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NHTSA — Tires Problems Seal Of This Might Hurt 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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,566 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 #5

Dec 012012


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion equipped with Bridgestone turanza EL400 4305 /B12 tires (N/a). The contact stated that while traveling 55 mph, the vehicle began to shake. As the vehicle was moved to the shoulder, the tread completely separated from the front driver's side tire but it was still able to hold air. The vehicle was not taken to a mechanic and was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The tire failure mileage was 20,000. The vehicle failure mileage was not available. The VIN was not available.

- Elgin, SC, USA

problem #4

Jun 262008


  • 50,830 miles
Bought 4 Michelin agility touring tires (P195/60R15 87S) from sears auto on 1/15/07. On 6/26/08 rear passenger tire was flat while in the driveway. On 7/11/08 rear driver tire blew out while driving on highway. The interior side of the tire was completely ripped. On 7/16/08 front passenger tire was flat while in another driveway. Each tire showed no punctures and was not under-inflated. The defective tires as well as the 4th Michelin that did not go flat yet were replaced as they went bad with Firestone affinity touring S2 tires because sears didn't carry any more S class tires for the Saturn Ion. Discarded 1st flat tire. Will hold last 2 defective tires and the non-flat tire until 12/31/08. It's strange that 3 tires with no signs of punctures went flat or blew out within 3 weeks after only a 1.5 years' use. They could have caused bad accidents. Sears dismissed my complaint since the tires were no longer on the rims. Dot hnda H5fx 4206, 4306, 4406?, and 4506.

- Randolph, NJ, USA

problem #3

Nov 232005


  • Manual transmission
  • 22,000 miles
Oem tires on 2004 Saturn Ion red line unsafe to use on winter driving conditions. Had to replace tires with winter rated ones. The consumer experienced excessive stopping distance while on slippery surface. On one occasion the vehicle went a half a block past the consumer's turn when the ABS activated but couldn't find a tire with enough traction to stop the vehicle. The consumer found that the oem tires, dunlop SP9000, were the cause of the excessive stopping distance.

- Stanley, IL, USA

problem #2

Dec 072005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
While traveling on an interstate highway, observed a soft flapping sound that caused concern. Before I could slow down or take any action the left rear tire tread separated from the wheel and then the complete tire was ejected from the vehicle. I was able to exit the roadway and called the state highway patrol. To report the incident and request roadside assistance.

- Garfield Heights, OH, USA

problem #1

Dec 092003


  • miles
A brake pad fell off the trailer in front and struck his vehicle damaging the tire.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

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