NHTSA — Steering Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 18 of 25)

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CarComplaints.com 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:
67,141 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 18 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #157

May 281983


  • 85,236 miles


While making a turn, the power steering on my 2006 Saturn Ion suddenly went out. As a result, I had to steer the car without power steering to a parking lot and turned off the ignition to check under the hood. Turning the car off temporarily resolved the issue.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #156

Apr 072010


  • 71,589 miles
While driving down the street going approximately 50 mph, a message came on in the dashboard saying pwr steer, and then it felt like my steering wheel locked up and I couldn't turn it left or right. I had to stop at a gas station and ask for help. When I turned my car back on, the power steering was working again. This has happened 3 times since then.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #155

May 252010


  • 101,000 miles
While driving on the highway there was a clicking noise, a chime and the pwr str light illuminated on the dash. I had to bring the car off the highway, without power steering. When I turned the car off and on again, it was fine. About a week later, same event. Now can happen within 30 seconds of starting a drive or go a day without happening. It has been an issue on and off for over two weeks now.

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #154

May 102010


  • 53,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at 40 mph on May 10, 2010, the power steering module suddenly failed. The contact was able to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed that the module was burned. The failure mileage was approximately 53,000. The current mileage was approximately 54,000. Updated 10/27/10.

- Navasota, TX, USA

problem #153

May 172010


  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at 20 mph, the contact noticed that the power steering suddenly stopped functioning warning. The vehicle had not been inspected at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 57,000.

- Harlan, KY, USA

problem #152

May 012010


  • 70,000 miles
While driving a 2006 Saturn Ion, the power steering suddenly fails after the sound of a small click. The dashboard chimes with the message warning pwr str. It becomes extremely difficult to maneuver the vehicle, but not impossible to drive it. More force from the driver is required to make turns. Turning and parking the vehicle are extremely difficult without the power steering. After shutting off the car and turning it back on the power steering is restored. At first the problem only occurred a few times in a week. After three weeks, the power steering fails constantly after 30 or 40 seconds of starting the vehicle. A fuse was replaced, but no change has occurred. The power steering continues to fail.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #151

Apr 182010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 44,266 miles


We have a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving it looses power steering. Same problem GM is having with cobalt. Why are they not recalling the Saturn Ion's. numerous concerns and very dangerous?

- Janesville, WI, USA

problem #150

May 142010


  • 69,046 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at approximately 40 mph, the power steering warning lights illuminated on the dashboard. There was an immediate loss of power steering control and the contact was able to move the vehicle off the roadway without incident. When restarted, the power steering had returned and the vehicle resumed normal operation. The failure recurred within minutes. The vehicle was taken to a local repairs facility where unknown repairs were made to the vehicle. The failure continued to recur intermittently at any speed traveled. The failure and current mileages were 69,046.

- South Lyon, MI, USA

problem #149

Apr 162010


  • 40,000 miles
My Saturn Ion 2006 power steering stops working. My problem began around the 40,000 mile mark. The cost is extremely high to repair over $1,200.

- Emporia, KS, USA

problem #148

May 182010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I own a 2006 Saturn Ion. The power steering fails intermittently. Speed does not matter. The power steering light comes on and the steering goes out. If the car is turned of it comes back on. This happens on the highway at 55 mph or more so I feel it is dangerous. GM has recalled some cars with the same steering units but not Ions. The dealer has advised it will be $500 or more to fix. Many problems are documented online about this problem in the Ion. Please investigate and get a recall started for this. Why should we have to pay for a known GM part problem.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #147

May 142010


  • 63,380 miles


The incident date listed was when the first occurrence happened. I was driving home when my power steering suddenly quit working. I pulled into an auto parts store and bought some power steering fluid. The power steering turns out is all electric and needs no fluid. I then turned the car back on to continue driving home and I made it there with no problems. I was driving back from church two days later and the power steering went out again. I pulled over, turned off the car and started it back up. Power steering was working fine. It went out on me again 5 minutes later and I pulled over and turned off the car and stated it back up. Power steering worked fine again for about 10 more minutes before it went out again. Needless to say the power steering quit on me three times in one trip home from church. I took it to my local GM dealer and paid $70 bucks to have a diagnostic run. Turns out their is an intermittent short in the power steering assist motor- code "CO429". the power steering motor must be replaced to fix the problem which is quite costly, $429.39 on top of the $70 dollars I have already paid.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #146

May 152010


  • 41,868 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at any speed, the power steering system failed. The contact spoke with the dealer and was advised to pay for a diagnostic test. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was 41,888. The failure mileage was 41,868.

- Harbor Springs, MI, USA

problem #145

Apr 162010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 59,607 miles
Power steering has went out on my 2006 Ion 2. light comes on and a sound alarm goes off. This happens while driving down the road. It is a safety hazard.

- Tuscaloosa, AL, USA

problem #144

Jan 152010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
Power steering intermittently fails. Turning the vehicle off, then on will reset the power steering unit and the car will function normally for a period of time. The failure occurs every 10-30 minutes of drive time without regard to driving conditions or weather. Upon failure the vehicle immediately becomes difficult to steer and maneuver.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #143

Sep 012009


  • 46,000 miles
Electronic power steering failure on a 2006 Saturn Ion. The system fails within 5 seconds of starting the vehicle and never works and a message on the dash confirms the failure. GM recalled the Chevy cobalt for the same issue but not the Ion, which doesn't make any sense.

- Loveland, CO, USA

problem #142

May 062010


  • 16,000 miles
Saturn Ion 2006 pwr steer message and then my steering wheel locks up. I have to turn my car off and than back on for it to work again.

- Saskatoon, 00, USA

problem #141

May 122010


  • 65,000 miles
Every time I start my 2006 Saturn Ion, the power steering fails. I can restart the car either in motion or while stopped and the function returns, but then fails again after 30 seconds to a few minutes. The result is a vehicle which is very difficult to control especially at slow speeds. This could be very hazardous while making turns at intersections or in tight spaces.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #140

Jan 012010


  • 62,000 miles
My 2006 Saturn Ion power steering cuts out while driving. This occurs multiple times a day. Today it happened 9 times. This is a great inconvenience being that I know GM has put out recalls for both the Chevy cobalt and some Pontiac G series vehicles with the same power steering motor. There are many sitings of this condition all over the internet. This condition has existed for several months and is getting worse over time.

- Flanders, NJ, USA

problem #139

May 032010


  • 75,000 miles
Power steering motor defect causes car to how tight steering at times. Everytime I try to get it serviced I get the run around at dealer.

- Lititz, PA, USA

problem #138

May 082010


  • 52,000 miles
I currently own a 2006 Saturn Ion, with 52,000 miles on it. I bought this vehicle brand new in 2005. In warm weather conditions, my car's electric power steering unexpectedly cuts out in the middle of driving. The alarm sounds in the dash and the code "pwr str" appears in the message warning indicator. The only way to get the power steering to return is to pull over to the side of the road, turn the car off, and restart it. This happened once on Thursday and is becoming more and more frequent each day. It happened twice Friday, then about 20 times in the course of a 15 mile drive on Saturday. This is a very dangerous thing to cut out on you because it just happens randomly and unexpectedly. One of the times it happened I was making a turn onto a ramp as I was coming off of the highway. Lucky for me the turn was gradual enough that I was able to steer, but had this happened on a slightly sharper turn, I may have crashed into the guard rail. Additionally, it cannot be safe for me to continue to pull over on the interstate (going 55 mph) 10 times in a 20 minute time frame just to turn my car off and on to reset the power steering. It's quite dangerous to change lanes just to get in and out of traffic when you have power steering. It's even more dangerous to do so without power steering. Hopefully you can help make GM/ Saturn do something about this because I have read many complaints online about this same problem. Please help!

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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