NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2004 Saturn Ion (Page 12 of 12)

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:
8 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,168 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 12 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #5

Dec 172004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles


The turn signals worked intermittently. Also, thee car would not start. The vehicle started after multiple attempts of turning the key in the ignition. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who repaired the problem. They were aware of an ongoing issue with the ignition. The turn signals were repaired under a recall. Since then there was one incident where they did not work properly. The consumer felt they did not complete the repair. There was a tsb on the issue that the dealer used to correct it. These problems began in December 2004, and were thought to be corrected by the dealer. Last week after filling the gas tank up the vehicle would not start. The contact made several attempts to start the vehicle and was unsuccessful. The contact's husband came and turned the key in the ignition and the vehicle started. The vehicle was not returned to the dealer at that time. No further repairs on this matter.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #4

Jun 082005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving down the road the vehicle dies. Sometimes will push the accelerator and nothing happens. When first bought the vehicle did this, readjusted the computer. And now was doing the same thing again. Took vehicle to Saturn, they kept saying nothing was wrong with the vehicle.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #3

Sep 202004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 2,000 miles
Usually I charge my cell phone at home overnight. But on Monday 9/20/04 I had forgotten to charge the phone and used the cell phone charger in my new 2004 Saturn Ion 2 sedan. I noticed that my turn signal indicator was flashing quickly. I stopped to check and found that the front turn signals were not working and the normal daytime running lights were not working. I went to the local Saturn dealer. He said I needed upgraded resistors and capacitors to handle my cell phone charger. This was done under warrantee in 2 hours. From research on the internet bulletin boards I found that this problem with the electrical system happens with some but not all cell phone chargers. The Saturn factory recognized the problem and put in the better resistors and capacitors to handle cell phone chargers in cars made after 5 months ago. This is a potential safety problem if people continue to drive with non working front turn signals, it could lead to an accident. I also wonder if people with the old electrical system might suffer damage to their electrical system with cell phone charges over time which could lead to a failure of the electrical system. In my case I immediately recognized the problem because my lights stopped working. What about someone who's cell phone charger doesn't turn off the lights but just strains the electrical system leading to electrical system failures.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 152004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While the vehicle parked while running the vehicle idling high on its own. The driver noticed while driving the vehicle would hesitate and would stalled. The driver tried to restart, but was able to do so. The driver was able to drive the vehicle to the dealer. The mechanic informed the driver that the vehicle was operating as design. (possible valve sticking) when accelerating from stop, the vehicle would hesitate, then take off at a high rate of speed. This would also occur in reverse as well. There were times when accidents would almost occur. There would be high RPM's of 6000 plus. This was an intermittent problem. It was believed to be a problem with the vti transmission. Additional problems: Wind noise when sunshade was cracked, turn signal would not cancel on turns and the chime would go off and was an intermittent problems, the driver's side dash seemed loose and or misaligned, and the wipers would not clear the window.

- Palos Hills, IL, USA

problem #1

Jun 162004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 230 miles
I purchased my 2004 Saturn Ion 3 on Thursday June 10, 2004. On Sunday June 13 there were substantial rains in the atlanta area and I noticed that the trunk was full of approximately 2 inches of standing water around the tire and battery. The box of books in the trunk along with some other personal items were damaged from the water. On Monday June 14, after having had the car in my posession for only 4 days I returned it to the dealership. They advised me on Tuesday June 15 that the hole where the water is supposed to drain out of if the car had a sunroof was left unplugged during manufacturing resulting in the flooding of the trunk. I was able to pick up my car on the morning of Wednesday June 16. Later that afternoon, as I was using the power outlets in the car the turn signals and daytime running lights became inoperable. In order for my turn signals and daytime running lights to work I must unplug whats in the power outlet and turn the ignition off. When I restart the car they are operable again, but if I need to use my power outlets I must use them knowning that I won't have turn signals or daytime running lights. I feel that this is a safety issue because I either have to give up the use of my power outlets or my turn signals and running lights.

- Marietta, GA, USA

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