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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,600 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 202004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,600 miles


Problems: A. air bags didn't deploy. B. driver's seat collapse and dent rear-ended while stopped at a railroad crossing. Upon impact seat flew back, hit back seat and dented. Our stopped car was then pushed into the stopped vehicle in front. Our car was smashed at front and back and neither front nor side airbags deployed. No skid marks reported and no brakes applied by offending car so our 2004 Saturn Ion took the full impact and was sandwiched between a Camry from behind and a GMC jimmy in front. Woman in jimmy taken by ambulance to hospital since she was pregnant. My son driving the Saturn had his wife pick him up and proceeded to E/R where he was diagnosed with cervical strain. Driver of Camry had her husband pick her up. All 3 vehicles were towed. Our Saturn will most likely be totaled. We took pictures as did the police in spokane, wa..

- Everett, WA, USA

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