Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Cobalt was introduced to replace two of Chevy’s smaller cars, the Cavalier and Prizm. But the compact’s fresh start that Chevy was hoping for was riddled with issues, most notably widespread power steering failure.

The power steering failed so often that GM was forced to issue a recall in March, 2010. Great, but what about other problems like the key getting stuck in the ignition or all the other electrical demons this car possesses?

And, oh yes — then there’s the terribly dangerous issue where the Cobalt randomly shuts off while driving. As it turns out, that problem is related to GM’s massive 2014 recall for a dangerous ignition switch defect. A recall that eventually ballooned to 2.6 million vehicles in one of the automotive industry’s biggest scandals.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,337 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #12

Dec 022013


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that after fuel was placed in the vehicle and it was parked in the garage, the contact smelled fuel outside of the vehicle. An independent mechanic stated that a crack was present in the fuel tank. The fuel tank was replaced and the failure was remedied. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #11

Jun 012005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles
I purchase my vehicle brand new in 2005 and had continual problems with the car shutting off while driving ever since. I had this car at the dealer for annual maintenance as well as for the car shutting off while driving. I had the cart in the shop monthly for them to evaluate until they said there was absolutely nothing they could do they cant find anything wrong. Went to another dealership and still no satisfaction I even called GM to complain several times and I cried that I was going to get killed and they said there was nothing they could do. Now 13 + people are dead. I have my car at the dealer and it was a fiasco. They gave me back my car with a check engine light on and said I should pay for diagnostics. Really?? they had my car I did not give it to them that way. I called GM and they told me to pay for diagnostic my car is to old so they wont make them do anything. Nice real nice - I guess I am lucky to still be alive today - I wish I could sue them but I work hard and don't have that kind of money to spend. Again they are lucky they have no penalty. They don't care and they will only do what they are forced to do not what is the right thing to do. They should not have been bailed out they should never have that privilege again. In this world only the strong survive and the weak fail. Let them fail.

- Sound Beach, NY, USA

problem #10

May 082014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there was a visible fuel leak on the rear driver's side of the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or independent mechanic. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The current and failure mileage was 119,000. Updated 8/21/15 the consumer stated fuel was leaking from the fuel line. Updated 09/01/15

- Romeoville, IL, USA

problem #9

May 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


I bought this vehicle new in February 2005. I've always been very diligent in maintaining and caring for my car. This summer I had noticed a gasoline odor several times when I got into my car. I always looked under the vehicle for wet spots or dripping but never found anything. In January 2014 I took my car in to have the annual safety inspection done. The inspector told me my car needed brakes on both axles and front rotors. He also told me he smelled a gasoline odor but could not find an active leak even though he turned the key on and primed the fuel system several times. Because it was raining that day he told me the underside of the vehicle was wet which prevented him from finding any wet areas due to a fuel leak. He told me he would check again when I brought it back for the re-inspection. A few days later, after the brake repairs, the inspector put my car on the lift and found the fabric heat shield/sleeve was damp with gasoline. He removed the heat shield/sleeve and found that the supply fuel line had rusted through. I did some research online and have found this is a very common problem with the Cobalt model. I took my car to the local Chevrolet dealership and they gave me an estimate of $647 to replace the one bad fuel line! a fuel line rusting through in less than 9 years? terrible design having fuel lines run a few inches from the exhaust pipes. Terrible quality parts that fail prematurely and cause a fire hazard making the vehicle unsafe to drive. Terrible customer service at the dealership with an uncaring attitude and statements of "it's a car, they don't last forever" and "it's only $647, it's not the end of the world". I guess someone's car has to catch on fire, someone get killed, and GM get sued before they'll do something about this known and common problem. Now I know why the us government had to bail out GM. Smh!

- Littlestown, PA, USA

problem #8

Jan 122014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there was a gasoline odor being emitted from the vehicle. He later discovered that there was a gasoline leak. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection, who stated that the fuel line was rusted and would need a total replacement. The mechanic also advised that the line could be mended as a temporary repair. The fuel line was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 69,000. Updated 03/21/14 updated 03/28/2014

- Ronkonkoma, NY, USA

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problem #7

Jan 172013


  • 185,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection where they advised that the fuel pump needed to replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 185,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #6

Sep 092010


  • 90,000 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt-stalls without warning, upon braking, stopping or backing, car will go dead and sometimes unable to re start. Complained to serv dept several time but they say they cant find a problem. Thousands on line with same complaint. Almost hit by train, and other vehicles due to the stalling.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 172009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt caught fire when the ignition key tried to start the engine. This car was parked during the work day at the hospital covered parking lot.

- Houston , TX, USA

problem #4

Feb 022010


  • 98,000 miles
Out of the blue the car began missing, quitting and unable to steer or turn the car has a serious loss of power. The car has been checked and rechecked with no answers and with the previous complaints and recalls that are listed I am requesting information on the specifics to get the car fixed without the cost to me.

- Rainelle , WV, USA

problem #3

Mar 182009


  • 11,538 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there was a fuel line leak in his vehicle. In March of 2009, he smelled fuel coming from the vehicle while driving and also while it was parked. The dealer has not been notified. The current mileage was 12,062 and failure mileage was 11,538.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #2

Mar 192009


  • 45,000 miles
A hose from the fuel tank to the evap canister, came off allowing explosive gasoline vapors to enter the air. This hose is pressed on with no clamp holding the hose in place on the fuel tank. There is a positive lock on the evap canister side of the hose, but nothing holding the hose to the fuel tank. The new fuel tank, (tank and hose one item), also has no clamp at the fuel tank. In addition to allowing explosive vapors into the air, the cost of the repair is huge. The tank assembly, (the hose and fuel tank are one item), is $500, plus installation. Chevy and GM were notified and I was told, "the parts are off the vehicle and nothing will be done about this." To find this defect, the parts, (tank), must be removed from the vehicle. The car has 45000 miles and has never been in a crash or had any damage to it. This hose has no tension on it, just the lack of a clamp allowing it to come loose. The gasoline vapors escaping from the tank in an enclosed area, like a garage, could lead to an explosion and fire, (I'm a retired firefighter). Damage to the environment by escaping gasoline vapors also occurs, (that's why the hose is there in the first place). This negligence in the design on the part of GM could be corrected with a simple low cost clamp on the hose. This defect causes the consumer to spend a large amount of money needlessly, exposes the environment to gasoline vapor damage and could potentially explode, killing someone. Please look into this issue.

- Jeffersonton, VA, USA

problem #1

Aug 012008


  • 58,000 miles
Massive fuel pump leak in 2 areas.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

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