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:
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 9 of 16)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #159

Oct 012012


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph to make a left turn, the vehicle stalled. The contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree before rolling into an embankment. A police report was not filed. The contact sustained injuries to the left shoulder, back and a broken nose. The failure occurred prior to the contact receiving the recall notice. The failure was not diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60000.

- Beattyville, KY, USA

problem #158

Jul 052012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
On 7/05/12 my daughter was in a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that was involved in a major accident. She stated she lost control of the vehicle because the steering would not allow her to steer & regain control of the vehicle. As a result of this the car left the road and flipped several times and landed approximately 25ft into a wooded area. No air bags deployed. Injuries sustained: Loss of consciousness, concussion and several lacerations.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #157

Feb 032014


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while attempting to turn a corner at approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who was not able to diagnose the problem. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number:14V047000 (air bags and electrical system) but the dealer did not provide a specific date when the parts would become available for the necessary repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90000.

- Lansing, MI, USA

problem #156

Jul 262010


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without any warning which in turn made the steering and brakes to stop working. As a result, she was unable to stop the vehicle and crashed into the vehicle in front of her. A police report was filed. The driver sustained neck dysplasia, bruising, and contusions. The child seated in the rear passenger seat sustained a bruise on her forehead. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 55,000.

- Sophia, WV, USA

problem #155

Jul 152013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Car shut off two times while driving, I was able to restart both times; however now when I start the car it sounds like the starter is staying engaged after the car is already started.

- Kearny, NJ, USA

problem #154

Jan 012014


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the ignition failed and the key could not be turned. The dealer inspected the vehicle and advised that the ignition lock cylinder needed to be replaced. The approximate failure mileage was 44,000 and the current mileage was 49,000.

- West Henrietta , NY, USA

problem #153

Mar 032014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to loaner car issue from dealership. Loaner vehicles, were supposed to be issued, until the recall was rectified.

- Elysburg, PA, USA

problem #152

Mar 232014


  • 103,000 miles
I was driving on the highway, and my Cobalt suddenly lost power steering. I received flashing warning messages for power steering and another one saying "service air bag." I am worried that if I am in an accident, the air bags will not deploy. These two things happened simultaneously.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #151

Mar 212014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact also mentioned that the power steering ocassionally failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not aviailable.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #150

Nov 202013


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. The contact became involved in a crash in which the air bags did not deploy. The details of the crash were limited however, the contact was traveling 20 mph when the crash occurred. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed of the incident. The contact also stated that the brakes malfunctioned. Additionally, the ignition switch failed. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Hillsboro, KY, USA

problem #149

Mar 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Driving down the road and all items on gauge cluster die and come back on over and over again. Security light pops on ABS light comes on air bag light comes on. I lose power steering when this happens and sometime vehicle wont start and my security light pops on. Sometimes nothing in my gauge cluster wont work and all warning lights will appear when driving down the road or as soon as I start my vehicle.

- Bennington, VT, USA

problem #148

Mar 172014


  • 48,000 miles
Dear sirs, I no longer feel safe sending my daughter back and forth to college with her Chevy Cobalt. If something does happen with her car knowing what I know now.....I will be the one who is at blame. She went back to college this morning......driving the Cobalt. I am suffering to much anxiety over this. Why did I let her go! could you please give her a safer car to drive"....maybe at least until her car is fixed"

- Worthing , SD, USA

problem #147

Mar 072012


  • 62,300 miles
I called two local Chevy dealerships today. One said they are waiting on instructions from GM to decide how to resolve the situation. The other said their service manager is out until Wednesday and only then can they apply through GM for a loaner car and that process takes a few day. I have watched someone die in a car crash and I didn't quite understand the severity of this issue until I realized that people have been killed. As a one car family, getting to work so that we can keep our head above water is always my main priority. GM is not helping me, I have also sent them the same information I am sending you. My husband cannot drive this car to work until the problem is fixed, it is not safe and we are financially screwed. I have driven hundred of my clients, all with developmental disabilities in my Cobalt. GM not only knowingly put my family's lives at risk, they put the lives of hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities at risk also. If you need a text book example of the ignition switch issue on the Cobalt, by all means, come get mine. It will reliably fail.

- Oxford, OH, USA

problem #146

Mar 072012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 62,300 miles
I would have filed sooner but was unaware of your Agency and assumed that I should contact my local GM dealership. 2 days after I bought my 2006 Chevy Cobalt, the keys remained locked in the ignition. I have to use the emergency key release button to get my keys out. I reported this to the dealership who informed me in 2012 that there was no recall and I would have to pay to resolve the issue myself. I bought a Cobalt because it was economical and we did not have the money to pay for the repairs. To this day, we use the emergency switch to release my keys. 1 week after I bought my Cobalt, the engine and all power would die and I would have to restart the car. This happened when I was idling, going 25 miles/hr and up to 65 miles/hr. I called the Chevy dealership who informed me that there is nothing they could do, unless I wanted to pay to have the issue fixed. I even had another recall repaired last year at the Chevy dealership and again addressed the power failure. They looked for an issue, did not find one and literally made me believe it was "user error". my car still shuts off in the middle of driving, almost on a daily basis. I addressed the situation, I was ignored. I did not have the money to explore the issue more thoroughly, we had no choice but to deal with it. I am sending a second message to you following this because I am over on the word count. Please look for it.

- Oxford, OH, USA

problem #145

Feb 072014


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the interior lights began to flicker independently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection but the cause of the failure was not determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 143,000.

- Marion, OH, USA

problem #144

Mar 132014


  • 134,000 miles
Nothing has happened yet. Since the recall has been on the news I'm having anxiety driving this car. It is my only form of transportation. I drive thirty miles twice a day to and from work on roads with grand canyon size pot holes. I see every day on the news how many have died from this ignition problem and we are suppose to wait for parts and wing it... I would like to be reimbursed for this car and just get rid of it.

- Little Hocking, OH, USA

problem #143

Sep 182013


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving approximately 35 mph, the engine stalled with the illumination of the warning indicator. The vehicle restarted and resumed normally. The failure recurred twice. There was a recall related to the failure under NHTSA campaign id number 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system). The dealer informed that the vehicle was included in the recall; however if the ignition switch was not faulty the owner would be responsible for the diagnostic expense. The contact was displeased to know of the diagnostic charge associated with the recall. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 80.000.

- Sheboygan, WI, USA

problem #142

May 012013


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the front end of the vehicle would shake and become unstable. The contact indicated that repairs to the power steering were performed. No further information was available. The contact also stated that he was unable to remove the ignition key from the ignition switch. The ignition defect was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #141

Oct 202013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 164,100 miles
I was traveling on a 2 lane road that I travel most every day, the road is not busy most I was entering a sharp curve suddenly the car engine quit and next thing I knew I was raking the guardrail on the right side of the road, .damaged the car more than it was worth, this was only the 2nd time the car had done this but I had only owned it about 11/2 yrs.the guardrail saved us from going over a 300 ft.mountain into the river.thankful for that guardrail, but left without anything to drive.

- Manchester, KY, USA

problem #140

Oct 012013


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and the key became stuck in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence where the battery was replaced. The contact later attempted to start the vehicle and the key because fractured in the ignition switch. The contact was able to remove the fractured key and resumed by utilizing the spare key. The contact stated that the vehicle would exhibit an abnormal noise when attempting to start, which required numerous attempts. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags and electrical system). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 58,000.

- Garden, TX, USA

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