NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2005 Saturn Ion (Page 4 of 8)

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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,434 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #100

Mar 012008


  • 49,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the ignition switch failed and caused the vehicle to stall. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where a diagnostic was performed which located a failure code at the steering column. The vehicle was repaired. The steering wheel column was replaced. The failure mileage was 49,000 and the approximate current mileage was 70,000.

- West Orange , NJ, USA

problem #99

Jan 162012


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving 45 mph when the vehicle stalled. The contact received notification of a manufacturer's recall pertaining to the ignition switch but had not yet received the recall repair. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Mount Royal, NJ, USA

problem #98

Oct 312013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 144,000 miles
On October 31, and November 1 of 2013 I was traveling approximately 40 mph and in nearly the same spot the Saturn lost complete power and died. Both times I was able to get off the road. After the second incident we had it towed to a garage where they replaced the battery. I did not drive it again and currently it is in storage as I purchased a new car. I drive 350 miles a week to work and need dependable transportation. When the recall came out we realized we may have had trouble with the ignition switch for up to 2 years. There would be times we would shut the car off but would be unable to take the key out. It would take up to a minute before clicking and we could remove the key. That was when it was in the off position.

- Angola, IN, USA

problem #97

Mar 072014


  • 58,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while making a left turn, the vehicle suddenly stalled as the power steering seized and caused the contact to crash into a concrete street divider. The contact sustained back injuries. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The contact indicated that during the crash, the radiator and condenser were damaged and both were replaced by the mechanic. The manufacturer was not notified in reference to the defect. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Springfield , MA, USA

problem #96

Sep 162013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 123,903 miles
I checked electrical above, for affected parts, but I am not sure if that is correct. It was the ignition. I was driving on whitney ave. (towards new haven) in hamden, ct. Traffic was moderate due to the time of day (3:00 P.M.) suddenly, and with no warning other than the dash lighting up with engine lights, my car stopped. There was enough momentum to turn it into the post office driveway. Brakes and steering did not work. Fortunately, the cars coming up behind me were able to swerve to avoid hitting me. The incident caused a traffic jam and a mess in the post office. A very kind man offered to help push the car out of the incoming driveway. He put it in neutral and pushed it out of the way. I have aaa service. The call was made and the car was towed to Firestone on dixwell ave., since I live in the vicinity and could walk home. I have the receipt for work done by Firestone. The job cost me $262.82. I was on my way to I-91. I dread to think of what could have happened, if the car suddenly stopped in 65 mile an hour traffic. (I jest, since trucks regularly pass going well over 70!) I wish to send my bill to GM, but no address is provided on the recall letter. Please advise. If I do not hear from you, I will go to valenti motors in wallingford to ask for assistance in obtaining an address to send my bill. I expect full compensation for the costs associated with this incident, and will provide the Firestone invoice. In a separate recent incident, again, on my way to an interstate, the car went dead again. This time, I came to rest up against a barrier between the road and a salt marsh! in this case it was the alternator. The car was towed again to Firestone, where they replaced the alternator and the battery. I write this, just in case GM has ignored another problem. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #95

Mar 132014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 51,274 miles
As I was driving, suddenly I heard the chime in the car go off a few times rapidly, and at the same time the power steering light ('pwr str') came on on the instrument panel. I proceeded to go straight, then I had to make a left turn. At this time I realized there was no power steering in the car, and it was very difficult to turn the steering wheel. I continued to have a problem steering the vehicle, and I had to find an empty area to park the vehicle. It was a scary experience, and an unsafe situation as well. After I parked the car and turned off the vehicle, I started it again, and the power steering light was off. Steering after that was normal. I am very concerned that this will happen again, compromising my safety and other vehicle operators in my vicinity.

- Floral Park, NY, USA

problem #94

Mar 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


I have had a problem with my key getting stuck in ignition for past year. I went to dealer last year and they could not find what was wrong. Now I know that GM is recalling cars because of this issue. I have not yet received a recall notice and until I do I cannot repair the car. I called a local GM dealer-bob johnson Chevy and they stated they are aware but GM advised them no parts until beginning of April. Then I received a call later stating they have a ignition module to install and it would cost me $260 dollars to repair vehicle. Please let me know how to do I find out if my car is on list and get the necessary repairs. My key is still getting stuck in ignition [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Rochester , NY, USA

problem #93

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 #92

Feb 032014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 148,318 miles
Vehicle consistently will not start in cold weather. I also own a 2004 Saturn Ion. VIN [xxx] I need to know if my automobiles are safe for my family to travel in. We have owned Saturn for over 10 years. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Webster, NY, USA

problem #91

Mar 032014


  • miles
My car will wont start it did it once before and it started 3 hours later. Today my car started 20minutes later. Its not my battery because everything else works just wont even attempt to turn over.

- Rose Hill, KS, USA

problem #90

Feb 252014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 94,000 miles


Has happened at approximately 10 times over the last 2 months when starting the car in cold weather (approx 10 degrees Fahrenheit or less) the car fails to start when key in ignition is turned. Attempts to start car immediately thereafter fail to start car. Radio, lights, fan, etc, will turn on but car does not attempt to start. Security lock symbol and check engine light stay on. If 10 minutes time is allowed to pass, car will start on first attempt and security lock symbol and check engine light do not light up. There have been 2 instances where car did not start after trying for an hour with waiting 10 minutes between starting attempts. Starter has been replaced as well as ignition switch. Doing research on the web, this seems to be common problem with Ions and Saturn had failed to make any recognition/solutions to the problem. It is quite frustrating waiting for 10 minutes in your car to try to start it again when temps are below zero degrees.

- Byron, MN, USA

problem #89

Feb 262014


  • miles
www-ODI.NHTSA.dot.gov/vehiclecomplaint/index.xhtml 2-26-14 @ 10:36 P.M. the week of February 26, 2014 I heard on the news that Saturn Ions (2005) have recall - deadly incident may occur due to ignition - I contacted General Motors to confirm and get additional information and inquire why I was not notified. They advised that a letter will be sent out in April - more than 30 days from today. Why must someone wait over 30 days to be advised there may be an incident with your car that may cause your life or that of someone else, and wait that long to be given any information that the car owner may do to possibly lessen the chances of an incident to occur. I would think that the money our government gave the auto industry would be able to cover a simple letter or post card if they are so cash poor to notify loyal car owners of a possible problem and not roll the dice and hope one survives the 30+ days of being notified. I would think this is a crime!

- New York, NY, USA

problem #88

Dec 262013


  • 31,000 miles
Key would not start car. Checked battery, took battery to autozone. Checked out good. Bought new battery anyway. Remote key not working except for opening trunk. Changed remote battery, still not working. Ordered new remote programmed by foy motors. Remote now working as programmed car continues to have days of key not starting car. Click on unlock, then lock, unlock etc. After about 15 minutes, car will start and will continue to start for a couple of days, then the problem begins again. As I see in the Saturn recall on the internet, there is a problem with the ignition in the Saturn Ion, this has to be the cause.

- Many,, LA, USA

problem #87

Feb 112014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Making a left hand turn the automobile shut off and on dash display read pwr steering coolant the car was difficult to steer to the side of the road. Once pulled to the side of the road I turned the key over and instantly the car was like new driving ok till I got home. Googled the problem and saw many power steering complaints on the Saturn Ions.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #86

Jan 292014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 9,200 miles
Power steering warning appeared after starting car. Immediately power steering shutdown which caused difficulty with steering and controlling the vehicle.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #85

Jun 122013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
When attempting to start the car, the ignition switch would not turn. After a number of attempts, the key being shaken the car would start. I took this car to mechanic and he said the ignition switch needs to be replaced. He also stated that they have seen a number of issues with this ignition and suggested I contact GM and see if there is a recall. At times it would take 10 minutes before I could start the car.

- Garfield Hts, OH, USA

problem #84

Oct 232013


  • 215,000 miles
Drove less then a mile, stopped at a stop sign saw smoke pouring out from under the hood my husband opened the car door to see what was going on when flames shot in beside his leg we jump out of the car and he got our son out of his car seat. The car is completely totaled. The fire department said that it started order the hood and they believe that it was electrical.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #83

Oct 072009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while attempting to start the vehicle, the key became stuck in the ignition and the vehicle was unable to be started. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the ignition switch and the anti-theft system needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Buffalo , NY, USA

problem #82

Sep 052013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that she attempted to remove the key from the ignition but it would not release. The contact had to shake the key until it released. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Lamont , IL, USA

problem #81

Sep 092013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
I was driving and the power steering light went on as did their check engine light..the car was very hard to drive..I had it in and to a GM dealer--they said by the time I drove it up (40 miles)car didn't do it again..while up there they could not find problem and said because the light wouldn't go on for them--they wanted to charge me $98..I had been in touch with GM in mich.they helped me get the power steering motor replaced.at no charge.I have had the car home for about 1 week--and the same thing happened as I was driving on 10-02-13-power steering light went on..so I had to sign a statement if it happened again they would not be responsible if not there fault..what a safety hazard..I bought the car brand new and never had trouble except for this--which it's like not having a car..in touch with GM again--waiting for a call back..

- Iron Station, NC, USA

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