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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 2
Average Mileage:
43,636 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 192010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


My daughter was driving her 2005 Chevy Cobalt, when a person coming from the opposite side failed to yield right of way and our Cobalt side swiped the Ford escort. She hit the car doing about 35 miles per hour and her airbags did not deploy...I have no idea why nothing has been done when I see soooo many other stories just like this...the front end was pushed back all the way to the engine, the car would not even start, had that engine shifted my daughter could have been seriously injured.

- Adamstown, MD, USA

problem #5

Apr 032009


  • 80,000 miles
I'm making a complaint about the 2005-2009 Chevy Cobalt power steering. I drive a 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls and last April 2009, I noticed my power steering going out. I was in the middle of no where in New York state with a 2 year old in the car with me. Since then it has gone out completely with about a 2 min window that I do have it after I start the car. I had contacted GM through email, had a diagnosis ran on it and reported it back to them, when only to be told that they could not help me with it. I don't have the money to repair it knowing that I need a new steering column to fix it. So I do not have any power steering and on top of that the sensor for the air bags comes on too. These two problems have been very scary for me and my 2 year old daughter.

- Hampton, NH, USA

problem #4

Sep 252007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,000 miles
On the date listed, my wife was driving at app. 40mph. At which point she ran into the rear of another vehicle that was stopped. Upon impact the seat belt failed to keep her in the driver seat. There was also no airbag deployment. Upon impact she flew upwards and forward, hitting her face on the visor. She went to the hospital where they did scans and found no bleeding on the brain, however she was injured in the face to which she still has a bump on the bridge of her nose and still gets headaches. Also, shortly after the accident she had two black eyes and a concussion. The vehicle was repaired, but there was no indication that anything was done with the airbag system or the seat belt, by the auto body shop. We contacted GM a day or two after the accident. They sent an engineer out to gather readings from the car a few weeks later. It wasn't until this week that we heard something back from GM. They said there was nothing for them to do and they left it at that. We are still driving the same car and are very weary of what could happen if we are involved in another accident. I think there needs to be a recall done and the manufacture held liable for the equipment failure.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #3

Oct 242006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


Notice of recall, repairs made by dealership. Crash into tree, approx. Speed 60 mph. Three passengers, not wearing seat belts, extreme front end damage. Air bags did not deploy. Driver seriously injured. Front passenger killed. Rear passenger killed. Investigation pending..... updated 03/14/14

- Spring Valley, WI, USA

problem #2

Aug 242006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving 50 mph on a clear dry highway in heavy traffic, all traffic stopped abruptly, causing the front end to impact the right rear of the vehicle in front. Then the vehicle spun off the road to the left impacting head on with the guardrail. The frontal air bags failed to deploy on either impact. A police report was taken. The rental car company was notified and the contact was taken to the hospital.

- Visalia, CA, USA

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problem #1

Feb 072006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,819 miles
1) months prior to the accident at high way speed (65 to 75 mph) after several hour (from 1 to 4) with the cruise control engaged, when disengaging the cruise control, the car would vibrate violently. GM claims they can not duplicate the problem. 2) brakes failed - applied brakes in traffic, pedal was soft and then went hard like the power brakes was not working, but the car did not slow down, causing the impact in the rear of a pick-up truck. 3) according to the air bag report the car was traveling over 30 mph, but the air bags did not deploy on the frontal crash.

- Fayetteville, GA, USA

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