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:
90,500 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (1 reports)
  2. replace fuel system (1 reports)
2004 Saturn Ion fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 242015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


Saw puddles on the ground and thought it was condensation from the ac.. it was a busy area and we didn't smell fuel yet. The second time the motor was running and check air in the tire, pulled away. Tomorrow morning my parents yard has some brown spots. This has now been happening a couple you smell gasoline. It is pouring under the vehicle. Got to a lift and the shop showed the fuel system is corroded out. They suggest replace all of it. What I saw pouring gas, and lines are corroded it could have been a serious issue.

The biggest problem is the game going on. There are several models and years about many issues, including fuel system. Recently my car key was stuck in the car and running. I called first to a GMC was going into a holiday weekend soon. The service department started about their hourly rates. Ok cut the crap I am stuck 40 minutes away, my key cant remove it out. They suggested again rates per hour and they can tow for a nominal fee, or keep putting fuel in the car for the next 3 days. I got off the phone I Googled the car and wham, the recall about the ignition came up immediately.

The factory told dealers to walk through how to get keys out....a plunger is in the column, and they went further that customers would not likely to know or remember that. The bulletin goes about from small nuisances dead battery to serious could lose control while driving (some wiring from ignition and later shifter ties to security and door locks and steering). I couldn't get another dealer, my parents took the battery off to stop the car. Later my parents found the plunger and got the keys out.

After the holiday we tried to a different dealer...didn't know what you are talking about. Nope no recalls. I showed them clearly it dated Dec/Jan and went into depth of the issues. Furthermore this was the second or third now ignition issue on the record. With showing this....."ohhh why didn't you say that. We now call it a special adjustment blah blah". Like I work for GMC and your new term special adjustment means it doesn't say they are in trouble for being sued. Use this term to imply it is a favor for the customer.

Now I am wondering GMC was on the lift doing the work 2 months ago after the ignition again......was it likely that the fuel entire system was fine and corroded in 2 months? Or did they not want to find the dripping gas on their floor? Now they started replacing almost 12 years and models on the ignition.....but my car on fuel system was not included. There are adjustments to replace 2006 or 7 and up for faulty fuel systems. My car is doing the exact thing pouring and corroded out premature.....can explode and kill people but for the moment see how many incidents before acting. Shame Government Motors Company, I mean GMC.

- , Bell, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 042015

Ion 2.2L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

I have been driving about a few week and started smelling gas fumes

- , york, SC, USA

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