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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,515 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2004 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #7

Mar 292012


  • 80,000 miles


I am not exactly sure on the dates of when we noticed the problems. So far I have had serious problems with my 04 Ion's front suspension, the cheaply made plastic wiper linkages that break easy while driving down the road making it difficult and dangerous while driving in rain, the ignition lock cylinder has been replaced 3 times so far because the part fails and you cannot start your car, and most recently I went to my local dealer to ask about a "clunking" noise it makes when going over any bumps to find out that there is a bulletin for a known steering linkage or steering motor (eps) problem. I was told that on these cars the steering links/motor have tendancy to break! if that is to happen while driving down the road it could result in death! I've also done some searching online and found many forums/articles with others having the same problems with this specific make/model. One comment I read the person said "this car is a death trap!" mine and many other's 04 Saturn Ion's have alot of known yet serious issues but Saturn still has no recalls for this car!! somebody please help fix this problem! -concerned/frusturated Saturn owner.

- Ottawa, IL, USA

problem #6

May 282011


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saturn Ion. The contact stated the windshield wipers fractured while driving 55 mph in heavy rain conditions. The dealer advised the contact that his VIN was not included in any related recalls. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who diagnosed that there was a faulty plastic windshield wiper hinge. The windshield wiper motor were replaced. The current mileage was 59,000. The approximate failure mileage was 58,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Rocky Mount, NC, USA

problem #5

Jan 162010


  • 54,500 miles
My driver wiper is inoperable. The entire arm pivoted 180 opposite of its resting position while I was driving down a road going 50mph to clean my window. Initially my passenger side wasn't working at normal speed. It seemed 'sluggish'. so I increased the speed of the wipers until it reached its highest level. This occurred 1 day after about 8 inches of snow fell including ice. This is very dangerous because I was driving down a busy highway. After I reached my destination I removed the blade from the arm so the entire wiper would not interfere with traffic. An auto mechanic stated the piece is made of plastic. I am fighting my extended warranty company to replace the piece at no charge. They stated they would only cover the wiper motor, but not the wiper transmission. Reading other reviews, others are having the same problem. Saturn should really consider doing a recall or fix for free. Occurred at 54K miles on car. Jan 16, 2010.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #4

Dec 092009


  • 93,000 miles


I was driving down a busy highway during a snow storm, my wiper on the driver side began acting funny. Then went up past my windshield kicking the wiper completely off onto the highway, making it impossible for me to see anything. I found it is something to do with the windshield motor assembly. Which I am now trying to get a new one. Every junk yard I have gone to says the same thing...every part that I need they pull out and it is also broken on the same models. Saturn has told me there is no recall on this part. Why is there no recall if it is broken in every Saturn!?

- Charlton, MA, USA

problem #3

May 202009


  • 0 miles
Knob for the defroster/air/heating failed to work. Switch doesn't change it to defrost/front/floor like its suppose to. It just comes out front, can't switch. Doesn't clear windshield of frost, ice, fog, etc.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

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problem #2

Sep 222008

Ion 4-cyl

  • 25,106 miles
Failure of a wiring harness in a front door that controls windows, mirrors and door lock. A 2004 Saturn Ion with 25, 106 miles had 5 broken wires in the drivers door. The left rear door has no power at the window switch. This failure is due to an inherent design flaw that forces tiny wires to bend 2 times at 90 degrees and be slammed by a door!! think of the safety of unlocking a door in a panic situation or driving with a window down in rain, sleet, cold, etc., and a fuse is not the problem.

- Warminster, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 212008


  • 57,000 miles
Drivers side wiper arm won't maintain contact with windshield flips up in the air whole arm assembly seems to be loose.

- Dallas, GA, USA

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