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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,316 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

Nov 152013


  • 168,000 miles


My car has been driving fine and one day the security light and a few other warning lights went on as well as "trac off" came up on the screen. My gas gauge also went down to zero (even though I had a full tank.) the car still ran fine and no codes came up so I was told to replace the alternator. I replaced the alternator and now my car will start but I have to wait 5 minutes before it will let me put it in gear. Everything turns off and warning lights come on as the car "warms up?" after 5 minutes it will let me put it in gear but warning lights ABS, brake, and airbag will still be on. If I restart the car then, the lights go off. I have no idea what is going on!

- Hudsonville, MI, USA

problem #3

Aug 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
My son was driving and the truck in front of him stopped suddenly. He hit the brakes and felt the steering lock up, brakes locked and he couldn't stop. Hit the truck hard enough to crack the core support in the Saturn but the air bag do not expand. He was not injured but this is definitely a safety issue if you can hit another car enough to crack the steel frame but no airbag was deployed.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #2

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 #1

May 062010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 50,263 miles
Re: brake transmission shift interlock (BTSI) solenoid. The key would get stuck in ignition and not release, or I would be unable to turn the car on after inserting the key. Note: A couple of times I could not turn off the car, which is a safety hazard. I had to force the key to turn the ignition cylinder to the off position over several minutes. I have replaced ignition switch 3 times and ignition housing twice since buying my Saturn Ion new in 2005. Therefore, I am now on my fourth ignition switch since the car was manufactured. I acknowledge that ignition switches have been found defective in certain GM car models and years and a recall is in place. However, I believe that ignition problems in GM Saturn Ions are additionally complicated by BTSI solenoid and switch failure. In addition to replacing the ignition switch and housing, I have also had to replace the BTSI solenoid and switch twice (May 2010, 50,263 mi; Feb 2013, 84,715 mi) due to the part's failure in order to fully address the ignition switch problems of my Saturn Ion. Please investigate the additional issue of BTSI solenoid and switch failure as being a contributing factor in the overall ignition safety problems of GM Saturn Ions.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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