NHTSA Sees Similarities in Saturn Ion, Chevy Cobalt, and Pontiac G5 Power Steering Issue

By Joel Arellano | October 03, 2011
General Motors, yet again, is learning the old adage that one can't escape the past. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just announced it will be elevating its investigation on a power steering failure issue supposedly afflicting model year 2004-2007 Saturn Ion sedans. According to the federal agency, the problem resembles last year's investigation of 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5 compacts, which lead to the recall of more than one million vehicles. All three vehicles use the same electric power steering system, or EPS. The NHTSA determined that due to a defect, debris and oil somehow got into the Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5 EPS system, causing it to fail. The agency has identified the same problem in the Saturn Ion sedans, which are mechanically related to the Chevy and Pontiac.
GM has not yet responded to the NHTSA's update. While the federal agency has only received 846 complaints so far, GM supposedly has received nearly 3,500 including more than 17,000 warranty claims. More serious are reports of 16 crashes, two of which have resulted in driver injuries. Automotive.com's take: Neither the NHTSA or GM have issued a formal recall on this issue, so Saturn Ion owners may have difficulty in convincing the local Chevy dealerships to research it for their vehicle. Still, we strongly urge Ion owners to do so even if they have to foot the bill. Source: Detroit News