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 43 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #263

Oct 202009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 20,694 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 55 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 20,694. Updaetd 11/13/09. Updated 11/16/09

- Normalville, PA, USA

problem #262

Oct 162009


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 35 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 110000.

- Kissimnee, FL, USA

problem #261

Oct 192009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Intermittently while driving he lost power steering. He had to restart the vehicle to resume normal vehicle operation. The vehicle was taken to a local repair facility and a mechanic concluded that the electric power steering motor needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #260

Oct 192009


  • 67,649 miles


I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. I am having a power steering fail. While driving specifically while making a turn the power steering suddenly fails. The information center displays power steering. If you shut off the vehicle it seems to reset the computer and cause the power steering to return. I have had it read by a mechanics computer but they are unable to identify the specific issue. I have seen several hundred other Cobalt owners with this exact complaint. Chevy does not care because it is after the warranty. This is a major safety issue. If you lack even a little upper body strength you could crash! I was coming around a corner on the freeway stack! please help us force Chevy to do what's right before someone does get seriously hurt or killed.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #259

Oct 132009


  • 41,000 miles
In summer, 2009, problems began to arise with steering and cruise control on 2006 Chevy. Cobalt. A light in the dash would come on then steering becomes very hard, uncontrollable as if the car had no power assist at all. The power assist failures became more frequent so car was taken to Chevy. Dealer on 9/25/09. The service dept. Charged $181 and made some corrections but were reluctant to advise the problem had been corrected. On 10/20/09, a collision almost occurred during a right hand turn being made and the power steering failure coinciding.

- Wilson, NC, USA

problem #258

Oct 102009


  • miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and I am having issues with the steering, it keeps going out on me while driving. When U turn it off and turn it back on it works for a short period of time and goes out again. I took it to the garage and he could not find anything.

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #257

Oct 182009


  • 60,000 miles


My daughter just got a 2006 Cobalt and the power steering light came on a she couldn't turn the wheel and she was pulling in the parking lot to cheer at her football game and she had a little accident noone was hurt but she was very scared and didn't understand why it would do that. It is going to the shop Monday the 19th and when they put all new parts for the power steering and if it does it again I will have my attorneys in court with General Motors. I guess it is going to take someone getting killed or seriously injured before someone will take all of this seriously and recall this.

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #256

Oct 172009


  • 80,700 miles
I was coming down a road about 500 feet before I was to turn off the main road, this light pops up on my dash showing "power steering" and when I slowed to turn right, my power steering was gone! this is crazy! I had some friends look over it and the fuses looked fine. They decided I had to take it to the dealer, because in the owners manual under power steering, if the light comes on, it states, return to dealer. Nothing else. Later when I got in my car to go home, the power steering worked fine. This is crazy. (this is on a Saturday evening) Sunday evening, I am heading to church, the power steering goes out again!!! the guys at work check it out, they switched up the relay switches, the one for the power steering is dead! they pick a new one at auto zone and replace it. Power steering again, yea!!! I didn't get a half a mile from the church and the power steering goes out again!! and you cannot turn on a dime either!! very dangerous!!!

- Philadelphia, MS, USA

problem #255

Oct 172009


  • 33,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, will not start. Power steering comes on dashboard. This occurs at random times, leaving me without a car sometimes for days. Already took it to dealership, said it was a wire, they replaced it, it still continues with the same problems.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #254

Oct 032009


  • 56,000 miles
The power steering light came on in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt and then my power steering went out. I could barely keep the car on the road! I pulled over, turned the car off and the light went off but now the power steering goes off randomly all the time. I feel like it will definitely make me have an accident and it is so dangerous.

- Fuquay Varina, NC, USA

problem #253

Oct 162009


  • 76,427 miles


Powersteering light comes on without warning while driving and then the car gets hard to steer, which is very unsafe because it almost caused me to wreck. Once you shut off the car, it resets and then it will do it again a while later. I checked online and the easiest fix is to replace the whole steering column and this costs just under 1,000$. I've looked online and there are hundreds of people with the same problem. How can this be? it is very dangerous. It should be a recall.

- Sturgis, MI, USA

problem #252

Oct 172009


  • miles
Driving down the road in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt with only 40,000 miles and the power steering message appears and the power steering went out and caused me to run off the road right after I almost hit another car head on this is very dangerous and could cause someone to be hurt or even killed.

- Ashland, AL, USA

problem #251

Oct 012009


  • 46,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt lt power steering goes out intermittently. Must turn off car and restart to regain power steering.

- Campbellsville, KY, USA

problem #250

Oct 112009


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph the "power steering" warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The driver was able to safely restart the vehicle to continue normal operation. The vehicle has not been repaired for the failure. The failure and current mileages were 61,000. The vehicle identification number was unavailable.

- Plainfield, IN, USA

problem #249

Aug 102009


  • 58,500 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering power steering fails while driving vehicle coggin Chevrolet, kissimmee Florida acknowledges this is a known defect with this vehicle but still insists I pay $1200 to repair.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #248

Oct 122009


  • 45,000 miles
Electronicpower steering failure on 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt. My daughter was driving on freeway and power steering just went out suddenly. There are many complaints about this problem and GM refuses to do anything about it, this is a very expensive problem to fix and I can't afford it. GM needs to step up and fix this problem free of charge. No wonder they are going bankrupt!

- Rosenberg, TX, USA

problem #247

Oct 082009


  • 52,265 miles
Electric power steering motor has intermittent failure. And I have been driving when all of a sudden no more power steering! very dangerous situation. I have not tried to repair yet. I am unemployed and the cost is prohibitive. But in my replacement research I see that this is very common and that seems wrong to me!

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #246

Oct 052009


  • 76,000 miles
I currently own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, and the power steering keeps failing. All I hear is 3 dings and I see power steering on the dashboard and the power steering stops working. This is very dangerous due to the fact that with traffic these days and all of the other safety concerns this just adds to the frustration and worry. Please look into a recall for this. There are many other people that are affected by this. This is not safe for the driver what-so-ever and seeing as though paying $2000 for this to get fixed is kind of hard to swallow, maybe a recall would be best for all parties involved.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #245

Sep 232009


  • 39,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering goes out intermittently at various speeds car has 39K miles and started 2 weeks ago.

- Fairview, NC, USA

problem #244

Oct 042009


  • 42,000 miles
I had the steering column replaced on my car on Feb. 2009 because it was making a rattling noise in the steering area. They said it was replaced and the car was still under factory warranty so I didn't have to pay anything. In may of 2009 I went back and told them that I was still hearing the same rattling noise and since the car didn't have warranty they said they wouldn't be able to fix it and that I had to take it to the dealer that I purchased the extended warranty from. They also said that if it was the same part that needed replacing that they would replace it for free. Well for reasons I wasn't able to go that day. Well on Oct. 4, 2009 the car shut down on me as I was making a right turn and wasn't able to steer the car. I put the car on park and turned it on again and it worked. I'm thinking what if this would've happened to me on the interstate, I could've been in a very big accident so I consider myself lucky. The problem I'm having now is that Chevy don't want to replace the same part and I'm very frustrated. I have read on the internet that there are a lot of owners of Chevy Cobalts that are having the same steering problems as myself and I think something needs to be done quickly.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

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