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 25 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #623

Jan 202009


  • 52,300 miles


When driving the 06 Chevy Cobalt, the power steering fails while driving at moderate speeds. This happens nearly ever time the car is in use now and happens several times during the course of a 15 mile trip. The only recourse is to turn the key off and back on to get the steering to respond again.

- Lawrenceburg, KY, USA

problem #622

Sep 302009


  • 57,877 miles
I own a 2006 Cobalt. The power steering went out when my 29 year old son was turning onto a traffic circle in fort worth, Texas. The car hit the curb causing damage to the right tire and wheel. My insurance company (usaa) paid $4269.69 for repairs, $420 for car rental; I paid $500 deductible. Classic Chevrolet fixed the power steering without charge; however, if there had been a timely recall the accident would never have happened.

- Justin, TX, USA

problem #621

Feb 092010


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Whenever the contact drives the vehicle at any speed she noticed that the power steering will suddenly stop functioning. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact was informed that the power steering mechanism needed to be replaced. There were no prior warnings.the current and failure mileages were 54000.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #620

Aug 132009


  • miles


Steering wheel is very hard to turn. This happens frequently. If the engine is turned off the problem goes away for a while, but soon returns. So far this problem has not caused an accident, but I am almost afraid to drive the car for fear of one.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #619

Jan 202010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 15 mph on normal road conditions. A chime sounded inside of the vehicle. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road with caution. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. Whenever the vehicle was in operation the failure occurred intermittent. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle has not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was 61,000. Updated 07/12/10

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #618

Feb 122010


  • 122,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph on normal road conditions. A chime sounded inside of the vehicle. The "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver exerted extreme difficulty turning the steering wheel. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. Currently, the vehicle is at an authorized dealer for inspection. The failure mileage was 122,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Tupelo, MS, USA

problem #617

Oct 172009


  • 48,600 miles


There were no events leading up to the failure. I have a 2006, Chevy Cobalt, and am one of the people that have had to have a motor replaced in my power steering. It just stopped working while I has driving down the road. No power steering!!!! I did talk to Chevy, because I thought it odd, having less the 50,000 on my car. I was a few miles from home, and was blessed enough to be near a church parking lot, to pull over. I am also young enough, and strong enough that I did get it back home, so my husband could check it. I did check with Chevy, to see if there was a recall, or if they were aware of a problem. They did not have a recall, and were not aware of a problem. This is what they said. Again, because I thought it odd. I had to take it to my local Chevy dealership, and it cost $418. I would have hated to have been in traffic, or in the middle of a turn, or a bad curve. If it had of happened in any of those 3, I may not have been able to control the car. I do believe it is a great safety problem. People that do not have a lot of arm strength, would have no stayed above I had to have it fixed.

- Killen, AL, USA

problem #616

Jan 012010


  • 34,000 miles
Power steering goes out after about two minutes of driving or less. It is very hard to turn the wheel and control the vehicle when driving. It goes away when the car is shut off but then the power steering goes back out. Very annoying and dangerous because you never know when it will feel like going out on you like going around a sharp turn which could cause an accident. It progressively gets worse. Needs to be addressed!

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #615

Feb 112010


  • 41,662 miles
Power steering failure there are 1000's of people with the same problem please help us.

- Heiskell, TN, USA

problem #614

Jan 262010


  • 65,120 miles
Power steering failed.

- Jasper, TN, USA

problem #613

Dec 022009


  • 62,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt and my power steering keeps cutting off when I go down the road the forces the steering wheel to lock up. I am terrified that I may have a wreck at any moment and I have a 3 yr old and 7 months pregnant! please please get this recalled asap!

- Hartsfield, GA, USA

problem #612

Feb 152010


  • 70,000 miles
Power steering stops working, making car hard to steer.

- Oak Island, NC, USA

problem #611

Feb 112010


  • 72,000 miles
Have 2006 Chevy Cobalt, have a power steering problem have heard that this is a major problem and others have had this. It locks the steering wheel while your driving, has failed on me and has almost caused me too lose control, have not had an accident yet, but would not like to experience this, or something worst. Thank you - a concerned consumer.

- Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #610

Jan 102010


  • 51,245 miles
My husband was driving our 2006 Chevy Cobalt when, without warning, the power steering went out. He crossed double yellow line before being able to regain control of the car. Could have been a very serious head-on collision had there been another car oncoming. Had to replace the entire power steering column and motor. Car had approx. 50,000 miles on it when this occurred and of course, just passed the warranty time. This is a serious safety issue. Why is Chevy/GM not taking accountability for a defective power steering column" there are 1,000's of people in our situation and it is unacceptable. Are they waiting for a fatality to occur" they are aware of the problem, as I called Chevy directly, but they will not pay for the repairs. Anyone driving a Chevy Cobalt should be made aware of this safety issue. I do not feel safe driving this car, nor do I want to drive my children in this car. You take it for granted that when you buy a car, the company producing the car is concerned for your safety. That is obviously not the case with the Chevy Cobalt. Shame on you GM to think about your own wallet before the safety of your customers. Makes you think twice to buy "american".

- Sparta, NJ, USA

problem #609

Sep 142009


  • 86,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering goes out while driving.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #608

Jan 212010


  • 87,000 miles
I have a 06 Chevy Cobalt. I was exiting a busy highway when my power steering went out. I about got hit by another car because I could not get the wheel to turn. The powersteering on my car goes out at least once a day, but on an average day about 2-3 times. Today I was driving from wichita, ks back home to tulsa, ok and my powersteering went out 4 times within a matter of 10 mins. This is a major concern when I'm turning a sharp corner and my two small children are in the car. I am a very small woman and can't turn the wheel when the powersteering goes out. The only way I have been able to fix the problem is to pull over, turn off the car, then restart the car after waiting for at least a minute. Usually, I have to try about 3 times to get the powersteering to work again and it doesn't work for very long. Highways in tulsa, ok have very sharp and narrow exits and it is scary when I don't know if I'm going to be able to safely exit because I can't turn the wheel of my car.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #607

Feb 142010


  • 69,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that has had a power steering problem. The power steering randomly quits working and the power steering problem indicator comes on. If you turn the engine off the power steering resets and then fails again unexpectedly.

- Oak Island, NC, USA

problem #606

Feb 122010


  • 12,200 miles
Power steering wont work.

- Tupelo, MS, USA

problem #605

Dec 202009


  • 55,463 miles
I had never had any problems with my car until the power steering light came on one day and I couldn't steer the car all of a sudden. I had never experienced any thing like that before so I pulled over and turned off the car. After re-starting the car it was fine. However, the power-steering continued to lock up on atleast once a day, but with increasing frequency. I did not have the money to have it checked out, but I was able to drive it as long as I used full force with both arms to steer and turn. It is now to the point where the power steering locks up immediately upon starting my car. It is increasingly difficult to make simple turns and it has become a safety hazard. This is a fairly new car and should not have this issue.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #604

Nov 152009


  • 41,000 miles
Beginning in November 2009 the power steering on my 2006 Cobalt would go out intermittently while I was driving. In one instance it actually happened during a turn and I almost had a head-on collision with the vehicle in the opposite lane. By the second week of January 2010 the power steering was going out two to three times a day. As of this week it almost never works. When I called my dealer they refused to acknowledge this is a pervasive problem. They suggested I bring the car in and pay $95 to have them asses the issue. I have not done that yet and based on all the other complaints I have read I probably will not do that until Chevrolet takes action to repair the defect. I consider it a safety issue because it is easy to lose control of the car while trying to make a turn. Now that it is out most of the time it limits how far I can drive the vehicle because it is very tiring to maintain control over it for long periods.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

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