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 17 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #783

Sep 132008


  • 0 miles


The power steering system went out on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Unsure exactly when it went out.

- Washington, UT, USA

problem #782

Apr 242010


  • 63,967 miles
Power steering failure car veered to left hitting oncoming car.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #781

Dec 242009


  • miles
I began having problems with the electrical power steering assist in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt in December 2009. The power steering indicator would come on the message screen, followed by a dinging sound & difficulty steering my vehicle. I learned of the "voluntary" recall of my model vehicle on a news broadcast & decided to await written notification from Chevy. The letter never came, but the problem has worsened. My car is becoming increasingly difficult to steer & I called Chevy about it yesterday. I was informed that my car's VIN isn't included in the recall & I would be responsible for the repairs as I shouldn't be having the problem. I haven't had the car repaired because I've had estimates of $90 to look at it & steering replacement costs ranging from $1200-$2000. I can't afford the repairs right now, but am afraid of a possible accident as it's especially difficult turning around curves.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #780

Apr 152010


  • 37,743 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed immediately after the vehicle was turned on. The steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact had to turn the vehicle off and after it was restarted, the power steering seemed to reset and function normally. The contact was previously involved in a crash twice due to the steering failure which made it difficult to control the vehicle. The contact didnt mention if there were any injuries involved in the previous crash. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that he would have to pay for the repairs. The current and failure mileages were 37,743.

- Kings Hill St Croix, VI, USA

problem #779

Apr 242010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 72,200 miles
I was driving down a dirt road traveling between 15 and 20 mph. I had made it safely up the road and down the road till I started to turn a corner. It was a blind corner and as I started to turn I noticed the steering was really tough to control. I had lost power steering, the change was so sudden and it caused the steering wheel to jerk that I lost control of the car and slide across the road and into a very deep ditch. The angle I impacted caused damage to my front driver side bumper, fender, driver side front and rear door panels and rear bumper. It also cracked my bumper in two places and broke part of the driver side splash guard loose. There looked to be damage to the driver side headlight as well. I have contacted the dealership where I bought the car and they have order a replacement motor for the car and referred me to the GM customer service to find out whether the other repairs that need to be done will be taken care of by GM. On a side note I received a letter from GM issuing the recall and stating that I will be sent a letter when parts become available.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #778

Apr 102010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
My powersteering went out on me as I was approaching my brother's home. The car started to get slow and then it would not turn. It was very hard to turn and it was very scary. I drive about 30 miles to work and 30 miles back home and that is not safe at all to drive. Something has to be done about this matter before someone gets seriously hurt.

- Chicago Heights, IL, USA

problem #777

Apr 242010


  • 55,438 miles


I was backing out of my driveway when my power steering went out. My car beeped at me 3 times before the steering went out and beeped 3 times when the steering came back on. It was out for about 5 seconds but I had my 9 month old daughter in the car and I do not feel safe driving knowing my power steering could go out at any second. I received a letter from chevorlet stating there has been a recall but that I need to wait for another letter that says the parts to correct the situation are in.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #776

Feb 192010


  • 74,600 miles
Purchased 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt in January on the 13 of the month later the steer column start locking up. Contact a General Motors and chevorlet service department and was told there as a recall on the power steering it happen every time you drive under 15-20 miles a hour it goes to manual driving very hard to turnthe steering wheel as long as your driving 30-40 miles it has power steering, I was told that chevorlet has not found a way to correct this problem and it was going to a be recalled. I was also told if I brought it in before the recall I would have to pay for it and sign a form that said the dealership would not be held liable after it was fixed. It has been three month since I spoke to GM and the dealership and I haven't heard anything about the recall. This is very dangerous I have a infant and wife that some time rides in my card and if I have to turn quickly I might not be able to. Also if someone or a car turn in front of me I might not be able to turn the car because of the power steering being out in this vehicle. Nothing has been done by the dealership to fix this problem as of today.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #775

Apr 232010


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving at speeds of 65 mph there was an unusual noise and the power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle would intermittently lose power steering. The dealer would not perform a diagnostic or further investigate the failure. He advised he was unable to make repairs and advised that he contact the NHTSA. The manufacturer had not been contacted. The failure and current mileages were 103,000. The VIN was not available.

- Edwards, MS, USA

problem #774

Apr 162010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 95,814 miles
The power steering light came on, on my 06' Chevy Cobalt and the steeling was hard to turn in any direction. I had to pull over because I had my son with me. I don't think it safe to drive my car anymore.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #773

Jan 012010


  • 50,000 miles


Chevy Cobalt power steering failure.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #772

Aug 012008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Intermediate power steering goes out and message is displayed to service power steering, this happens every time I drive the vehicle. Loud clunking noise is coming from steering column.

- Denton, MD, USA

problem #771

Jun 162009


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when turning in any direction, he noticed that the power steering failed and the vehicle jolted. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership but the dealer refused to perform the repair for recall (10V073000 regarding steering:electric power assist system) because her vehicle was not included. The contact then called the manufacturer who assigned her a case worker who advised her to make an appointment with the dealer at her expense. The VIN was unavailable at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 45,000. The current mileage was approximately 56,000.

- Summers, CT, USA

problem #770

Apr 052010


  • 47,900 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph when the power steering failed without warning. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle began to operate normally. The failure occurred sporadically. The contact experienced the identical failure as mentioned in the recall under NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering: Electric power assist system). The vehicle had not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 47,900. The current mileage was 48,000.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #769

Mar 092010


  • 48,200 miles
Driving on a residential road in a 35 - 25 mph zone. Proceeded to brake into a turn traveling at approximately 15-20mph and came upon a stopped truck in my lane. The driver of the truck was loading a ladder into his vehicle. I applied my brake and proceed to enter the other lane to avoid the truck. As a entered the other lane my power steering light came on and I had difficulty controlling the car and keeping it in the opposite lane of traffic going straight. At this point I am going about 3-5 mph and I am trying to force the wheel to the right. I was unable to keep the car in the opposite lane of traffic and I proceeded to hit the embankment on the left hand side of the road traveling at a very low speed. Felt like a slow motion crash. My vehicle struck the embankment on the left hand side causing minor damage to the exterior of the vehicle. The impact was such that my radiator to the car was bent and needed to be replaced. After my vehicle came to a stop the check engine light and the power steering light remained illuminated. I was able to reverse the vehicle and drive it to a safe location on the side of the road and call police. I have not seen either of these lights since the accident and my car was fixed.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #768

Dec 232009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the power steering failed. The contact pulled over, shut the vehicle off and restarted it. The power steering still failed intermittently. The vehicle was not inspected when the complaint was filed. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000. The current mileage was approximately 63,800.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #767

Apr 042010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 106,443 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt VIN# [xxx] intermittent loss of power steering. Determined that recall for this problem had been initiated 3/10/10 and contacted Chevrolet for assistance. Chevrolet claimed my car was not affected. I invite them to try to drive my car never knowing when the steering might go out. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Eureka Springs, AR, USA

problem #766

Jan 022010


  • miles
I was driving slow around a bend and my car lost complete control spun around three times almost hit a bus, then the steering wheel locked completely on me. I had to try to coast it down the hill to pull over for traffic. It has done this three times so far with the spinning, even on days that there is dry roads. I also parked the car went into a drugstore and came out and the car steering was totally locked as well. I don't understand why this is doing it and I feel that this is a unsafe car as I Transport my children around. I no longer am confident in that car. It also slides all over the road in winter and I also have studded tires.

- Averill Park, NY, USA

problem #765

Mar 082010


  • miles
The power steering just started turning off. Sometimes when I am making sharp turns, other times it just shuts off at random. I would say it happens every other day that I am driving. It makes it a safety hazard because it is almost impossible to make quick or sharp turns, and is just overall hard to drive.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #764

Mar 292010


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at approximate speeds of 45 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the warning panel, immediately followed by a loss of power steering control. The contact then shut the engine off and then restarted the vehicle. The power steering had reset itself and was operating normally. The failure mileage was 46,000 and the current mileage was 46,700.

- Fortworth, TX, USA

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