NHTSA — Fuel System, Gasoline: Delivery: Fuel Pump Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: The Saturn Ion was a compact bundle of hurt wrapped up in a cheap, plastic shell. With so many defective components and a safety rating that a bicycle would be ashamed of, it’s a blessing this car only lasted five model years.

The 2003 (and 2004) Ion was cursed with GM’s flawed attempt at a continuously variable transmission, known as the VTi. It had such a high failure rate that a class-action lawsuit was filed against GM, eventually prompting a settlement and a warranty extension. GM discontinued the VTi for the 2005 model year – surprise, surprise.

The 2003 Ion was also part of one of the largest and most controversial recalls of all-time. A defective ignition switch in millions of GM vehicles could accidentally turn the car off and disable important safety components like the power steering and airbags. The problem resulted in at least 13 deaths, but what made it worse was that GM knew about the issue for 10 years before doing anything about it.

So was the transmission warranty extended? Yeah. Was the ignition switch recalled? Eventually. Is this car safe to drive? Not really. Honestly, you’re better off looking elsewhere.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,000 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.

2003 Saturn Ion fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2003 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #2

Nov 242007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles


The timing chain broke on the vehicle. All I did was go to start it up and it wouldn't start. I had to have it towed to a Goodyear but they couldn't fix it. So right now it is being looked at by a mechanic. He said that the timing chain is broken and because of the breakage I now have to have the valves replaced as well as the thermostat, the fuel pump and the head gasket. All of these were damaged by the chain. This is now costing me approximately $3000. All of which is caused by a faulty belt that Saturn installed on their vehicles.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #1

Nov 302004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving on the freeway between 50-60 mph, the vehicle lost all electrical power. There is no warning when this occurs and the steering wheel also locks up. The vehicle is pulled over and restarted. The dealership replaced the ignition switch and fuel pump. The contact has been out of the country since the repair, last year; the vehicle has not been driven since repairs were made.

- Pico Rivera, CA, USA

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