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 40 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #323

Nov 212009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 70 mph the power steering failed without prior warning. She was able to pull to the side of the road, and turn the engine off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The technician stated that they could make the repair, but the failure would resurfaced because the component was defective. The failure mileage was 35,000. Updated 12/22/09 updated 12/22/09

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #322

May 082009


  • 49,000 miles
At 49,000 miles my 2006 Chevy Cobalt steering goes out intermittently. The dealer could not get it do anything wrong. Now that the warranty is out, it does it about once a week now. If you turn the car off and wait a few minutes, then turn it back on it will work again. This is very dangerous in that you try to turn, expecting it to work and the car keeps straight! close calls but no crash yet. Please help us! this thing is too dangerous to drive like this. After seeing all of the complaints on the internet, I want to know why it has not been recalled?

- Forney, TX, USA

problem #321

Nov 232009


  • 38,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. It has 38,000 miles on it. I was driving and with no warning my dashboard flashed "power steering" and at the exact same time my power steering went out. Needless to say I was on a busy well traveled 4 lane road and almost didn't make the turn to get off. I couldn't even park the car. Not exactly a safe situation. Took the car to the dealership & I'm told it's not covered because I have 38,000 miles so I'm barely over my warranty period. They then tell you it is probably the power steering motor but you don't know until you replace that for $460 and if the message still comes on for power steering you will need a new steering column for an additional $700-$800. After doing some research and calling local Chevy dealers and speaking to people who don't want to give their names for fear of losing their jobs it has been become clear that the steering in a Cobalt is a huge issue and is happening to a lot of people. My dealership has even admitted that my car is in great shape and not been driven badly or beat up on. Please do something to help the people that can't afford to replace something that is defective to begin with. Also, the part is on back order for obvious reasons with so many people having problems so I am without a car for a minimum of a week and there's not a guarantee it won't be longer.

- Warminster, PA, USA

problem #320

Nov 232009


  • 48,526 miles


Power steering signal comes on while driving and it shuts off completely thus making it hard to turn at any time.

- Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #319

Sep 052009


  • 38,000 miles
1. my wife and I purchased a 2006 vehicle for my 20 year old daughter roughly a year ago. Everything was fine for the first 9 months. After that one day when my daughter was driving the vehicle it began to shake and the power steering light began to flash and she had no control over the vehicle, she had to pull over, turn off the vehicle and restart it and the car was fine until she got home. Everytime you drive the car literally every 2 miles you have to pull over and turn the car off and start it again, it is extremely dangerous and a hassle. We took the car to the dealership and they said because we didn't purchase a warranty it would cost 2,000 dollars to fix. Due to the poor economy we cannot afford to fix the car, but yet we put down 3,000 on the vehicle and we continue to be stuck with 350 car payments every month for a vehicle we cannot even drive. Something needs to be done about this car, we are extremely worried about anyone that has one of these cars. The car is not worth the money we are spending on it. We have no idea what to do about the situation and we are in a horrible position.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #318

Oct 202009


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, and the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000. The current mileage was 81,000.

- Ward, AR, USA

problem #317

Oct 232009


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 15 mph the traction and the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and a technician stated that the power steering kit needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 85,000. The failure mileage was 84,000.

- Columbia, TN, USA

problem #316

Nov 212009


  • 66,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, I was driving down the road and the power steering in the car went out. The area I live in has alot of windy road which I happened to be driving on when it went out. I pulled over and turned the car off and it seemed to help momentarily. With out the power steering it makes the car almost impossible to drive. I had to drive the rest of the way home with the flashers on and 30 miles an hour on a highway, very dangerous. I have looked online and there has many complaints about this vehicle doing this.

- Allison Park , PA, USA

problem #315

Oct 202009


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Intermittently while driving the power steering warning light illuminates on the instrument control panel, and the the power steering fails. A mechanic speculated that the steering column needed to be replaced. No repairs were made. The failure and current mileages were 41,000.

- Treeport, LA, USA

problem #314

Aug 132009


  • 51,000 miles
Failure of power steering while driving.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #313

Nov 172009


  • 51,781 miles


While driving a beeping sound came on and the words power steering appeared below the speedometer and the power steering gave out immediately. I was initially caught off guard but luckily I was only traveling at about 25 mph and there was no other traffic or kids on the street. I turn the car off and the power steering goes back to normal. Again while driving without warning three beeps and the words power steering appear and the power steering gives out immediately. If this a recurring problem with the Chevy Cobalt hopefully it can get resolved before there is loss of life or serious injuries.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #312

Nov 132009


  • 52,009 miles
As I was driving the "power steering" light came on. Caused me to loose my steering while I was in the middle of turning, I almost hit another car and I would have if they did not swerve to miss me. The fact that the power steering is now electric is complete !@#$% in my opinion. I went out, bought power steering liquid to add to it like a normal car and instead I found out I have to take it back to the dealer to have it serviced? this is very inconvenient for my busy schedule and I expected more out of a GM car.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #311

Aug 242009


  • 80,000 miles
I'm having problems with my power steering on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. It always goes in and out when I'm driving. Many times I have lost control of my car due to this problem. The problem started about 3 months ago but I have not had the money to get it fix. This is a on going problem!

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #310

Nov 042009


  • 60,900 miles
When driving my dash displayed a power steering message. Then the car starts to jump and then check engine light comes on. Then I lose power steering. When we took it to the dealer (twice) they could not find the problem. This has happened about 5 times and did not happen until my car had about 900 miles over the 60,000 warranty miles. My car is a Chevy Cobalt 2006.

- Elpaso, IL, USA

problem #309

Nov 142009


  • 4,200 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. I was on my way to work when the car dinged and I look down to see that it was saying the my power steering was out. I turn the car off and restarted it and then it went away. I thought that it was nothing until it came back on the next time I drove my car. I then went and researched it on the internet when I found out that there is a lot people having the same issue. I am one if the ones that can not afford the pay for this problem to be fixed. When are they going to do a recall on the this problem.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #308

Jul 012009


  • 62,000 miles
Electric power assisted steering on 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt is not working.

- Odessa, TX, USA

problem #307

Nov 012009


  • 70,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt steering failed taking a sharp turn causing car to cross centerline hitting another car head on, son suffered a very bad broken leg requiring a rod from knee to ankle.

- Normalville , PA, USA

problem #306

Oct 062009


  • 37,500 miles
Power steering failure 2006 Chevy Cobalt 2006.

- Tomball, TX, USA

problem #305

Nov 072009


  • 100,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt has power steering failure and I own one and there is no recall on this problem. My guess is no one has died from it, yet. The steering is electrical instead of hydraulic. Every time I go down the rod within two minutes the warning buzzer and the dash lights up and I lose all steering.

- S.Boston, VA, USA

problem #304

Nov 072009


  • 58,400 miles
When driving car power steering shuts off randomly. This makes the car very difficult to steer and control. First instance was 11/7/09. This now happens quite frequently (2-4) times everytime I drive the car. Doesn't matter if the car is idling at a red light or driving 50 mph. At this time no accidents have resulted but it's only a matter of time. Have not contacted dealer or mechanic yet as I have read and heard that this is a wide-spread problem with this particular vehicle and would like to see a recall done.

- Smyrna , DE, USA

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