NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Anti-Theft Controller Problems

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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,564 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

problem #4

Nov 152009


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start due to the ignition pass lock security feature. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 62,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Dec 122008


  • 56,257 miles
I have 2006 Saturn Ion 3 and there is something going on with the passlock which delay the time of my car starting I have to wait 10 minutes before I could get my car to start.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #2

Nov 242008


  • 36,000 miles
This is the second complaint I have filed on my 2006 Saturn Ion. I have been tracking a problem I have been having with it not starting in the morning. The problem is with the passlock system that allows fuel to pass to the engine, a so called anti theft deterrent. This morning I sat in my car in the driveway for 30 minutes waiting for the system to reset itself. Looking at various websites, GM has had this problem repeatedly for quite some time. I have contacted Saturn corporation, received assistance from a customer service rep, taken my car to the nearest dealership (70 miles away) and the dealership "can't duplicate the problem" and says they have "never heard of this problem before". I took over 20 pages of documentation with me showing thousands of GM customers that are experiencing this same problem. The dealership wouldn't even look at the paperwork. Something needs to be done about this issue. My car is only 2 years old. I was sold a defective product, GM knows the passlock system does not work properly but continues to treat their customers like they are idiots. It is dangerous to be stranded in a car that will not start with children in the car and ridiculous to have a car dictate when it will start.

- Rome, GA, USA

problem #1

Dec 062007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2006 Ion, with around 38,000 miles O it. Last week when I left work later in the evening and turned the key in the ignition, the lights and radio came on, but the car did not start. I thought I needed roadside assistance but when I tried to start the car again when I was on the phone with them the car then started, which was about 15 minutes later. To make a long story short I took it to my Saturn dealer today (Saturn of monroeville) and was told this is a known issue with the internal security system in the Ions. They had to replace the ignition switch and reprogram the internal security code. If this is a known issue, why isn't a recall issue" what consistitutes an issue that warrants a recall" if it's safety related and argument could be made that if my car doesn't start it or even shuts down (not sure of the extent of what could have happened) that is definitely a security issue.

- Irwin, PA, USA

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