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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,000 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 222007


  • miles


Recently I experienced a problem with my car failing to start. I was advised by the mechanic that Saturn issued a technical service bulletin addressing this issue. The reference numbers is 04-08-45-005C, date of issue December 4, 2006 affecting 2003-2006 Saturn Ions built up to and including VIN breakpoint 6Z147837. I was told by the mechanic that my car had both diagnostic trouble codes listed in this bulletin.

- Cinnaminson, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jan 012007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 22,000 miles
- the contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving at 8 mph with the road condition being extremely poor the vehicle slid on some ice, causing the vehicle to bounce of the side of the curb. The contact noticed that the right wheel was pushed back to the fender. The right drive axle broke inside the transmission. The cv joint was still undamaged, not even a tear in the boot. The contact had the vehicle towed to the dealership. The failure mileage was 22000, and the current mileage was 22500. A mechanic wrote that he had not seen so much damage which involved a low speed curb impact. Updated 03/13/07.

- St Louis Park, MN, USA

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