NHTSA — Power Train: Clutch Assembly 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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,224 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 clutch problems

clutch problem

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2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 242006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 4,748 miles


Vehicle: 2005 Saturn Ion red line I was driving in columbus, oh area to meet some friends and I had stopped at a red light. When I left the red light I went through the gears to get up to speed and as I came to 4th gear the shifter would not go in. So I let out the clutch and tried to go back in. As I pressed the clutch pedal again it immediately fell to the floor with no pressure on the pedal at all and I could not select any gears. Then the vehicle started to vibrate really bad so I pulled over at the walgreen's a few yards away. When I came to a stop I noticed hydraulic fluid leaking from the car and it was shaking badly. So I called my friends and they came to look. My clutch had given up but we were not sure how badly. We had the vehicle towed to a repair shop nearby that also specialized in these vehicles. The friction disc in the clutch had ripped completely apart which in turn scored and warped the flywheel. This also caused the slave cylinder to over extend which is where the fluid leaked from and debris flying around within the bellhousing had contacted the fluid feed line to the slave cylinder and punctured a hole in it. New parts were ordered to repair the vehicle and they consisted of this: 1 new flywheel, 1 new clutch friction disc, 1 new clutch pressure plate, 6 new clutch plate to flywheel bolts, 1 new slave cylinder, 1 new throw out bearing, 1 new clutch fluid feed line, 5 quarts of hydraulic fluid, and 1 quart of transmission fluid. The total labor charged was for 8 hours of work. The total repair costs for labor and parts came to $1,752. I am not the only owner of this platform of vehicle to experience clutch failure issues. I do still have the old parts for inspection. I upgraded to newer, stronger parts to avoid this happening again in 4,500 miles which is where this happened. 4,500 miles on the odometer. Here is the visual of what happened. www.intense-racing.com/pics/chrisd/page_01.htm.

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #1

Feb 082006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 7,700 miles
I was driving my 2005 Saturn ion2 and the brakes totally failed when I depressed the clutch on my 5 speed transmission. After taking it in for service the mechanic told me that the slave cylinder was leaking and allowed air into the brake system because the brakes and clutch have a shared hydraulic fluid reservoir. I couldn't downshift because the clutch failed and I couldn't brake because the brakes failed. The warning system failed because there was still some fluid in the shared reservoir. The warning light goes on when the system is out of fluid not when it is running low. Scary stuff... I could have been killed or killed others. Lucky for me I was not going highway speeds and/or on a busy street. I was able to use the emergency brake to stop...

- Aurora, CO, USA

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