NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 2 of 3)

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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,382 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 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #35

Aug 192010


  • 85,700 miles


I have a 2006 Saturn Ion quad coupe and my key got stuck in the ignition and my car wont turn off. The key does not turn and the "shift lock" instructions in the Saturn user manual do not work. I took my car to 3 GM dealers and 2 of them could not fix it and say they have never seen anything like that. I do not know what triggered it, I have not had any other issues with my key or ignition before. I ended up having to leave my car at a GM dealership. They were already closed so one of the guys pulled the fuse that turns the ignition off, however the key is still inside so the car is still on, the doors wont lock and the GM dealership does not have gates to protect my car. In other words my battery will eventually die and there is a risk that my car will get stolen.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #34

Aug 192010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion. The ignition key would not turn off. Could not turn off the engine! had to take it to a garage to turn off and fix the ignition for over $300.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #33

Sep 152009


  • 78,000 miles
Arrived home after work and as usual went to turn off car when the ignition key would not turn to off position. The ignition system would not work. I called the road side assistance and was walked thru the process to disable car by disconnecting fuse under hood. I later had to pay for the ignition system to be replaced. Extremely frustrating since my car was less than 3 years old at the time. I had purchased the car brand new back in March 2006.

- San Angelo, TX, USA

problem #32

Aug 112010


  • 41,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While attempting to turn the vehicle off the contact noticed that the key would not turn and it could not be released from the ignition. The vehicle was not diagnosed by the dealer. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 41000.

- Hanover Park, IL, USA

problem #31

Jul 232010


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While attempting to turn the vehicle off, the contact noticed that the key would not turn and he was unable to remove it from the ignition. The failure was diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 85000.

- Ridgely, MD, USA

problem #30

May 042010


  • 99,364 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated the keys would intermittently became stuck in the ignition. The failure occurred twice and the vehicle was taken to the dealer both times. The first time the failure occurred, the dealer made unknown repairs to the ignition gauge. The failure recurred within two weeks. The second time the failure occurred, the dealer advised that the ignition gauge was too tight. The dealer serviced the vehicle yet the failure recurred. In addition, the vehicle would shake sporadically and stall without warning. The contact stated she was able to restart the vehicle but the failure would randomly occur. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 99,364 and the current mileage was 100,000.

- Rahway, NJ, USA

problem #29

Jun 212010


  • 87,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. She stated that while attempting to shut off the vehicle, the key was removed but the ignition power remained activated for approximately one hour. The contact disconnected the fuel tank and battery. The dealer advised that the cylinder for the key was damaged and would need to be replaced. The repairs were done at the contact's expense. The manufacturer was contacted and a complaint filed. The failure and current mileages were 87,000.

- Wamego, KS, USA

problem #28

Jun 202010


  • 60,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion key is locked in ignition in the "on" position with car running. The key will not turn to the off position or allow the key to be removed from the ignition. No way to stop car without pulling the fuse and unhooking the battery.

- Lake Mary, FL, USA

problem #27

Apr 142010


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated the key would not release from the ignition even with the vehicle in park. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where the ignition cylinder assembly was replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and would not provide any assistance. The failure mileage was 46,000 and the current mileage was 48,000.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #26

Apr 102010


  • 46,243 miles
Could not turn the car off, the key was stuck in the on position with the car still running, had to pull the spark plugs out to turn off the car and disconnect the battery to keep from draining due to being in the on position. The ignition lock cylinder was bound in the housing. Dealer replaced the ignition cylinder and housing, I don't know if they still have the old part.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #25

Mar 192010


  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at 65 mph the steering wheel locked and was unable to turn. The power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The technician stated that the vehicle was electronic and does not require power steering fluid. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to authorized dealer twice and was repaired. In addition, the key failed to release from the ignition with a clicking noise. After waiting a period of 30 seconds the key was removed from the ignition without hesitation. The vehicle was in the process of being repaired. The failure mileage was 98,000. The VIN was not available. The current mileage was 107,000.

- Spring Hope, NC, USA

problem #24

Jan 052010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start in cold weather. In addition, the ignition responded as if it did not recognize the key. No matter what key was used the vehicle would not start for 20-25 minutes. The dealer stated that it would cost $90 for a diagnostic test and this didn't include any other repairs. The manufacturer advised her to take the vehicle to the dealer for inspection. The failure mileage was 61,000. The consume wanted to know what was being done about the problem, and when would she be notified. Updated 03/29/10 the consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 06/04/14

- Sebring, FL, USA

problem #23

Aug 212009


  • 45,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion went to work car would not turn off, key stuck in ignition unable to remove. Had to drive 35 miles home have someone get the car take to mechanic to disable as safety turnoff did not resolve issue actually got shocked trying it, took to Saturn dealer in daytona bch, fl where car was purchased new was told ignition needed to be replaced as it was normal wear and tear then was informed they could not remove key so they had to break housing unit 500 + dollars later.filed complaint after several calls and being brushed of offered me a limited warranty oil changes, tires rotated, rental car if same problem occurs again that was less then 6 months ago, now car will not start ignition sticks with key in off position starter engages, nightmare.

- Deland, FL, USA

problem #22

Nov 212009


  • 31,500 miles
Ignition failed to start vehicle. Vehicle had to be towed.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

problem #21

Oct 092009


  • 37,455 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. When he turns off the engine he cannot remove the key from the ignition. He had to pull the fuel injector fuse to turn the vehicle completely off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs and they reinstalled the same parts back in the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified, and he was advised that he would have to pay for the repairs. The failure mileage was 37,455.

- Perrysburg, OH, USA

problem #20

Sep 172009


  • 60,000 miles
On the afternoon of Sept. 17th I was running errands in my 2006 Ion. I stopped at a store and was unable to turn of my car. The key would not turn in the ignition at all and the key would not come out of the ignition. There was no warning and I have had no previous issues with the ignition. I took my vehicle directly to the Saturn dealership to find out what the issue was. It turned out that I needed a new ignition lock and key. I paid the approx. 200 dollars to have this repair completed. I researched this issue and found out that this is a very common issue and that Saturn is doing nothing to remedy this issue.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #19

Sep 102009


  • 63,000 miles
I own a 2006 Saturn Ion and my key won't turn to the off position. I looked it up on the internet and apparently this is a common problem I found hundreds of complaints about this happening to the 2006 Ion 2. I have a new born and what would of happened if the wheel would locked up will I was driving with her or my other three kids. I called Saturn and they said this happens often but why has this not been recalled or the potential buyers warned about this.

- Jeanerette, LA, USA

problem #18

Aug 262009


  • 53,320 miles
2006 Saturn Ion ignition key locked and will not turn.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #17

Feb 172009


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The ignition switch failed and the contact has been unable to remove the keys for six months. The dealer stated that it would cost $800 to replace the switch and to disconnect another switch under the steering wheel when ever she drove the vehicle. The vehicle began to stall while driving; however, the dealer stated that they are unable to duplicate the failure unless the check engine light is illuminated. The check engine light was not illuminated prior to the engine stalling. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Homer, LA, USA

problem #16

Jul 102009


  • 50,000 miles
1. for about a year before the incident, my key on my vehicle would get stuck in the ignition sometimes (just a sticking feeling, nothing major). A couple weeks ago, I put the key in the ignition and it would not come out. The car wouldn't turn off B/C the key was completely stuck. When I researched the problem, I found out many people have had this same problem with their newer Saturn Ions. I was upset B/C I bought this car new in 2006 and my warranty had just expired. Saturn would not pay for the repair, even though they could not explain why the ignition cylinder broke and several employees admitted this was a very common problem. 2. the failure was the ignition cylinder, which broke after only having the car for 3 years-I took auto shop, so I know not to put too many keys on my key ring. A part should not break that soon on a 3-year old car. I noticed the key getting slightly stuck every few weeks or so. The day my key got stuck, the consequence was that I was basically hostage to my car-I could not turn off my car, & could not go to work and leave my car on the street. It was unsafe for me to drive around until I ran out of gas on the side of the road. So, I had to agree to the repair, even though Saturn refused to pay for it. 3. the ignition cylinder was replaced and it cost me $250. (another $100 for a day's missed work) greatly hope you recall this defective item. I called the Saturn national hotline and they would not help in any way and said the recall process takes "a long time" and until then, customers would have to pay for the repairs to this part. I only had to "google" this issue and found countless people with 1-3 year old Saturn who were stuck with this same problem. I am a 33-year old student who cares for my brother who's disabled. I do not have this kind of money. It scares me to think about what I would have done had I been out in an unfamiliar road/area and been unable to turn off my car. :/ thanks very much for your time.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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