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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
125,700 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Saturn Ion:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 062015


  • 167,100 miles


After stopping at an intersection and preparing to turn left, the car could not steer to the left. As he car drifted forward the steering became easier and the car was able to negotiate the turn. As the car picked up speed, the steering appeared to be normal until approaching another 90 degree right hand turn (1/2 mile away from the stop in which it was hard to turn). Not knowing what was happening with the vehicle, he slowed down to negotiate the right hand turn and the car failed to steer right leading him straight thru and into an oncoming vehicle. This vehicle was in the shop one week after we purchased it to have the ignition switch replaced. After having the ignition switch replaced the problem with the steering occurred. There was much damage done to the car and our insurance picked up the cost of the other drivers damages. This was our sons first car and a terrible experience. The car was towed by GM to a dealership that deamed the car safe. He said that the steering shaft was rusty which caused the accident. We had a claim thru GM due to the steering recall and they denied us since the dealership that looked at the car deemed it to be safe. We took it to another garage that told us that it is not safe and not to put our son back in it until we speak to you about how to move forward. The vehicle can be replaced, but our son cannot!!! he was very lucky that the accident was not more severe. We will not put him or anyone else back in that car if nothing is done to prevent it again. We don't feel that it's our financial responsibility to have the parts replaced. Please let us know if there are any options available to us in regards to this situation. We are dissatisfied with GM and the dealer that said the car was safe. Our sons life is at stake and the poor decisions of the dealership and GM have created a potentially critical situation. Thanks

- Clearville, PA, USA

problem #2

Mar 132015


  • 130,000 miles
Was traveling at approx 35mph power steering assist was lost, turned into manual steering. I am a fairly new driver, 21, so I didn't really know how to react. It happened very quickly. Hit a center island, for a lack of a better term. Called GM, they had someone inspect the car. Said there was no dtc codes detected. So there for they are calling me a liar. My parents also had this experience with this same vehicle shortly before I purchased the car. GM refuse to make damage repairs. Only do recall repairs. I only bought the car one week before all this happened.

- Hatboro, PA, USA

problem #1

Aug 092011


  • 80,000 miles
The outside window weather stripping is warping and cracking causing jagged edges. It started to rippling on the front doors now it is starting to do it on the rear doors. I had to just replace weather strip.

- Twin Falls, ID, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?