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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,048 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #10

Aug 252014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 111,000 miles


Highway bouncing" unbalanced feeling under vehicle" replace struts asap!! okay for the past 30,000 miles I have been experiencing what I could describe as a constant bounce. The bounce has now become so violent that crossing a bridge on a highway the bump will increase the aggression of the bounce to the point that you bounce right off of the road. I have slowly been trying to figure out what causes this bouncing wobble. After new rims, cv-half shafts, lugnuts, tires, stabilizer end-links, tie-rod ends, inner tie-rod ends, and ball joints. The bounce got more controllable for a short period. Not long after the new parts started to break down again. Finally during the purchase of all of these things over again. I find an instance where this exact thing happened to another individual. Driving down the highway with the constant bounce as always (4 mechanics ---- I am pretty mechanically inclined, but could not diagnose the problem) this other individual goes up on a bridge (highway speeds) and bounces straight across and right off of the highway into the ditch. Luckily in both of our cases we were able to stop the vehicle before hitting anything other than some tall grass and sliding around in the dirt a bit on the side of the highway. He takes his family and car to the nearest mechanic (they were going on vacation) and this mechanic knew exactly what the problem was. Relieved this person was that he had finally found a mechanic that solved this wretched, annoying, and odd problem I have never experienced before. The struts were completely shot. The car was not sagging according to measurements. Bumps weren't violent. After replacement of the old struts I could literally push them down with one finger. Let go and watch as they just relax in place. Anyone experiencing a highway bouncing wobble like something is unbalanced then replace your struts!!

- Savoy, TX, USA

problem #9

Mar 252013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
I first bought my 2006 Saturn Ion in March of 2013. Three days later I notice that when I would get on the highway my car would sway extremely bad. Our hwy speed is 75. Going 70mph was too much and it would sway a lot. Mind you I was pregnant at the time. The car spun out as I was exiting the highway. I was terrified because cars were right behind me. Thank god I got out of the way before I got hit. You can understand how upset I was due to the fact that I was 4months pregnant at the time. Since then my husband has spun out 5 times driving our car. We've taking it to the mechanics multiple times and they don't even know what to do with it. Our wheel alignments are fine. Also, our key gets stuck in the ignition a lot upon turning it off. So we have to use the button which is in the steering wheel just to get them out. Also, lately the car picks and chooses when it wants to accelerate. Lately I can floor it and the car will still be going 30mph. Also, lately when we go to turn on the car, it takes awhile and makes a sound as if the battery is dead, but then it soon comes on. I have had nothing but problems with this car from the start. I thought this was a good buy, but everyday I regret it and I fear for me, my husband, and my child's safety. Please do something about this issue. Matter of fact just take our cars. We don't need them fixed. Just take them please!

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #8

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

problem #7

Mar 012014

Ion 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


There has been at least 4 times that while my car was idling at either a red light, stop sign, or what have you, my car would just shut off after making a rough idling noise. This scared the crap out of me the first time it happened. If I were to shut my car off & turn it back on, it would then go away. It made me weary of driving because you never knew when or where that could happen. The second incident would be my power stewing. My car would "ding" and the power steering light would come on making my wheel stiffen up immediately. Again, if I would turn the car off and then back on again, the problem would stop... for a little bit. Started off at once or twice a week, then once a day maybe, now I can't even go a block from my house without it coming on. Frustrating and dangerous to say the least.

- Turtle Creek, PA, USA

problem #6

Oct 092013

Ion 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
My Ion has had continuous steering and suspension problems since 2009. I have experienced the problems with the steering motor (warning light comes on - loss of power steering) and had the steering motor replaced. I have replaced the sway bar, control arms, link, and much more. And, I still have difficulties steering - have a constant cluncking noise from the front end and now have been told I need the rack & pinion replaced - estimated cost $550. The vehicle currently has 82,000 miles. The steering & suspension problems began immediately after the vehicle hit 50,000 miles.

- Orland Park, IL, USA

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problem #5

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 #4

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 #3

Jun 012011

Ion 4-cyl

  • miles
The front both driver and passenger sides make noise when going over bumps or uneven surfaces. Thumping, rattling from front of car with suspension. The control arms and shifts are worn and need to be completely replaced with new bushings and new ball joints.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #2

Jul 252011


  • 69,000 miles
My key has gotten stuck in the ignition in the "on" position three times now. I have had to purchase the pay for parts and labor three times. My ball joints have gone out. Mechanics say this is very odd for a newer vehicle (2006 Saturn).

- St. Louis Park, MN, USA

problem #1

Jan 102008


  • 6,000 miles

- Arbovale, WV, USA

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