NHTSA — Visibility: Windshield Wiper/Washer: Motor 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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,000 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 142011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the windshield wiper arm failed to operate. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, where the dealer stated that the windshield wiper motor and arm needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified and they stated that the VIN did not apply to recall campaign id number 02V283000 (visibility:windshield wiper/washer:motor). The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileages were 70,000. Updated 10/19/11 updated 01/30/12 complaint status update 02/08/12

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 082007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When it rains or snows, my driver seat and floor gets wet. There are no water stains around the sun roof nor is there any water damage on the drivers' door. In new england, the car is non-functional in the winter and spring because of this problem. I have taken it to the local Saturn dealership and they have refused to fix it. 2) I have had to replace my front turn signals 3 times in 1.5 years. I am almost convinced it is a socket problem and not a lightbulb problem. 3) I have had to replace the brakes and rotors twice within a 12 month period. In that time. I have only driven 17,000 miles. Once is understandable. Twice is expensive and ridiculous.

- Dorchester, MA, USA

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