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:
45 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
27 / 5
Average Mileage:
62,118 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 10 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #816

Feb 022012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


While driving on a well maintained road, with no environmental factors (such as wind, rain, snow), I completely lost control of the steering of my vehicle. I did not hear any beeping, clicking, or any noises that would have indicated that there was something wrong. The car weaved across two lanes, and hit a guardrail before crashing front-first into a tree. Both airbags were deployed. I was able to safely make it out of the vehicle. I was later taken to an urgent care where X rays showed that my spine was out of alignment. I am currently suffering back and neck pain which keeps me from engaging in daily activities as well as performing my job to the best of my ability. I bought this car because it was supposed to be safe, yet it seems this vehicle is the cause of the crash, and my subsequent injuries.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #815

Feb 012012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 51,238 miles
I was driving with my new born baby when the power steering went out and I couldnt control the car.

- Meridian, MS, USA

problem #814

Jan 222012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Pulling out of my parking space 2 hours after I parked, and my car started jerking forward. Then I noticed my check engine light came on, then power steering starting flashing across the screen then my T/C light came on. I ut the car off, and waited a few minutes, started it back up, it seemed fine, I drove 5 feet and my car jumped forward, I lost steering, power steering flashing in the lights on my dash, then my check engine light came on again, and my T/C light came on. My car starts and runs fine at an idle, if I try to drive it, it shakes horribly then it jumps forward and tries to die. If I had let my daughter drive, she would of had an accident!! and yet my car is not part of the 2005 steering recall!! what is the problem here!! I just did some research, and a few phone calls to find out there was a recall but my 2005 total electronic steering is not part of this recall when clearly my car is affected by it. I want answers and I want them now. I can not afford to pay 2000 to have something fixed that is not the fault of the driver, but the fault of GM and their not recognizing all these vehicles have a problem but only select ones.

- Arnold, MO, USA

problem #813

Jan 312011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 182,746 miles


Power steering failure. Shut off while driving.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #812

Dec 052011


  • 12,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the steering wheel seized while turning at 5 mph. A power steering service light also illuminated on the instrument panel during the failure. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop and the were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 12,000.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #811

Dec 062011


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the instrument panel gauges were defective, the transmission was shifting hard and the power of steering failed sporadically. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 92,000.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #810

Nov 012011


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle was shaking excessively and would lose power while driving. In addition, the vehicle would violently jerk while making turns and the steering wheel would seize. Neither a dealer nor a mechanic was notified. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000 and the current mileage was 168,267.

- Olympia Field, IL, USA

problem #809

Apr 262010


  • 101,445 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed intermittently and as a result, several warning lights were illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering:electric power assist system) yet the failure recurred one year later. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. No repairs were performed. The current mileage was 154,000 and the failure mileage was 101,445.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #808

Dec 222010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
The power steering motor on my 2005 Cobalt failed for the first time in December, 2010. Now, in October, 2011 I have had the power steering motor replaced as per the Chevrolet recall. Five days after the replacement of the motor, the exact same issues have returned. The car stutters at any speed, the power steering fails completely making the car nearly impossible to steer and the car has stalled at least half a dozen times so far. Chevrolet knows about this problem, but it is clear that the recall of the power steering motor alone does not fix the problem. The entire power steering mechanism seems to be at fault and it seems that Chevrolet will only cover the cheapest part of this fix. Chevrolet expects its customers to pay for their mistake and not only is this mistake an inconvenience it is a huge safety concern. My vehicle has stalled on an on-ramp, in traffic and once in an intersection. Chevrolet must be held accountable for this huge safety concern and fix the problem at its root.

- New Castle, PA, USA

problem #807

Oct 232011


  • 48,800 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when traveling at various speeds, the power steering would fail intermittently. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified of the failure nor was the vehicle diagnosed or repaired. The current and failure mileages were 48,800.

- Powell, OH, USA

problem #806

Oct 212011


  • 72,000 miles


The power steering light came on and became hard to steer. Luckily I was able to pull over and stop as there was no one else on the highway at the time. I've there was a recall on the part but when I called the dealer they seem to think they have already fixed the problem but I will bring it in tomorrow. After reading all the stories about this model its a wonder GM has done nothing about it. I will have to pay almost 100 dollar for them to just look at the car. Lords only knows what its going to take for them to attempt to repair it for good. I'm not really sure its worth fixing but who can just go out and buy a new car because GM sold junk in the first place.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #805

Oct 182011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 80,910 miles
Power steering stops working and then starts working sometimes when driving. Power steering pump was changed by Chevrolet dealer in March, 2011. By may, 2011, same problem of power steering working erratically resumed. Dealer looked at it again on 9/30/11 and was unable to fix. On October 18, 2011, a near accident occurred when the power steering started working during a sharp turn at 25 mph while entering an on ramp. The force it takes to turn the wheel at that speed is estimated at 30 lbs and while applying that force in the sharp turn and the power steering suddenly started working, resulting in my making a significant turn to the right and almost running off the ramp and down a 15' embankment. The vehicle is too hazardous to drive.

- Ooltewah, TN, USA

problem #804

Oct 192011


  • 98,000 miles
When pulling out of our drive way this morning, the car suddenly began to jerk, I thought it was nothing. Then as I pulled to the stop sign, the car then jerked again and somewhat slowed down and the low brake fluid lights began to flash and a dinging noise came on as well. I immediately turned the car back into our driveway but barely could because the steering wheel was so stiff it would hardly budge.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #803

Oct 102011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 41,022 miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, the power steering and traction control lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle then began to jerk and become difficult to drive. The vehicle had to be towed to an authorized dealer and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering:electric power assist system); but the dealer told me that there no recall for my vehicle, apparently they was base on the vehicle VIN # instead of model/made/year of the car. The dealer told me I need to replace steering column which will cost me close to $1000 w/part, labor & taxes. Pickup my car on the same day late afternoon, was able to drive home with no incident. However, the failure recurred the next day, again towed the car back to the dealership, the manufacturer was aware of the failure. The vehicle was awaiting further inspection at the dealership, in the meantime I'm driving the rental that was provided by the dealership. This is mfg defected problem, I should not have to paid to fix the steering column.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #802

Sep 212011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 17,500 miles
This incident occurred at about 9:30pm on the night of 9/21/11. The failure of the air bags and steering occurred on NJ state route 78 West, about 50 feet before the ramp to route 31. There was no traffic congestion on the road, and visibility was good. I was fully awake, and was familiar with driving this route on a daily basis. While I was driving my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt home from college, my vehicle lost power steering right before I got onto the ramp. Keep in mind that my vehicle was traveling completely straight at the time when the power steering light came on, and about half a second later my vehicle began spinning to the right. Before I could slow down or straighten the car, my vehicle had rotated almost a full 90 degrees to the right. At this point the ramp had started, and thus to avoid hitting the guard rail on the right side of the road I made a strong effort to turn the wheel to the left and straighten my car. I succeeded in turning the wheel to the left, and thus straightened my car out until my car then started to spin to the left, and bounced off of the guard rail on the left side of the ramp at approximately 40mph. A couple seconds elapsed from when the power steering light came on, to when my car hit the guard rail. After the car bounced off of the guard rail, it continued to spin for another 270 degrees, and came to rest on the narrow shoulder, parallel to the road. The air bag did not deploy, and after I shut the car off and turned it back on, the power steering warning light had disappeared entirely. Although I drove the car off of the ramp, as I was instructed to by police, the car was totaled due to significant damage to the front of the body and frame of the vehicle. After the incident I discovered the previous recall on the power steering motor, however when I checked with the dealer, their records indicated that the recall was fulfilled.

- Milford, NJ, USA

problem #801

Jun 192011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering warning light would illuminate and the steering wheel would seize while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop and the contact was informed that the electronic power steering motor needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 86,000. Updated 10/04/11 the consumer referenced recall # 10V073000. Updated 11/02/11

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #800

Jul 142010


  • miles
I bought the Chevy Cobalt (2005) in the fall of 2009. The next summer I was notified of the recall on the power steering. I have since brought my car in twice because the electric power steering has shut off while driving. Today, for the third time since the car was supposedly fixed by Chevy the power steering shut off again while I was driving in heavy traffic. This is a serious safety concern and it seems like Chevy is just replacing with the same defective parts. The whole system needs to be replaced or a different motor needs to be used for the electric power steering.

- Hull, MA, USA

problem #799

Sep 012011


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing a recurring failure in which the power steering would fail and cause the steering wheel to seize. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where they were unable to diagnose the failure. The contact stated that the vehicle was initially repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering:electric power assist system). The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 89,000.

- 1077 Peak Circle , FL, USA

problem #798

Jan 202011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 75,500 miles
Loss of power steering, multiple warning lights appeared. Recall was done 1/24/11. Loss of power steering and warning lights August 3, 2011. Dealer unable to find problem. Loss of power steering and warning lights August 31. Again, dealer unable to find problem.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #797

Sep 022011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
My 05 Chevy Cobalt was driving on the high way going about 70mph switch lanes and my power steering got out of control and got into a wreck hit some one beside me.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

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