it for free??

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #195

May 162010


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated when driving at any speed, the power steering warning alarm would chime followed by a loss of power steering assist. She stated she would shut off the engine and when restarting, the vehicle would resume normal operation. The manufacturer advised having the dealer diagnose the vehicle. The manufacturer stated that depending on the results of the diagnostic test, they would possibly assist with repair costs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 41,000.

- Florence , SC, USA

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