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 7 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #122

Apr 132007


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving 65 mph when the steering wheel became extremely tight. The power steering warning light was illuminated followed by the sounding of the power steering warning alarm. The contact was able to drive to his residence using extreme bodily force to maneuver the wheel. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure became progressively worse. In addition, the contact's keys would continuously become lodged within the ignition switch. The contact stated the vehicle was previously repaired for the exact same failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000 and the current mileage was 92,000.

- Orlando , FL, USA

problem #121

Aug 112010


  • 43,000 miles
The power steering went out twice today on my 2005 Saturn Ion quad coupe. Luckily I was able to get it home with no problems will be taking it into the shop in the morning. According to what I have found on the internet I am not the only one having the problem and it is very similar to the recall notice that GM for the Pontiac G5 and the Chevy cobalt. What gives? the Saturn Ions should be recalled as well immediately!!!!!

- Columbia , SC, USA

problem #120

May 012010


  • miles
Power steering suddenly fails after vehicle is on for a few minutes. Turning off the car and turning it back on resets it. Fuse is intact (power steering in this car is electrical, not hydraulic).

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #119

Aug 012010


  • 70,000 miles


I was driving down the highway when the power steering light turned on. Suddenly I was struggling with the steering wheel to make the car turn to get off the highway. It was really hard up until I turned it off. I turned it on again and it worked. Later this happened again while going to work, then coming back to work. It seems to happen every other day now for the past week. There is apparently no parts that I can change for it. And because Saturn Ions use electronic power steering, it's impossible to add steering fluid since there is no reservoir. It seems to be a dangerous electronic defect a lot of Saturn Ion owners are having.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #118

Aug 042010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,250 miles
I was just driving and I heard a click and the power steering went out. This happens about 3 or 4 minutes after I start driving every time I start the car. Heard it costs any where from $500- $1000 to fix. Have also found thousands of people who are having the same problems.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #117

Dec 302009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 60,500 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion and the power steering one day just cut off when I was in the middle of driving. I had to pull over to the side of the road, turn my car off and back on again. It was fine until the next day and it happened again. Now the power steering goes out every time I get in the car. I tried changing fuses but nothing worked. This also happened to one of my friends that has the same car, and I heard its happening to alot of Ion's. now I have no power steering at all and this is a hazard to my driving ability.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #116

Aug 012010


  • 57,520 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. The contact stated while driving at 55 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the power steering then failed. The contact stated the failure would occur intermittently and would cause the vehicle to become almost uncontrollable when driving at highway speeds. The contact would shut off the vehicle and then restart in order for the power steering to reset itself and function properly. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The failure mileage was 57,520 and the current was unknown. Updated 11/03/10. Updated 12/7/10

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #115

May 152009


  • 37,000 miles
I own a 2005 Saturn Ion. The power steering goes out when driving. It was once a month or so but now it is every time. Have taken it to auto shops and they can't find a problem. My wife is the primary driver of the vehicle and she picks up our two children. We drive in town and on the interstate as well. Very unsafe! the Saturn dealership closed down last year and the nearest dealership is about 1 hour away via interstate. Sometimes we have to pull over and shut the car off to reset the steering. It works well for only about 10 minutes then goes out again. This is now a daily occurrence.

- Lacrosse, WI, USA

problem #114

Jul 012010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
A warning light and message stating "power steering out" in center of dashboard goes on, a load beep sounds and power steering goes out. This happens about twice a day in my 16 miles round trip commute to and from work. Nothing has been done to correct failure as of today. I turn engine off and on again and power steering re-engages.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #113

Jul 012010


  • 42,000 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion. My warranty ran up on June 11th. July 1st my powersteering light came on and the steering quit. Turn car off and back on it works again. Now it turns off after 5 seconds so been driving without power steering for weeks now. I feel it is very dangerous. Tried reaching Saturn dealer kept getting transferred to voice mail for 2 weeks to a john. No response from them after 2 weeks. Went to my mechanic did diagnostic the power steering motor went bad at 42000 miles. He told me that on line he saw that Saturn was having problems with this motor. Told me to goto Saturn. Got horrible service there seems like they are not going to work with me. They wouldn't even look at it while I was there and this is a very dangerous situation esp on back roads. I asked about problems with the motor and was told "well they haven't been recalled yet so you'll probably have to pay." Went to one site saw people having the same problem on the 2004 model that has same motor for steering. One even had the same mileage as I do. I go back to the dealer on Aug 3 because they said its not diagnosed until they do it them selves. Another $40 for same test my mechanic already did. What should I do. Seems like this is a big problem for this model car. Thanks

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #112

Jul 252010


  • 91,400 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving at approximately 55 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the steering wheel immediately became extremely difficult to turn. The contact shut off the vehicle and upon restarting the vehicle it resumed normal operation. The failure recurred during the contact's travel. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The failure and current mileages were 91,400.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #111

Jul 202010


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving at approximately 50 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the dashboard as the steering wheel became extremely stiff. The contact was able to move the vehicle off the roadway and shut off the engine. When restarting, the vehicle had regained power steering capabilities and resumed the warning lights were no longer illuminated. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure recurred two additional times. The vehicle was taken to a local repairs facility where the contact was awaiting a diagnosis of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 74,000.

- Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #110

Jul 162010

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
There is currently an active recall out for the 2005 2010 Chevrolet cobalt to replace the electric power steering motor. The Chevy cobalt and the Saturn Ion are extremely similar vehicles and have the same motor. I have had to have mine replaced at my own cost. I approached Saturn customer service and they stated that since Saturn is no longer in business, General Motors will not be doing a recall. This problem is prolific that my mechanic had to have a motor sent by federal express from dallas because there were no motors in houston due to the recall of the Chevy cobalt.

- Porter, TX, USA

problem #109

Jul 152010


  • 58,000 miles
During my normal commute 18 miles, the power steering light comes on and the power steering goes out. The issue is intermittent and the power steering works again after the car is turned off and back on. The problem occurs each drive.

- Royse City, TX, USA

problem #108

Jan 122010


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving 10 mph the contact noticed that the power steering light appeared on the instrument panel. Within a few seconds, the contact noticed that the power steering failed to function. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 38000 and the current mileage was 42000.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #107

May 172010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion with approximately 75,000 miles. I have been having power steering failure for the past two months. There was no warning sign or anything-- the car just loses power while in motion. This is a huge safety hazard because when it happens, I am not prepared and I find it very difficult to turn my wheel. Once, I nearly hit a car in opposing traffic because I was not able to turn my wheel fast enough to make a sharp turn. I have done some research concerning this issue and it seems that there are many Ion owners experiencing the same problem. I have not been able to correct this problem as it seems that I would need to have the entire steering column replaced at the hefty price of about $1000. I don't think I should have to pay such an exorbitant amount of money for something that should be recalled and fixed by GM.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #106

May 202010


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 20 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the dashboard and steering wheel became stiff. The contact had to drive onto the emergency lane, shut the vehicle off and when it was restarted, it began to function normally. The failure continued to occur intermittently while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that this was a known issue but the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 85,000 and the current mileage was 88,000.

- Fredricksburg, VA, USA

problem #105

Jul 122010


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Saturn Ion. While driving 20 mph the contact noticed that the power steering warning light had appeared on the instrument panel, within a few minutes, the vehicle suddenly shut off and would not restart. The failure was not diagnosed by the dealer. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 67000.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #104

Jul 182010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 62,230 miles
I have a 2005 Saturn Ion, 2.2 L. the power steering light has gone on july16 - July 18 and lost power steering 5 different times. I have difficult making any kind of turn then. I have to pull over somewhere safe, stop the car, wait a minute or two and start the car up again. The power steering is then fine again. I watch for the warning now because I am not sure if the power steering will go out again. The weather on the days the power steering went out has been very, very hot- 90's to 100's. I have not gone to dealership to look at it, still debating what to do.

- Yorktown, VA, USA

problem #103

Jul 172010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 155,110 miles
I own a 2005 Saturn Ion. I have 3 more payments left on it. I was driving on the highway on 7/16/10 and my pwr str light came on the display. I immediately lost power steering. I have researched this on the web and it appears that thousands of people are having this issue. Apparently there was a recall on 3 or 4 other GM models of cars that have the same "power steering motor" however, the Saturn does not appear to be one of them.

- Mt. Gilead, OH, USA

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