The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also probing the Saturn Ion into whether General Motors should have included it in a 2010 recall over power-steering glitches. The Ion is one the vehicles included in the recent recall over faulty ignition switches. At least 846 complaints have been filed with the NHTSA and about 3,500 reports with GM, according to agency, which commenced its investigation in December 2010.
Owners of Ions (2004-2007 model years) claimed they experienced sudden loss of power-steering assistance, an issue that caused GM to recall over a million Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 sedans four years ago. GM told NHTSA that the Ion’s electric power-steering system is identical to that fitted in the Cobalt and G5.
NHTSA disclosed that it managed to replicate the problem in an Ion and Cobalt. NHTSA, however, has not forced GM to recall the Ion. “We cannot understand the delay in recalling Saturn Ions, particularly in light of your recent statement that the ignition switch recall ‘took too long,’” Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center, wrote in a letter to GM chief executive Mary Barra.
“You also stated ‘terrible things happened.’ An immediate recall of Saturn Ions will prevent additional ‘terrible things’ from happening.” GM recently announced three more recalls and remarked that it was taking a harder look at received reports over possible defects. “We are redoubling our efforts on pending product reviews to bring them forward and resolve them quickly,” GM spokesman Jim Cain said. “We can’t sacrifice accuracy for speed.” [source: automotive news - sub. required]