CarComplaints.com Notes: When it comes to the 2006 Ion, the biggest questions are: what big problem is going to pop up next? And how long until GM chooses to address it?

The 2006 Ion has a defective ignition switch that gave owners fits. Their keys would get stuck in the ignition, the engine wouldn’t shut off or in some cases it would shut off at the most dangerous time. The ignition was eventually recalled as part of one of the largest recalls of all-time , but it took GM 10 years to do it. Then there’s this car’s temperamental power steering which is prone to stop working randomly while driving. It too was eventually recalled, even if GM took their sweet time about it.

Lastly, it turns out a car built with plastic doors, fenders and bumpers – while fun for a game of “shopping cart bocce” – is horrible for safety.

8.7

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$390
Average Mileage:
71,350 miles
Total Complaints:
25 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. needed new igniton switch and locksmith to make matching key (6 reports)
  3. replace defective key tumbler (3 reports)
  4. replace cylinder & housing (1 reports)
  5. replace key cylinder (1 reports)
  6. suffocated the engine (1 reports)
2006 Saturn Ion accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Feb 012014

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I've had problems especially in the last 6 months with the key getting stuck and leaving only the electrical running when I try to turn off the car. A few times I've had the car shut off while trying to leave my apartment complex and as I would pass over a speed bump the engine would shut off, requiring me to turn the car off all the way and restart the ignition. This has been going on since 2009 but no one could tell me what was wrong until I got the recall for the ignition switch in the mail. Needless to say I am PISSED. I could have died if this happened on the road.

- Jennifer B., Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #24

Feb 012012

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

It started with the car not starting. I had to wait 10 minutes then try again. The passlock device would not allow the car to start. After a few days, the key became stuck in the ignition. I had to pull fuses to get the car to stop running. This was during the winter and some time the car would not start so I had to pull the fuses and wait 10 minutes. I was able to ordered the switch on-line and make the repairs myself. I need 2 keys to operate the car but at least it starts now.

- Joshua S., Dayton, OH, USA

problem #23

Jan 102013

Ion 2.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

I had recently put a new car battery in the car so I was excited it was running well again. I went to get dinner at work one night and upon returning to work I realized the key would not come out. I was unable to turn off my car. So after contacting my father with the car running I drove to the house. Upon arrival he had me pull into the driveway, I then set the parking break and popped the hood. My father being mechanically inclined was able to safely suffocate the engine. Then once the car was no longer running we then disconnected the battery so that the electrical components would be safe to work on.

After calling around about parts and the expenses involved, he did the next best thing, and cut the solid piece of plastic that was molded so that the key could be removed. Now the deal is that while the car runs, I must be careful not to touch the key as it could potentially fall out. Had the plastic case around the steering column been made into individual removable panels they could have been removed and the key extracted. Thereby maintaining a prettier appearance, as it is in order to save on expensive repairs this was the solution. Which has now lowered the value of my car for future trade in.

- trgtsk8r, Dublin, CA, USA

problem #22

Jul 282013

Ion I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,225 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Now having experienced this problem and seeing how may others have a similar situation it's time for our government to do something and force General Motors to pay for these repairs. Couldn't turn engine off--luckily the key came out of the ignition, but still running--I removed the fuse from under the hood to stop engine. Then looked internet and found this site which was a tremendous help--found the plug-in under the steering wheel and disconnected it--this allows me to stop pulling fuse under the hood and don't have to disconnect battery--fortunately I have an extended warranty and will take car to dealer tomorrow--will update on the fix--thanks to those who came before me and left instructions on how to do this!!!

- Michael G., Houma, LA, USA

problem #21

Aug 152012

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

IT REALLY SCARE ME BECAUSE I COULD'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. UNTIL I CALL FOR HELP.

- Ana P., Calexico, CA, USA

problem #20

Mar 292013

Ion LS 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,000 miles

Got home from work one night car would not turn off nor could I get the key out, had to pull the fuel pump relay to stop the car, was told I needed a new key cylinder bought GM replacement re coded it and fitted it back in car, this did not work had it towed to dealer for repair awaiting cost.

- Paul F., Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #19

May 312013

Ion ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I'm a handicapped widow, who doesn't need any more problems. Well tonight my car would not turn off in my driveway. I couldn't do anything to solve the problem. A neighbor came with phone in hand, to call someone who might help. He found out that the 2006 IONS have been having this problem, but did not issue any recalls.

This is ridiculous. It doesn't make me very eager to deal with GM about this. Do something about this.

- Cathy B., Burlington, KY, USA

problem #18

Aug 192012

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,016 miles

Had steering column replace on a recall, once that was done the ignition began to hang up, was told it was unrelated. Now key broke off, and having to have locksmith out, hoping he can get piece out, I've seen sooo many similar complaints, can't believe there's no one taking responsibility for this!

- Teena W., Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #17

Aug 022012

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I purchased a 2006 Saturn Ion, back in 2008. From time to time my key would get stuck in the ignition. If I wait a few seconds it would eventually come out. Two days ago, afte I filled up my tank. I drove to the store and I was unable to get my key out, I waited like I always do, and nothing. I turn the steering wheel. The key would turn back and fourth but would not come out. After a few minutes,my key came out, but my car would not start. I got a jump, started back up, but my key would not come out. The key was stuck in the on position, this had never happen before. The exhaust was "put put putt", and the gas peddle was not working. I have spoken to two mechanics and they all say the problem is my ignition switch/tumbler. I have read several complaints on this web site and others with the same or similar problem. Has GM done a recall on this problem. This is very frustrating as I am a social worker and I need my car for work. I do not know if putting more money into this car will be worth it.

- Lisa M., Greenacres, FL, USA

problem #16

May 262012

Ion 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

i found that many others are having this same problem and some have had this problem years before now! By now there ought to be a recall on ignition cylinders and housings and key tumblers! I've only had the car for a year, but surely something has been setup by now by the Saturn company or GM to fix this problem seeing as how I'm not the first to complain about it.

- Willie M., Collins, MS, USA

problem #15

Apr 272012

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This sh*t don't make no since. I got home from the doctor and I couldn't turn this damn car off. The key won't come out of the ignition. I went across the street to a auto shop and they said they never seen anything like this. I called a GM dealer and they said that they had several 2006 ions come in for the same problem, however its going to cost $90.00 for a diagnosis. If you already fixed cars with the same problem, why in the hell do you need a diagnosis, just another way for GM to rip off the consumer. I sat for 3 1/2 hours in my car because I didn't know what to do. As high as gas is this sh*t is terrible. I called GM/Saturn to complain and the lady told me she will call me back. They know damn well this should be a recall. I can't afford to have my car fixed I am retired on a fixed income and I owe less than $1,500.00 on this damn car and have less than 50,000 thousand miles. I need my car to get back and forth to the doctor, to take my granddaughter to school and grocery store. You would think that GM gives a damn since the tax payers bailed their asses out. Now Im with out a car and I have to try and pay their asses a car note and get it fixed at the same time. What is this world coming too.

- M M., Chicago, IL, USA

problem #14

Apr 082012

Ion 3

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I cant turn my car off that sucks. this car is not worth it for buy.

- Arturo G., Lockport, IL, USA

problem #13

Dec 132011

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,600 miles

I am really upset that with all the complaints about this same situation, GM and Saturn have not done a recall on this ignition switch and cylinder. Everyone that has had this problem needs to fight for a recall. Call and email GM and Saturn everyday.

- Clara D., Hahnville, LA, USA

problem #12

Aug 292006

Ion 2.50L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,600 miles

This is mrs. wanda once more about six months later when i was going to my son's job to pick him up from work because i had gotten a call from his girlfriend's doctor telling me we needed to come to the hospital because looked like my grandson was not going to make it. Well, when parking my car at the hospital my car ignition key was stuck again my car would not cut off. I was very upset. Now my grandson is not doing good at all & my car wouldn't cut off. My friend had to walk down to the hospital to sit with my car until I

called someone who had the same car before and they told her what to do. So she called her husband to come to the hospital as soon as he can to get my car to shut down. He had to disconnect the battery/pull the light gray fuse up under the hood. That is a shame for someone who lost thier grandson at the same time their ignition would not cut off. I was going crazy having to lay my grand baby to rest a week later. I let my car set up sometime and I will plug the battery back up and the fuse just so I can get around but later on that got old. i had to get it fix once again because i need it my car his time i had to pay on 11/8/2011 415.00 to get it fix what else need to go wrong before thay will make a recall on these car i was thinking about getting to a lawyer.

- wandafl, Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #11

Feb 082011

Ion 2.50L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,170 miles

my name is mrs. wanda i have a 2006 saturn ion i really loved my car.until going to work on 02/08/ 11 at 5:00am and for the first time my key was stuck in the igintion the car would not shut off and my husband was working out of town. now it's five what could i do so i had to let my car run until i can take it to the dealer ship they acted like they never saw nothing like this before what can i do to get it fix well as ever one no pay to get it fix i was very very upset about this i said if saturn would have still been around i would gave it back to them. i payed all that to get the car fix they gave me a 12,000 mile warranty or 12 month warranty are which one come first i no ever one on this page no what came first i would never buy another saturn.

- wandafl, Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #10

Dec 162010

Ion Quad Coupe 4.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

I was parking in the garage at work and realized that I could not turn off my car. I tried to turn the key, and there was a grinding noise. I tried putting it into a different gear and that did not work. I had to wait until my boss came to work, because I knew that he would not believe me. I had to drive all the way to my nearest dealership, which at the time was Hyundai, they charged me an arm and a leg ($535.35 to be exact). They told me that it was a problem with the computer system reading the key. And they gave me one new key, and told me that I had to buy another key to replace the second key that came with the car. That was going to be an additional $20. I did not pay for the second key. I tried the second old key, and it starts the car up fine. But this is ridiculous and an outrage to have to pay that much to replace an ignition. They really need to recall this problem and reimburse the millions of people who have had to pay to fix this problem. I have read that some other people had to fix this problem twice. If that ever happens again, the dealership can keep the car, because I am not about to fork over another $500.

- sharedfearn, Washington, DC, USA

problem #9

Jun 072011

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles

My daughter has a 2006 Ion and the key would not come out of the ignition to turn it off. Got a local guy that has seen this problem before and he fixed it by replacing the defective key tumbler. Not a big deal at all. People just like to bitch.

- v4949bv, Kettering, OH, USA

problem #8

Jul 142010

Ion 2.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

I really love this car. However, I have had numerous problems. To begin, I went to turn off my car and could not get the key out of the ignition. After allowing the car to run for several hours, I found someone to show me how to turn it off until I could get it to a mechanic.

My next problems occurred when I was going 65 miles an hour on the Interstate 55 near the Chicago area. All of a sudden the check engine light came on and my car lost power. Yes, the car went from going 65 mile an hour down to 10 miles an hour. After pulling over, I turned the car off. Eventually, I started it up and make it to the nearest gas station. I took it in to a mechanic who told me it was the pedal position sensor. I paid another 400 plus dollars for him to fix it. The problem continued to occur and I kept taking it back to the mechanic until I became terrified of driving the car. I eventually took the car in to GM dealer who confirmed that it was the same problem that the other mechanic had diagnosed. However, they wanted me to pay over six hundred to get it rewired. I did not get it rewired, but they cleaned something related to the problem. This appeared to work, however, my check engine light is back on again. Now, I am told that it is a unspecified electrical problem. Basically, they cannot pin point where the problem is. I am told that my car needs to be taken apart until they find where the electrical problem is occurring. At 100 dollars an hour for labor, I cannot afford to pay to have them do exploratory surgery on my car. I would expect these problems of a vehicle that is more than 10 year old. I had less problems with my 1997 GEO Prism that I purchased new and kept for 10 years ---my most expensive repair was replacing my struts. I keep checking for recalls on this Saturn Ion, but I am shocked to discover that there are no recall ... I have read about numerous complaints with other owners. I have even check the lemon laws regarding it. I am spending too much money to fix one problem and no one, not even the GM Dealer, can figure out what is wrong. It is apparent that this is a problem with these vehicles. Of course, I have no warranty.

- Rashanda H., Hammond, IN, USA

problem #7

May 212011

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I went to get my oil changed and went to a store and could not turn off the car. After much time in the hot sun the oil change place was able to take the steering column apart so I could get to the fuse box easily and take the key out. I did call the GM dealership 15 miles away who made an appointment to diagnosis the problem. Based on the information on your site at least I know the problem so that should not have to happen now. Maybe I can get to work on time but I doubt it. I had an extended warranty stupid me which expired in Jan 11 of course and I never used it so this going to cost between 3-5 hundred.

- Alan Z., Longwood, FL, USA

problem #6

Apr 032011

Ion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,500 miles

Driving down the interstate and was time for a break. Stopped car and couldn't turn key off wiggled and jiggled shifter key and steering wheel with no luck. Help I need a fix for this . No Money

- fayjim2, Athol, ID, USA

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