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:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,883 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 10 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Jun 262012


  • 65,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there was a fuel leak above the fuel tank. The vehicle was taken to dealer but was not inspected or repaired. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 09V419000 (fuel system, gasoline: Delivery: Fuel pump) but did not confirm if the vehicle was included in the recall. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue however no further assistance was provided. The current and failure mileage was 65,000.

- Geneva, NY, USA

problem #10

Jun 212012


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that there was an overpowering odor of gasoline fuel once she exited the vehicle. After further investigation, the contact discovered a small puddle of gasoline under the vehicle. The vehicle was inspected by a personal mechanic who informed the contact that the modular reservoir assembly was cracked. The contact was informed of NHTSA campaign id number: 09V419000 (fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump) however since she lived in Missouri the vehicle was not eligible for repairs under the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 61,000.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #9

Jun 082012


  • 65,000 miles
I was on my way home from picking my cousins up from school, I had the windows up with the air on, as they was getting in the car I started to smell gas, so I paid it no mind drop them off, but when I made it home I had a trail of gas behind me and no gas in the car, I am a smoker I thank god that I didn't smoke that day.I am scared to drive my car.this the first Chevy I have every had, I see that there has been a recall on that same make and model and year, because of the fuel leaks and GM is fixing them. I really like my car but wish that they can fix it, don't know who to call, who to talk to.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #8

Jun 232012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 76,400 miles


For a little over two weeks, we have smelled gasoline around the car after driving. The odor seemed to be around the tank fill. I frequently re-tightened the cap, thinking perhaps it was loose and the fumes were coming from there, or perhaps some gas had spilled in an odd place when the tank was filled. Then, last weekend during a particularly hot week here in Ohio, I opened my trunk to put the groceries in and the trunk was reeking with gas fumes! I am very glad there was not an ignition source close by, as I am not sure what would have happened! this strong smell persisted the rest of the hot weekend. At home, I left the trunk open to air it out. The weather cooled last Monday and I have not smelled gas since. Also the gas tank is now only half full. My mechanic looked at the car today and feels that the problem is likely the fuel pump, as there is evidence of leakage. The car is still running and until the leak becomes more problematic we will most likely hold off on repairs as they will be expensive. Still, with the weather getting hot again, I am nervous about driving this vehicle. The strong smell of gasoline makes me ill and uncomfortable. I can't believe it is safe to smell gasoline that strongly. I called my local GM dealer and had my VIN number checked to be sure it was not included in the existing recall for defective fuel pumps. It was not.

- Danville, OH, USA

problem #7

Jun 082012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
My car has been smelling and leaking fuel from the fuel pump. Checked everywhere for leaks, but found none. I did find a previous recall on this matter, but upon contacting Chevy was advised my vehicle's VIN was not covered by the prior recall.

- Beggs, OK, USA

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problem #6

Oct 122011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Getting gasoline smell, upon investigating found that the fuel pump return fitting was leaking, this is a plastic fitting on the pump head and cannot be replaced without replacing the complete fuel pump. Contacted dealer (3) different dealers in my area and was told repeatedly that even though there was a recall on some of the pumps my particular VIN number was not covered, however they might consider a cost offset but I would have to make an appointment to have it looked at and it would be a chargeable estimate.. this is a safety concern, if I did not happen to smell the fuel it could have been a catastrophic event.

- Toano, VA, USA

problem #5

May 172012


  • 135,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the vehicle was parked, the contact smelled a strong odor of fuel inside and outside of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that the fuel pump would need to be replaced. There was a recall under the NHTSA campaign id number 09V419000 fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump). The vehicle was ineligible for repair under the recall due to the VIN and exceeding the specified mileage. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 135,000.

- Rosamond, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 012012


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that she smelled fuel coming from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic who inspected the failure and informed her that there was a leak in the fuel tank. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 09V419000 (fuel system, gasoline: Delivery: Fuel pump). The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Roseville, MN, USA

problem #3

Mar 012012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the smell of fuel was emitting from the exterior of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic and the mechanic confirmed that the fuel pump needed to be replaced after a leak was discovered. The contact stated that the failure was similar to a recall under NHTSA campaign id number :09V419000 ( fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump) but the contact could not confirm if the VIN was included in the recall. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired and the VIN was unavailable. The failure and the current mileages were 80,000.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #2

Mar 012012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 49,145 miles
I just purchased this car on Feb.19,2012. When my dad and I were driving it that first week, we often smelled gas, especially when it started and after we got home and turned it off. I was so excited to have my 1st new (used) car, I forgot to look into it. My friends kept mentioning that gas smell, especially when they sat in the back seat. So my father laid underneath, put his hand under the gas pan over the fuel pump and it was leaking gas. When we looked this up on the internet, it showed us this is a national recall problem for all 2006 and 2007 Cobalts. I do not want my car to blow up with me in it !! please advise...where do we get this diagnosed" and will they handle the expense? it says all states are not covered for expense. Why? and how do I find out where this car originated"

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #1

Feb 292012


  • miles
Had been noticing a gas smell for awhile but didn't think much of it until I was failed for inspection the other day for a fuel leak. The dealership wanted 100 dollars to fix it and anywhere from 200 to 1000 to fix it they said so I had my mechanic friend help me drop the gas tank when we discovered gas on the fuel tank to find that its leaking from the fuel pump on top of the gas tank. After some research I found that this is a problem that numerous Cobalt owners are having and actually has been recalled for only certain VIN's in certain states. I don't see why the recall would not be to all cars that GM put the faulty fuel pump in. Not only is this a very costly fix due to the amount of labor involved in getting to the fuel pump but even more so it is a very serious safety risk and I don't think that GM should be able to get away without having to honor a recall of sorts to all cars they put this faulty fuel pump in.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

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