NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 15 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 15 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Nov 082008


  • 50,000 miles


I purchased a 2006 Saturn Ion which intermittently (about once a week) does not start. This is a common problem with Saturn Ions as evidenced by a basic internet search (see www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/saturn_ignition_lock.html). I'm having to have the ignition switch sensor replaced but the problem remains. This is a very dangerous defect during winter months when the car might randomly not start in an isolated area. The dealer from whom I purchased the vehicle is not willing to make the repair at his expense despite it is a well-known failing of this vehicle.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #15

Nov 102008


  • miles
I purchased a 2006 Saturn Ion 3 four-door sedan in April 2007. In the past two months, I have had three or four occasions where the car would not start. This typically occurs when the weather is cold, especially when there has been frost overnight. What will happen is that when you first put in the key and turn it to the start position, nothing will happen. There is no crank or engine noise other than a slight buzzing sound sometimes, but the car will not start. If you hold the key in the start position, the security lock icon appears on the dashboard information panel. If you keep trying to turn the car on, it will not work, but if you wait exactly ten minutes from the initial attempt to start the car, it will then turn on. I have tracked this problem down to the ignition switch or the passlock security system on the car. Many drivers of 2003-2006 Saturn Ion vehicles are complaining of this issue, and it is very clearly a faulty system that will not be fixed by a simple part replacement.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #14

Jun 272008


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that she could not manually turn off the vehicle because the ignition module locked on its own. She took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the ignition cylinder was corroded and needed to be replaced at the cost of $400. She is in the process of having the cylinder repaired. In addition, the passenger air bag warning indicator would illuminate on the instrument control panel, which meant that the air bag was inoperative. The dealer replaced the air bag sensors at the cost of $800. The manufacturer stated that they would partially reimburse her in the amount of $398.80. The failure mileage was 58,000 and current mileage was 67,000.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #13

Dec 032007


  • 27,000 miles


I purchased a 2006 Saturn Ion in Oct.2007. About 2 months later we started experiencing problems with the car not starting. They key will turn, but the car will not start, especially early in the am when my son is trying to leave for school. It will start a couple of hours later however. My son will leave for college next year and I'm extremely concerned about him being stranded somewhere due to this problem. I've read hundreds of similar complaints online and so far, Saturn has not issued a recall. There is something seriously wrong when this many people have the same problem and Saturn will not acknowledge it and do the right thing. This is an ongoing matter. It happens 4-5 days a week - usually in the morning, but has also happened at night.

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 152008

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving 75 mph, the cruise control stopped working. The power steering, battery, and coolant warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact also noticed that the vehicle would no longer accelerate. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The contact did not notice any differences beforehand. The current and failure mileages were 51,000. Updated 10/16/08 the consumer also stated the key became stuck in the ignition. Updated 10/21/08.

- Hamptonville, NC, USA

problem #11

Aug 202008


  • 61,300 miles
Ignition switch locked up in the run position could not turn vehicle off.

- Ordway, CO, USA

problem #10

Aug 062008


  • 37,575 miles


I purchased my '06 Saturn Ion in June '06. Just last week, I parked my car at a local store and when I attempted to turn off the ignition, the key wouldn't budge. The ignition had locked up. After several attempts, I contacted my local Saturn dealership and they told me I would need to bring the car in immediately to be able to turn off the engine. Once I arrived at the dealership, they told me the situation and how they can fix it at a cost of $300+. with no other options, I agreed and they promptly fixed it within the hour. However, as I paid my bill I asked the service representative what the cause of the ignition lock was and he said it was a faulty part from Saturn and that it is a common problem. To me, that means Saturn should be taking care of the charges and these faulty parts!! there should be a recall and a replacement made by Saturn!! I have had two Saturn and have always had good experiences and was very disappointed with how they handled this "faulty" situation! and to top it off, on my receipt, parts were less than $40 so labor was hundreds of dollars for less than 1 hour of work for their own faulty part. Unreal!

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #9

Jul 212008


  • 42,000 miles
The ignition would not turn off and the key removed. I had to pull the ignition fuse to get the car to shut off. I towed the car to the dealership where it was purchased and was told that this was not covered under the warranty that was purchased with the car. It costs $750 to replace the ignition and the shift lever cable.

- Peachtree City, GA, USA

problem #8

Jul 222008


  • 58,890 miles
I have a 2006 Saturn Ion. The car has been running great. I got into my vehicle after work, and started the car. I stopped at a local gas station to get gas, and the key would not turn off. I had to pump my gas with the car running, which is an extreme hazard to myself and others around me. I continued to jiggle the key trying to get it to move, and it would not budge. I drove the vehicle home, and contact my Saturn dealership to see if I could get this worked on. They reported that it would be over a week before they could get to it. The key continues to be jammed, the doors won't lock, and anyone could steal my car at anytime. I have researched this on the internet, and seems to me a major problem with Saturn cars. Why isn't this a recall??

- Burnsville, WV, USA

problem #7

Jul 132008


  • 0 miles
Going to a dinner at mothers house - started the car just fine - arrived at destination - put the car into park went to turn it off - key would not turn it was stuck in the 'on' position and not moving period...had to pull the fuse out for the ignition - aaa wouldn't come out on a Sunday evening - nowhere in northwest Arkansas to drive the car to be looked at because everywhere is closed - now - even though my car is off the key is still in it, and I have to essentially put a plastic 'key' into a fitting underneath/inside the steering wheel to turn off and start my car. Anyone can walk by and try to break into my car because they see keys in the ignition - if I didn't have the friend that new something about cars my car would have overheated and probably caught on fire, because no one would come out and help me....ridiculous!

- Springdale, AR, USA

problem #6

Aug 072006

Ion 4-cyl

  • 4,963 miles


Vehicle purchased new March 4, 2006 standard 3000 mile service completed May 24, 2006 no problems at time service date: August 7, 2006 mileage 4963 tech: Dino schaefer electrical:(1)car would not start, steering: (2)rubbing sound when turning, other: (3)acceleration feels like trying too hard solution: Ignition switch replaced 2 & 3 unverified service date: August 15, 2006 mileage 5152 tech: Dino schaefer steering: (1) car would not start solution: Body control module faulty/replaced [still had rubbing and acceleration issues but I dismissed as quirks of car] service date: August 18, 2006 mileage 5268 tech: Steve deldonno steering: (1) squealing when turning steering wheel solution: Lubed intermediate steering shaft boot service date: August 30, 2006 mileage 5457 tech: John carlen steering: (1) steering wheel still squealing when turning other: (2) customer requested alternate transportation due to length of repairs, multiple concerns solution: (1) gear assembly/power steering replaced (2) customer provided with hertz rental car vehicle repossessed by gmac for non-payment September 22, 2006 (date +/- 3 days)after customer tried to negotiate lower payments due to pending disability case gmac refused vehicle sold at auction gmac demanding payment of remaining balance problems not with Saturn company but with gmac Saturn manager mark is outstanding I am unable to finance any new vehicle at this time pending post traumatic stress disorder disability appeal still require vehicle to Transport elementary age child diagnosed with tourette syndrome/attention deficit hyperactive disorder to medical appointments and pets to veterinarian unable to afford attorney for legal action was gmac reason for repossesion really for nonpayment or to hide Ion problems? my opinion: Gmac used situation to protect themselves thank you

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #5

Dec 102007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,233 miles
Cold weather / around freezing temperature. Car does not start at all in cold weather. Have replaced battery and it has repeated the same problem.

- Warrington, PA, USA

problem #4

Nov 132007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,892 miles
Vehicle warning lights turn on (engine, batter, airbag) and traction control light goes off. Vehicle can not be driven faster than 10 mph. Problem is intermittent and vehicle has been to dealer three times without resolution. Date included is approximate. Dealer has actual dates.

- Perrineville, NJ, USA

problem #3

Dec 012005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Key cannot be removed from ignition after car is turned off. Have returned to the dealership 4 times for this problem. Each time they lubricate the system but it does not fix the problem. It began less than 6 months after we purchased the vehicle and still persists today. We cannot take any more time off from work to take it into the shop to be told they will not replace the ignition system or the transmission/gear shift mechanism that may be the actual problem. In addition, in the first 18 months we've owned the vehicle, the air conditioning coolant has run out and they cannot locate the leak, and the sunroof broke. Finally, on one occasion the car went over a bump at approximately 30 mph and the electrical system acted as though the car had a wreck, cutting the motor and showing the airbag had deployed when it had not. After a few minutes, the car started up just fine with no adverse affects. The dealer says they've never heard of such a thing and can't think of how/why it happened.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Feb 012007


  • miles
While visiting atlanta on business I rented a 2006 Saturn Ion and left the lights on in the hotel parking lot. Since I did not know the battery was dead, and I was not getting any response from the remote door opener, I opened the door with the key, closed the door and proceeded to start the car. After failed attempt to start the car, I attempted to remove the key from the ignition and was unable to do so. Since there was no electrical power in the car, I was also locked in the car with no way of getting out. All doors were locked with no manual means to open internally. Luckily for me colleagues were around and were able to give me a boost that allowed the electrical power to return to the car and I was able to remove the key from the ignition and electrical current return the power doors and I was able to get out of the car. I found this defect to be a potential hazard for any car in an accident where the power from the car gets cut off. Had their been a fire, or below freezing or extreme heat conditions, this could have been dangerous. Hopefully this incident is isolated but I felt it was important to report.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #1

Nov 262005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65 miles
We were driving down the road in our less than 72 hour old car and the underneath caught fire. The fire department said it must have been an electrical fire but Saturn says we must have it a moving blanket! we had 3 small children in the back seat and barely got them out before the fuel line caught fire. Who's idea was it to make fuel lines out of nylon anyway?

- Anderson, IN, USA

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