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:
16,500 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 #1

Dec 202005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,500 miles


I had my 2004 Ion 3 in to replace a tire on 11/19, then on 11/30 had tires rotated complained to dealer about a rattle. Per dealer the heat shields were cracked and the parts had to be ordered. When I left the dealer on that day the rattle in the front sounded worse, but I was told heat shields were the problem and I knew they would be fixed soon. Rattle proceeded to get worse, contacted dealer about part informed them of rattle getting worse, got appointment to bring back since part was in (appt would have been 12/26). Driving home from work on the evening of 12/20, I was getting off the interstate and the steering wheel started jerking to the right, heard horrible clunking sound coming from front end. Pulled into gas station, did not notice anything, sound quieted. While leaving gas station I heard a horrible clunking sound pulled over in parking lot, thought maybe I had a blowout. When I looked at the front driver side tire, there was one lug nut left in it and one lug nut hanging off. Called roadside assistance, upon further examination the screws had snapped off the wheels, fortunately there were two screws left otherwise I don't think the tow truck could have towed it. When I addressed concerns with the service manager, he was very helpful and fixed the car for free, said the studs(screws) were probably defective. Was advised by him this is most likely scenario as opposed to someone not tightening the lug nuts on the 11/30 tire rotation (because according to him I would not have been able to drive 900 miles if that were the case). The dealership went out of their way to help, but worried if its a defect this could happen at any point to the other 3 tires.

- Roswell, GA, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?