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:
119,837 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 142015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. While driving 50 mph, the contact lost control of the vehicle and struck a guardrail. At the time of the crash, the seat belt detached and the air bags did not deploy. There were no injuries and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was not provided.

- Ramsey, MN, USA

problem #2

Nov 112009


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that he was unable to shift out of gear. The vehicle was inspected by the contact who diagnosed that the clutch pedal and the clutch master cylinder needed to be replaced. In addition, the plastic guide for the seat belt on both the driver and passenger side broke causing the seat belt to lie on the neck instead of across the chest. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000 and the current mileage was 210,000.

- Naugatuck, CT, USA

problem #1

Mar 012013


  • 239,512 miles
I was driving at night on a country road when a deer ran out in front of me and the car struck it. The car sustained some front end damage and the cabin filled with smoke. The seat-belts locked up but the airbags never deployed. Now the airbag light is on and the seat-belts are locked up. It concerns me that with everything that happened that the airbag should have when off.

- Clayton, NC, USA

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