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 30 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #523

Feb 032010


  • miles


I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with a little over 62,000 miles. I bought it used and have had it a year and three months. Ever since I purchased the car I've had issues w/the electronic power steering. It acts up on a daily basis. The power steering cuts on and off while I'm driving the car. It makes it almost impossible to steer the car at all. My arms ache at the end of the day from struggling to steer and keep control of my car. It is especially scary when you are on a sharp exit ramp and the power steering isn't working and then cuts on. I've come very close to losing control of my car many times. I've looked into having it replaced but the cost of the parts and labor are expensive and being a single mother of two I can't afford to have it replaced. I've seen countless numbers of websites and complaints on the internet of other Cobalt owners w/the same power steering issue. It's ridiculous that GM won't do a recall! this is obviously a manufacturers defect and GM needs to fix it before someone loses their life! this is my first GM vehicle and I can guarantee it will be my last!

- Front Royal, VA, USA

problem #522

Sep 152009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that whenever she turned the vehicle on the power steering locked up and this occurs also when she puts the vehicle in reverse as well. This has occured everyday where the light illuminates in the instrumental panel. The dealer was contacted and they told the contact to bring it in for diagnostic. There have been no repairs done to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 50000 and current mileage was 84729.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #521

Jun 102009


  • 65,695 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. She stated while driving at speeds of less than 50 mph, the power steering failed three times within her traveling period, without warning. She would pull over at each time the failure occurred and shut the vehicle off. Once the vehicle was restarted, the power steering would reset itself. The vehicle was taken to the nearest dealer where they replaced the power steering module at the owner's expense. There were no recalls for the failure. There were no additional failure since the repair. The failure and current mileages were over 65,695.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #520

Feb 032010


  • 28,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt with 39K miles. My steering wheel shakes when driving, it is sometimes hard to turn, the radio turns on and off, and the check engine light & air bag light are on. I took the car to the dealership and they said nothing is wrong with the car. They got the lights to turn off. My warranty is now expired and the same lights came on again.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #519

Aug 212009


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving the vehicle she noticed that the power steering light had appeared on the dashboard, moments later the contact noticed that the vehicle no longer had power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact had the power steering control module replaced. There were no prior warnings and the current and failure mileages were 73000.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #518

Aug 012009


  • 45,000 miles
Power steering on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt went out.

- Crowley, TX, USA

problem #517

Jan 282010


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 20 mph on normal road conditions. A chime sensor sounded inside of the vehicle and the "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. However, the failure re-occurred during the travel. The failures occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The failure mileage was 68,000.

- Greenwood, SC, USA

problem #516

Jan 152010


  • 30,275 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph on normal conditions. The "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Immediately, there was a loss of power steering. The driver pulled over to the side of the road. The engine was turned off. The vehicle restarted and resumed normal operation. The failures occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The steering column was replaced for the malfunctions. The failure mileage 30,275.

- Brick , NJ, USA

problem #515

Aug 012009


  • miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and the steering is difficult to turn in the morning. I have to back up out of a driveway and turn my steering wheel and at times it is difficult to turn the wheel. I thought that was normal but now I am hearing it should not do that. It started back in August and has gotten more frequent, happening almost every morning. At times it does not feel like I have power steering.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #514

Nov 022009


  • 40,000 miles
While driving the power steering would display on the control panel and I was unable to turn the wheel. This happened at various speeds. Once while attempting to drive six miles on a busy roadway my husband and I had to pull off the road over 20 times to turn the car off and give the time for the power steering to reset itself only to drive a piece further and the incident to occur again. Eventually, having to tow the vehicle home. We took the vehicle to the dealership in November and it was over 800 for repair. They replaced the steering column and we haven't had any other problems so far.

- Woollum, KY, USA

problem #513

Sep 252009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. He stated while traveling at speeds of 55 mph, the steering column locked without warning. The dealer replaced an unknown part at partial expense of General Motors. The vehicle was not under warranty. On a separate occasion, while operating the vehicle at speeds of 65 mph in clear conditions and moderate traffic, the steering wheel would not respond to driver operation. The driver attempted to slow down and move the vehicle off the highway by braking lightly, however the wheels would not respond. The vehicle then spun in a complete 360 degree turn and side grazed the median strip before coming to a stop. The manufacturer was contacted but took no liability for the failure. Repairs were made to the vehicle at the owner's expense. The failure and current mileages were under 47,000. Updated 3/12/10 the consumers daughter hit a guardrail due to the steering malfunction. Updated 07/09/10.

- Alta Loma , CA, USA

problem #512

Jan 152010


  • 46,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt - power steering intermittently stops working this is happening more and more frequently with a greater chance for a traffic accident.

- Ruston, LA, USA

problem #511

Nov 252009


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While stopped at an intersection the power steering light illuminated and immediately she lost control of the steering and almost crashed. She turned the vehicle off and the steering reseted and operated normally for over one week and a shortly after she experienced the failure for the second time. She took the vehicle to the dealer; however the dealer was not able to locate the failure code.the dealer did not replace any parts. The failure mileage was 63,000 and the current mileage was 64,000. The manufacturer took a report and advised to take the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed. The vehicle was not repaired.

- Goodlettsville, TN, USA

problem #510

Sep 082009


  • 51,765 miles
While driving a 2006 Chevy Cobalt on a highway, the power steering went out (and power steering light came on), make steering very difficult. When I turned the engine off and back on, the light stayed off for short time then came back on, and vehicle had no power steering. I took the Cobalt to dealer, and they discovered fault code C0475 electric steering motor circuit failure, lost communication with ECM. The dealer removed and replaced the steering motor at a cost of $497.85.

- Lincoln, CA, USA

problem #509

Aug 262009


  • 55,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt most of the time I don't have power steering. When I do have power steering I will drive a block down the road and the power steering will go out and the information center will tell me that I no longer have power steering.

- Cuba, MO, USA

problem #508

Jan 152010


  • 65,000 miles
Electronic steering shuts off unexpectedly. If it occurs in curve, steering wheel almost locks, causing temporary loss of control. This has occurred numerous times and "resets" when the car is turned off and back on. Time after reset before recurrence can vary from a few seconds to hours.

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #507

Feb 022010


  • miles
Driving 2006 Cobalt power steering quits working and the car changed lanes. The ps light did come on in the dash but it was to late. Out of warranty but have scheduled to take it in to the dealer. Not very safe. Also pulled over turned car off waited a few minutes resumed but it occurred about 10 minutes later.

- Independence, MO, USA

problem #506

May 152009


  • 40,000 miles
In the warmer months, the power steering on my 06 Chevrolet Cobalt will suddenly quit while driving. If I restart the car, power steering will return but only for a matter of minutes. It becomes most dangerous when it goes out while I'm making a turn. Twice I have almost hit another vehicle while turning in to a driveway. I believe this failure to be a major safety hazard and I'm glad the NHTSA is finally looking into it.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #505

Feb 022010


  • 50,000 miles
There was no sign of problems with my 2006 Chevy Cobalt before the failure. Suddenly, the power steering light came on as I was driving, and the power steering failed. The steering wheel was extremely difficult to turn. It felt as if it were locked. I pulled over gradually, turned the car off, and then turned it back on again. The car worked another 1/2 mile then the power steering failed again. Same consequences. Took car to Chevy dealership next day. They determined it was the power assist pump that needed to be replaced. Pump is being replaced today.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #504

Dec 272009


  • 40,000 miles
We own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. In Dec. 2009 the steering warning on the dash came on, but went off the next time my 19 yr old daughter started the car. A week later the power steering went out completely when the car was turned on. We had to replace the module immediately at a cost of almost $900. I have the work ticket to show what was done to repair the car. I now understand that this problem is being reported by other Cobalt owners.

- Enid, OK, USA

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