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.

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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
30 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
121 / 3
Average Mileage:
63,663 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 1 of 16)

problem #318

Nov 152016

Cobalt

  • 117,638 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This has happen to me 5 times all at different times. One time I was stationary in a parking lot. The others have been driving down city streets, turning corners and on the highway. I will be driving down the road or just start my car and the gauges just go nuts. My security light will come on my fuel gauge, RPM gauge. And mph gauge will just go to zero. The RPM gauge bounces up to 900-1000 then back to zero. The words on the dash will read low fuel (even if I actually have a full tank) and then it'll cut my power steering and I won't be able to turn at all or barely. I also have a video of it doing it while I was stationary. This is dangerous and has made me almost crash multiple times. And once I actually hit a curb in a parking lot when it decided to happen.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #317

Oct 292016

Cobalt

  • 32,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle lost power and all the doors unlocked. The contact stated that the power steering indicator illuminated. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road and was later taken to an independent mechanic who referred the contact to a local dealer. The contact made the manufacturer aware of the failure and was referred to a local dealer. The failure recurred, but was not diagnosed. The failure mileage was 32,500. The VIN was not provided.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #316

Sep 282016

Cobalt

  • miles
My vehicle has been turning off while I have been driving. This abrupt "turning off" started occurring even before the ignition switch was changed by GM but now it is becoming more frequent. Prior to the ignition switch being change, each time the car would turn off the airbag sensor would flash repeatedly. After the ignition switch was changed I notified the dealer that the airbag sensor remained lit, and they just told me that it was a faulty sensor and that it had nothing to do with what was fixed on the ignition. The dealer also told me that if I chose to have it fixed, it would be an out of pocket expense. I never took the car back to the dealer to have that repair. This month I was in a car accident on the interstate and the airbags did not deploy. Although th accident did occur because of the car turning off on me, I am concerned that the airbags did not deploy that day and that my car continues to turn off on me. It doesn't matter what speed the vehicle is going either, the vehicle turns itself off. It's has happened in normal traffic after attempting to cross and intersection, on the highway and even while making a turn. I really feel this could cause a major car accident if not repaired soon. I have taken my car to the shop to have it diagnosed but they cannot find what is wrong with the car. One mechanic said it was an electrical problem. Another mechanic said it could be the transmission. I keep getting conflicting diagnoses.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #315

Sep 162016

Cobalt

  • 119,870 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Had ignition switch replaced for recall about a yr ago. While driving on interstate car showed power steering in info line. Then odometer, speed, info numbers all stopped working. Pulled in gas station, car won't start, key won't come out of ignition. After a few mins, car started back up and now anti-theft light is on. Managed to drive tha car 100 mi. Back home but noise like lawnmower coming from front and felt like transmission stuck or slipping. Was terrified that car was gonna blow up or just stop and get hit by semi. The car has also just stopped a couple of times after having the ignition switch replaced. I had no problems with this until it was replaced. I did have the fuel leak happen and the electrical lights stop working and dim or get brighter with braking. This car is so dangerous to the drivers as well as public, it should not be in the road and consumers should not have to spend money they can't afford to fix a manufacturers screw-up.

- Corbin, KY, USA

problem #314

Aug 022016

Cobalt

  • 90,000 miles
Alarm sounds every time door is opened. It doesn't stop until key is put in ignition and turned. It doesn't matter whether it is opened with the fob or the key. Locks also randomly lock and unlock. This has been going on for about a year now. Why isn't there a recall on this? this apparently is a problem in this make of car.

- Mitchell, IN, USA

problem #313

Jul 222016

Cobalt

  • 154,000 miles
While driving the car at speed it continued to accelerate after taking foot off gas. The doors also started to lock and unlock and every light possible on the dash came on. Speedometer read zero even thought still moving.

- Hampton, TN, USA

problem #312

Jun 212016

Cobalt

  • 146,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 30 mph, the ignition key became lodged in the vehicle. The contact was able to remove the key by pressing shift and forcing the key out. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 146,000. The VIN was not available.

- Los Angelos, CA, USA

problem #311

Jun 082016

Cobalt

  • 85,296 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 85,296.

- Bladensburg, MD, USA

problem #310

May 242016

Cobalt

  • 199,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there was a lack of electrical power with the vehicle and it constantly shut off. The ABS, anti theft, brake, and power steering warning indicators illuminated. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system) and 14V171000 (electrical system); however, the parts to do the repair were not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 199,000. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Columbus, MS, USA

problem #309

May 012016

Cobalt

  • 134,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle suddenly would not accelerate and came to a complete stop; however, the engine did not shut off. Prior to the incident, the traction control and check engine lights illuminated. When the traction control light illuminated, the transmission jerked really hard. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the ECM needed reprogramming. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 134,000.

- Laporte, IN, USA

problem #308

Sep 142015

Cobalt

  • 43,652 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle's steering ability was diminishing steadily. The check power steering and check engine lights remained illuminated at all times. In addition, the speedometer failed to work. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the communication between the electronic control module and the power steering column was lost and needed replacement. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 43,652.

- Jeannette, PA, USA

problem #307

Apr 082016

Cobalt

  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated and the speedometer gauge failed to indicate the actual speed when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the electronic power steering gear box failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 112,000.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #306

Sep 102015

Cobalt

  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there were multiple failures with the vehcle. The contact mentioned that the power steering failed, which caused the steering wheel to become tight and extremely difficult to turn. The engine made an abnormal noise, the vehicle hesitated several times, and stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 14E021000 (electrical system), 14V171000 (electrical system), 14V047000 (air bags and electrical system), 10V073000 (steering), and NHTSA action number: PE10005 (steering). The approximate failure mileage was 145,000. The manufacturer was notified of the failures.

- Calumet Park, IL, USA

problem #305

Feb 232016

Cobalt

  • 105,000 miles
I attempted to start my vehicle and when it failed to start, I proceeded to remove the key from the ignition. However, upon attempting to turn the key backwards to remove it, it failed to come out. It remains stuck in the ignition.

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #304

Feb 182015

Cobalt

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 65 mph, the instrument panel failed. The contact also stated that the check engine, power steering assist, check fuel cap, and service engine soon warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed and repaired. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. On several occasions, the vehicle was difficult to start after several attempts. The contact also stated that the transmission module failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Sand Lakes, PA, USA

problem #303

Feb 192016

Cobalt

  • 97,000 miles
My car will not communicate with NJ dot computers for inspection and it will shut down the power steering at times and the transmission bucks and the gauges act up also the car rough idles and wants to stall and has.the dealer refuses to fix under their special circumstances not a recall but they said that Chevy Cobalt have a issue with communicating with the dot computers for inspection and same problem every time I go for state inspection last time it took 6 times for them to get it right.now apparently it wasn't it just was temp. The dealer tried to tell me they didn't work on it and knew nothing about the problem.finally agreed they did and there's a reprogramming fix their supposed to do but want at least an hour of labor to check it.after checking online there are tons of Cobalt with the same problem

- Audubon, NJ, USA

problem #302

Nov 012015

Cobalt

  • 131,982 miles
I had ignition switch recall work performed on my car. Following that, or perhaps due to increased mileage, I began having power problems with my Cobalt. On 10/19/15 my car was parked, wouldn't start and check engine light was on. Then it started but didn't have enough power to move/run. I had to have it towed - mileage was 131,982 at the time. Battery was good. The shop said it had PO300 codes - random misfires. They found cylinders 2 and 3 were not contributing power due to a bad ignition module. So the ignition module was replaced. I also had worn spark plugs replaced, as the shop recommended I do so. The car still had misfire codes and would hesitate when re-accelerating after stops, so I paid for a new fuel filter at the repair shop's recommendation. The hesitation continued but I couldn't afford further diagnostics/repairs. Within a couple of weeks of repair my car lost complete power while I was driving in traffic. Luckily, other drivers had time/space to react, but it could have caused a deadly accident. Due to finances, my brother checked the car for me and cleaned the throttle body - the only issue he could detect. It has run a bit better since then, but still exhibits hesitation after stops. I worry it may lose complete power again but I cant afford incurring further expense with trial and error repairs. Especially after reading online other Cobalt owners are having the same experience, and have been unable to get resolution despite multiple expensive trips to mechanics. I feel Chevrolet needs to investigate the electrical/power loss issues with Cobalts and cover needed repairs under a recall so Cobalt owners can drive with peace of mind. I'm submitting this complaint now because of a recent nbc news program where a young woman died when her Cobalt lost power in traffic, and this also occurred following the ignition switch recall work being done.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #301

Jan 232016

Cobalt

  • 158,979 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 35 mph, the check engine light, safety lock light, and power steering light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was able to be restarted; however, when the brakes were applied, the vehicle accelerated unexpectedly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the bcn module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 158,979. Updated 04/13/16

- West Demoines, IA, USA

problem #300

Jan 062016

Cobalt

  • 90,000 miles
After recall on ignition switch my car still stalls and the power locks go up and while driving and it sometimes will not come out of park

- Omar, WV, USA

problem #299

Oct 282015

Cobalt

  • miles
The ignition switch was supposedly changed, still having trouble starting the car. Difficult to steer, sensors aren't working. Stationary when trying to start the vehicle, sensor lights comes on when driving, city highway.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

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