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 6 of 50)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #896

Jun 082014


  • 131,951 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While turning the vehicle at an unknown speed, the steering wheel became loose and difficult to turn. The power steering indicator illuminated during the failure. The vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering), but the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 131,951.

- Rosedale , MD, USA

problem #895

Jun 072011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the power steering warning lamp illuminated as the steering wheel became very hard to maneuver. The contact mentioned that when the failure occurred, the vehicle would jerk violently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 150,000.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #894

Mar 032014


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving approximately 20 mph the steering wheel box disconnected and the contact lost control of vehicle. The dealer was notified of failure and no solution was offered. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 48,000. Updated 8/11/14

- Canadensis, PA, USA

problem #893

Jun 012014


  • 114,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while traveling 70 mph, the power steering failed and the power steering warning light illuminated. There was also a buzzing chime that sounded throughout the vehicle. The vehicle was turned off and once restarted, the power steering resumed normally. The failure recurred four times. The manufacturer was notified and of the failure. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 114,000.

- Copejil Dueo, MO, USA

problem #892

May 312014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Power steering gave out while driving.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #891

Dec 032005


  • 4,700 miles
I rented this brand new Cobalt 4 months after hurricane katrina from mobile Alabama, so as to go back to my home town of san francisco, ca. By the time I made it through los angeles, at around 430 am. I lost control of car due to severe stiffness in the steering. Which led to the vehicle running off of I-5 heading North bound at a speed of 60 miles per hour. Visibility was good, I veered off the freeway into the median portion of I-5, and I tried to slow down but no response which led me to roll over few times, end to end and over and over, luckily I was wearing my seat belt and it held very well, suprisingly, no airbags, none of them deployed, and all the windows blew out, and not the reinforced kind including the front wind shield. The ambulance came, and so did the California highway patrol. There is a report about it which indicates that no airbags were deployed, and I do have pictures of car after incident. I had few bumps and bruises and had few cuts from the glass on my arms and legs, and I had to acquire a few rounds of physical therapy and accupuncture.but luckily I was in good spirits.the car was covered under 3 insurances, which paid for some damage, including my discover card, and my grandma's aarp. And the rental car company.

- Ocean Springs, MS, USA

problem #890

Jun 012005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 1,500 miles


I purchase my vehicle brand new in 2005 and had continual problems with the car shutting off while driving ever since. I had this car at the dealer for annual maintenance as well as for the car shutting off while driving. I had the cart in the shop monthly for them to evaluate until they said there was absolutely nothing they could do they cant find anything wrong. Went to another dealership and still no satisfaction I even called GM to complain several times and I cried that I was going to get killed and they said there was nothing they could do. Now 13 + people are dead. I have my car at the dealer and it was a fiasco. They gave me back my car with a check engine light on and said I should pay for diagnostics. Really?? they had my car I did not give it to them that way. I called GM and they told me to pay for diagnostic my car is to old so they wont make them do anything. Nice real nice - I guess I am lucky to still be alive today - I wish I could sue them but I work hard and don't have that kind of money to spend. Again they are lucky they have no penalty. They don't care and they will only do what they are forced to do not what is the right thing to do. They should not have been bailed out they should never have that privilege again. In this world only the strong survive and the weak fail. Let them fail.

- Sound Beach, NY, USA

problem #889

May 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall notice. The consumer stated the first week of owning the vehicle, it would not start. When she called the dealer, the told her to move the steering wheel up and down and tap on the accelerator pedal. There were times through out the years, where the vehicle would not start. Also, the vehicle would pull to the left, the oil pan was leaking, the ignition switch was replaced, the left turn signal was inoperable, and the oxygen sensor was replaced.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #888

Sep 012013


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled and the power steering warning light illuminated without warning. The vehicle was able to be restarted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the motherboard needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate mileage was 90,000.

- Brokville, IN, USA

problem #887

Apr 182013


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while accelerating from a complete stop, there was a loss of power steering and the warning indicator illuminated. The steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Owosso, MI, USA

problem #886

Jul 302013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer requests reimbursement for power steering motor recall repairs. The consumer stated the power steering went out on the vehicle. If she turned the vehicle off and back on, the steering would resume normal operation momentarily. The power steering light did illuminate and there was an alert sound. A diagnosis revealed the electronic power steering motor failed. The consumer contacted the dealer, who originally performed the recall, in 2010. They informed her they were no longer required to replace the power steering motor again. The consumer went to another establishment and had the steering motor replaced at a cost of $ $633.11.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #885

Apr 252014


  • 127,000 miles
As I was driving down the road at 57mph the power steering sign came on and a noise then I sudden lost power steering. I slowed down and pulled over and cut off. I then cut the car back on and the power steering light went off. Then I drove on and then the power steering went back out. I contacted the dealership were I got it from and they said it was nothing that they could do. They told me to contact GMC dealer company. GMC told me they could fix it but I would have to pay out my pocket.

- Ellerbe, NC, USA

problem #884

Feb 242014


  • 95,121 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while reversing, there was a sudden loss of power steering assist and the steering wheel was able to spin all the way without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electric power steering motor needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering). The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 95,121 and the current mileage was 98,000.

- Kirkland , NY, USA

problem #883

Apr 212014


  • 103,600 miles
I have received (both) recall work done on my 05 Cobalt, and yesterday I was driving on the highway at 55-60mph for the first time since I got my car back last Friday. I lost power steering and my car would no longer shift to increase its speed. It felt like I was in neutral gear as the rpms were in the 5000-6000 range yet I was still at a speed of apprx 55mph, as I attempted to pull over to the shoulder I recognized I did not have power steering, and the light on my dash quickly went off and then came back, along with a check engine light. After finding out what the engine codes were via autozone, I was told my transmission control module had failed, hence why my transmission would not engage into third gear. After driving the car around more that afternoon, it continued to happen at the high speed levels, and again the power steering failed. I brought it up to the Chevy dealership that performed the work, yet the service department was closed at 7pm. The sale guy tried to convince me that this recall would not affect anything with the transmission, yet multiple mechanics have told me that if the new piece was not programmed properly with my ECM, then its possible that this is affecting my vehicle. I am going to try and bring my car back in tonight after work, or hopefully tomorrow. I have already call General Motors and reported the same incident, because there is a rumor going online that the new ignition switch may have a "short" in it. But I do not want to confirm that.

- Hanahan, SC, USA

problem #882

Sep 152013


  • 120,000 miles
Car simply stalled on I 376 at highway speed. Car won't start unless ignition key is "jiggled".

- Aliquippa, PA, USA

problem #881

Mar 082013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 17,321 miles
My wife's Chevrolet Cobalt was part of the power steering motor recall and received the repair on May 26, 2010. The car functioned normally until March 31 of 2013 when the Cobalt, with only 17, 321 miles, was brought to the local Chevrolet dealership after my wife experienced a failure of the power steering. Next I accompanied my wife to the parking lot where it had been parked and discovered that upon re-starting, the car functioned normally. The check engine light however was on. We took the car to the dealership on Feb. 1, 2013 where the power steering problem and check engine light was discussed. The technicians indicated that they could find nothing wrong with the power steering, simply stating that, "it works now!" on Friday March 8, 2013, the power steering message appeared on the speedometer, a chime sounded, and the power steering went out. I managed to drive the car home and park it. The steering was very hard to operate, as the power steering was not functioning. If my wife had been driving, I seriously doubt whether she would have been able to control the car. During this same incident the engine ran extremely rough and almost died several times. This car simply is not safe. The recall repair was not successful suggesting that General Motors had its dealers perform on the Cobalt was not the correct one. (was it the most economical for G.M.?). since that time we have driven less than 500 miles and it is now fourteen months later! we are afraid to drive this car.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #880

Apr 052014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 98,400 miles
My power steering went out today as I was driving home from work. I was able to pull over and turn vehicle off for about 10 mins and then restart. After restart, the warning message cleared from the dic and my steering returned to normal. When I reached my driveway, power steering again went out and I almost went in the ditch. Power steering seems to be failing intermittently since it failed on me 3 times today. I noticed there is a recall for 2010 Chevrolet Cobalts for the steering failure but not on any other year including the 2005. Recall needs to be extended to all years of the Cobalts to fix this issue not just one year. Next time I may not be as lucky when my power steering fails. I request an immediate investigation as to why no other year of the Cobalt was included in the recall.

- Seaford, DE, USA

problem #879

Mar 012014


  • 112,250 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the steering wheel would not return to center after completing a turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician diagnosed that the power steering motor needed to be repaired. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified about the issue. The failure mileage was 112,250 and the current mileage was 113,083.

- Eaton, OH, USA

problem #878

Feb 192014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
As im driving from a fast rate of speed and I slow down I lose power steering and on multiple times I have come close to hitting vehicles as im parking or almost running into a house for not being able to turn.

- Newark, OH, USA

problem #877

Mar 122014


  • 181,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving out of a parking lot, the power steering malfunctioned and was no longer controlling the wheels. After inspecting the vehicle she noticed that the wheels were side ways. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the technician diagnosed that the rack and pinion exploded and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 181,000 and the current mileage was 183,000.

- Phelps, WI, USA

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