NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 8 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 8 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #156

Mar 142011

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While parked, the contact attempted to remove the key from the ignition but was unable to because the key had become stuck. The contact stated that in order to shut off the vehicle off he had to disconnect the battery. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the lock assembly and the wiring harness would have to be replaced. After the repair the failure recurred twice. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000. The current mileage was 121,459. Updated 12/11/12 updated 12/1212

- Lewistown , PA, USA

problem #155

Oct 112012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
This is the second time this has happen. My key is stuck in the ignition and wont turn off. I believe GM should help resolve this ongoing problem with these ignition switches. For some reason I was unable to put the date that this first happen, (may, 2011) and now again this week.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #154

Oct 012011


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key would not release from the ignition switch. The contact had to restart and shut the vehicle off constantly in order for the key to be removed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to have the ignition switch replaced but the repair did not remedy the issue. The contact did not take the vehicle to another dealer or local mechanic. The failure mileage was 96,000. The VIN was not available. VIN not available

- Antelope, CA, USA

problem #153

Aug 202012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Ignition switch went bad, keys were stuck in the ingition and it would not turn off.

- Geneva, NY, USA

problem #152

Sep 112012


  • 57,000 miles
Ignition would not shut off would not release to turn off I see there is other veh. Having same issues we need this fixed so we don't run into more problems that could go wrong (like new motors) can't shut off motors and then starters get worn quickly just a thought.

- Dover, TN, USA

problem #151

Jun 152012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
My car won't start due to ignition switch malfunction. I've replaced ignition switch as suggested by owner's manual to no avail, problem persists. I've also taken the car for service to a certified GM/Saturn service center (dealer service). The car battery and starter motor are in good condition. Only after many, many, attempts to start the car it'll eventually turn on. Once car is turn off, for example stopping at gas station for gas, problem manifests itself again, car won't start. There are numerous accounts of this problem (2006 Saturn Ion ignition switch malfunction) found by doing an online (internet) search. Please help!

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #150

Jun 102008

Ion 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


In 2008 my key was stuck in the ignition not allowing my car to shut off. After several hours in the blazing son with my son, a tow truck came and had to disconnect my battery and take out the ignition relay just to get my car to stop running. My car almost over heated and ran out most my gas.the ignition cylinder and switch was replaced costing over seven hundred dollars. Now in 2012 the same thing has happened again. I was quoted another six hundred and eighty dollars to replace it again. Since I do not have the funds to replace such a costly unexpected repair I am forced to live with a car that I can not drive. My key is stuck in the ignition not allowing me to lock my doors which leaves my car open for anyone to destroy it or rob it. Since you can only access the battery by the truck and the trunk can only be opened by key or automatic key ring. I can no longer access my battery to hook it back up. This is because the only other way to get to open the trunk is by having the seats down in the back and climbing through the trunk to open it. Even if someone else does open the trunk. Connecting the battery and disconnecting the battery in hundred degree weather is not acceptable. Since being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder I can no longer due such thing. If connected I can start my vehicle. Actually after replacing the ignition relay it starts itself. I see online that the ignition or its parts is an ongoing problem with my vehicle. When is it going to become a recall?

- Bradenton , FL, USA

problem #149

Aug 252012


  • 62,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the ignition failed and as a result, he was unable to turn the ignition to the off position. The contact mentioned that in order to turn off the vehicle he had to disconnect the battery. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the ignition lock cylinder and the ignition lock housing needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 62,000.

- Ashville , NC, USA

problem #148

Jul 082011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated the ignition switch failed. The contact stated that in some instance the key became lodge in the ignition switch which prevented that the vehicle was turn off. Also, the contact mentioned that the vehicle will not start for 30 minutes or more. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnose that the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Adansville, TN, USA

problem #147

Aug 212012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while parked he was unable to remove the key from the ignition. The contact had to remove a fuse in order to shut the vehicle off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnose that the ignition cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Sparta, NJ, USA

problem #146

Aug 142012


  • 59,500 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the ignition key seized in the żonż position, which prevented him from turning the engine off and removing the key from the ignition. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that the ignition needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 59,500.

- Upper Darby, PA, USA

problem #145

Aug 112012


  • 85,000 miles
My key is locked in the ignition in the on position, and will not turn to off, the only way to turn off the vehicle is to stall it, and disconnect the battery wires to keep the battery from draining down too much.

- Shelbyville, TN, USA

problem #144

Aug 082012


  • 72,000 miles
The ignition lock cylinder in my vehicle seized up - my car was running, and I was unable to turn the key or turn the car off, though I can remove the key and the car stays running. The key is still stuck to "on" and the only way I'm able to turn the car off is to stall it (manual transmission) and pull the battery fuse. From reading forums on this problem I know this is a very, very common problem for Saturn Ions. This part absolutely needs to be recalled. In the meantime, to save hundreds at the dealer I will have to replace the part myself.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #143

Aug 042012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 113,180 miles
I am not able to turn off the car. The key will not turn to shut off the car. I had to find the fuse for the ignition in order to be able to turn off the car. I have read that there are many people having this issue and this could have been a disaster if I were out of town. I can't believe there is not a recall for this issue. This also happened to my son who has the same model and year that I have. I don't know how I am going to get gas as you have to turn the car off to do this, as it is a federal regulation.

- Lexington, SC, USA

problem #142

Jul 172012


  • 40,000 miles
Received notice from GM regarding power steering assist motor recall. Drove with no power steering 40 miles to local dealership.towed it home 4 days later. The car hasn't started since. I was aware of the pass lock problem and told the dealer the car might take a few tries to start. The steering wheel is now crooked and the key sticks in the ignition. This is a new problem. For three hundred dollars the dealer said he would fix it. He claims he did the work requested. I wouldn't know because the car hasn't started since. Drive it in and tow it out...now that's customer service for you!!! a free repair cost me the use of my car and 200 in gas and tow expenses. Wonder if I have power steering"?? hard to trust a dealer that states" I never touched the column, your pump is under the hood" pump??" even I know there is no pump or power steering fluid.

- Rogers City, MI, USA

problem #141

Nov 152011


  • 80,000 miles
Every time fuel is slightly below a quarter tank the engine stalls as if the car is running out of gas and the cars drastically reduces speed with minimum power. Also, after the incident occurred I went online to research the problem and found out that the vehicle had been recalled for fuel pump problems as well as lighting irregularities. Furthermore, as I continued using my vehicle the ignition switch cylinder broke causing the key to be stuck and was unable to turn off the ignition of the car. Luckily, I have a stick shift transmission and was able to turn off the car by putting it into 4th gear and letting go of the clutch to turn off the ignition. Unfortunately, the car battery remains on and in order to completely turn off the car I have to disconnect the battery cable so the batter life is not drained.

- Watsonville, CA, USA

problem #140

Jul 082012


  • 50,000 miles
Out of nowhere, when I turned my car off the key would not come out. I have read about this problem with 06 Ion's several times and believe it needs investigated. Thank you!

- Haysville, KS, USA

problem #139

Jun 212012


  • 67,991 miles
Ignition key cylinder failure: The key would turn but not advance beyond "run" to start the engine. After replacing the key cylinder the ignition key works but the ignition switch passlock system would not engage; Saturn was faulted with the ease of theft of their vehicles prompting their initiation of the failure-prone passlock system. This owner works in high risk/dangerous area on a federal facility. Fortunately this time the incident occurred at home after driving from that facility. We noted there are many hundreds of complaints filed against GM for this defect, many with personal/property risk as noted here, but nothing has been done. If this recurs with personal damage we guarantee there will be a significant class action suit filed against GM which is likely to be highly successful; we are seeking the advice of our attorneys. We will not divulge any other such or related information at this time. We additionally noted to date nothing has been done by GM to correct this problem, vis-A-vis in a recall or refund for time/material/labor or personal time lost, other than to discontinue the Saturn brand. It has been difficult to find suitable service of any kind, mainly because GM dealers refuse to work on Saturn: "we hate those cars". at this point the reprogramming feature of the dysfunctional passlock system does not work. The vehicle will have to be towed 39 miles to a dealership.

- Peru, ME, USA

problem #138

Jun 272012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,535 miles
Could not shut car off, key is locked in ignition, could not get key out of ignition.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #137

Sep 172010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 35,702 miles
The key became stuck in the ignition and would not turn off. It was repaired by a GM dealer and has happened again twice since that time.

- Hartville, OH, USA

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