NHTSA — Power Train Problems

2004 Saturn Ion (Page 2 of 2)

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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,038 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #2

Dec 012003

Ion 4-cyl

  • 1,000 miles


The litany of problems with this unsafe and unreliable vehicle is long and varied. Multiple transmission problems, electrical issues, losing power while driving, etc.. GM and Saturn knew of these issues, especially the ones concerning the vti transmission, yet they chose to continue to put the public at risk by denying their responsibilities to correct these problems. The only real way, in my opinion, to make this right is to fully recall and replace these vehicles. This car has been nothing but a nightmare since I bought it brand new in late 2003 and continues to be a hazard. Please force GM to do the right thing and get these cars off the road before someone gets killed.

- Mantua, NJ, USA

problem #1

May 242008


  • 88,900 miles
Engine started a faint squealing noise on 24 North during rush hour traffic, was in the fast lane and managed to get over and pull out of the lane, however there was very little shoulder and it was not safe to get out of the car, my two younger children were in the back seat, had to drive on the edge of the shoulder to the next exit which was approx 11 miles before I could get off the interstate to a safe place, traffic going approx 80 miles per hour and car would not go more than 50 mph, as getting off the interstate timing chain broke in middle of the intersection bystanders pushed car to a safe location. Had it towed home, was told tension rod seized and timing chain broke. Had to replace total engine for 5K, car out of warranty, less than 5 years old and 88K miles. Mechanic could not find any reason for seizure as car had plenty of oil and had been maintained regularly.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

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