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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,000 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 032005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,000 miles


I own an 2004 Saturn Ion 3 that came with Firestone, firehawk gta tires and the size is P205/55R16 89H M+S. I had an oil change and tire rotation at 6,000 miles. On 3/3/2005 I had a blowout while driving on the expressway. This was at nine at night and I had forgotten my cellphone and was made late for work. With semi's driving by at 70 mph on I-75 I was in fear for my life while changing the tire. On 3/4/2005 I called the Saturn dealership and asked them if they had the tire and how much etc. They transferred me to service and they said to bring the car in. I was happily surprised since this was Friday at noon. They inspected the tire for punctures (found none) and I think they were surprised at the sidewall separation. They replaced the tire under warranty (no charge). The tire had 9,000 miles at the time. While driving down a side road at 30 mph I heard a clunk and thought snow was hitting the tire. This then quieted down. I got on the expressway and went two miles before I heard a noise that I thought was a helecopter overhead. I pulled over and found the tire had blown out. Now I don't feel safe driving on the expressway in my new vehicle.

- Toledo, OH, USA

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