NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2005 Saturn Ion (Page 8 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 8 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

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

problem #19

Dec 052008


  • 54,545 miles
2003 Saturn Ion won't start when it's cold.

- Sanger, CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 012008


  • miles
The car would not start, this has happened several times over the last two years.

- Cavalier, ND, USA

problem #17

Sep 032007


  • 41,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 55 mph on normal road conditions, the engine lost power. The check engine warning indicator illuminated intermittently on the instrument panel. Roadside assistance was called to the scene and the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The technician stated that the failure was related to the ignition control module. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle is in the process of being repaired again. The contact was concerned of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 41,000 and current mileage was 61,000.

- Glen Ellen, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 092008


  • 53,000 miles
Ignition locks. Cannot get key to turn. Happened a few times.

- Manheim, PA, USA

problem #15

May 192007


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. The failure is due to a recall relating to the ignition switch, but the dealer refuses to repair the vehicle for free. The dealer repaired the failure at the contact's expense. The NHTSA campaign id number was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 45,000.

- Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #14

Mar 162005


  • 3,051 miles


3-16-2005 car leaking red fluid: Diagnosis-axle not seated, new parts ordered, car repaired 4-7-2005 car making thud sound when shifting: Diagnosis-not duplicated (never checked transmission-just drove car) 9-29-2005 car not going into 1st and 2nd gears smoothly, car not starting when key in ignition, internal car gauges not working: Diagnosis-internal computer parts fixed-could not duplicate gear issues (again-did remove transmission and investigate) 3-24-2008 previous gear problems persisted, car would not go into 1st gear; took car to dealer, dealer would not look at because out of warranty due to mileage although problem was reported prior unless I paid 9-1-2008 car will not go into 1st or 2nd; diagnosis (paid for at my expense)-transmission needs to be repaired (at my expense) 9-11-2008 car repaired and while driving home car would not go in any gears: Returned to dealer and found red fluid leaking from vehicle: Diagnosis-additional part in transmission loose.

- Lancaster, TX, USA

problem #13

Sep 272008


  • 88,000 miles
When I shut off my 2005 Saturn Ion, the key does not always come out of the ignition as it should. I have to wait a few minutes before the key will come out. This is a recurring problem and has been going on for over a year. I am also having problems with my power steering. The pwr str comes on all the time. When I shut the car off, it resets, but after a few minutes it comes back on again. This has been happening for the past two months. I took my car to Saturn of fayetteville (nc) when the power steering first started acting up, and the mechanic said he could not find the problem, but if it kept happening I would have to have the steering console replaced. The estimated cost of fixing it? over $900.

- Autryville, NC, USA

problem #12

Dec 182007


  • 90,000 miles
In cold weather my Saturn Ion will fail to start. The ignition will click a couple of time then nothing. I wait 8-10 minutes and try again sometimes it will attempt to start sometimes not. Then I have to wait some more and try again, eventually it will start. I had 2 new batteries replaced and still problem persists. I found a Saturn message board that addressed this very problem. Hope you can get Saturn to recall this issue.

- Iola, WI, USA

problem #11

May 042008

Ion 4-cyl

  • 43,730 miles
Vehicle will not start at times. Happened at 16,000 miles. Dealership replaced ign. Switch. Happening again at 43,000 miles. Dealership says its my responsibility to pay. I disagree. Faulty switches should the company's responsibility.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 182007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles


I purchased a 2005 Saturn Ion with 32 miles on it July 11, 2005. On September 22, 2005 while driving my daughter to school in the rain, the car stalled and began to fill with water from the floor up. I had it towed to the dealer for repair and was told the left fron sunroof drain hose was plugged. They said this caused an electrical problem which caused the stall. The service dept. Said they cleaned the drain hose and all was ok. Well, we had a heavy rain, not the first since 11/2005, on August 18, 2007. I was able to start the car, but it stalled right away. In addition, the floor on the driver's side was wet. This occurred on a Saturday and by Monday when the car was towed to the Saturn dealership, there was a "pond" of water on the floor of the car. In addition, the cd player has been replaced because it ate cd's. the new radio worked ok for about 6 month's, but is now unable to pick up reception to any station. Also, at one time, the driver's side door became jammed and could not be opened from the inside or outside. The lock rod and inside door handle were bent. At the same time water was leaking through the driver's side window and the window was off the track and falling into the door. This was also repaired by the dealer because I purchased the extended warranty. This car has been nothing but trouble and I regret purchasing it. I have never had so many problems with a new car and I would not recommend this car to anyone.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #9

Nov 032006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,220 miles
: the contact stated after being parked a few days, the vehicle would not start. It was towed to the dealer who determined the vehicle needed to be started or driven more often.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #8

Jan 122006


  • Manual transmission
  • 12,814 miles
The car started experiencing electrical issues. The accessory jack became inoperable, the radio would stop putting out sound, even though it was on you would not be able to turn it off then the ABS light would stay on and the warning bell would go off. Finally the anti-theft light would come on and stay on. Upon going to my car after work it would not start. I thought it was a dead battery so we jumped the car and after about 15 minutes it started. 1 week later the light came on and stayed on again, but after restarting the car it went out. Again when I went out another day to start by car after my lunch break the car wouldn't start. I called Saturn and requested road side assistance, but after 15 minutes the car started. I took it to the Saturn dealership and they replaced the computer (control) body system. The next day the anti theft light came on again, I took it back and they had to replace the switch in the ignition. In June the radio again was not working properly. After restarting the car it worked again. I called Saturn again to complain and took it in for diagnostic at that time they could not find any codes. 1 week later the radio again would not work, so I drove straight to the dealership without restarting the car so that they could see the problem in action. I was told that it was the radio only and they would replace it. A new radio has been ordered but during this time the ABS system again came on with a warning bell. I turned the car off and back on the system reset itself. 2 days later after leaving the store the ABS light went on again with the bell and the anti-theft light came on. I restarted the car, but the anti-theft light stayed on the entire trip home. I was told that if the light was on the car should not run, but it did. I took the car in today for them to "look" at it and they said they are going to replace the radio and run a diagnostic on it.

- Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #7

Mar 092006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
: the contact stated there were several problems with the vehicle. While turning the ignition on, the battery light illuminated for 30 seconds. Second, the driver's side window fell off the track and caused the window to fall into the door. Third, there was a grinding noise heard in the motor and the vehicle hesitated. Additionally, the headlight seal around the headlight was broken allowing water to get inside. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and all repairs were made.

- Perth Amboy, NJ, USA

problem #6

Sep 012005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
: the consumer stated while driving, electrical gauge indicator lights illuminated and the motor shut off inadvertently. The vehicle has been taken to the dealership on five separate occasions for this problem. The dealership performed diagnostics test on the vehicle and were unable to determine cause of the problem.

- Sublimity, OR, USA

problem #5

Dec 122005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
The contact stated intermittently the vehicle will accelerate with the contact's foot on the brake. The vehicle has been to the dealership, and they were unable to duplicate the problem, and no codes were found. This caused the consumer's vehicle to rear end another vehicle. There was property damage. The hood buckled and the grill was damaged. There have been no repairs done. The consumer experienced electrical problems such as the right front turn signal, which turned out to be a loose connection. The vehicle would not start until 10 minutes after the initial start. It was determined the vehicle needed a new module. Updated 01/25/06.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 022005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Purchased a 2005 Saturn Ion 2 in 12/04. 3 episodes of car stalling while making turns at low rate of speed, took car into dearlship in June 2. Saturn installed new programming. June 13 (213 miles later) car stalls again. Saturn replaces engine wiring. June 27, the car stalls in reverse. Saturn resecured ign. Fuse. On August 21 cars stall twice in one day. Saturn currently has car. Throughout all this time have also had dash indicators go out several times but will self correct next day.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #3

Jul 242005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20 miles
Contact purchased a Saturn in March. She had problems getting it started within the first few weeks. 3 months later on 6-28-05 it stopped suddenly on the road. The contact had initially trouble to start the car. It took 3 tries to get it started..she took vehicle back to the dealer, and they could not duplicate it. One month and one day later it happened again. It did start back right away then. It has been in the repair shop for 3 weeks, and they could not duplicate the problem. Saturn was supposed to come and look at the car, they never came. The contact was afraid to get in the car and drive it. The dealership provided the contact a loaner. The dealership had other dealerships come from the area to look at the car, and could not find anything. Saturn offered the contact an extended warranty, but she did not want the car. She did not know what good an extended warranty was it the vehicle quit on the highway.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #2

Mar 152005

Ion 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Relay van. The rear sliding doors intermittently open, and consumer is concerned if it is in an accident, consumer couldn't get children out. The dealer can not duplicate the problem, and have replaced the alternator with a higher amperage one. This helped with the lights dimming problem, but not the indicator alarm sounding or the rear door problem.

- Shermans Dale, PA, USA

problem #1

Jun 032005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86 miles
The car is losing power at 70mph and is shutting itself off. The car was purchased on June 3 and it was returned to the dealer on June 4 with this happening 4 times in less than 24 hours. The sales person said "stay there and I know what it is, it's happened before". the sales person did come and pick up the consumer. The sales person said that the ignition was defective and the consumer's keychain was at fault. The keychain weighed about an ounce or less. The dealership is in control of the vehicle at this point. There are no indicators lights coming on in the vehicle. It just loses power and dies. This is a 2005 Saturn Ion 2. the owner had a Saturn Ion 2 without anti-lock brakes and changed mind to upgrade to one with ABS, now Saturn is not so eager to help consumer. The car is starting right back, after it quits.

- Granada Hills, CA, USA

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