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 2006 Cobalt continued to carry the torch first lit by the 2005 model year. To be clear, that torch is burning bright with widespread power steering issues, electrical curiosities and a dangerous ignition switch defect which led to a massive recall by GM. This isn’t a great torch to carry.

The 2006 added it’s own special flare with gas leaks due to cracks in the “return portion of the modular reservoir assembly.” A recall of 2006 Cobalts was issued to fix the problem, but only to vehicles sold in or current registered in Arizona and Nevada, leaving other owners to pay for repairs themselves.

Between this car stalling while driving, giving owners fits with power steering failure and having it be a potential tinderbox because of gas leaks, we felt we had no other option than to award it our “Avoid Like the Plague” badge.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,184 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.

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #14

May 012016


  • 134,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle suddenly would not accelerate and came to a complete stop; however, the engine did not shut off. Prior to the incident, the traction control and check engine lights illuminated. When the traction control light illuminated, the transmission jerked really hard. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the ECM needed reprogramming. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 134,000.

- Laporte, IN, USA

problem #13

Jun 012014


  • 111,000 miles
While driving the traction control light comes on randomly then begins to shift very ruff and hard. When it has been turned off the traction control light doesn't come until driving again for about 5 minutes. The shifting has made it difficult to drive and has almost caused me to be in accidents.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 012010


  • 71,000 miles
Traction control light comes on and jerks when shifting gears. It happens at all speeds. When I cut the car back on, the light goes away. This happens off and on all the time.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #11

Jul 062012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 111,148 miles


Traction control light comes on and causes the car to shift very rough and steering wheel jerks.

- Painesville, OH, USA

problem #10

Dec 102010


  • 48,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt ss. The traction control light comes on periodically & the engine comes on also. When the traction light comes on the car begins to shift ruff, but this is not all the time. Off & on. When I had a computer hooked up to the vehicle a bunch of codes appeared & the same codes didn't appear when I had a 2nd opinion. According to my google search this is a very common complaint with Cobalts. I feel this should be recall & investigated with the manufacturer.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #9

Nov 202010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 46,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that is having power steering issues. I thought that the recall repair would fix the issue as I had it repaired a week ago. After the repair the power steering light came on and the car became hard to steer. The car was taken back to an authorized dealer and they charged me $43 to diagnose the problem and came up with several codes in the computer but could not duplicate the issue. They reset the computer and it happened again today. No power steering and the car started shuttering the power steering light came on and the traction control light comes on. When I turned the car off and restarted it I then had power steering but the check engine light was still on. This is a very dangerous situation and I do not believe GM is fixing the right problem.

- Elsmere, KY, USA

problem #8

Jul 122010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,681 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving 10 mph into a parking space, a chime sounded and the power steering light illuminated along with enhanced traction system warning indicators. There was a loss of power steering. The contac turned the vehicle off. When the engine was restarted, the vehicle operated normally without the illumination of the warning lights. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering: Electric power assist system). The failure continued and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer three different times for the same failure. The ECM was replaced but the failure continued. The failure mileage was 80,681. Updated 1/21/11 also, the traction control light illumianted. Updated 04/11/11

- Lawton , OK, USA

problem #7

Dec 012007


  • 8,742 miles
Whether the vehicle is being driven (at any speed) or in park, the traction control light comes on and the vehicle makes very hard/jumpy shifts. I bought the vehicle new and this started happening no more than 4 months after the purchase. Though I've brought the vehicle in numerous times 2 "repairs" have been made. I've kept some of the service orders but I do have all with noted repairs.

- Columbia, TN, USA

problem #6

Aug 032010


  • 56,000 miles
When I am driving down a road, it doesn't matter if I am going 25 or 65, the traction control light comes on. Once the light is on, my car will shift and when it shifts, it feels like the transmission is slipping. It's very scary. The car gets very jerky and hard to drive. It does not make a sound, like traction control is kicking in. It feels like my car is trying to shift but cannot. I've read that this can turn into more serious power steering issues. I went to go get my car recalled for power steering, and they said it's only for 2004 Cobalt models. I don't find that fair if so many people are having problems with the rest of their Cobalts. This problem occurs while I am driving about every time I drive. The light does go off when I turn my car off.

- Imperial, MO, USA

problem #5

Apr 202010


  • miles
The traction control light comes on and the car starts shifting really hard.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #4

Feb 282010


  • 53,000 miles


The traction control symbol showed up on the computer while I was driving. Then the wheel locked up and the computer screen said power steering. The car kept "jumping" forward the whole ride to my destination. It was near impossible to get there, and I had to leave my car there because it is not safe to drive. This seems to be a consistent problem with Chevy Cobalts. A recall needs to be issued. It is unsafe to drive a car with no power steering. Someone is going to get in an accident. Something must be done.

- Aston, PA, USA

problem #3

May 142008


  • miles
My power steering tends to go out while driving. Traction control light comes on. The shifter clicks. My speedometer and rmps go nuts. My ABS and brake light flash. The car stalls when I stop in traffic or at lights. They reprogrammed the computer chip three times and replaced the part once. I now am having the problem again and they said its not their problem.

- Burlington, NJ, USA

problem #2

Dec 282009


  • miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt having problems with power steering & tc (traction control) car jerks and locks up while driving. Brought vehicle back to dealership twice (August 2009) and they replaced something each time that was supposedly under recall. Third time this has happened (December 2009) and dealership cannot find out what the problem? I am afraid to drive my vehicle!

- Pineville, LA, USA

problem #1

Sep 302009


  • 67,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt and recently while I am driving the T/C, security, and power steering lights come on and my power steering goes out and my car starts bucking and jumping like crazy. The last time it happened while I was driving 70 down the interstate and I almost crashed into the divider wall trying to pull over. It has been brought into the dealership 3 times and they have no idea what is causing it. I have already paid for a new transmission module which was not the problem. It seems to reset after the car is turned off for a while but if it happens it could cause serious crashes. There are already thousands of reports on the same incident with this particular car.

- Metairie, LA, USA

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