NHTSA — Engine Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 1 of 2)

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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,139 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 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Saturn Ion:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Oct 172018


  • 113,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 15-20 mph, the vehicle stalled. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to vandergriff Chevrolet (located at 1200 w interstate 20, arlington, tx 76017, (682) 323-2486) to be diagnosed, but the mechanic was unable to duplicate the failure. The contact stated that the failure recurred five times. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 113,000.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #39

Jul 262018


  • 185,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving various speeds on different occasions, the brake pedal was depressed and the vehicle stalled. In addition, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was able to restart and was taken to Chevrolet of dover (1450 S dupont hwy, dover, de 19901, (302) 760-9956), but the diagnosis and repairs were unknown to the contact. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 185,000.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #38

Dec 102017


  • 80,000 miles
Takata recall the engine is on. When I turn the key to turn the engine off, the key doesn't go in the off position. I have to turn the engine on again and then try to turn the engine off.sometimes 2 or 3 times I have to turn the engine on and then try to turn the engine off. The car is parked.

- Dolton, IL, USA

problem #37

Oct 262017


  • 134,000 miles


Engine reduction, serious safety concern, was almost hit by a semi, engine reduction light comes on, lose power and car slows at a high rate causing extreme safety hazard in traffic, must pull off interstate turn car off to reset, happening 2-3 times a day, strong smell of gas, have a leak and it is not covered under the warranty, sooner or later someone is going to be cruising down the interstate and their Saturn is going to reduce engine power and they will not have time to get out of the way, they will be plowed down by a semi. Are we going to continue to allow GM to ignore this issue like they ignored the ignition switch probelms until it starts causing deaths, why not solve the issue before the deaths start to occur, it seems the older these year models get the worse this problem becomes. I was forced to put a date, but this is an ongoing problem that is getting increasingly worse with the fuel leak, maybe one day the engine will reduce power at the same time I will get run over by a semi and the car will explode into flames from the fuel leak they are not recalling for my vehicle

- Edgewater, FL, USA

problem #36

Sep 062016

Ion 4-cyl

  • 175,400 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 175,400. Updated 10/19/16 the consumer stated while driving, the steering locked up. She had to reduce her speed into order to maintain the steering wheel. The consumer turned the vehicle off, and the steering reset it self. The consumer has since experienced a similar incident. Updated 11/03/16.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #35

Apr 202016


  • 111,546 miles
Car inspection rejected codeb0092 pass presense system1 performance just put catalit converter and an engine in this car looking for tech. Service bul. Tsb3677 car is rejected demed unsafe to drive

- East Wareham, MA, USA

problem #34

Mar 052016


  • 160,000 miles


A few weeks ago I noticed a smell of fuel coming from my car when I stop, or slow down. The last couple days the smell has bin getting stronger.. I see all these complaints, but nothing being done or it only for a few states. As a single mother of two I don't feel safe having my kids in the car.

- Williamstown, PA, USA

problem #33

Aug 172015


  • 94,000 miles
I was leaving a local grocery store, started my car and proceeded to drive out of the parking lot to the main road, route 611, a fairly busy thoroughfare. As I turned right and attempted to accelerate, the check engine light came on as well as the 'reduced engine power light'. despite pressing on the the gas pedal to accelerate safely into the flow of traffic (around 40 mph), my car would not accelerate past 10 miles per hour. I am so very lucky that I was not in an accident. I followed the instruction in the Saturn Ion manual which says to turn off the car and the error should clear itself after 10 minutes. I did this and the 'reduced engine power light' went out but not the check engine light. I took the car immediately to my local mechanic who ran a inconclusive diagnostic test. They cleared the check engine light and the car ran fine until yesterday, 4 weeks after the first instance. While I was driving my children home from the dentist, in the flow of traffic, at close to 40 mph, the dash board chimed, check engine light and 'reduced engine power light' lit up and immediately my car would not accelerate over 10 miles per hour. Luckily, we were very close to home, and were not in an accident. Again, I let the car rest, and 12 hours later started the car, both lights cleared themselves. Within in 5 miles of driving to the gym from my home, while driving in the flow of traffic, this issue happened again. This reduced power issue should be a recall. One simple online search shows there are thousands of GM/Saturn cars with this very dangerous issue. Among so many other manufacturer safety issues! this car has had 3 other recalls, one of which my local GM dealer has failed over 3 times to fix. I have to manually put my finger into the steering column to release the ignition key. Hold GM accountable and please make this issue a recall

- Abington, PA, USA

problem #32

Mar 012012

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving the car will automatically shut off. I can be on the freeway at 55 miles and the car will just die. I can be at a stop light and the car will die. I have taken it in and twice they said they found nothing however the problem still exist. I thought that with the recall repair of the ignition switch it might help but it hasn't and my key still gets stuck in the ignition at times and I don't even have anything hanging on the key only the remote. Basically once you feel the car losing power and all dash lights show up, you need to restart the car to proceed. Very dangerous especially on the road.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #31

May 252014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion 3. the contact stated that while waiting at a stop sign, the engine stalled and the check engine warning indicator was illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to dealer or independent mechanic. The contact received a recall NHTSA campaign number: 14E021000 (electrical system). The vehicle was taken to dealer. The vehicle was repaired but the problem recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #30

Nov 192014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 169,000 miles


It was about 32 degrees in the morning. I started my car and warmed it up for about 5 minutes or so. Long enough to defrost both the front and rear windows. I drove a little over mile going about the city speed limit of 45. The vehicle started shaking from the engine area. I pulled off the road into a parking lot and the vehicle began to lose power. I was able to coast into a parking space. The check engine light came on at some point. I turned the vehicle off, I waited a few minutes and turned the vehicle back on. It started fine I drove it the 10 miles to the dealership with no problems, check engine light was still on. The dealership advised that the ice had formed on the throttle body and when it melted water got into the throttle body. He could put a piece on it that would cost about $900 but he could not guarantee that it would keep this from happening again. I didn't think about it at the time but the same thing happened last year and since the vehicle starts right back up I didn't really think about it. But the fact that the vehicle loses power while I am driving is a concern.

- Austell, GA, USA

problem #29

May 102013


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired by the authorized dealer for NHTSA campaign numbers: 09V419000 (fuel system, gasoline) and14E021000 (electrical system). The service engine sensor illuminated before and after both recall repairs. The contact indicated that the dealer replaced the ignition switch and the fuel pump, but the failure recurred. The contact indicated that the service engine sensor continued to illuminate and the vehicle stalled repeatedly. The two recall repairs did not remedy the vehicle and the failures were happening intermittently. The vehicle was towed to the authorized dealer for further inspection. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #28

Nov 052013


  • 18,900 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 18,900.

- Horsham, PA, USA

problem #27

Oct 202014


  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the spark plugs needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 64,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #26

Sep 272014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 88,687 miles
Just entered onto a highway and suddenly could not accelerate. When hitting the gas pedal, car would not accelerate. The car was in drive and had been moving for 10 minutes prior with no issues. No prior issues before this. Pulled off the side of the highway and turned off car. When turned on again, would not crank. Lights worked fine but car just wouldn't turn on. Mechanic is not sure why car won't start still.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #25

Apr 012014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph, the engine stalled without warning. The contact then shifted the vehicle into neutral and restarted the vehicle. The problem recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact received a notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 air bags, electrical system) and the dealer stated that the parts were unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Lynbrook, NY, USA

problem #24

Dec 052013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 3,200 miles
Lost power/control while driving, felt like the bottom of the car was falling out, upon repair was informed a bad ignition coil.

- Oakland Park, FL, USA

problem #23

Feb 032014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 119,000 miles
I purchased my 2006 Saturn Ion 3 in 2008 from a dealership. I have had all the recall issues happen to my vehicle. 1) I have replaced the ignition switch and cylinder twice due to the car being unable to shut off. This happened in 2008 and again in 2012. Both times it was covered under warranty and repairs were done by GM dealership. Even though these have been replaced I was told they need to be replaced again under the recall because those parts are faulty as well. I have been in contact with the dealership and was told they do not have the parts yet and will let me know when they are available. 2) in November 2013 my vehicle smelled of gas and was making me and my children sick. I had it checked out at the dealership and it was the fuel module. This was covered by a ntsb warranty extension. 3) my vehicle will intermittently shut off or lose power steering. When I took it into the dealership in 2013 they told me they would not touch it if they could not replicate the problem. It has not been fixed. 4) this issue is not mentioned in any of the complaints I have read here, but I have seen others complain on the internet. Beginning in January of 2014 there is a strong odor of exhaust fumes in my vehicle. My personal mechanic said there is a leak that is going into the cabin. My vehicle is slow to accelerate and feels shaky. There is also a loud noise coming from the engine compartment. I have to drive with the windows down at all times. I have had nothing but problems with this vehicle since right after I purchased it. I do not have a second vehicle nor the means to buy one. I rely on it to get me to work and to Transport my family. It is very disappointing to have to deal with these issues over and over again.

- Kaneohe, HI, USA

problem #22

Sep 182012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 82,710 miles
On or about 9/12/2012, I was driving in my Saturn Ion going 45 miles an hour, in heavy morning traffic, when in an instant my car decelerated and was at a slow crawl. I could not get any acceleration even when pressing the gas. I was only a couple blocks away from work, so I coasted until I got there. I was almost hit. But I could not go any faster. I was afraid to turn off the car for fear that it would not start up again. I was afraid to drive it and I called to have it towed to the dealership to have it looked at. Henderson Chevrolet looked at it and said that it was the computer motherboard of the car. This was replaced at a cost to me of $800+. it happened again on 11/20/12. The car went from 30 to 5 miles per hour in a split second! no warnings. I took it back to the dealership. They said that they had no idea what want going on with it nor why it was doing this. Their suggestion to me was to get another vehicle. What my Saturn did is the same thing described in the ignition recall. When this happened to me, there was no recall. No one thought of looking at the ignition. When I lost power, my thought was not gee, maybe my keys are too heavy & my car turned off! me see if my ignition turned off when I went over that bump. Had the recall ignition problem had been something that GM was aware of at the time and notice was received, the mechanic would have known that this was the problem. But I replaced the brain of my car at $800 when it was not needed. Not wanting it to happen again (say on the freeway), I traded in the car. I feel that I should be reimbursed for the costs I paid to repair my vehiclewhen it should have been taken care of by the recall. My experience happened before anyone knew about this kind of thing happening to these vehicles. The consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 07/28/14

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #21

Mar 252013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
I first bought my 2006 Saturn Ion in March of 2013. Three days later I notice that when I would get on the highway my car would sway extremely bad. Our hwy speed is 75. Going 70mph was too much and it would sway a lot. Mind you I was pregnant at the time. The car spun out as I was exiting the highway. I was terrified because cars were right behind me. Thank god I got out of the way before I got hit. You can understand how upset I was due to the fact that I was 4months pregnant at the time. Since then my husband has spun out 5 times driving our car. We've taking it to the mechanics multiple times and they don't even know what to do with it. Our wheel alignments are fine. Also, our key gets stuck in the ignition a lot upon turning it off. So we have to use the button which is in the steering wheel just to get them out. Also, lately the car picks and chooses when it wants to accelerate. Lately I can floor it and the car will still be going 30mph. Also, lately when we go to turn on the car, it takes awhile and makes a sound as if the battery is dead, but then it soon comes on. I have had nothing but problems with this car from the start. I thought this was a good buy, but everyday I regret it and I fear for me, my husband, and my child's safety. Please do something about this issue. Matter of fact just take our cars. We don't need them fixed. Just take them please!

- Killeen, TX, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?