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 21 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #703

Feb 262010


  • 59,260 miles


My power steering failed while I was on the freeway on Friday afternoon. "power steering" flashed on my dashboard digital screen, and the wheel stiffened up. The power steering did not come back on through the remainder of my drive. Now every time I turn on my car, the power steering works for about one minute, and then it fails again. I am now having to crank my wheel to park, drive on neighborhood streets, anything that requires slower speeds. I had heard that there may be a recall, and would like to wait to see if this repair can be done free of charge. It is an enormous inconvenience and makes me feel unsafe behind the wheel of my own car.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #702

Feb 252010


  • 45,100 miles
I drive a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt and while driving home from college my "power steering" light flashed on and my steering wheel immediately tightened up. I was going about 65mph on a rt. 202 in Pennsylvania. I struggled to get off of the ramp because the power steering had tightened up and made turning so difficult. I went to pep boys to get power steering fluid but was informed that the vehicle has electrical power steering and only the manufacturer could do the repair. My car just passed 45,000 miles. I am very upset that I am being so inconvenienced with this burden. I did not pay all this money for a vehicle to begin to break down prior 100,000 miles. When I got home I wanted to look up how much the would cost me and came across many other Cobalt owners experiencing the same issues. I am so shocked that a recall has not occurred yet. I would like to see a recall in the future since I guess that it will not be a cheap fix. Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope you make the correct decision.

- Runnemede, NJ, USA

problem #701

Feb 262010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 70,546 miles
I purchased a used 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, in April, 2009 for my daughter to drive. On Friday, February 26, 2010, she was making a sharp left turn, when her power steering failed to work. She stopped the car, turned it off, and when she re-started it, the power steering began working again. She was about 35 miles from home, and had no choice but to drive it. I called our local Chevy dealer and was informed that many complaints of this problem had been reported, and NHTSA was investigating. The power steering continued to shut off and on intermediately more than 8 or 10 times over the 35 mile trip. We took it to the service department on Saturday, February 27, 2010 and paid $47 for a diagnostic check. It was found that steering motor is failing. I believe that this is a major safety issued, and would appreciate a full investigation being conducted by your Agency. A recall should be issued at once, as this seems to be a common problem among Cobalt owners, and, as I am sure you realize, is an extreme safety issue.

- Labelle, FL, USA

problem #700

Nov 262009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 28,451 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving 10 mph and attempted to make a left turn, she noticed that the check engine light illuminated, moments later the vehicle no longer had power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact had the power steering motor replaced. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 28,451. Updated 04/01/10 the steering motor was replaced. Updated 06/28/10

- Flagler Beach, FL, USA

problem #699

Nov 122009


  • 57,000 miles
While driving my 2006 Chevy Cobalt, the power steering light came on and immediately I lost my power steering. I was on a secondary road and almost collided head on with an on coming vehicle. For a while you could turn off the ignition and restart the vehicle and the power steering would engage, but as of now, I have complete malfunction and have not had power steering in almost 4 month! despite numerous complaints(900,000) gmac has yet to acknowledge a problem or recall the vehicle. The repair is in excess of $800 dollars. The car is extremely hard to handle and a danger on the road.

- Clinton, TN, USA

problem #698

Nov 132009


  • 42,000 miles
Car has always pulled to the right. On night of November 13, 2009, I was making a right turn going approximately 5 miles per hour. Next thing I knew I had no control over the steering and went up over a curb and could not get off it or steer away from it.

- Swartz Creek, MI, USA

problem #697

Oct 252008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,575 miles


Feb. 28, 2010 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls sedan 4 cylinder 4 door automatic transmission I purchased the 2006 Chevy Cobalt brand new from a Chevy dealer. I fully maintained and serviced the vehicle as required and when necessary. On October 25, 2008 I was driving the 2006 Chevy Cobalt and I was driving onto the cross county parkway heading eastbound when the vehicles steering system failed thus causing me to lose control of the vehicle thus crashing the vehicle onto the parkways guardrail. I was very shaken, the vehicle sustained serious damage, and the county police was called to the scene. A police report was filed soon thereafter. The 2006 Chevy Cobalt had to be towed off the parkway and back to my home. GM should really investigate the Chevy Cobalt for steering system failure.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #696

Feb 242010


  • 48,700 miles
My power steering went out on me for the first time a few days ago when I was in the middle of accelerating on a curved ramp to merge into traffic on the highway. It caused me to run off the road and was very difficult to control the steering after that. The power steering light flashed on the dashboard and at the soonest stoplight I turned the car off and back on and then the problem was fixed. In the past four days since the problem began, the power steering has failed at least twice a day. It seems to fail when I am accelerating and/or turning. It has not happened at slow speeds yet - mainly on the highway. It's very scary and has caused me to run off the road several times and nearly sideswipe cars from losing control of my car in the my lane. The scariest part to me is the surprise of the onset. I've been in the middle of making a turn at each failure and it causes me to lose control of my car. I am contacting the dealership tomorrow for information on repairing the problem. I have about 48,000 miles on the vehicle so it's no longer under warranty.

- Surfside Beach, SC, USA

problem #695

Dec 012009


  • 115,000 miles
My 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt had a sudden loss of steering on more than one occasion while driving. I could stop the ca and turn it off for a few minutes and then restart it and the power steering would be ok for awhile. Whenever the power steering failed the car was extremely difficult to steer and could have resulted in a crash while I was driving at a speed of 70mph!

- Hillsville , VA, USA

problem #694

Feb 232010


  • 61,000 miles
My 2006 Chevy Cobalt is having power steering issues. The car has become hard to turn with out hitting the curb or almost hitting other cars, as well as pulling to the side of the road to avoid an accident and getting out of an ambulance, fire engine, or police car's way. This has become a concern to me as many inexperienced drivers I know have one, because it is liked by younger drivers, and they might not know how to avoid an accident with the power steering acting up on them. This problem should be looked at before it causes injury to people.

- Fleming Island , FL, USA

problem #693

Feb 152010


  • 54,473 miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalts power steering just went out for no apparent reason it has been working perfectly fine but now it decides to come off and on as it pleases. This is an issue it seems for alot more people then just me when researched about this model to find thousands more with this same problem it is a safety issue for me my pregnant wife and my two year old daughter and should be taken care of.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #692

Feb 282010


  • 53,000 miles
The traction control symbol showed up on the computer while I was driving. Then the wheel locked up and the computer screen said power steering. The car kept "jumping" forward the whole ride to my destination. It was near impossible to get there, and I had to leave my car there because it is not safe to drive. This seems to be a consistent problem with Chevy Cobalts. A recall needs to be issued. It is unsafe to drive a car with no power steering. Someone is going to get in an accident. Something must be done.

- Aston, PA, USA

problem #691

Feb 272010


  • 69,928 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt power steer failure.

- Rainier, OR, USA

problem #690

Jul 052009


  • 40 miles
My daughter owns a 2007 Chevy Cobalt. We starting having problems with the power steering around the end of last year when she reached the 40,000 miles all of a sudden the wheel started getting hard while we were driving it and the power steering light would come on. I took it back to the dealer ship when the problem started but they said there was no problem with the vehicle and no recalls at the time. Every time we would drive it long distance it would get hard all of a sudden and we could not steer it at all very hard to make a turn. We then took it to a mechanic to look at it when it continued to do so and was loosing the power steering fluid daily. The rack and pinion motor was changed out and also the rack and pinion. We do not have the old part anymore. I really think there should of been some warning or recall to let us know before someone's life is taken due to this problem. My grandchildren ride in that car daily.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #689

Dec 142009


  • 38,550 miles
The steering on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt quits working suddenly. It has done this several times. I took it back to dealership while still under warranty. They replaced the steering column, but the problem still exist. Seems to happen mostly in the middle of a turn.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #688

Feb 242010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 21,000 miles
2006 Cobalt power steering went out suddenly. Had power steering replaced at champion Chevrolet yesterday, 2/26/10.

- Friendswood , TX, USA

problem #687

Feb 262010

(reported on)


  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Faulty power steering updated 03/05/10 the consumer stated the power steering would become inoperative while driving. Updated 03/12/10

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #686

Feb 242010


  • 33,000 miles
There is no certain event that I can recall that lead up to the power steering going out, only that I was driving done the road and it felt as though the steering wheel had locked up and I immediately had to pull to the side of the road. The messenger on the dash read power steering and I just turned the car off. After sitting there for a moment I started the car once more and the power steering worked - for a moment. Probably a half-mile down the road the same thing happened and has stayed off since then. While there seems to be only 1200 or so complaints through NHTSA, I have read problems online that go back to 2007.

- Carrollton, GA, USA

problem #685

Feb 252010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering goes out all the time. It resets itself when the car is turned off then back on. It happens when you're turning, when you're driving in a straight line, it doesn't seem to matter. It wasn't happening very often, but within the last 2 months it is very frequent. Sometimes up to 10-15 times a day. I have had the entire steering column replaced for $610. That was not the problem. Updated 03/10/10 updated 08/30/10

- Coldwater, MI, USA

problem #684

Feb 162010


  • 64,450 miles
Power steering light comes on and the power steering goes out completely and you must take the car to the dealer to have it checked.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

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