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 30 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #416

Jan 112010


  • 67,000 miles


Power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt (67,000 miles) keeps failing, without warning. This makes for a dangerous situation, especially on the curvy, rural roads I drive. I can hardly imagine what would happen on a highway. I understand this is a common problem with these cars and several similar models.

- Spencer, IN, USA

problem #415

Jan 102010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph on normal road conditions the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver continued operation with caution which required higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation whenever the engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure occurred intermittently. Updated 02/17/10. Updated 02/17/10

- Abita Springs , LA, USA

problem #414

Jan 102010


  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving at 60 mph the power steering light would flash and the power steering would go off on the vehicle. The contact has to turn off the vehicle and then restart it for the power steering to work again. This happens while the vehicle is making turns as well. The manufacturer informed the contact that since their is not a recall the manufacturer is not responsible for the repairs. The contact feels a recall should be issue regarding the power steering. Failure mileage was 106,000.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #413

Jan 142010


  • miles


There's a defect with the power steering motor on 2005 & 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. I bought the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt ls brand new in spring of 2005 and the power steering went out this week (Jan 2010). As one would expect, when it went out while driving approximately 45 mph on a straight city street it became extremely difficult to steer. Making it a very dangerous safety hazard if one has to turn quickly to avoid a collision with another car, a person, or a child. I thought that it may have just been out of steering fluid, but this model has electric power steering, requiring the car to be brought in for service. After encountering the problem, I contacted the dealer and they stated that they have seen this problem very frequently and noted that it indeed was an issue with the power steering motor. After finding out how common this issue was, I researched online to see if perhaps GM/Chevrolet had issued a safety recall and to my surprise I found over 700 complaints (on one site) from Cobalt owners with the same issue dating as far back as 2007 (site:, but no safety recall. This issue is well known to GM/Chevrolet and yet and still no recall. These particular models (Chevy Cobalt ls and others) are marketed as great cars for teens and young adults, making the power steering defect all the more dangerous when combined with young drivers. There are numerous complaints listed online and there is even a petition in place to require GM/Chevrolet to issue a safety recall. On behalf of owners of the effected models, please look into this. I myself will be keeping records of the complaints posted online and I encourage others having the same issue to do the same. I will also be contacting GM/Chevrolet about the issue. Please don't overlook this. All 2005 Cobalt ls owners are at risk. GM/Chevrolet needs to take responsibility before a consumer gets injured or worse as a result of their indolence.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #412

Jan 112010


  • 72,000 miles
Electric power steering pump and modular in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering has started locking up at times and then comes back. Took it to the dealer and they said that the electric pump and modular needs to be replaced this has happened to a large number of these cars. It is very unsafe and can cause a serious accident or the result of someone getting seriously hurt or killed. We purchased this car for our daughter thinking that this was a safe car for her to drive to school and work. But this is very unsafe because the steering can lock up and leave her with no steering. We think GM should be made to recall this problem because they know how many cars this has happened to and it is very unsafe.

- Colonial Heights, VA, USA

problem #411

Jan 222010


  • 35,000 miles
18 year old son traveling 3 hour trip from school and lost steering in car. Car became very uncontrollable but luckily he got the car to stop and got to side of road. After shutting her off for a while he restarted her and everything was fine. After having car checked out it seems that electric steering column maybe bad. Wondering if there is a recall on it. Car only has 63,000km on her. Chevy Cobalt 2005. It really is a serious and very dangerous problem.

- Lethbridge, 00, USA

problem #410

Jan 222010


  • 92,000 miles


My 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt experienced power steering failure. The power steering message came on and my wheel locked up. I was unable turn the wheel and had to drive off of the road to avoid a collision. After turning the car off the steering came back. However, this problem could cause major injury. This is a frequent problem with the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and no recall is in effect. This cannot be fixed without major expense on my part.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #409

Dec 102009


  • 75,000 miles
I am having problems with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I have about 80,000 miles, mostly highway on it and about 5,000 miles ago my power steering kept going out every now and then. It happened not so often so I would just shut the car off and turn it back on and the problem would be gone. Until about another 100 miles then it would start all over again. Now its happening every time I take the car out of my driveway. I have been online to see if other Cobalt owners are having similar problems and low and behold there are a ton of them. I can't afford to have them charge upwards of $700 for me to fix this. If this is such an ongoing problem with this car then something needs to be done immediately before someone, or me and my family, get into a horrible accident. Please email me back with any solutions to this problem. I know I am not alone in this and I know that alot of people would be grateful for any kind of help. Thank you

- Ballston Spa, NY, USA

problem #408

Jan 122010


  • 70,000 miles
Power steering will suddenly stop working - still able to steer manually - steers like a truck though.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #407

Jan 182010


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph on normal road conditions the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road which required higher effort to turn the steering wheel. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to resume normal operation. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction at this time. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 35,000.

- Sugarland , TX, USA

problem #406

Jan 172010


  • 78,000 miles


Out of the blue my boyfriend and I were on our way home in my 2005 Chevy Cobalt and we heard a ding and the power steering light came on in the car and we totally lost power steering. There was absolutely no warning what so ever. The car has been running great until this. Once I shut off the car and let it sit for awhile I will get the power steering back but within a day or 2 it happens again. This is very dangerous to be driving and lose the power steering with absolutely no warning. I haven't fixed the car yet so I'm not sure how much it is going to cost but I was told by the garage that they have to replace the entire steering column to fix it. I love my Cobalt but I am very unhappy with the way this just failed and it happened 3,000 miles after my extended warranty expired. I've been reading that the same exact problem is happening to a lot of people who own Cobalts.

- Jersey Shore, PA, USA

problem #405

Sep 192009


  • 45,000 miles
I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and as I was driving it began to act almost like it was going to stall out on me as in driving on a major highway! my power steering is shot and needs to replaced I haven't had it that long got in Aug 2008!

- Mount Holly Springs, PA, USA

problem #404

Jan 202010


  • 31,914 miles
My daughter experienced a power steering failure on her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering failed while she was driving home from school. There was no warning that the power steering would fail. A power steering warning message came up on the dashboard and then became very difficult to steer. The car will be taken to a Chevrolet dealer for repairs.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #403

Jan 182010


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph vehicle made a beeping sound and then steering wheel locked. The contact shut the vehicle off, restarted it and the failure continued to occur. The contact stated that the power steering failed while driving 15 mph out of a parking lot. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileages were 71000.

- Elk Grove, IL, USA

problem #402

Dec 162009


  • 82,500 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering stops working at random times.. if you are driving and the power steering stops you need to pull over and restart the car. The problem goes away then resurfaces down the road. This vehicle has 82K miles. Not so great with a handicapped wife and two kids.

- West Boylston, MA, USA

problem #401

Jan 032010


  • 76,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering failure. Can not steer car if this happens. This is an on going problem with several complaints this needs to be addressed. Problem occurs daily and is a safety hazard for car to be driven. However you have to drive to keep your job to make the payments on the car. In the process of trying to find affordable solution.

- Oneonta, AL, USA

problem #400

Jan 102010


  • 42,000 miles
The steering went out on the car with 42,000 miles on it. Happens all the time some one is going to get hurt if this problem does not get rectified.

- Angola, NY, USA

problem #399

Jan 012010


  • 70,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt- in the last two weeks my Cobalt has become a death trap. How is it the Chevy can get away with allowing a known issue that can cause death or serious injury continue? I have had my Cobalt to the mechanic for a power steering issue. You drive down the road the red light indicating power steering comes and an you then loose the ability to control your vehicle. I plan to take this to the media and do whatever else I can to make Chevy accountable for the crap they build.

- Clackamas, OR, USA

problem #398

Jan 102010


  • 75,000 miles
The contact has a 2005 chevorlet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering locked while driving approximately 45 mph. The problem has occurred while driving various speeds. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 75000 and the current mileage was 75212.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #397

Jan 142010


  • 79,000 miles
No event driving home.

- Granite Falls, NC, USA

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