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:
62,499 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 4 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #943

Jan 212015


  • 95,500 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel seized but was still able to continue to drive forward. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where it was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 95,500.

- Newfane, NY, USA

problem #942

Sep 012005


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at various speeds, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. In addition, the contact stated that the doors would lock and unlock independently. As a result, the contact was unable to get into or out of the vehicle. The dealer stated that the body control module, door locks, fuses, electronic door lock mechanism, and the power steering assist motor needed to be replaced. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 5,000.

- Carplake, MI, USA

problem #941

Jan 012015

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 152,860 miles
My power steering failed without warning while driving on the freeway it still assist randomly but has dead spots as you turn the wheel and is very inconsistent every time I drive the car it acts differently this makes the car even more unsafe to drive because the wheel doesn't return to center and also has easy and hard spots as you turn the wheels to steer they recalled 1 million cars of the same make for power steering loss why is mine not recalled if it is not safe to drive GM has been caught hiding problems why are people like me endangering their own lives because GM cant be honest and open about the issues with their cars I feel like im in a death trap I am still waiting on the ignition switch recall part to come in its been well over a month since the dealer said the parts would be a few weeks im just hoping I don't have a takata airbag.

- Larsen, WI, USA

problem #940

Dec 122014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 33,000 miles


The car engine would not shut off, the steering wheel would not lock, the ignition key was stuck and was unable to remove the ignition key even though the car was in "park."

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #939

Dec 202014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The steering wheel is automatically turning on it's own, and it is very hard to move. I'm concerned about the safety of my life. What if one day I start driving and the wheel starts turning and I crash? I'm afraid to drive my Cobalt now, and hoping it can be fixed so I won't have any crashes in the future.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #938

Dec 262014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received a notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V153000 (steering) however, the part to do the repair was not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The vehicle had not experienced a failure.

- Comptche, CA, USA

problem #937

Feb 042013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 100,962 miles


After having GM replace my power steering motor in March 2013, the power steering failed again as I was driving on the freeway. Luckily I managed to maintain control of the vehicle and drive to safety. Dealership then diagnosed the problem as being the transmission control module, costing me $607 to fix. A year and 6 months later, my power steering is failing yet again. I call the dealership and they say I can drive it into the dealership as soon as possible. It seems the Chevrolet does not understand that this problem has killed people. After expressing my concern for my personal safety (as well as others on the road) the dealership said I could get it towed at my own expense. I'm sorry, this is the second time General Motors will "attempt" to fix my cars problem and it is at my expense? I beg the national highway traffic administration to have GM take these vehicles off the road and compensate owners. I am truly afraid for my safety every time I get into my car. Had I been able to afford a new one, I would have - but not everyone has that privilege. Please, too many people have already lost their lives.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #936

Dec 272013


  • 131,939 miles
While driving my Cobalt from anywhere between 10mph to 50mph multiple "ding" noises occur. Then any number of alert lights come on including; traction control, air bag, check engine, etc... there is a strange clicking noise that comes from somewhere in the dash. Also, along with these symptoms the transmission (auto trans) begins to shift very hard both up and down, car shudders as if it is going to stall when it comes to a near stop. The scariest and most dangerous part is that the car has experienced loss of power steering at speed and loss of braking control. Sometimes I have spent 5 minutes trying to get my key out of the ignition as well, and must forcefully move the transmission shift knob back and forth until the key turns free. This car is a danger, and despite having multiple recalls it is still unsafe to drive.

- Prescott Valley, AZ, USA

problem #935

Sep 162014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
He traction control light came on, the car started jerking really bad. The check engine light came on, and the "power steering" started flashing on my dashboard. My power steering went out, happens randomly.

- Norwich, NY, USA

problem #934

May 162007


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph, the power steering seized and the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing and the power steering module was replaced. The failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number:14V047000 (air bags, electrical system); however, the parts were unavailable for repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #933

Nov 082014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Had no issues all day until all of sudden we were leaving a parking lot. I'm at the stop sign when I went to press the gas to go, I hear a chime - no indication lights come on- car acts like it's going to stall (it doesn't), steering is very hard and a clicking noise is coming from the gear shift area. Do not feel safe driving it all, although it's movable but very rough/bogging out. Recently had the ignition recall recently, had a few issues pop up since then but nothing as serious as this. Had to get it towed to my mechanic, he replaced a few sensors, but clicking noise still remains and is undriveable.

- Lewiston, NY, USA

problem #932

Nov 052014


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 25 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the power steering seized. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where it was restarted and driven home. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Forrest Park, IL, USA

problem #931

Oct 172014


  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While making a right turn, the steering wheel seized intermittently. The contact mentioned that extreme force was required in order to control the vehicle. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 180,000.

- Gay, WV, USA

problem #930

Nov 052014


  • 125,586 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the power steering failed and excessive force was required to maneuver the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the engine light illuminated after the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 125,586.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #929

Oct 252014


  • 86,135 miles
I got into my car and when I turned on the car it said "power steering" and the check engine light was on I tried to drive home and the steering wheel was stiff and hard to turn. The odometer would not move from 0 to show me the speed I was going and the car was making some clicking sounds as I was driving.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #928

Sep 192014


  • 57,063 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 10 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn as the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 57,063.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #927

Oct 062014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
While traveling at about 70 mph on rural interstate expressway, came upon a curve, tapped brakes to slow down and tried to steer right into the curve and couldn't get the steering wheel to move at all. Put more force on steering wheel and it jerked the car to extreme right. Tried to compensate and car went into 180 degree spin across the interstate, hit and flattened two road signs, went down an embankment, then went airborne while rolling and hit a stand of pines trees. Car slid down a tree and came to rest on passenger side. Through the grace of god the injuries were only cuts and bruises. X-rays were taken and there were no broken bones. The vehicle was totaled. Was taken out of the vehicle through the rear window that had blown out in the impact as no other doors were able to be opened.

- Pellston, MI, USA

problem #926

Oct 042014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Was driving my car on the freeway when I lost my power steering. I had to pull over, and restart my car to get it back.

- Sturgeon Lake, MN, USA

problem #925

Sep 232014


  • 97,000 miles
I was driving around 55 mph in traffic. I heard a chime and the display on the dash said power steering disabled, the orange indicator for traction control disabled illuminated, the tachometer jumped around and the transmission shifted extremely hard into gear. I struggled to pull over to the shoulder and the car slammed into park. I shut the car off and back on. It still shifted hard so I let it stay off for five minute. After that the car was fine. As an experienced mechanic it felt like the car lost communication with one of the computers. No dtcs were stored. There are a lot of complaints about this online as well.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #924

Oct 052010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I have had problems with traction control light coming on and when it does the car won't shift properly (automatic), jumps and stutters and dies. Also lose power steering. This has been happening off and on ever since I got the car 5+ years ago. I have had it back to the dealership I bought it at (Dodge dealer) at least twice who took it to a Chevy dealer and have had it to local Chevy dealers multiple times and no one can capture any codes or fix it. Now it thinks the key is in the ignition all the time and locks don't work properly even tho I had switch replaced on recall. Searched internet and see many others have had this same problem and some said it was ABS issue. Why has there been no recall?

- Yates Center, KS, USA

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