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 13 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #756

Aug 242010


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The vehicle was previously repaired for the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000, steering electric power assist system. While driving approximately 50 mph the steering wheel locked and she could no longer control the steering wheel. The vehicle was pulled over then towed to an authorized dealer where they were in the process of diagnosing the failure. The failure and current mileages were 80,000.

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #755

Aug 172010


  • 103,762 miles
I recently had power steering problems with my 05 Chevy Cobalt. I went to premier dealership in brooklyn ct to have the recall done after experiencing problems my power steering. The power steering light would go on and would be hard to turn my wheel, engine light on and car security light went on. After the recall was performed today my car ran smoothly and those lights did not go on. However according to the dealership I still needed a whole power steering column replaced... and the charge was 805 to do the whole job. To "look" at the supposed other problem costs me $113. Now the recall was supposedly "free" for me.

- Danielson, CT, USA

problem #754

Aug 122010


  • 71,000 miles
Received recall notice for my 2005 Cobalt sedan(71,000 miles), in March of 2010. The recall was related to the electric power steering unit. The electric motor thought to be the problem was replaced free of charge by local dealer, no problems with steering up to that point. Just recently(Aug 2010), I started experiencing problems with the steering. The power steering light would flash on and ding. The car would immediately lose power and the door locks would lock and unlock by themselves. It was as though a switch had been thrown. And then it would go away. The local dealer that troubleshoot the problem charged me $55 and said there was an electrical short triggering error problems within the steering column modules. I asked if it was related to the problems they had with the steering electric motors and he said this was another unrelated issue. Sure. So I called a reputable local mechanic and explained my problem. He said he has replaced several steering column units at a cost of $900 a pop. I can see why GM's parts and labor guys love this. He also said the entire column is faulty and they all should be replaced. Of course nothing will happen until a congressman's relative gets badly hurt or killed. I am surprised that the NHTSA has not followed up on the original recall fix as that was only the tip of the iceberg for a much bigger problem. I understand there are several thousand people experiencing steering issues that can be severe at times.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #753

May 132010


  • 14,000 miles


While driving in the right lane on taconic pkwy in New York the steering failed on my mother's Chevy 2005 Cobalt on May 13, 2010. She felt a loss of power over all and could not steer to keep the car on the curved road - car went off the road into the woods and crashed head on into a tree. Passenger was 81 year old woman. Ems/fire had to cut her out of the car and she was taken to St. Francis hospital in poughkeepsie where she was in the ic unit for days. It was hours before she could even speak to advise doctors to send for her family. She suffered from broken ribs, crushed chest, dislocated shoulder, facial and body wounds. The car was recalled the month prior but Chevy dealer (yonkers) advised they had not gotten the ok from GM to pay for the repair (steering) on 2005 Chevy Cobalts. GM knew of this steering problem for years - even when the recall was official the Chevy dealer would not make the repair. GM is responsible for this. My mother was injured badly and nearly killed. I have called this dealer more than once since the May 13, 2010 accident and the last call in June they were still stating they did not get word from GM to pay for the steering defect on the Chevy 2005 Cobalt!!! something needs to be done when there is a recall and the dealers refuse to make the repairs. The Chevy 2005 Cobalt should have been recalled in 2006 or 2007 not April of 2010. I will do everything in my power to work with NHTSA to investigate this matter. I am respectfully asking for help from NHTSA to have one of their engineers check the crashed (totaled) remains of my mothers car. I have not signed title over. Please help me with this.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #752

Dec 152009


  • miles
Both front lower control are bushings are bad needs replaced and GM with not do anything but told me sorry for the experience. In the winter in Dec, 2009 my car started to driving funny the steering was act weird had to drive about 15 to 20 mph then it starting pulling to the right and try to keep the wheel start but it was hard I hit a giant pot hole made a horrible noise under the car. I find out when I took my car for the power steering recall that my passenger rim is bent, maybe wheel bearing is damaged also all on the right front and that both front lower control arm bushings are bad need replaced. Got the steering recall fixed and left the dealership talk to 3 different repair shop and they told me that they have to fix these front lower control arm bushing on several 2005 Cobalt and up that this a very on going problem even with Cobalt with less miles then mine and I do not even have 50,000 yet. I would say it is a very big problem that GM needs to be responsible for not each car owner.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #751

Jun 032010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 48,940 miles
My 2005 Cobalt's steering was recalled, since that I have had two different power steering units put on my car within two weeks. Now my third power steering unit has gone bad and I can't drive my car until the dealership orders a new one which will take four days. If I do drive it I could risk a serious accident if it goes out.

- Norton, OH, USA

problem #750

Jun 202010


  • 59,000 miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. 59000 miles on it. Had the whole power steering problem right after I financed the car, the recall that went out in March was replaced immediately, 3000 miles later (I drive about 2500-3000 a month) power steering started acting up again, took it to a mechanic, it wouldn't act up for him, he said to bring it back when it was actually acting up. It worked fine for a few weeks, happened again, check engine light came on, took it in still wouldn't give him any problems, mechanic advised to have Chevy check the power steering motor recall to see if maybe they replaced it with a bad motor. Called Chevrolet to get the power steering recall looked at again to see if maybe the replacement was a bad one..... Chevy dealership looked at it, checked the car and said he didn't know what was going on with it, and that he could change a few things.... power steering column, new battery...etc. $1000 dollars + worth of work and not knowing the whole time if it was even the problem. Worked ok again for a couple more weeks and now it doesn't want to shift in and out of gears and gain speed on the highway, check engine light came on, took it to a mechanic as soon as it happened, he took it out to test drive and the darn thing wouldn't act up on him. This car is a lemon, even the idiotic Chevrolet people at the dealership don't know what it is going on with the car and don't know how to fix it. I just want the thing off my hands, don't want to have to pay anymore into it, it's unreliable and unsafe.

- Morro, AR, USA

problem #749

Jun 182010


  • 35,378 miles
Was driving and lost power steering.

- Wrightsville, PA, USA

problem #748

May 262010


  • 60,500 miles
Approximately 15 occurrences of warnings lights randomly going off. Such as the power steering and traction control. The power steering had been repaired over a year ago so, it was not associated to the recall that just now was issued. After that it started happening more often and more warning lights would light up -- for no apparent reason. It would never happen when I took it to the shop. Then everything went "haywire" one night coming home from work at 1 am. Dials and lights went wild and the car was hesitating, the gear shift was clicking and the car was "slamming" in and out of gear. I took it to my local Chevy dealership and they could not find anything wrong. They told me maybe my fuel injectors needed cleaning!!!! one month later and it happened again. This time they said it was my body control module. Quoted a price of $619 and it turned out to be $729!!!! I have checked on line and have found multiple comments from other Cobalt owners who have experienced the same problem. This if very dangerous and Chevy needs to recall the part!!!!

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #747

May 292010


  • 54,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt that was recalled for the power steering column. I began having difficulties with my power steering suddenly going out in Feb 2010. I brought it to get looked at and was told my car was fine. I brought it back in when they power steering column was recalled. Since I have gotten the power steering column replaced I have continued to have the same problems with the power steering. I have been in contact with GM and Chevy and have brought my car back to the dealership several times and was told by all three that there "was nothing more they could do." The problem has gotten so bad that my car will jolt when the power steering goes out making the car very difficult to drive. I will pull off the road and turn my car off for approx. 15 minutes. This problem occurs at low speeds. May 29, 2010 was the last dated issue.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #746

Apr 152010


  • 86,000 miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls with power steering problems and switch problems. My husband took it to auto zone and told him that the power steering was good so we took our car home with danger. Since that day we have alots of problems. He had to replace several parts to the car. I wanted to give my report because I feel unsafe on my vehicle for me and my kids and others people life.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #745

May 232010


  • miles
I started driving my car and within ten minutes the wheel of my Chevy Cobalt 2005 was very hard to steer. And I could not turn and almost caused a accident. It was very stiff and very hard to turn. There was a blinking sign that stated power steering. This has been happening for three days now and I have visited a mechanic and he told us that he could not do anything about it. It has caused me many problems. I do not want to put myself in danger and it can cause life threatening problems.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #744

Apr 202010


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owned a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The vehicle was traveling approximately between 45-50 mph and suddenly wandered into the opposing lane. The driver was involved in a head on fatal crash. A police report was filed of the incident. The vehicle was towed to an impound lot. The cause of failure had not been determined at the time of the complaint. The vehicle was completely destroyed. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Seneca, IL, USA

problem #743

Sep 012008


  • 80,000 miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. GM did replace the power steering motor, but I still do not have the power steering back. The service company told me that it was the power steering module that has gone bad and it is not covered by the recall or the warranty. It is causing my vehicle to jump and sputter. When this occurs I loose all my safety gauges like my speedometer, gas, etc. The vehicle even cuts off completely when I come to a stop at intersections. What do I do now? oh yeah, I even had the transmission worked to make sure it wasn't that either.

- King George, VA, USA

problem #742

Feb 182010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Power steering stops working while driving, you can pull over stop and restart engine then the power steering comes back for a while. This is very dangerous. Something should be done but so far nothing has.

- Williamsburg, KY, USA

problem #741

May 102010


  • 175,364 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at 30 mph, the steering wheel locked up while the contact was turning. The contact noted that the steering was difficult but she managed to get the vehicle into a parking lot. She then turned off the vehicle and waited five minutes to restart; after the restart, the vehicle behaved normally. However, the failure occurred again. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic but it had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The contact called the authorized dealership and the dealer informed that a recall was in progress for the steering. The current and failure mileages were 175,364.

- Ft Worth, TX, USA

problem #740

Apr 232010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
March 26, 2010- 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt started beeping. "power steering" warning appeared. Car became hard to steer. Car sputtered and stalled out. After turning the car off and back on, car functioned normally enough to be driven to fairway motors in hazleton. Power steering was found to be broken and was fixed under the recall. April 1st, 2010- car started beeping. "power steering" warning appeared. Car sputtered and stalled out as I pulled into a parking lot. The steering wheel would not turn at all, it was stuck in place. The car was towed to armen Chevrolet in ardmore. The power steering was once again found to be faulty and was fixed. April 23rd, 2010- once again the car started beeping. "power steering" warning appeared and the car sputtered and stalled out on us 30 in the middle of traffic. Turned the car off and on again and was able to get the car to armen Chevrolet again. Armen Chevrolet can not find anything wrong with the car. Diagnostics are negative, no record of the incident in the cars memory, 130 mile test so far has not replicated the problem. I contacted the district specialist for Chevrolet, nick christensen, who claimed to be keeping in contact with armen Chevrolet, stated to me today (Monday, May 3, 2010) that the dealer had driven my car 240 miles, did not find anything wrong, and nick advised me to go pick up my car. The dealer informed me that in fact, they have only driven the car 130 miles, found a faulty shifter (which is not related to the car stalling out, but still needs to be fixed before I take the car), and that they still need to continue driving the car until they reach 240 miles. Nick also stated that after the dealer has driven the car 240 miles, if armen Chevrolet can't find anything wrong with the car that they can't do anything further and that I basically have to take my chances with the car stalling out in the middle of traffic again (for the 4th time) and I should have it taken to dealership at that time.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #739

Jan 312007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
My power steering in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt sedan goes out every so often for no apparent reason it has been taken back to a dealer once or twice for this problem. They have told me that I have to pay over 2 grand to get it fixed. With the recall out I don't know if mine is covered or not I can provide the VIN and other info. Problem started right after I bought the car and that summer had no steering what so ever. It has been a major issue for two years now it happens mainly when the car is driven over 80 degrees. And also one of the bulbs in the high mount third break light does not work anymore after being replaced more than once to see if it was a problem with the bulb. Front headlights have had to be replaced 5 times since buying the vehicle and I have gone threw more turn signal bulbs to count.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #738

Mar 132010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated she received notification of NHTSA recall campaign id number and contacted her local dealer to secure an appointment for repairs. The dealer advised the parts needed to make the repairs were not yet available. An independent mechanic attempted to locate the parts needed for the repair also but to no avail. The vehicle was not repaired and the contact believed the recall was not being addressed within a reasonable amount of time. There were no failures to date. The current mileage was 123,000.

- Deltona, FL, USA

problem #737

May 122008


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving approximately 45 mph the power steering failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The failure was related to the body control module (BCM). The vehicle was repaired for the malfunction. The contact received a recall notification after the service repair was performed on the vehicle. The prior repair was not included in the reimbursement. The contact stated that the defect was related to computer failure. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 50,000. The current mileage was 80,000.

- Shrieveport, LA, USA

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