NHTSA — Electrical System: Ignition: Switch 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:
33,870 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 #18

Mar 252014


  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the ignition seized without warning. The failure occurred daily. The dealer stated that the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 67,000.

- Cartersville , GA, USA

problem #17

Jun 072014


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key became jammed in the ignition switch and was unable to be removed. Also the steering wheel locked. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was repaired under recall NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). However, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 49,000.

- Coon Rapids, MN, USA

problem #16

Oct 152008


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the key failed to release from the ignition switch. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who recommended the replacement of the shifter. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 35,000.

- River Ridge, LA, USA

problem #15

Jun 302014


  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning multiple times. In order to restart the vehicle, the contact had to jiggle the key in the ignition switch. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system); however, the part was not available to do the repairs. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 118,000.

- Newcastle, DE, USA

problem #14

Jan 142014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
My daughter was driving the car hit a bump and the car shut down. It started back up, drove it home and parked it. GM issued recall on the ignition. I called the dealership and they said GM kind of jumped the gun on the recall as the parts haven't been shipped and to call back in 2 weeks. I called after two weeks and they said no part to call back in a month. He said the car is safe to drive but only have the key in the ignition and not on a chain. Well the ignition can shut the car down if a bump is gone over or if the key is jarred in any way. The car has been parked since January. GM has known about this problem with the ignition for 10 years and fatalities have occurred due to the airbags not deploying due to the problem with the ignition. How can GM ignored this problem, issue a recall and not get parts out to the repair facilities.

- Kentwood, MI, USA

problem #13

Jan 302008


  • miles
Re: the current recall of the ignition switch on GM vehicles. I wanted to put in a report that I was made aware of this defect from a dealership repair man back in early 2008. I purchased my vehicle in early 2007 and a year later I was unable to start my vehicle. I can't recall the exact scenario but think some lights came on or something, because I knew to call the Saturn dealership in golden valley mn to report the issue and ask what they suggest. The repair person said that he was pretty certain it was my ignition switch, based on the symptoms I reported with the car. He told me how to get it started by doing something different with the key in the ignition, and sure enough I got it running. He said to bring it in right away and they would take care of it. When I got there, he said there would be no charge, as "GM should have made a recall on this because many people have had this problem, and I don't know why they aren't doing that." Fortunately for me I did not have an accident from this, but interesting that back then, the dealership knew exactly what the issue was and questioned then why nothing was being done.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #12

Dec 052011

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles


My ignition switch has been replaced 3 times in 4 years, costing $350 every time. It keeps going out. Now my fuel pump is leaking. I looked up and found 3 different website showing recalls on the fuel pump for my year, make, and model of my car. Saftycar.gov, motortrend.com, and usedcars.com. I call both GM and Saturn number which were provided and they tell me there no recalls for my vehicle. Now it going to cost $600 to fix my problem. The sad thing is I have to fix it or my car can blow up. I urge people not to buy Saturn they are no good.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #11

Sep 102010


  • 40,000 miles
Key stuck in ignition switch in the run position of 2006 Saturn Ion, 40,000 miles, could not safely turn off vehicle.

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #10

Aug 102010


  • 26,166 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that after parking the vehicle the key would not turn in order to shut the vehicle off. The contact drove the vehicle to the nearest dealer who removed a fuse to the fuel injector and shut the vehicle off. The dealer also replaced the ignition switch cylinder which made it impossible for the vehicle to shut off. The contact had not called the manufacturer when the complaint was filed. The contact was concerned that there was not a NHTSA recall related to the ignition switch for his year, make and model vehicle. The failure mileage was 26,166.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #9

Jun 192010


  • 58,000 miles
Ignition switch failed. Key would not turn off vehicle.

- Nine Mile Falls, , WA, USA

problem #8

Oct 012009


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that he had been experiencing a recurring failure with the ignition switch. The key would intermittently become stuck in the ignition switch and the vehicle would not turn off without repeated attempts at removing the key. The contact also stated that during the winter the vehicle intermittently would not start without repeated attempts. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and was in the process of being inspected at the time of the complaint. The contact also stated that while driving at approximately 25 mph and attempting to make a turn, the steering wheel locked and a power steering service light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact pulled over and restarted the vehicle; upon restart, the vehicle functioned normal. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The failure continued to occur and the vehicle was taken back to an authorized dealer where an unknown service was performed on the vehicle. The failure had not occurred since the repair. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000. The current mileage was approximately 71,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #7

Sep 012009


  • 35,500 miles
2006 Saturn Ion never wrecked ignition switch stopped working correctly, and the key got stuck in the ignition resulting in having the car left running until the car was cut off by pulling the cables off of the battery posts. Was told the ignition switch was rusted and the spring in the switch had broken and had gone bad by a mechanic and had to have the ignition switch replaced and key recoded.

- Cowpens, SC, USA

problem #6

Aug 162008


  • 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.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #5

Aug 202009


  • 21,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion. In August 2009 I went to turn off my car and the key would not come out of the ignition switch. After several minutes of trying the key came out of the switch, but the car was still on. Very dangerous for a car to be able to left running with no key in it. Took to the Saturn dealership who told me that even though this was a common problem, I would have to pay $370 for cost of parts and labor. Less than 3 months after being fixed, my key is starting to stick in the ignition again and this problem will probably repeat itself again soon.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 152009


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start in cold weather. In addition, the ignition did not recognize the key. He inserted the other key into the ignition and the vehicle started. The manufacturer advised him to take the vehicle to the dealer for inspection. The failure mileage was 10,000 and current mileage was 11,000. Updated 02/24/09. The dealer replaced the ignition switch. Updated 02/24/09.

- Marlonton, NJ, USA

problem #3

Apr 112008


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have 2006 Saturn Ion 4 door and my complaint about this vehicle is the car wouldn't cut off you have to practically drive it until it runs out of gas for it to shut off. This is very very dangerous you can not turn this car off at all. I contacted the dealer which provided an estimate charging me to repair this problem. It is unfair this is a complaint they told me has happened numerous times. Why sell this car and don't warn the customer about this ahead of time? they told me they weren't going to pay for this if I wanted it fixed I must pay for a warranty which expires at 36,000 miles I am sorry for you but the warranty has expired and the lady that called me was so rude! that is wrong, wrong, wrong please help resolve this matter asap please I need your help.

- Metcalfe, MS, USA

problem #2

Dec 171973


  • miles
I have an 06 Saturn Ion that has had the ignition switch go out on it right as we have no warranty on it, of course. We contacted Saturn head office and tried to explain to them that there seems to be a need for a recall on this vehicle. Not only has the ignition switch gone out the window to the driver side no longer will go up. We owned the car only two days when the same window fell off the track for no reason and they had to fix it. My father also owns the same year make and model car and the window on his driver side also went out just a couple of months ago. There seems to be several recurring issues with this vehicle that I see not only one person is having. They recalled the older model of this car for the same problem with the ignition. This vehicle is too new to have this many incidents occur.

- Cabot, AR, USA

problem #1

Dec 012005

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Key cannot be removed from ignition after car is turned off. Have returned to the dealership 4 times for this problem. Each time they lubricate the system but it does not fix the problem. It began less than 6 months after we purchased the vehicle and still persists today. We cannot take any more time off from work to take it into the shop to be told they will not replace the ignition system or the transmission/gear shift mechanism that may be the actual problem. In addition, in the first 18 months we've owned the vehicle, the air conditioning coolant has run out and they cannot locate the leak, and the sunroof broke. Finally, on one occasion the car went over a bump at approximately 30 mph and the electrical system acted as though the car had a wreck, cutting the motor and showing the airbag had deployed when it had not. After a few minutes, the car started up just fine with no adverse affects. The dealer says they've never heard of such a thing and can't think of how/why it happened.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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