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CarComplaints.com 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 2
Average Mileage:
84,036 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #60

Jul 232015


  • 132,927 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at 70 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. When the vehicle was in the park position, it rolled forward and crashed into a fence. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or diagnosed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number:14V171000 (electrical system). The failure mileage was 132,927.

- Nettie, WV, USA

problem #59

Jul 152015


  • 99,417 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle decelerated and would not accelerate. The steering wheel seized. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the ignition switch and two keys were replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 99,417.

- Laredo, TX, USA

problem #58

May 042015


  • 195,000 miles
Electrical warning light (T/C) reappear does not turn off through normal drive. Tempature display not obtain data for outside hear index. Power steering warning is showing during usual operation small resistance with turning of wheel not noticeable if unaware of car capabilities. Power train possible transmission failure no power going up a vertical highway height causes stoppage of momentum while excelerator is being applied to the max. Taken car to dealer for professional opinion considering the asking price being huge that number of defects are large only having the car for two years these problems are exhausting.

- Seale, AL, USA

problem #57

Jun 112013


  • 102,000 miles


First I had the control arm bushing replaced twice within the first year of owning it, the car was bought brand new. The last two years the car started to chug at stops display would read reduced power mil light would come on I had to stop the car, disconnect the battery then it would go away and could drive it. This last year the car will now upon starting the display will read power steering, security system locked this car does not have a security system, the gauges go haywire car dings low fuel, when trying to move the car shifts very hard, brake pedal hard to push, car surges and chugs when stopped.

- Jefferson, WI, USA

problem #56

Sep 052014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering warning light illuminated several times. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering) but months later the failure recurred. The contact stated that the power steering warning light illuminated and the steering wheel was making a clicking noise. In addition, when changing gears there was an abnormal noise. The contact also mentioned that the vehicle stalled several times when changing gears. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available.

- East Canton, OH, USA

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problem #55

Dec 062014


  • 35,251 miles
My wife was driving her car a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls all of the sudden the dash board lights turned on as if it was being turned on from a cold start. The car started to buckle in the message board started to say power steering. She lost power steering and had to make an emergency stop. I checked the car that afternoon and nothing seemed fine then on a Saturday afternoon it did the same thing to me. I took it to a mechanic to be scanned and the code U0073 poped up which is the control module bus ( communication buss was off). The transmission has not been shifting right, hard, rough shifts are being done. The idle drops and raises automatically. My door lock for he driver side does not open as well. This is really unsafe.

- Springfield, OR, USA

problem #54

Dec 062014


  • 1,003,000 miles


Strange sounds thought it was hubs recently but on, wasn't. maybe the crankcase, wasn't. got louder, more concerned now that my son's were using it to go to work. Realize the many recalls. Non responsive GM. Many weeks wait for replacement parts no loaners.

- Aroura, , OR, USA

problem #53

Oct 212014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I've had several recalls on my car. Air bags, power steering, ignition switch. I was only able to get 2 of these fixed because the others were not "valid" recalls for my vehicle. One of the issues the ignition switch recall has is that the car turns off. The car. Turns. Off. I don't know why and I don't know how. I just know, the car turns off. This has been a daily battle for me. It started a few months before the recall was released and continues to this day. I was driving across an intersection, the light just turned green, a few cars in front of me. I press the gas slightly & my car turns off. I wasn't even going 10 mph. I wasn't even going more than 5! another incident a few days prior, I was coming to another intersection and another car in the opposite direction was making a left so he was in the middle of the intersection. Thankfully I was not going so fast that I could've stopped and he could've passed. Just as I was approaching the lines to cross into the intersection, my car turned off again. My car is constantly turning off in the middle of rush hour traffic. Thankfully it's traffic so it's going slow but it has happened that my car will just turn off in the middle of me actually driving! there have been many times that I am trying to make a turn and my car turns off. Mid turn! in the middle of the street.do you know how dangerous that is" it just reminds me of those movies where those silly people get stuck on train tracks. Why would you park or stay on a train track" oh, I know, just own a Chevrolet! it'll constantly turn off. Thankfully, I have not gotten stuck on a train track but what I have encountered is just as dangerous. I am constantly driving around with other people and children. My car constantly turning off, especially in the middle of the street is a great hazard to myself and my passengers. I fear my life driving this car. :(

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #52

Sep 052014


  • 142,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated she was unable to shift from drive to park. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 142,000.

- Hazel Park, MI, USA

problem #51

Jun 162014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Light goes on and power steering comes on the screen transmition does not shift right no power steering the car can't be driven safely 43000 miles and it was already fixed once.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #50

Jan 212011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch and other vehicle problems and unsatisfactory customer service at dealership. The consumer stated the vehicle would not shut off for about 10 minutes after she switched the ignition to the off position and removed the key. The consumer stated while driving, the vehicle suddenly ran out of gas. There was no warning. The very same day, she received a recall notice in the mail regarding an issue with the fuel pump. Also, the consumer discovered the batter exploded, when an odor began to come inside the vehicle. Also, the engine light illuminated, the ac and heat did not work, the dash lights worked occasionally, the transmission was slipping and the interior was falling apart. The vehicle overheated, the ac compressor failed. While driving on the highway, the vehicle stalled. Then something went wrong with the battery and toxic fumes from the battery in the trunk were being sucked into the vehicle. The consumer exited the vehicle, opened the trunk and hot battery acid was all over the place. Updated 09/08/14

- Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #49

Jun 252014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
My key has been stuck in the ignition for a month now. It has caused my battery to die every time I leave it parked. I took my car to get the ignition recall fixed and when I asked if they could remove it they told me only at an additional cost because it was not part of the recall. When I got my car back I was given two new keys with one stuck in the ignition still. I was really confused as to why they said they couldn't remove my key without charging me when they obviously removed my old key to give me a new set and somehow managed to get it stuck again. After looking up how to fix it I believe the problem is with the shifter. There have been lots of complaints all over the internet with various Chevrolet models regarding this same issue.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #48

Jun 182014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,805 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while parked in a residential garage, the vehicle started rolling backwards and the driver door crashed into the wall. There were no injuries were reported. Also, the contact mentioned that she was able to remove the key out of the ignition switch while the vehicle was in park. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 93,805. Updated 10/7/14 the consumer stated the stereo has had many problems, it failed intermittently. Taking the key out of the ignition was difficult and strange noises could be heard upon attempting to do so. There were also to incidents that while driving the vehicle would lose all power. Updated 5/13/2015

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #47

Jun 052014


  • 110,455 miles
Attention General Motors, I received the many letters your company sent updating the status of the recall on my car. I appreciated your efforts in addressing the situation. I took my car to davis Chevrolet in houston tx to cash in the recall voucher on 5/6/14. On 6/5/2014 I was told that my car was ready. I was not given a receipt. Page 10, may, 2014, bulletin no: 14113B was left in my care. I was given a different style of key, key ring, and the same instructions to use prior to repairs. To add insult to injury, it says to make sure any driver knows about the (same) dangers of the original safety recall letters. I took the car back because it keeps stopping to the degree that I did not drive it unless I necessary. I was told that it may be the throttle from sitting up too long. They said I had to pay for it. I complained about not receiving paperwork. I received paper work that reads the car was not safe to drive. I was given an agent will who I asked if they put in the part that was being built for the car and he said yes. Also, he told me the car was safe even before the repairs. How is the car considered repaired when it has the same limitations as in the recall letters? this remedy does not show any concern for consumers feeling of trust, safety, or comfort in your product. For example, it is a common occurrence for a family member to use a relatives car without the owner knowing it. It would be the most fatal experience to learn about it through that persons death because they did not know (or understand) the terms of what you consider a safe enough result. GM this tells consumers that you do not care. I am asking that you look at my case. I am trying not to take legal action.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #46

Apr 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 88,857 miles
My car was taken to franklin motors on 05/15/2014 to replace the faulty ignition switch 14V047 & 14V171. I was given a rental car in the meantime. My car was returned to me 06/12/2014. That same night when I attempted to turn off my car and remove the key it was difficult. Today, 06/13/2014, I attempted to turn off my car, and remove the key. The key would not turn, the car would not turn off, I could not take the car out of park. After several turns of the steering wheel and jiggling the keys the car finally turned off. My concern is that if the ignition was actually fixed as it should have been why am I having the same issues I had before it was taken to the dealership" I am now scared to drive this car. I have no other means of transportation. I have grandkids that I pick up and I need a safe car that I can trust. I no longer feel safe in this vehicle. Franklin motors once again has my car. What do you suggest I do? how am I to feel safe in this vehicle once it is returned to me again? I want something done to ease my mind. I don't want to have to ride down the road and be one of GM's statistics that something happened to me because of a faulty vehicle that was supposedly fixed" thank you the dealer informed the consumer, the ongoing problems she continued to have, was due to a problem with the gear shifter, and had nothing to do with the ignition. Updated 1/6/2015

- Bardstown, KY, USA

problem #45

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 #44

Dec 112013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
TL - the contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000. The contact stated that the failure recurred after the repairs were completed. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 142,000. Dr updated 8/27/14 the consumer stated the vehicle experienced power failure at any given time. Updated 09/8/2014

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #43

Apr 072014


  • 124,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when the key is out of the ignition, he is able to take the gear out of park. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer or independent mechanic. The manufacture was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 124,000 miles and the current mileage was 125,000 miles.

- Reading, MI, USA

problem #42

Dec 102013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
There is a BCM (body control module) problem in all Cobalts which hasn't came to light yet it's very dangerous. It's all over the internet and there are videos on youtube, search for "Cobalt electrical problems" "Cobalt power steering warning" this problem will cause the car gauges to go crazy and it will say engine light, power steering, the transmission goes into safe mode and shifts very hard and then car wants to chug and stall while your driving forcing you to pull over if possible to avoid causing a major accident and then you have to turn the car off this just as dangerous or more dangerous then the ongoing ignition switch recall. While looking on the internet for answers to why this is happening I have found lot's and lot's of other people who are having the exact same problems I have a 2006 ss Cobalt and this is what is happening to me. It has happened 5 times in the last 2 months, I have made arrangement with a GM dealer from where I have purchased the car to have the BCM (body control module) replaced at my expense and hopefully this will make my car safer. But I don't know if it will for sure. Repeat this is not related to the on going ignition switch recall on the 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt models, this is another safety issue that needs to be addressed and investigated right away. Please take action right away to avoid further loss of lives*

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #41

Apr 032014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
The car randomly out of nowhere lost power and a check engine light comes on and says engine power reduced. This is extremely unsafe especially if this were to happen at freeway speeds. Engine codes came back and provided that there are issues with the throttle position sensor. 4th recall on this vehicle and currently awaiting results from murdock Chevrolet 2375 S 625 w, woods cross, ut 84087 (801) 298-8091.

- Farmington, UT, USA

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