NHTSA — Electronic Stability Control Problems

CarComplaints.com 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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,613 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 032008


  • 60,000 miles


Ignition switch recognition began to deteriorate. When trying to start the car, the anti-theft would come on. I would have to wait hours. This would happen in cold and rainy weather. Key would get locked in ignition with accessories on and not go off. Battery would die. When jumping the car the key would still be locked in the on position and begin turning on and off violently and rapidly until key was able to be removed. Car blew fuse while driving on highway. Max speed reduced to 30 mph. When turning on key would be 1/2 recognized and lights/electric would flicker on and off violently and fuses/computer had to be replaced/reset. Car did the light/electrical issue while on and driving, key would not come out of ignition. Car was towed by palmetto Chevy in conway SC, who despite recall and vehicle history refuse to fix the car or give loaner as stated on website. I have been calling since 2008 about the issue. GM says take it to a dealership but I have to pay for issues. Car has been towed on Tuesday 3/11/14 to palmetto Chevy, after they told me they would pick it up but were a no show on Monday 3/10/14. Again, they refuse to do the recall. Stating they find nothing wrong with the ignition.

- Conway, SC, USA

problem #3

Feb 102009


  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion level 3. if it is below freezing outside the car will not start. This is a very common issue with Saturn Ions. The car will not start at first, then if you wait 20-30 minutes it will start. The issue is the ignition switch which is faulty. Also, the dealership I bought the car from told me it had a full powertrain and bumper to bumper warranty and when I brought it in they denied that.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #2

Jun 042009


  • 42,452 miles
Driving 2005 Saturn Ion, aprox 43,000 miles on the vehicle...electronic power steering motor gets"hot" and shuts down. No power steering in vehicle. Turn vehicle off and the electronic mechanism resets itself and works until the next time it shuts down while driving. Took vehicle to Saturn dealership, power steering motor is burned out and needs to be replaced. Roughly $1300. Or I can just drive it as is. Tech voiced concern that the electronic problems in there could be very problematic because they could get hot and start a fire. Upon researching this problem N these models, there seems to be an overabundance of reports of the same issues. I called GM and reported the problem and let them know that there seemed to be problems with these particular models and that this could result in an accident because it has to do with steering the vehicle, and that since it will reset if you turn the vehicle off and drive for awhile, then consumers may opt not to spend the money to correct the problem, as it is very expensive. I feel that these should be recalled and corrected.

- Bonham, TX, USA

problem #1

Dec 102008


  • miles
Saturn Ion 2005 problem starting-every three or four starts, the lock symbol shows up and car will not start, panel, headlamps, accessories are operating, but starter seems locked out. After 10-20 minute wait, it usually starts.

- Silver Grove, KY, USA

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