9th Nov 2005, 10:34

I'm not so sure it's an "operator" error. I rented an '05 Ion and the same problem happened to me. When I got to my client the key became stuck in the ignition. I had several people look at it but it is still stuck. I plan on returning the car and letting the rental company deal with it.

12th Jan 2006, 14:04

I have a 2005 VUE and had the opposite problem. I could not get the key to turn in the ignition. My husband also insisted that I wasn't doing it right because of the so-called safety feature. I was stranded 4 times in one week and had to be "rescued". After 20 years I think I know how to crank a car!!! At my insistence I had the dealer check it. They replaced the ignition and made me a new key. Works perfectly now!!

3rd Mar 2006, 02:03

When the ignition WILL NOT TURN, or when the key WILL NOT REMOVE, it's because the steering wheel lock is engaged! Turn the steering wheel slightly either way to disengage the lock, you'll hear a click, and then the ignition key can be inserted and turned to start the engine.

3rd Mar 2006, 07:41

Nope. Actually, it's a mechanical failure in the lockout mechanism in certain ION and VUE models, not just a properly operating lockout feature. It especially plagued 2003-2004 ION models. Check alldata.com for the technical service bulletins on this issue, and possibly consider doing a little research before you rant.

3rd Mar 2006, 09:10

Please add the caveat "unless you have a Ford Focus"

The Ford Focus had had numerous ignition issues, and indeed the car will not start when the key is place in the ignition regardless of whether the steering wheel is locked or not.

American cars are designed to break down, pure and simple. And Saturn as a brand is going away unless its SUV and Soltice clone do something for sales.

24th Mar 2006, 13:05

We couldn't remove the key from our 2003 Saturn Vue. Tried the basics of giggling the steering wheel to unlock. No luck. Took it to the dealer and they replaced the cylinder lock and provided a new key. It was a mechanical problem, not operator error.

19th Apr 2006, 12:02

OK, 2004 Saturn Ion 3 series owner here!..

Very dissatisfied. Got the car 5 months ago with 9,400 miles on it. It now has 17,000, and as we speak, it's at the dealer, and that makes 7 times now.

The cruise control switch was bad right when I bought the car. Tell me how many cars with 15,000 miles on them do you know of that a motor mount, transmission mount, and 2 sway-bars are all bad?

I got this car for the convenience of not having to have it fixed, and now the dealer has it more than I do! So right now the car is there, because it stalls while driving down the road, it stalls while sitting in the drive, and it comes pretty damn near stalling when you pull it to or from park. This car is a nightmare and I would love to speak with anyone who has the exact same car.

Email me at Sherma2003@yahoo.com, I'd love to hear your experiences!

26th Sep 2006, 09:54

I experienced the same problem with my 05' Sunfire. Key stuck in couldnt remove. Dealership fixed the ignition which was covered under warranty.

16th Oct 2006, 18:35

OK next time you are driving your automatic Saturn ion and you can't get the key out make note: "DO I HAVE A CUP IN THE CUP HOLDER?" If the answer to this question is "yes" then there is a simple explanation. The button on the gear shift is probably touching the cup and engaged. If this is the case you can't remove the key. Simply remove the cup and LOOK AT THAT, you can get your keys out. Simple as that!

26th Oct 2006, 15:05

How is it when you can't get the key out of the ignition an "operator error."? And the steering wheel lock only occurs when turning on the engine, if and only if, the driver has locked the steering wheel when leaving the car parked, not when the driver wants to get the key out. The key should be coming in and out regardless if the lock is on or off.

20th Jan 2007, 20:56

I have a Saturn SL2 with the same error. Whenever I park while turning to the right my keys locks into the ignition. I can jiggle my wheel, make sure it is locked, and ensure it is in park with still no luck. Sometimes what I have to do is back out and find a spot that I can pull into by turning my wheel to the left. Only issue with that is tonight it began to not work to the left either. I have read tons of posts on other sites about this same issue. It is not driver error and I think that unless it has happened to you then you would not understand. I heard that Saturn dealerships have said to turn it hard or hit it using something heavy. Not about to do so and break my key in the lock. I will never buy a Saturn again...

6th Feb 2007, 18:28


I've had a few problems with this car, though overall I still enjoy it. I'm not commenting on Service experiences, just comments and problems about the car itself.


- the driver-side panel in the foot compartment seems to come off easily. I've accidentally kicked it off a couple of times. This might be intentional as the fuses are in here although they are interestingly harder to get to.

- the car is terrible in winter driving. I've had 2 Pontiac Sunfires (same class, basically same engine, both ABS & traction control -- same as my Ion3) and I never had a problem. I suspected the tires are the major culprit so I replaced them and it is much better, but it still lists in the traditional snow belt areas, drifts etc.

- the fog lights button is hidden behind the steering wheel. I use them all the time and since you use them when its dark or when the weather is bad, it would be good to know if they are on! You can't always tell esp. when city driving from looking outside. Either the button should have been placed in a more visible location and/or an indicator on the display panel should mention that the lights are on/off.

- car seems to recover poorly when going over routine driving bumps and potholes. I had my tires replaced somewhere other than Saturn and they mentioned some concern over the shocks as well, though Service confirmed that everything was fine and this was normal for the Ion.

Minor difficulties:

- radio: the clock loses about 3 minutes per month. Doesn't sound like much, but when you are relying on 'traffic reports on the :01's' from your local radio station, missing a report because your clock has changed is not pleasing. Interestingly, service's response was to replace the radio. They did this twice before concluding there was no way to fix the problem.

- cruise control: I use this several times a day and most of the time it works well. However, occasionally when setting cruise it won't engage, leaving me wondering why my speed is falling until I realize what's occurred. This happens at local and highway speeds. Service says they provided a software update after my initial report, but the issue has cropped up again and they can't find the problem.

- recently after turning on the car I will get an urgent alert (the kind you get when you have low fuel) except the display panel doesn't say that anything is wrong, and in each case I had over half a tank so I'm not sure what caused the alert/alarm. Service couldn't find anything on computer inspection.

- today I received the low fuel alert on my panel, but without the alarm.

Possible Major Issues (though they haven't stopped me from driving yet) :

- for months I would get a rattling that sounded like it was coming from around the back left wheel, mostly shortly after starting the car in rainy conditions this past Fall and while accellerating or turning. While I have mentioned this issue a couple of times to Service, unfortunately the rattling could not be reproduced at those visits (of course, my luck).

- for a good two weeks there was some serious squeaking that would present itself whenever driving over bumps (both those on the road and speed bumps). By squeaking I mean the car sounded like the body was separating from the undercarriage. Like an old rusty spring bed that someone is jumping up and down on. Again, unfortunately it cannot be reproduced.

For any of these issues: If you've had or heard of anyone who's had these issues and they were able to identify what it was and get it fixed... please say it here.