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:
30 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
121 / 3
Average Mileage:
64,021 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 5 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #239

Aug 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to issues with the ignition switch recall. The consumer finally received a call from the dealer, to come in for the recall. When she arrived at the dealer, the service advisor, informed her she needed to sign a document. She was also informed, the remote starter would be disconnected and they were not liable to reconnect it. The advisor stated it was not their responsibility to reconnect the remote starter and after the recall part was installed the remote starter would no longer work and she would have to pay someone to reconnect the remote starter. The consumer left the dealership without getting the recall done.

- Hampton, NH, USA

problem #238

Feb 212014


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle stalled without any warning lights illuminated. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number 14E021000 (ignition switch) and the vehicle was taken to the dealer to remedy the recall however, the failure recurred. The failure was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Lebanon, NJ, USA

problem #237

Sep 182013


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving approximately 35 mph, the ignition started to click. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was repaired under NHTSA campaign number 14E021000 (electrical system). The contact mention that after the repairs the clicking persisted and the key was unable to be removed from the ignition. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,000.

- Willard , OH, USA

problem #236

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 #235

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 #234

Apr 302014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the door and trunk operations malfunctioned. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was previously repaired under recall NHTSA campaign number: 14E021000 (electrical). The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was unknown. The VIN number was unavailable. Updated 09/16/14

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #233

Aug 022013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 165,000 miles


Went to get out of car doors were unlocked but would not open. Rolled down window doors still would not open. Prayed apart door panel can not access actuator. Have to climb over seat to get in and out of car. Went to take car to inspection today and state of NJ said they would not inspect because it is a safety issue and they can not get in and out of my car. Called GM today and tried to schedule me am appointment to where I would have to pay out of pocket for and offer no other remedy I turned down and will take to my independent shop as it is a issue which should be recalled for as it's happened to multiple vehicles.

- Browns Mills, NJ, USA

problem #232

Apr 262014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 78,079 miles
4/26/20142006 Cobalt recall for ignition switch. At that time yellow ABS, traction control and red brake system failure. Called local dealer said car safe to drive. 5/31/2014 to 6/3/2014 after dealer said brake warning and ABS not related took to very local shop no tow, had brakes inspected, no leak pads and shoes ok. The shop found ABS fuse blown. Codes in diagnostic U0121, U2105, U2106, U2108. Wires traced to short in ignition switch. Paid $106.95 for inspection. Car unable to be repaired due to parts on back order. 6/7/2014 call from GM car picked up by rogers towing 11am. GM call was send to dealer no discussion of rental at this point. Car sent with recall papers/tuffy inspection and tech service bulletins and other recall info. Also 1 key and remote sent 6/7/2004 call from dealer approx. 1pm, they haven"?T looked at car, but apparently read report. Service manager stated didn?"T really consider the tuffy report was a valid report and the see this all the time with recalls. Told me that again the fuses blowing are not related. Explained again, this warning light issue was not happening prior to incident #1. stated only issue with key was for the detent. Dealer will work on securing rental. 6/13/2014 contacted us senator about delay, 4 hours later car was ready, put new fuses in ABS and traction control worked for a week, lights come on and off randomly while driving, car stalls occasionally and 7/19/2014 started today ignition key is extremely hot when removed from lock cylinder after 4 to 10 minutes of driving, advised daughter to bring to place of purchase determine what else is going on.

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #231

Jul 142014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 140,550 miles
Unable to remove key from ignition switch. The cars' engine will cut off, but the key will not go into the off position. It only turns the key back to the accessory position where the radio is left on. Had to manually turn off the radio. Unsure of whether or not the car should even be driven anywhere else. My son is 18 and just got his license in April. 3 months later he is driving a vehicle that I thought would be a great vehicle and it made me feel proud knowing my son would be driving an american made vehicle. A Chevy. Nope. This vehicle is going to be fixed, and as soon as the dealer gets the part for the ignition, which according to them may take 'up to 3 months' this car is leaving our possession. This is totally ridiculous that in a situation where your vehicle will not turn off, they can't make any exceptions. I also, have a Chevy Cobalt but mine is a 2010. Both are on the recall list. When I ordered my part, and this was 2 months ago, I was told the same thing. If anything happens and we wreck our vehicle, we will be suing GM. Born and bred Chevy, but my blood will soon be bleeding blue for Ford. Period. This is unacceptable.

- Trouville , VA, USA

problem #230

Dec 032013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Issue #1: December 3, 2013 my daughter parked her car upon arriving for work at the upper deck sports bar & grill. She opened her car door and as she brushed her hand across the interior door handle had her hand sliced open by a sharp edge of the chrome. See photo: She was driven to the hospital by a fellow employee. The wound was so deep she required both internal and external stitches to close it properly. Due to the severity and location of the wound and her job requirements as a bartender, she was not allowed to return to work for a week. 7 months have passed and we are still waiting payment from the insurance company to pay medical bills nearly $3000 as well as missed wages. Issue #2 ? the car my daughter drives is a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, one of the cars involved in the major recall where 15 people have been killed when the car shuts off while being driven. She has had one incident of this happening already. Fortunately it happened on a side street where she could drift off to the shoulder of the road and not on 95 where she drives to and from work. She has received letters regarding the recall but is constantly being told they ( miami lakes Chevrolet auto mall) don't have the part necessary to make the repair. The last time, they made an appointment for her to come in and when she got there was told they made a mistake and didn't have the part. They performed a "safety check" on her vehicle and told her that everything looked ok and it was safe to drive until they got the part. To this date, they still claim to not have the part.

- Englewood, FL, USA

problem #229

May 152014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 106,473 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the key became lodged in the ignition. The battery had to be disconnected in order to prevent it from draining. The dealer repaired the vehicle according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system); however, the failure recurred. As a result, the shift interlock assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 106,473. Updated 10/09/14

- Mcalisterville, PA, USA

problem #228

Apr 262014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Letter from senator nelson on behalf of constituent concerning the Chevy recall on Cobalts for ignition key recalls; he handling for his daughter, the owner of the car; send respond directly to senator office, please ref: Constituent. The consumer stated while driving, he lost power momentary. There was no steering ability, and when he applied the brake, all the warning lights illuminated on the dashboard. The vehicle the continued as normal. However, the traction control light and the brake light remained on. The dealer informed the consumer, the brake warning light and ABS were not related to the recall, he then went to a local repair shop, where the found the ABS fuse was blown and a wire was traced to a short in the ignition switch. However, the parts were not available.

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

problem #227

May 262014


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated the engine failed to start after numerous attempts. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. After awaiting four consecutive weeks the vehicle was repaired under the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bag, electrical system) however, the failure persisted. The remedy failed to correct the problem. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000. D

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #226

Apr 042014


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated his vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V171000 (electrical system) 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system) however, immediately after the repairs the key failed to come out of the ignition switch. The failure was brought up to the service manager's attention but he declined to repair the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 74,000. The VIN was not available.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #225

Apr 092014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received a recall notification under NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). However, the part was not available to do the repairs. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Wagonor, OK, USA

problem #224

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 #223

Jun 252014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 94,548 miles
Driving on highway and heard three dings and my car flashes power steering, it was difficult to steering to the next lane to try and get off the freeway then it just suddenly started working fine. But now I'm worried that it will happen again. I've received two letter about the recall but no dealer in my area has the parts, was told I'd be called when they arrive.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #222

Apr 092014


  • miles
TL the contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical); however, the part was unavailable for the repair. The manufacturer was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure. Jcc

- Plato, MO, USA

problem #221

Mar 052014


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that immediately after receiving repairs for recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system) he turned on the vehicle but when attempting to turn off and remove the key, it failed to come out. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of failure and refused to provide any additional assistance. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that they would follow up with him. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage were 75,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #220

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

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