NHTSA — Steering: Electric Power Assist System Problems

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:
47,757 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

problem #13

Jun 122006


  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the power steering failed and the steering wheel became hard to maneuver. Also, the contact mentioned that the key became lodged in the ignition switch and the power window failed to open. The vehicle was taken to a dealer who replaced the ignition switch under the NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). However, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the defects. The approximate failure mileage was 67,000.

- Manhattan Beach, CA, USA

problem #12

May 082008


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the power steering suddenly malfunction causing the steering wheel very difficult to turn. Additionally the contact also indicated that while driving, the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the power steering and the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Norlina, NC, USA

problem #11

Oct 042011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 24,456 miles
This happened on my daughters 2006 Saturn Ion with less than 25,000 miles. She had been making a right hand turn in a double turn lane off an angulared intersection (about 60 degrees). She was in the outside lane with a semi-truck making the turn along side, left of her. She was going approx. 25 mph. When she lost the power steering and almost veered under the trailer. Thank god she didn't go under under it or she probably would have been killed. The eps has failed 4 times since. I see that GM has acknowledged this problem with their other models and posted recalls for them, but not for Saturn. 846 Saturn complaints to ODI and 3,489 reports to GM and no recalls!!! how many people have to report a crash or sadly enough, have to die, before something is done. I've been out of work for sometime and can not afford the reported $1,000 repair at a dealer that admits there is a problem. NHTSA and or GM, stand up for what is right and do something. Since when is the loss of steering not a major issue!!!

- Bedford Park , IL, USA

problem #10

Sep 132011

Ion 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving, the power steering would sporadically become inoperable. The dealer and manufacturer were notified of the failure, but denied any assistance with repairs to the vehicle. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 106,000...updated 09/29/11 the power steering motor failed on the vehicle. Updated 01/03/12

- Dexter, MO, USA

problem #9

Nov 012010


  • miles
2006 Saturn Ion. Consumer states problems with steering the consumer stated while driving, she received a signal stating the power steering was not functioning. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer, where she was informed other models that have the same steering motor was recalled. The consumer mailed in a technical service bulletin of the affected models with electric power steering problems which included her make, model and year.

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #8

May 202010


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. When the contact attempted to drive the vehicle, he was unable to turn the steering wheel. He stated that the power steering failed; however, there were no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer was notified and confirmed that the warranty had expired. The contact was concerned about the safety risk involved. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were approximately 67,000.

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #7

May 202009


  • 46,500 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the power steering failed followed by an illumination of the power steering warning light. The steering wheel became difficult to control. The contact shut off the engine, immediately restarted it and the power steering began to function normally. The contact stated that NHTSA recall campaign id number 10V073000 (pertaining to the 2005-2010 Chevrolet cobalt models: Steering: Electric power assist system) was applicable to his vehicle since the power steering pump was the same model as the Chevrolet cobalt. The dealer stated that the recall did not apply to his VIN and any repairs would be at the expense of the owner. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer conceded to take the liability for the labor costs and the owner was liable for the parts. The failure mileage was approximately 46,500 and the current mileage was approximately 50,500.

- Vermilon , OH, USA

problem #6

Mar 282010

Ion 4-cyl

  • 44,537 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph and making a U-turn, the power steering warning light illuminated and the power steering failed. The contact was able to drive home although it became difficult to control the steering wheel. The power steering reset itself after it was turned off and restarted. The contact called the dealer who stated that there were no related recalls and she would have to pay the repair cost. The manufacturer, when called, verified the information given by the dealer. The failure mileage was 44,537. The current mileage was 44,847. Updated 07/08/10 the consumer sent in a tsb regarding a problem with the electric power steering. Updated 07/09/10/ updated 07/15/10 the consumer stated GM/Saturn has agreed to assist with the steering problem. Updated 07/19/10

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #5

Apr 142009


  • 33,927 miles
-the contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. While the contact was driving approximately between 10 to 50 mph the power steering failed. The vehicle became extremely difficult to steer. The contact was able to maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road. The engine was turned off, and then restarted. The vehicle resumed normal. The failure occurred fifteen times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician stated the electronic power steering unit was a common problem and needed to be replaced. There was not a service warranty related to the failure or recall defect. The vehicle was not repaired due to the service cost. The failure and current mileages were 33,927.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 152010


  • 63,416 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact stated that the power steering intermittently failed immediately after the power steering light illuminated. The contact was unable to control the vehicle until she turned if off and restart it. The contact stated that the failure was similar to recall 10V073000 (steering: Electric power assist system). The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired when the complaint was filed. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were 63,416.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #3

Feb 262010


  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph, proceeded to park the vehicle. A chime sounded inside of the vehicle. The power steering warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The driver pulled over to the side of the road with difficulty in turning the steering wheel. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to operate normally. The failure occurred on five separate occasions intermittently. The vehicle is in the process of being taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The failure mileage was 20,000. The current mileage was 30,000.

- Fort Pierce, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 232008

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Saturn Ion. After 30 seconds of vehicle operation, the power steering will fail. Usually when the vehicle was restarted the power steering would resume normal operation for a short period of time. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current mileage was 90000. The failure mileage was 50000. Updated 1/11/09 the power steering motor needed to be replaced. Updated 01/14/10.

- White Lake, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 192007

Ion 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles
Started my car and did not have power steering... shut the car off, and started it again and had power steering.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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