NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2005 Saturn Ion (Page 1 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 1 of 8)

problem #160

Apr 102016


  • 97,200 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving at various speeds, the steering wheel became hard to maneuver. The power steering and check engine warning lights illuminated. The contact pulled over to the side of the road and restarted the vehicle, but the failure occurred once more. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 97,200.

- Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #159

Feb 022016


  • 88,256 miles
The contact owns 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the ignition key failed to disengage from the vehicle causing the contact to have to restart the vehicle several times before it could be removed. The contact mentioned that the failure caused the battery to become inoperable on more than one occasion. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the failure was unable to be determined. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 88,256.

- Perry, OH, USA

problem #158

Nov 052015


  • 177,482 miles
The car was driven to Chevrolet and repairs were done but car would not start, we were told it had a bad computor and was given the option to purchase a 1600 dollar unit from Chevrolet, we did not have the funds. We got a computor after the told us this was not a related issue. Then towed it back for a third to to be to its not under warranty. We dont have money for an attorney and Chevrolet and Saturn refuses to correct there srew up. We drove the vehical in and they want us to to pull it out we dont know what to do.

- Homestead, FL, USA

problem #157

Nov 012015


  • 87,000 miles


Turned the key to the on position, dash lights come on but nothing happens, the car will not turn over. Tried to remove the key but it is stuck in acc position. All recalls have been done to my knowledge. After reading other reviews with similar problems I am now concerned with it turning itself off on it's own.

- Gaston, SC, USA

problem #156

Sep 022015


  • 170,000 miles
Case # 8-1587665159 - 2005 Saturn Ion... I cannot get any help with this vehicle and I have gone through all the channels. The car dealership stated the ignition and power steering motor was replaced, yet, I have received no paperwork stating this was done. Ignition was replaced. If the power steering motor was replaced, it went out again while I was out of town, had a garage replace it along with the module but it also went out. Took it back to the dealership as paperwork from GM stated I should do but they wouldn't honor it because it was a used part. Previously, the gas lines had to be replaced as one could smell gas everywhere around the vehicle. I have been told by a GM rep that the car is older with a lot of mileage and problems will happen but GM officials knew about some of these issues when the car first came out... they did nothing for 10 years. The power steering constantly goes out, sometimes without a warning or sometimes with chimes. I am a 68-year-old heart patient that has to drive a vehicle knowing at any moment the power steering will go out and I could crash, yet, GM states pull the car off the road, turn it off and back on and it should be okay. This is not true. I am not able to steer this vehicle with manual transmission even though GM states, steering control can be maintained, as the vehicle will revert to a manual steering mode, but would require greater driver effort at low vehicle speeds, which could result in an increased risk of a crash. " I purchased this vehicle last year and had no clue about the recalls. Or perhaps GM had not admitted to them yet. I have no choice but to drive this vehicle as is as it is the only mode of transportation that I have.

- Coats, NC, USA

problem #155

May 152014


  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated upon turning the key in the ignition and an abnormal noise was present. The contact had to turn the vehicle off and reset the computer by restarting the vehicle each time the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a manufacturer recall and they repaired the vehicle for the ignition switch failure. The contact also noticed strong fumes emitting from outside and inside the vehicle and it idled roughly. The dealer did not diagnose the fuel system failure. The vehicle was also included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) months ago and was unable to determine when the recall repair would be performed. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 200,000.

- Carson City, NV, USA

problem #154

Dec 152010


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start during cold temperatures. After several attempts, the contact was able to start the vehicle. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for diagnostic testing, but was not able to be diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Cleveland, TX, USA

problem #153

May 252014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to the customer reimbursement request form. The ignition lock cylinder was replaced.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #152

Mar 112015

Ion 4-cyl

  • 112,400 miles
My car set a code for what I researched has a recall and I just purchased this car Jan. 16, 2015. How do I take care of this as it could be a horrible problem. It needs fixed.

- Western, NE, USA

problem #151

Sep 172014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key failed to release from the ignition causing the battery to run out. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the shift gear assembly needed to be replaced. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #150

Feb 172015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. In addition, the power steering failed to operate once the vehicle was restarted. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V171000 (electrical system) and 14V153000 (steering); however, the parts to do the repair were unavailable. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Bennettsville , SC, USA

problem #149

Dec 082014


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The vehicle was repaired under special policy 10187 at the dealer. While driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle completely shut off and the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The failure recurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who diagnosed that the electronic power steering control module failed, the vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 118,000. Updated 4/13/15

- Morton, IL, USA

problem #148

Jan 272015


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to restart. The failure occurred on three occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 124,000. The VIN was not available.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #147

Jan 252015

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
My car's battery keeps dying on me. It will do so if I'm driving or if it is park and sits. The battery drains. I have driven the car, the battery light will come on and then no power (very scary when driving!!). the car has been park and completely dies and I will need a hot shot. I had the car towed in to the GM dealership in owings mills, md and they told me that the cause is because of the notice of the vehicle transmission shifter needs to be replaced. I am still waiting for this to be fixed. The car is at the dealership and I had to call them so that they could tell me that the part isn't available anywhere and I have to wait. They wanted me to pick up the car and drive it off the lot and this car isn't saved to drive (reason why I had it towed there). I requested a loaner vehicle while the part comes in on 1/29/15 and I'm waiting to here back from the manager but have not received a loaner car.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #146

Jan 012014


  • 121,506 miles
This is not the first problem I have had with this vehicle nor was it the last. Just one that I have documented. The vehicle completely would not start and I had to have it towed to epperly tire and auto. The day before the car shut off while I was at a red light and it took cranking multiple times before I could get it to start again. I was told by epperly that this was because I needed a new starter and the wiring in my vehicle needed to be replaced. I got all needed repairs. This did not fix the issue, the vehicle is still shutting off while I am driving.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #145

Dec 012014


  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion consumer is complaining that the dealer has not received the part to fix car per recall

- Hoquiam, WA, USA

problem #144

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 #143

Sep 012010


  • 40,000 miles
Key becomes stuck in the accessory position after turning vehicle off, approximately 90% of the time I drive it. When this occurs, I have two options: Allow the battery to be drained and jumpstart the next time I use my car, or attempt to locate the manual release inside the steering column. I've had the recall maintenance done on my car, and it did not fix the problem. GM told me that I would need to have the gear shifter assembly replaced (cost to be paid by me). In the meantime, they suggested that I continue to release the key manually. Every time I use my car, I feel unsafe - I am putting myself at risk of electrocution constantly, whether by jumpstarting the dead battery or manipulating the wires under the steering column. GM is aware of this issue and taking no steps to fix it, much like the other ignition/power steering problems they willingly ignored.

- Valley Village, CA, USA

problem #142

Jun 162014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
Vehicle was delivered to local car dealership for GM factory warranty recalls. The car was being driven by two service technicians when the vehicle ignited in the trunk and rear seat area. The fire department determined that the cause of the fire were the rear break lines that had sagged onto the exhaust system. Service technicians were unaware of the work to be done on the vehicle. The vehicle was supposed to receive NHTSA recalls 14V047, 14V171, and 14V153. None of the recalls were furnished while in the possession of the car dealership and could possibly have contributed to the fire.

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #141

Jun 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall. The part was not available to complete the recall. Also, the consumer was involved in an accident, and the air bag did not deploy.

- Amherst, NY, USA

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