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 2 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #222

Aug 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


My son was driving and the truck in front of him stopped suddenly. He hit the brakes and felt the steering lock up, brakes locked and he couldn't stop. Hit the truck hard enough to crack the core support in the Saturn but the air bag do not expand. He was not injured but this is definitely a safety issue if you can hit another car enough to crack the steel frame but no airbag was deployed.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #221

Mar 032014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
I believe that the power steering issue (recalled recently and received letter) caused my vehicle to be very hard to control on a downslope hill at 12 mph coming up to red light. My car went from the right lane to the left land of 4 lane street and I hit car in front of me. Now, having received information today about the power steering recall, I have an appt. At my local dealership to check on the alignment/suspension and the piece of metal that I believe to be brake pad that a few hours later shot out and hit car next to me in a parking lot when I applied brakes and turned off vehicle ignition. I will know more of what happened once dealershjp runs diagnostics.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #220

Aug 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
The vehicle's steering ignition column was not releasing the key after the car was turned off. GM eventually mailed a recall after several complaints endangering the driver. On July 28, 2014, the vehicle was repaired for its recall, however, the vehicle steering ignition column was not releasing the key. Homestead Chevrolet stated that the recall did not cover the shift lock control solenoid and the cost is $500 dollars. I feel that GM is responsible for this persistent problem with the key ignition.

- Leisure City, FL, USA

problem #219

Sep 202012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 33,890 miles


2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to power steering control module repair problems. The consumer stated the power steering control module, failed twice.

- Delmar, NY, USA

problem #218

Jun 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
GM still has not supplied the parts needed to satisfy 3 pending safety recalls. The missing part is for the power steering defect. Since this constitutes an ongoing threat to the safety of myself and the car's occupants, I'm asking the NHTSA to intervene to force GM to provide the needed parts.

- Carmel, NY, USA

problem #217

Jul 072014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated. In addition, the steering wheel became difficult to turn and the vehicle veered to the left. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000 and the current mileage was 60,998. Updated 8/28/14

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #216

Jun 132010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 157,000 miles


The power steering suddenly, without warning, stops working while I am driving down the road. Then I must use manual steering until I get to my destination. It is happening more and more often. I found out that there may be recall on this issue. I called 800-553-6000 and gave the VIN number. They told me there is no recall on my car for the power steering, however if I take it and talk to a dealer to get it fixed tell the dealer there is "special coverage assistance for the power steering it is under warranty" is that true? I don't' want to shell out a ton of money for something that is being recalled.

- Mahaffey, PA, USA

problem #215

Apr 012014


  • miles
Have a 2005 Saturn Ion that was part of ignition switch and cylinder recalls. Have had issues with ignition and electrical since 2006, but was "put off" by local Saturn dealership on at least 6 occasions when I questioned them about the problem. Finally received recent ignition recall, and contacted Chevy dealer to fix. Dealer paid for rental car until repair was done (about 1 month) as instructed by GM corporate. I asked dealer about power steering recall as corporate had stated my vehicle was involved in that recall as well. Dealer found no history of recall in their system (checked on 2 occasions). I called GM corporate 3 times and was told the same car is part of power steering recall (as per VIN), and I would receive my recall letter shortly. It is now June, have not received recall letter for power steering. Ignition working okay now, but other electrical problems still occurring. Alert chime for headlights and turn signals does not work. Unable to change radio station on digital factory radio with digital screen turning off when I attempt any station change or press any button on the radio. All windows but driver's back window wouldn't roll down. Was told by Chevy dealer that the electrical issues were not related to ignition switch, may be related to dashboard malfunction. Windows were related to door motor (replaced myself, 3rd time for this). Dealer refused to fix electrical issues, and refused to proactively fix the power steering in accordance with corporate recall cause they didn't have paperwork. Dealer was going to charge me large fee for fixing any of the other issues except for ignition switch and cylinder. GM has made substandard vehicles for years and dragging their feet to fix their mistakes. Can't trade or sell my vehicle til this is fixed. Feel like I've been driving around a death trap. Do something some one please!!!!!!

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #214

Apr 212014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
Reached out to dealer in April regarding ignition switch and cylinder, and power steering assist recalls. Parts have allegedly been ordered for the ignition switch and cylinder recalls. However, never been called stating parts are in. Never been asked to make appointment to bring car in. Never any mention of the power steering recall. Dealer I contacted is Chevrolet of homewood. 18033 halsted St, homewood, il 60430. (708) 799-2000. Everytime I call, I am told parts have not been received yet. However, I did receive a card in the mail from Saturn stating their records indicate I have not had my car in the recall yet. Would very much like to get in. Card makes me believe dealer may be blowing off. Need assistance in making this happen.

- Homewood, IL, USA

problem #213

Sep 132013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to power steering going out constantly. The consumer could not afford the $500 repair bill, for the steering issue, and has since sold the vehicle.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #212

May 292014


  • miles


On May 29, 2014 when driving from home to work on my Saturn Ion 2005. At approximately 35 miles per hour the engine did not turn off, but the steering got extremely hard that I actually drove on the other lane with incoming traffic going the opposite way of my direction. The dashboard went blank, my headlights turned off mentioning that it was approximately 0940 night time.

- Nogales , AZ, USA

problem #211

Mar 262014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
When driving the battery light will appear and then the car cuts off. Once restarting the battery light goes away and doesn't appear. Has happen two additional times before. I have had the battery replaced by GM dealer and a few months after in April it still occurred. The power steering assist was replaced and the same time the battery was.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #210

Apr 122014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
In March 2014 we noticed the air bag light was staying on and the cruise control and horn had stopped working, I assume the air bag would not have worked. After checking online I found out that this is a common problem with Saturn Ions and the sir coil needed replacing. On 4/10/2014 we took the vehicle in to have the sir coil replaced, we picked it up on 4/11/2014. On 4/12/2014 less than half a mile from our house the power steering went out. We brought the car back home and parked it until we could take it back to the dealership who replaced the sir coil. On 4/15/2014 while driving the car to the dealership the power steering went out 3 times, the first time we were pulling out into traffic on a busy road and almost caused an accident when it went out in mid turn. The dealership says that the work they did replacing the sir coil would not have caused the power steering problem that it now has.

- Winston Salem, NC, USA

problem #209

Apr 212014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 134,960 miles
I was turning a corner and lost all power steering. Almost went off the curb.

- Falmouth, MI, USA

problem #208

Sep 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
My 2005 Saturn Ion is not running and I feel it is due to the items that are on the recall. Ignition switch and power steering. I called the local GM dealer and he entered my VIN# and said that all he could take care of is the ignition switch that there is no recall for the power steering. I looked on the GM website and there is clearly a recall for the power steering as well for the Ion. They are not wanting to honor it because they say it isn't listed with the VIN#. this is not right. I want something done because this is very unsafe for my daughter to drive when it does run. I feel that due to the ignition problem, it caused something else to go wrong and now it does not run at all and I want it all to be taken care of. Especially now that I am getting the run around from the service department at the GM dealership. I have always preferred Chevy products and expect Chevy to take care of its customers.

- Brazil, IN, USA

problem #207

Apr 142014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
I drove the car approx. 2 miles and parked when I started the car to leave the power steering didn't work, I shut the car off and sat there about a minute and started the car and things were normal again, it hasn't acted up since. I have taken it to the Chevrolet garage and they have told me the entire steering column needs replaces and that will cost me $700, it seems like an extreme measure to take to fix the power steering.

- West Salem, OH, USA

problem #206

Oct 182013


  • 44,821 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle independently veered out of the lane and crashed into a cement median. There were no injuries. The front driver's side bumper was damaged. The contact was able to continue driving the vehicle after the crash occurred. The failure recurred two times. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 44,821.

- Mansura, LA, USA

problem #205

Apr 032014


  • 78,588 miles
As I was driving my 2005 Saturn Ion, my message center chimed and read "pwr str". I attempted to steer and noticed my power steering was inoperable.

- Hubert, NC, USA

problem #204

Mar 202014


  • 93,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the vehicle had stalled without warning. The failure was recurring. The contact was able to restart the vehicle each time. The power steering warning light was also illuminate each time the vehicle was driven. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer however, the dealer stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 14V153000 (steering). The contact had experienced the same failure as the recall. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 93000.

- Homosassa, FL, USA

problem #203

Jul 122013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 147,600 miles
I was driving on the highway and my power steering sensor came on and I had no power steering.

- Mooresville, IN, USA

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