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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,979 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 #11

Mar 162016


  • 120,000 miles


This has happened several times in recent months, but here is what happened this morning: I was on the interstate, going about 60mph, and I sped up temporarily to pass the semi next to me so that I could merge into the right lane and catch the next exit. Upon merging, I released the gas pedal but it did not come back naturally with my foot and instead went to the floor and my car started accelerating as I exited the interstate onto a flyover ramp. I immediately hit my brakes and was able to regain control of the speed, but it scared me, especially as the flyover ramp requires a slower speed along the curve. To the best of my recollection, in all cases where this has happened, I have been going at least 35 mph when it happened, and my cruise control was on but not active (in other words I had it available to me but it was not currently set at any particular speed). I have seen multiple similar complaints in forums online, but I am not aware of a recall. This is obviously an extremely dangerous issue, especially at high speeds in dense traffic. Please investigate further -- I cannot afford to have my mechanic replace all the possible faulty parts with other potentially faulty parts, and I would hate to be the cause of an accident because the car was out of my control through no fault of mine.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #10

Oct 052015


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving 10 mph and attempting to depress the brake pedal, the vehicle independently accelerated and crashed into a building and the air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #9

Feb 172015

Ion 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
After owning this car for a few years now and becoming highly involved in the forums. I've learned that it's a common issue for the clock spring to break. When it does, it cuts power permanently to the driver air bag, and cruise control until repaired. This is a big safety concern as no power to the airbag would result in more serious injury or possibly death.

- Good Thunder, MN, USA

problem #8

Dec 012014


  • 87,000 miles


My seat belts will no longer buckle. My shift gets stuck in park and jumps into other gears(neutral) and the car revs on it's own without putting foot on gas. My shift is doing the exact same thing as the recall for the aura and the dealer wants to charge me $700 in repairs and the parts are on back order for 6 months. I do not have my VIN# at this time. Please check with herb chambers Saturn -warwick, ri.

- Warwcik, RI, USA

problem #7

Jun 112014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 59,600 miles
The gas pedal gets stuck while driving and the check engine light comes on. Car will not exceed 5 mph even if the pedal is pushed to the floor. Car must be turned on and off 3 times for the pedal to go back to normal. Another incident is the car will stall when stopping at a light or stop sign. Turns back on with no problem. I have had all recalls performed.

- Waterbury , CT, USA

problem #6

Aug 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 85,460 miles
The day I brought the car home from the dealer I drove the car to work. Pizza delivery, drove the car for approximately 1 hour the car was in drive and suddenly the car acted as if it was in neutral I pressed on the accelerator slightly and the engine revved but would only roll slightly. I then put the car in park turned the car off restarted the car. It then drove fine for 15 min. Same issue again. I am very disappointed with my new purchase from the dealer. I also found out that their are recalls on the car and the dealer failed to mention that. First day with my car and I am worried.

- Grayslake , IL, USA

problem #5

May 012012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


My car constantly does not start. Also, when I go over speed bumps or hit pot holes my car will turn off.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 032014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 100,984 miles
We bought our 2005 Saturn Ion used Sept. 4, 2012, (87,812) before even could take off lot they had to install an ignition cylinder and cut new key, and the throttle was stuck could press all the way to floor, and would only get up to about 20mph. This was also fixed. (or so we thought). Since our purchase, we still have trouble with the key getting stuck, it not turning off with car still running, or the car won't start, it happens so much that our daughter who drives it just figures that's they way it's suppose to be, because when take back to dealer either it won't do it for them or doesn't do it for a month or so. Now the warranty has ran out so if it happens again they told us we had to take care of, well it happened again today, she parked would not shut off, called dealership, they can't do anything because GM hasn't given them recall yet! was in accident on Jan. 2, 2014 front end air bags did not deploy! not sure why not!!! this July was coming home and driving down road car just shut off while driving about 30mph and had to manually try to get car off road without hurting car or anyone else's car, after sometime got car to start again and got it home, called dealership their response if happens again bring it in. And still to this date sometimes her throttle will stick, as a parent I'm holding my breath every time she leaves our drive in this vehicle. Please help soon.

- Robinson, IL, USA

problem #3

Jun 102011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 32,223 miles
Lost of power steering started some time in 2009, I have no record of the date, but in one of the incidents 06/10/2011 I took a picture of the dashboard showing the date and message on the speedometer. I restarted the engine every time this happen to get it back to power steering.then I had a situation when I lost speed as I was traveling on a city avenue. The car lost speed when I was traveling around 35 mph, it made a alarm or warning sound and drop down to 10mph and I could not get back to 35mph, I stop the car and I restarted the engine, that was the only way it would recover the power on the engine. It happens two or three times in one month.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Mar 112005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
Consumer complained about electrical problems. While driving and looking at the dashboard all the gauges shined, indicating that nothing was operating normally. The gas gauge/ speedometer, and battery meter, etc.

- Valley Park, MO, USA

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