NHTSA — Steering Problems

2006 Saturn Ion (Page 17 of 25)

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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:
17 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,369 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 17 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #179

Jul 072010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


Power steering failure in 2006 Saturn Ion 3 with 56000 miles.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #178

Apr 152010


  • 25,000 miles
Power steering clicks and shuts off multiple times during any given drive. Turning the car off and on only "fixes" the problem for a short time. When power steering shuts off, car very hard to steer.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #177

Jun 302010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 83,800 miles
The power steering in my Saturn 2006 Ion light comes on. After the light comes on, the power steering fails and I need to shut the car off and back on again in order to correct the problem. It happened on June 30th 3 times, July 1st 1-2 times and July 3rd 1-2 times. I had to get the power steering motor replaced in order to fix the problem. I found out that GM is recalling certain cars for the same exact problem and that the same parts in the cars they are recalling is in the Saturn. The Saturn Ion's should be included in the recall as well.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #176

Jul 012006


  • 25,400 miles


I was driving home at lunch from work which is approx. 10 mins. When turning on to a main road which is considered a state highway my powersteering light went on and I lost power steering and I almost lost control of my car. I researched this and found this is a known problem for my car. There has been reports of the electrical power steering and failing and there is no recall. However, this is the same problem with the Chevy cobalt which does have recalls on.

- Allentown, PA, USA

problem #175

Jul 012010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 103,500 miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Problem: Complete loss of power steering while car is running and traveling at various speeds (including while traveling at highway speed). Once engine is shut off and restarted power steering works. In the last three days this has happened 6 to 8 times. I checked the fuse and it was fine. I checked on-line and also saw numerous similar complaints. Most recent date of incident is listed below.

- West Grennwich, RI, USA

problem #174

Jun 152010


  • 48,000 miles
Have a power steering is cutting out when I was driving in a ramp, steering wheel is too hard to turn. Have a error code "pwr str" in front panel too fix problem just turn off the car and start car again but the problem come back again the car is a Saturn Ion 2006 (48000 miles). The dealer said that I need to replace the steering column aprox 900 usd.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #173

Jun 062010


  • 51,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving at 45 mph when the power steering warning light illuminated. The steering wheel became extremely difficult to steer but the contact was able to drive to his destination without incident. The failure persisted intermittently. The vehicle was diagnosed at a local repair facility where they were unable to produce any diagnostic codes. The mechanic replaced the power steering motor with the expectation of correcting the failure. The failure did not recur. The failure and current mileage was 51,000.

- Springfield , MO, USA

problem #172

Apr 082009

Ion 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
Power steering went out on my 2006 Saturn Ion. Had to have it fixed and the dealer told me they have other lines with the same problem. I saw the other GM models power steering is going out. We need to have this model added to their list. I also killed myself and my children when it went out. I feel GM needs to acknowledge this problem before someone does get killed. Because I would sue the heck out of them or my family members.

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #171

May 012009


  • 46,900 miles
I purchased a 2006 Saturn Ion in June of 2010, the powersteering light was on and the car was very hard to turn, the dealership told me that it was low on powersteering fluid, in checking I found that the Saturn Ion had electric powersteering and that the powersteering motor needed to be replaced, the dealership replaced the motor and the powersteering in my 2006 Saturn Ion still fails to work, the car can not turn without using extreme force, now I have to take it back to a service dealer (which is at closest 350 miles) with no powersteering and pump more money into the problem. This is highly dangerous to drive, if there were an emergency and the car needed to turn quickly it would not happen, your almost can't turn into a parking stall at the store or even turn onto another street, it takes both hands and plenty of muscle to turn the car, the safety of all who are in the car is at risk, I can't understand why Saturn hasn't issued a recall for this problem. In checking on line I found that this is a real problem with the Saturn Ion and there are many many more complaints about it, I also found that the chev. Cobalt had the same problem and there was a recall on it, so what is the difference between the Saturn and the cobalt. This is an issue going through alot of Saturn owners and it needs to be addressed now!!!!

- Moab, UT, USA

problem #170

May 102010


  • 87,000 miles
I have a Saturn Ion 2006 and randomly my power steering goes out. If I restart my car it comes back on but will eventually happen again. It is rare that it happens in the morning hours. My car model is all electric, no power steering fluid. I figure it isn't a fuse bc it works when it wants to. The cobalt has the same recall out, yet Saturn has yet to issue one. I fear they are hoping not to fix this while they are still around as I hear they will be no longer in a year or 2.

- Pittsfield, MA, USA

problem #169

Apr 072010


  • 70,000 miles


2006 Saturn Ion loss of power steering. Both my self and my sisters car has had to have the entire power steering column replaced at a cost of over $1000 after reading the internet this is a problem with a lot of Saturn owners all the way back to 2003. This situation almost killed myself and my two children when the power steering went out doing 65 miles per hour on the interstate.

- Middletown, DE, USA

problem #168

Jun 202010


  • 42,000 miles
The steering on Saturn Ion 3, 2006 loses power during the regular operation. The car has to be steered clear of traffic (requires a great amount of force from the driver). It needs a restart, upon which the power steering works for about 15 mins and the steering power goes out again. I am having to replace all of my steering column for a correction of this problem and my warranty is expired and I will have to pay out of my pocket.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #167

Mar 012010


  • 57,000 miles
I have a 2006 Saturn Ion, and the electric power steering has been failing for approximately 3 month. The failures started with no prior problems with the car since I bought the car as the 2nd owner in 2008. The problems started when the vehicle had approximately 57,000 miles. The electric steering will work some day for a couple of miles, and there are days that it fails as soon as the vehicle is started. I am able to correct the failure by turning off the car and restarting the vehicle, however, the electric steering goes out again anywhere from a few blocks to a few miles later. My wife has almost crashed several times due to the failures. I have checked the fuses, and everything appears in working order, but I don't have the 1200 dollars to replace the entire steering column.

- Oakland, FL, USA

problem #166

May 252010


  • 29,000 miles
When driving... not necessarily turning at all.. pwr str comes up on the display with the chime and the power steering quits working. Must restart car to make it work again. Seems to happen more often when weather is hot...may just be a coincidence. Happens sometimes 3 times a day (within an hour), sometimes not for a week. Power steering system and motor were replaced at dealership. Don't know if they kept the defective part. Car has less than 30K miles on it.

- Metairie, LA, USA

problem #165

May 272010


  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated when starting the vehicle and driving, the power steering would fail within two traveled miles. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility where the mechanic advised replacing the entire steering column. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 39,000.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #164

Oct 012009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that he had been experiencing a recurring failure with the ignition switch. The key would intermittently become stuck in the ignition switch and the vehicle would not turn off without repeated attempts at removing the key. The contact also stated that during the winter the vehicle intermittently would not start without repeated attempts. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and was in the process of being inspected at the time of the complaint. The contact also stated that while driving at approximately 25 mph and attempting to make a turn, the steering wheel locked and a power steering service light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact pulled over and restarted the vehicle; upon restart, the vehicle functioned normal. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The failure continued to occur and the vehicle was taken back to an authorized dealer where an unknown service was performed on the vehicle. The failure had not occurred since the repair. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000. The current mileage was approximately 71,000.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #163

May 012010


  • 35,876 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While driving at 45 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the power steering failed. The contact moved the vehicle off the roadway and after several minutes, the power steering reset itself. The contact had experienced the failure approximately thirty times. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was able to secure an appointment with the dealer for repairs. The failure mileage was 35,876 and the current mileage as 35,102.

- Safety Harbor, FL, USA

problem #162

Jun 062010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 41,883 miles
Power steering failure.

- Deerfield Beach, FL, USA

problem #161

May 072010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion, VIN [xxx], electronic power steering (eps) failed while driving. Steering requires excessive force. Safety issue. Eps failure is intermittent. Dealership service department has indicated that recently 1.3 million 2005 cobalts were recalled for the very same problem. The dealership service advisor informed us that they anticipate a similar recall on 2006 models that have similar eps configurations. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #160

Apr 132010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While the contact was driving approximately 55 mph, a chime sounded inside of the vehicle followed by the power steering warning light illumination. Suddenly, there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was driven to the side of the road with difficulty turning the steering wheel. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed with the functioning of the power steering for a short period of time before failure. The failure occurred intermittently at various speeds traveled. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 80,000. Updated 10/27/10 the consumer stated GM issued a recall to fix the problem. Updated 11/01/10

- Somerville, AL, USA

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