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 5 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #916

Aug 132014


  • 127,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the steering wheel became difficult to turn and the check engine and power steering warning indicators illuminated. In addition, the key became lodged in the ignition. When the key was removed, the vehicle would not shut off. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 10V073000 (steering), 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system), and 14V171000 (electrical system). The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing, but was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 127,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #915

Aug 272014


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at 45 mph, the power steering failed. The contact also stated that the check engine and the traction control warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Murrita, CA, USA

problem #914

Aug 112014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 131,432 miles
I have just recently bought a used 2005 Chevy Cobalt. I was unaware of the recalls on it, until later. Now, I have a car payment and am unable to drive my car. I was on my way to town, on a paved two-lane highway, traveling around 55mph. When (for no reason) my car just quits/dies, as I am going up a hill. There were vehicles behind me that almost hit me. When it quit, I had to struggle to get my car to the side of the road. I could not get it completely off the road. I turned my hazard lights on and began trying to crank my car. It took more than 20mins., to get it started back up, but, when it did, it was skipping so bad, I still could not move it. I turned it off and began trying to crank it, once more. It took another 15 minutes to get it to run well enough to pull the rest of the way off of the pavement. I was almost struck/hit many times by passing vehicles. This has happened to me 3 more times. Now, I can't even get my car to the end of my driveway before it quits/dies. The parts I need to fix my car have been ordered thru maxie price Chevrolet in loganville, ga since June 14, 2014. I was told it would only take 1-2 weeks for the parts to get to this car dealership, so they could be replaced. I have not heard from anyone about my parts and cannot get anyone to help me. I am not driving my car because it is just to dangerous. So now I am stuck with a car payment and a car that is unsafe to drive. I don't understand why it is taking so long to get parts and why someone won't help me. I was under the impression that a recall was top priority. Are there more problems that I am unaware of or is someone just stalling"?? I need a car!!! how can I get a loaner until my car is fixed???"

- Ellijay, GA, USA

problem #913

Jul 182014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 70,700 miles


While my daughter was rounding a 90 degree turn, the power steering light came on and the car resorted to manual steering. Being a rather inexperienced driver who weighs less than 100 pounds, it took all of her strength not to hit the guard rail. As we had just purchased the car in June from a private individual, I called GM to see if the car had previously been recalled for a power steering problem. I was told that our vehicle was, in fact, being recalled for the power steering assist but that the information was still being uploaded into their computer and that I would need to wait for a letter from them. I was told to call back at the end of the week for an update. Upon calling back, I was told by a different representative that the car had already been recalled and fixed and to take it to the dealer to have it looked at. The dealer diagnosed that once again, the problem was the power steering assist motor and had to be replaced at our cost since GM had fixed the problem during the original recall (March 2010 - odometer reading 43,800) and was no longer under warranty. $300+ dollars later the problem seems to have been resolved. However, since this car was only driven 27,000 miles since the original replacement, and in light of the 3/31/14 recall of 2010 Cobalts (the year of the original 2005 recall with 1,340,447 2010's affected), I surmise the part may have been faulty at the time of the 1st replacement. I simply wanted to report that this happened in case other owners of 2005 Cobalts are experiencing the same problem for a second time and having to repair it at their own expense.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #912

Aug 142014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering) and NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system). However, the parts to perform the repairs were unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #911

Aug 012014


  • 14,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 140,000.

- Whitiker, NC, USA

problem #910

Jun 182014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 114,340 miles


On June 18, 2014 while driving 45 miles per hour I suddenly lost power steering in the vehicle and the engine kept cutting out like it was going to shut off. I pulled into a store parking lot and the shifter would not work properly when trying to get it into park. Power steering light, engine light and several other lights appeared on my dashboard.. I called the dealership on June 18, 2014 to notify them of my power steering going out and the other issues described above. They told me parts were still not available. I did receive a call back that they did in fact have the part and to bring in the vehicle on June 19, 2014. My husband drove the vehicle 35 miles to the dealership with no power steering, the engine wanted to die every time he came to a stop and acted erratically the whole drive there. According to the invoice received the dealership mileage on my vehicle was 114, 340 and they performed recall 10023 V220 removed and replaced power steering motor with motor kit 1 19257875 motor kit. On June 20, 2014 the car was driven 320 miles. On June 21, 2014 I had no power steering. On June 23, 2014 I had to have a wrecker service tow my vehicle back to the dealership.. on July 18, 2014 I picked up my vehicle. According to the invoice received the dealer performed recall 13454 (F-cylinder kit ), performed recall 14113 (removed and replace ignition cylinder and programmed 2 new keys per recall 14113). The mileage they say was on my vehicle on this invoice dated 7/18/14 was 114, 292. Don't know how my mileage went backwards"?" on July 28, 2014 driving to work at 4:30 am going 60 mph my power steering light comes on, the engine is cutting out, the dashboard lights up, the speedometer needle is flickering uncontrollably and I have no where to pull over. This is the 3rd time power steering problem due to GM recall. Help!!!

- Valliant, OK, USA

problem #909

Jul 012014


  • miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to power steering recall notice. The consumer has since traded the vehicle.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #908

May 212014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving down the road and the power steering message came across the dash. The wheel started locking up and I heard a clicking noise down near the shifter. Also the speedometer kept jumping back and forth as I was going down the road. I had to stop and pull over. I shut my car off and waited for a minute. I started the car and took off down the road. As I pulled away it started chugging a little like it was trying to jump speeds?.. the steering wheel was still tight and it continued until I reached my destination. When I would stop at a red light it took me awhile to make my turns. When I finally reached my destination I shut my car off and let it sit for awhile and it stopped doing it. Until the next time. That was in may of 2014 and it has happened a handful of times since then while my two young children were in the car. Im just now learning of a power steering recall on '05 Chevy Cobalt models. I bought my car this year.

- Morganfield, KY, USA

problem #907

Jun 042014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving down the road when my locks started popping in and out, my car started stalling out and losing power, and the power steering was going on and off. I took it in to the Chevy dealership and they said it was the ignition switch. I just received my car back after it was fixed and the same problems are occurring still. I was going 60 mph when my car completely lost power. I have taken my car in other times for this problem with still no resolution.

- Lavaca, AR, USA

problem #906

Jun 212014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 46,600 miles


On 6/22/14, I was coming home from philadelphia and while on the brunswick highway, my 2005 Chevy Cobalt's dashboard lit up like a christmas tree and I lost my power steering, traction control, brakes, ABS, engine lock, door locks were clicking on and off and I had to pull over 4 times off the highway. My odometer didn't work either. This also made my transmission jerk and slip. It was so bad that when it was switching gears, it was making my entire car shake. I was afraid for my life. I nearly crashed into a semi-truck because my brakes and power steering didn't work. Also, I couldn't go below 65mph on the highway because the transmission was slipping. I made it home but I was still shocked and scared. The next day I took it to the dealership to get it looked at. I thought it was the recall problem with the ignition but they couldn't find what the main cause was. They said it wasn't ignition but some sort of computer glitch. All they did was reset the computer and recommended me to buy anew car battery. I got the new battery and every was fine.on 7/714, the same issue happened again but worse. It happened while my car was parked and again the dashboard lit up. Everything went off again, I lost my power steering, traction control, brakes, ABS, engine lock, door locks were clicking on and off. It took me 6 times restarting the car for the dashboard to be cleared, and then 5 minutes again, the car chimed, and I lost my power steering, traction control, ABS and the odometer didn't work again. I nearly crashed again too. I took it again to the the dealership. On 7/8/14, they told me they replaced the recalled ignition switch, but they still couldn't find the root of the cause of the major electrical issue in my car. They did say my car isn't safe to drive on the road. They asked me to leave it for a couple of days to see if they can find the problem.

- Englewood, NJ, USA

problem #905

Dec 062007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
I was going to work early in the morning. A train was in the distance which scared a huge buck deer. The buck deer with huge antlers ran straight into my car head on. I was not able to steer away from the deer and my car seemed to shut down. The huge buck deer hit me head on. The lights were totally smashed. The hood of the car was completely damaged. The windshield was totally smashed. The roof was damaged and the car was lopsided. The buck deer antlers went thru the windshield just inches away from me.the air bags did not work even though it was a head on collision with great force. My car seemed to shut off and I could not steer away from the deer. I was cut with glass on my face, arms and hands. My neck and back was hurt. I had my seat belt on but my stomach hurt from the dramatic impact. I complained that the air bags did not work and that my car acted strangely in which it seemed the ignition switch shut everything down and I could not control the car but I was totally ignored.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #904

Jun 012011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Not sure exactly when it happened, but it has been occurring for years now. I have spent thousands of dollars in diagnostics, parts, and labor trying to fix the mystery problem! I'm fed up! it seems to happen randomly and fix itself randomly. Sometimes it lasts a couple days and sometimes longer than a couple weeks. The problem: My car will lose power steering, it starts shifting really hard and the gauges inside get all screwed. Occasionally when it happens it just won't shift at all. It will stay in first gear. The inside gauges: The speedometer will bounce all over the place, never staying still. The radio will also get loud and quiet by itself. The power locks would frantically go up and down themselves, until I took out the spark plug for those. It is very difficult to drive when the power steering goes out, not like cars that were built without it in the first place. The very hard shifting cannot be good for the car and is dangerous when I am driving during winter months or rainy weather. I live in Michigan and it snows a lot. Even the Chevy dealership can't tell me what is wrong and I have paid to have numerous parts replaced that have not fixed the problem. I've read other boards online with people having the same issue. I just cannot afford to keep paying to not get the problem fixed. I hate driving such an unreliable car with two young children, four years and 10 months. It happened multiple times when my little one was a newborn. Felt like I was giving the poor baby whiplash when the car switched gears. It's an automatic so there is nothing I can do about it.

- Baroda, MI, USA

problem #903

Apr 012014


  • miles
On Saturday March 29th 2014 I had my recall fixed on the power steering at ryan chevorlet here in minot nd. I get it fixed and parked my car at home until Monday April 1st I am driving down the highway and come to a stop light then I began to hear a clicking noise in my dashboard then a notification pops up for my traction control. As I start to move my speedometer is moving from 10 to 20 but im barely going 5. my RPM's are going up also then a notification for my power steering comes up then im worried. I get to my destination and my power steering goes out and I can not turn the vehicle and it shuts completely off. I try to turn it on and it turns over just doesn't start. I call the Chevy dealer here and they say they will take a look at it. They had my vehicle for a while just to tell me my car needed gas. Does this make sense or am I being fooled" I have research this issue and it seems like it has happened before to other people. Could someone help me"

- Minot, ND, USA

problem #902

Jun 202008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
I have this problem on my 2005 Cobalt of the gauge cluster going nuts, speedometer and RPM gauge jumping up and down, the lights in the cluster, ABS, security, brake, engine and some others start flashing, the transmission starts clicking near the shifter and the automatic transmission shifts very hard, in fact when slowing for a stop sign or traffic light I have to shift to neutral and then pull the shifter to 1st just to get it to go without stalling, the worse part of this problem is when this starts while traveling down the hi-way and the power steering stops working and I am going around a curve and it intermittently starts working and I have to try not to over steer causing an accident, this first appeared in 2008 and has done it since, no one can fix it not even the dealership.

- Crowder, OK, USA

problem #901

Jun 032014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated the power steering failed intermittently as the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician was not able to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable and the current mileage was 154,000.

- Warrenton, GA, USA

problem #900

Apr 112014


  • 137,231 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received notification for recall NHTSA campaign id number: 14V171000 (electrical system), NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering) and NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). The recalls repairs were performed but the failures recurred. The dealer was notified of the failure but no action was taken to remedy the failure. The contact stated that the check engine and ABS sensor illuminated intermittently. The steering wheel became hard to maneuver and each time the contact applied the brakes it made a loud noise. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for further inspection, diagnosis and repair. The technician indicated that authorization from the manufacturer was required. The contact was waiting for the vehicle to be inspected and repaired again by a another dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 137,231. Pam

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #899

Jun 302010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
This problem was fixed in the past. It never solved the problem and when I went to the dealer they told me it had been fixed. Problem is random so there is no way to prove it was never fixed. It is dangerous - want a rental!!! I had to wait 3 months for the ignition switch to be replaced and had to borrow a car during that time. I finally asked for a rental and low and behold 3 days later my car was repaired...

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #898

Jun 142014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
I was traveling at 40 mph when the check engine and traction control lights lit up on the dashboard. Steering was extremely hard, the power steering was not working and I pulled into the nearest parking lot. After several times restarting the car, the power steering was working again.

- Willow Grove , PA, USA

problem #897

Jun 072013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 135,531 miles
While traveling about 30-40 mph, lost control of car, could not steer, crashed through trees, car totaled. Air bags did not deploy.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

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