NHTSA — Equipment: Electrical: Radio/Tape Deck/Cd Etc. Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: Ahh, the 2004 Saturn Ion: defective transmission, deadly ignition switch, temperamental power steering and a cheap plastic exterior that won’t protect you in a crash. What more could you want?

The 2004 Ion was part of GM’s massive ignition switch recall where it was revealed they waited 10 years – and let 13 people die – before doing anything about it. It also features GM’s now infamous VTi continuously variable transmission. Let me tell you, the only thing the VTi did continuously was fail on its owners. GM scrapped it after only two model years.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,703 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.

2004 Saturn Ion accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #1

Nov 302007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,703 miles


I purchase a 2004 Saturn Ion (6/11/04), brand new. The first sign of cold that year, late November, the car would not start at all. After awhile(10-15 min.) it would start up like nothing was wrong. I brought it in 12/28/04, which they replaced the ignition lock module; saying "that was the problem". I still had issues with the car through the winter, and they didn't know was what wrong. Everytime I brought it in, they would find nothing wrong and send me on my way since they couldn't reproduce the issue. The next winter than same thing happened. I was stuck in the cold a few mornings before work trying to get the car started. Saturn claimed it was too cold outside for my car to start, and told me to wait a bit before bringing it in. (it maybe went below 0 degrees that week twice) fed up I brought it in again on 1/17/05, which they replaced my block assembly, wire harness, starter, battery, and wire connecters. They really weren't sure what was wrong they admitted, but it seems to work now. The car would work for a few weeks, then the same issue arises again. On 4/15/05 Saturn had to replace my radio receiver for faulty issues. That same winter, my car would not start in the cold again. It was brought in on 12/20/05, which they replaced my ignition switch saying the usual "this will fix the problem". now, just under two years later, I am back to having the same issues of my car not starting in the cold. Saturn is now throwing their hands up saying I must purchase another ignition switch, and pay them to put it in for a total of $220. Unacceptable. I may have taken actions sooner, but I wasn't aware there were many more Saturn Ion drivers with the same issues I had.

- Wausau, WI, USA

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