NHTSA — Electronic Stability Control 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
109,573 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 brakes problems

brakes 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 #6

Sep 092014


  • 131,000 miles


I bought this car as a first car for my daughter that is a new driver. I has been off the road more than on the road for recalls. The first ignition recall could have injured or killed my daughter..as we were awaiting parts, we were following directions of no weight on key ring and only key in ignition. The incident still happened causing loss of power steering and loss of speed. As a new driver this incident scarred her and she did not feel comfortable driving the car. I put the car up for sale. Then another recall, the eps which also causes the car to lose power steering and causes speed loss. So, back to garber and we just drove the car back home on January 2, 2015. Seemed to start out fine, then loss of speed and the car only drove at 35 mph with a lot of effort. I paid $3500 for this car for my daughter..still paying on the loan and now I cannot get it to run correctly or sell it..I am stuck with a non-running vehicle that I have to insure as well. This total is costing me over $300 a month while the car sits. I don't know if my dealer did the recall correctly. I have had issues with my Impala as well with recalls being done correctly. One including my airbag recall and a seat belt issue that I paid out of pocket $100 after several issues. I feel GM should reimburse me for this vehicle as I cannot sell it or drive it. It is not fair that I purchased this from a dealer only pay for a non working vehicle.

- Sanford, MI, USA

problem #5

May 232014


  • miles
My car war just repaired for the recall ignition, however, it is still not working right. Not only that, but the power steering is going off and on. The power steering went off twice on my way home after I picked it up from the dealer, almost causing an accident. I had to pull to the side of the road twice. I contacted the dealer, but they show nothing on the power steering. This is the only vehicle my family has, and I'm afraid to drive the car. It is not safe! I have had files open since 2008 about the power steering, and other issues. Saturn is aware of the issues. I have had to have the power steering replaced twice.

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

problem #4

Apr 222014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 223,100 miles
I was driving along and suddenly, the power steering stopped working. Was in the passing lane moving back into the travel lane when without warning there was no power steering. No alarms went of warning me something was not working properly. I was able to get off the highway but had a harder time making turns on the side streets. I have never before heard of the problems that are suddenly affecting my car.

- Uxbridge, MA, USA

problem #3

Sep 172008


  • 46,780 miles


While driving my car on multiple occasions I have lost the ability to control the steering wheel. Also, I have experienced my car turning off while driving which thankfully has a recall on it but I want the power steering to be recalled as well because it has caused an accident and multiple near misses.

- Grove City, OH, USA

problem #2

Aug 082012


  • 148,158 miles
Today 8/8/12, I jumped into my 2004 Saturn Ion at 5pm after work & immediately noticed that I could not turn my wheel as I exited the parking lot, I had to swerve hard to my right to by avoid a collision with two cars from the opposite direction. I was terrified! my display showed "pwr str" I had never seen that before, I left my car diagonally parked, since it would not move went for assistance, a passerby looked under my hood for a while then turned my car on and the display was back to mileage and my wheel was working fine!! I drove my car home and immediately started to do some research to find out what it could be and how I could fix it, I find out that their is a known problem with the power steering! I have not received any letters at all. My car has been reliable up until now. It has close to 150K mil (mileage is an estimate on this form) since this appears to be a GM problem, what are my options? thank you

- Altadena, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 152011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 108,400 miles
While driving my Saturn Ion 2004 the power steering light in the dashboard came on while I was engaging in a curve on highway 15, I was barely able to control the vehicle no to crash on the concrete middle divider and had to immobilize the vehicle, stop the engine and restart it in order to get the power steering to work again. This has happen to me few time per year over the last 3 years but now I am afraid for my life and it is happening more and more frequently.

- Cedar City, UT, USA

Not what you are looking for?