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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
78,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
2004 Saturn Ion engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #1

May 282016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


Driving to Albany on the New York State Thruway, in the left lane, Memorial Day weekend, very heavy traffic, moving about 70 MPH, car just stopped running. It was as if I took my foot off the gas. Stalled with no shuddering and no warning at all. I was able to glide into the left breakdown lane (thank goodness there was one!). No check engine light came on.I had a code reader in the car and checked but no codes came up. After a couple of minutes I tried to start the car and it did start but I was unable and unwilling to try to merge back into the 70 MPH traffic from the left breakdown lane. Had the car towed to a repair shop. They had the car for three days and ran every test they could and came up with nothing. I drove the car back to Long Island, staying in the right lane, and had no problem with it. A month later the same thing happened while stopped at a light. Again, no warning and no error code. I was able to start the car right away and drive it. I see a few complaints here about the same thing with no solution. I'm the original owner and the car has been meticulously maintained since purchase. I have just under 80K miles on it. Any ideas?

- , Stuart, FL, USA

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