NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 6 of 15)

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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 6 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #196

Sep 022013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 84,709 miles


A new ign lock cylinder was replaced at Firestone in dubuque, Iowa, because the car would not turn off even with the key extracted from the ignitgion. The car had been shutting down while our daughter was driving the car for about a week. Repair cost $374.26 our daughter being at college did not drive the car much the rest of the month and came home to decorah, Iowa, and on the way home and while home the car continued to shut itself off, with the last time being on a hill she was able to coast into a parking space, but the car had to be towed to the dealership in decorah, where report shows: Checked for codes B1443 devise ignition off, run and crank, B2957; security system sensor circuit low voltage, B2958 security system; data high, B1441, checked fuses and wiring( all worked at this time);removed and replaced body control module, programmed module, and relearned theft deterent, cleared coades and test drove, $852.50 cost of repair.

- Decorah, IA, USA

problem #195

Dec 022013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure was recurring. Additionally, the contact would have to move the key around in the ignition and apply extreme force to the brake pedal before being able to insert or remove the key from the ignition. The contact also stated that the power steering assist would sporadically fail. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer however, they were unable to diagnose the failure. The contact later received notification that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags and electrical system) after the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #194

Feb 132013


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that after starting the engine, the key became stuck in the ignition switch and the vehicle could not be turned off. The contact indicated that on some occasions the battery would become drained because the key could not be removed. The vehicle was diagnosed and repaired by the dealer and the ignition switch was replaced but the failure persisted. The dealer then replaced the ignition micro switch and the defect was remedied. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Charlotte , NC, USA

problem #193

Jan 012008

Ion 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


#1. key. In 2008 the key started getting stuck in the ignition when I attempted to turn the car off. The car kept running. It would take up to 10 tries before the engine stopped. Even then I could not always get the key to come out right away. I could not get the key to turn when trying to start the car. The key often would also get stuck in the ignition and I could not get it out and would have to leave it in. 2014 I could not get it to come out at all and at one point the car would not shut off. Mechanic replaced (at my expense) the ignition. #2. when I purchased the car an add on offered was a passive kill switch called id system. Repeatedly the air bag light would come on, and the on-star system also notified me. It would go back off. I took it to the dealer in 2006 and 2007 was told since the light was not on then that they could not/would not do anything. In 2013 the light was always on. I was also having other electrical problems (see #3). I went to an auto electrical shop. While diagnosing the initial problem the shop found that when the kill switch was put in the company had taken out the relay for the air bag and put the put the id system relay in it's place. The result was that neither worked. The shop pulled out the kill switch relay and replaced the air bag one. Which I paid the bill for. Now the air bag light is starting to come back on at times. I assume the air bag is not working. #3. in 2013 the alarm on the car started going off by its self.that day it went on and off 5 or 6 times till I realized it might be my car. The neighbor said there was no one around it at the time. I don't turn on the alarm. I ended up disconnecting the battery. I took it to the shop (see #2) but since it was not doing it then they could not find the problem. #4 I have never been notified by GM that others were having these problems.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #192

Dec 012011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
The car would not start on several occasions. Would have a hard time turning the key in the ignition and it will start after 15-20 minutes. This would happen anywhere, anytime. So, we took it to the dealer biddulph Mazda, which is where we purchased it. They serviced the car. They tested the starter, there was nothing wrong with the starter. They could not pin point the problem, so they told us to have a new key made. Got a new key made, but the problem continued. To this day, it still happens occasionally.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #191

Feb 252014


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that she was unable to remove the key from the ignition switch. The contact indicated that the battery had to be disconnected in order to turn off the power to the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #190

Jan 042014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 124,476 miles


My car was being parked in my driveway on January 4th around 12:30 a.M., when the key would not turn the car off, nor would it come out of the ignition. That just so happened to be the weekend of the famous polar voprtex, featuring a snow storm and record-breaking freezing temperatures. I drove my car to the nearest repair shop, and requested an emergency road service technician through my insurance company. When he arrived, the only way he could turn the car off was to remove a fuse. Once examined on 1/8/14 by the repair shop, it was determined that the car would then have to be towed to the nearest General Motors dealer, advantage Chevrolet in bolingbrook, il. After being notified by the dealership of what the problem was, being quoted the price of $431 to repair it, I researched the ignition switch problem and discovered over 500 complaints on the same issue, make, and model car as mine. I then notified General Motors' customer service department to try and at least get some money off the repair bill, but to also notify them that there is a defect with the 2006 Saturn Ion ignition switches. Needless to say, I got no assistance from GM with the bill, and there are still other consumers out there who will be milked for hundreds of dollars for this same repair.

- Bolingbrook, IL, USA

problem #189

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 #188

Dec 122012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 105,328 miles
On some cold days, the car will not start. This is an intermittent problem. The lights, radio, etc. Will turn on when the key is turned, but the car will not start and the anti-theft indicator light will blink. You have to wait anywhere from 10-30 minutes for the anti-theft system to reset to allow the vehicle to start. I only have this problem on cold days. This has happened multiple times and we've contacted GM twice, but they say they have never heard of any complaints.

- Holmen, WI, USA

problem #187

Jul 122011


  • 100,000 miles
Each time I kill the engine I have to sit and wait for the string of electronic tics to quit before my car will let go of the key. Each episode seams to differ on the length of time it, takes or decides, to let go of the key.

- Little Rock , AR, USA

problem #186

Jun 172013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


I was driving my 2006 Saturn Ion on a local street, picking up my child from school, when the ignition went off. The car had no power & I had only a few seconds to steer the car off to the side before the power steering stopped working. I put the car in neutral & coasted to a stop. I turned the car off, waited a minute, & then turned the key again. At that time, the car started up again & I took it directly home. In the days following this incident, several different times the ignition would go of by itself. It felt as if the key was not staying in the on position. Not being aware of a warranty from Saturn, I took it to a local repair shop. When the mechanic tried to take the key out of the ignition, it would not turn off or come out of the steering column. He was forced to disconnect the battery in order to turn the ignition off & needed to replace the part in the steering column where the key goes in. Because the mechanic had to disconnect the battery, I was also forced to take the car to the dealership a few days later to have my remote lock reprogrammed. I had to pay out of pocket for both of these repairs, because I was unaware that GM had a special warranty covering such issues. I never received a letter about this problem, but it is a recall issue in other states.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #185

Aug 312013


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, the vehicle stalled with the illumination of all of the warning gauges. The vehicle was moved to the shoulder where it was restarted and functioned normally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis and repair. The battery was replaced but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not further repaired. The manufacturer was notified about the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 52,000.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

problem #184

Oct 022013


  • 109,000 miles
I bought my car used off of a used car lot, the power steering was recalled and it got fix, but now the electrical system is messed up. My car alarm will go off all hours of the night, the windows wont roll all the way up and the key gets stuck in the ignition and I can't turn my car off. My drum brakes on the back absolutely shattered on the inside of the drum.

- Grantsville, WV, USA

problem #183

Aug 112013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Drove to local market, 5 minutes from my home, key stuck in on position, could not turn car off, drove back home, contacted on-star road side assistance-fuse to disengage fuel pump was pulled and battery disconnected (it was the only way to turn off the car)-car towed to GM dealer replacement of ignition switch with core drilling to fix vehicle-cost $340 plus cost of rental car for 2 days!

- Whitehall, NY, USA

problem #182

Sep 102013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Vehicle operator tried to turn off motor while in a paid parking lot. Key was stuck in ignition and car would not shut off. Dealer stations were closed at time of incident. Operator returned 30 miles home after various attempts to remove key and a family member disconnected the battery. Next day the battery was reconnected and operator went to dealership where ignition lock cylinder, housing and key were replaced for $461.47 plus tax.

- Norton, MA, USA

problem #181

Aug 282013


  • 127,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion II. The contact stated that the key became lodged in the ignition switch and he unable to turn the vehicle off. The contact mentioned that he had to disconnect the battery in order to turn off the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 127,000.

- Pueblo, CO, USA

problem #180

Aug 082013


  • 52,000 miles
With regards to the 2006 Saturn Ion, my Ion has suffered three of the major problems described in the complain section of the NHTSA web site. {1} fuel leaking from fuel pump area. {2} ignition key gets stuck in the on position car can not be shut off. {3} power steering stops working while car is running making it difficult to steer. With regards to the last problem I brought my car to a G.M. dealer and was advised that the problem was the power steering motor. They replaced the motor at no charge.telling me it was under warranty. They also advised me that there was a recall regarding the fuel pump modulator. I am now fighting with GM to try and get my money back. With regards to the sticking key in the ignition I believe that if we get enough complainants maybe NHTSA can do something. If you have suffered any of these problems and have not repaired your auto please head straight to your local GM dealer. If you have paid for repairs out of your pocket your GM dealer has proper paperwork for you to submit.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #179

Jul 142013


  • 75,000 miles
After driving vehicle and arriving at destination, the normal attempt to turn off ignition and vacate vehicle failed insomuch that ignition key failed to turn to the off position due to a stuck ignition cylinder. Car could not be turned off and removing battery terminal failed to kill the engine. Only after a critical fuse was removed would the engine die. Internet searches has revealed a chronic trend for this failure and typical repair costs at dealerships average over $400. If this failure should occur at an accident scene where there is spilled fuel the consequences could be life threatening. I am appalled that GM has not issued a recall to what is obviously either a flawed design or the use of inadequate materials in the construction of their ignition lock assembly.

- Harriet, AR, USA

problem #178

Jun 012010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
In the summer of 2010, while attempting to turn off my car my key became stuck in the ignition. All attempts to remove key failed and had car towed to dealership. Was told that lock ignition fell apart and needed to be replaced. Because car was still under warranty I did not have to pay for repair. Nearly three years later (June 2013), I was attempting to turn off my car and key was stuck in on position. Again all attempts to get key out failed. Had to get service technician to turn off car by removing fuse in car to turn it off. Towed car to dealership and was told that lock ignition needed to be replaced again. This time car was not under warranty and I had to pay out of pocket for repair and rental car. Less than one month later I had begun to smell gas on the outside and inside of my car. Brought to service center and was told that fuel pump was leaking and fell under recall so I am not responsible for paying but still have to pay for rental car. I believe that the lock ignition part should be recalled because many people have complained about this defect. Additionally, the fact that so many issues with my car stem from part defects that I have no control over, GM should be made responsible for replacing the car and/or providing monetary compensation. I hope this complaint will be investigated thoroughly and some remedy should be given for people who have purchased this car and now have to deal with the numerous defects. I, like many others, cannot afford to buy a new car and should not be stuck with a lemon.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #177

Nov 132012


  • 25,000 miles
Key became stuck in ignition. Could not remove, car would not shut off. Emergency ignition release did not work. Took car to authorized GM dealer, was told the ignition cylinder and housing had fallen apart and needed to be replaced, and that it is frequently seen with this car model. Total repair cost $569.97.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

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