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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,272 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Saturn Ion:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 012007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles


I was traveling North on I-95 going about 65 mph in the center lane. All of a sudden I heard a loud boom and I see out of my left sideview mirror, the left side of my bumper flip up into the air. I lost control of my vehicle and it started swerving left and right. My car crossed over the right lane and I was able to pull off onto the shoulder and into a grassy area just North of the glades road exit. When I got out of my vehicle to check the damage, right away I see large pieces of my tire tread laying in the road about 20 feet back. The left side of my bumper is scratched and torn from the car. The tire was completely bald and the tread was pealed off, laying in the street. The panel between my bumper and left rear door is snapped off and hanging by a small piece. I opened the left rear door and the whole inside frame is cracked and in pieces. It looks like when the tire tread peeled off, it beat into the door, side panel and bumper and busted them right off. The tire was not punctured nor did I run over any debris in the road. This is clearly a manufacturer's defect. I changed my tire and put the spare on and drove to a nearby shop to have a new tire put on. I taped up my bumper because it would flap around as I drive. The tire was a Firestone tire and it is the original tire that came on my 2004 brand new Saturn Ion. I contacted Firestone to explain the situation and make them aware that this is their responsibility. I keep my car in top condition, I get oil changes every 3,000 miles, fill my tires with air every month and I rotate them every other oil change as well. Of course, Firestone denied my claim advising the tire had over deflection and that is why the tire tread peeled off the tire. I called Firestone and spoke with the paralegal who sent the denial letter. I advised her that Firestone is responsible for fixing the damage on my vehicle or paying my $250 deductible to my insurance company in order for them to fix the damage. Firestone denied.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

Dec 172006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
2004 Saturn Ion with 19,200 miles original Firestone 690 ( P185/70 R 14 ) front tires worn down to tread life indicators. Front driver side tire worn to steel belt. Most wear on both from innermost tread. Vehicle tracks true, no misalignment. Any recalls or info on these tires or vehicle ?

- Succasunna, NJ, USA

problem #1

Aug 032004

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 816 miles
On July 21, 2004, I purchased a new 2004 Saturn Ion quad coupe and on August 3, 2004, I experienced tread and belt separation on the driver's side front tire. I was traveling approximately 40-45 mph, heard a loud noise and suddenly lost control of the car and discovered I had no brakes either, (the tire had ripped the brake lines). I was only able to stop the vehicle after hitting a road sign. The tire in question, came standard on the vehicle (which had 816 miles on it) and was a Firestone firehawk gta 03, (P205/55R16). I suffered a fracture to my right forearm, multiple contusions, approximately $6000 worth of vehicle damage, (not including the immediate depreciation of a brand new vehicle), and ultimately loss of my employment related to no transportation. I called the Saturn customer svc. Center and they towed the vehicle to the dealership. They kept the vehicle there for more than 30 days, when they had a Saturn representative fly down from tn to tell me they have no responsibility, even though not one of the 6 airbags deployed, and that I should contact Firestone, however in the meantime I must immediately removed the vehicle from their premises!! I filed an incident report and shipped the tire to Firestone, per their request, only to be told 28 days later that they do not have any responsibility since the damage was a result of a "360 degree spin cut through the tread". my insurance told me that if I filed the claim through them that I would be "heavily penalized" since it was obvious that I was not at fault. So, I lost my job, spent all of my savings, got behind on all of my bills and all I have to show for it is a new car that is not drivable!

- Gastonia, NC, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?