NHTSA — Fuel System, Gasoline Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 1 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 1 of 5)

problem #91

Jan 262016

Ion 4-cyl

  • 124,000 miles


Leaking fuel. Trying to replace fuel line and see if that solves the problem. Had same problem 2 months ago with 2004 Saturn VIN [xxx]. very frustrating to see years of complaints on this problem with only limited recall. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Esko, MN, USA

problem #90

Dec 242013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
We noticed the smell of gas and a puddle of gas in front of the rear tire on the driver side. I crawled under the car and looked at the gas lines. They were corroded very badly from just in front of the tire all the way back to the gas tank. This is where there are many bends in the pipeline which probably caused the rust protective coating to fail. The gas dripped for quite a while. I have had cars much older than the Saturn which did not corrode the gas lines. Online searching shows this is a fairly common problem with the Saturn Ion to fail just in front of the rear driver side. This has a high potential to cause a fire or poison smells if the car were parked inside. Fortunately there was no fire and it was not inside my garage. I hope someone does something before people are injured.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #89

Dec 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Fuel smell and fuel leakage under car. Cracked fuel line? recall has been issued for southern states, but I live in Ohio. Recall should be extended to all states, since my breakdown occurred at only 70,000 miles. I am unable to drive the car or repair it due to expense and obvious safety concerns for my family.

- Miamisburg, OH, USA

problem #88

Sep 012014


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that after refueling the vehicle, the odor of gasoline was present inside. After inspecting the vehicle the contact discovered that fuel was leaking from the fuel tank. The contact also indicated that the air bag warning light illuminated and the horn would not operate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Pacific, MO, USA

problem #87

Aug 202014


  • 105,864 miles
My Saturn was at the dealer for the GM ignition recall. The dealer told me my fuel lines were rotted and leaking. I thought this odd since the car was at the mechanic's for a rusted exhaust the week before. I called my mechanic from the dealer and he said to bring the car back that day. He found the leaking lines. Total cost of repairs $567.42 since all GM parts were purchased. The dealer had to have known to look for this problem, leading me to believe it's a known issue.

- Wallkill, NY, USA

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problem #86

Aug 062014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 89,915 miles
Have fuel leak fuel leak from fuel pump module top of tank dripping aheadof left rear wheel.

- East Wareham, MA, USA

problem #85

Jul 222014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 88,105 miles


Very strong fuel smell coming from rear of vehicle. No sign of fuel underneath vehicle. There is a fuel system recall (GM # 090226) describing these same symptoms for 2006 Saturn Ions purchased in California. Recall warns of fire danger. GM representative reports my vehicle is not covered based on VIN number, but all symptoms match recall and I don't think that the car is safe to drive, especially since we have a three-year-old in a car seat in the back much of the time.

- Redlands, CA, USA

problem #84

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 #83

Jun 022014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle electrical system issues. Recently, the emergency brake the consumer stated the check engine light illuminated twice and finally, the fuel injectors were replaced. Recently, the emergency brake light illuminated and stayed on without the emergency brake being pulled. Also, when she pushed the shifter knob, there was a noise in the steering column. There was an issue with the electrical power steering. It would go out and resume normal operation, while driving. The consumer stated she heard a knocking noise, when she drove over a bump and the check engine light illuminated again. Updated 08/06/14

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #82

Sep 142012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 73,165 miles
The fuel pump was leaking, and I had to deal with the gasoline smell every time that I used my car. I paid $798.94 to have this issue fixed at car-X in des moines, who failed to tell me that this issue was under recall. (recall id # 66616, GM recall id # 090226). I am now going to request reimbursement for this fix.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #81

May 142014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 182,000 miles


On May 14th, I parked my vehicle and the windows were down. We smelt a strong order of gas coming from the rear of my Saturn. My friend laid under the car with a flash light and noticed gas coming down the side of the fuel tank. He had me bring it in to him on the 15th to his auto hobby shop and he placed it on the lift only to discover that all sides of the tank have presence of gas. He told me he needs to drop the tank because he can't see the direct source of where the gas is coming from. I went online and saw that there was a recall with similar description of symptoms I have noticed. When I called my local dealer, he said that my problem was addressed and already handled when the recall first came out. I am having the same problem it may seem. If it is the same issue with the fuel pump and it was replaced by a dealership as stated it needed to be, wouldn't it be GM's responsibility if the fuel pump they replaced it with was also faulty" I drive 3 grand babies around on a daily basis and this is not safe. I could understand if it was not on recall and there was just a random thing that happened. Could you please advise me on steps to follow"

- Twentynine Palms, CA, USA

problem #80

Apr 252014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 105,100 miles
Within an hour of bringing the vehicle home from getting the fuel pump replaced on April 25, 2014, I received a frantic call from my daughter, panicked she had just been involved in an accident. She states she was driving home in a residential area and the car started veering back and forth uncontrollably. The car careened into the curb damaging the front passenger side and tire. It hit with such force, the vehicle ricochet back into the middle of the road. My daughter then shifted it into park, turned it off and attempted to exit. The doors would not open and could not be unlocked, manually or with the key fob. 2 men driving by stopped and attempted to help her out of the vehicle, with no luck. As a last resort, she had to break out the driver side front window to escape. I then called dayl graves dealership, and was instructed to have the vehicle towed back to their dealership so they could evaluate the vehicle. It is currently still at their dealership. After kevin, the mechanic, looked at the vehicle, he determined it was an issue with the power steering motor & column. Updated 08/20/14

- Walla Walla, WA, USA

problem #79

Nov 012013


  • 160,000 miles
The same parts listed in the below recall all affect the 2006 Saturn Ion 2 in illinios. Report receipt date: Oct 29, 2009 NHTSA campaign number: 09V419000 component(s): Fuel system, gasoline all products associated with this recall expand details close 15 associated documents expand manufacturer: General Motors Corp. Summary: General Motors is recalling 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. The plastic supply or return port on the modular reservoir assembly may crack. If either of these ports develops a crack, fuel will leak from the area. If the crack becomes large enough, fuel may be observed dripping onto the ground and vehicle performance may be affected. Consequence: Fuel leakage, in the presence of an ignition source, could result in a fire. Remedy: Dealers will replace the fuel pump module free of charge. A special coverage will be implemented in the same time frame for model year 2006 vehicles registered in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas and model year 2007 vehicles registered in: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee. The safety recall is expected to begin on or before February 4, 2010. Notes: GM recall no. 090226. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (tty 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

- Sugar Grove, IL, USA

problem #78

Oct 272013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 61,069 miles
Was refueling veh. And when almost full, fuel started to run on ground. Stopped refueling, and looked under car. Fuel was dripping from front, center of tank.

- Fieldsboro, NJ, USA

problem #77

Oct 012013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
I have had nothing but problems with my Saturn Ion since I have owned it. First there was a purge solenoid that went out on my car which affected how I started it. Then my key got stuck in my ignition with the car on! I had to disconnect the fuel pump fuse and the battery to get the car off. A month later of driving the car without being able to use the key, I ordered a new part for it and had a friend rebuild the ignition in the car and now only my spare key to the car will work. Now the most recent issue to date is the fuel pump. I started smelling gas about a month ago and it gradually got worse over time. Took it to have it looked at and there is now gas leaking onto my gas tank and gasoline is also pooling under my car! huge problem! my friend says it is the fuel pump that is going out on the car and I do see that it is under recall but I don't think my car falls under the recall which is ridiculous!

- Maineville , OH, USA

problem #76

Aug 112013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Drove to local market, 5 minutes from my home, key stuck in on position, could not turn car off, drove back home, contacted on-star road side assistance-fuse to disengage fuel pump was pulled and battery disconnected (it was the only way to turn off the car)-car towed to GM dealer replacement of ignition switch with core drilling to fix vehicle-cost $340 plus cost of rental car for 2 days!

- Whitehall, NY, USA

problem #75

Aug 082013


  • 52,000 miles
With regards to the 2006 Saturn Ion, my Ion has suffered three of the major problems described in the complain section of the NHTSA web site. {1} fuel leaking from fuel pump area. {2} ignition key gets stuck in the on position car can not be shut off. {3} power steering stops working while car is running making it difficult to steer. With regards to the last problem I brought my car to a G.M. dealer and was advised that the problem was the power steering motor. They replaced the motor at no charge.telling me it was under warranty. They also advised me that there was a recall regarding the fuel pump modulator. I am now fighting with GM to try and get my money back. With regards to the sticking key in the ignition I believe that if we get enough complainants maybe NHTSA can do something. If you have suffered any of these problems and have not repaired your auto please head straight to your local GM dealer. If you have paid for repairs out of your pocket your GM dealer has proper paperwork for you to submit.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #74

Nov 012012

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn ion3. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, a strong fuel odor emitted inside of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who stated that there was a fuel leak. The manufacturer was contacted and informed the contact that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 09V419000 (fuel system, gasoline). The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 34,000. Updated 02/14/13

- Dunfries, VA, USA

problem #73

Apr 242012


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that there was an overpowering odor of gasoline emitting from the vehicle. A fuel tank leak was later discovered by the contact and the dealer was contacted, who offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 135,000.

- Agua Dulce , CA, USA

problem #72

Apr 202012


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving 25 mph when the smell of fuel emitted inside of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was advised that the fuel pump needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted and they stated that the VIN failed to qualify for repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 09V419000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 47,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

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