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.

NHTSA — Steering Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 2 of 25) 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:
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 2 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #477

Feb 042015


  • 233,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). However, the parts needed for the repair were unavailable. The contact stated while driving approximately 60 mph, the power steering light illuminated and the steering wheel became tight. The vehicle was merged to the side of the road and restarted, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 233,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Salsbury, MD, USA

problem #476

Oct 202014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
The contact owned a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at 64 mph, the steering wheel seized causing the contact to loose control and swerve to the left lane. Another vehicle crashed into the contact's vehicle, causing the vehicle to spin out of control several times. The second vehicle crashed into the contact's vehicle. A police report was filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 97,000...updated 03-16-15 updated 6/18/2015

- Franklin Park, NJ, USA

problem #475

Jan 182015

Ion 4-cyl

  • 107,700 miles
Electric power steering quit working while driving; power steering error message also appeared on the driver information display. This vehicle has had the power steering recall performed recently (approximately 3 months ago - recall consists of replacing the power steering assist motor). When it quit working, I pulled over, shut off the car, then restarted it, to see if the power steering would start working again. Same error, still no power steering. Power steering returned unexpectedly while going around a turn approximately 3 miles later, causing the car to turn much sharper (as the effort needed to turn was unexpectedly reduced).

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #474

Jan 052015


  • 129,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at 55 mph, the steering wheel seized. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 129,000.

- Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #473

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 #472

Dec 162014


  • 90,000 miles
I am writing to report fraud by roseville Chevrolet. This is in regards to the Saturn recall of the electric power steering #14115. Evidently the dealership, roseville Chevrolet has submitted a claim that they have repaired this defect. They have not. I had taken my car in for the first two recalls. The parts for the third were not in yet. I told the service manager to keep my car until they could fix the 3rd recall as I did not see why I should have to continue to risk my life for GM. A week later the manager called saying the 3rd recall was done. When I went to get the car I only recieved two receipts. I didn't have my reading glasses so could not see what work had been done. I later looked at the papers and neither had the 3rd recall listed. Weeks later I was notified by Saturn that the parts were now in. I checked the safercar website and found my car was no longer listed for the 3rd recall. Apparently they altered the records claiming they have done the work, which was not done. What exactly am I supposed to do to get that repair done" what if anything will be the consequence for their committing fraud and putting my life in danger by assuring that I can not get this recall repaired? I spoke to GM after filing a complaint about the dealership as I have had nothing but problems with them since I bought this car new in 2006. I informed them that I would not go back there for the 3rd, I have no reason to submit myself to more abuse. It was after filing the complaint that suddenly my car that it no longer showed on the safecar site. Roseville Chevrolet has out done themselves with criminal behavior. What if anything at all will be done? how do I get a copy of this claim"

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #471

Mar 202014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles


My vehicle has a recall for the power steering. Power steering went out while I was driving the vehicle. Could barely steer it to safety. The power steering column was the issue. Cost me almost 900 dollars to repair but GM will not reimburse me, even though other GM vehicles have a recall for the column.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #470

Feb 282011


  • 63,706 miles
I had an very occasional intermittent problem that basically caused the power steering to shut off for about a second or two. It always seemed to happen on a turn. I tried to have it fixed but no one saw it in action to identify it. It usually happened on a turn and quickly returned to normal. It happened on a road with a small bend in it. It did not restart working before I drove off the road into a filbert field. I suffered multiple concussions in the crash. I saw a specialist due to my memory loss and he said I likely had 3 concussions: Front into steering wheel/air bag; side - breaking driver window with head; and top side due to side curtain air bag.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

problem #469

Jun 142014


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 70 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The contact stated that the part was not available to repair the vehicle under NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). In addition, the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000: (air bags, electrical system), but the failure recurred. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #468

Dec 102014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign id number: 14V153000 (steering), NHTSA campaign id number: 14V171000 (electrical system), and NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). However, the part needed was unavailable to repair the vehicle. The dealer was unable to inform when the part would become available. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #467

Dec 082014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles


I was driving with my 3 yr old daughter and went to turn on our street and almost hit a truck head on because I had little strength to turn. The power steering became to hard to turn.

- Pleasant Hill, IA, USA

problem #466

Aug 312007


  • miles
While driving and come to a complete stop car will just cut off, alot of jerking, power steering comes on and steering hard, electrical display will automatic start showing up.have taken car to dealership for recall repairs and still have problems with steering. When I brought the car had taken it to the dealership and they said it was fixed but got on the road and car stopped, the dealership had car towed to facility and said if was fixed, it was electrical problem when I took back and the problem is still on going to this day.

- Kings Mountain, NC, USA

problem #465

Aug 192014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
On August 19,2014 there was an incident that involved me with my 2006 Saturn Ion. I was proceeding out of to drive off when all of the sudden my power steering became hard to maneuver and seen as though the car was shutting off in which a child was running across the street at that time I did the best I could and my car bump my neighbor vehicle. I received a strained muscle in my hand that my doctor diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome (nerve damages). My car have done this several times. I shouldn't have T I die nor my son or have a life permanent injury that would hinder me from enjoying my life. GM told congress that they would do the right thing by its victims regardless the nature of injury.I have to suffer with this agonizing pain and swelling with the aid of medication. Nasa I expect you to do the right thing hold them liable for putting these faulty knowing these car was not safe for consumer purchase. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #464

Aug 152014


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While attempting to pull off from a traffic light and making a turn, the steering wheel became inoperable and difficult to maneuver. As a result, another vehicle crashed into the front driver side of the contact's vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained injuries to the left shoulder and left hip due to the seat belt. The contact did not seek medical attention. The contact was uncertain if the other driver sustained injuries, but the driver was intoxicated. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) and believed the failure was related to the recall. The approximate failure mileage was 102,000.

- Robstown, TX, USA

problem #463

Nov 072011


  • 69,999 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn as the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). However, the part needed to do the repairs was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 69,999.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #462

Mar 312014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000(steering). The contact stated that the part needed to remedy the failure was unavailable. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experience a failure.

- Oviedo , FL, USA

problem #461

Jan 292014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
Lost of power steering. Message appearing power steering von dash board. While driving lost of power steering and not being able to drive vehicle.

- New Iberia, LA, USA

problem #460

Sep 072014


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 35 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. As a result, the vehicle crashed into an embankment. A police report was filed of the incident.the contact suffered from a whiplash injury that required medical attention. The vehicle was towed the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Masontown, WV, USA

problem #459

Aug 252014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
Highway bouncing" unbalanced feeling under vehicle" replace struts asap!! okay for the past 30,000 miles I have been experiencing what I could describe as a constant bounce. The bounce has now become so violent that crossing a bridge on a highway the bump will increase the aggression of the bounce to the point that you bounce right off of the road. I have slowly been trying to figure out what causes this bouncing wobble. After new rims, cv-half shafts, lugnuts, tires, stabilizer end-links, tie-rod ends, inner tie-rod ends, and ball joints. The bounce got more controllable for a short period. Not long after the new parts started to break down again. Finally during the purchase of all of these things over again. I find an instance where this exact thing happened to another individual. Driving down the highway with the constant bounce as always (4 mechanics ---- I am pretty mechanically inclined, but could not diagnose the problem) this other individual goes up on a bridge (highway speeds) and bounces straight across and right off of the highway into the ditch. Luckily in both of our cases we were able to stop the vehicle before hitting anything other than some tall grass and sliding around in the dirt a bit on the side of the highway. He takes his family and car to the nearest mechanic (they were going on vacation) and this mechanic knew exactly what the problem was. Relieved this person was that he had finally found a mechanic that solved this wretched, annoying, and odd problem I have never experienced before. The struts were completely shot. The car was not sagging according to measurements. Bumps weren't violent. After replacement of the old struts I could literally push them down with one finger. Let go and watch as they just relax in place. Anyone experiencing a highway bouncing wobble like something is unbalanced then replace your struts!!

- Savoy, TX, USA

problem #458

Aug 292014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 91,710 miles
I was driving my Saturn Ion 2006 car at 25 mile/hour speed when suddenly I was unable to turn the steering wheel, it jammed totally. I was not expecting that it will get so difficult to move the steering wheel. Luckily I was able to stop my car on the side and than I turned it off and started again, on re start the steering function returned to normal.this was very scary for me as if the same incident had happened to me on a highway it can be fatal. I had heard about the failure of the power steering and recall. I thought if it fails I will be still able to move my steering like a old car without power steering, but the case is different here, the steering is unable to move even with greater force.I am going by train to my job tomorrow, not want to take the same risk. Now I have plan to get it fixed as early as possible.I will contact a dealer and want to get it repaired under the recall by GM. I have a recall letter from GM for this steering problem.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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