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 12 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #883

Aug 152012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel as the vehicle began to jerk abnormally. The contact parked and restarted the vehicle, as the vehicle functioned properly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection however, they found no failures. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified but provided no assistance. The failure mileage was 57,000.

- Flint, MI, USA

problem #882

Nov 282012


  • 109,700 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled with the illumination of the power steering warning light. The contact tried to restart the vehicle but to no avail. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer or a mechanic for diagnosis or repairs. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 109,700.

- Lorado, TX, USA

problem #881

Nov 052012


  • 151,472 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering seized without warning. The contact shut off and restarted the vehicle to reset the power steering assist. The power steering was restored however, there was an abnormal clicking coming from the steering wheel. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and advised the contact that the vehicle was included in recall NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering:electric power assist system). The vehicle was not taken in for the completion of the recall repairs. The failure mileage was 151,472.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #880

Jul 012010


  • 48,800 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that after receiving repairs under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering: Electric power assist system) the steering wheel became hard to turn and the power steering light illuminated. The steering resumed to normal function after the engine was turned off for a brief moment. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and they advised to have the dealer performed a diagnostic. The vehicle was not repaired.the failure mileage was 48,800 and the current mileage was 74,400.

- Lewisburg, KY, USA

problem #879

Dec 242010


  • 90,000 miles
First time we had problem was christmas eve 2010 car stumbled. Check engine light appeared T\C light appeared. Car dinged power steering came up on info center all as we were on a country road on our way to our families christmas. We stopped shut car off my husband got out and checked all fluids and fuses all were ok then we. Started car again and everything was back to normal for quite a awhile he said it might have just got confused there. Then the problem popped up intermittently here and there.right around October 2011 not sure of exact date but me and 3 children where on our way across the state of Indiana to see my husband that was working out of town and about 100miles into trip the cars power steering went out and made the car very hard to maneuver lights came on. As did in late 2010 so I pulled over and turned car off and did as my husband did and everything was good. But when I turned car back on it still had lights on so I called my husband and he told me to try unhook battery for like 10 minutes then hook back up and I did that and luckily it worked and we made it to where he was staying and we never had anymore problems till 9/15/12 when I was driving to see my mother and it happened again but this time in heavy traffic at a stop light and this time had all same symptoms but also a new one the transmission wouldn't shift from low gear. And it won't go off my husband researched on internet and found recalls for Cobalts and numerous complaints of same steering problems but when I called GM and gave woman my VIN she stated no recalls for my vehicle I don't understand if it is the same make of vehicle same problems they can pick and choose who has a problem and who doesn't. I am gonna try to solve this by taking to GM customer service, but if they not willing to work with me I will be more than happy to sign onto a class action lawsuit.

- Lawrenceburg, IN, USA

problem #878

Jul 262011


  • 155,560 miles
I was driving home one rainy day, about 45mph, dash lit up to shift. I looked and I was already in 5th. Next second everything on dash went out. No speedometer, no shift light, no mileage or trip meter, nothing. Only thing on dash that works is tach and digital display says power steering. Already had an appointment for recall work for power steering assist motor, thought that maybe that was what was wrong so I kept appointment. When got back from dealer, they tell me they replaced power steering assist motor and they had noticed the dash display and had done scan and it showed the power steering motor is went out! bought this car for my daughter, to drive back in forth to school, scared for her to drive it the 90 miles a day she drives to college. Thought this was just an isolated case but after checking online, I see that this is a major defect in these cars. Something needs done before someone gets hurt or killed.

- Genoa, WV, USA

problem #877

Aug 112012


  • 103,000 miles


While driving my 2006 Chevy Cobalt when I lost power steering which made it difficult to control my car around sharp turns due to the fact that I was not expecting the power steering to just go out on me like that. This type of problem is very dangerous especially when it happens while driving. I have already had my power steering fixed once due to a past recall and here I am again having problems with the same thing again!

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #876

Jul 062012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 111,148 miles
Traction control light comes on and causes the car to shift very rough and steering wheel jerks.

- Painesville, OH, USA

problem #875

Jun 272012


  • 110,050 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was traveling 55 mph when the power steering failed. The power steering warning light illuminated after the failure. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 110,050.

- Hewett, WV, USA

problem #874

May 142012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 52,207 miles
GM case no.: [xxx]05/14/12- dropped off car @ ourisman Chevrolet, bowie, md, power steering light came on while driving. 05/15/12 by advisor, my car was fixed, power steering motor replaced. Drove car & power steering light came on, steering wheel barely turned, almost had an accident, & had a hard time accelerating. Took car for repair at dealership. Dealer found found communications errors, further diagnostics cost approximately $264 for diagnostics test. Cost for diagnostics waived depending on module to be repaired. Spoke w/ service advisor, told steering control module not recall item. Service supervisor denied the repair costs waived. Call from dealer, quoted repair price of for steering control module $1361.27. Spoke with GM customer service, investigated my complaint, forwarded to supervisor, dealer advised the repair of power steering control module not part of the recall, not part of the steering system, given GM case no. 71-1069830519. Dealer denied waiver of charges for diagnostics since the 1st quoted price for initial diagnostics was $150 to find problem and a diagnoses a non-recall item would be $265.63. Service manager tony & not waiver for diagnostics fee, power steering module could not have become faulty from the power steering motor. Advised dealer I was picking up my car, was told it was taken apart at that moment since they assumed I would have it fixed, gave no approval of repairs. I told dealer would pick up car 05/29/12, was going out of town, told was ok & it would be ready to pick up. Spoke further with supervisor from GM cust. Serv. Ctr., told dealer stated power steering module not a recall item & refused to repair. 05/29/12 picked up car, car had tow written on windshield, was told car would not be towed if left over the weekend. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #873

May 142012


  • 141,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph and attempting a right turn, the power steering failed. As a result, the steering wheel became very hard to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the repair failed to remedy the failure. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who advised that the steering column needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure and current mileage was 141,000.

- Garland , TX, USA

problem #872

Feb 082012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
My wife and grandson were in the car when power steering came on the dash. It caught her attention but didn't know really what had happened till she tried to turn and almost went in the ditch. We took it to the dealer and $700 paid to have the problem continue to recur. It comes and goes and if it is not a problem when we take it to the dealer they don't know what to do. All they say is it is in the wiring issue and think we should buy something else. I didn't know about all these problems till it occurred to us. We bought the car new and have like the 2006 Cobalt but this is the first I have heard they have a problem with the powersteering or wiring to the electric assist to the power steering. I am told they had a fix back in 2010 are we still qualified to have our car fixed under that recall. My son is going in the army in a couple weeks we wanted to let him have this car after he gets stationed somewhere but we can't give it to him when we are not trusting its safety.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #871

Feb 242012


  • 52,000 miles
I purchased a brand new 2006 Chevy Cobalt and haven't had problems until recently (2012). My problem started in February 2012 when heading to a doctor's appointment. Started the car and the power steering light came on. Started pulling car off of parking lot where I live and the car had a jerking/bucking sensation to it and then shut off on me. Had car towed to Chevy dealer and the car wouldn't duplicate the same problem so I got the car back. 9 days later I go out again and the car starts with the same problem - power steering light on; jerking sensation and the speedometer dropped from 35 mph to 0. car went back to Chevy dealership. Again, car would not duplicate problems. Got car back & since I have been scared to death to have this vehicle on the road, it has sat for 2 months. After getting GM involved, tried to take vehicle back to dealer and once again - power steering light on; jerking/bucking sensation; clicking in gear console. 3 times now I have had this car back to dealership and now they decide it's the body control module (BCM), yet they indicated that on my first trip, that a stored code showed them the BCM was not communicating. Getting GM involved has been a waste of time because naturally since the warrant is off of the car, they don't want to do anything to soak up the cost of replacing this module which is going to cost me $685.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #870

Apr 262012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
We bought this car on Jan 21 of 2011 used at john howard in morgantown wv and 3 months later the power steering light comes on and beeps and there is no power steering. This has happened 3 to 4 times since. I contacted john howard but they don't want to take care of it unless I pay for it. There was a recall on this part they are saying failed (or failing) and when I contacted the Chevy dealer they say they are no longer responsible for it because 19000S mile ago it was replaced and once the recall was done then it is our problem. After talking to them longer they suggested I go to a GM dealer have it tested on my expense and if its the same thing that the recall was then they would talk about replacing it on their charge. After going to harry green in clarksburg they tell me I am responsible for whole thing that the part is out of warranty, something GM did not tell me. My thing is if they are having this much trouble with the power steering on this car, which they are, I should be no where responsible for their mistake they made over and over again. Instead I pay over $8000 for a car I expect to last longer than 3 months without pumping money into it last and I have to refix a recall that didn't work to begin with. Some where some how someone should be responsible and I don't feel that it should be me.

- Idamay, WV, USA

problem #869

May 072012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and I was driving today about 45 mph on the main St and then I was going to turn to my house I reduce my speed and when I turn my steering wheel I couldn't cuz it got lock I almost hit the car the was on front of me and then the light on my dashboard turn on saying power steering idk what to do I got really scare im not going to drive the car no more I came home and told my husband to check it and he told me that the car dont even have power steering fluid idk if this car have a recall on the power steering please help me!

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #868

Apr 022012


  • 58,494 miles
The contact owns 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed while driving 35 mph. The dealer was notified, who stated that there was a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering: Electric power assists system). The vehicle was repaired under the recall in August 2010 when the vehicle had 58,494 miles on it. The dealer stated that they would not repair the vehicle for a second time unless the contact assists with the expenses. The manufacturer was notified, who stated that they would not authorize the recall repairs a second time. They offered no further assistance. The failure mileage was 58,494 and the current mileage was 64,326.

- Beckley, WV, USA

problem #867

Mar 142012


  • 53,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed, giving resistance when attempting to turn the steering wheel. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 53,500 and the current mileage was 54,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Pheonix, AZ, USA

problem #866

Mar 032012


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the steering wheel seized without warning while attempting a turn. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the failure where the dealer was unable to duplicate the failure. The steering camshaft sensor was replaced, but the failure was not corrected. The steering continued to seize sporadically when the contact attempted a turn. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 41,923.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #865

Jan 012012


  • 10,600 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle exhibited abnormal jerking and began pulling to one side. The dealer inspected the vehicle but was unable to diagnose the failure. The failure recurred with the addition of the steering wheel violently shaking. The contact allowed the vehicle to cool and the failure subsided. Two months later while driving 60 mph, the failure recurred with the illumination of the power steering warning light. In addition, the vehicle independently decelerated. The vehicle was towed back to the same dealer who again, was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure persisted. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 10,600.

- Corpus Cristy, TX, USA

problem #864

Aug 252011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering, tire traction and check engine warning lights were illuminated. The automatic door locks would lock and unlock the doors independently and without warning, and the speedometer would become inoperative. The contact would have to shut the vehicle off and restart for the vehicle to perform as normal. The dealer repaired various components unknown to the contact on several occasions however, the failure would recur. The manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 100,000 and the current mileage was 150,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Pearland, TX, USA

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