NHTSA — Fuel System, Gasoline Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 4 of 5)

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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:
71,129 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Apr 172010


  • 69,000 miles


Over the nine months that I drove the vehicle after purchase, a strong smell of gasoline continually entered the cabin while the car was being operated and could be smelled outside of the vehicle as well. The car also gradually became harder to start, turning longer than normal. The odor continued to get stronger and more frequent until I discovered via an online search that there had been a recall involving the fuel pump cracking for the same model and year in Arizona and Nevada. I called Saturn to verify that my vehicle was not involved in that recall since I was not the original owner. I took the car to be fixed where after an inspection of the fuel system where a leak was found coming from the top of the tank, it was determined that the fuel pump module needed to be replaced. The final cost for an aftermarket pump, initial inspection, and labor came to $657 dollars. I had a pre-purchase inspection on the vehicle before purchasing. The mechanic noted that there was a fuel stain on the tank, but he believed it to be inactive and leftover from possible prior work done on vehicle. So pump failure may have began earlier than the stated mileage.

- Pendleton, OR, USA

problem #30

Nov 102010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle was filled with a fuel odor. The smell was coming from the rear of the vehicle and there was a fuel leak under the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician stated the fuel pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #29

Oct 152010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 67 miles
When I first got my 2006 Saturn Ion, I was the first and only owner bought it from the Saturn dealership with less than a 50 miles on the car. Before 30 days of owning the automobile it quit on me in the middle of busy intersection endangering myself and my children. I took it to the dealership where they have claimed to fix the ignition switch on the automobile, several weeks later the same problem occurred they then replaced the key. Then months later my alarm started going off spontaneously, the battery went dead on the automobile which I have replaced 3 times, the ignition switch went out again I had to replace that myself out of pocket in March of 2009. Still after replacing the battery, getting the ignition switch fixed twice, and having the electrical parts looked at the car still continues to have the same problems. If I get gas why the car is not cranked it will not crank back up for hours!!! it will go dead while I'm driving on a freeway does this all the time! this Saturn Ion has caused me nothing but money and problems since I've had it I purchased a additional warranty on the automobile when I bought it and they refuse to replace or fix any of the work on the automobile when I only have gotten my car serviced with Saturn they do all of my oil changes, and maintenance and charge me a arm and leg to maintain the maintenance on the automobile. I have had to pay so much money on this automobile for maintenance that should not even be a issue at this time my car doesn't even have 84K on it yet. The engine seems to shake when the car sits still, the car quits if the engine is not running when you get fuel, the car quits at red lights, the car power steering gets real hard to turn when you try to turn the steering wheel, the Saturn Ion is definitely a dud! you can smell gas sometimes coming from this automobile, and the battery is in the trunk of the car...so when it drains my battery goes go dead. The defects on this automobile will kill someone one day.

- Arlingotn, TX, USA

problem #28

Nov 112010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 48,826 miles


1. no special events leading up to failure 2. needs new fuel pump module kit due to cracks in plastic tubing. Car leaks flammable gas vapor at this time-could lead to liquid leakage. 3. local mechanic has ordered new fuel pump module kit to fix problem.

- Saint Peters, MO, USA

problem #27

Aug 182010


  • miles
Yes a few months afo I financed a 2006 Saturn Ion level 3 since the first week having it have had nothing but problems including a major gas leak and severe gas fumes inside and outside the cab when running and not. The dealer had givin me nothing but lies and the fun around and attitude. Had been documented by an outside mechanic the car in unsafe to be on the roads and should never have passed inspection which the dealer did. I really need help. I know it's a good chance it's a flood car they sold me. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Huntsville , TX, USA

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problem #26

Oct 112010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
I own a 2006 Saturn Ion and it has a crack in the fuel pump which is leaking fuel and I'm being told that my VIN is not eligible for the recall that is for this exact problem in the fuel pump.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #25

Oct 052010


  • 27,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While examining the vehicle, the contact noticed an odor of gasoline; he also noticed that the vehicle had trouble starting at times. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop where the fuel line and fuel pump were replaced. The current and failure mileages were approximately 27,000.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #24

Aug 202010


  • miles
NHTSA campaign id number: 09V419000. Fuel leakage. I had the same exact problem with my 2006 Saturn Ion but yet it is not covered under the recall due to it being registered in Colorado. I had to replace the part myself at $400. I saved the original fuel pump just in case you decide to add Colorado to the recall list for this. Why would the same exact problem that is listed in the recall not be covered due to a different state. I think this is unfair.

- Grand Junction, CO, USA

problem #23

Sep 242010


  • 34,000 miles
Fuel leak as a result of a cracked line at fuel pump module. This is the identical defect which a recall was issued by GM for Saturn Ion's registered in states other than NY.

- West Hempstead , NY, USA

problem #22

Aug 192010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 25,950 miles
A week ago I started to get the smell of fuel inside the. Car. I got so bad after a week that you can smell it as you get out of the car. The car started to miss and jerk while I was driving. I took it to my mechanic and said it was the fuel pump. My mechanic is charging me $310 for the pump, and $120 for labor.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #21

Aug 012010


  • 57,000 miles


Fuel pump cracked, leaking fuel- in Missouri.

- Mountain View, MO, USA

problem #20

Jun 122010


  • 54,000 miles
Car was slow to start. Took the Saturn Ion to dealership for check up. Mechanic smelled gasoline and noticed leakage. Upon mechanic inspection of part, found cracks in fuel pump and leakage from fuel tank. Mechanic replaced fuel pump and tank at my expense. Car was bought new in 2006 and has 54,000 miles. Dealer refuses to honor recall because VIN number does not match current recall list.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #19

May 152010


  • 53,000 miles
Smell of gas coming from the car. Upon further investigation supply/return line from top of fuel pump has developed a crack. Replaced fuel pump to resolve issue. There is a recall already for this however it's only effecting 2 states. NHTSA id: 09V419000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #18

Feb 052010


  • 40,858 miles
I smelled gasoline after I would exit the vehicle since I bought it in Sept. Of 2009. Investigated the cause and found gasoline coming down the side of the gas tank. Removed gas tank, and found that the plastic supply or return port on the modular reservoir assembly was cracked and leaking fuel. I did some research and found that in Oct. Of 2009 there was a recall for certain model year 2006 Chevrolet cobalt and Saturn Ion vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in the states of Arizona and Nevada; and model year 2007 Chevrolet cobalt, Pontiac G5 and Saturn Ion vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in the states of Arizona California, Florida, Nevada and Texas. My car is a 2006 but the car was originally sold in the state of fl and I purchased the car from a Saturn dealer in nc but they had purchased it at an auction in fl earlier in the 2009 year. By build date my car was very close to being a 2007. I contacted GM and they informed me that my car was not covered by this recall. An oem fuel pump assembly was purchased and installed by myself.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #17

Mar 312010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 37,369 miles
After going out to dinner key would not come out of ignition. This is the second time this has happen since owning car. First time it happen was on 10/21/07 (mileage 22,006). I took car to Saturn dealer. Ignition was fixed on 10/22/2007 ignition replaced no charges cover by dealer warranty. Second time it happen was on 3/31/2010 took car to Saturn dealer next day 4/01/2010 9 am.(mileage 37,369) they did not have part so I was charged shipping charges ($15) to get part to Saturn dealer. Extended warranty we purchased cover parts & labor. They replaced shifter assembly. Shifter assembly was causing key to stick to ignition dealer claims. Our car was returned on 4/02/2010 at 3 pm.. my Saturn Ion 2006 has had several problems recently 1/30/2010 (mileage 35,987)the car had been smelling like gas inside & outside of car I took to dealer was told fuel was leaking from fuel pump they replace fuel pump module. Extended warranty we purchased covered cost labor & parts. A month later we received a notice from Saturn about the fuel pump problem. We are afraid that these problems will reoccur. Car is well taken care of, dealer is only one who services car.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #16

Feb 062010


  • 27,000 miles
After experiencing lower fuel economy and a smell of gas we had the car checked at an independent garage. The determination was a cracked fuel port on the modular reservoir of the fuel pump, causing a gas leak. We had the modular assembly replaced at our own expense before finding out there was a recall being started. We have the old part in our possesion.

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 032010


  • 49,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion, 49000 mi. Fuel pump leak. NHTSA campaign # 09V419000. No dealers are aware of this GM recall # 090226. How long is it going to take to start getting reimbursements? repairs are over $600.

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #14

Nov 132009


  • 75,000 miles
We noticed a strong of gasoline and a leak at the rear of the car. Mechanic said that the plastic line connecting on the fuel pump module was cracked and gas was leaking. We purchased the part from a Saturn dealership and had our mechanic install. The part cost $346 and our mechanic charged us $100 to install it. Our mechanic suggested we do some research regarding a possible recall on this part and when I did that I found a recall for our vehicle but only for certain states. Our state, Missouri, is not included in this recall, but I don't understand why it matters what state you live in.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #13

Dec 052009


  • 57,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion-3 automatic 2.4L 1. power steering: Power steering goes out nearly every time I drive the vehicle. Saturn dealership changed a sensor I the steering column, but problem persists. It is very dangerous to be driving in the city without power steering. 2. ignition: Car refuses to start when temperature is below 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit. I have been stranded in below freezing weather for almost an hour because of this common Saturn failure.

- Brookville, IN, USA

problem #12

Nov 192009


  • 49,865 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. She smelled a strong odor of gasoline inside of her vehicle. A mechanic concluded that a fuel leak was present. The vehicle was taken to the dealer in which she was advised that she would have to pay for a diagnostic fee prior to inspection. Also the vehicle would intermittently loose power steering. The technician advised her that the steering component would be repaired as a free remedy. The current and failure mileages were 49,865.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

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