NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 9 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 9 of 15)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #136

Aug 012011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Upon parking and attempting to exit the vehicle, I can not get the key out of the ignition switch. It is stuck in the accessory position. If left for a period of time it will usually come out. But if left in the vehicle for an extended period of time in the stuck accessory position, the battery is drained due to the systems that are still left on. This is a persistent problem. I have not taken the vehicle to a dealer for repair or diagnosis. Reading the complaints on this website convinces me that this is a general problem with Saturn Ions. This vehicle has already been part of the fuel pump replacement recall.

- Kingman, AZ, USA

problem #135

Mar 012012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
I was driving my car when my consul read the phrase "pwr str" meaning that my power steering was malfunctioning and no longer worked until I pulled over and restarted the car and that reset the power steering. This now happens about two to three times every time I drive my car.

- Charlton, MA, USA

problem #134

Apr 252012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
Key was stuck in the ignition while in the on position. Lock cylinder binding seized into housing.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #133

Apr 172012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


I have a 2006 Saturn Ion-2. every morning when I get in my car and I go to start it doesn't start and the passlock light comes on. When I called Saturn the said it is my ignition switch. The problem I have is that this has been happening to all varieties of Saturn models, including ones before 2006. I have read many reviews and hundreds of people have the same exact problem with their Saturn. If Saturn or GM sees this happening how come this has not been declared as a recall? I would like Saturn to fix the issue since the bad thing is they know about it and if you are out of warranty you are paying for a problem Saturn should have recalled, but instead they make money off the problem.

- Chandler , AZ, USA

problem #132

Mar 052012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
I could not turn off the car and remove the key. The key was frozen in the on position. Since the car was running, I drove to the dealer and they replaced the ignition system and charged me $650. I have since learned this is very common with Saturn. This could potentially be dangerous. It is a defect and should be recalled.

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #131

Feb 152012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key would become stuck in the accessory position and the vehicle could not be turned off. The contact stated that the only way to turn the vehicle off was to disconnect the negative cable from the battery. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileages were 100,000.

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #130

Jan 282012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 57,455 miles


While driving down a residential street I hear a click and the cars warning sound, then the power steering message appears on the dashboard. I immediately notice that my power steering is no longer working. I pulled to the curb and shut the car off and upon turning it back on the light went away and the power steering was working again. Three days later, while driving to work, as I was in the middle of turning, again I heard a click the warning sound, the message, and the power steering went out again. This time I had to grip the wheel and work to get it to finish the turn safely. Pulled into a gas station, turned the car off, then back on. The power steering worked for the 10min drive to work. During the drive home the power steering shut off 4 times, each time it took less time from the restart of the car till the it failed again.

- Westerville, OH, USA

problem #129

Jan 072010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I am having problems with my 2006 Saturn Ion, it started out with a start problem just on cold mornings, when there was dew or frost or it rained on the car. To reslove the issue the car was moved into the garage and then I noticed the problem continued even when car was in the garage. The start problem begin happening even in warm weather. It got to the point that even when I would park the car in the garage I could get up the next morning and it would not start at first it was frequently then it became intermittent problem. This car has left me stranded at school, work and even at home sitting in the garage. It got to the point where I had to have the aaa service truck come to my home and jump start my car. On one of my service appoints to have the oil changed I mentioned the problem to the tech at the GM dealer and when I picked the car up they said that they could not get the problem to simulate on the computer and the there is nothing they can do. I have noted a number of blogs about this problem and instead of GM helping to resolve the issue it has been left up to the owners of these vehicles to give each other advise at blog sites.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #128

Nov 102010


  • 57,000 miles
When it is cold outside (around or below freezing) or just very wet outside my car will not start. It has what is described as a "no crank/no start with full power" issue. My car has complete power, but it will not turn over. A technical service bulletin says that it is my ignition switch or the body control module. This appears to be a "normal" problem with Ion's in all model years.

- Lakewood, OH, USA

problem #127

Dec 292011


  • 49,598 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked, but the key would not remove from the ignition. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for a diagnostic test. The technician unplugged the ignition connection and removed the key. The technician also stated that the ignition housing and lock cylinder would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 49,598.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #126

Jun 012011


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that she was unable to shut the vehicle off or remove the key from the ignition. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they disconnected the battery to shut the vehicle off. Approximately six months later, the vehicle was shut off and the contact was unable to remove the key from the ignition. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and the contact was informed that the ignition switch would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Austell, GA, USA

problem #125

Dec 142011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The key is stuck in the on position in the ignition and the car can not be shut off. I found a Consumer Affairs web site that has 7700 listings for this problem. www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/saturn_ignition_lock.html GM wants me to bring the car in and charge me $115 to diagnose the problem. With the amount of info on the internet about this problem I do not understand why GM has to diagnose this problem. This is a series issue when a car can not be shut off and GM needs to address this problem.

- Marble Falls , TX, USA

problem #124

Nov 012010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
My car is only 5 years old and now has 36,000 miles on it. Whenever it is cold outside my car does not start. All of the lights work and the car will make a click, but the car itself will not turn on. I have been stranded multiple times at night in the freezing cold with no way of getting home. Two times I have been stranded in a dark parking garage. This is constantly re-occurring problem and I see that hundreds of people have had the same issue. When I have taken my car to the shop I have been told it is electrical problems. This problem should be recalled as many people have the same problem. Also, I have had many issues with the fuel system. I have already had the fuel injector replaced, and the fuel tank replaced. It is in the shop again today because there were more issues with the fuel system. The fuel in my car was not heating up the right temperature, and I was getting about 30% less miles per tank than before. Over the few years I have had cords to the fuel system replaced, removed, adjusted, etv. I have spent thousands of dollars on repairs for a 5 year old car with 36,000 miles on it. And it is the same problems happening over and over.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #123

May 092011


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key could not be removed from the ignition. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technician advised that the ignition switch would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 52,000.

- Georgetown, TX, USA

problem #122

Nov 012011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I am experiencing a variety of problems with my 2006 Saturn Ion. The power steering stopped working, the speedometer stopped working (it remains at 0 regardless of my speed), also the odometer doesn't seem to work either - my mileage does not increment when I drive. My car registers a diagnostic code of P0502: Vehicle speed sensor a circuit low input. I saw posts online in various forums from 2007 Saturn Ion owners who say that they received letters from GM in 2009 to have this problem fixed under warranty but why didn't I get a letter in 2009? GM and the NHTSA have apparently been aware of this and "watching" the problem for a couple of years now - it's GM's responsibility to fix this since they didn't forewarn me and encourage me to get this fixed back in 2009 when they knew enough to have 2007 Saturn Ion owners take their cars in to have this problem fixed.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #121

Nov 062011

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
Today was the second time the ignition has seized up when trying to turn off the car when parking. The first time (a few months ago) we had a new ignition installed. It already is doing the same thing. When putting the car in park, the key/ignition will not move at all so we were unable to turn off the car. We had to block the airflow to the engine to stop the car and also remove unattach the battery because all of the electrical components were still on.

- Elyria, OH, USA

problem #120

Nov 092010


  • 43,000 miles
Beginning in November of 2010, my 2006 Saturn Ion will frequently not start when I enter my key and turn the ignition. This usually occurs in cold temperatures, but has also happened in warm temperatures. The security light on my dashboard will light up and it will take at least 10 minutes, sometimes up to 40 minutes for my car to finally start. I have missed several days of work because of this problem and have spent over $1000 trying to repair this problem with no luck. I have seen that thousands of other Saturn Ions have the same issue. A recall needs to happen!

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #119

May 022011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
For the past 5 months, the Saturn Ion 3 power steering will intermitently go out. When I first start the car the power steering works fine, and then at any random time the car makes a ding, ding noise and then there is no power steering. If the car is shut off and turned back on the power steering is fine. Then a few miles down the road it turns off again, almost every day. This makes it very difficult to turn corners. The next problem is if it is damp or cold (below 60) in the morning at 8am the car will not turn over or start, until the sun comes out and warms up the car, by noon the car starts just fine. I can get it started if I place two warm blankets on the battery and motor and wait a few minutes, then the car will start. The drivers side windows have also stopped working.

- Lauderdale Lakes, FL, USA

problem #118

Oct 062011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 91,490 miles
I am beginning to believe that the issue with the Saturn Ion is an electrical or computer based. I put in a complaint earlier about how the car shuts off in the middle of making turns. This morning as I went to work I was met with the automatic steering not working. At first I thought that maybe the emergency break was still up. I checked my steering fluid and it is full. I turned the car off and then on again and tried to move the wheel. No dice. I drove the car to work fighting with the steering all the way there. When I got to work I called for assistance to get my car to a shop. After making the arrangements, I went to try to straighten up the vehicle somewhat so that others could park beside me and so the towing company could get it out. To my amazement the car steering worked fine. There are several complaints on the web about this issue, the key getting stuck in the ignition, the key being removed from the ignition and the car engine continuing to run anyway, and the shutting off while going over tracks and making turns with the Saturn Ion 2004-2007. Please get GMC to fix these issues. What makes me really angry is that the company knows, they simply are avoiding fixing the problems and only Focus on the fuel pump problem. Somebody is going to get killed sooner or later btw the shutting off issue or the steering wheel issues. I hope you guys look into these issues and demand that GMC fixes them before then. Thanks.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #117

Sep 252011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 50,067 miles
On Sunday, September 25th, 2011, I was driving on a familiar road in town when all of the warning lights on my vehicle suddenly illuminated and began blinking. The speedometer, fuel gage, temperature gage, and RPM indicator all went down to zero and the message center began saying "trac off" and "pwr str." As this happened, my power steering went out. I pulled over and turned my car off. My car would not turn back on. After about one minute, I was able to start my car again and resume driving as normal. This has happened on four other occasions since the first time, three days ago. The last time it happened I was going around a curve and I almost went into the ditch. In addition, it is also important to note that at 40,000 miles, the vehicle began having the same issue (message center occasionally flashing "trac off" and "pwr str", and the ABS and emergency break lights going on). The dealer found that the steering column was shorting out and had to replace the steering column in the vehicle. This leads me to believe that this is an electrical problem...

- Oskaloosa, IA, USA

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