NHTSA — Service Brakes, Hydraulic 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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,320 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

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #5

Feb 042013


  • miles


I was driving on the interstate at 65 mph and the power steering light came on and the steering wheel clicked and became stiff. There was no prior indication that anything was wrong. I could no longer turn right and left turns were almost impossible. The brakes started having trouble as well. I almost got in accident because the right side was not working. Then when I made it to a spot and turned the car on and off it was working again. Then about 30 min later it did the same thing again. I had some check the fluid and it was fine and so was the belt. Also, my left indicator will not work. I have taken it to the dealer and several mechanics and it keeps melting the socket.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #4

May 312007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles
Rotors on 2004 Saturn Ion brakes are prematurely rusting prior to normal rotor wear and tear and should be replaced by the manufacturer at no cost to consumer due to their obvious very poor quallity.

- Bethel, OH, USA

problem #3

Apr 232007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,326 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion 2. while driving 25 mph, the contact attempted to turn the wheel and it locked. The brakes failed and the vehicle crashed into a pole. The air bag deployed, but the driver was injured. Saturn stated that the vehicle is not a defect. The vehicle was destroyed. The current and failure mileages were 45,326.

- Lumberport, WV, USA

problem #2

Jun 012005


  • miles
2004 Saturn Ion experiencing problems with the brake equipment.

- Balch Springs, TX, USA

problem #1

May 302005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,272 miles
The contact states that while in reverse the brakes make a loud noise, the brakes are not functioning properly. While driving forward the brakes do not function, but do not make any noise. There was a shimmy at 60- 65 mph and there was noise coming from the front end. The sway bar links and bushings were replaced.

- Balch Spring, TX, USA

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