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 3 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #202

Oct 312013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 144,000 miles


On October 31, and November 1 of 2013 I was traveling approximately 40 mph and in nearly the same spot the Saturn lost complete power and died. Both times I was able to get off the road. After the second incident we had it towed to a garage where they replaced the battery. I did not drive it again and currently it is in storage as I purchased a new car. I drive 350 miles a week to work and need dependable transportation. When the recall came out we realized we may have had trouble with the ignition switch for up to 2 years. There would be times we would shut the car off but would be unable to take the key out. It would take up to a minute before clicking and we could remove the key. That was when it was in the off position.

- Angola, IN, USA

problem #201

Mar 132014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 51,274 miles
As I was driving, suddenly I heard the chime in the car go off a few times rapidly, and at the same time the power steering light ('pwr str') came on on the instrument panel. I proceeded to go straight, then I had to make a left turn. At this time I realized there was no power steering in the car, and it was very difficult to turn the steering wheel. I continued to have a problem steering the vehicle, and I had to find an empty area to park the vehicle. It was a scary experience, and an unsafe situation as well. After I parked the car and turned off the vehicle, I started it again, and the power steering light was off. Steering after that was normal. I am very concerned that this will happen again, compromising my safety and other vehicle operators in my vicinity.

- Floral Park, NY, USA

problem #200

Mar 032014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 102,356 miles
While driving my car my power steering lost power for a few seconds.the power steering light came on and the power locks kinda went was very frightening and I'm afraid it might happen again while driving.

- Waianae, HI, USA

problem #199

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 #198

Feb 232014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 185,000 miles
I was driving off the highway and the power steering turned off completely while I was driving. This could be so different to people who don't know how to handle a car without power steering....

- Wisconsin Rapids, WI, USA

problem #197

Sep 132013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
One day I was driving and have been noticing that the steering wheel was starting to get harder and harder when turning. I fear this because in not that strong and fear I might crashed and hurt my three kids. The steering coolant light comes on and that make me wonder about that too, when I turn I have to be in strong mode or I might be in an accident. Can GM please fix this problem.

- Burr Oak, MI, USA

problem #196

Feb 112014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Making a left hand turn the automobile shut off and on dash display read pwr steering coolant the car was difficult to steer to the side of the road. Once pulled to the side of the road I turned the key over and instantly the car was like new driving ok till I got home. Googled the problem and saw many power steering complaints on the Saturn Ions.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #195

Jan 292014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 9,200 miles
Power steering warning appeared after starting car. Immediately power steering shutdown which caused difficulty with steering and controlling the vehicle.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #194

Jun 142013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 111,334 miles
The power steering assist would not work on several occasion. We had received a letter from Saturn stating if the power steering assist light comes on and the power steering fails to work, bring it to our local GM dealer for a recall. Apparently they have been having problems with not only the Saturn, but several other of their automobiles. We took the car in on June 14, 2013, we were told by the dealer that they fixed the problem. Then in the beginning of August the exact same problem happened again. My daughter brought the car into the dealer again, they indicated before she ever sat down that if this was a different problem she would have to pay for it. I thought that was odd. It was doing the exact same thing. They made her wait an hour to tell her that she needed to have the steering column replaced and it would be $920. I have done my research on this problem, and GM has had the problem continually with the Saturn. I tried to go through GM to resolve the issue. Because all the documentation I have indicates that it is the same problem. They pretty much gave me the run around. They did call on several occasions, but they thought I wanted financial assistance to repair the problem. That was not the issue, the issue is that the car is having the same issues (per their letter for the recall) and is still have the issues. I feel like they are ignoring the problem because they no longer make the Saturn product. This is a recall issue. Thanks

- O Fallon, MO, USA

problem #193

Dec 012013


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle, the power steering assist malfunctioned. The vehicle was diagnosed and the power steering assist motor was replaced but the defect was not remedied. The contact was informed that the power steering assist control module needed to be replaced also in order to remedy the defect. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #192

Sep 092013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles


I was driving and the power steering light went on as did their check engine light..the car was very hard to drive..I had it in and to a GM dealer--they said by the time I drove it up (40 miles)car didn't do it again..while up there they could not find problem and said because the light wouldn't go on for them--they wanted to charge me $98..I had been in touch with GM in mich.they helped me get the power steering motor no charge.I have had the car home for about 1 week--and the same thing happened as I was driving on 10-02-13-power steering light went I had to sign a statement if it happened again they would not be responsible if not there fault..what a safety hazard..I bought the car brand new and never had trouble except for this--which it's like not having a touch with GM again--waiting for a call back..

- Iron Station, NC, USA

problem #191

Aug 262013


  • 157,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the power steering assist failed to operate. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the mechanic stated that the power steering column had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 157,000. The approximate current mileage was 159,000.

- Wills Point, TX, USA

problem #190

Jun 142013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
On June 14th we were going along about 60 mph the first time down to salem, Oregon. All of a sudden the power steering light comes on. It's hard to steer and we turn off the car in neutral then turn it back on. It then comes back on halfway between the 45 minute drive. We do the same thing again. On Friday the 14th it happens 4X. It happens intermittently. One time it was real bad the light came on, and was turning into the parking spot for our apartment at 5mph. It was so hard to turn the wheel to get the car parked. It didn't happen much for about a week. Here and there, I did the same thing turned the car off then back on. Now, it's happening more often. This should be something that GM needs to fix and replace what ever is wrong, and do it right the first time. It should be a permanent fix not a temporary one. This can cause issues when turning sharply to prevent an accident. This is a safety issue and I know how customer service can be. This needs to be addressed and not opened then closed investigation because it's not right. Please investigate this and needs to be fixed.

- Porltand, OR, USA

problem #189

Jun 302013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 73,464 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the power steering assist failed. The contact stated that they heard a chiming sound as the power steering warning light illuminated. The contact turned the vehicle off for approximately ten minutes and once restarted, the vehicle resumed normally. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The failure and the current mileage was 73,464.

- Kokomo, IN, USA

problem #188

May 262013


  • 120,000 miles
Loss of steering while turning. Resulted in a crash and over $2000 in damage. Car is not driveable.

- Willoughby, OH, USA

problem #187

May 062013


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the ignition failed. When the key was inserted into the ignition, the steering wheel seized and the engine failed to start. The failure was experienced numerous times. The dealer replaced the key code however, the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 97,000. Kmj

- Fort Wayne , IN, USA

problem #186

May 072013


  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated as the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 69,000. The VIN was not available.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #185

Mar 202013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 110,800 miles
I was turning at an intersection and power steering went out. As the power steering went out a warning came across the dash. I just bought the car on February 14, 2013 used.

- London, OH, USA

problem #184

Jan 152013


  • 81,000 miles
The power steering failed while driving the car and a message appeared on the driver's information panel; I had to apply a lot of force on the steering wheel in order to control the car. This is happening now everytime I drive the car and it happens randomly while driving.

- Horizon City, TX, USA

problem #183

Oct 052012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
My car leaks in the roof when its rains and has stained my interior roof. My power steering went out and on the display it was pwr steering. My outside trim near windows is warped. My sunroof doesnt work it wont open.

- Camp Hill, PA, USA

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