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 47 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #183

Jul 242009


  • 38,500 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. He stated while driving he lost power steering functions and noticed a failure light illuminated on the instrument panel. He then pulled off to the side of the road. The vehicle was shut off then restarted. The failure stopped and it resumed normal driving functions. A few miles later the vehicle power steering failed again. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and inspected where it was determined that the electric power steering unit had failed. No repairs were made. He will contact the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 38,500 and the current mileage was 39,000.

- Bainbridge, GA, USA

problem #182

Jul 202009


  • miles
Driving along in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering just goes out and almost ran off road going around curve with kids in car. Dealership says it is an electronic motor that will cost over $2,000 to fix and no one else will touch it. I've since seen many complaints on this matter and wonder how many deaths does there need to be before there is a recall on this manufacturer defect!

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #181

Jun 012009


  • miles
The contact owns 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ls. When starting the vehicle, she noticed that the power steering light was illuminated and the steering wheel was difficult to turn to the left and right. She stated that the failure occurred immediately after the warranty expired. The failure and current mileage were unknown.

- Owens Cross Roads, AL, USA

problem #180

Jan 202009


  • miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that has power steering problems. The power steering locks up making it impossible to turn, I avoided an accident but I have not drove the car since. I had it towed to the nearest dealership and the cost of repair is $1200 dollars. No one can tell me why this has happened. I have gone on the internet and discovered that I am not the only one that has had this problem with this particular vehicle. So I can only assume that it is a manufacturing error. With the economy the way it is I am not able to afford to pay for this repair. I am financing a car I don't even drive.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #179

Aug 172009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. She states when driving the vehicle the steering locks up and then the light illuminates on the instrumental panel. And then she would have to shut the vehicle off and then restart it. The vehicle was taken to a dealer and they replaced three fuses. After the repair was performed there was an electrical smell and the power steering got worse. The vehicle has not been taken back to have it diagnosed again for the power steering but she is planning to take it back. The lock up on the steering happens about six to ten times daily. The failure mileage was 65000 and current mileage was 75000. Bl updated 10/5/09 the dealer found the steering motor and column bad. Updated 10/07/09.

- Carrollton, GA, USA

problem #178

Aug 232009


  • 38,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. At about 38,000 miles, the power steering would occasionally go out. This has become progressively more frequent, until now it happens almost all the time. A few times I could barely manage to turn a corner because of the effort it took to steer, and came within inches of going off the street into the ditch. Without power steering, it seems harder to turn than even a car that never had power steering. I've contacted my local GM dealer but they would not repair it without first my paying for an analysis, and with no guarantee that they would repair the problem if it was the power steering motor. My wife dares not drive this car for she fears she could not turn the steering if the power stops.

- Battle Ground, WA, USA

problem #177

Aug 212009


  • 57,190 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that has an electronic power steering failure. I am currently teaching two teenagers holding driving permits how to drive. While my 15 year old daughter was driving the power steering went out and I had to help her pull over to the side of the road as there was limited steering. Later restart car and power steering comes back. It shuts off at random intervals. Needless to say this is a very dangerous safety issue.

- Casa Grande, AZ, USA

problem #176

Aug 122009


  • 35,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt electronic power steering assist power steering light came on the instrument panel. Power steering goes out. Turn the car off and restart it and the power steering is working again. Then it will go out at anytime and will not work again until you restart the car. If you start it up in the driveway and back out into the street, it will go out as soon as you put the car into drive. If you turn it off and restart it and put it in drive 1st it will work for a while. You never know how long it will work or when it may go out again. The car has low miles and well maintained. I cant afford another car nor can I afford $1200 to $2000 to replace the whole steering column. Research on the net indicates possibly 1000's of these cars with the same problem. I cant even fantom my wife doing 65 mph and this happening to her. This is a recurring safety hazard that could cost 100's of innocent lives. Please force GM to rectify this problem. I've been a GM owner for years and if they truly wont to remain in business this is not the way to do it. This sort of problem could cost $1000's of dollars and hundreds of lives and accidents to no fault of the driver or the other car/cars involved. Thanks

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #175

May 272009


  • 17,000 miles
The electric power steering in my Chevy Cobalt has a problem. I live in the virgin island, St. Croix. The temp gets to 100 degree. I get three warning dings and the word power steering on my dashboard and immediately I have no power steering. When it cool down, it will work fine. On St. Croix it cost over $1000 to check and fix please help. The islands are hilly and it is dangerous to take conners and hills with out power steering.

- Christiansted, VI, USA

problem #174

Aug 102009


  • 68,000 miles
While driving, my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt's power steering light comes on and the wheel tightens to the point where it becomes to hard to drive. It happens at any time while driving. I have been driving straight and the light comes on and I have to pull over and turn the car off and back on to reset it inorder to drive. In the book it says that if the vehicle goes through to many hard turns while driving it tightens to slow the driver and stop them from driving irresponsibly. Since the problem occurred without fault to my driving I took it to the dealer and had the electronic power steering module and motor replaced it worked fine for one full day. Then the problem came back. I then took the car back to the dealer and they said that the power steering module had to be replaced again. I have looked online at others complaints on topix and and many others are having the same problems with the same system. This problem poses a serious safety issue since it happens instantly, there is no forewarning the power steering light comes on and the wheel tightens all at one time. It is especially unsafe when turning the vehicle because all you can do is keep straight or stop and turn off the vehicle.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #173

Aug 072009


  • 40,500 miles


I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. On August 7, 2009 my daughter (19 years old) was traveling with my niece (11) and my nephew (8) the power steering light came on making it impossible to steer the car. My daughter got it the side of the road, turned the car off, restarted the engine there was power steering she began traveling again and it repeatedly lost power steering. The car has been at the dealership to be repaired since the date of the incident there is an undetermined length of time before the part will available for repair. This is a very dangerous thing to happen. Please address this issue and require GM to recall these cars before someone gets hurt.

- Morris Plains, NJ, USA

problem #172

Aug 172009


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving she noticed that the power steering light was illuminated and within a few minutes the contact was unable to control the steering wheel. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 78000.

- Maddison, TN, USA

problem #171

Aug 182009


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss. While driving at 65 mph the power steering warning light flashed and the power steering in the vehicle disabled which caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The contact is aware of the safety risk involved. The current mileage was 59,000 and failure mileage was 58,000.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #170

Aug 162009


  • 52,000 miles
Power steering loss after driving the vehicle and without warning the powersteering goes out. This is very dangerous and it concerns me because my daughter and grandson used this car they don't use now for fear of an accident I still owe on the car and feel GM should fix the issue I searched the internet and a site which directed me to this site please help....

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #169

Jul 312009


  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. While driving 25-70 mph the power steering warning light illuminated and at high speeds the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle was unable to diagnose the failure. The current and failure mileages were 61,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #168

Jul 252009


  • 70,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ss supercharged. While driving down the road I experienced the complete loss of power steering. Luckily I was close enough to the dealer to bring it to the dealer who stated that this was a common problem and the part was on an at least three week backorder and that I could either leave the car with them and find another mode of transportation or drive it until they got the part.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #167

Jul 152009


  • 55,000 miles
I have a 2006 Cobalt that I bought in April of 2007. For the first year everything was fine until my message board flashed power steering and it went out. At first I could just turn the car off and on and it would go away. It did it about once a month afterwards up until July of 2009. Ever since then, even if I cut the car off, it will flash when I go over 20mph. Chevy said they cant do anything about it.

- Rural Hall, NC, USA

problem #166

Aug 112009


  • 70,000 miles
I currently own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt lt 2.2L. Recently as I am driving the power steering message appears on my dash and the power steering goes completely out. I have to try my hardest to navigate the vehicle off the road and turn it off, and upon restarting the vehicle it is fine again. Sometimes this occurs frequently and others it can go for a few minutes in between. The car has 70,000 miles on it and is in good condition and this situation occurred completely spur of the moment. The problem causes control of the vehicle to become very very hard and in many conditions could cause serious harm due to accidents resulting from being unable to turn the wheel and maintain control on the road. This problem is completely unrelated to any faults of the owner as the system is electronic and does not require maintenance.

- Ermine, KY, USA

problem #165

Aug 132009


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 10 mph on normal road conditions and proceeding to make a left turn onto a highway. The power steering warning light indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Suddenly there was a loss of power steering. The driver exerted higher effort to turn the steering wheel, and pulled over to the side of the road with caution. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was restarted and resumed to normal operation. Identical failures occurred while traveling. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician stated the failures were contributed to excessive usage of the steering wheel. The estimated repair cost was $1,200. The vehicle is inoperable and has not been repaired for the failure. The failure and current mileages were 68,000.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #164

Aug 162009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 23,146 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact states while was driving 60mph he noticed that the power steering light had illuminated on the dashboard and then the vehicle lost all power steering. He did not notice any difference beforehand. The current and failure mileage is 23146. Updated 10/26/09. Updated 10/26/09

- Brandon, FL, USA

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