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 44 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #243

Sep 262009


  • 40,000 miles


1. no events leading up to failure. 2. failure occurs 2 to 3 times while driving, consequences are power steering goes out while driving...very hard to turn...could cause accident. I have read that many people have complained about the same problem. GM needs to fix this problem. 3. correction for the problem is shut off the car and let sit for a couple of minutes, turn it back on and power steering come back. Then it happens again. The price to get it fixed is about $1000.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #242

Oct 062009


  • 74,215 miles
Power steering goes out completely while driving in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Problem started 1 October 2009 and is off and on. At times it scares me that I will get in an accident. Jiffy lube personnel stated that it is electronic and suggested taking to dealer. I am a student at northern Arizona university and cannot afford $100 for just looking at it. Suggested to me to file a complaint to your organization.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #241

Aug 152009


  • 72,000 miles
I have 2006 Chevy Cobalt and I am having power steering problems. My car has 72,000 miles on it and the car constantly jerks.

- Lancaster, TX, USA

problem #240

Jan 012009


  • miles


My mother has a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering does not work correctly. In fact it doesn't work at all. So far she has been lucky not to have a wreck, but I am afraid that it could happen. I am not sure when it stopped working, but I do fear for her safely along with other Cobalt owners. She has contacted GM about the problem, but they seem that they don't want to do anything to fix this issue. I know there are numerous complaints about the power steering from the 06' Cobalt. My mother can't go two blocks without the power steering going out on her. She is currently unemployed and has no other way to find a job to get this part fixed, and I feel that GM should be held responsible for fixing the problem since there have been many other complaints about it. As far as when exactly the powersteering began to go out, I am not sure about. I know it was towards the beginning of 2009 when my mother begin to complain about this issue.

- Shelby, NC, USA

problem #239

Sep 112009


  • 68,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt. As I was driving down the interstate all of a sudden my power steering light came across the display and I lost control of my car (I was going around a curve). It took all I had to keep it on the road. As I was cranking on the wheel (very hard as there was no power steering) suddenly it started to work! me and the 2 children in my car went into the ditch. Thank goodness no one was seriously injured! Chevrolet needs to recall this issue before it kills someone! the power steering goes off and on. I am considering a lawsuit myself.

- Alexandria, MN, USA

problem #238

Sep 142009


  • 46,921 miles
For the past few months I have noticed my steering wheel of my 2006 Chevy Cobalt shaking a lot when I drive down hills. This problem persists whether my foot is on or off the break. After the jolting got so bad, where I thought I was going to lose control of my vehicle, I took my car into my mechanic to be inspected. He informed me that my steering column was broken and my car was "a danger to drive." My mechanic recommended I call Chevy to see if they would replace the steering column for free because that is not something that typically fails in any age vehicle and especially in my car which only has 47,000 miles on it. I made phone calls to Chevy and they said they would not fix my vehicle for free because it was still in "working condition." My mechanic then replaced the steering column in my car ($600 later).

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #237

Sep 162009


  • 27,000 miles


Power steering goes out randomly along with a "power steering" message in dash. Requires car to be restarted to get it working again. This is a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with 27, xxx miles on it. GM has not set a recall for this problem, and it seems like thousands have it. If this failed while in a turn, it could cause serious injury or death. The cost to repair this is anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000. This is unacceptable.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #236

Sep 302009


  • 42,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering doesn't work. The car will not turn. This caused me to almost have an accident. The car is out of warranty and cost about 1,000 dollars to repair. After researching this problem I found it to be happening a lot. This is a real safety hazard. Is there a recall on this problem?

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #235

Aug 052009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 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 for inspection and a technician concluded that since he could not identify the cause of the failure, he could not provide a free remedy. Prior to the failure the ignition switch was replaced. The failure and current mileages were 78000. Updated 11/10/09 the consumer also stated the vehicle would cut off in the middle of traffic. The vehicle has been to the dealer 6 times. Updated 11/13/09.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #234

May 012009


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The traction and the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument control panel and there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. The technicians could not identify the cause of the failure; therefore, they could not provide a remedy. The failure mileage was 37,000 and the current mileage was 41,000.

- Hamilton , OH, USA

problem #233

Sep 302009


  • 63,000 miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering failed. I cant control my car...I cant drive my car. The wheel is so tight that it is very difficult to simply drive out of a parking lot. If this had happened while I was in a turn or in heavy traffic, I would have wrecked. It happens constantly now and it wont stop. I am being told it will cost me $1200 to fix it. There are thousands of people on the internet with the same problem. This needs to be a recalled item. Controlling a vehicle should be of importance to GM.

- Elmendorf Afb, AK, USA

problem #232

Sep 192009


  • 34,790 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph he lost power steering and it became difficult to control the steering wheel. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and the power steering motor was repaired at an insurance deductible rate of $100. The manufacturer was notified, and a representative stated that he would be reimbursed after the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 34,790. The current mileage was 34,822.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #231

Sep 052009


  • 42,000 miles
I was driving and the power steering keeps going out of my 2006 Chevy Cobalt, it don't matter whether I'm in a curve or not, its highly dangerous and could be very deadly if it happens at the wrong time, if I were to have to cut the wheel quickly I would just be hurting, because it won't, and if my pregnant wife is involved in an accident because of this, I will not hesitate at all to get a lawyer and take legal action against Chevrolet, because they have been informed of this defect and they refuse to do a recall on this there is a petition being signed right now to get it recalled and it better go through or they will be sued for there actions or non action shall I say, but there has been many complaints and someone needs to do something about it immediately or someone is going to get injured or possibly killed, and then its all on Chevrolet because there to sorry to back up there product and fix it. So I'm asking please help me fix this problem before its too late and someone is injured or killed, it cost over 1000 dollars to fix this I'm told and I can't afford it and shouldn't have to when its Chevy's fault its this way. So please help and get this problem fixed so my wife (4 months pregnant) can drive her car without being scared of the steering going out and I don't have to worry about contacting my lawyer to push the issue a little harder. Thank you and please help!

- Kermit, WV, USA

problem #230

Sep 152009


  • 73,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt has multiple issues. Several occurred while the car was under warranty such as the ignition switch jamming, the gear shift not shifting into park, and the fuel pump leaking. The latest is with the power steering. I hear a click in the steering column, then the power steering goes out immediately and then the light on the dashboard alerts me that the power steering has failed. It does this without warning irregardless of how long the car has been running. Sometimes it occurs within minutes of starting the car, other times it occurs after driving for 30 or 40 miles. Many people have responded online about these complaints. All you have to do is google in "Chevy Cobalt power steering problems" and you will see hundreds of consumers with this problem. I called the GM customer hotline and got the run around. This problem is extremely dangerous because the power steering goes out suddenly and without enough warning. It becomes extremely difficult to maneuver.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #229

Jun 062009


  • 70,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt electronic power steering failure. Mileage 70,000. Turning key off/on restarts steering. Problem not repaired yet due to cost. Very dangerous.

- Mouthcard, KY, USA

problem #228

Sep 212008


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The traction control and the check engine warning lights intermittently illuminated on the instrument control panel and the vehicle stalled. The dealer replaced the shift column for $260 at the owners expense; however, the repair did not remedy the failure. He was in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 56,000.

- Middleton, WI, USA

problem #227

Sep 132009


  • 64,000 miles
Last Aug 2009 I was living my drive way and they steer wheel got stuck and I got trapped between my trees. I didn't know what happen so I just assumed it was me being a bad driver. Two weeks ago I was driving in a street and the bell in the computer start ringing and gave me a message "power steer" then the steer while got stuck again. I didn't know what to do so I stop and called a towing truck to get my car and take it to my mechanic. My mechanic kept it for a day and said that Cobalts 2006 and 2007 have this problem the computer does not communicate with the engine and that's what happen. I called General Motors and they asked me how many miles I had in the car which is 64,000 and then they told me I had to take it to one of his dealer shops to make sure. I told the lady to be sure they were going to consider this because I have to pay and then they will decide if it was a safety issue. I did pay a lot of money and they say -you are not under guarantee- I got mad because they knew since the beginning how many miles I had. Now if I turn left or right the steer wheel get stuck so I have to stop and turn off the car. After that I can drive ok. Is always dangerous if I'm in a busy street or highway. To repair they want $1,000 that I don't have. The lady who "helped" me her name is mariana jimenez and she told the they are going to pay for a gas leak that I had in this year too. Because that is a re-call. She said she will send the papers to get reimburse but she never did. The case number for the problem I have now from General Motors is 71759207211. They are only recognizing the problem with the gas leaking because that was a "safety issue" how is not a safety issue driving and the steer wheel gets stuck? so my complain is for the gas leaking that I pay myself and didn't get reimburse and the current problem. The Chevrolet shop wrote this in the invoice I paid "performed diag system check-U2107/U2100/CO475 stored in pscm silate to internal pscm motor failure".

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #226

Sep 052009


  • 49,000 miles
I have 2006 Chevy Cobalt and have recently had problems with the power steering. The light turns on blinks then completely shuts off your steering, barely allowing someone to turn your car to safety. It works after a while yet continues to happen when you drive. I heard it is the power steering motor. GM really needs to recall this part in that I hope that I, as well as others, do not get into an accident because of this problem.

- Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #225

Sep 262009


  • miles
Well I've had my car a Chevy Cobalt 06 lt model 2.2 motor for about 2 yrs and the power steering just doesn't work anymore. It's defective I've asked other Chevy drivers and it has happen to their vehicles as well..

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #224

Apr 022009


  • 69,000 miles
1) the car was steering fine up until approx 69,000 miles. 2) the electronic power steering on this model car quits working arbitrarily. The power steering will initially function correctly every time the car engine is restarted (ignition turned off then back on) regardless of how long the engine has been on or off prior to the restart. Then at some point after the engine is running, the power steering will quit and you must apply tremendous force to the steering wheel to control the direction of the vehicle. The time between restart and occurrence of the power steering going out appears to vary with temperature, however the problem behavior is not consistent across all temperature ranges. In general, the cooler the ambient air temperature the vehicle is operating in, the longer the power steering will work correctly before it quits, but this is not always the case. The one thing that has been consistent is that once the power steering quits, it remains out until you turn the engine off and restart the car. 3) I have not attempted to have this problem repaired as estimates to repair the problem are in the $2000 dollar range.

- Washington, OK, USA

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