NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 7 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 7 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #176

Jun 092013


  • 100,000 miles


In August of 2008 at appx 37000 miles, the ignition switch locked in the 'run' position. Since the car was a manual, I stalled it out and called a locksmith, who could not remove or turn the key either. He disconnected the car from the battery so that it would not drain due to the accessories still being active. He told me how to reconnect the battery so that I could drive in for repairs. I have not had any more problems until yesterday (June 2013) at appx 100000 miles. The ignition would not turn beyond the accessories position. After several attempts, key positions, clutch positions, I was able to start the car and immediately drove it to a repair center. I have seen numerous similar complaints on this website and yet there are no recalls for this faulty ignition problem. I have had the issue from both sides (couldn't turn off and couldn't turn on).

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #175

Oct 222007

Ion 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
My Saturn Ion has had to have the ignition and or the steering column replaced on four separate occasions since 29,000 miles.it currently has 143,000 miles and has issues once again. Each time either the key would click back only one notch and could not be removed, the car could not be turned off at all due to the key being "frozen" in the cylinder or the key would not spring back from the starting position to the run position thus making a grinding noise after car started. The last dealership said they were going to report the incident to GM as they have done for other car owners before, but with no result. Each time it has cost me anywhere from $350. To $700 not including towing and renting of an alternate vehicle. I understand that it technically not a safety issue but I feel this should be looked at and recalled so it does not become one when a little kid climbs into a car that can not be turned off or the key removed from the ignition and gets seriously hurt or worse.

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #174

May 302013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
The ignition wouldnt turn off, the key came out, leaving the car running. I tried wiggling the key, checking the shifter, everything, this is the 2nd time this has happened. Ive seen an extreme amount of complaints about this, and feel something should be done, GM is loosing a lot of business due to not solving this issue.

- Chittenango, NY, USA

problem #173

May 282013


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the ignition failed and the key could not be turned or released from the ignition to shut off the engine. The battery and fuel sensor was disconnected in order to power the vehicle off. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 100,000.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #172

May 062013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 164,118 miles
I was driving my Saturn Ion 2 under normal conditions 5/6/13. I parked the vehicle and attempted to turn it off but the key would not move. The ignition was locked. I could not turn off the Ion. I drove to a mechanic, who disconnected the battery. I paid $292.68 for a new ignition lock and ignition cylinder. I see hundreds or thousands of similar complaints online yet at no point did GM notify me of the potential problem nor offer to fix it.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #171

May 042013


  • 57,117 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that he was unable to turn the ignition to the off position to remove the key. The vehicle remained powered on and the contact had to disconnect a wire under the steering column to turn off the vehicle. The check engine warning light would occasionally illuminate. The vehicle was inspected by the dealer however the cause of the failure was undetermined. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but offered no further assistance. The failure and current mileage was 57,117.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #170

Apr 292013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 127,572 miles


The key sticks in ignition and the car can't be turned off unless the battery is disconnected or the fuel pump is disconnected. This causes a safety hazard to the average user, like myself, who isn't aware what needs to be done poses the risk of being shocked or burned trying to turn off the car.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #169

Feb 182013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
My key became stuck in the ignition and would not turn while the car was still running. I had to pull the fuel injector fuse and disconnect my battery to turn the car off. In researching this problem online, I've found that tons of other Saturn owners have encountered this same problem with their ignition cylinders. I believe since this is such an expensive and common problem, that there should be a recall made on this part.

- Marrero, LA, USA

problem #168

Feb 052013


  • miles
My car will not start when it is cold it has to warm up before it will start right up now when it is warm out side not cold it starts right up. Then my key got stuck in the on position and could not cut the car off. Had to look on google for other similar problems to find out how to get the car to turn off.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #167

Feb 082011


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key was unable to be removed from the ignition and the contact was unable to power off the vehicle. Also, the contact mentioned he was able to switch gears without depressing the brake. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the ignition key cylinder needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000 and the current mileage was 78,000.

- Port Charlotte , FL, USA

problem #166

Jan 152013


  • 69,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key became stuck in the ignition and the contact was unable to power off the vehicle. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer for diagnostic testing and was advised that a foreign object had become fractured inside of the ignition switch. The dealer replaced the ignition switch. The failure mileage was 69,000.

- Fontana, WI, USA

problem #165

Mar 012012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Key locks up in ignition and will not turn to off position. Key is stuck and will not release from ignition. To get key out car must be turned to on position and back off again. Friends of ours also had a Saturn Ion from 2005 and they had the same issue. The key would become stuck in the ignition and they would have to start the car and turn it off (sometimes several times) to get the key out. Our worry is that the problem will become more extreme and dangerous where we cannot turn the car off (as I have read in other complaints) as well as not being able to eventually free the key. This is a defect that needs to be recalled and fixed!

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #164

Dec 032012


  • 35,000 miles
Put the key in and now it will not shut off....had to pull fuse...key will not turn back and can not get it out.

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #163

Dec 012010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
When I try to take out my key I can not remove it. I am able to turn off the motor, but then the key is stuck in that position and I can not remove it. I am concern that they key could stick in the position where the car is still running or that it won't come out at all.. I sometimes have to stay in my car for 2-3 minutes, so that I can remove the key. I know I can remove the key when the car makes a certain sound. It is a soft click, as if something is released. It sounds similar to the when you unlock your car doors with the automatic switch, but quieter. The key sticks 1-2 times/week at least. (I use my car twice a day, to and from work, this has been going on since I purchased the car several years ago. At the time it had maybe 40,000 miles. Now it has 82000 miles.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #162

Jul 132012


  • 16,607 miles
This vehicle was purchased brand new and driven very little. Protected in closed in garage. Drove to Colorado springs for vacation and went to visit relatives. Parked vehicle in front of relative home and the key couldn't be turned to shut off the car. Fortunately there was a neighbor of my relatives that new how to shut it off by disconnecting the battery cables. To start the car the cables had to be hooked back up. Drove to ferguson Buick GMC in Colorado springs and they checked it. The tumbler came apart, won't turn off, replaced ignition lock. Was charged for housing kit (15857948), code cyl, cylinder kit (20869121), labor and cost of parts totalled $614.22. With only 16, 607 miles from 2006 to 2012 this should not have happened. Today, November 30, 2012, I went to drive my vehicle and when I started the engine all the lights on the dash and message about steering off trac keeps flashing and it said something about steering fluid, brakes and the lights were going crazy. I am afraid to drive it so I drove it back into my garage. Couldn't drive it like that. Now what is wrong. This vehilce has been paid for since 2008 and only has 19, 000 miles on it. My husband bought me this vehicle as a surprise and little did he know he would get pancreatic cancer the following year. He wanted me to have a dependable extra vehicle. I cannot keep paying money to fix a vehicle that I am afraid to drive. May get stranded somewhere. I wouldn't feel in good conscious to even sell it to anyone. Not worth what he paid for it.

- Newcastle, OK, USA

problem #161

Apr 072010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion 2. the contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was merged to the side of the road and after waiting ten minutes the vehicle restarted. The failure occurred sporadically. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated the faulty anti theft pass lock would need to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was unavailable.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #160

Oct 182012


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key became lodged in the ignition and she was unable to get it out. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included on any recalls. The failure mileage was 45,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Bayside, NY, USA

problem #159

Aug 282012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The key is stuck in the on position in the ignition switch and will not come out. This has happened twice. Had it repaired on 08/28/2012 and happened again on 10/20/2012.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #158

Oct 192012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
I have had a slight problem with my Saturn Ion since I have purchased it from my dealership. The key will get stuck every other time I have tried to shut it off. It was a minor inconvenience at the most. But yesterday I had my key get stuck while the vehicle was running! I had to have the battery disconnected and pull a fuse just to get it to shut off. I looked online for hours and hours and found out it is most likely the ignition lock cylinder. There were so many complaints on the Saturn Ions doing this I was shocked that a recall has not been issued. I am frustrated at the dealership saying it will be $90 just to look at it, and then they will give me an estimate. Online I have seen that the average cost paid to have this fixed is $300-$500. Why should I have to spend more of my hard earned money if this is clearly the manufacturers fault? if nothing is done about this I will have lost all faith in people.

- Fernley, NV, USA

problem #157

Oct 052012


  • 138,478 miles
Power steering repeatedly shows up on the dash and the power steering does seem tight and its a loud clunk when you turn the wheel back and fourth slowly. Its common and there has been a recall in some states a lot of people got this paid for and its 1200 to fix.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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