NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition Problems

2005 Saturn Ion (Page 2 of 2)

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:
44,771 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 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Nov 042008


  • 44,000 miles


I have had ignition problems with my vehicle. There have been times when one of my keys locks the ignition, all occurrences while trying to turn the car on, and I had to really work at it to get the key to turn. It could take up to 5 minutes of jiggling the key hard before it turns. This ended when I started using my other key. With this other key, there have been four separate occasions when my car would not start. When this happens, the radio turns on but there is only a buzzing sound coming from the car. If I wait long enough, the car will eventually start. However, I don't always have time to wait. This happens both after the car sits no more than a few days or after having driven it the day before. It also happens in cold weather and in moderate weather. I cannot drive a vehicle that is so unreliable, but I also cannot afford to purchase another one.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #14

Sep 152008


  • 18,890 miles
When attempting to turn my car off the key gets stuck in the ignition. The ignition switch must be turned off and the battery taken out to turn the car off. This has happened twice in two weeks. Each time the ignition cylinder has been replaced.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #13

Aug 202008


  • 46,600 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. When the contact parked her vehicle, it would not shut off. She drove to a mechanic shop and they manually turned off the vehicle by pulling wires and disconnecting the battery. Also, the key would not release from the ignition. The ignition was replaced for the second time. The failure mileage was 46,600. Updated 10/03/08 the ignition cylinder and housing was replaced. Updated 10/06/08.

- Munising, MI, USA

problem #12

Aug 082008


  • 46,000 miles


Ignition locks up.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #11

Jun 132008


  • 15,000 miles
Key came out of ignition while driving; also keys is stuck when turning car off.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #10

Aug 092008


  • 20,501 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion quad /. in Feb of 07 I went to park my car and the key would not turn off the car nor come out of the ignition. The car was towed to the nearest Saturn dealership and the ignition was replaced. In June of 07 this occurred again, it was towed and the ignition was replaced. Then in again the same thing occurred in Aug 07 and the ignition was replaced. In Jan of 2008, when I took the car in for service, I asked them to check the ignition because it had stuck on me several times before I was able to turn the car off. They once again replaced the ignition. Last week I was 500 miles from home and pulled off to get gas and was unable to turn the car off to fuel up. By the time I got home I was able to shut the car off. Two days later, it happened again. The car was towed and the ignition replaced. I just went over my 36,000 but the dealership said it would be covered under the 1 yr parts warranty, so I did not have to pay anything for the repair. But I am still upset about a common problem not being addressed by Saturn. They either have faulty ignition parts or there is something else going on to cause this problem and it needs to be investigated. Replacing an ignition 5 times in 18 months is not normal. I pulled it up on the internet and this seems to be a common problem. So this situation is not unique to me. What happens when 13 months from now, it happens again then I will have to pay out of my pocket for something that is Saturn fault. I have contacted the Saturn Corp and they cant explain why no recall has been issued on this part.

- Streator, IL, USA

problem #9

Jun 202008


  • miles


The key in my 2005 Saturn Ion starting getting stuck in the ignition for approximately several days prior to the incident. On 6/20/08, I was unable to turn the car off due to this issue. When I was finally able to remove the key from the ignition, I was still unable to shut down the engine without stalling the car and pulling the battery.

- North Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #8

Jun 152008


  • 40,000 miles
2005 Saturn Ion 2 - two problems 1. most recent - key stuck in ignition and the car will not shut off! turned key many times, tried pliers and the key still stuck. Battery now disconnected and relay disconnected. Have seen other complaints of this problem with Ions. 2. steering column - fault code "pwr str" comes up and car loses power steering. Will reset if car is turned off, but will do it again within a couple of minutes.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 262008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,199 miles
The contact's mother owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. After driving the vehicle, the gear was placed into park, but the vehicle would not shut off. The vehicle would not shift out of park and the contact had to remove ignition fuses to shut off the vehicle. The dealer has been notified. The current and failure mileages were 45,199. Updated 06/25/08 the ignition lock cylinder was seized inside the housing. Updated 06/26/08

- Willard, MO, USA

problem #6

Nov 232007

Ion 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
I own a 2005 Saturn Ion. I have the same issue that I noticed has been documented by many other Saturn owners on this site. The key gets stuck in the ignition and will not release after the car has been turned off. I am forced to restart the car about 3-4 times every time I want to get out of my car. I brought the car to the dealership while still under warranty and they told me that a part had to be ordered, that they would notify me when the part was received, and that it would be covered. A month later I called to "check" on the part and was told it was received the day before and that the work could not be completed on a weekend. I told them I could not be without my car and could not make an appointment until I had a day off of work. At this point I asked if I went out of my warranty in the intern if it would still be covered. I was told that "since the problem was documented while still under warranty it would be covered." When I was able to make an appointment a month later, they refused to cover it because I was "out of warranty" and want close to $400 for the fix. Needless to say I am very disappointed with Saturn, not only with the car itself, but also with their neglect to take responsibility for the car's defect, as well corporate response to the claim that I issued back in March (which by the way was closed without resolution or explanation). I have since opened another claim.

- Red Bank, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jan 032008


  • miles


The Saturn vehicle is exposed to temperatures at or approaching 32 degrees F for several hours when the engine is not running (usually 6-10 hours.) I attempt to start the vehicle, the ignition switch clicks and the car stalls. The security system kicks in. The security light blinks and the odometer screen reads: 'service engine soon.┐ fuel will not be sent to the engine. The vehicle will now not start for about 8-10 minutes as the security system resets. After 8-10 minutes, the security light will stop blinking and then go out. ┐the service engine soon┐ scroll light will stop and also go out. Now, if I attempt to start the vehicle again, if the ignition switch grease has not adequately warmed, then the process will begin again.

- Highland, IN, USA

problem #4

Dec 212007


  • miles
Our Saturn Ion 3 would not turn off. Apparently there is a serious problem with the ignition in these cars. Why hasn't Saturn/General Motors recalled this part. Someone could get killed. We have had it repaired only to have it happen a second time.

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #3

Oct 172007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,500 miles
Saturn 2005 Ion would not turn off, would not release the engine key or turn. I drove car to walmart to have service tech remove the battery. They had to disable something else. This is second episode with ignition key and this car.

- Auburn, AL, USA

problem #2

Sep 012007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles
I bought the car brand new, drove one mile off the lot, the engine stopped and would not start. It was towed the next morning to the dealer and they replaced the engine control module. At 15,400 miles the car again would not start, they replaced the ignition switch. At 16,000 miles the chime for the ignition would not turn off and the ignition housing was replaced. At 19,500 miles I complained that the car would start and immediately turn off again, the dealer said nothing was wrong. The next day the ignition would not turn off and the key was stuck. They replaced the ignition housing again. At 22,300 miles I complained that the key was sticking in the ignition, the dealer said nothing was wrong. About 6 months later (last weekend before leaving to go out of town) at 27,200 miles the ignition would not turn off and the key was stuck again. The ignition housing was replaced for the third time! I contacted the manufacturer and was only offered a one year extension on the warranty. What good will an extended warranty do for a car that you can't trust to drive because you never know whether it will start or turn off when you need it to!!! I will never buy another Saturn again!!!!!

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 182006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,400 miles
: the contact stated while the vehicle was in an idle state or placed in reverse, the engine intermittently stalled without warning. The engine easily restarted after stalling. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who determined the excessive weight of all the key chains used by the contact allowed the ignition to turn off on its own. After the dealer's assessment, only one key chain was used while the keys were in the ignition, but the engine stalling persisted. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Brewton, AL, USA

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