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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
28 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
121 / 3
Average Mileage:
63,793 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 10 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #135

Dec 282006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that she was unable to remove the key out of the ignition immediately after turning the vehicle off. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to determine the cause of failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 26,000. The current mileage was 35,000.

- Grassy, MO, USA

problem #134

Aug 142013


  • miles
1. brakes wear uneven in the front. Rotors, pads, and calipers were replaced.difficulty with bleeding brakes.1 year later with 11,000 more miles on car the pad was worn and grinding rotor.replaced both front rotors, caliper again. 2 techs had an extremely hard time bleeding the brakes for the peddle to rise. Car stopped but peddle went to floor.they worked on bleeding the brakes for 2 hours.they repeated the procedure 6 times. Bleed every wheel and pumped brakes over and over again.could not get peddle up. This happened with the other brake job as well. Could not let my daughter drive the car. Took car home and the next day was on the way to another dealer when the brake peddle came up. 2. daughter was in an accident before second brake job and hit a pick up truck in rear as stopping no one was injured and air bag did not deploy. 3. have friend with 2005 Cobalt where her brakes completely locked up. Had to get vehicle towed and brakes replaced.

- Owings Mills , MD, USA

problem #133

Mar 012012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds the vehicle suddenly stalled. The engine was restarted and the vehicle resumed normally. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who replaced the battery, cleaned the fuel system and changed the spark plugs but the failure persisted. Additionally, the contact stated that the key would sporadically become stuck in the ignition switch. The manufacturer was notified and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 14V047000(air bags, electrical system). The contact stated that the vehicle had experienced the same defect listed in the recall. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Alexandria, AL, USA

problem #132

Sep 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles


Driving on 127 North toward lansing Michigan at 75 miles per hour when the engine lost control causing the car to go no faster than 15 miles per hour on the highway. This is a safety risk to the driver as well as others. I have replaced the gas peddle sensor which did not correct the problem, next I will replace the throttle body. The codes can be reset to correct the problem temporary if you purchase a $300 dollar code reader. I have also had to replace the front bearings twice. On 2/16/2014 I hit a pot hole and knocked a bolt loose that holds the cars frame together so at this point the car is unsafe to drive. At least I'm hoping its loose and not broke. The car shakes terribly due to the frame bolt. This is a big safety concern.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #131

Feb 242014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
My wife and her mother were driving on a street in the city that we live in. This street does have a mild to moderate amount of traffic depending on the time of day. It is a two lane road that for the most part goes through the residential area of the city that we live in as well as the neighboring city. The speed limit predominately is 35 mph. At the time of the incident, my wife was traveling to the South in which the roadway proceeds down a short, mild downgrade in to a natural wash or stream bed and then back up an upgrade to the South side of town and the neighboring city. My wife was traveling downhill when suddenly she lost power to the vehicle and the steering locked up. The engine was still running but all the electrical components of the vehicle such as the gauges and the car stereo ceased to work.due to the steering locking up and my wife being unable at the time to control the vehicle, she drifted in the opposite lane, bounced off a curb on that side of the road and then drifted back into the appropriate lane before coming to a stop. Fortunately for the safety and well-being of my wife and her mother, no other vehicle was in or approaching the opposite lane. When the vehicle came to a stop, the engine stalled when the key ignition was in the run position. My wife proceeded to switch the key in the off position and then proceeded to restart the vehicle. The vehicle then started up like normal. My wife proceeded to drive the vehicle to her original destination which was only a couple of miles away. She then notified me by cellphone in which we started the process of trying to get this issue resolved.

- Yucaipa, CA, USA

problem #130

Nov 142013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The driver door is jammed, it will not open from inside or out. Happened before and then opened after awhile and then it happened again. I've had the door fixed and it worked for about 3 weeks and is now jammed again. It is a safety hazard, I have to go into the car through the passenger side. My speakers in all doors will not work along with the radio screen will flicker on and off. The automatic locks worked on a few doors but will not work on any now. I've seen and heard many complaints about the same problems I'm having that other Cobalt owners have/had.

- Meshoppen , PA, USA

problem #129

Dec 182013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


On 12/18/13 I began to notice a "humming" noise coming from the car. The humming noise got increasingly worse over the next few days. At the same time I noticed the "service airbag" sign came on and the radio began flash and attempted to eject a cd without me manually pushing the button or cd being inside it. The "humming" noise progressively got worse and the steering wheel began to stiffen up. After 2 weeks of the problem becoming increasingly worse, I decided to have my mechanic do a complete diagnostic test. He believed that the diagnosis is the electrical power steering and stated that after much research the cost would be $900+ because the repairs would have to be by a certified GM and parts would have to be specially ordered due to the nature of the way the car was manufactured. He also stated that apparently this problem is an ongoing issue with this particular make/model car and regretfully was unable to repair it. I am a single mom and value me and my child's safety but at this time the no repairs have been made due to the obscene amount of money in question to repair it and ongoing financial hardships. I am filing this complaint because I feel this problem can lead to a more serious issue and may be a part of a bigger issue.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #128

Feb 162014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 41,489 miles
I was stopped at a turn around East of garfield on 16 mile road in clinton township Michigan. Proceeded to complete turn and go West on 16 mile road when I felt my vehicle (2006 Chevrolet colbalt) had a loss of power. There was no response when I stepped on the gas pedal. The dashboard lights blinked. Then with in seconds I was struck by a vehicle in my passenger side rear, then I spun around and another vehicle hit me in the driver rear side. None of my air bags deployed. The clinton township police questioned the other two drivers who struck me but never questioned me to explain what happened. The first vehicle that hit me the man had a cut on his leg and refused medical treatment. The second vehicle that hit me the female was able to drive home. I was taken to the hospital by ems because my head, neck, back, hip and leg was hurting me. When I was in the hospital the police officer came up to me and gave me a ticket with two separate violations, and stated that I caused the accident. The officer never asked me what happened and when I tried to explain to him, he just said that's why its called an accident and left the hospital. My 2006 Chevy colbalt is totaled according to the insurance company. I found a NHTSA 14V047000 recall on the ignition switch failure on this NHTSA website. GM's recall number is 13454.I have record of 2 repairs to that same ignition by the dealership in 2006 and 2009. I believe that the faulty ignition caused me to loose power and acceleration thus causing the accident and injuries.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #127

Feb 202014


  • 170,030 miles
While driving around a corner lost all power and control of car. Therefore I was unable to steer the car and hit the back of a parked car.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #126

Aug 202013


  • miles
The key would not come out of the ignition switch, this continues to happen with this car.

- Reidsville, GA, USA

problem #125

Feb 042014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


Driving on expressway car shut off while driving 65 miles per hour has now done this two other times car is dangerous to drive heard about recall on news however Chevy dealer told us recall has not been started by GM shame on them this is a huge safety issue and car is now parked cant risk it.

- Almont, MI, USA

problem #124

Oct 042010


  • 113,360 miles
Car would cut off when steering wheel was tilted and at times key would not come out of ignition.

- Boykins, VA, USA

problem #123

Aug 092013


  • 39,000 miles
I re-entered the highway (I65) southbound from rest stop. As I approached cruising speed and merged into the outside lane, I deployed the tilt steering lever and pulled the steering wheel down to my preferred position. Since I usually drive another vehicle and was not used to this one, I pulled too hard on the steering wheel causing it to come down abruptly and hard into the full down position. This caused the ignition to shut off. My speed was about 70mph. I began to slow and edge towards the shoulder when I recovered my faculties, put the car in neutral, and restarted the vehicle with the key while still in motion at about 50mph. I resumed my trip as normal and cautioned my daughter against rapid steering column adjustments while driving. I read the recall news today and thought it might be helpful if I recounted my experience with the ignition failing on my vehicle.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #122

Oct 082013


  • 115,000 miles
First got a very small crack in windshield and next day splintered all way across, still have not replaced first Chevy I've owned that windows are crap. Speakers have not worked in front ever and only come on and work randomly now and than. Now brake fluid light constantly coming on even after a day I put fluid in. This is officially worst car I've owned out of all Chevrolet had!!!! basically all service to it costs as much as car!

- Yardville , NJ, USA

problem #121

Nov 072013


  • miles
Door handle won't open from the inside of driver side. I have to roll down my window to open it. This has happened before inside and out when I was under warranty. As well as a whistling noise from my passenger vent and rattling windows. Supposedly this was all fixed. Except the part for my air vent. Now I can't even open my manual door. I have read this is a common problem with my model of car. I feel everything is poorly built. Door is rusting out on drivers side. Yet, I have take great care making sure it stays clean. But the fact that I can't get out of my door. And it's winter time. Is scary. I did not go with electric due to that fact of getting something expensive fixed. In the past. It was temporary. But now it won't work at all. Again. Before it would happen at times. On either door. Getting in or out. But now the driver side won't open from the inside at all. And what if the window is frozen and the passages side won't open either. Worried.

- Cleveland Hts, OH, USA

problem #120

Nov 192013


  • 122,000 miles
After two hub failures, stabilizer link failures, ignition coil failure, rear defroster failure, power locks failure, and now the steering rack is making a grinding noise and causing premature wear to the front right tire. I believe there is a tsb on the steering rack. This should be a recall I won't ever by a GM again.

- Lake Geneva, WI, USA

problem #119

Apr 162012


  • 43,000 miles
Have been told various times I need new struts and shocks. I think this is ridiculous seeing as though I have do not have many miles on my car and the year of my car. Dealerships have told me that it does not make sense that a car a 2006 and with low miles on it should need shocks and struts right now. I have had nothing but problems with this car since I paid it off. Wheel baring, shocks struts, problems getting key out of ignition, headlights and tail lights leaking water into it, slve cylinder and master cylinder, fuel pump. I will never buy a Chevy again!

- Oxford, MA, USA

problem #118

May 152011


  • 30,000 miles
Key gets stuck in ignition and can not get it out. Has been doing this for years. Takes several minutes to just get the key out. Sometime have to keep keys in car overnight.

- Oxford, MA, USA

problem #117

Oct 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 130,549 miles
I purchased a 2006 Cobalt from a private owner this week. I test drove it 3 times with no problems. After bringing it home, I attempted to turn off the car and remove the key. It would not turn off all the way and the key would not come out. I was very upset and scared. The car would restart so I was able to put it in the driveway and park it next to the garage. Since I could not remove the key I put a car club on it and locked the door. Then I parked another car behind it. I did not think about it but since the key was in the accessory position the battery went dead. The next day I was not able to remove the key and I was not able to start it. I called a local Chevrolet dealer. He checked the VIN for recalls and said there was not one on the 2006 Cobalt related to the starting solenoid binding up. He did tell me it is common and most cars that have the problem have a recall issued. This problem has caused me major distress and could be very unsafe if the car had experienced this problem somewhere away from home. I found out how to fix it by reading articles on the internet. Many people have reported this problem and Chevrolet has not listened to the consumers by issuing a recall and repairing the problem. There is a button in the steering column that needs to be pressed by a rod to tell the car that the car is in park and it is ok to turn it off and remove the key. The cars with problems have a rod that does not depress the button. People have to remove a cover on the steering column and reattach the rod when they can not remove their key. However, over time the rod slips to far that this is no longer a solution and the parts need to be replaced. Why should the consumer have to suffer this stress and worry about getting their car stolen because their key is stuck in it? Chevrolet needs to immediately take care of this ongoing, long standing issue.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #116

Jun 052012


  • 90,000 miles
The key gets stuck in ignition and will not come out. The key acts jammed and wont turn and cant be pulled out. Has been doing this for a while and has left me stranded multiple times.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

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