NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,769 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

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #6

Dec 142010


  • 74,612 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to a local repair shop for a failure with the driver side door and when the mechanic attempted to turn the engine off, it would not shut off. The mechanic had to disconnect the battery which shut down the fuel system and computer system. The mechanic reprogrammed the computer, key code pass system, replaced the ignition and the driver side door motor. The ignition repair did not correct the problem. The contact called the manufacturer and filed a complaint. The failure mileage was 74,612 and the current mileage was approximately 75,000. Updated 03/24/11 updated 12/30/11

- Daphney , AL, USA

problem #5

Oct 052009


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion purchased used in March 2008. She stated upon attempting to shut the vehicle off, the key became stuck in the ignition and would not budge. The vehicle was towed to a local Saturn dealer where the ignition housing was replaced to correct the failure, at the owner's expense. Within a few months, the failure occurred a second time. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where they found the same part had failed a second time. The manufacturer would only assist with the replacement costs of the parts but not for labor, due to the parts having a two month warranty. There were no recalls for the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000 and current mileages was 40,000.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #4

Sep 132009


  • 39,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Engine shuts off while driving regardless of speed or outside temperature. This past Sunday, I was on the freeway and the engine shut off while my car was making a slight right merging onto a new freeway. If it wasn't for my fathers advice, my quick actions and aware drivers around me, I would have flown off the freeway. I have taken my car to many shops and not one can find the problem nor fix it. No recalls so far have been issued and as far as Saturn is concerned, no other car has had this issue. Being a pregnant woman, this makes me extremely nervous and in fear to drive my car. I have called many Saturn dealerships that have all taken this issue lightly. This issue first occurred in January of 2009 and not again until August of 2009 and has happened about once a week since then. No engine signs are issued or is there anything leading up to the issue. The car just basically shuts off as if the key was being turned. The battery stays so I know that is not the issue. I am in fear of my safety as well as the safety of other drivers.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #3

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 #2

Dec 022008


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While attempting to mildly turn the steering column to the right, the vehicle continued to drift forward. When she depressed the brake pedal at 25 mph, the vehicle failed to stop. The dealer could not duplicate the failure, produce error codes from the diagnostic, or provide a remedy. Later, the contact started the vehicle and noticed that the check engine warning indicator was illuminated on the instrument control panel. The failure and current mileages were 33,000.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #1

Jul 242007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving 5 mph, the vehicle stalled and had a loss of power steering and brake functionality. The vehicle crashed into two parked vehicles. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of failure. All three vehicles sustained body damage. A police report was filed. The current and failure mileages were 25,000.

- Sylacauga , AL, USA

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