NHTSA — Electronic Stability Control Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,006 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.

2006 Saturn Ion brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #8

Aug 312007


  • miles


While driving and come to a complete stop car will just cut off, alot of jerking, power steering comes on and steering hard, electrical display will automatic start showing up.have taken car to dealership for recall repairs and still have problems with steering. When I brought the car had taken it to the dealership and they said it was fixed but got on the road and car stopped, the dealership had car towed to facility and said if was fixed, it was electrical problem when I took back and the problem is still on going to this day.

- Kings Mountain, NC, USA

problem #7

Nov 202013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
I was rear ended on the freeway on 11/17/13. I went to get it fixed about a week later. They had my car for about 3 days. When I went to pick up my car, there was no power steering. When the gentleman tried to put power steering fluid in it, he noticed it was electric. He said it must have gone out. Now I have to pay to fix my power steering and I didn't have my car when it went out!

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 212013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 119,600 miles
On June 21, 2013 pulled into parking lot and attempted to turn engine off. Key was stuck in the on position. Tried several times to remove key but could not. Car was still running. In order to turn car off had to remove the fuse plug from the fuse box under the hood. Also had to disconnect battery in order to not have everything else continue to run and kill the battery. I took it to mechanic who replaced the key ignition but now the car will not start. Seems like its an electrical or security problem within the engine. This is a safety hazard and should be a recall item. Car is still in shop with mechanic hoping to get it started.

- Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 182009


  • 41,400 miles


Bought my Saturn Ion 2 2006 in 2005 obviously brand new and was talked into purchasing a $1500 bumper to bumper warranty. I immediately had problems but was told by Saturn mechanics nothing was wrong with my car. In 2009 as I was getting home the key got stuck in the ignition and wouldn't turn off, I couldn't turn off the car at all. I was lucky that the dealership was open and able to unplug the battery. They fixed it but the warranty wouldn't pay, so I paid out of pocket to fix it. Well, last Sunday it happened again, in 105 degree heat. I had no where to take it since dealerships are closed sundays. My car ran for over 5 hours because no one could figure out how to unplug the battery. Only a professional knows how to turn off the car safely, yet many people risked turning it off. I am sure some people would find it easy to turn off the car by disconnecting the battery but still it not safe. My car was so hot no one could touch it, I was afraid it was going to start on fire. This is a very common problem and needs to be investigated and recalled. We have to be able to turn off an engine. Please investigate this issue, Saturn nor GM will take responsibility for this defect, even though when you google Saturn Ion 2 2006 all the reviews say the same thing about the ignition cylinder.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #4

Mar 152012


  • 130,000 miles
I own a 2006 Saturn Ion 2 4D sedan. I am the sole owner of my vehicle. Vehicle was purchased new and currently has approximately 130,000 miles. Traveling home on a busy highway, I heard my notification sound go off and my message indicator read "pwr str" and my steering wheel immediately began to stall. Trying not to panic, I assumed that the steering wheel would still be operational but I noticed it was becoming increasingly difficult to maneuver. I managed to exit the busy interstate and once I got to the stop light I noticed I could no longer move the wheel. I turned my car off and turned it back on and it seemed to work so I was able to get home. Unacceptable!! this was extremely dangerous to happen on a busy interstate or anywhere for that matter. I am scared to death to drive this car in fear that this will happen again. What if I was not able to get off the highway? this was a terrible experience and something should be done about this!!!!!

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #3

Jan 122011


  • 19,052 miles
Continual computer/electrical problems beginning - 1/12/10 + 1/14/10 + 12/29/10 + 6/21/11 + current problem 6/25/11 dealership charged $120 for diagnosis each incidence since 12/19/10. Current mileage 22,170.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #2

Jan 012010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
I have 2 Saturn Ions. One is a 2004, and the other is a 2006. Both are having problems with the power steering module which turns off while driving, then resets when vehicles turned off and restarted, only to turn off again while driving. This is a minor problem @ speeds over about 20mph, but @ lower speeds the wheel becomes difficult to turn.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #1

Dec 052009


  • 57,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion-3 automatic 2.4L 1. power steering: Power steering goes out nearly every time I drive the vehicle. Saturn dealership changed a sensor I the steering column, but problem persists. It is very dangerous to be driving in the city without power steering. 2. ignition: Car refuses to start when temperature is below 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit. I have been stranded in below freezing weather for almost an hour because of this common Saturn failure.

- Brookville, IN, USA

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