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 46 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #203

Sep 112009


  • 58,000 miles


We have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering goes out on it randomly. This could be a very dangerous thing to happen for a new driver. From what I have read online this a big issue and there should be a recall on the vehicle.

- Middleburg, FL, USA

problem #202

Mar 012009


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving, the power steering light appeared on the dashboard and moments later the power steering failed. The contact noticed that the check air bag light was also illuminated. The dealer has not diagnosed the failure. The contact stated that the steering failure could result in a crash. The current mileage was 97,000 and the failure was 90,000.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #201

Aug 132009


  • 64,674 miles
Alarm goes off, the power steering and engine light come on. The car starts to jerk violently and the power steering goes out! if you come to a stop the car stalls. It does not happen all the time, but so far three times for me. The first time it was at the garage nothing was reading out from the codes. They have the car again and so far it hasn't acted up for them.but it is kicking out codes this time. Thank goodness my husband was driving because I could not have turned the steering wheel. There could have been a terrible accident!!

- Florence, AZ, USA

problem #200

Aug 012009


  • 45,000 miles


There are no events that lead to the failure. 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failure. I've only had the car for 2.5 years and only has 45000 miles. Very dangerous when fails, almost impossible to steer safely at speeds over 45 mph. Fails anywhere after 2 minutes to 10 minutes after car is cranked. Hundreds of other people online have reported same issue. Needs to be a recall.

- Deep Run, NC, USA

problem #199

Sep 032009


  • miles
Within 1 month of purchase, the car rattles and sounds like something is going to fall out when you put on brakes, starting to do it when I make turns, getting worse. Took it back to dick shirley Chevrolet, they said it was in the steering column and it would cost $700!! of course that isn't under warranty. They said it was safe to drive. Nothing they could do about it. After looking at web site of all the problems people are having with steering issues with this model of car I know I was sold a lemon and they know it, too!

- Mebane, NC, USA

problem #198

Aug 152009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 58,900 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that intermittently while driving the power steering warning light would illuminate on the instrument control panel, then the power steering failed. The inability to control the vehicle increased the risk of a vehicle crash. Additionally, she smelled a strong odor of fuel inside the vehicle. The vehicle has not been inspected to determine the cause of failure. The current and failure mileages were 58,900. Updated 10/21/09 updated 10/20/09.

- Carrolton, TX, USA

problem #197

Sep 032009


  • 50,000 miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt power steering failure while driving, in D or R and when attempting to parallel park. It's an intermittent problem which causes me to have to excessively tug on the steering when to make a turn. This can only be repaired if it does this while in the possession of the Chevy service department. Once the car is cut off the steering motor resets itself and the failure code is gone. So I would have to drive to the dealership while its happening! nothing has been done to fix this, just the instructions to bring it in when it happens again.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #196

Sep 072009


  • 12,000 miles
While turning or sloxwng down my car shakes violently and pulls to the left. I recently put new tires, alignment and rotation thinking this would solve the problem and it has not. It feels as though my steering wheel is going to shake off. The dealership suggested the new tires and it has not helped. This is a huge safety concern and something needs to be done.

- Waterford, CT, USA

problem #195

Sep 022009


  • 15,550 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ls with only 15000 miles on it and driving on the highway..the light came on and said power steering and the steering was shot..couldn't barely move the steering happens alot now...cant even drive for a couple of blocks..have to go to the Chevy dealer and since I bought it from a private warranty..have to pay out of pocket!.

- San Diego , CA, USA

problem #194

Sep 042009


  • 70,680 miles
My Chevrolet Cobalt 2006 was purchased used at a Kia dealership in July 2008. On Friday, 9/4/09, as I was driving back from the mall with my four-year-old daughter in the car, the dashboard display flashed powersteering and my powersteering failed immediately. The car has just over 70,000 on it. The dealer said it will be $800 to fix. Should a steering column really fail this quickly for the amount of money I'm paying for this car?!

- Cleveland, NC, USA

problem #193

Aug 202009


  • 57,000 miles


I bought my 2006 Chevy Cobalt in June of 2008, and within 6 months of having it the powersteering would go out. I have an extended warranty on my car and the part is not covered. What happens is I will be driving, and at random the light for the powersteering comes on and the steering becomes really tight. Now if I turn the car off and on it resets itself, but usually it will go out again. I have also noticed it seems to do this either when the weather is really cold or really hot. Its very scary especially on the freeway. Recently I was in an accident because of the powersteering. I made a claim with GM and they did an investigation. When the investigation came back to GM they declined the repairs. So now im stuck paying for a car the doesn't work.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #192

Sep 042009


  • 104,000 miles
4 times yesterday 9/3/09 on interstate highway 35 (Texas) had major problems trying to get over to the exit when my power steering failed... I have four kids and saw a huge 18 wheeler in my rearview mirror... I thank god that I made it off the highway safe but drove home with no power steering. Looking for someone to fix it but labor day weekend... need recall to happen now!!! I still owe $9,000 and can't drive anywhere with this power steering failure happening over and over. I thought GM was a reliable dealership!! please recall

- Lockhart, TX, USA

problem #191

Sep 032009


  • 56,090 miles
Power steering light on dashboard comes on and power steering goes out in the steering wheel. After turning car off then back on it will go away but problem will repeat itself every thirty minutes or so. Also the key will not come out of the ignition when car is turned off.

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #190

Sep 032009


  • 84,977 miles
The power steering light came on in our 2006 Chevy Cobalt without warning and we lost power steering. We were nearly in an accident but my husband recovered the wheel. Cost to repair is $960. This is outrageous.

- Lexington , KY, USA

problem #189

Jul 152009


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph on normal road conditions; there was a loss of power steering. There was extreme difficulty steering and required effort to turn the steering wheel. The "power steering" warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The contact was able to drive the vehicle to the emergency lane. The vehicle was restarted which reset the power steering switch and it resumed normal operation. When ever the vehicle was in motion the failure recurred. An authorized dealer stated that the failure was contributed to the power steering switch. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact had concerns of the safety risk involved. The VIN was unavailable. The failure and current mileages were 38,000.

- Traverse City, MI, USA

problem #188

Aug 192009


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving the warning light came on stating that the power steering was low. The contact lost power steering control and found it difficult to drive to the emergency lane. After turning the engine off, he was able to restart the vehicle and drive normally. The dealer stated that the motor within the power steering unit needed to be replaced. The repair cost was $900. The dealer advised him that there was a related recall in 2007 and may have been mailed to the previous owner. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 112,000. Updated 10/08/09

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #187

Aug 282009


  • 62,000 miles
I own a 2006 chevorlet Cobalt lt. Recently my power steering went out on me while I was driving down the road causing me to nearly hit someone. When I looked under the hood, to my surprise, I was unable to locate the power steering reservoir. After researching this online I found that it is all electronically and will nearly cost me $2000 to correct. This problem happens randomly which is a major safety hazard! if I shut the car off then start it back up the system does reset itself, but still will come on at any given time.

- Bridgeport, OH, USA

problem #186

Jul 012009


  • 87,000 miles
My 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ss coupe's electric power steering system has been cutting in and out for the past 2 months now, and seems to be getting worse by the day. I attempted to make an appointment at the dealership because steering is so important but since my vehicle is slightly out of the vehicle warranty, Chevrolet wants to charge me an arm and a leg just to look at the vehicle. I have had nothing but stupid problems with this vehicle and it is time for Chevrolet to take responsibility for putting human lives at risk. This is ridiculous! we need a recall!

- Bayville, NJ, USA

problem #185

Jul 272009


  • miles particular event led up to the failure - it started suddenly. 2. the power steering fault flashes then you lose power steering, when you stop the car and turn it off it resets itself, it started sporadically but has been steadily increasing in frequency, nothing has happened yet but am afraid for wife to drive car - especially with the children. 3. have checked for any recalls, etc. Apparently this is becoming a common problem - I am going to check with my local dealer but do not have a lot of hope because the vehicle is about 10,000 mile out of warranty.

- Madison Heights, VA, USA

problem #184

Aug 272009


  • 38,500 miles
I own a 06 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering light came on and car turned of in the middle of rush hour--not safe!! Chevy needs to recall and correct.

- Hopkins, SC, USA

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