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:
66 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
59,850 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 11 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #903

Jun 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


Power steering unit failed on vehicle. Car had significant trouble turning corner but did manage to make turn. After making the turn, the wheel would not return to center causing the vehicle to strike curb. Contacted Chevrolet as there is a recall on some 2005-2010 Cobalt models but was told vehicle not covered under recall despite the power steering unit being bad.

- Hamlin, NY, USA

problem #902

May 172012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph, the power steering assist failed to properly operate while the traction and check engine warning lights illuminated. The failure recurred twice. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was advised to the contact that the power steering module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #901

Nov 012011


  • 60,000 miles
Vehicle has been having problems with steering since the power steering assist motor was replaced per the recall. Vehicle was serviced about 6 months ago by a Chevrolet dealership because the steering wheel was locking up, and the front end was rattling. The following parts were replaced: Front stabilizer end links, steering column, and serpentine belt. The steering has since developed a delayed response and requires full turns from center to end to turn right or left around corners. The turning radius has significantly declined. The car also pulls right or left when braking if the steering wheel is off center. The rattling from the front end also has resurfaced and is bad when going over bumps. Current mileage is 83,000.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #900

Feb 282013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 156,231 miles


When driving the gauge cluster lights up while both the mph and RPM needles jump around. Total loss of power steering as well as the transmission goes into limp mode. Lost control on freeway thankfully no one were in the 2 lanes that the car veered into at the time. Was able to stop the car in the service lane. There are many complaints of this same issue.we have received no recall information and we are not under the current recall for whatever reason. Same issues as original recall fits in years recalled for...why not include us? took the Liberty of paying for both the eps motor and module with no success. I am currently out $1,500 this is not fair.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #899

Feb 212013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The steering mechanism on the vehicle has become faulty, fortunately this occurred on leaving my house and I was not traveling at speed.. as one drives the steering begins to pull heavily to the right and one has to forcibly hold the steering wheel to keep the vehicle from leaving the road. I took the vehicle to a local mechanic. The initial thought was that this related to the rack and pinion. This was replaced but didn't solve the problem. The mechanic made some inquiries and found that the vehicle had been subjected to a recall for faulty steering. After further examination, he found that the issue related to a sensor in the steering column which had become faulty.since a recall had been carried out in August 2012, he suggested I refer the matter back to the vendor who performed the recall. The vendor jimmy gray of southaven have told me that the recall was only for a steering motor replacement and that the sensor replacement was not covered. Apparently one needs to replace the entire steering column when the sensor fails. I contacted GM and they are supporting jimmy gray and refusing to replace the sensor as part of the recall. The issue related to the motor assembly may have been wrong in the first place, it could have been the senor all along causing the problem. It would be greatly appreciated if you could look into this matter and advise. This vehicle belongs to my son, I cannot let him drive it the way it is at present.

- Olive Branch, MS, USA

problem #898

Dec 012011


  • miles
Power steering shuts off when started, especially in cold temperatures. Even when the car runs for a few minutes to warm up, steering wheel is still rigid and stiff. Definitely not driveable. Gears shift extremely rough and violently. Unsafe in all situations, especially stop and go traffic. At idle it nearly stalls. Traction control light comes on when all these things exist.

- Munhall, PA, USA

problem #897

Feb 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 120,050 miles


Power steering light comes on and steering wheel becomes hard while driving.

- Anton, TX, USA

problem #896

Jan 092012


  • miles
I bought the car in November of 2011. Nit even 3 months later, a very loud. Clunky noise started every time I go over a bump no matter how big or small. I've been to multiple mechanics and have been told my sway bar links, as well as my outer tie rod ends are bad. Then another said it was my bushings. I just want the noise to stop and want to know why is the car sound like its falling apart? very disappointed with Chevrolet for. Not the best 1st car.

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #895

Jan 092013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
While driving to work, steering wheel had been shaking (55mph). Getting off the belt line, traffic came to a sudden stop. I brake, but the car continued to shake and didn't brake. Had to pull to the side to avoid hitting the car in front of me. Car would not accelerate when traffic started up, and I had to turn the ignition off and restart. Car shook badly for a few seconds, then seemed fine. A few days later, driving into my parking lot (10mph) the car's brakes locked up for no reason and I barely got it into a parking space. Took it in to the dealership the car was purchased at and was told the rotors, brakes, and calipers would need to be replaced. Had another mechanic look at it and had the brakes and rotors replaced. Car drove fine. Six weeks later, driving on the highway (60 mph), slowed down to turn onto another road, and brakes were out. Had another mechanic look at the car, brakes and rotors are worn down again, as well as calipers and brake line. Road conditions were clear at the time of each incident.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #894

Jan 302013


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, the steering wheel failed. The contact stated that he attempted to steer but had to provide extra force to steer off the road. The contact looked under the hood and noticed that there was no power steering fluid. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 60,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #893

Feb 142013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 99,500 miles


Steering wheel became very difficult to turn while on a freeway entrance ramp. Fortunately I was able to retain control of vehicle. No further issues until 8 days later when again the vehicle become very difficult to steer. I consider the malfunction of the power steering unit to be a dangerous issue. I called the GM help line 2/23/2013 and was told the vehicle was recalled at 54,000 miles to address the steering issue and any needed repairs at this time will be at my expense.

- Lakeside, MI, USA

problem #892

Feb 212013


  • 69,372 miles
My key is stuck in the ignition. The car is off however, the lights and radio will not turn off.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #891

Feb 192013


  • 101,349 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, there was a loss of power steering assist, which caused difficulty in turning the steering wheel. There was no warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering) March 2011 however, the failure recurred and the vehicle was not repaired for the steering malfunction. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 101,349.

- Stickney, IL, USA

problem #890

Feb 102013


  • 95,623 miles
As I was driving down a highway, my power steering warning appeared on me dic. It kept flashing and the traction control system light came on and disengaged the cruise control. After pulling to the side of the road, shutting off my car and restarting it, the vehicle worked fine. Upon starting it in the morning the power steering went out completely. Restarting the car a few times fixed it, later that day the power steering went out again in town as I was making a turn. I understand that this is not an uncommon problem with Cobalts in general as many people have complained about this particular problem.

- Star City, AR, USA

problem #889

Jan 102013


  • 114,400 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering) and since the repair, the steering wheel failed to lock while the vehicle was off. The contact also stated that while in reverse, the vehicle goes in the opposite direction that it is being steered and the steering wheel continues to turn as if there was no wheel base. The failure mileage was 114,400 and the current mileage was 115,000.

- Slorssant, MO, USA

problem #888

Jan 242013


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the power steering and speedometer failed. Also, the contact stated that the transmission would not shift out of gear and the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for a diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage and current mileage was 42,000.

- Largo , FL, USA

problem #887

Jan 242013


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph and making a turn, the power steering warning indicator illuminated and the steering wheel became extremely difficult to maneuver. The contact also stated that the light illuminated until the engine was shut down. The vehicle was able to be driven by applying excessive force to the steering wheel. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Mayfield , KY, USA

problem #886

Jan 112013


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, all of the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated and the power steering failed causing the steering wheel to lock. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the failure could not be replicated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (electric power assist system). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 80,000.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #885

Dec 082012


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while completing a turn at 40 mph, the steering wheel seized causing the vehicle to crash into a tree. The contact sustained minor neck injuries. The failure was assessed by a dealer however, the dealer could not diagnose the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 102,000.

- Independence, VA, USA

problem #884

Oct 282009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Power steering locked up while driving on a road at around 35-40mph. And the car ran into a rock on the side of the road and flipped upside-down. There was no severe injury but the car was reported as total loss.

- Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA

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