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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2006 Saturn Ion:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments (Page 7 of 25)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #379

Dec 142012


  • 72,500 miles


I have a 2006 Saturn Ion 2.2. the first time the power steering went out on December 14th I was going about 45mph. The third time it went out I was going about 70mph on the interstate. The first time I called the dealership they stated that it would be $61 to run a diagnostic on the car. I didn't have the extra cash at that time so I decided to wait. On December 31st, 2012, the power steering went out again. I called the dealership and spoke with the service manager, he told me to bring the car in that day. They replaced the power steering motor. On my way to work on Wednesday January 2, 2013 the power steering went out again. I called the dealership and they told me that it would cost $61 to have the diagnostic ran. I feel at this point I have no other action because I can not keep driving this car in this condition. I, however, do not feel that I should have to pay for a diagnostic when GM knows that there are issues with the power steering. I feel that the consumer is being taken by GM. I have always owned GM vehicles but this will probably be my last one. I realize that my car has over 70,000 mile on it but if GM knows there are issues then why should I have to pay for their problem. I have also read other posts that states this could also be electrical. If GM knows that it maybe electrical then why are they not trying to fix the problem. Within the first two years that I owned this car I had to have the ignition replaced 5 times. Any assistance you can give me in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

- Nitro, WV, USA

problem #378

Dec 152012


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the power steering warning light began flashing as the power steering assist failed. The contact shut off and restarted the vehicle in order for the power steering assist to initiate. The contact stated that the steering wheel then began exhibiting an abnormal grinding sound after the failure. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The failure and the current mileages were 61,000.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #377

Dec 112012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
While driving the pwr srg light came on and the steering seized. Pulled into a parking lot and had towed to garage where I found that it was the power assist motor.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #376

Jul 132012


  • 16,607 miles


This vehicle was purchased brand new and driven very little. Protected in closed in garage. Drove to Colorado springs for vacation and went to visit relatives. Parked vehicle in front of relative home and the key couldn't be turned to shut off the car. Fortunately there was a neighbor of my relatives that new how to shut it off by disconnecting the battery cables. To start the car the cables had to be hooked back up. Drove to ferguson Buick GMC in Colorado springs and they checked it. The tumbler came apart, won't turn off, replaced ignition lock. Was charged for housing kit (15857948), code cyl, cylinder kit (20869121), labor and cost of parts totalled $614.22. With only 16, 607 miles from 2006 to 2012 this should not have happened. Today, November 30, 2012, I went to drive my vehicle and when I started the engine all the lights on the dash and message about steering off trac keeps flashing and it said something about steering fluid, brakes and the lights were going crazy. I am afraid to drive it so I drove it back into my garage. Couldn't drive it like that. Now what is wrong. This vehilce has been paid for since 2008 and only has 19, 000 miles on it. My husband bought me this vehicle as a surprise and little did he know he would get pancreatic cancer the following year. He wanted me to have a dependable extra vehicle. I cannot keep paying money to fix a vehicle that I am afraid to drive. May get stranded somewhere. I wouldn't feel in good conscious to even sell it to anyone. Not worth what he paid for it.

- Newcastle, OK, USA

problem #375

Nov 102012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 159,400 miles
Synopsis: My Saturn Ion experienced a power steering failure four times in one day. GM declined to replace the steering motor because the vehicle mileage exceeded its "special coverage" limit by 9,000 miles. Event: I was driving down a mountain roadway, elevation 9,000 feet, at about 35 M.P.H. when an alarm sounded in my 2006 Saturn Ion. The dashboard noted a "power steering failure, " which I had never seen before. The steering wheel froze, and I was only able to turn it less than a centimeter in either direction. There was no shoulder so I parked the car in the lane, turned off the engine, waited and restarted. The failure warning went away. I had no choice but to continue driving because of where I was. The same failure happened four times within 25 minutes during my drive before I was off the mountain. I believe it should be noted I was in constant fear of another failure as I drove the winding downhill road where quick steering was required. In June 2012, GM mailed me notification that this problem could occur. The problem happened exactly as described in "special coverage" bulletin 10187-2, but that bulletin states: "do not take your vehicle to your GM dealer as a result of this letter unless you believe that your vehicle has the condition as described." I immediately contacted my local dealership, O'rielly Chevrolet, and took the car in the moment the dealer opened. GM assigned me case number [xxx], and ultimately declined to replace the motor or offer cost assistance because I exceed the "special coverage" limit by 9,000 miles. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #374

Oct 022012


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the power steering warning lamp illuminated as the power steering failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 42,000 and the current mileage was 42,900.

- New Carlisle, IN, USA

problem #373

Oct 052012


  • 138,478 miles


Power steering repeatedly shows up on the dash and the power steering does seem tight and its a loud clunk when you turn the wheel back and fourth slowly. Its common and there has been a recall in some states a lot of people got this paid for and its 1200 to fix.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #372

Oct 082012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 67,299 miles
Daughter driving for experience of a license. While driving heard a sound then the pwr strng sign appeared on the dash board. The steering locked up. Was very difficult to turn. Husband had to take over the driving. Would shut the car off. Start it again, a minute later it would reoccur. Not safe for a just learning driver or my mother (78) if it were to happen with either one while turning. Called Saturn, they are accepting the responsibility. Referred us to GM dealer to diagnose. If diagnose is confirmed with prior incidents reported they will cover the new parts, labor and diagnostic tests. Saturn gets credit for stepping up.

- Surprise, AR, USA

problem #371

Oct 092012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
Driving down street and pwr str message came on, power steering went out while turning!! 1 hour later, power steering is back on and working fine!

- Centre Hall, PA, USA

problem #370

Sep 282012


  • 97,532 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated while driving 40 mph the power steering warning light illuminated as the power steering system malfunctioned, causing the steering wheel to seize. The contact was able to pull over to the side of the road and shut the vehicle off. The contact restarted the vehicle with the power steering warning light still illuminated. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 97,532.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #369

Sep 172012


  • 86,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving 37 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated as the steering wheel became difficult to control. After the vehicle was turned off, the vehicle drove normally however the failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was scheduled for diagnosis. The failure and current mileages was 86,000.

- Elizabethtown, PA, USA

problem #368

Sep 132012


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and then the power steering assist failed. The vehicle was turned off and on as the steering reset independently. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 55,000.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #367

May 212012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Car began to make excessive rattling and clunking in front end and the steering felt very loose. Took to GM dealer and they found the entire front end pretty much shot. Control arm bushings, sway bar links, and struts all replaced. The dealer said the steering column was fractured and near failure. Steering I shaft and column were replaced. Around $3000 in parts and labor at 71000, not my idea of a quality built vehicle. Major safety hazard for something with this kind of mileage.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #366

Aug 112012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 66,926 miles
Twice in 3 wks. The power steering light has come on, resulting in difficulty in steering. Had to turn car off, and then it would re-set itself. Was on the freeway, and luckily, was able to exit without any problem. I see this has been reported and should be on a recall list, due to its potential danger.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #365

Aug 212012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 93,100 miles
I was driving my car through town when the dash suddenly made an alert sound and a 'pwr str' light came on. My power steering instantly stopped working. I was in the middle of a three lane street and in the process of merging lanes, so the power steering failure almost caused me to run into another car. After I shut my car off and started it again, the power steering worked fine for about 5 miles before the message came back up and the power steering failed once again. I drive at least 15-20 miles through the city for my job each day, and it's a huge safety hazard for me when the power steering stops working. It has been failing at least 2 or 3 times a day since the first incident occurred. I drove to my parents' house which is 80 mile from my current home, and the power steering failed at least 7 times during the drive. I loose almost all of my control over the vehicle whenever this occurs, and I'm very concerned for my safety and the safety of the others on the road near me.

- Mahnomen, MN, USA

problem #364

Aug 082012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Was driving on parkway when started to go on off ramp car started to peep and on dash board it showed pwr strp and than engine light came on steering wheel got hard to maneuver. If U turn off car for 15 minutes light is off on dash but it will come on again after driving for 2 or 3 miles.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

problem #363

Jul 292012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
While driving a "pwr str" light came on and the power steering stopped working while driving. Turning off the car and cranking again fixes the problem. This creates a hazard while driving as its behavior is unpredictable. This car was left out of a previous Saturn recall with similar complaints. A google search of "Saturn Ion steering not working" will return many results of owners with similar complaints.

- Monroe, LA, USA

problem #362

Jul 172012


  • 40,000 miles
Received notice from GM regarding power steering assist motor recall. Drove with no power steering 40 miles to local dealership.towed it home 4 days later. The car hasn't started since. I was aware of the pass lock problem and told the dealer the car might take a few tries to start. The steering wheel is now crooked and the key sticks in the ignition. This is a new problem. For three hundred dollars the dealer said he would fix it. He claims he did the work requested. I wouldn't know because the car hasn't started since. Drive it in and tow it that's customer service for you!!! a free repair cost me the use of my car and 200 in gas and tow expenses. Wonder if I have power steering"?? hard to trust a dealer that states" I never touched the column, your pump is under the hood" pump??" even I know there is no pump or power steering fluid.

- Rogers City, MI, USA

problem #361

Jul 202012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
I was going down road, steering because hard, transmission became stuck, pwr str light came up on mileage screen and the engine light came on. I was reading that others have had problem with steering column. Please let me know. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #360

Jul 172012

Ion 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact managed the vehicle to the shoulder and realized that the power steering had also failed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 48,000. Updated 7/31/12 the consumer stated the vehicle suddenly lost power steering at a high speed of 65 mph. It was difficult to turn off the road, but he managed to do so. It occurred again at slower speeds, too. The consumer stated he read online that stopping the vehicle, and turning it off would re-activate the power steering for awhile. The dealer replaced the power steering motor free of charge. Updated 08/01/12

- Portland, ME, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?