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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Saturn Ion:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 20 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #114

Apr 042010


  • 72,150 miles


While driving, as with all the complaints I've been reading, the car "beeped" and the pwr strn indicator came on and we lost the power steering while driving at 60 mph. I have had the car looked at and have been told it's the power steering motor/power steering module and will cost approximately $1000.-$1200. To fix. I see this as a major safety issue and if GM will not fix this defect then I am forced to conclude that they are a less-than-reputable company as well as a manufacturer of an inferior product. Up until this point, we have had no complaints with this car but, with what appears to be a common safety problem, I do not feel comfortable with my wife and child traveling in such a vehicle. I am sorry to say that I will, most likely, not consider General Motors in the future.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #113

Jan 222010


  • 42,000 miles
I have a 2006 Saturn Ion red line. The power steering motor goes out randomly. I can fix it by turning the car off and then back on. I know GM is doing recalls on some models, but I haven' seen mine on the list. I think this should involve my car since it is the same thing happening O the recalls and GM did make Saturn.

- Pleasant Plain, OH, USA

problem #112

Mar 012010


  • miles
Power steering cutting out.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #111

Mar 312010


  • 47,310 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at speeds of 20 mph up a ramp, the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel immediately followed by a total loss of steering power. The contact could not maintain control of the vehicle but was able to avoid a potential crash. She stated that the failure would occur whenever the vehicle was in operation. She had to shut off the engine and restart it, which would correct the problem for a short time. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the vehicle was diagnosed with power steering motor failure. The manufacturer was contacted but would not provide any assistance. There were no recalls on the vehicle. The vehicle had not been repaired when the complaint was filed. The failure mileage was approximately 47,310 and the current mileage was approximately 47,370.

- Mastic Beach, NY, USA

problem #110

Mar 292010


  • 54,850 miles
Power steering light flashes and dings and power steering quits working. Have to turn off vehicle for light to go off and for power steering to reset self. Original steering column malfunctioned September 1, 2009. Steering column replaced Sept 3, 2009. Having same problem again

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #109

Sep 012009


  • 45,000 miles
Steering column malfunction. Power steering light flashes and dings and power steering quits working. Have to turn off vehicle for light to go off and for power steering to reset self

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #108

Mar 292010


  • 59,500 miles


I own a 2006 Saturn Ion. Several days ago the power steering failed while I was driving. I stopped the car and restarted. The power steering re-engaged for approximately 10 minutes and then cut out agian. This is now a constant problem. In researching the matter, I found that this is a very common problem with this model car. I also found out that GM recalled the Chevy cobalt and Pontiac G5 for exactly the same reason. Why wasn't the Saturn Ion included? I have been informed by the local dealership that the repair will cost about $1,100 to $1,200. The car is still driveable but presents a potentially dangerous situation in that it is much more difficult to steer. I have called to schedule the repair because my car is in great condition otherwise.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #107

Mar 192010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at 65 mph the steering wheel locked and was unable to turn. The power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The technician stated that the vehicle was electronic and does not require power steering fluid. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to authorized dealer twice and was repaired. In addition, the key failed to release from the ignition with a clicking noise. After waiting a period of 30 seconds the key was removed from the ignition without hesitation. The vehicle was in the process of being repaired. The failure mileage was 98,000. The VIN was not available. The current mileage was 107,000.

- Spring Hope, NC, USA

problem #106

Jan 312010


  • 41,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 35 mph, a chime sounded inside the vehicle with the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure occurred on three separate occasions. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the power steering motor was replaced. The failure mileage was 41,500. The current mileage was 43,000.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #105

Mar 252010


  • 36,399 miles
Driving automobile, alarm chimed, power steering warning came on, lost power steering. When car is restarted power strg works approx. A couple minutes then loose power steering. GM aware of this problem, has not included Saturn in this recall.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #104

Mar 242010


  • 59,242 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn icon. While driving 25 mph, the contact stated the power steering failed and the power steering light illuminated. He pulled the vehicle to the side of the road and inspected under the hood. He did not see anything that could have caused the failure so he restarted the vehicle and the power steering functioned correctly. However, the contact stated that the power steering malfunctioned again in March 2010. He called the manufacturer and was told that they would call the local dealership to schedule an appointment for the vehicle to be inspected. The current mileage was 59,282. The failure mileage was 59,242. Updated 5/12/10 updated 05/14/10

- Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, USA

problem #103

Mar 142010


  • 52,200 miles
1. the power steering on my vehicle went out three times last week (3/14/10, 3/16/10, and 3/18/10). 2. a warning noise would sound like when there is low fuel, and the dash showed the message "pwr str". a couple of seconds later, the power steering went out. Each time the vehicle was started after, there was no problem. 3. I contacted the Saturn dealership where I purchased the vehicle, and diagnostics were run. The dealership found a code resulting in a new power steering motor being needed. Fortunately, my extended warranty covered the repair as the cost total over $400.

- O'fallon, IL, USA

problem #102

Mar 152010


  • 60,098 miles
My car is a 2006 Saturn Ion. The problem is that the power steering on the car will go out while the car is in operation. If the car is shut off and then restarted, the power steering will be operative for about 5 minutes but then die again. This process is repetitive. The power steering fails everytime the car is being driven over a distance of 2-3 miles. My cursory research shows that this is a common problem, and that it creates a grave safety hazard for the failure occurs while the car is on the highway. Every case I have researched (and there are many) shows this is happening between 30,000 to 60,000 miles on most Ions. Please help - the cost of the repair is anywhere from $1200 to $1500 dollars. I take my daughter to school in this car everyday and simply do not have the income to scrap this car and go purchase another one. I fully expect that you will do nothing about this since you are in the tank for GM and to busy chasing Toyota, but your own stated policy is too remedy any situation where safe operation of the car is rendered practically impossible. What could be more dangerous than operating a car that loses it ability to be steered while it is in motion. Please do your job and address this!! I beg. This problem has been reported and it is time to cure it.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #101

Feb 162010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 59,660 miles
I have been experiencing power steering failure every day since 2-16-10. When I start the car the power steering is working, then after a few minutes the power steering fails, the message comes up pwr str and it becomes increasingly difficult to turn the wheel.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #100

Feb 242010


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at 70 mph the power steering light illuminated on the instrumental panel. The steering wheel was very hard to steer. The contact pulled over to the side of the road and turned the vehicle off and then back on. The vehcile began to operate normally. He drove about 5 miles down the road and the failure occurred again. The dealer was contacted and they stated that there was no recall for his vehicle. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 76000 and the current mileage was 79000.

- Pioneer, TN, USA

problem #99

Mar 162010


  • 130,000 miles
I was driving my 2006 Saturn Ion and the power steering went out. When I restarted my car it went back on, then went out again about 100ft up the road.

- Ogden, UT, USA

problem #98

Mar 022010


  • 53,000 miles
Power steering turns off frequently while driving, in a fifteen minute drive to work the power steering will shut off around 3 times.

- Phopenix, AZ, USA

problem #97

Mar 162010


  • miles
Power steering failed while I was driving. Had to pull over, turn off car, and turn back on. Third time this happened.

- Kenmore, NY, USA

problem #96

Jan 132010


  • 51,000 miles
My 2006 Saturn Ion 2 has an issue with the power steering. The light comes on and then the power steering turns off and we have to manually steer the car. There is no rhyme or reason as to when or why it comes on. We will then turn the car off, then back on and then the same thing will happen. This makes for a dangerous situation, especially when turning corners. We are currently in the process of having our mechanic look at it to see if he can fix it. Apparently the Saturn's steering column is the same one that is in the Chevy cobalt that was recently recalled.

- Yorkville, IL, USA

problem #95

Dec 152009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
I purchased a GM certified 2006 Saturn Ion with 41000 miles on the car after several months of driving my power steering have been giving me problems. A warning chime comes on and "pwr str" shows up on my dashboard, I would then loose power to my steering and makes it very hard to turn the wheel. If I shut off the motor and restart the car the power steering is ok but only for a short while until the power steering go out again. I called the dealer and told me it would cost about $800-$1000 to repair the steering. I also google and found out that many other owners of Saturn Ion and Chevrolet cobalts have the same problems with the power steering. Is there a recall with the electric power steering on the GM's compact cars?

- Macungie, PA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?