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 48 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #163

Aug 072008


  • 55,432 miles


Power steering went out on 06 Chevy Cobalt and GM does not have the remedies to fix it.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #162

Aug 162009


  • 50,080 miles
We were driving down the road and the power steering went out as the computer lcd prompted a power steering failure. We tried turning off the car and restarting but in less than 2 minutes the power steering went out again. We have no money to get it repaired so we have no idea how we will resolve this power steering issue to get to work tomorrow so this presents a major problem and currently there are no recalls for this failure.

- Miami Lakes, FL, USA

problem #161

Aug 012009


  • 50,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt. Power steering fails intermittently and is fine once the car is turned off and then on again. This occurs at least once every time the car is driven. This is independent of speed or any condition that I can recall.

- Cocoa, FL, USA

problem #160

Aug 102009


  • 47,000 miles


I am the owner of a 2006 Chevy Cobalt with approximately 47000 miles. Recently, my wife was driving to the grocery store with my two small children when the power steering went out. Fortunately, she was able to gain control of the vehicle and bring it to a stop on the side of the road. After turning the car off and then back on the power steering returned to normal. This has happened several more times after the incident. My wife was able to get the car to a mechanic who informed her that the electronic power steering motor is going bad and that we were not the first to have this problem. We also found that this car has a recall on its fuel injectors as well as the head liner. Currently no recall on the power steering problem. The car is scheduled for repair on August 22nd.

- Martinez, GA, USA

problem #159

Aug 082009


  • 63,613 miles
I got in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt car this past Saturday and was driving down the hill that I live on when I reach the curb and need to turn and the steering wheel would not turn and locked while driving. There was a car coming the other direction and I almost hit it because my steering wheel locked. The steering wheel is still locked and I haven't been back in it to drive. This car does not have power steering fluid it is all electronic.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #158

Dec 282008


  • 80,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt 2dr coupe. First, about a year ago my power locks stopped working and they would randomly go up and down while I was driving. I got that fixed and then on 12/28/2008 I was driving from shreveport, la to chattanooga, tn. It was fine for most of the trip but as I was getting off the exit in chattanooga, my power steering went out. At first it would do it randomly but after about a month of it happening now it happens every time I drive the car. It works when I crank the car up but after about 1-2 miles, the power steering goes out. I took it to the dealership and was told that it needed a steering column and it would cost $1200 which I could not afford. Then last week on 08/02/2009, a lot of things stopped working. The odometer, cruise control, temp. Gauge, and speedometer. And the car would not change gears. Since it stayed in a low gear I could only drive about 30 mph to take it to the shop. It turned out that it needed a transmission control module and it cost $362. After that everything started working again except the power steering. I know this is a common issue as there were over 500 complaints about the issue on the one website that I looked at and that's only one website ( I feel that this is a very dangerous problem and something should be done about it! also, the air conditioner has leaked water onto my passenger side floor since I have owned the car and I have also read that this is a common issue.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #157

Aug 122009


  • 58,800 miles


Last night I was driving and noticed my power steering light kept flashing. A few minutes later my car started jerking back and forth, cutting in and out, and shuckling when I turned the steering wheel. I assumed my gas was faulty, so I cut the car off, put in octane booster and more gas. After this it ran okay, but I am complaining because I felt like my safety was in danger because of how my car was responding. If this happens again I will complain again. I am still under warranty and will take this to the dealership.

- Dalton, GA, USA

problem #156

Jul 302009


  • 32,500 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 55 mph, the interior chime sounded three times. In addition, the power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. Suddenly, the power steering failed and the driver had to exert greater effort to turn the steering wheel. The consumer pulled over to the side of the road and the engine was turned off. When the vehicle was restarted, the power steering was functional again; however, the warning light remained lit until the engine was turned off. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing and they stated that the failure was contributed to the power steering unit, which needed to be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 32,500. Updated 09/14/09. Updated 09/16/09.

- New Bedford, MA, USA

problem #155

Aug 102009


  • 44,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. It has the problem where in the middle of driving it will randomly shut off the power steering. The steering wheel will even lock up at times. I have almost been in several accidents because of this. It is my only means of transportation. I am stuck with this car, because it costs around 1100 dollars to fix! I searched the internet and there is a countless amount of people that are having this problem. I fear for my life every day that I have to drive this car. Now this car has 44K miles on it and it is just out of warranty. I do not want any one else killed because of this poor manufacturing. If there is a class action lawsuit, I want to be involved! also, this issue happens almost everyday for the past month and continues. Once I pull over to the side of the road (if I can) and shut the car off then turn it back on, the power steering resumes working and I can drive for a while again.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #154

Aug 102009


  • 80,726 miles
I have a 2006 Cobalt and the power steering just went out. I have heard several people complain about power steering system failing on theirs as well.

- Campton, KY, USA

problem #153

Aug 102009


  • 85,000 miles


I am driving my Chevy Cobalt 2006 on a busy road and all of a sudden my power steering light goes on and my wheel will not turn. I couldn't even steer my car to avoid traffic at first unless I really tugged at the wheel. This is extremely dangerous! estimated repair is 2000! on a 2006 car now that it is out of warranty!

- Ferndale, MI, USA

problem #152

Aug 102006


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at any speed, the power steering fails. When the failure occurs, the contact must turn off the engine and wait momentarily for the vehicle to restart. In addition, the power steering locks, which makes the key difficult to remove from the ignition. The contact must rattle the key, place the vehicle into park, and continue shifting in order to release the key. The failure mileage was 28,000.

- Lebanon, PA, USA

problem #151

Aug 032009


  • 27,500 miles
Power steering failure while on way to work. Warning light came on prior to power steering failure. Dealer contacted, and car taken in the next day. Although the warning light did not come on and the steering worked the next day, was told there was a problem with the electronic components in the steering column, and the motors were faulty. Parts had to be replaced.

- Burbank, CA, USA

problem #150

Aug 052009


  • 61,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt power steering keeps going out and when you cut it off and recrank it will work for a little while then same thing happens again. Bought it used in 2008 didn't think I would need warranty so I didn't purchase it and from what I'm reading on different forums this is an ongoing problem for many Cobalt owners its time Chevrolet did a recall to fix this dangerous issue.

- Fieldale, VA, USA

problem #149

May 202009


  • 46,020 miles
I was driving down the road in may and the power steering cut out while in motion. I immediately pulled over, turned engine off and then restarted the vehicle. The power steering began working again, but then cut out again after a few miles while still driving. This occurs every time I drive the car; works, cuts out, I restart the vehicle, power steering begins working, then cuts out again....everytime I drive!! my mechanic has tried replacing the computer chip and everything short of dismantling the vehicle. He informed me that he discovered that thousands of Cobalt owners have had the same problem. Unfortunately, GM refuses to do a recall despite the danger of the failure. The power steering column needs to be replaced. I am hoping GM will step up to assist their customers that cannot afford this repair.

- Pasadena, MD, USA

problem #148

Aug 082009


  • 84,076 miles
The events leading up to this failure were none. I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and my electrical powering steering went out on a trip with my two children. I am so upset about this. The "power steering" light came on exactly one minute before this happened on the highway. I had no notice and had to pull hard off the highway and restart the car. I took it to the Chevy dealership (without a warranty) and it is going to cost $2000. I do not have this kind of money and also still owe $10,500 on a car that is dangerous to drive my children in. The entire steering column will have to be replaced is what the Chevy dealership said.

- Auburndale, FL, USA

problem #147

Jul 012009


  • miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt steering is going out while driving. Very concerned. Why has this not been a recall.

- Valrico, FL, USA

problem #146

Aug 042009


  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 30 mph, the contact heard a chiming noise inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Suddenly, the power steering failed. The driver had to exert greater effort to turn the steering wheel. The power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The driver proceeded to a parking lot and turned off the engine. Roadside assistance was called to the scene and the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The technician stated that the steering column motor assembly failed. The vehicle was being repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 28,000.

- Boventry, CT, USA

problem #145

Aug 062009


  • 32,210 miles
The power steering stops working, and I have to turn off my car and it works again for only one minute! and it stops working again!

- Hidalgo, TX, USA

problem #144

Jul 242009


  • 37,359 miles
Car traveled 75 ft while in park with the engine running and entered a lake at a girl scout camp. Vehicle declared a total loss by insurance carrier. Car had the shifter assembly binding replaced on 10/6/08 with mileage of 28201 mi. At an authorized Chevrolet dealer while still under warranty because the key could not be removed from ignition because the car did not recognize it was in park.

- Elizabeth, NJ, USA

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