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 37 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #276

Sep 252009


  • 60,039 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving between 15-25 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then the vehicle lost power steering. He was able to safely restart the vehicle to resume normal operation. The failure and current mileages were 60,039.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #275

Oct 032009


  • 55,710 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering suddenly stopped functioning while driving. The vehicle had to be shut off and re-started to continue driving. He stated that the failure occurred each time he made a left or right turn. The failure occurred intermittently. A local mechanic stated that the power steering motor and/or module was defective. The dealer and manufacturer have not been notified. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current mileage was 55,746 and the failure mileage was approximately 55,710.

- Cahokia, IL, USA

problem #274

Apr 142009


  • 105,000 miles
Power steering goes out instantly when I start to drive. Turning the car off and back on again make it work again for only for a very short time, about 2 mins. It is very difficult to drive without the power steering. I'm barely 100lbs and it's nearly impossible. My arms are very sore & my right arm I having problems I believe due to having to drive this car w/O power steering. It also present a very serious driving hazard as I've already nearly escaped several crashes at high speeds by not being able to turn the car fast enough. I have read numerous complaints on this issue and find it extremely hard to believe that this model has not been recalled entirely due to not only this issue but many others I've read as well. It would be in GM's best interest to due so immediately before they have a wrongful death lawsuit on there hands.

- Bonney Lake, WA, USA

problem #273

Aug 212009


  • 50,000 miles


I have been having an issue with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering just randomly goes out. It started about a month ago. I had to leave my car parked for 2 weeks until I could afford to bring it in. I thought it might have needed power steering fluid, but there is no place to put this fluid. The car has some type of electrical power steering system. The steering wheel becomes difficult to turn sometimes impossible to turn. This is dangerous; I almost hit another car and a pedestrian after my steering wheel locked up. It stopped for a few weeks then the steering wheel began to lock up again. This happens every few days. Last night I was almost hit by an oncoming car because my steering wheel locked up in the middle of a turn. I have been quoted that this is a common defect with this car and it will cost $1100. After simply putting in Chevy Cobalt and power steering into a search engine on the internet, I have seen that hundreds maybe thousands of Cobalt owners have this same issue. There are petitions all over the internet for the power steering just going out. This shows me that I am not the only one with this problem. If many Cobalt owners have this issue with the power steering, I think that this is a manufacturing issue. I think something needs to be done about this defect.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #272

Jan 012009


  • 55,000 miles
Electronic power steering failure in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. First started failing intermittently around 55K miles. Now fails within a few seconds of starting the vehicle (62K miles). GM says they cannot fix without completely replacing steering column. Have found hundreds of complaints online for the same problem.

- Linn Creek, MO, USA

problem #271

Sep 232009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel and there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the electronic control module was being repaired at an expense of $1100. He was in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The vehicle identification was unavailable. The failure mileage was 74,000 and the current mileage 74,020. Updated 10/29/09. Updated 10/29/09.

- Waukesha, WI, USA

problem #270

Sep 262009


  • 63,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 35 mph, the power steering warning light intermittently illuminated and the vehicle loss power steering. The manufacturer was notified, but no assistance was provided. The failure and current mileages were 63,000.

- Monroe, MI, USA

problem #269

Jul 152009


  • 30,000 miles
The Cobalt power steering randomly fails making it extremely difficult for the driver to steer. This has happened in many instances, with many people and should be considered very dangerous. You have to replace the entire steering column to fix the problem. There should be a recall. There is no warning before it happens and there is nothing you can do to prevent the problem. Dangerous.

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #268

Sep 272009


  • 68,567 miles
Electric power steering problem in my Cobalt keeps going out while driving and leaving me with no control to turn the vehicle. Will be taking it to dealer for 2nd time over this problem, and keep being told this isn't a Chevy issue however over 20,000 complaints over this defect to Chevy..

- Greenwood, IN, USA

problem #267

Sep 252009


  • 9,300 miles
Chevy Cobalt 2005 traction control light would come on for no apparent reason starting summer of 2009. On Friday, September 2009 I was 5 blocks away from home...heard "bing bing bing", lost power steering, ABS made the car buck, and traction light came on. I drove the car 4 blocks to my mechanic who advised me to get the car towed to a Chevy dealer which I did. Hawthorne Chevrolet said they couldn't find the problem. On the internet if you type Cobalt 2005 defects multiple reports of the same problem are being reported to GM. GM denies a problem and will not cover the repair. I am frightened to drive this car as you get no warning of failure.

- Garfield, NJ, USA

problem #266

Sep 042009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when turning the steering wheel she heard a thumping sound. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility and the intermediate steering shaft was replaced. The failure and current mileages were 38000. Updated 11/06/09 updated 11/06/09.

- Elcajon, CA, USA

problem #265

Sep 202009


  • 55,000 miles
The electric power steering unit of my daughters 2005 Chevy Cobalt turns on and off without warning. This causes near loss of control as speed. If it were to happen in a turn it could be catastrophic. This is a safety recall issue but Chevy has yet to issue a recall. Numerous complaints are on the web. The dealer will charge to diagnose the issue and then advise that the vehicle needs to have the steering column replaced.

- Lomita, CA, USA

problem #264

Sep 182009


  • 44,000 miles
Electronic power steering fails without notice. Must restart car to reset. Needs the electronic power steering motor replaced.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #263

Sep 252009


  • 70,000 miles
I've had my car for about 3 years now, been very delicate and have taken good care of it. Today I left my apartment and as I drove down the highway, the car started to jerk and spasm as I drove, as if it was having problems changing gears. The power steering light came on the dashboard readout screen. I pulled over, turned off the car and turned it back on, but the problem continued. I've read hundreds of claims from others online who are suffering from problem steering problems with the same car. Why hasn't this been recalled" it's dangerous, potentially deadly, and expensive to fix. I'm a college student just trying to make ends meet already, where am I going to get the money for this"

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #262

Aug 312009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control, and then the gears in the transmission began slipping. He had to exert great force to the brake pedal to stop the vehicle and shut the engine off. He was able to restart the vehicle and resume normal operation. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and repaired. The failure mileage was 59,000 and the current mileage was unavailable. Updated 11/17/09 after all the failed attempts of fixing the vehicle, the consumer was told the body control module needed to be replaced. The power steering would go out occasionally. All of the gauges were acting erratically. Updated 11/18/09

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #261

Sep 242009


  • miles
Leaking power steering motor. Many recorded failures of Chevy Cobalt power steering motor.

- Oakland, NJ, USA

problem #260

Sep 182009


  • 64,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 35 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel. There was a loss of power steering which could have increased the risk of crash. The vehicle has not been inspected, nor repaired for the failure. The failure and current mileages were 64000.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #259

Apr 272008


  • miles
1. 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt was working fine until loss of power steering. 2. the failure is loss of power steering due to the use of electric power steering instead of using hydraulics. Chevy has not perfected the electric power steering but put it in every Chevrolet Cobalt if I am not mistaken. It may have only been installed for the 2005 and 2006 models. You may start your vehicle and have everything running okay until you drive it for a little why, thus leading up to loss of power steering. I promise you that anyone that has bought a Chevrolet Cobalt between 2005 and 2006 for sure have had this exact same problem. Every person! the problem is consistently getting worse and is highly unsafe. This can not be delt with by taking it into a garage and hoping it will get fixed. 3. I have taken my Cobalt into the garage numerous times with nothing fixed. If this is not taken care of soon, people may die from loss of steering. Recall now!

- Rocky Mountain House, 00, USA

problem #258

Sep 202009


  • 66,500 miles
I have S 2005 Cobalt and when I was exiting on the highway, the steering wheel got very hard to turn and almost hit the curb. It was a U-turn exit, I looked at the dash and it stated "power steering" without any warning. I had my 2 year older daughter and my wife was in the car who is pregnant. My wife is normally who drives this car, I have no doubt in my mind that if she was in the car driving, she would have been in a serious car accident. I think this is a really serious problem that needs to be fix before someone seriously gets injured.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #257

Aug 172009


  • 63,488 miles
The electric power steering in my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt has a defective motor that GM refuses to pay for under warranty. It intermittently cuts in and out without any warning. Once it cuts out, the vehicle is nearly impossible to steer. This can happen on a city street or a busy highway. When driving, a click is heard in the steering column, then steering is lost all together. This problem has not happened to me alone, thousands upon thousands of people have experienced this as well. Proof can be found in a google search under "Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failure".

- Woodland, CA, USA

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