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 4 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #182

Sep 212012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 51,700 miles


Driving on the way to work this morning, the power steering went out three times! twice on a regular highway and once on the interstate. Going 45 mph suddenly bell sounded and pwr steer light came on and immediately the power steering went off. I was able to get the car to the side of the road, but would not have been able to turn it, because the steering becomes, not quite manual, surely much harder than the manual mode I well remember. When I cut off the motor and restarted, the steering returned to normal. On the interstate, I was going 62 mph when the steering went out. Pulled over to an exit lane, stopped and restarted and everything worked again. Very dangerous! I don't know how many cars have been stopped on the road, and a car coming failed to see that they were stopped and slammed into them... I just bought this car in April. In checking online before buying, I saw the complaints about the key sticking, but didn't see anything about the steering at all. I'm a widow, still working, and repairs would be very difficult. Especially when this should be a recall, and done for free, since it was/is defective and possibly injurious. Again, I feel very vulnerable and in danger when this is going on, and it's happening more and more every day over the last two weeks (Sept 11th was the first time).

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #181

Sep 162012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 116,356 miles
Driving at 55 mph on a straight section of highway 703, the power steering warning came on and I lost the power steering. I pulled over with no power steering, turned off the vehicle then restarted the error cleared and I had power steering again. I can't trust that this won't happen again at a much more dangerous place and at a slower speed which would make the vehicle much harder to control.

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #180

Jul 152012


  • 65,000 miles
The key gets stuck in the ignition, this has been a problem for 2 years, often have to leave the car with the key in (this is very unsafe). Today the key was stuck and would not turn, I could not turn the car off --- this is an extremely unsafe situation.

- Eastlake, OH, USA

problem #179

Oct 122011


  • 89,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving 40 mph when she heard a dinging sound and the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The steering wheel became difficult to maneuver and the contact was able to pull over. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage was 92,000.

- Deltona , FL, USA

problem #178

Jun 222012


  • 7,800 miles
As I was driving the power steering went completely out, I had to restart car in order to regain power steering. But it continued to go back out on me 2 mins after restarting car repeatedly.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #177

Jun 152012


  • 91,000 miles
Was driving my car out of my driveway and 2 blocks away the power steering failed as I was making a turn in a busy intersection. Luckily it was at an off time at night otherwise the outcome would have been a lot worse. Was able to pull off to the side of the road.

- West Lawn, PA, USA

problem #176

Jun 072012


  • 117,000 miles


I was pulling out of my parking space and the power-steering function stopped working.

- Woodsboro, MD, USA

problem #175

Apr 032012


  • 106,110 miles
Power steering fails while driving intermittent failure.

- North Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #174

Mar 022012


  • 149,000 miles
Loss of power steering during highway speed. Pulled over and restarted car, power steering came back on then stopped again. Ever since this incident has occurred the power steering will randomly shut off. This could be a dangerous situation when it occurs during making turns or driving sharp curvy roads as it takes a lot of upper body strength to turn the wheel at lower speeds.

- Mount Vernon, IN, USA

problem #173

Apr 042012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
While driving on the highway a warning light came on and I completely lost my power assist steering. It was hard to turn the steering wheel. I pulled over and turned the key off and when I turned the key back on the steering assist worked again. Since the first incident it has happened multiple times. Saturn customer service was no help in getting this fixed.

- Bay City, MI, USA

problem #172

May 042012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 57,215 miles


The car was traveling straight when the power steering failed, and the information center displayed "pwr str" turned engine off, put in neutral, restarted engine, and power steering worked. Happened about 2 hours later as well.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #171

Mar 192012


  • 59,859 miles
Driving down freeway and warning light came on and lost power steering. Very very difficult to steer. Luckily husband was driving because wife could not have muscled.

- Chehalis, WA, USA

problem #170

Mar 202012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
With less than 60,000 miles on the car, the power steering light displayed on dash and power steering was no longer working. Once parking and restarting the car, the steering seemed to be working as we drove around the neighborhood and then yet again less than.5 mile later traveling between 10-15mph in the neighborhood, the power steering light again displayed along the dash and was nonexistent once again.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #169

Mar 102012


  • miles
Saturn Ion 2005 is loosing power steering. It comes back on if the car is turned off and back on again, but continues to loose power steering while driving.

- Roberts, WI, USA

problem #168

Mar 192012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 89,745 miles
Eps went out while sitting at a light. I drove the 5 miles home without power steering. Upon restarting the car, the eps resumed working.

- Oklahoma Clity, OK, USA

problem #167

Feb 132012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 15 miles
At stop light, power steering flashed on dash. Drove about one mile, went back on, another mile and power steering went off for good.

- Pocomoke City, MD, USA

problem #166

Jan 142012


  • 112,000 miles
While traveling on the interstate a power steering failure notice appeared on the dash and it became difficult to steer. Upon restarting the vehicle, the power steering function returned. The power steering has failed 8 additional times in the past month since 1/14/12. Fortunately we have not had an accident due to failure. I am a large athletic built 230 man, and I have difficulty steering upon failure. I fear an accident would occur if the steering failed and my 120 lb wife had to make a sudden change in direction.

- Bryant, AR, USA

problem #165

Feb 042012


  • 22,558 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 30 mph, the power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel for a few seconds and then there was a complete loss of powering steering. The contact was able to continue driving with difficulty in turning the steering wheel. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 22,558.

- Neptune City , NJ, USA

problem #164

Jan 032012


  • 120,000 miles
Power steering system goes on and off. Happens at all speeds and in turns. Multiple accidents have nearly occurred because of this. There has been an extended warranty up to 100,000 miles but if you're car is past it GM refuses to do anything about it. This is a safety issue because of a bad design! not right I should have to pay to be safe because of a faulty design.

- Turtle Lake, WI, USA

problem #163

Dec 242011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
While driving down the road at normal speed 55 mph we get a ding ding ding with a pwr steer light to come on and then we have no power steering. Luckily my husband was driving. After calling the Saturn dealership it appears to be the power steering assist module. This is dangerous due to you not getting much of a warning.

- Carlisle, KY, USA

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