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:
17 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
14 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,597 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #52

Jun 012016


  • 50 miles


I was in California driving on a curving mountain road in lake arrowhead- it was dark. I veered off the road into a tree. I don't have a clear memory of much after that.the airbags did not deploy. My face broke the windshield. I had my seat belt improperly fastened. I sustained a concussion and broke left nasal bone and septum deep lacerations under left eye across top of nose. Paramedics took me local hospital where they thought I'd better go down to a big hospital and they sent me to arrowhead regency hospital down the hill in san brenardino.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #51

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 #50

Jul 242014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving approximately 65 mph, the contact's vehicle was rear ended by another vehicle. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was filed. The following day, the contact went to the hospital due to chest bruises and back injuries. The vehicle was examined by the insurance company and declared destroyed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The failure mileage was not available.

- Max Meadows, VA, USA

problem #49

Feb 282011


  • 63,706 miles


I had an very occasional intermittent problem that basically caused the power steering to shut off for about a second or two. It always seemed to happen on a turn. I tried to have it fixed but no one saw it in action to identify it. It usually happened on a turn and quickly returned to normal. It happened on a road with a small bend in it. It did not restart working before I drove off the road into a filbert field. I suffered multiple concussions in the crash. I saw a specialist due to my memory loss and he said I likely had 3 concussions: Front into steering wheel/air bag; side - breaking driver window with head; and top side due to side curtain air bag.

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

problem #48

Jun 142014


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 70 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The contact stated that the part was not available to repair the vehicle under NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering). In addition, the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000: (air bags, electrical system), but the failure recurred. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000.

- Fairmont, WV, USA

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problem #47

Dec 102014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign id number: 14V153000 (steering), NHTSA campaign id number: 14V171000 (electrical system), and NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). However, the part needed was unavailable to repair the vehicle. The dealer was unable to inform when the part would become available. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #46

Feb 072007


  • 40,000 miles


Was driving at a slow speed off an off ramp when my car felt like it stalled and it turned off which I thought it was another cat who hit me because there was no other explanation at the time. It set me in a spin and the car hit the wall but the air bag didn't go off. I ended up in the hospital with an injured back and head. Could it have been the faulty ignition? my car kept stalling after the body repair. I took the car into the dealership in dumber of the same year and my car was diagnosed with a faulty ignition switch. This is not the only incident but thankfully I was just injured and I still have my life.

- Palmdale, CA, USA

problem #45

Aug 192014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
On August 19,2014 there was an incident that involved me with my 2006 Saturn Ion. I was proceeding out of to drive off when all of the sudden my power steering became hard to maneuver and seen as though the car was shutting off in which a child was running across the street at that time I did the best I could and my car bump my neighbor vehicle. I received a strained muscle in my hand that my doctor diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome (nerve damages). My car have done this several times. I shouldn't have T I die nor my son or have a life permanent injury that would hinder me from enjoying my life. GM told congress that they would do the right thing by its victims regardless the nature of injury.I have to suffer with this agonizing pain and swelling with the aid of medication. Nasa I expect you to do the right thing hold them liable for putting these faulty knowing these car was not safe for consumer purchase. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #44

Aug 152014


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While attempting to pull off from a traffic light and making a turn, the steering wheel became inoperable and difficult to maneuver. As a result, another vehicle crashed into the front driver side of the contact's vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. The contact sustained injuries to the left shoulder and left hip due to the seat belt. The contact did not seek medical attention. The contact was uncertain if the other driver sustained injuries, but the driver was intoxicated. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) and believed the failure was related to the recall. The approximate failure mileage was 102,000.

- Robstown, TX, USA

problem #43

Oct 162014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 88,600 miles
I was traveling down the highway at between 70-75mph when I lost control of the vehicle and struck the guard cable, traveling through over 200 ft of it. The front end of the car was demolished, the front axle was broken in half, the rear quarter panel of the driver's side was ripped off, the roof was horribly dented and scratched, the windshield was broken in multiple places - one spot by my head - and the front bumper and headlights were no longer there. The vehicle was totaled out by the insurance co... my air bags did not deploy. I had a terrible concussion and severe whiplash on an already pre-existing degenerative spine condition, and the only thing that saved my life was my seatbelt. There is no reason according to the police and first responders on the scene as well as the facility where my car was towed for the insurance company. I feel like my neck surgery to replace a disc and fuse my spine with a titanium cage at the end of 2012 has been severely aggravated and my 20 months of healing has gone back to square one. This is devastating to me and I will go public about this in any way I know possible. This never should've happened.

- Lawrence, KS, USA

problem #42

May 022011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 70,500 miles


My air bag light dings and stays lite regularly when driving. I had an accident several years ago and air bags did not deploy.

- Desoto, TX, USA

problem #41

Jun 102014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch and power steering recall notices. The consumer stated after the new ignition was installed, she proceeded to drive home. While driving, the steering mechanism lights lit up and a bing sound was heard. The consumer returned to the dealer, where they informed her, about a recall regarding the steering.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #40

Jul 242014

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
In 2012 my car key was stuck in the ignition. The next day after 450.00+ the dealership replaced the ignition cylinder. A few months later both airbag lights came on & stayed on. The dealership told me since it was an issue with the airbag & safety there would not be a charge for the dianostic; when I arrived I was told that there would be a $75 charge. I left the dearship without the testing. A couple of months later the oil was changed & I asked for a test to check the airbag light. When finished the tech said they were unable to determine the issue with the airbag & I would need to take it to another dealership. We are a one car household so I had to wait until being without a car would have minimal impact. When I heard about the recall I waited & had the dealership due a test in case it was something affected by the ignition cylinder. Last week I took it to the servicing dealership & asked they check the airbag light. Later I received a call advising the airbag sensor had shorted out & a new sensor would cost 900.00+. I mentioned disabling the airbag & was told it is against federal law to do so. The service tech said in ks seat belts on cars purchased in ks are covered under warranty for 10 yrs & 3 yrs for airbags. I suggest that car co.'s consider a lifetime or life of car ownership warranty for both seat belts & airbags. Few have close to 1K to spend on repairing/replacing an airbag sensor & it doesn't make sense to have a law stating the airbag can't be disabled but its okay to knowingly put a car on the streets with a non/potential non-working airbag. The seatbelts & airbags work in tandam to protect shouldn't their warranties also be together? having seatbelts & airbags covered for the life of the car will show the public in light of recent recalls car companies will do what is needed to show consumers their & their passengers safety are a priority.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #39

May 202014


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the airbags needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was a 103,000.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #38

May 172014


  • 87,000 miles
While we we're stop at a stop sign, a vehicle crashed into us while making a turn. Our Ion air bags didn't deploy and now ignition switch will not turn off. We had Ion fix and also the recall on the power steering has been fix, but still has the problem of ignition switch not turning off. This is a problem with many Ions and it alarms me as to safety!

- Slidell, LA, USA

problem #37

May 302014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system) and 14V171000 (electrical system); however, the parts were unavailable to repair the vehicle. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer could specify when the parts would arrive. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Clayton, OH, USA

problem #36

Jul 102013

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch reimbursement.

- Hopkinsville, KY, USA

problem #35

Jun 152014


  • 79,826 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated there were numerous attempts before the vehicle would start. Additionally, the vehicle stalled and the failure recurred five times. There was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system. The failure occurred after the recall repair was performed. The vehicle was not repaired for the recent failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 79,826.

- Mt. Hollie, NC, USA

problem #34

May 152014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
The steering column assembly (including key switch, turn signal, wiper control, etc.) was loose upon getting the vehicle back from the repairs for the key switch recall. This was not like this prior to the recall repairs and represents sloppy workmanship by dealership employees repairing the vehicle or poor design that won't stay tight. By this being loose, there could be damage to the wires or the wires could come unplugged inside the steering column. This would include air bag wires, key switch wires, etc. There would also be a possibility of fire if this problem isn't corrected as the wires could short out. I believe all the vehicles that have been repaired should be recalled again to check for this problem and repair them if it is found that it is loose.

- Adams Center, NY, USA

problem #33

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

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