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 47 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #76

Dec 252008


  • 56,000 miles


It was christmas morning and I drove approximately 20 miles home and as I got off the highway the power steering sensor came on, I lost control of the vehicle as I had no steering. It occurs every time I drive the vehicle, there is no accurate way to determine when it will go out, the consequence is possible death or accident depending upon what's around that I may hit when I can't steer my car. It was brought it for diagnostic testing, it was diagnosed, it was not repaired as it cost over a thousand to fix.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #75

Dec 232008


  • 19,698 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 20-50 mph, the steering wheel indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and the steering wheel locked up. The vehicle lost power and became very difficult to steer. The failure has occurred more than six times in one month. The vehicle is currently parked because the contact feels that it is unsafe to drive. A mechanic stated that there was failure pertaining to the steering wheel. The failure mileage was 19,698.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #74

Dec 152007


  • 60,000 miles
The power steering continues to fail while driving on a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, there have been many complaints about this vehicle and power steering. It is very unsafe to drive. There needs to be a recall of this component.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #73

Dec 112008


  • 69,214 miles


While driving the car a "power steering" warning came on and the power steering stopped working. The car became very difficult to steer. This is the second the message came on in the last month but the first time it went off and there was no steering problems. The car was diagnosed by a local dealer as needing a new electric power steering motor. The car is scheduled for repair this week.

- Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #72

Dec 122008


  • 45,000 miles
I was recently traveling on the highway when the steering wheel became stiff and hard to maneuver. I looked down at the warning panel and it had lighted up "power steering". my car is a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with 45,000 miles. I read on the internet about other 2005 Cobalt owners having the same problem around 40,000 miles. I took it in to a Chevy dealer telling them that it appears that this is a flaw with the 2005 Cobalt but they said there has been no recall on the electric power steering system and that I would have to pay several hundreds of dollars to have the eps module replaced. I feel that it is unfair to have something so expensive to go out on your vehicle when it is still fairly new and have the same thing happen to others but yet we are left to pay for an apparently well know flaw in the Chevy Cobalt that GM does not want to admit exits.

- London, KY, USA

problem #71

Nov 272008


  • 87,220 miles
Power steer cuts out and does not come back until car is restarted. Happens random timing every trip. Chevy quoted $800 to repair stating that the steering column needs to be replaced.

- Goffstown, NH, USA

problem #70

Dec 112008


  • 34,600 miles


The incident date below was the fifth time this has occurred. First noticed traction control and power steering light coming on-the car "bucks" and power steering is lost-several times car will lose power and have to be restart. After restart warning lights will go away and power steering returns. Seems to come back to normal after restart, runs ok until the process starts again. The car was purchased May 08 and first incident was Aug 15 2008-took to dealer and they reset the computer, second and third time the car seemed ok until the 4th incident and returned to dealer again and reset again. I was told that the computer codes were showing U2105 and U2100 U2107 and car returned. This last incident (12-11-08) the car was doing the same thing and drove right to dealer to show service what the car was doing. They claimed the car is equipped with electric steering column and it disengages from the computer and the steering column needed to be replaced and a computer module. Gave them permission to correct this because I can't let my son drive a car knowing at anytime he will lose power steering. He has been lucky he was traveling at low speeds when this occurs. If he was on a highway and in front of a tractor trailer and lost power he might be killed because he would lose ps and stall. This is a safety-related defect in the vehicle equipment (electric power steering column) when at any time with no warning you can lose your steering, stall and/or buck. Upon further research into the 2005 Cobalt, I have found 805 complaints regarding the steering column and the problems of controlling the car when this happens. Upon further research the Malibu is having the same issues with steering. Guess what kind of steering is in the Malibu. Check "" for complaints regarding steering column. Several people have described incidents where their safety was compromised. Please help GM rep claims can't recall column without you. Please help

- Middleses, NJ, USA

problem #69

Dec 152008


  • 42,222 miles
Driving the car, and then, no power steering. Called mechanic told "didn't want to touch eps system. Called dealer told to bring in to look at.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #68

Aug 122008


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25 mph, the contact heard a chime from the instrument panel, which indicated that the power steering was failing and the steering wheel locked. The dealer stated that the power steering system was faulty. The vehicle has not been repaired due to the cost. She felt that the vehicle was very unsafe to drive because the power steering could lock at any moment while driving. The current mileage was 53,834 and failure mileage was 46,000.

- Fulshear, TX, USA

problem #67

Dec 042008


  • 90,000 miles
'05 Cobalt: Failure of electric power steering while driving. Condition will clear by turning car off then restarting, but fails again while driving. This appears to be a common problem with Cobalts, but GM won't issue a recall. Please don't wait for this to become an accident!

- Seagrove, NC, USA

problem #66

Nov 122008


  • miles


While driving at any speed, the power steering intermittently shuts off. The failure progressively worsened over time. This causes extreme difficulty in turning, especially scary in urgent situations with children in the vehicle.

- Big Spring, KY, USA

problem #65

Jul 192008


  • 30,000 miles
With little warning, power steering went out as I was leaving my driveway; I barely could turn the steering wheel; when the engine was shut off, I was able to drive short distance and then the power steering light came on. Fortunately, the car was still under warranty; my steering column had to be replaced. Now I continue to have problems with the front end, with the engine light coming on!!!! I thought Chevy Cobalt had good consumer reports. What happened Chevrolet"?? did you all decide that quality just isn't worth a damn! how about public safety!!! I am an rn and am outraged at the number of complaints regarding this same issue, and yet no public recall has been announced. Does someone have to die first"

- Winnetka, CA, USA

problem #64

Nov 072008


  • miles
The vehicle in question was being driven at the time when (with little warning), the power steering went out and caused the driver to almost have a car accident. Thank god he was driving slow (in city limits) and not 65 mph on a highway! a local dealership did the repair work which meant the steering column in question was fixed with the same kind of steering column replacement. I have received information that not only this make and model have this particular problem with the power steering going out, but also another Chevy make and model as well. Our concern is that this "should" be a recall for the vehicles in question. We feel it is a definite safety issue and we don't want to see this happen again to us or anyone else. God forbid there be a tragic accident and/or fatality because of this issue!

- Norwalk, OH, USA

problem #63

Nov 062008


  • 55,000 miles
I almost wrecked my car 2 weeks ago because my 2005 Chevy Cobalt's power steering just stopped working in the middle of a slight bend causing me to almost side-swipe another vehicle. What's happening now is when you start the car, within a few seconds you hear a clicking sound & the power steering just stops working. I think there's a service bulletin but not a recall. I just purchased the car used in January but it was only a 30 day warranty. I have already been to our local dealer & they stated that the steering column needs replaced but I would cost me $800 plus tax. I have also been in touch with GM in order to get this fixed under a warranty repair but have been getting nowhere with them. They stated that they were unaware of the issue but meanwhile I have found numerous blogs on the internet where people have also contacted GM & GM has told them the same thing. "this is the first time we are hearing about this problem." I have refused to drive the car as it is unsafe, so my husband has to be unconvinced by taking me where I need to go because I cannot steer it. It's not safe for us or other people, while this car is going down the road.

- Washington, PA, USA

problem #62

Sep 152008


  • miles
I've had my Cobalt for a little bit over 3 years and my 'power steering' warning light started to come on. If I stopped and restarted the car it would go away for a bit but the warning would come back. I took it to a dealer and they said the steering column needs to be replaced and of course my warranty just ran out so I have to pay for it. My dealership is aware of the problem because they have had to repair it on other Cobalts. From what I have read on the internet a lot of other people are having the same problem as I am. Why hasn't something been done about this?

- Wheaton, MD, USA

problem #61

Oct 152008


  • 97,000 miles
While driving the vehicle the power steering light on the dic will come on and power steering will be lost. You can pull over to the side of the road and turn the engine off and back on and the problem will go away for 5 minutes, 5 hours or a day before occurring again. This has occurred intermittently for the last two weeks. The dealer has said the whole steering column must be replaced to repair the problem.

- Bell, FL, USA

problem #60

Oct 012008


  • 48,000 miles
I am having an issue with my power steering failing in my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. There were really no events leading up to the failure that I see as possibly having an effect on the failure. The failure occurs quite randomly. Some days it will fail up to 4 times, and then it may go a week or two without failing. It does seem to occur more frequently in warmer weather. I am obviously concerned because the failure of power steering in the middle of a turn or while driving at high speeds could certainly be fatal for not only myself but any other drivers and passengers involved. I am extremely upset by the fact that Chevy will not replace this electronic part at no cost to me since I do not consider it normal wear and tear on the car. I find this to be more an issue of Chevrolet using a less than satisfactory part for the car. They have responded that my warranty does not cover it. I've researched numerous forums and it seems that this is not just a problem in my 2005 Cobalt but one faced by at least 100-200 others. The problem was diagnosed by a Chevy dealer, but for the $1000 repair cost they quoted me I have been forced into driving an unsafe car until I can find a more reasonable price or Chevy issues a recall.

- North Huntingdon, PA, USA

problem #59

Nov 042008


  • 53,741 miles
I own a 2005 Chevy Cobalt which I purchased new in 2005. Tonight while driving home a 'power steering' message displayed on my dash at the same time that my power steering went out. I was able to pull off to the shoulder of the road and turned my car off. I turned my car back on thinking maybe it was just a glitch in my computer and it drove fine for another 5 miles then the message popped up again and again I lost power steering. I was able to pull into a nearby gas station to attempt to see if I was low of fluid but found out its electronic power steering. Since I was only a few more miles from home I was able to, with hazards flashing, drive the rest of the way home having to stop once more to turn off and on my car to remove the warning and to re-engage my power steering. I've read online about multiple other Cobalt owners having this same issue and I think it is deplorable of Chevrolet to not have recalled this by now.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #58

Oct 012008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
Power steering warning light goes and on off. Sometimes lose power steering during driving. When car is turned off and re-started problem goes away.

- Anniston, AL, USA

problem #57

Oct 272008


  • 28,000 miles
Power steering failure while I was on a curve going at a high speed. The steering wheel locked up and I was unable to resume driving. Something has to be done about this or someone is going to be killed! it is not the first time this has happened.

- Brooksville , FL, USA

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