NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 11 of 15)

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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 1
Average Mileage:
53,808 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 11 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #96

Mar 182011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 28,000 miles


Car was on and the ignition key would not come out of the ignition and vehicle could not be shut off.

- Commerce Twp, MI, USA

problem #95

Feb 032011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 36,832 miles
2006 Saturn leave you stranded in the cold weather as the car will not start and you have to wait till the in side of the car warms up. Car has been back to dealer I have just given up.

- Norton, OH, USA

problem #94

Jan 042011


  • 62,000 miles
When it is cold outside, my 2006 Saturn Ion does not start. It seems the sensor or chip in the ignition key is not recognized by the car and therefore, the vehicle locks and will not start. If we wait 10 minutes, it will usually start. This has not been fixed yet. It has happened 4 times and usually when the temperature is below 20 degrees.

- Vernon, NJ, USA

problem #93

Jan 012011


  • miles


When it is cold outside, usually below freezing, my car will not start. I took it to a dealership and they replaced the ignition switch, said that this is common in Saturn. That was last week, and my car hasn't started about 8 more times since then. It's not the battery, the lights come on and all that works. I go out and try to start my car, it will not start, I will wait about 8 minutes and try again, then car will start. I work weird shifts at a hospital and sometimes I get off work and have to walk to my car in the middle of the night and my car will not start. That is definitely a safety issue.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #92

Jul 122009


  • 63,257 miles
Sometimes as I am driving, the power steering in my 2006 Saturn Ion stops working and I can't turn the vehicle. If I have to make a turn, I have to try to move the wheel. I have caused major delays and almost been in a few wrecks due to troubles turning the steering wheel. The power steering will not work until I turn the vehicle off and then restart it after a few minutes. The other problem I am having is turning the vehicle on in the morning which I have done the research on and found it is a very common problem for Saturn. There is a problem with the wiring components of the vehicle and once I turn the key I have to give it at least 10 minutes before it will turn on. Then I can't turn it off until I get to where I need to go or I have to wait again for at least another 10 minutes. This presents a big problem if I have to stop for gas, because I can't turn my car off at the pump or I am stuck at the gas pump for at least 10 minutes and sometimes longer.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #91

Jan 032011


  • 42,000 miles
I am writing to inform you of the troubles that I am having with my 2006 Saturn Ion. My Saturn doesn't always start on the first try (radio and lights come on, but the engine does not turn over). On most mornings, whenever I try to start the car, it doesn't start and an icon showing a car with lock shows up on the dashboard. However, after waiting approximately 20 to 30 minutes, the car will start sometimes. On one occasion, I even called aaa thinking it was my battery and was informed that there is something wrong with the pass-lock system (the car thinks I am trying to steal it). On Tuesday, December 28th, I took the car to North shore Chevrolet of smithtown in St. James, NY and was informed that I needed to have a new ignition installed and that should solve the problem. I picked the car up on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 29th and drove home. However, on Thursday, December 30th, when I tried to start the car, the car wouldn't start. I tried starting the car at least 5 to 7 different times from 8 10:30am but the engine wouldn't crank. Finally, at around 10:45 am the car started, I waited approximately 15 minutes and drove it back to the North shore Chevrolet of smithtown in St. James. The North shore Chevrolet of smithtown informed me that each time they attempted to start the car, the car would start; therefore, they couldn't or wouldn't be able to diagnose the problem. I picked the car up from North shore Chevrolet of smithtown on Monday, January 3rd and had no problems getting to and from work on Tuesday, January 4th. However, on the morning of Wednesday, January 5th, the car wouldn't start, once again.

- Coram, NY, USA

problem #90

Dec 012006


  • miles


According to what I can recall, initially, I was contacted by Saturn/GM that I might have defect in my ignition but that they might or might not make a recall on it later but I should have it repaired if I had problems with it. I did have problems so I paid to have it replaced. Subsequently, I still had problems starting my car due to locking features. This meant that when I tried to turn the key it would not turnover. Fortunately, I learned to continue trying to do this, and eventually it would start. This is a dangerous feature especially to me because I am a woman who travels in blighted neighborhoods and works and lives in them as well. The crime rate in my city of new orleans leads the nations in murders. No one else in my household is willing to drive my car because they know that they can't restart it. Lately, the car has a new and even more dangerous problem. If I park it in a certain way, maybe on a slight grade, it will turnover but sounds like there is no connection and it won't start until I physically push the vehicle. At 60 years of age, this is not as easy as I would prefer but it is the only way to get it to start. Since this happened to me when I was alone at night making a night deposit at a bank, I am terrorized by what will happen to me should I park somewhere I am too close to other cars that I can't push it at all, or what if it will never start? too bad, because the Saturn has been such a great car and it's manual transmission is one of my favorite things. I would not like to lose my entire vehicle, but I would like these features repaired so that they work properly in the future. The approximate date below alludes to when I may have first noticed the first problem. Another problem is that I had no idea how to make a complaint, and had I not read an article in the nytimes about Saturn, I would not have figured out who to contact at all. Thank you.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #89

Dec 152010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 51,980 miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Daughter highway driving returning from college, indicator light on dash came, power steering failed. She pulled over turned vehicle off, turned back on and it drove fine. Next day driving at a slower speed the same thing happened. This has happened several times since. Contacted authorized Saturn service dealer, they said they are aware of similar problems but after taking our VIN# indicated GM has not made a recall for our vehicle. To repair this at the dealership we are looking at $300+. I just spent over $200 six months ago on a problem I feel GM should also own up to...the ignition problem with the key sticking in the ignition and not able to turn the vehicle off. I know this electric steering problem is also showing up in other GM vehicles and for what ever reason they are only fixing a select few in a select few states across the country. I have read where there have been 14 accidents resulting in deaths tracing back to this problem. I feel my daughters safety is at risk. I don't understand why an american company would allow the safety of people to be compromised.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #88

Nov 232010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
I have a 2006 Saturn Ion quad coup. A few weeks ago I had the fuel pump replaced which was a recall item. Last week the ignition switch locked in the "on" position but the key would come out. I was able to stall the engine to stop it from burning gas. The next day the battery was dead. My extended family has two other Ions. A 2003 Ion and a 2005 which all have similar problems. The 2005 locked in the on position and the 2003 is having difficulty getting the key out to turn off the car. I believe if a car cannot be shut down this represents a safety issue. Further, the odds that 3 out of three Ions all have the same ignition issue is eye catching.

- Artesia, NM, USA

problem #87

Oct 282006


  • miles
I have a 2006 Saturn Ion that when it get cold out it doesn't like to start. I have stuck out in the cold for a hour at times late at night freezing my butt off. I have been to Saturn about this and they keep telling me they have no idea what is wrong with my car and they have never heard of this problem before.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #86

Aug 182010


  • miles


Yes a few months afo I financed a 2006 Saturn Ion level 3 since the first week having it have had nothing but problems including a major gas leak and severe gas fumes inside and outside the cab when running and not. The dealer had givin me nothing but lies and the fun around and attitude. Had been documented by an outside mechanic the car in unsafe to be on the roads and should never have passed inspection which the dealer did. I really need help. I know it's a good chance it's a flood car they sold me. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Huntsville , TX, USA

problem #85

Oct 252010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
The car was turned on only to find out when we went to get out that the car would not shut off. The only way to shut the car off was to pull the fuel injector fuse under the hood.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #84

May 162010


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that when he attempted to turn the vehicle off, it would not turn off when the key was turned and the key was unable to be removed from the ignition. The contact had to unhook the battery to turn the vehicle off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the ignition switch was replaced. The failure continued. The vehicle was at the dealer at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 94,000.

- Bethany, OK, USA

problem #83

May 112010


  • 62,000 miles
When I proceeded to turn my key to turn off my car, my car would not turn off. My key would only turn half of the way but would get stuck in the ignition and my car would not turn off. I then turned my car back on and then tried to turn off my car again. It finally worked after jiggling my key. Sometimes my car would turn off fine but most of the time, it would not. I became frightened and very uncomfortable with driving my car because the problem continued to get worse. I then did research on the internet and found out several other Saturn Ion owner are having the same problems. Some Saturn Ion owners even have not be able to turn their car off at all and had to leave there car running until the gas ran out. I did not want this to happen to me, so I decided to take my car in to get it fixed. They said the problem was the ignition lock cylinder and that I was going to have to get it replaced. I was very upset that this is Saturn Ions fault and I have to pay for their negligence. My ignition lock cylinder was replaced with a brand new one from Saturn. Not even a day later the same problems started once again. My car still turns off with a little jiggling of the key but I know it will not last. This is not safe! I do not feel I should have to pay for Saturn's carelessness.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #82

Sep 142010


  • 50,000 miles
Vehicle was unable to be shut off, key was stuck in the ignition, I unhooked the battery and the vehicle was still running. This same vehicle had a recall on the fuel pump module and was leaking gas, had this occurred at the same time it would have been very unsafe for the car to have been running the entire time with a gas leak. Fortunately I had just repaired the fuel pump module 1 week prior to this issue with the ignition.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #81

Sep 082010


  • 59,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at 55 mph, going over a small bump on the road the vehicle would stall. The vehicle would have to be put into neutral so that it can be restarted. The contact also states that she can remove the keys out of the ignition when the vehicle is still idling. The dealer had not been contacted and there had been no diagnosis at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 59500 and the current mileage was 59560.

- Downingtown , PA, USA

problem #80

Apr 022010


  • 33,349 miles
Key will get stuck in the ignition and will not come out. It was a safety concern because the vehicle could not be turned off with the key. The only way to turn off the vehicle was to pull the ignition fuse out. There was no improper use of the ignition or the key prior to the event. The dealership replaced the cylinder case and key cylinder. They charged for the repair it was 800 dollars for the repair. The vehicle was out of warranty with only 33000 miles on it. Their seems to be alot of complaints/blogs relating to this issue with the Ion.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #79

Aug 102010


  • 82,000 miles
On August 10, 2010, I was unable to remove my keys from the ignition of my 2006 Saturn Ion. The care would also not turn off. I took it to an authorized Saturn service provider and they were able to "fix" the problem by cleaning and repairing the key lock cylinder at a cost of over $180 to me. On August 18, 2010, I was unable to remove my keys from the ignition again, but this time I was able to turn the car off. I took it to the same service provider and they were not able to replicate the problem. I was told that there really wasn't anything they could do about the problem unless I wanted them to replace the key lock cylinder, which would cost another $160+. I opted to not spend the additional money since I had already spent money to "fix" the problem the week before. Instead I decided to call the Saturn customer care line provided by GM to file a complaint. They told me that there was nothing they could do to help me since the car is over warranty at 82,000 miles. My car is only 4 years old and from everything I've heard, no other type of car has this problem and it has been happening to other Saturn Ion owners that have less miles on their cars than I do. This is obviously a defective part and needs to be recalled. There is a danger of someone not being able to turn their car off and possibly running out of gas or not being able to get help because an authorized service provider might not be open at the time.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #78

Aug 172010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Saturn 2006 Ion. Key sticks in the ignition. Have taken it in 4 times to be fixed. There are several people with this kind of care with this problem. The car running is a major safety hazard. Why has this not been recalled.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #77

Aug 182010

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
I own a 2006 Saturn Ion. Ignition key will get stuck from a few seconds to several minutes, while I can hear the ignition lock clicking inside. I called GM and they told me there's nothing they can do.

- Tyler, TX, USA

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