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 16 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #696

Jul 132009


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that on three occasions, she lost the power steering and could not control the vehicle. She first noticed the failure in July 2009. She had to coast to the side of the road, turn the vehicle off and then restart the vehicle. Once restarting, the problem seemed to correct itself. She had not taken the vehicle to the dealership and had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 74,000. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000.

- New London, CT, USA

problem #695

Mar 312007


  • 55,000 miles
Driving 2005 Chevy Cobalt and power steering goes out. Trying to get out of or in a parking space and power steering goes out.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #694

Jan 252010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
I can be driving down the road at any rate of speed, and the power steering warning light will come on & chime, by the time the chime stops the power steering has gone out. I can stop the car, turn it off, turn it back on and it fixes the problem for about 2-5 minutes then the situation repeats itself. It happens constantly to the point the car is almost not drivable. It has progressively gotten worse over time.

- South Fulton, TN, USA

problem #693

Dec 012009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


The recent recall regarding Cobalt power steering prompted me to actually report this. We have a 2005 Cobalt ls we purchased used, and the loss of power steering has occurred several times over the past couple years, but to my knowledge, only in our driveway upon putting it into gear. It has never happened while on the highway."power steering"message pops up on info panel, and a combination of things seem to occur together. The transmission seems to "clunk" upon shifting into gear, and usually the traction control dummy light comes on as well at that time. The problems have always corrected themselves, so no incidents to report, but rather concerned now upon hearing more. The car now has 98000 miles, but found paperwork from previous owner that complaint was made to dealer at 31000, and the electric steering motor was eventually replaced @ 67000. So it appears this car is already on it's second motor. I have never taken it in, as the previous replacement cost over $1000, and couldn't afford that. This recall couldn't come soon enough, as my kids recently started driving it to school.

- Dodgeville, WI, USA

problem #692

Apr 102008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
I could have died. I was driving around a turn three dump trucks were coming toward me and my power steering went out. I luckily swerved off the road causing front end damage to my car. I paid out of pocket some where close to $800 for repairs for the crash. The power steering was working fine for awhile till a little after September 26 when it went totally out again making it where I was unable to turn the wheel and it no longer safe to drive. I was told today that they are offering me $5,000 for my 05 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering went totally out a few days after September 26 and had caused an accident earlier on in the year. They are now holding my car at a palm Chevrolet dealership in ocala fl. When going to retrieve my car they said GM wouldn't be able release my car do to the power steering rendering it unsafe to drive. When I first talked to GM they sounded as though it would be no problem they would fix the car and all the repairs needed from the accident. Now they want nothing to do with the repairs. It has been in the shop for a month and out of service since September. I don't think I was born yesterday. The repairs for power steering is $1,400. Less than the $5,000 that they want to pay me so they can fix the car and resell it leaving me to drive a piece of junk that runs if I could find it that cheap. I paid a little over $18,000 for a stock model car. I put $800 in to it from the accident leaving only body work to be done. I'm trying to raise my ten month old son. Without a car it has made it impossible to go to college or get a job. Not to mention having to pay over $1,000 on insurance for a car I can't use. I want my car and I want it fixed. Can you please help?

- Summerfield, FL, USA

problem #691

Nov 012009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Power steering failed in November 2009. While driving the vehicle the power steering failed to work and the words "power steering" appeared on the console display. This caused the vehicle to be very hard to steer and control especially at low speeds. The power steering has failed while negotiating curves on several occasions and on at least one occasion I was unable to continue to drive the vehicle through the curve as I was unable to turn the steering wheel because it was too hard to turn. While negotiating this curve I almost struck another vehicle. Contacted local Chevrolet dealership and advised them of this problem. I was advised that there was not a recall and that this was not a "problem" being addressed by Chevrolet. I was advised by my local dealership that if I researched this matter on the internet I would find hundreds of similar complaints but that again Chevrolet was not addressing this as a dealer problem and that the consumers would be required to fix the problem on their own. I advised the service employee that the steering was too stiff / hard for me to turn the wheel, especially at low speeds, and was again advised that I would have to pay for the repairs myself. I questioned the service employee as to how Chevrolet was not handling this as a recall as it was apparent that it was not isolated to only one type of vehicle and included hundreds if not thousands of consumers and was again advised that I would have to fix the problem myself.

- Avon Park, FL, USA

problem #690

Jul 022009


  • 70,604 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The driver stated that the steering wheel became very stiff while driving various speeds and within a few minutes it would function normally. The driver also stated that this was a health hazard to him. The driver has no other means of transportation and he concerned about the safety risk while driving. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 70,604.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #689

Apr 152009


  • 69,669 miles
In April of 2009, the power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt started going out whenever I would get slower than 50 mph. On April 22, 2009, I had to have my steering column replaced. I understand now that there has been a recall on this vehicle model due to this steering problem. I would like to be reimbursed for the amount I had to pay for the repair job. Thank you.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #688

Jul 102008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. In the summer of 2008 the power steering began failing. I would drive and for no apparent reason the power steering would cut out and steering would become incredibly difficult, making a turn was near impossible. I took the Cobalt to serpentini Chevrolet (in strongsville, oh) and they said that the steering column needed replaced. My car was no longer covered by warranty so I paid for the repair out of pocket ($1100). I have a copy of the service invoice to verify the information I am reporting.

- Middleburg Heights, OH, USA

problem #687

Nov 302009


  • 2,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel jerked in a left and right motion. The vehicle loss control and crashed into a guard rail. There was no injury. The police was not called to the scene. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The current and failure mileages were 2,500.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #686

Mar 012008


  • miles


I am filing this complaint on behalf of my brother he is in the military snf I have his car while he is gone. I guess I didn't think to report this when it happened the first time on a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, until I read a article online about the steering assist motors going bad. But 2 years the motor went out, took it to a mechanic got a new one put in and just 2 weeks ago it went bad again and is in the shop again. I know I didn't include everything but when it went out the first time my brother was coming home from Iowa city when the steering went out and went into the median no damage to the car was done but the car was parked cause 2 days later he left for iraq. The car sat for almost 8 months before I paid to have it fixed and I started driving it and then 2 weeks ago it went bad again.

- Millersburg, IA, USA

problem #685

Mar 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 119,378 miles
I had severe power steering failure and my map sensor is also defective even though it has been replaced twice. I have a very low mpg its a 15mpg at best. My car also accelerates without my foot on the pedal and I have had severe brake failure, to the extent that I have had to use my hand brake to stop.

- Fort Lauderdale , FL, USA

problem #684

Nov 252009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 65,726 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at speeds of 55 mph the power steering alarm flashed on the dashboard and triggered the alarm. Immediately, the vehicle lost power steering and proceeded to drift to the left into oncoming traffic. The contact had to utilize extreme bodily force in order to avoid crashing with oncoming traffic and maintain control of the steering wheel. She was able to maneuver the vehicle off the highway and shut off the engine. When starting the ignition, the power steering reset itself and was operating normally. The failure occurred two additional times and the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where he replaced the entire power steering column and assembly. There were no failures after the repairs were made. The failure mileage was 65,726 and the current mileages was 82,000. Updated 4/7/2010 the power steering assist module was replaced. Updated 05/12/10.

- Fort Valley, VA, USA

problem #683

Feb 182010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Power steering column and motor replaced for over 1,000 dollars also bushing. Engines stalls when pressing gas and brake pedal. Key wouldn't come out ignition and my car wouldn't stay in park. Had to pay a locksmith to remove the key. Headlights keep having to be adjusted. Wheel bearing and struts need to be replace but I don't have the money for all of these repairs for a 2005 vehicle. Its to many problems for such a newer vehicle. What is Chevy going to do about this, how many more people have to die or get injured.

- Hardwick, GA, USA

problem #682

Feb 202010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
Chevy Cobalt power steering. Starting about a week ago my power steering would randomly go out, most of the time it happened when the temp outside got above 50. The first time this happened I almost hit a car and ran off the road. I went and had my car fixed Friday and paid 500 dollars to have it fixed. I found out today there was a recall being done. I called the Chevy dealership and although the recall says its for the Cobalt 05 to 10, which mine is an 05, it apparently does not have the VIN number of the ones being recalled. I think this needs to be reviewed on what Cobalts they are recalling but its really odd how mine only messes up when the temp was over 50.

- Hazelgreen, AL, USA

problem #681

Dec 102009


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving 45 mph he noticed that the power steering light had appeared on the dashboard, at the same time the vehicle lost all power steering. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 52000.

- Reynoldsville, PA, USA

problem #680

Oct 102009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 99,689 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalts power steering fails frequently. This happens at all speeds and terrains making you rapidly adjust to the change in steering capability. This is exceptionally terrifying while driving in inclement weather.

- Superior, WI, USA

problem #679

Feb 272010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 56,500 miles
I drive a Chevy Cobalt (2005) which was purchased new. Current it's got ~55000 miles on it. This past week I experienced three times sudden loss of power steering while driving - twice on local driveways and once on the freeway. The problem remained on as long as the engine was not shut off. Restarting the engine seems to solve the problem temporarily as no one knows when it is going to happen again. I have been a defensive drive so I was able to handle the situations calmly without causing any trouble; but this is dangerous. Right now the car is at the GM service center for a checkup and hopefully a fix. Apparently there have been over one thousand cases like this. I believe that a recall should be issued for safety concerns. Thank you.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #678

Jun 282009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt as soon as you start vehicle it has power steering but as soon as you start driving a dinger alarms and displays the power steering message. And then there is no power steering, however it is drivable but in my own opinion not safe because it does take alot of force to steer especially at low speed!!!!

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #677

Oct 142009


  • 61,882 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately between 15-20 mph on normal road conditions. A chime sounded inside the vehicle; followed by the power steering warning light indicator illumination. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation for a short period of five seconds. In addition, the front driver door caused an extremely intense electrical shock whenever accessing the door. The front driver side seat belt buckle failed to function. The failure occurrences were whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The technician refused to perform a diagnostic testing without a service charge. The vehicle has not been inspected for the failure or repaired at this time. The contact had concern of the potential safety hazard. The failure mileage was 61,882.

- Glasgow , KY, USA

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