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:
68 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
60,279 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 18 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #763

Apr 032010


  • 9,000 miles
Me and my kids ages 7 and 5 were headed home when my car locked up around a curve and then power steering light come on, thank god I was able to stop!! this car could have cost our lives.... I looked up my car on the internet and the 2006 Chevy Cobalt has been recalled!! how bout that..... what can be done about this? I don't know about these vehicles they have become dangerous I'm kind of scared to own a newer model car, that makes Toyota and Chevy that has been recalled. And they are not little problems!!!! are they using cheaper parts or not testing them right... they need to figure out something or it could cost my kids and my life... and no car is worth that!!! the company needs to be alot more concerned about there products... I haven't called the company yet but I read all the reports and some people had to pay for Chevy screw up and that is not fair to me or my kids!!!

- Briggsville, AR, USA

problem #762

Mar 312010


  • 47,500 miles
Power steering stops working while driving car

- Alden, NY, USA

problem #761

Apr 012010


  • 0 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 15 mph, the power steering failed while the contact was making a turn. The contact was unable to control the vehicle when it crashed into a concrete base. One passenger was injured and a police report was filed. The air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop; the contact had not called the manufacturer when the complaint was filed. The VIN was unavailable when the complaint was filed. The current and failure mileages were unknown.

- Cape Carl, FL, USA

problem #760

Mar 222010


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ls. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the power steering failed and it began to malfunction on a daily basis. The contact called the dealer and was informed that the power steering failure was electrical. The vehicle had not been taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing when the complaint was filed. The current and failure mileages were approximately 88,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #759

Mar 302010


  • 74,951 miles
Electric power steering went out today on my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. It was working fine this morning, and I got off of work, went to start my car, once I started moving, I noticed that my power steering didn't work anymore. Does GM have a recall for this yet? I am not paying money to fix this problem, it is a manufacturer defect and they need to recall it so I can get it fixed.

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #758

Feb 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the power steering failed and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The failure occurred intermittently. The manufacturer advised the contact that there were no related recalls for her VIN and would not provide any assistance. The failure mileage was 48,000 and the current mileage was 58,000. Updated 6/1/10 updated 06/04/10.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

problem #757

Feb 272010


  • 67,000 miles
My 2006 Chevy Cobalt at time is hard to turn a low speed. I talked to the dealer about the problem. He said he could not tell me if my car was part of the recall or not. He also told me I should be be getting a waring lighton my dash

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #756

Mar 292010


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at approximately 35 mph, the vehicle lost power steering which made it extremely difficult to turn the steering wheel. The same failure occurred about 300 times. The vehicle had not been taken to the dealership at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 67,000.

- Sandusky, OH, USA

problem #755

Feb 282010


  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25mph to 35mph the power steering goes out. As the power steering goes out the vehicle is being pull to the side of the road turned off and on and then the steering would reset itself. The GM manufacture was call and inform contact his VIN is not included in the recall and there is nothing they can do in regards to the failure. The vehicle was never taken to the dealer for a diagnostic check. The failure mileage was 26,

- Beaver, PA, USA

problem #754

Mar 262010


  • 61,000 miles
My 2006 Chevrolet colbalt's power steering stopped working, causing loss of control

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #753

Jan 012009


  • miles
My son owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. GM has elected not to recall his car at this time even though he has experienced loss of power steering while driving. His car has around 60000+ miles. If he shuts the car off and waits a few minutes he regains power steering. I am not sure how often this occurs be cause he is at school. GM gave him a case number and said he could have a diagnostic preformed. Why should he have to pay for this and why are they being selective on cars. Do not have specific date on failures.

- Vicksburg, MS, USA

problem #752

Mar 262010


  • 86,500 miles
I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Well to begin, I initially had an issue with my shift column, which I researched and found out it was a common issue with this vehicle. It would cause my key to get stuck in the ignition. I took it to the delearship and they replace the whole column. Then a a couple of week later, my vehicle was accelerating really fun, I just blew it off for a moment, until I then tried to put my car in reverse one day, and it would not go anywhere. I took it to the delearship and they told me my transmission is slipping, at 86,000 miles. The dealearship has my car, and is trying to figure out if it's even worth fixing. Im also wondering if this problem could have been caught the intial time they fixed the vehicle, and figured it was my shifting column, because even with my transmission slipping, it also affected the shifting column. One other problem I have had with the vehicle is the air bag sensor, I have not got this fixed yet, because the dealearship wants to charge $99 just to see exactly what's causing my airbag sensor to not come on, when I have passengers with me.

- Houston, TX, USA

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