NHTSA — Steering Problems

2005 Saturn Ion (Page 11 of 13)

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:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,377 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 11 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #42

Feb 192005

Ion 4-cyl

  • 34,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. Whenever he was driving the power steering light came on prior to the power steering failure. The vehicle became uncontrollable while driving approximately 20 mph before the vehicle was moved to the side of the road. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who informed the contact that there were no recalls or warranties related to the failure and that the vehicle could be repaired at the owners expense. The manufacturer was called and confirmed what the dealer stated. The failure mileage was 34,000. Updated 11/16/10. Updated 12/01/10. The consumer received reimbursement. Updated 12/09/10

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #41

Mar 032010


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph when the power steering locked. The vehicle began to steer in one direction towards a concrete wall. The contact came to a complete stop with out a crash. The engine was turned off. The vehicle was restarted after a 30 second waiting period. The vehicle resumed to normal operation. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. There was not a safety recall on the vehicle. The manufacturer recommended the vehicle be taken to an authorized dealer for a diagnostic testing. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage and current mileages were 60,000.

- Crowley, TX, USA

problem #40

Nov 252009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
I was advised after calling Saturn a third time that I file a complaint on this website to go toward a recall of my electric power steering motor on my Saturn Ion 2. 1. one night in November 2009, while making a long drive on the highway, my power steering went out without warning. When I turned the car off and back on, the power steering came back on. 2. however, since then, the power steering started to go out more and more frequently. For the past two months, the power steering goes out as soon as I start driving the car and I drive without it 99% of the time. I have no idea whether I am causing any further damage to the car driving it like this. There is no warning of it happening other than the beep that occurs after it goes out. Sometimes the beep will be so delayed that I will go to turn and it is extremely hard and unexpected. This back and forth of having or not having power steering is obviously a safety issue. I cannot rely on skill or muscle memory alone to know the force I need to steer the car. I have not yet had a crash but I worry about it more and more. Parking is a huge problem. 3. I was told by Saturn that if I went to one of the (few remaining) Saturn dealers to have a diagnostic done, it would then contribute to a recall. I did go have this done, and the dealer told me it was "only a matter of time till a recall, since we see this problem every day now". they even started carrying just the motor since it was so expensive for thousands of people to have to replace the whole steering column. They quoted me a price for repair and I've been waiting for the recall. It is very hard to scrape up $600 to repair a part that they all know is defective. Do people have to crash and get seriously injured or die before it will be recalled? now to see other GM cars get recalled for the exact same power steering motor, but not mine, is unbelievably frustrating. There is no "Saturn electric power steering motor"...they use the exact same part.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #39

Jan 012010


  • 40,000 miles


My mother's 2005 Saturn Ion looses power steering all the time. If you stop the car, turn it off, and restart the car then the power steering works again for a while. This is the same problem reported in the 1.3 million cars GM just recalled but they did not include the Saturn Ion. Why?

- Centreville, MD, USA

problem #38

Oct 012009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
On Oct. 2009 to present my Saturn Ion (2005) power steering failure. This happens everytime when I drive the car. In order for the problem to go away, I have to pull over and turn off engine and power steering is ok for few miles, then power steering failure again and again. The steering wheel gets really hard and it's hard to steer. Also I noticed my mileage from 60,000 now reads 711,300. I called the dealer and explain the situation and they are going to charge me over $1200. I still drive the Saturn occasionally on short distance only. Please help.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #37

Feb 232010


  • 52,250 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The electrical power steering failed as he was driving various speeds. He had to drive onto the side of the road, turn the engine on and off so that the vehicle would reset. The failure has occurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they will replace the power steering motor for $500. The manufacturer was not called. The failure mileage was 52,250.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #36

Jan 162010


  • 61,000 miles


On Jan 16 2010 my 18 year old son was driving our 2005 Saturn Ion and he called me on my cell to tell me the power steering suddenly stopped working. I told him to pull over, (he already did) turn the car off, and wait a few minutes. He did that and called me back about 15 minutes later to say he did make it home and the ps failed again right before he got home. He then told me he noticed the power steering light on the dash would come on if the radio was on so he did not have that on for the rest of the way home. It did not make any sense at the time until I was told T the car has electric steering. The next day (Sunday), I drove the car to sears to have the battery tested thinking that was the problem as I have never changed out the battery since the purchase of the car. Sears said the battery was fine and they said my problem with the power steering was probably not related to the battery and they recommend I take it to the dealer. During the drive that day to sears the power steering was fine because I did not turn on the radio or headlights (the ps light also came on when the lights were turned on). However, on the way home the ps again failed anyway right before we got home. The car was not driven the rest of the day. The next day, Monday the 18th, I drove the car to the Saturn dealer (Saturn of tucson) and the steering was fine the whole way over. The dealer replaced the power steering motor and their explanation was it shorted out. I asked if this was something I caused and they said no. They also had no explanation as to why this happened given the car had only 61,000 (approx) miles and it was only 4.5 years old. The repair cost was $296.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #35

Dec 132009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Powersteering went out while driving causing the ability almost impossible to maneuver the car off the road, it happened at 60 miles an hour on the freeway, I pulled over and turned car off and started engine and it reset, it does it on occasion 3 or 4 times a month.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #34

Jun 042009


  • 55,000 miles
2005 Saturn Ion power steering failure. Why no recall? many people are having this power steering failure. It involves the whole steering column. It is very dangerous when you are driving everyday and this power steering fails.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #33

Jan 062010


  • 67,897 miles
While my wife was driving our 2005 Ion 2 she told me that the steering went out while turning at a corner. I blew it off until it happened to me about 7 days later. I had to fight the steering in a turn, very difficult, I found out. I could stop & restart and steering would be okay for a while. It has since been continuous and not worth the effort for a restart since it will only last for a few minutes. I took it to dealer and diagnosed as eps unit shorting out. They did not have replacement part and are well aware of condition from other owners. It's been a week and still no part. When the dash alarm goes off (ding, ding, ding) it means grab wheel tight! it will also show (pwr steer) in cluster. I would consider this as an extremely dangerous condition and compliment the other drivers that have experienced it for keeping their vehicles under control.

- Fenton, MI, USA

problem #32

Aug 152009


  • 45,360 miles


I own a 2005 Saturn Ion with about 46,000 miles on it. I love my little car and had hopes of owning it for years to come. However, my hopes of being a happy Saturn owner is quickly fading as I continually have problems with my steering column. First it was the ignition, which I have replaced twice, and now the power steering is turning off while IżM driving. Obviously this is very dangerous and it also not uncommon as I've found out by searching the internet on this very problem.

- Montoursville, PA, USA

problem #31

Dec 052009


  • 26,100 miles
Power steering went out. At the repair shop now. The whole component needs replaced (you can't order separate parts) I will have the repair shop save the old part. It will cost close to $900 to have it fixed. The dealership was the same price. The car is only 4 years old with 26,000 miles on it.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #30

Jun 012009


  • 40,000 miles
The power steering in my 2005 Ion Saturn quits working. I've researched the web and it is happening to numerous people. I pull over shut the car off and back on and it works again. It was happening about once a month now it happens every time I drive my car. Now I can't even pull out of the driveway.

- Spanish Fork, UT, USA

problem #29

Nov 152009


  • 61,000 miles
My car key gets stuck in my Saturn Ion 2005 after I have shut it off, also when I try to turn the key it will not turn, I have to turn the wheel and jiggle the key to get it to start. Looks like this is a very common problem in the Saturn Ions. Also the power steering goes out in my car, but once I shut the car off and on the power steering problem goes away but after about 10-15 minutes give or take the light comes back on and I lose power steering. Sometimes this problem will go away for a couple of days, but it comes back. This is very dangerous as it is hard for me to make sharp turns. Took the car in to the shop today, luckily still on warranty, but shame on Saturn because after doing research online, these are very very common problems with Saturn. I will never buy another Saturn! oh and my transmission light will come on and I can't drive fast. That happened for a week and then went away for a couple of months now it is back. I was on the interstate when this happened and could only go 35 mph. Thank god it wasn't rush hour. That is being fixed also...

- Kailua, HI, USA

problem #28

Oct 272009


  • 61,939 miles
The ignition switch is faulty on my 2005 Saturn Ion, I just purchased this car on 10/26/2009 today's date is 10/29/2009 I researched online and found that many other Saturn owners have had or having an issue with their cars also. This needs to be a really on Saturn part for these defected items the consumer should not have to pay for their greediness.

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #27

Sep 142009


  • miles
Nothing led up to the failure. Car was in perfect condition. Power steering just went out as I was driving down the highway. Will stay on for a few minutes then shut off again whenever car is in motion. Makes it very hard to turn and maneuver the car especially around other cars and people. I would not be able to swerve to avoid an accident. I have not got this repaired yet because the Saturn dealership quoted me almost $1000 to replace the steering column. I asked if they have done this before and they said they have found the problem before in several Ion models. After researching on the internet I found numerous consumer complaints with the same problem!!

- Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #26

Jun 182009


  • 25,000 miles
While driving my 2005 Saturn ion3 the power steering went dead. I had to fight the control of the vehicle with manual steering. Very hard to do. This happened while driving about 8 times. The dealer said there has not been a recall to have the electrical power steering control box replaced but they agree it is a safety hazard. It cost me $2200 to have it replaced. Very scary when making a turn and the power steering goes to manual. Stopping and starting the vehicle resets it only to have it go out again in heavy traffic.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #25

Sep 182009


  • 51,506 miles
On June 15, 2009 purchased used Saturn Ion 2 with 45625 miles for my 17 year old. Came with 3 month warranty/3000 miles. In Sept. Car started stalling, took to dealer where purchased on Sept. 17 and they said dirty fuel injector, charged $245.69. Drove car on turnpike 100 miles at 65mph and car stalled 2 times!!!! on way back, again on turnpike doing speed limit 65mph car stalled 1 time. You get chimes and the pwr str light comes on. Car stalls an average of 4 times a day! car right now at dealer for them to try and figure out what is wrong. It is not right, I paid $9369.67 + tax for car and 1635. For gmpp warranty that they tell me is not covered! I do not have this kind of money. This is such a safety issue, I cannot believe the NHTSA has not forced Saturn or GM to recall this car. Look at the internet or your own site for the complaints you have about this issue. It is a matter of time before there is a very serious accident as a result of car shutting down and losing steering!!!

- Hershey, PA, USA

problem #24

Aug 272009


  • miles
I own a 2005 Saturn Ion and the power steering was going. I took the car into the dealership, they said the steering motor had to be replaced, now they replaced it for free, but made me wait a week and sent me back out on the road with a car that had power steering that worked sometimes and not other times. Then two weeks later the entire car started to fail. The speedometer, the transmission would not switch gears, the power steering went again, and the breaks where pretty much gone. So after causing a big scene the car was looked at and found that the transmission module went on the car. So they replaced the part after making me wait two days to get my car back. My concern is why is a car that will be turning 5 years old next month and only has about 27,900 miles on it is having all these big problems. In the matter of one mouth I have has a new brain put into the car. The customer service was awful and rude. They all try to blame each other. When I went to pick the car up the service people would not even talk to me they told me to see the cashier she has my keys. I said I am not leaving here until I test drive it, she said ok, it's park in the lot on the side somewhere. I was like nice, you don't even know where my car is on your lot. So in the matter of one month I have the steering column and the transmission module replaced.

- Bellmawr, NJ, USA

problem #23

Aug 282009


  • 31,000 miles
Was driving to pick up my son from work. Heard a little beep-beep go off, and when I looked at the dash-board it said "pwr str" I had lost the power steering in my 2005 Saturn Ion. I had to get the car to drift to the side of the road, then I turned it off for a minute because I got really nervous as to what would happen next. I turned the car back on and the light had gone out and the steering seemed to be back to normal. I called the Saturn dealership the following Monday (Aug. 31) to bring in the car to see what the problem was. Mind you I have 31,000 miles on my car and my car is well taken care of and is always maintained. Saturn told me after a "diagnostic test" it was the power steering module motor and it had to be replaced for $1200 dollars!! this particular problem with this make and model car is all over the internet!! GM refuses to accept responsibility for the defect and has the nerve to charge customers for what is their fault to begin with. Needless to say I am getting rid of my car and I will never ever buy another Saturn or GM car again!!

- Pomona, NY, USA

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