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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,373 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 202013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


Driver side door starting in June '13, I noticed my driver side window panel and door lock not working properly. The driver door lock is now not working at all July '14 and the window panel is intermittent. I'm noticing the panel is getting warm!

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #2

Oct 302006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,559 miles
: the contact stated the door locks developed dust and the door would not close. While driving the rear door came open. The contact stated a bungy cord was used to keep the door from opening again while driving. The contact then cleaned off heavy dust from the locks to fix the problem. The vehicle had not been to a service dealer. Updated 12/28/2006 - the consumer began having problems with the car shortly after it was purchased. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who claimed there was nothing they could do. The dealer replaced the door seals but that did not help

- Forsyth, MO, USA

problem #1

Dec 062006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,559 miles
: the contact stated while driving various speeds on gravel roads, dust entered the vehicle from all four door seals. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who determined that was the way the vehicle was designed, and suggested not driving the vehicle on gravel roads. Additionally, while driving various speeds, both rear passenger doors opened without warning. Upon initial inspection by the contact, it was determined dust accumulated around the door seals which caused the doors to open. The manufacturer was alerted. Updated 12/28/2006 - dust also accumulated in and around the locks.

- Forsyth, MO, USA

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