NHTSA — Unknown Or Other 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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,160 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Feb 072021


  • 156,000 miles


I had cleared my windows of snow and turned on my rear defrost when I heard a loud pop and discovered my rear window had imploded.. I was parked in my driveway

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #25

Mar 152018


  • miles
My ignition will not turn 'off'. it will get stuck and the only way to fix the problem is to put shifter into reverse and back into park then try to turn the switch off. Also the muffler is not completely stablized to the car without tampering.

- Urbana, IL, USA

problem #24

Nov 042017


  • miles
I purchased this vehicle and the previous owner did not take it for recalls.it has 6 recalls..the car seems to have a leak by gas tank, smells like gas. I got temporary plates for now but car needs to go to emissions.

- Bristol, CT, USA

problem #23

Sep 012017


  • miles


Door will not opne form inside or outside

- Windsor, NC, USA

problem #22

Sep 012016


  • miles
My car has a gas leak.

- Fountain, CO, USA

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problem #21

Feb 202014


  • 0 miles
My car smell light gas and cuts off intermittent. It lot recall on this card. I think my gas fule leak on def parts on it. My emails laquinta85@hotmail.com

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #20

May 152015


  • 165,000 miles


My car began with my ignition switch sticking and I received a recall notice in the mail so I took it to be corrected....after supposably being fixed I'm still having the same problem. Now about 5 months ago I started smelling a faint smell of gas...now its so severe I can't drive the car. It's actually dripping onto the ground. It takes 3 or more times to get it to crank. The gas mileage has gone down from 30 to nothing. From the VIN search my car isn't included in the recall for this which is ridiculous. I don't have the money to have this fixed. I don't understand why GM isn't taking responsibility for this. Lives are at stake here. Please help.

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #19

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 #18

Aug 282015


  • 136,000 miles
Driving on I-95 in richmond va on Aug. 28 at approximately 8:30 pm. Heard a loud bang on my roof. I was not near an overpass and did not see any debris on road. Using my rear-view mirror I observed a large dark object flying off the roof. At first I thought it was a rock but I now believe it to be a large chunk of my glass sunroof flying off. I believe my sunroof exploded.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #17

Aug 202015


  • 68,000 miles
The warning chimes and audible turn signal indicators stopped working. While the headlight on when vehicle is shut off or key left in switch will not cause any safety problem (I don't think), not having the turn signal clicking may lead to driving with a signal left on while driving straight. The other potential problem is that the sound chime no longer works to indicate that the seat belts are not fastened which could cause one to drive without seat belt and increase potential injury in case of a crash.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #16

Jul 042007

Ion 4-cyl

  • 141,000 miles


I have had nothing but problems with this car since I bought it, 2006 Saturn Ion. Why don't you guys just purchase them from us and get them off the road" we are paying out way more than what they are worth. You guys have been spending a bunch these past few months, wouldn't it be cheaper just to buy them from us" I'm fed up with all these problems that I have had and there's no one that will buy these cars from us, I have advertised many of times and no one wants them. I have a 3 year old son and I don't feel comfortable with him in my Saturn. I am going to call whoever I can to see what I can do about someone getting my car off the road because I'm so tired of feeling unsafe and not being able to drive my Saturn because of the terrible feeling I get when I think I am going to have to drive my son in this piece of crap. I would greatly appreciate it if you could have someone contact me or give me further information on who to contact about my situation. My name is [xxx] and you can contact me at [xxx]. thank you and I'll be waiting for someone to call me asap! ! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #15

Jul 282012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 91,778 miles
I hit a bump in the road and my car shut off - keys became stuck in ignition switch. I already had to have my ignition switch repaired, but nobody seems to be able to tell me how to get reimbursed, and I have not received any notification to do so, even though we were told we would receive information about this the first week of April. I have tried to call your contact numbers but always get a run-around and they all say you have to wait until the letter comes out the first week of April. The first week of April has past and I have not received any notification on how to get my reimbursement. I would like for someone to let me know how to get my form for reimbursement.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #14

Sep 272011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
On 9/27/2011 I was unable to turn the key to the off in my ignition. The car stayed on and I cannot remove the key from the on position. There are thousands of complaints online regarding the very same problem with the Saturn Ion. This is a safety problem and is very dangerous. This vehicle and/ or part must be recalled.

- Lakewood , CO, USA

problem #13

Aug 092011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 90,300 miles
After driving this car for several years I never knew that so many Saturn drivers had my issues. The car has a strange knock in the back. It sounds like it is coming from the trunk. There are often strong smells of gasoline. It has begun to capture the key. I have to fight with it to get the key out and now it has started to cut off while I am driving. The latest incident is what I am writing about which is a cut off while driving. I made a slow left turn and the car promptly shut off on me while I was going up the hill. It occurred when I first got the vehicle, it has occurred at least 5 times since with this morning being the most recent time. It is increasing in between cut offs. It cut off on me only 2 weeks ago as I made a right and went up a hill.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #12

Jan 122011


  • 19,052 miles
Continual computer/electrical problems beginning - 1/12/10 + 1/14/10 + 12/29/10 + 6/21/11 + current problem 6/25/11 dealership charged $120 for diagnosis each incidence since 12/19/10. Current mileage 22,170.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #11

Mar 012011


  • miles
Wh referral letter of complaint regarding Saturn and General Motors unable to get parts to repair his 2006 Saturn Ion. The consumer stated the dealer knows what the problem is concerning the vehicle, but Saturn was not producing the part and was unable to give the consumer an answer as to when it would be available.

- Plainview, TX, USA

problem #10

Jan 282011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
I got home on Friday Jan 28, and put my car in park, tried to turn the key into the off position and it wouldn't move. I sat in my driveway, freezing, waiting for a friend to come over and stop the motor, unhook the fuses, and unhook the battery. Paid for a new key cylinder, paid to have it rekeyed, and paid a locksmith to take out the old one and replace the new one. It worked for a few hours and then it did the same thing, only this time I went to go start my car, and the key just wont turn. The locksmith came back out and said he can't fix it, it is a manufacture defect. I have read online of hundreds of others having the same problem, and I called Saturn customer service, and they said there is nothing they can do. I asked why there wasn't a recall and she couldn't tell me, I asked who would know, and she said no one. She said there is no actual person that I can talk to about that. She refused to let me speak to a supervisor. Google Saturn Ion ignition, and omg there are hundreds of people with this same defect. I worry for the mom with her babies in the car driving to the store and not being able to shut off her car. Something needs to be done about this.

- Maysville, NC, USA

problem #9

Mar 012010


  • 70,000 miles
The ignition key would not turn off the vehicle. It was stuck in the on position with the car running. I had to drive to my mechanic and have him disconnect the battery to get it to stop. He rebuilt the ignition, but I continue to have problems with the key getting stuck after shut off. There has been another continuing ignition problem in my 2006 Ion for a couple of years, before and after the key got stuck in the on position. The key continually gets stuck in the ignition after shut off and will not come out until I play with it (restarting the car, moving it a bit, playing with the door locks, etc.) for a couple of minutes.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #8

Nov 092010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
I own a 2006 Saturn Ion and yesterday my key got stuck in the ignition and the car would not turn off. No one was able to get my key out or my car off, so I took it into the dealership and they had to replace the cylinder and it cost $430. I researched online and there are hundreds of other people having the exact same problem with these Saturn and there has not been a recall. I feel this should be a recall through Saturn, so I wanted to file a formal complaint.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #7

Oct 172010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 68,857 miles
I own a 2006 Saturn Ion level 2 that I bought fairly knew in 2007. I have noticed a clicking noise for several months after I put my key in the ignition to start my car. I have also noticed for several months when I try to turn my car off, that it became more and more difficult to get the key out of the switch. Just three days ago I tried to turn my car off after driving and the ignition would not shut off at all nor could I get my key out. I was stranded out of town until I could call a family member to come and figure out how to shut my car off. It took him hours before he just decided to take out the fuse and unhook the battery. After hours of trying to figure out how I can get back home safely and drive on the interstate 4 hours away from where I was visiting. I now have to start my car by hooking the ignition wire switch just so that I can have transportation. I have researched this and apparently there is a long list of Saturn owners who have had the same complaint with their vehicles since at 2007. I could not find one recall in regards to a ignition cylinder malfunction on the internet or this site. I am outraged because this is a safety issue I could have easily been driving and god knows what else could have happened. The estimated cost for this repair is about 500 to 600 dollars which is a ridiculous cost that owners should have to pay for. It need to be on the recall list immediately, this is a safety issue someone could get seriously hurt.

- Columbia, MO, USA

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