What could be wrong if the 2004 Saturn Ion is getting stuck in first gear?

Okay, if it isn't a manual...get them to check the transmission sensor. I had to have a tech guy from the plant in Springville? come to Jackson, Tn. and test mine. My automatic would stall on take off at odd times and leave me hanging in the middle of an intersection. When it finally would jump into first it'd give you whiplash. They replaced the sensor and haven't had a problem since.. Carolyn I am assuming this is a manual transmission. It may be due to your clutch not fully disengaging. Have you noticed the shifter being hard to move between gears? If so, is your clutch master cylinder fluid low? ( It is located near the firewall on the drivers side near your brake master cylinder - the clutch master uses DOT 3 brake fluid)On such a new car I would think the clutch slave cylinder would be OK ,but check it anyway. I hope this helps you. Mark