Bulletins


BulletinBulletin dateReplacement BulletinItem no.SummaryAdded
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
70909/01/200510018126Oil life system reset procedures - cars. gm tech link. *tt12/15/2005
030612300111/01/200310005574Slight loss of coolant or low coolant light coming on with no signs of external leaks. also the engine may be difficult to start; engine misfire for several seconds; and/or white smoke or coolant odor from the tailpipe. *tt03/04/2004
06030301011/01/200310005285Service manual update regarding troubleshooting table for diagnostic trouble code (dtc) p0621. *ph02/18/2004
03060200103/01/200310001188Design change to water pump used on l61 engine. *tt04/22/2003
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - COOLING SYSTEM
02T8311/01/200210000381Engine coolant leak from coolant pump drain plug. *tt02/25/2003
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - COOLING SYSTEM - FAN
03013800405/01/200310001547Hvac blower motor inoperative and/or blower speed is higher/lower than requested speed. *tt06/06/2003
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - ENGINE
PIP-4495C03/01/201110038510Ready06/16/2011
PIP-4495C03/01/201110038510Gm: there may be noise coming from the cylinder head, because of low oil pressure which is caused by debris. *rm06/16/2011
38593859A10020923Low oil pressure - inspect oil filter for damage. *kb updated 10/18/07. *nj01/30/2007
367410019190Service engine soon light due to p0300 - inspect fuel system for rust contamination. *tt02/16/2006
339610017119Sulfur odor from exhaust. *sc10/25/2005
34333433D10017032Service engine soon (ses) light and severe engine misfire on cylinders 1 and 4 or cylinders 2 and 3. *tt updated 08-15-07. *kb10/20/2005
080408/01/200410014346Oil life system reset procedures - cars. *nm04/29/2005
04084500503/01/2006040845005D10007431No crank, no start when ambient temperatures is cold - diagnostic trouble codes (dtcs) b2960 and or b3033 are set. *tt06/22/2004
04060100904/01/200410006739Oil leak from front cover seal during extremely cold weather. *tt05/11/2004
04060402909/01/2004040604029A10006738Erratic engine speed control at closed throttle. elevated engine rpm and/or stall. *tt this bulletin replaces previous version dated april 2004. *tt05/11/2004
04060401003/01/200410006087Malfunction indicator lamp (mil) service engine soon telltale illuminated, diagnostic trouble code (dtc) p0606 may be stored. *tt04/16/2004
03060301011/01/200310005570Service manual update regarding troubleshooting table for diagnostic trouble code (dtc) p0621. *tt03/04/2004
03009000309/01/200310003976Oil filter cap assembly and oil filter element design change. *tt11/10/2003
03060402905/01/200310002348Check engine light (service engine soon) illuminated, diagnostic trouble code p1683 and/or p0116 set. *tt08/22/2003
03060101706/01/200310002122Timing chain design change and revised service procedures. *tt08/13/2003
03060300504/01/2004030603005A10001190(engine control module / transmission control module) ecm/tcm ignition module ground location change. *tt *mj04/22/2003

Investigations


NHTSA IDManufacturerDate openDate closeSubjectRecall campaign
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
PE06006GENERAL MOTORS CORP.01/24/200606/06/2006TIMING CHAIN FAILURE
 On december 12, 2005, odi received a defect petition (dp05-008) requesting the investigation of timing chain failures that could cause stalling in saturn vehicles equipped with the 2.2l (l61) engine. odi opened pe06-006 on january 24, 2006, with 24 vehicle owner complaints that alleged a broken timing chain caused the vehicle to stop operating.on april 12, 2006, odi received information from general motors (gm) concerning timing chain failures in approximately 412,000 model year (my) 2000 through 2003 saturn l-series and ion vehicles with 2.2l engines. gm's response included 1,020 owner complaints and field reports concerning timing chain failure, including 228 that alleged the failure caused the vehicle to stall while driving.gm also provided warranty claim data that showed 1,902 subject vehicles receiving timing chain repairs, including 261 which indicated that a stall while driving resulted from the failure.the gm complaints, field reports and warranty claims that did not contain sufficient information to determine that a stall while driving occurred were provided in the category other.gm stated that the majority of these incidents probably occurred while the vehicles were parked since the timing chain is more likely to break during high chain load situations, such as engine startup.gm's data showed elevated failure rates in approximately 20,500 my 2001 l-series vehicles produced during a four month period from november 2000 through february 2001.over one-third of gm's total complaints and field reports (34.3%) and warranty claims (38.2%) involved l-series vehicles built during the 4-month period, which are only about 5% of subject vehicle production.the timing chain failure rate in the vehicles built during this range is over 10 times greater than the remaining subject vehicle population. for the my 2001 l-series vehicles built during the 4-month period, the 36-month failure rate for repairs involving stall while driving is slightly under one percent.however, if the incidents coded as other are added, the 36-month failure rate rises to nearly five percent for those vehicles.odi and gm are continuing to assess the number of complaints and warranty claims coded by gm as other that involve incidents of stall while driving.gm's statistical modeling of the failure data initially concluded that the failure rates were declining with age and mileage for any set of warranty data analyzed (e.g., stall while driving, other or combined).however, subsequent analysis showed that the failure rates are increasing. based on the high complaint and warranty rates for timing chain failure in the 4-month production period for the my 2001 l-series vehicles, this investigation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis to further assess the frequency of stall incidents due to timing chain failures in those vehicles (ea06-009).
DP05008GENERAL MOTORS CORP.12/20/200502/06/2006TIMING CHAIN FAILURE
 Analysis undertaken in response to the petition identified 26 complaints alleging timing chain failures in my 2000-2003 saturn l-series vehicle equipped with the 2.2l l4 engine.most complaints of timing chain failure reportedly resulted in a sudden loss of engine power and stalling.odi also noted that certain my 2002-2003 saturn vue and my 2003 saturn ion model vehicles with the 2.2l engine vehiclescovered by a technical service bulletin (03-06-01-017) that addressed timing chain design and service procedure changes, exhibited no complaints of timing chain failure.odi will grant the petition and open a preliminary evaluation to assess the frequency, trend, scope and safety consequences associated with the alleged defect in the subject vehicles.refer to pe06-006.

Consumer Complaints


Fail datemilesoccurencesPurchase date
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
10/18/2011
 Tl* the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the contact stated that when the vehicle was first started, the timing chain would exhibit an abnormally loud noise. the noise would cease once the engine was warm but could still be heard as the contact attempted to accelerate. in addition, the vehicle would become resistant to starting attempts in colder weather. the dealer advised the contact that both of the failures were common, but was not under recall. the vehicle was not repaired. the failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 113,000. the vin was not available.
10/18/2011
 Tl- the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the contact stated that when the vehicle was first started, the timing chain would exhibit an abnormally loud noise. the noise would cease once the engine was warm but could still be heard as the contact attempted to accelerate. in addition, the vehicle would become resistant to starting attempts in colder weather. the dealer advised the contact that both of the failures were common, but was not under recall. the vehicle was not repaired. the failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 113,000. the vin was not available. kmj
10/18/2011
 Tl- the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the contact stated that when the vehicle was first started, the timing chain would exhibit an abnormally loud noise. the noise would cease once the engine was warm but could still be heard as the contact attempted to accelerate. in addition, the vehicle would become resistant to starting attempts in colder weather. the dealer advised the contact that both of the failures were common, but was not under recall. the vehicle was not repaired. the failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 113,000. the vin was not available. kmj
10/18/2011
 Tl- the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the contact stated that when the vehicle was first started, the timing chain would exhibit an abnormally loud noise. the noise would cease once the engine was warm but could still be heard as the contact attempted to accelerate. in addition, the vehicle would become resistant to starting attempts in colder weather. the dealer advised the contact that both of the failures were common, but was not under recall. the vehicle was not repaired. the failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 113,000. the vin was not available. kmj
10/18/2011
 Tl- the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the contact stated that when the vehicle is first started the timing chain makes a lot of noise. the contact stated the noise gets quite after the vehicle warms out, but you can still hear the timing chain when the vehicle is accelerated. the contact also stated that when it it cold outside the vehicle has a hard time starting because of the ignition. the dealer stated that both of the failures are common, but it is not under recall. the vheicle had not been repaired. the failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 113,000.rl
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
02/24/2011200000
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion ii. while the contact was driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled and the passlock warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel intermittently. the engine restarted after waiting twenty minutes. the failure continued to occur. the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they detected that the fuse box was loose. the technician tightened the bolts that secured the fuse box. the failure persisted and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer four times for the similar failure. the dealer recommended that the ignition switch be replaced to resolve the problem. the vehicle was not repaired. the failure mileage was approximately 200,000. the vin was unavailable.
02/24/2011200000
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion ii. while the contact was driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled and the passlock warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel intermittently. the engine restarted after waiting twenty minutes. the failure continued to occur. the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they detected that the fuse box was loose. the technician tightened the bolts that secured the fuse box. the failure persisted and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer four times for the similar failure. the dealer recommended that the ignition switch be replaced to resolve the problem. the vehicle was not repaired. the failure mileage was approximately 200,000. the vin was unavailable.
02/24/2011200000
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion ii. while the contact was driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled and the passlock warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel intermittently. the engine restarted after waiting twenty minutes. the failure continued to occur. the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they detected that the fuse box was loose. the technician tightened the bolts that secured the fuse box. the failure persisted and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer four times for the similar failure. the dealer recommended that the ignition switch be replaced to resolve the problem. the vehicle was not repaired. the failure mileage was approximately 200,000. the vin was unavailable.
02/24/2011200000
 Tl-the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion ii. while the contact was driving approximately 45 mph, the engine stalled and the passlock warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel intermittently. the engine restarted after waiting twenty minutes. the failure continued to occur. the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they detected that the fuse box was loose. the technician tightened the bolts that secure the fuse box. the failure persisted and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer four different times for the similar failure. the dealer recommended the ignition switch be replaced to resolve the problem. the vehicle had not been repaired. the failure mileage was approximately 200,000. the vin was unavailable. js
04/02/2011100000
 Tl* the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. while driving in reverse approximately 2 mph, the contact heard a loud noise coming from the engine and suddenly the engine warning indicator began to illuminate. also, there was smoke emitting from the exhaust pipe. the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where they replaced the spark plugs, ignition control module and coil. the failure mileage was approximately 100,000.
04/02/2011100000
 Tl* the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. while driving in reverse approximately 2 mph, the contact heard a loud noise coming from the engine and suddenly the engine warning indicator began to illuminate. also, there was smoke emitting from the exhaust pipe. the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where they replaced the spark plugs, ignition control module and coil. the failure mileage was approximately 100,000.
04/02/2011100000
 Tl* the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. while driving in reverse approximately 2 mph, the contact heard a loud noise coming from the engine and suddenly the engine warning indicator began to illuminate. also, there was smoke emitting from the exhaust pipe. the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where they replaced the spark plugs, ignition control module and coil. the failure mileage was approximately 100,000.
04/02/2011100000
 Tl* the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. while driving in reverse approximately 2 mph, the contact heard a loud noise coming from the engine and suddenly the engine warning indicator began to illuminate. also, there was smoke emitting from the exhaust pipe. the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where they replaced the spark plugs, ignition control module and coil. the failure mileage was approximately 100,000.
04/02/2011100000
 Tl-the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. while driving in reverse approximately 2 mph, the contact heard a loud noise coming from the engine and suddenly the engine warning indicator began to illuminate. also, there was smoke emitting from the exhaust pipe . the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where they replaced the spark plugs, ignition control module and coil. the failure mileage was approximately 100,000. js
03/02/201064000
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion . while driving at 30 mph the contact noticed that the vehicle would stall. the dealer was contacted and the contact was informed that the mileage was high and they did not have enough complaints from nhtsa to recall the vehicle. the contact has also experienced problems with the power steering when driving at a speed of 15-20 mph. the contact took the vehicle to an authorized dealership and they informed her that the electric power steering motor needed to be replaced .the approximate failure mileage was 64000 and the current mileage was 74500.
01/20/2010772301
 Car will not start in cold weather. this began 3 months ago at the beginning of the winter season, unfortunately the first day of a new job. this happened a number of times until i was let go for showing up late to work (apparently, a car that problematic was inconceivable). i had the battery replaced, but that didn't help. this happens sporadically, but mostly in the early morning or late evening when it's coldest outside. this past week alone, my car wouldn't start 3 times. i've done some research on the internet and have found hundreds of complaints of the same problem in saturn ion's (2003-2006 models). some complaints have suggested it's the ignition, the passlock key, or an electrical issue, and my mechanic is looking into the fuel pump. the problem is that the diagnostic doesn't read a problem if the car is starting, which seems to be the case by the time the mechanic's shop opens (weather conditions are fairly good in southern california on most days). the other day, my car had stalled while driving in heavy rain conditions, thankfully on a small residential street, because it did not want to restart. it took 10 minutes to get the car going again. you can imagine how disastrous this situation could have been while driving on the freeway or busy city road. this is an extremely dangerous issue that must be taken seriously by gm. i have also made complaints to the ftc & to saturn. from what i've read online, replacing the part doesn't even help because all of these ion parts are faulty. please see to it that consumers are protected. thank you. *tr
01/13/20101
 Car won't start when the temp is below 20 f, have to wait 10 min for anti theft to reset and then try again. some times have to try 3 or 4 times. dealer say it's a know problem and i have to replace the ignition switch at my expense. *tr
01/01/2005885001
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion which was purchased in 2003. she stated that in cold weather conditions, the vehicle would not start and it would stall intermittently. the dealer replaced the ignition switch at the owner's expense; however, the repair did not correct the failure. the vehicle continued to stall in cold weather and the manufacturer advised getting the ignition switch replaced a second time at the owner's expense. the failure and current mileages were under 88,500. updated 01/29/10. *lj updated 02/01/10.*jb
12/18/2009
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the vehicle was in the dealers possession when the timing belt broke. the manufacturer stated that the repair cost should be divided between the contact and the dealer. the current mileage was 64,000. the vin and the failure mileage were not available.
11/26/2009400001
 Timing chain broke on our 2003 saturn ion. very dangerous and costly. *tr
04/20/2009128000
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the contact stated that the vehicle would not start. the vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic and the timing chain was determined to be the cause of the failure. the vehicle was not included in a recall. the contact feels that the manufacturer should pay for the repair. the current and failure mileages were 128,000.
02/12/2009980001
 On 3 occasions this winter, my 2003 saturn ion has failed to start. after the first 2, the battery was replaced. i now doubt the battery was faulty, because the problem seems to be intermittent and the engine would roll over, but not start. this morning (about 35 degrees), i attempted to start the car and it was very sluggish and would not start. i attempted to charge it and ended up walking my daughter 5 blocks to daycare and calling a ride to work. when i returned home 3 hours later, it still did not want to start and then ran sluggish. online searches indicate hundreds of reports of a faulty ignition module. that will be my next repair/replacement. the car has 98000 miles. we previously owned a 1995 saturn sc2 for 10 years with 150000 miles and no trouble. *tr
12/01/2008550001
 I purchased a used 2003 saturn ion level 1 in april of 2006. beginning this winter (approximately early december 2008), my car did not start. initially, it would simply click, but all electrical was working properly, and there was no drain of power upon attempting to start the car. a few hours later, my husband tried to start it, and it turned over as if there was no problem present. since then, it has very randomly done the same thing - first try, nothing but electrical comes on, but after waiting anywhere from 5 - 30 minutes, the car will start only to die immediately, and then finally, the engine will turn over, and the car will run perfectly. this winter has been brutally cold, and i have a young son. luckily, he has never been with me when i have encountered this issue while away from home - sitting in a non-running vehicle for up to half an hour in below-zero temperatures is not only dangerous to me, but *extremely* dangerous for him. i have even had occurrences of this when stopping at the store for a mere 10 minutes (after my car started perfectly to get there), only to come out and find my car completely useless. this particular night the temperature was literally 10-below-zero), and it took me a solid half hour to get it started again. i have discovered countless complaints regarding duplicate situations online from many, many ion owners, as well as other models of saturns. the fact that saturn has not issued a recall for what is apparently remedied by replacing the ignition assembly and housing appall me, even though they address it as not being a safety issue. when taking into consideration that i, as well as thousands of other ion owners, could be left stranded far from any help or means to attain assistance, at any random time of day or location, in even the absolute worst of weather conditions makes me disagree completely with the assumption that it does not impact the safety of saturn owners and their families. it deserves a recall. *tr
01/10/2008676001
 Oil started leaking on saturday, took to shop on sunday, they thought cracked head gasket. went to saturn dealer on monday, they could not id leak, directed me to bring back in a couple days. today they identified cracked cylinder head. car has only 67,000 miles and has never overheated to the best of my knowledge. block is cast iron, cyl head is aluminum. quoted cost to repair: $2600, not under warranty and not covered by dealer. *tr
12/02/20081
 I had the car in march 2008 from a certified dealership, and needed a head gasket in less than a year. if the car was certified how the car can have a major problem so much. i haven't had any accident, or any other problems with the car. then the light blew out in the dash board. *tr
06/10/200633000
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. when the heater is operated, the vehicle would idle extremely high. the failure has been occurring since fall of 2006. the contact stopped at a traffic light and the failure recurred. suddenly, the vehicle accelerated without the accelerator pedal being depressed. the dealer was unable to duplicate the failures. the manufacturer stated that if the dealer could not duplicate the failures, then nothing could be done. the vin was unknown. the failure mileage was 33,000 and current mileage was 74,300.
07/04/2008867891
 Engine is overheating, i have replaced thermostat, water pump, and it seems that it is related to the timing belt on the vehicle. *tr
11/28/20071
 The timing belt broke on my 2003 saturn ion on 11-28-07. the car only has 67,000 miles on it. unfortunately with the belt breaking it messed up the valves, head gasket and fuel pump. which is costing me almost $3000. the belt shouldn't have broken with that few of miles on it. now i am down to one car and it has become a huge hassle. i am never going to buy a saturn again. in my opinion the warranty is awful and the customer service is non-existent. the warranty is only on the first 30,000 miles and or 3 years. the customer service can not help me in the situation. *tr
05/01/20071
 2003 saturn ion with cracked cylinder head customer states that the problem comes from a defective casting of cylinder head**cc the consumer stated she experienced a cracked cylinder head in may of 2007 but the corporation denies any responsibility in the matter. the consumer stated saturn states not want to take responsibility for the insurance warranty nor the defect of the vehicle. *tr
12/01/200410000512/01/2003
 Dt*: the contact stated the vehicle had problems starting in cold weather. the engine would start after a few attempts or not start at all on different occasions. the non service dealer could not duplicate the issue to fix it.
12/02/200645000610/18/2005
 I have a 2003 saturn ion-3 and it will not start below 40 degrees, this is a ridiculous problem. there is a thread about this problem at : http://www.autosite.com/content/research/forums/index.cfm/action/posts/fid/5610 there are many people with this problem and so far nothing has been done, i am just hoping i can sell this car asap because it has been quite a problem. *jb
04/10/2006102/01/2003
 I have been having some issues with clunking and grinding noises when going over bumps or potholes or while making turns. i took my 2003 ion 2 to have this checked and i found out that the problems was both of my control arm bushings. my car is 2 months out of warranty and has only 38,000 miles on it, so at first i thought that this could be untrue. but, after internet research it seems that many 2003 ion drivers have had this problem. i called my saturn dealer and they acted like they had never heard of this problem and could do nothing to help me or fix it. my other problem with the car, which also seems to be a common problem, is that the service engine soon light comes on intermittently. one day it will be on, and the next it will be fine. *jb
07/15/2005240003107/26/2003
 My 2003 saturn ion consistently idles at between 1200 and 2000 rpm. car drives itself when i take my foot off the brake. car will drive 5-10 mph with foot off the case. i have complained at each service but the dealer states there is nothing wrong. the idle is determined by software. etc. *jb
09/12/200306/13/2003
 2003 saturn ion-3, purchased june 2003. repeated problems with engine revving, car almost drives itself; i have almost created an accident because i was unable to stop. more serious problems with car stalling out and turning off in the middle of driving, both at lower speeds on surface streets and higher speeds on interstates. extremely unsafe, i have almost gotten into accidents several times because of vehicle malfunctions. have taken to several dealers and repair shops throughout georgia and michigan. no one is able to determine the correct problem, saturn service stated, because the vehicle is not showing problems at this time, we are unable to correct the issue at hand.
08/18/2004220001
 When a turn was made, the vehicle stalled. please provide more information. *jb
07/14/2004290002
 While driving vehicle stalled. dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. *ak
07/13/200414000106/08/2003
 Drove through water about 5 to 6 inches deep during rain, car stopped would not restart, engine had to be replaced due to water damage, the car was just one year old.*ak
10/06/20035000508/25/2003
 Our 2003 saturn ion ii has stalled on numerous occasions. this problem started occuring a month after we purchased the vehicle and have continued since. we have taken our car in for service for this particular problem on these dates: 10/3/03, 11/5/03, 5/24/04. we are also taking it in 6/28/04 for service for the same reason. the saturn has stalled while slowing down at a stoplight, while turning through an intersection, while driving, while accelerating from a stop sign, and while entering a toll station. we were very close to being struck by other vehicles in several of these occasions, but fortunately were not. with my wife expecting our first child, we are very hesitant to drive this vehicle. we do not feel safety for ourselves and for others when in this car. 10/3/03 - saturn service dept. checked the battery and it checked out ok 11/5/03 - saturn service dept. checked for codes and found p1599 stall code in history. checked wiring and connectors and found junction block loose under hood. they tightened under hood junction block connector screws. 2/19/04 - saturn service dept. replaced fuel filter (recall - 03068) 5/24/04 - saturn service dept. test drove car and could not duplicate the concern. looked for codes in system or tsb's, but none were found. we feel nothing has been done to resolve this issue we are continuously having, and are extremely dissatisfied with the service we have received. we would like the problem to be solved or some action to be taken. *ak
06/15/20031984
 I bought a 2003 saturn ion 3 march 17, 2003. within 2 weeks the car had a cracked cylinder with coolant leaking into the engine. saturn corp. recalled the car. the purchase of 1g8al52f33z149331 was canceled 4/17/03 and i purchased a 2nd 2003 saturn ion 3, 1g8al52f83z171972, on 4/17/03. the 2nd car from the beginning had transmission problems shifting between gears, jerking up and down from 30 mph to 70 mph, kicks when started, rattles loudly in reverse, and steering problems coming out of turns. the car has been in service 4 times (bumper to bumper warranty
06/19/2003304/17/2003
 March 22, 2003 i purchased an saturn ion 3. within the 1st the week there was problems starting the car. the car was in for service 2 times in 2 weeks. finally the engine light started flashing (3rd time). supposedly the car was fixed. 3 days later the dealer's service department called me at saturn corp.'s request to immediately return the car as the engine could blow up. the engine had a cracked cylinder which caused coolant to leak into the engine with about 650 miles. also, another saturn ion with 2500 miles was sitting in the dealer's lot with a cracked cylinder in the engine. i was released from the sale on april 17, 2003. i took a 2nd saturn ion 3 on april 17, 2003. this car has jerky steering problems coming out of turns and sever transmission problems. the car kicks when turning on the ignition, engine gets racketing when put into reverse, when changing gears - kicks, slides, and will surge, and bounce through gears between 30 mph to above 70 mph. the service manager said, all the ions drive this way. there's nothing wrong with the car. this car has been in for service 4 times. each time the car is returned worse than the time before.*ak
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - COOLING SYSTEM
06/16/2011
 The air conditioner motor slows down and makes some funny grinding noise. does not blow as strong as it used to on my 2003 saturn ion.
06/16/2011
 The air conditioner motor slows down and makes some funny grinding noise. does not blow as strong as it used to on my 2003 saturn ion.
06/16/2011
 The air conditioner motor slows down and makes some funny grinding noise. does not blow as strong as it used to on my 2003 saturn ion.
06/16/2011
 The air conditioner motor slows down and makes some funny grinding noise. does not blow as strong as it used to on my 2003 saturn ion.
06/16/2011
 The air conditioner motor slows down and makes some funny grinding noise. does not blow as strong as it used to on my 2003 saturn ion.
06/16/2011
 The air conditioner motor slows down and makes some funny grinding noise. does not blow as strong as it used to on my 2003 saturn ion.
01/13/200450001
 While driving at 69 mph, consumer hit a raccoon and damaged the underbody, radiator ,and the front end. *ak
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - COOLING SYSTEM - FAN
10/01/2004106/21/2003
 2003 ion has had blower fan, clutch switch, cylinder cable hood latch, brake light bulb, wiper module all replaced with in months apart from each other. *ts the rotors were warped and the tail lamp failed. *jb
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - ENGINE
10/27/201092000
 Engine goes into high idle rpm, 1500 to 2200 rpm, after being driven a period of time at high speed. if you shut off engine and restart engine idele resumes to 800 rpm, but if driven engine idle will go back to high idle again. dealer reprogramed (pcm) power control modle as per saturn fix alert of 4/2004; but this did not work
10/27/201092000
 Engine goes into high idle rpm, 1500 to 2200 rpm, after being driven a period of time at high speed. if you shut off engine and restart engine idele resumes to 800 rpm, but if driven engine idle will go back to high idle again. dealer reprogramed (pcm) power control modle as per saturn fix alert of 4/2004; but this did not work
10/27/201092000
 Engine goes into high idle rpm, 1500 to 2200 rpm, after being driven a period of time at high speed. if you shut off engine and restart engine idele resumes to 800 rpm, but if driven engine idle will go back to high idle again. dealer reprogramed (pcm) power control modle as per saturn fix alert of 4/2004; but this did not work
10/27/201092000
 Engine goes into high idle rpm, 1500 to 2200 rpm, after being driven a period of time at high speed. if you shut off engine and restart engine idele resumes to 800 rpm, but if driven engine idle will go back to high idle again. dealer reprogramed (pcm) power control modle as per saturn fix alert of 4/2004; but this did not work
01/16/2009753001
 During every cold season since the purchase of 2003 saturn ion, there is a problem with starting the vehicle in cold weather (usually when below 25 deg f). this seems to be an intermittent problem. how the problem manifests is as follows: in cold weather, when trying to start the vehicle, engine frequently (at least 25% of the time) will not catch and run- just turns over. if immediately trying to start it again after a first failed start, engine turns over slowly and dies (similar to dead battery symptom, however battery has been checked and found to be ok). after letting the car sit for 5 minutes after a failed attempt, trying again may result in a moment of what appears to be fuel getting to the engine, and more engine turning, however engine stalls. after repeated waiting and start re-attempts (often 5- 10 times, and an elapsed period of time of 30- 60 minutes of re-attempts, the engine will frequently start and remain started. however the inconvenience of a 30-60 minute delay is disconcerting, and on some cold mornings, repeated failed attempts causes battery to drain and need for jump starting the car, at owner expense and inconvenience. an internet search on 2003 saturn ion cold starting problem indicates a pervasive and systematic problem in ignition switch design, however saturn has not yet acknowledged this design flaw in a formal recall. today, repairs have to be made at owner expense ($200-300 replacement ignition switch seems to be the feedback). see website http://www.carsurvey.org/viewcomments_review_97727.html my request of the nhtsa is that you urge saturn to issue a formal recall for this problem immediately. please respond with your inputs and intended approach on this situation. also, if you are aware of other agencies that i should contact about this problem, i would greatly appreciate. *tr
12/16/200872000108/01/2004
 Tl*the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the contact stated that the vehicle failed to start in cold weather. it takes approximately 30 minutes or less for the vehicle to start. the vehicle was taken in for inspection, but they could not find any failures. the manufacturer stated that no recalls were available. the failure and current mileages were 72,000. updated 020209 *bf updated 02/03/09.*jb
12/23/20081
 Car will not start in temperatures near 32 degrees or less. ignition switch and battery have already been replaced. car starts to crank then stalls out and service light comes on. must wait 10-15 minutes to try again. if lucky it will start on 2nd try, otherwise 3rd. this has been going on for past 3 weeks when temps dropped. *tr
01/06/2007209/15/2006
 Vehicle will not crank or start after car is turned off after driving a short or long time. service light comes on when you try to start the vehicle. after letting it set for about 20 mins the vehicle then starts and shutoff again and it takes about five tries to get it started again. *nm
12/29/200635500409/13/2003
 My saturn ion 3 had 4 occurrences of service vehicle's message in the last 24 hours since dec 29, 2006. when i turn the key, the engine doesn't turn over. the message windows shows service vehicle and the security/pass lock symbol on the dash keeps flashing. i kept trying turning the ignition, nothing happnened. the after approx. 10 minutes, the car started and ran great as if nothing happened. *nm
01/27/200646000106/08/2003
 Driving under normal conditions on the highway, check engine light came on and within seconds smoke began billowing out both ends of the vehicle. the engine has been confirmed to have a hole in the block, rendering the vehicle inoperable until it is replaced. the vehicle is in the dealership shop and is awaiting an adjuster from the car company to inspect it before they will begin to repair it. *nm
10/20/20041
 The vehicle stalled while driving on the freeway and going down a hill. the vehicle accelerated up to 5,000 rpm's and would not go down until the vehicle was on a flat surface. provide further details. *jb
6
 Consumer complained about intermittent stalling. it occurred almost every other week. consumer stated vehicle was driven approximately 350 miles per week. took vehicle back to dealership on 3 separate occasions, but dealer could not resolve the problem.*ak
08/16/2003981
 Within 1 week of purchasing vehicle, engine light was coming on and car would shake. brought in to dealer and they ran a diagnostic test which determined nothing was wrong. within 2 days engine light continued to come on, sometimes staying on steady and sometimes blinking. vehicle will start to shake and will not accelerate. when going down hills (even small ones) vehicle will suddenly feel like the brakes have been put on and vehicle jerks forward. the car feels like it's about to stall out when trying to accelerate. when opening the trunk it was very hot and you could not put your hand down in it. called dealer to make another service appt. this week.*ak
03/29/20038
 Vehicle stalled while on the highway causing the steering wheel to lock up. *mr the vehicle would lock up as if it was turned off. after the vehicle was received back from repair, it had become difficult to gain speed, and shift gears automatically(especially problematic when in lower speeds), and would randomly begin to shake. *scc *jb
06/30/20031
 Engine light appeared on instrumental panel, vehicle was taken to the dealer, and they could not duplicate the problem. the following day manufacturer called the consumer not to drive the vehicle at all. dealer kept the vehicle for 3 weeks. *ak
04/01/20034000402/22/2003
 New saturn ion 2003 stalls while driving down highway, steering column locks up, must stop suddenly to restart and gain control of car. *nlm
01/10/200380512/28/2002
 Dear administrator: i purchased a 2003 saturn ion 2 on december 28, 2002. i reported to both the saturn corporation and the dealership that sold me the vehicle that the vehicle wasn't safe after driving the vehicle for 80 miles. the dealer agreed to fix the vehicle, so i took the vehicle in and the dealership on 4 seperate occasions , two of which the dealer refused to accept my vehicle. on january 10, not two weeks after the purchase of the vehicle, saturn kept the vehicle for nearly one week. after the loan was approved on the vehicle, the dealership returned the vehicle to me and said the vehicle was free of defects. after nearly being killed in the vehicle twice because the vehicle stalled on the freeway when i attempted to accelerate, i took the vehicle to the saturn dealership in cerritos, california. the dealership where i purchased vehicle refused to honor my warranty, refused to accept the vehicle and told me that they would not accept the vehicle. i had 1,200 miles on car and i had not had the vehicle in my possession for 30 day because the vehicle had been in this dealership's auto repair shop for 5 days. when i was nearly killed in the vehicle for the last time, i was forced to have the defective vehicle towed and left at the dealership. saturn refused me tow service on this vehicle, although i have purchased tow service. saturn is now in possession of the vehicle and has been since february 1, 2003. the saturn of cerritos, manager, mr. vance threatened me on february 1, 2003, and told me that i returned the vehicle that saturn would return the vehicle to americredit, the company that financed the car and would have my credit ruined - if i did not keep the defective vehicle. the saturn corporation manager, donna lansfield, also threatened me and in an unprofessional, threatening manner attempted to force me to retrieve saturn's defective vehicle that nearly killed me twice now. *jb
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - ENGINE - GASOLINE
07/15/200512000304/27/2003
 Ongoing problem 7/2004 - 7/2005 vehicle suddenly stalls while driving at highway speeds causing following traffic to react to stopped vehicle. (latest 7/15/05) returned to dealer on several occations. (latest 7/18/05) computer has never shown codes and they've not been able to resolve the problem.
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - ENGINE - GASOLINE - BELTS AND ASSOCIATED PULLEYS
03/12/200742990205/01/2003
 Tl* the contact owns a 2003 saturn ion. the windshield wiper linkage failed while driving 50 mph in the rain. the windshield wiper came off the driver's side window shield and would not return to its normal position. the failure mileage was 42,990. the dealer informed the contact that they were repairing the linkage. the contact was aware that of investigation# pe 07011 on the same year, make and model vehicle for the duplicate failure. also, the dealer informed the contact that the timing chain should be repaired, it was related to investigation #dp 05008. the current mileage was 43,000. *ak
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM
12/08/2009930001
 I have a 2003 saturn ion 1 that i have never had any problems with. suddenly on the first cold day of the winter it had trouble starting. after that the catalytic converter starting glowing. i have spent over $350 replacing the catalytic converter, spark plugs and wires and the air filter. i have found a recall for the saturn l series for an ignition control module. i'm still not sure if this is the problem but if it is it will cost $650 to fix it. i may not have an l series car but they were made with the same engine. i don't understand how a catalytic converter can be destroyed so quickly (under 100,000 miles) without something being wrong. please help!!! *tr
09/12/200402/10/2003
 The area in my trunk above the muffler has started getting extremely hot. items stored in the trunk are hot to the touch and the metal in the trunk is too hot to lay a hand on. i took the car to the dealership and was told this is normal. i have never dropped items while removing them from the trunk because they were too hot to touch and i've had the car since february 2003. i have had constant problems with this car and it is in the shop every month to month and a half being repaired. i have had problems with the driver's side turn signal (4 times), radio, interior fan, transmission, gear shift, brakes, tires, hood latch, windshield, etc.
211
 There was an egg smell within the cabin and on the outside of the vehicle. the smell was worse when the heat was on. the smell made the occupants nauseous and sick. the dealership was unable to identify what caused the smell but has given a lot of scenarios. *nlm
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM - EMISSION CONTROL
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
09/01/20112
 2003 saturn ion . consumer writes in regards to vehicle recall issues *tgw the consumer stated the vehicle was purchased new and she was never informed of a recall regarding the body control module which she was having problems with. the consumer stated the problem first started when the driver side window dropped when she closed the door. then it would not stay up. then half of the dash went black. the next window would go up and down on its own with no contact of any type. then the controls to the electric windows stopped working completely and the electronic lock/opening device would not open the doors any longer or lock the trunk. the consumer was informed she would have to pay for a diagnostic test. the consumer also stated there was also a problem with the transmission. the vehicle did not react to being in park, so therefore, she had difficulty removing the keys from the ignition. the o2 sensor and the ignition switch had to be replaced. the consumer stated the transmission was never properly replaced. on one occasion, the vehicle stalled and the steering locked up. *jb
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING - EXHAUST SYSTEM - EMISSION CONTROL - CATALYTIC CONVERTOR
3000108/21/2003
 There's a strong sulfur odor on the inside and outside of the vehicle. consumer feels the smell maybe caused by a failure in the catalytic converter. the smell could make occupants ill especially anyone with respiratory conditions. *ak *sc