Notes: The 2005 Ion still had power steering issues and a defective ignition switch leftover from previous model years, but hey – at least Saturn improved some of its safety rating to marginal, right? Baby steps.

If you had to buy a Saturn Ion – and I would question why anyone would even consider it – I suppose the 2005 could be considered the best of a bad bunch? I mean, GM did finally get rid of that awful VTi transmission, and both the power steering problems and ignition switch defect that plagued owners were recalled. The problem is they waited 10 years to recall the ignition and let over 30,000 warranty claims get filed before they bothered to fix the power steering. So you kind of have to wonder, is GM making these fixes to keep owners safe or just to keep government lawyers from taking all their money? You be the judge.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,184 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.

2005 Saturn Ion body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 162014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles


Vehicle was delivered to local car dealership for GM factory warranty recalls. The car was being driven by two service technicians when the vehicle ignited in the trunk and rear seat area. The fire department determined that the cause of the fire were the rear break lines that had sagged onto the exhaust system. Service technicians were unaware of the work to be done on the vehicle. The vehicle was supposed to receive NHTSA recalls 14V047, 14V171, and 14V153. None of the recalls were furnished while in the possession of the car dealership and could possibly have contributed to the fire.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #5

Mar 032014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
I believe that the power steering issue (recalled recently and received letter) caused my vehicle to be very hard to control on a downslope hill at 12 mph coming up to red light. My car went from the right lane to the left land of 4 lane street and I hit car in front of me. Now, having received information today about the power steering recall, I have an appt. At my local dealership to check on the alignment/suspension and the piece of metal that I believe to be brake pad that a few hours later shot out and hit car next to me in a parking lot when I applied brakes and turned off vehicle ignition. I will know more of what happened once dealershjp runs diagnostics.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #4

Mar 122014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
My daughter was driving to work through a wintry mix precipitation when she lost control, was turned to the right into a guardrail, which heavily damaged the front end and caused her to spin coming to a stop on the road. The damage seems like it should have caused airbag deployment, but the airbag did not, and she struck her head on the steering wheel. She felt as though she hit a patch of slush that pushed her to the right. The vehicle is a total loss and in custody of my insurer. The following day I received in the mail the GM recall 14063 (14V-047). My concern is that is failure of the ignition switch, causing the engine to stop turning and the airbag to disable could have caused the loss of control, and the subsequent minor neck injury, and the total loss of an otherwise sound vehicle. My insurer was given the recall information and after review decided I should move forward with a claim against the manufacturer, and this avenue is detailed on page two of my recall mailing. Thank you.

- Corning, NY, USA

problem #3

Oct 052012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles


My car leaks in the roof when its rains and has stained my interior roof. My power steering went out and on the display it was pwr steering. My outside trim near windows is warped. My sunroof doesnt work it wont open.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

problem #2

Jun 152007

Ion 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles
Metal fatigue on passenger car door of Saturn Ion quad coupe redline, where hinge attaches: The problem occurred over a period of 2 years during which time I would open and close the door each day a minimum of 10-12 times to strap my infant into his carseat. The door metal cracked and began to separate from the rest of the metal, to the point where the door is read to drop off the hinge. I brought the vehicle to a GM dealer in response to a recall on the catalytic converter, at which time I requested them to look at the door. The dealership had never seen anything like it. However, they concluded that it was not their responsibility since they were unable to disprove the door had not been forcefully pushed backwards.

- Houston, TX, USA

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problem #1

Feb 272005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 101 miles
Car purchased on 2/26/05. First time driven on highway, a 20" piece of the rain drip panel flew off. Dealer states car must have been hit by rock, but there was no other traffic in front of vehicle. Dealer also said this is "expected behavior" if hit by debris at over 35 mph. If hit by debris, was small enough that there was no noise upon impact, nor was it visible. Since there were no vehicles to the side or front of vehicle, we believe this panel is defective. Dealer refuses to repair, and quotes $782 to fix. Other body shops are considerably less. If this behavior is "expected" Saturn falsely advertises durability of the vehicle, as their ads depict golf balls hitting the vehicle with no damage. Further if this is "expected" this vehicle is a danger to others around it on the road, if Saturn believes it is normal and expected for 20" chunks of the vehicle to fly off.

- Mooresville, IN, USA

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