NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine 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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,440 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #5

Jul 162010


  • miles


The key sticks in the ignition whenever I try to turn the car off. It takes awhile before I am able to get it out, causing the battery to drain. I have had to replace my battery already. This is a major issue that after doing some research a very common issue for Ion owners. With it being so common I don't understand why a recall has not been done. I could have been stranded somewhere because of this.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Oct 132006


  • miles
Continuous low RPM causing stall-outs when stopped in traffic. RPM at low idle is no higher than 650 to 750. Engine always feels like it will stall. Dealer states that "this engine idles at a low RPM" (compared to most cars that idle at 950 RPM).

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Jul 282005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,200 miles
The contact stated vehicle stalled while driving at any speed. There were no warning lights indicating a problem with the vehicle. The dealer could not duplicate the problem. Updated 01/11/06.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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