NHTSA — Steering Problems

2005 Saturn Ion (Page 12 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 12 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Sep 012009


  • 68,000 miles


2005 Saturn Ion electric power steering quits without warning. Occurs at least once every 40 mile trip. Could cause an accident if cornering when power steering fails. Turning the car off and restarting fixes the problem temporarily.

- New London, OH, USA

problem #21

Aug 182009


  • 70,644 miles
Steering: Sudden loss of electric power assist system.

- Fords, NJ, USA

problem #20

Jun 092009


  • 21,000 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion I bought new it has approx. 21,000 miles on it and the power steering keeps going out. When I shut the car off it resets, but after a few yards it goes out again. I placed a call to GM after calling Saturn North they said I would have to have a diagnostics done at the Saturn dealership in which I have done, the fix is I have to have the steering column replaced at my expense. Neither GM nor Saturn are willing to work with me. GM has said it is not a manufacturing defect. There are several other complaints and the fix is the same, replace the steering column, funny that wouldn't be a manufacturing defect. There should be a recall on this known problem before someone is harmed or killed. GM and Saturn are putting their customers and everyone else on the street in danger, because they are ignoring the problem. Also, my power window on the drivers side no longer works - it falls down when I try to put the window down, but it was staying up until GM told my I had to have it checked out by satrun North dealership, they said the regulator needs to be replaced, but of course they did not tell me that if they took the door panel off the window would no longer stay up and for some reason now the motor for it no longer works. Cost me $79 for the diagnostics and I left there with my car worse than it was. At 21,000 miles I don't think my car should be falling apart.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #19

Feb 172009


  • 43,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact heard a noise and then the power steering warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle lost all power and became difficult to maneuver. The dealer stated that the steering column needed to be replaced. There was no recall on her vehicle. The contact will call the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 43,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #18

Jun 302009


  • 22,000 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion with only 20,000 miles on it. Recently my power steering has been failing repeatedly. It goes out with little warning at any time. I have seen other GM models recalled for this same issue but not Saturn. I have read online about 100S of people with this same problem! this is a safety issue, why isn't it being recalled? I only have a power train warranty left on this vehicle and I have heard this would cost up to $1500 which is completely unfair! I am still making payments and it has hardly any miles on it! I did not expect something major to happen this soon. They need to respect their customers safety and fix this issue!!!!!! and no there hasn't been any deaths or injuries "yet" but I am expecting it as soon as I have to make a sharp turn and can't!

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #17

May 102009


  • 64,000 miles
Electric power steering failing after 5 minutes of driving on 2005 Saturn Ion-2.

- Salem, OH, USA

problem #16

May 012009


  • 64,000 miles


I have a 2005 Saturn Ion 2 with defective power steering. I will try not to let out my frustration but to try to make a good point about this problem because, this is the worst issue I'd have to deal with in a while. My car's steering keeps going out on me, the power steering light will come on, then the steering will be stuck. I have a 15months old baby girl and this is the only car I own. I work part time and can not afford any extra expenses, I'm stuck with this horrible car, have no where to find help. From all the research I have done, this is been around long enough to get a recall, but apparently Saturn totally ignored this claims and keeps making these cars. Even newer Saturn cars have this same problem and I just can 't believe that there is no recall on this issue. The strange thing of all of the problem is that, the problem seems to occur in most cases just when the car's out of warranty. I am putting a statement together and will try to find a way to hold Saturn accountable for this issue if I'm ever involved in an accident. My family is in complete danger, I am very upset, confused and very sad about the whole issue. This ia a nice car, with only 64000 miles, and only 4yrs. Why could a problem this serious be ignored by Saturn, what kind of stupid engineers do they have working for them that cant figure this out.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #15

May 152009


  • 29,853 miles
On my 2005 Saturn Ion 3, the power steering went out while driving. I turned the car off after pulling over and restarted and it came back. I read that others have had the same problem. Why is there no recall on this. This is a dangerous situation to lose power steering at high speed. Power steering is electrical. On most web sites discussing this, it seems to be a regular problem with Saturn owners.

- Sunnyvale , CA, USA

problem #14

Apr 172009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving 30 mph, the letters "pwr str" illuminated on the instrument panel and the steering became extremely difficult to turn. The vehicle was turned off and then restarted normally. The failure recurred later that day. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that it would cost $1,300 to repair. The vehicle is currently still at the dealer. The failure and current mileages were 68,000. Updated 05/08/09 the consumer stated the repairs have been made. The entire steering column was replaced. Updated 05/12/09. Updated 06/09/09.

- Gary, IN, USA

problem #13

Feb 202009


  • 15,556 miles
Electric power steering failure in 2005 Saturn Ion in less than 16000 miles but 8 months out of warranty. Power steering became operational after each restart, but failed again within 3-5 minutes of driving. Very difficult to steer posing a safety hazard for my wife. Dealer repair required replacement of complete steering column approaching $1000 in repair cost. Ignition switch has also failed to permit car from starting on two occasions. Dealer also replaced at the same time. Dealer returned both parts to me. I have learned that both are common failures with this car and other GM compacts. Several incidents of repeated failures of the electric power steering. There should have been recalls or reimbursement for these premature failures. No wonder GM is going bust with a product of such low reliability and poor design.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #12

Jan 102009


  • 98,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving at an unknown speed, the power steering assist failed without warning. It required great force for the contact to turn the steering wheel. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were less than 98,000.

- Eminence, KY, USA

problem #11

Jan 242009


  • 18,270 miles
Power steering on my Saturn keeps turning off while car is moving. Intermittent problem.

- Pearl City, HI, USA

problem #10

Nov 012008

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion 3. the contact stated that she has been experiencing failures with the ignition in her vehicle. During cold temperatures in the winter seasons, the key would fail to start the engine. All of the interior lighting in the vehicle would illuminate; however, the vehicle would not start at all. Through online research, the contact discovered that numerous consumers were experiencing the same failure. She read information concerning warming up the steering column in order to restart the vehicle. The information stated that she must somehow heat up the steering column. The contact stated that shortly after she followed this advice, the engine started in her vehicle. She has not taken the vehicle to the dealer because the vehicle is out of warranty. She does not believe that she should pay for something that she feels is a manufacturer defect. The failure did not occur in previous winters because the vehicle was parked in an indoor garage. The vehicle is currently being parked in an outside parking lot. The failure and current mileages were 18,000. Updated 2/23/09 the consumer also stated the key would get stuck in the ignition when trying to turn the vehicle off. Also the anit-theft light illuminated as well. Updated 02/26/09.

- Milwuakee, WI, USA

problem #9

Dec 202008


  • 55,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Saturn Ion, it was snowing here in seattle. The power steering without any warning gave out. I could not maneuver my car and the car ended up hitting the sidewalk with alot of force and causing front damage. When I contacted Saturn they stated they were aware of the problem but they were not issuing a recall.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #8

Oct 012008


  • 87,600 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion-3 with 87,639 miles on it. Last week on the freeway out of now where my power steering stopped working. This problem caused me to swerve almost causing an accident. I then pulled off to the side of the road to re-group and try to figure out what went wrong. After a few minutes I started the car and started driving, it was as if nothing ever happened. This happens almost every time I drive it now. It occasionally trips the power steering light, so I took it to my local Saturn dealer. They scanned the car to check the problem and said that I need to replace the entire steering column due to a failed power steering module. They want $955 plus tax to address this issue. I do not feel safe driving my car. However I have no choice but to deal with it for I have no other means of transportation and I have to be able to make it back and forth to work to support the family.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #7

May 172008


  • 44,075 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. A month after purchasing the vehicle, the power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact attempted to turn the steering column, but was unsuccessful. She turned off and then restarted the vehicle and the steering column resumed working. She stated that the steering column locked on three occasions while driving. The dealer stated that the cause of the failure was an electrical issue and then repaired the vehicle. The manufacturer stated that they would not reimburse her for the cost of the repairs. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 12/10/08 the fog lamp was craxked. Updated 12/16/08.

- Hazel, TX, USA

problem #6

Sep 272008


  • 88,000 miles
When I shut off my 2005 Saturn Ion, the key does not always come out of the ignition as it should. I have to wait a few minutes before the key will come out. This is a recurring problem and has been going on for over a year. I am also having problems with my power steering. The pwr str comes on all the time. When I shut the car off, it resets, but after a few minutes it comes back on again. This has been happening for the past two months. I took my car to Saturn of fayetteville (nc) when the power steering first started acting up, and the mechanic said he could not find the problem, but if it kept happening I would have to have the steering console replaced. The estimated cost of fixing it? over $900.

- Autryville, NC, USA

problem #5

May 062008


  • miles
I have 2005 Saturn Ion and when I go to turn the car off the key gets stuck. This problem caused more problems with the car so far. Saturn is not willing to fix it.

- Brackenridge, PA, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Jun 292006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
2005 Saturn Ion purchased 3,20,2005. Front-end makes noise when rolling over bumps and/or turning.

- Jennings, OK, USA

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