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 3 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #275

Jan 032015


  • 111,400 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt ltz New Jersey - ignition recall performed Sept 2014 - Jan 2015 started the car pulled out of spot, vehicle began to jerk forward, heard chime; message board displayed power steering. The traction control warning lamp was, the vehicle was stalling, steering wheel bound up tight, clicking noise coming from ignition area. Shut vehicle off, got out looked around, got back; vehicle started up as if nothing occurred. Called GM, appt set for Monday am, found some additional recall info contacted GM dealership, was advised no steering recall avail. Printed out recall notices from NHTSA pertaining to steering and will present to service personnel on Monday.

- Hamburg, NJ, USA

problem #274

Jan 032015


  • 111,400 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt ltz New Jersey - ignition recall performed Sept 2014 - Jan 2015 started the car pulled out of spot, vehicle began to jerk forward, heard chime; message board displayed power steering. The traction control warning lamp was, the vehicle was stalling, steering wheel bound up tight, clicking noise coming from ignition area. Shut vehicle off, got out looked around, got back; vehicle started up as if nothing occurred. Called GM, appt set for Monday am, found some additional recall info contacted GM dealership, was advised no steering recall avail. Printed out recall notices from NHTSA pertaining to steering and will present to service personnel on Monday.

- Hamburg, NJ, USA

problem #273

Nov 032014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
My car start loosing electrical power and turning off the engine while driving it does it often especially when I turn or stop for a light. I took the car for the recall to Monday Chevrolet recently it took to weeks for them to fix it, they put me in rental car that I ended paying $192 for fees which they never told me I was going to pay for deposit. When I got car back feels wear and the car still do same thing now more I am driving and engine turn off, I have to put the car in park and turn on the car again and I call back customer service contact Monday Chevrolet they will set an appointment to look at it again but if is not related I will have to pay $95 for them to check it. I will rather take my car to my own mechanic if this result related I will be calling this dealer again. I am very unsatisfied and frustrated.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #272

Dec 052014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 112,820 miles


Lets see my electric steering is messing up it wont turn right sometimes need to be recalled before I have an accident.

- Waynesboro, VA, USA

problem #271

Nov 282014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Was out shopping came back to my car and it wouldn't crank and the anti-theft lock light was on. Had it towed to the dealership and I was told it was the ECM. Went to get an second opinion and I was told it was the fuse box, then days later I was told it was the BCM. Then hours later I was told it was the BCM and ECM. These cars are very faulty cars and have way too many issues. It jerks and crank when it want to. Then it started stalling a lot and then take off at a high speed out of nowhere. Im so tired of this vehicle and the Chevrolet dealership and GM giving me the run around.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #270

Oct 252014


  • 99,000 miles
We were driving down the road in Oct when all of sudden dash lights up flashing dinging going crazy the car keeps jerking forward like its trying to shift into a gear for the whole 40 min drive it drove fine on the way home. It has done this maybe three times since the other day I was driving my grand children to school when the car started to jerk forward then just stopped running and lost power steering, in a three way intersection, my car finally started up after about 10 mins. In Oct when the car started having problems I called our dealer they said the car had all the recalls done that it would cost 90 to check it out and that they wouldn't be able to find anything unless it was having the issues at the time they had the vehicle I ended up calling GM about the problem only to be told I am sorry that you had a stressful morning we can give you a case number and will get back to you within 24 to 48 hours may car now sets at my daughters house I will not be driving this car for fear I may injury or kill my grandchildren or others this vehicle id a death trap GM needs to own up and buy out these vehicles so upset right now shame on them how many lives need to be lost before they do something this time?

- Queensbury, NY, USA

problem #269

Dec 062014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 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 popped 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 #268

Dec 022014


  • 89,000 miles
I attempted to get my Chevy Cobalt repaired for the recalled ignition parts and had my appt. Cancel because no parts. I called the dealer on 12/02/2014, after the date they said they would get it repaired. The service advisor for the dealer told me they were have been waiting for over a month for parts, and because of the delay they had been purchasing "rebuild kits" and "fixing and reusing the recalled" parts. I contacted GM and the regional manager laughed at me and told me he new the manager and he was a good guy and this couldn't happen. I have filed a complaint with GM executives and have been told they reviewed that parts system and there is no rebuild kit.

- Crystal, MN, USA

problem #267

Nov 302014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
This is the second time, after the steering column and ignition switch have been replaced after I bought it in 2010, that I inserted the key into the ignition and turning the key to the start position it does nothing. The key then can not be removed from the ignition causing the car to stay in the "on" position and running the battery down. I believe this is an aftermarket ignition issue because it was replaced by carmax under my extended warranty the first time and now it is doing it again!

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #266

Jun 132014


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when attempting to start the vehicle, the vehicle failed to turn over. The contact stated that while driving the vehicle stalled and all the electrical components failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The repairs were made and the problem persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 97,000.

- Waverly , NY, USA

problem #265

Oct 172014


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there was an intermittent electrical short pertaining to the steering column and the instrument panel cluster. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering), but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the authorized dealer who diagnosed that the steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact indicated that the speedometer gauge failed, the power steering sensor illuminated, and, at various points in time, the transmission downshifted intermittently. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- East Canton, OH, USA

problem #264

Nov 202014


  • 120,000 miles
I have been calling sutliff Chevy in harrisburg pa a numerous number of times. Since they replaced my key system the car now just shuts off half the time and the other half the auto lights will not shut off causing the battery to die and leaving me stuck. When I call the service dept they blow me off, I have to leave messages and don't get a return call. I never had any problems with this car since I bought it new and one recall and the car is a piece of crap and so it the assistance I am getting. I used to love my Chevy and would never buy anything else and that over, . I realize my car is out of warranty and it to your problem but I will get the work out.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #263

Nov 092014


  • miles
Our 2006 Chevy Cobalt VIN was took in for repair in Nov 2013, we were told we needed a starter but never why, it was because there was a gas leak, we found out in Aug 2014 when it caught on fire. Again Oct 2014 the auto did the same thing we were told the rest of the recall parts were in and to bring it in, all the time we were driving a unsafe car nd was never told. We took the car in Nov 2014 with only the battery light on a new battery (less than 48 hrs old and the 3rd one in a year). When got the car back the engine light was on, the power steering light was on and the T/C lights were on the speed odometer nor gas hand works, nor A/C and heat, but they replaced the fuse when we took it back. The car will not change gears and is really loud. They has us to bring it back and did not again do a diagnostic test just say in his opinion the auto needs a new power steering monitor (power steering after recall replacement went out, drives sluggish like it is going to stop in traffic like it did before the recalls but worse. It is as loud as a 5th wheeler truck, therefore it is hard to heard emergency vehicles. None of these safety matter or issues were occurring before the recall parts were put on. The car would stop but would start up and drive however it had none of the problems. The auto we are told if we drive less than 15 mph will be uncontrollable. We cannot control the speed now therefore it now drives at the sluggish gear. We are seniors and are afraid of the car. We did not know the danger of recall because the cards only stated the name of the part. The car as I previously stated would drive but in no way has these problems. The starter put on last year is am example of the safety issues that are hidden from us they replaced the starter we paid for it and never told us it was cause by a recall gas leak until it happen again in Aug 2013. I submitted a complaint this time and the last time and they are not interested in recall issues.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #262

Oct 272014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving, my power steering flashed on and it became difficult to drive. I understand that there was a recall issued four years ago but the problem continues. I would like to see GM assist me in the appropriate way to handle this issue.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #261

May 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt customer is requesting reimbursement the consumer stated the vehicle was towed several times, to the dealer.

- East Point, GA, USA

problem #260

Nov 022009


  • 32,150 miles
I have owned my 2006 Chevy Cobalt since 2008. Starting in 2009 all the way until now 2014 I have had issues with the car that are related to the ignition switch recall. I took my car in to the Chevy dealer to take care of the ignition switch recall on November 5, 2014. I got my car back the same day, they replaced the ignition switch and gave me two new keys. Surprise! two days later on November 7, 2014 my car again had the exact same problems related to the ignition switch recall that it did before I took it in for the recall fix. Hence, Chevy's "recall ignition switch fix" does not solve the problem with these cars! my car still does the following things even after the ignition switch fix that is supposed to solve these problems. Whenever it pleases it will lose electrical power and turn off the engine, leaving me stuck in the middle of a busy highway, this has happened on numerous occasions!! as if that isn't bad enough there's more! the power steering light flashes, the check engine light comes on, the service airbag light comes on, the gauges on the dash completely stop working properly the speedometer needle goes haywire moving from 0 mph to 60 mph back and forth non-stop when I'm not even accelerating to those speeds. The RPM gauge does the exact same thing. The car jolts forward uncontrollably, like it is having a problem shifting especially when the RPM is between 2000 and 3000. When you go to brake you have to slam the brakes all the way down because you lose your normal braking power the car skids as you're braking and continues to jolt forward uncontrollably. Oh and on top of all of this sometimes the power steering completely goes out leaving you with all of the problems mentioned above and you can't steer properly! something needs to be done immediately! the ignition switch recall fix does not work! these cars should not be on the road period.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #259

Mar 122014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 820,000 miles
Had my car recalled for the ignition recall and had my car sitting at the dealer ship waiting on the part for 6 months. Received my car back in August 2014 and find that having several problems. The ignition locks the key does not open the door, electric problems, lights go out and than come on, ac has rattle when turn on high, car jerks. These problem have occurred since I have received my car back after 6 months sitting at the dealership because of the GM recall. I had a rent a car and paid over $600 in gas and had to get the window repaired from a chip that got bigger, from a small one when I got it. Had to get an oil change because it was low on oil and new wipers. I would never had to have done that with my car. It cost me more money to have a rent a car and I never got reimbursed. Just got a thank you. I feel I should get something out of this weather I am injured or not.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #258

Jul 302014


  • 170,000 miles
2006 Cobalt that had the 2 recalls "fixed" by a dealership. At the suggestion of the dealership, also had wiring fixed and a new shifter assembly installed at $380+ extreme and dangerous electrical problems: #1 - when driving down the road all gauges go to zero, all lights on the dash turn on and the mileage reads ----------------- (all dashes) #2 - the car does not start consistently. Turn the key and it has power, the lights come on the dash, the headlights come on, but the car will not start. Multiple visits to dealerships and repair facilities and each ones says: They say it is not a bad part, they say there is nothing wrong. They say there is no codes. They say they cannot duplicate it. They say it started every time for them. They say the gauges never drop. They cannot fix it. This car has a major/serious electrical issue that needs to be figured our and repairs paid for my the manufacturer.

- Adrian, MI, USA

problem #257

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 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 #256

Oct 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Letter from senator rubio on behalf of constituent re a faulty ignition problem in 2006 Cobalt. The consumer and his wife were involved in an accident. They sustained serious injuries.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

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