NHTSA — Power Train: Manual Transmission 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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,465 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Saturn Ion Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 212009


  • 44,000 miles


I have not been able to turn off my ignition or remove my key two separate times. Not only that my power steering went out and was only able to be fixed by the dealership. Most recently along with the key ignition problem, there is a transmission problem. The first time the ignition was fixed it was under warranty but this time it is not. I have read several blogs of similar complaints from suffering consumers.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #2

Dec 052009


  • 57,000 miles
2006 Saturn Ion-3 automatic 2.4L 1. power steering: Power steering goes out nearly every time I drive the vehicle. Saturn dealership changed a sensor I the steering column, but problem persists. It is very dangerous to be driving in the city without power steering. 2. ignition: Car refuses to start when temperature is below 15-20 degrees Fahrenheit. I have been stranded in below freezing weather for almost an hour because of this common Saturn failure.

- Brookville, IN, USA

problem #1

Jul 312006

Ion 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,394 miles
I have a 2006 Saturn Ion 2 with a manual transmission. I had trouble with the car not going into first gear from neutral and not going into other gears while traveling at higher speeds. I would have to shut the car off before I could get it to go in gear. I would then have to let it sit for a few minutes before I could get it to start back up because it would lurch forward and shake really bad then shut off if you tried to start it right back up. I was trying to go out of town July 31, 2006. I was at a red light and the car would not go into first gear from neutral. I finally had to shut the car off to get it to go into first gear. When I tried to start the car, it lurched forward, shook really bad, and shut back off. It repeatedly did this. I had to let the car sit in the middle of the road at the red light for several minutes before I could start the car. I was finally able to get it out of the road heading to a gas station. It shut off again, and we had to push the car through the parking lot where we waited on a tow truck. The Saturn dealership in savannah, ga has not helped me at all. The service manager told me they would not work on my car at all until the problem happened to one of their techs. It did not matter that I was paying for a brand new car with an extended warranty and had experienced the problem. The corporate office in springhill, tn sided with the dealership. I am still proceeding with the lemon law process almost a year later. On July 25, 2007, I will be attending my second arbitration hearing. I am still paying for a car I cannot use as well as full coverage insurance. They also refuse to pay for all of my rental bill even though my extended warranty covered rentals and I needed a way to work.

- Jesup, GA, USA

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