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 49 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

Aug 232008


  • 49,500 miles


The time the incident occurred was when we were on our way (my wife and I) to Canada for a wedding, we got to our destination and the all of the sudden the car literally starts hoping down the road, then in the middle of the road it completely stalled. The power steering light came on the dashboard and then the check engine light came on. We looked in the manual, because we have only had the car for a month and found the power steering piece to contact GMC. Well being in the city and all dealerships closed we couldn't do anything. We shut the vehicle down and tried to restart, the same thing occurred- we were able to drive it to a mechanic near by (when finally it was working) and they had no idea what to do because of the electric power steering. We gave up and finally went home to my mother in laws house. I researched on the internet and then I came onto not one but many websites via google on how much trouble people are having with their Cobalts. We are very unfortunate and do not have warranty left over. So when it comers to replacing the $2000 part we can not. I really need my car to run properly -my wife and I live in the United States and its a long way home!!! I really hope we do not get into a vehicle accident along the way due to the power steering malfunction, otherwise our lawyer and GMC will be talking. At this time I want a resolution from someone! how can GMC produce a vehicle with multiple known issues and continue to sell it without notifying people how deadly it is. I am very upset and I will never buy another GMC product again. If anyone at this company can do some easy research and find out that there are so many people with the know issue of power steering out there. I want a resolution and someone to pay for the consequence. I need to be contacted asap!!!

- Altmar, NY, USA

problem #35

Aug 212008


  • 50,359 miles
After picking up the children I take care of, I took them home as usual. To my surprise, as I turn onto their street in a residential neighborhood, my power steering went out. I was turning slightly right at approximately 5-10 mph and the light on my instrument panel indicated "power steering." I put the car in park, wait a few minutes, put it in drive again, and still no power steering. I turned the car off and when I turned it back on again, things were back to normal. As I leave work, power steering is back to working, until I merge onto the highway and my power steering goes out in the middle of the freeway entry way. I managed to hold my car steady to get to the emergency lane, but to do so I had to cross another lane of traffic. The instrument panel again indicated "power steering." I turned the car off, back on again and it was normal. Driving a vehicle and having no indication that the power steering is out, until it's too late, is unacceptable. GM is aware of this problem, and yet they do nothing about it, and that is also unacceptable.

- Buckner, KY, USA

problem #34

Aug 202008


  • 35,051 miles
Highway driving to visit friends at the beach. "power steering" appears on the dash and the steering wheel goes stiff. We managed to pull off the highway; upon restarting the car, the message was not present. The same message and power steering failure recurred six times that same day. This is a clear safety hazard as any sudden loss of steering in a critical moment could cause a serious accident. I have not yet taken the car to be repaired yet because the diagnosis seems clear from multiple reports of the same issue (see for over 110 additional complaints) the standard response from GM appears to be to replace the electronic power assist assembly at customer cost greater than $600. This is unacceptable for such a common failure and for such a serious safety hazard. This car is only three months out of warranty coverage. Also please note that there was an NHTSA investigation (PE07023) of the electronic power steering unit of the 2005 Pontiac G6 which may be the same system failing in the same way.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #33

Jul 292008


  • 29,500 miles


2005 Cobalt 2.2L 5-speed 30,000 miles I was driving on a highway when I received a power steering message on my cars dashboard display but being on a straight road didn't really notice that there wasn't actually any power steering I wanted to pull off at a rest stop to look under the hood but when I came to the end of the exit ramp for the rest area I could barely steer the vehicle and almost hit a concrete barrier now the steering cuts in and out usually about 2-10 min after starting the car I have read online that the repair can cost anywhere from 600-2000 dollars not having that kind of money right now I am driving w/out power steering awaiting a recall from GM.

- Rossford, OH, USA

problem #32

Jul 012008


  • 28,000 miles
The electric power steering (eps) on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt shuts off at random intervals. In order to regain eps function, the car must be turned off and restarted. This happens at least 4-6 times during a 30 minute trip. Chevrolet will not cover to substantial cost to fix the eps system if it is not under warranty. Research has led to me believe that this has happened with several Cobalts (05-08 all models).

- North Brunswick, NJ, USA

problem #31

Aug 012008


  • 31,600 miles
Recently, after hitting the 30,000 mile mark on my 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt ls, the power steering has been failing more and more frequently. I will be driving in a straight line or in a turn and either one will cause the failure to happen just the same. It has been failing more and more frequently, starting at about twice a week to now 4 to 5 times a day and makes driving incredibly dangerous. I refuse to take this car through any mountainous areas for fear of losing control and hurting my loved ones beside me. This absolutely needs to be dealt with immediately, for the safety of all drivers on the road, not just those in the Cobalt. Please make this happen, as I've read many other complaints across many message boards describing the same exact problems with their Chevy Cobalts. Stacy.

- Bend, OR, USA

problem #30

Mar 212008


  • 43,000 miles


05 Chevy Cobalt with power steering light going on randomly. The dealership can't find the problem. It is not safe to drive. The car starts to shake and I am losing control over it!!!

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #29

Jul 072008


  • 81,000 miles
I was driving to work and my power steering went out and then as I was going around a curve, the steering wheel locked. I went into the oncoming lane and was able to turn my car off and restart it again. I drove for another 30 seconds or so before the steering went out again. The steering continued to go out after driving a short distance after everytime I started to drive. The steering column had to be replaced.

- Delafield, WI, USA

problem #28

Jul 162008


  • 39,000 miles
My daughter is having problems with the power steering going out on the car, which is very dangerous. The problem is random. Her warranty has run out and the repair would cost about $2000.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #27

Jul 192008


  • 53,000 miles
I was driving down the highway making a turn and my power steering went out it beeped at me and the dash displayed "power steering". when I restart my car its fine for a wile but then it dose it again and from what I can tell speed, turning, rpms, temperature distance have nothing to do with it. I was ran off the road due to this with my wife and child in the car my daughter smacked her head on the window I tore something in my should just trying to steer.

- St. Charles, MO, USA

problem #26

Jun 122008


  • 56,900 miles


I own a Chevy Cobalt 2005. While driving the power steering light comes on and then the steering locks. I almost crashed, thank god there was no cars behind me. This is happening frequently now. I don't have a guarantee anymore. I took the car to a mechanic he said that it is a accident waiting to happen. He has never seen anything like that in his 20 years of experience being a mechanic. Now everytime I start my car the light comes on and the steering wheel becomes so hard to turn or control. I went on this website and there are so many people who have this problem. I only have 57000 miles on my car. Please help!!!!

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #25

Jul 262008


  • 16,000 miles
Re: my son's car, a 2005 Chevy Cobalt 16, xxx miles purchased used on May 19, 2008 at 14,869 miles at a local Ford dealer. Twice in the last week, while driving home from work on the interstate doing approx 60 mph, warning chimes sounded and seconds later a "power steering" and "low traction" lights appeared. Steering became all but inoperable, car became extremely hard to handle and car "shook". upon stopping and restarting the car, things went back to normal. His comment was that if some "old feeble person" was driving, they would have had an accident. Looking at complaints on various websites, this is a very well known problem to Chevrolet (General Motors) in that the new "electric power steering" is prone to failure. Dozens (hundreds) of people have complained about numerous accidents and Chevrolet's response has been that if they can't find a "code" to point to a steering failure, then there must not be a problem. Currently the car has been with boemler Chevrolet in arnold, Missouri Monday 7/28 and today Tuesday 7/29. Monday afternoon they called and said they would like to keep it another day since they could not get it to fail and couldn't get a "code" to diagnose the problem. Multiple times in the websites, customers have said that the steering column had to be replaced to fix the problem. This problem has caused other customers to have accidents according to the complaints I have read. I don't know if they've been smart enough to read their owner's manual to get the proper people to complain to. I realize that complaining on some website is not going to get anything done, and that it must be done through proper channels. This is a very serious problem that must be addressed by Chevrolet (GM) before more people get hurt or worse. I think a voluntary recall on their part would look a lot better than having a "class action lawsuit" filed against them.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #24

Jul 172008


  • 44,000 miles
Power steering failure signal comes on after any length of time of driving, at any speed and on any pavement. The steering wheel locks up and the car has to be turned off and restarted in order for the steering to reset. Fuel injection failure. Key won't turn in ignition. Cd player picks and chooses when it will work.

- Clayton, MO, USA

problem #23

Jul 152006


  • 22,000 miles
2005 Cobalt door automatic.. since June-July of 2006, the automobile has repeatedly been taken to 2 different dealerships for repair or correction during the warranty period. The would act as to stall, shaky, and hesitate while driving. Each time the dealer said they were unable to find or determine the problem. Now, that the warranty is out and the car has done the same problem (July 10. 2008) the dealership says there is a problem and they will have to look farther into it.. I knew this was going to happen, the moment its out of manufacture warranty, they can find a problem with it.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #22

Jun 202008


  • 30,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Cobalt on the highway and suddenly the power steering light turn on and could not manage the car. I have to stop the car but this is a dangerous situation. No one was injured but why wait till someone gets hurt to do something about it.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #21

Jun 192008


  • 25,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt ls 2 dr coupe, the power steering will just cut out sometimes up to 6 times in a single day. If you shut the car off and restart it corrects to problem until it happens again. The computer code show U2100, also the other day the car just quit while driving down the road for no reason. This steering issue is very dangerous, I would hope that someone looks into it before someone dies from it. I searched the internet and I found many complaints regarding these same issues. This is obviously a know problem and on a 25,000 mile vehicle it should not be happening.

- Ontario, NY, USA

problem #20

Jun 172008


  • 25,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, electronic power steering failure. Power steering light comes on and I have a total loss of power steering. Has happened multiple times. Extremely dangerous during rush hour driving conditions taken to dealer multiple times and they "can't" seem to determine the problem. I believe they are attempting to wait out the warranty before they repair it. I searched the internet an apparently this is a problem with alot of 05,06 Cobalt owners. I believe GM needs to get involved ad rectify this problem before people die.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jun 062008


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 5 mph or higher, the steering wheel locks intermittently. In addition, the instrument panel lights illuminate and the power steering malfunctions. The failure also occurs when the steering wheel is turned to the left or right. The contact has not taken her vehicle to the dealer because she feels that she should not have to pay for the repair. The failure mileage was 32,000.

- Fincascle, VA, USA

problem #18

Jun 042008


  • 24,500 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering goes out at random, car locks you inside, you have to go out the window, car dies while driving. These are all common problems with this car. Chevy does not make redesigned parts to replace its current stock of bad parts. Someone is going to get hurt, if Chevy is not forced to take action.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #17

Mar 012007


  • miles
The electric power steering will occasionally shut off during driving. The car must be shut off then turned back on to restart this. This is a repeating occurrence sometimes happening more than 10 times a day. The only fix right now is replacing the steering column.

- Waterford, MI, USA

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