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 25 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #14

Dec 202007


  • 23,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion 2. sporadically, the power steering fails while driving 10 mph. The failure prevents the contact from controlling the vehicle properly. The dealer could not duplicate the failure or provide a remedy. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the steering module needed to be replaced at the cost of $900. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 23,000 and current mileage was 53,000.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #13

Nov 122008


  • 37,000 miles
We own 7 Saturn Ions. 3 of them have had the power steering fail while driving. They are used for our business. The cars are nearly impossible to steer when this happens. It may cause a serious accident. The repairs are nearly $1000 at the dealership.

- Cathedral City, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 022008


  • 56,000 miles
Electronic power steering constantly failing. No apparent reason. No car jumped off. No correction at this time.

- Marshall, TX, USA

problem #11

Oct 012008


  • 37,000 miles


My business partner and I have a fleet of 9 Saturn vehicles. 6 of which are Saturn Ion's. the power steering has gone out on one 2005 and one 2006 Ion's while they were being driven. It is nearly impossible to turn the vehicle when it goes out. These were fairly low mileage vehicles. 37,000 and 53,000 miles on the cars. I am worried that this is a recurring problem with Ion's. I also am worried that it will cause a serious accident when my employees are driving these cars. The repair for each is almost $1,000. I feel like Saturn should recall these cars and replace the parts that are defective.

- Cathedral City, CA, USA

problem #10

Jan 102008


  • 6,000 miles

- Arbovale, WV, USA

problem #9

Sep 072008


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 35 mph, the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The contact pulled the vehicle over and called a mechanic, who advised her to bring him the vehicle. When she turned off the vehicle at the repair shop, the electronic power steering reset itself; therefore, the mechanic could not provide a diagnosis. He told the contact to leave the vehicle running the next time the failure occurs. When the failure recurred, the contact heeded the mechanic's instructions, which allowed him to provide a diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the electronic power steering module was malfunctioning. The dealer confirmed the diagnosis and referred her to the manufacturer because the vehicle was outside of the warranty, which only covered the catalytic converter. The manufacturer stated that if she only paid $448, they would cover the remaining costs. The current mileage was approximately 58,000 and failure mileage was approximately 55,000.

- Granite Falls, NC, USA

problem #8

Sep 152008

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 51,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving 75 mph, the cruise control stopped working. The power steering, battery, and coolant warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact also noticed that the vehicle would no longer accelerate. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The contact did not notice any differences beforehand. The current and failure mileages were 51,000. Updated 10/16/08 the consumer also stated the key became stuck in the ignition. Updated 10/21/08.

- Hamptonville, NC, USA

problem #7

Jan 152008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The power steering failed and nearly caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle on several occasions. The failure occurred while driving 70 mph; however, the speed has varied. The connecting panel on the driver side of the vehicle between the two doors on the outside of the vehicle fell off onto the freeway. The current mileage was 42,000 and the failure mileage was 40,000. Updated 09/16/08. Updated 09/18/08

- Dear Born Heights, MI, USA

problem #6

Jun 202008


  • 47,267 miles
I purchased a 2006 Saturn Ion in June, 2008. I have not had an accident with this vehicle, but I am having problems with the power steering. I don't even have 50 thousands miles on the car and yet the power steering is causing me to veer off the road to turn a corner. The steering gets so tight that I can barely turn the vehicle, I check with the Saturn dealership and it would cost me $1,000 to fix the problem. Several mechanics has said that it could be a manufacturer defect and that I should look into it. Please, if you can be of help in assisting me with finding anything out before I do crash into a pole or ditch, I would appreciate it so much. This problem happens everyday and especially when the car engine gets hot, it does it several times before I can get from one destination to another. If I stop and cut the car off, it will drive smoothly, but after awhile it does it again. I have dodged several vehicles from hitting them head on when I turn a corner. Thanking you in advance.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #5

Jun 192008


  • 51,148 miles
1. no events leading up to the failure 2. ignition stuck in the on position, no able to physically turn the car off. 3. mechanic removed the ignition fuse to shut off the car and towed it to the dealer for repairs.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #4

Aug 072006

Ion 4-cyl

  • 4,963 miles


Vehicle purchased new March 4, 2006 standard 3000 mile service completed May 24, 2006 no problems at time service date: August 7, 2006 mileage 4963 tech: Dino schaefer electrical:(1)car would not start, steering: (2)rubbing sound when turning, other: (3)acceleration feels like trying too hard solution: Ignition switch replaced 2 & 3 unverified service date: August 15, 2006 mileage 5152 tech: Dino schaefer steering: (1) car would not start solution: Body control module faulty/replaced [still had rubbing and acceleration issues but I dismissed as quirks of car] service date: August 18, 2006 mileage 5268 tech: Steve deldonno steering: (1) squealing when turning steering wheel solution: Lubed intermediate steering shaft boot service date: August 30, 2006 mileage 5457 tech: John carlen steering: (1) steering wheel still squealing when turning other: (2) customer requested alternate transportation due to length of repairs, multiple concerns solution: (1) gear assembly/power steering replaced (2) customer provided with hertz rental car vehicle repossessed by gmac for non-payment September 22, 2006 (date +/- 3 days)after customer tried to negotiate lower payments due to pending disability case gmac refused vehicle sold at auction gmac demanding payment of remaining balance problems not with Saturn company but with gmac Saturn manager mark is outstanding I am unable to finance any new vehicle at this time pending post traumatic stress disorder disability appeal still require vehicle to Transport elementary age child diagnosed with tourette syndrome/attention deficit hyperactive disorder to medical appointments and pets to veterinarian unable to afford attorney for legal action was gmac reason for repossesion really for nonpayment or to hide Ion problems? my opinion: Gmac used situation to protect themselves thank you

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #3

Mar 032008

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles
After only two years, our 2006 Saturn Ion's power steering has gone completely out. We were told that it is electronic and that several Ions have come in with the same problem. The cost to fix this is estimated at $900.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 032008

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Around 15000 miles, my power steering quit working, I took it to the Saturn dealership, they said they fixed the problem. The next time I drove my car, I got to the end of my street, and the power steering popped and went out again. I again took it to the dealership and they said there was a short in the steering column. They said they repaired the problem, but I will be making another trip to Saturn as the power steering quits working and then starts working again without warning. One day, as I was turning across a 2 lane highway, the steering popped in the middle of my turn. This is happening to me during what could become very dangerous circumstances.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #1

Sep 012006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
: the contact stated the power steering failed three times. The service dealer determined the power steering was operating normally and would not need fixed. The contact expressed the vehicle was unsafe to drive.

- New York, NY, USA

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