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 41 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #303

Oct 312009


  • 63,000 miles


My power steering is going in and out. My car is only a few years old. I went on the computer and did some research and I am not the only one that is having problems. Apparently there is some kind of defect because a ton of people are having this problem. I am one of the lucky ones that did wreck or cause injury to anyone. I am doing this complaint in order for this not to happen to others and maybe GM will do a recall on this defect.

- Abilene, TX, USA

problem #302

Oct 272009


  • 51,373 miles
Electronic power steering goes out, first happen in Oct, had it checked and was told it is a motor circuit that is on the steering column and would cost $1000 to $1500 to fix because they have to take column out to get to it, it goes out driving down the road at anytime one or 2 time a day, so you have to stop and turn off motor and restart and it will work for a few more miles or not! it makes it very hard to steer and I cant keep driving it like this so am taking it in to repair, I don't really want to pay for something I think Chevy should fix that a lot of cars are having but don't have a choice as I cant keep driving it this way.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #301

Nov 072009


  • 44,180 miles
While driving car suddenly pulls hard to the right or left. It happens sporadically steering problem.

- Triadelphia, WV, USA

problem #300

Nov 092009


  • 46,000 miles


Still having problems with steering on 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Power steering goes out randomly if it is stopped recranked it will reset. On going problem for myself and lots of other Cobalt owners. I have searched many online forums and found others that have the same problem. GM needs to recall this and fix what they know is wrong. Two websites are and Chevy Cobalt forum, please do something before there is death or injuries involved.

- Fieldale, VA, USA

problem #299

Nov 082009


  • 60,842 miles
Hi I drive a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt with around 60,000 miles. Recently I was driving down the road and a message appeared in the display reading "power steering." Seconds later the power steering quit working. I was turning into a gas station and almost ran over someone because of this. I parked the car and shut it off. After checking the fuse box and seeing no obvious signs of what could be the problem I started my car and the message was gone and the power steering worked fine. Thinking that this may have been an intermittent glitch I drove back home and sure enough, 2 miles down the road the message re-appeared and the power steering stopped working. After doing some research this appears to be a consistent issue among the majority of Cobalt owners. This is a safety hazard if I've ever seen one. How many close calls is it going to take for GM to repair this obvious problem" or is it actually going to take a few deaths for someone to open their eyes and realize there's a serious issue at hand"

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #298

Nov 052009


  • 78,567 miles
I just bought a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and on my way from the dealers, the "power steering" light illuminated on the communication center. I then looked online and found out that this is an ongoing safety issue. Does the GM company know about this issue, and are they now recalling and fixing this problem?

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #297

Jul 092009


  • 58,000 miles


Power steering failure on Chevy Cobalt 2005 and later models. The power steering completely fails and the steering wheel locks while driving. Please type "Chevy Cobalt power steering" in search engine and see the thousands that are having the same issue.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #296

Nov 032009


  • 60 miles
Power steering keeps going out. Several times while driving. Once while steering I had a very hard time turning and a car was coming fast on incoming traffic. This is a terrible safety hazard and I see tons of complaints out on the web. Why isn't something being done about this" is someone waiting for people to die" this is so widespread, I really don't understand why no one has done anything.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #295

Nov 032008


  • 65,363 miles
I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt that just came out of warranty. I was driving home when my power steering light came on and my steering wheel became really tight and very hard to move. Luckily when it happened I was going about 60mph on a highway on a straight stretch heading towards a turning lane that leads to my main road connecting me to my subdivision. This incident just happened about twenty minutes ago and I am fortunate I was not far away from home or was not driving a curvy side road. I am going to have to have my car towed to a dealer to get an estimate on having my car fixed. I had my car in to my dealer less then 3000 miles ago for electronical issues.

- High Ridge, MO, USA

problem #294

Oct 262009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Intermittently while driving the power steering warning light illuminates on the instrument control panel, and then the vehicle loses power steering. As a consequence steering because extremely difficult. The vehicle has not been inspected by the dealer, because she will have to pay a $100 for a diagnostic fee. The failure and current mileages were 80,000. Updated 12/07/09. Updated 12/08/09.

- Portage, IN, USA

problem #293

Oct 232009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 9,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving she experiences difficulty when turning the steering column. A mechanic concluded that the power steering motor has failed. The dealer nor the manufacture has been notified. The failure mileage was 9,000. Updated 03/10/10 updated 07/28/10

- Staten Island , NY, USA

problem #292

Oct 192009


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering warning light will illuminate on the instrument control panel and then the power steering fails. Usually after waiting for several minutes the vehicle will restart. The manufacturer nor the dealer has been notified.. the failure mileage was 83,000.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #291

Sep 272009


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering warning light intermittently illuminates on the instrument control panel, and then there was a lost of power steering. Usually after waiting for several minutes the power steering will reset itself.. the dealer nor the manufacturer has been notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 28,000.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #290

Oct 292009


  • 75,000 miles
The Chevy Cobalt has serious but intermittent issues with the power steering. The instrument panel will display a "power steering" warning. Sometimes this is the extent of the problem but often the steering wheel will lock up or become difficult to turn. This happens while driving and with no "trigger" that I can identify. The recommended remedy is to replace the column, but even the new columns have the same problem. We first had the issue at about 30,000 miles, the column was replaced and now, at about 75,000 miles, we are having the same issue. My research indicates the same problem across the country for most model years and beginning as early as 4000 miles. This issue is life threatening and must be remedied as soon as possible. When the steering locks up it is nearly impossible to turn the steering wheel. Sometimes the warning message is there and sometimes it does not. A rattling noise can be heard sometimes as well, along with the smell of something getting to hot. I believe a recall is in order due the extensiveness and severity of this defect. I sincerely hope no one is killed before a lasting resolution to this issue can be found.

- Huggins, MO, USA

problem #289

Aug 012009


  • 80,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt. At approximately 80,000 total miles, while driving, the power steering quit. I received a visual message from the car monitor advising "power steering". the car could be steered, but without power steering. After turning the car off and restarting, the power steering works, but at some point within 1 mile of driving, the power steering quits. This happens every time I drive. It is dangerous as it impacts my ability to steer and control the car, and it quits without warning. Driving in inclement weather is especially hazardous. Upon taking the car to my Chevy dealer, I was advised repair would be over $1,000.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #288

Sep 172009


  • 32,000 miles
I am having trouble with my 2006 Cobalt ls and it goes in and out from time to time. I have almost got into a couple accidents and saved myself. I think that GM should be responsible for their own actions. They should create a recall for this problem but can't because they are bankrupt. You all need to do something about that.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #287

Oct 282009


  • 29,000 miles
Power steering goes out on my car without a warning..... while driving.

- San Antonio, , TX, USA

problem #286

Oct 142009


  • 56,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt and the power steering randomly goes out. This has been happening everytime I drive my car which is daily and it started around Oct 14th 2009. I bought the car from a private party, but I took the car to a dealership to get fixed. It needed a new motor for the power steering since it is electrical. This has cost me around $438. It makes me nervous driving the car in town with traffic and having it go out. I live kind of out in the country and there is many sharp corners for me to get home.

- Chaseburg, WI, USA

problem #285

Oct 272009


  • 43,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph the power steering warning light illuminates on the instrument control panel, and then the steering locks. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, and he was advised that the entire steering column needed to be replaced at an expense of $2500. There was no warranty on the vehicle. The failure mileage was 43,000.

- Clearfield , UT, USA

problem #284

Sep 262009


  • 78,000 miles
Power steering column not working.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

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