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 49 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #143

Aug 032009


  • 48,500 miles


The power steering goes out in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ss coupe. When this happens it causes the steering to be very difficult to steer and a crash could result.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #142

Aug 042009


  • 62,305 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While approaching a stop, the contact noticed that the power steering suddenly stopped working. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The failure mileage was 62,305.

- Carrolton, TX, USA

problem #141

Aug 032009


  • 61,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt, power steering keeps going out.

- Fieldale, VA, USA

problem #140

Aug 032009


  • 77,345 miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, 77,000 miles words powersteering lit up on dash and I was unable to steer car while moving. No consequences on block from my house but it is not a fluid system. This is not preventable and I viewed one report with over 375 complaints of the same problem with 2005 - 2008 Cobalts. This needs to be recalled if this is a steering column problem with such prevalence. I travel quite a distance to work. What if I had been on the interstate as usual?

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #139

Aug 042009


  • 37,877 miles
Chevrolet Cobalt's power steering disables the car, while in operation! the brakes disengage and transmission shakes violently.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #138

Aug 032009


  • 43,750 miles
1. we were driving and a light came on that said that there was a problem with the power steering. 2. it happens within several seconds of starting the car, that the power steering fails. 3. went to the Chevy dealership and they said that there is a shortage in the power steering box and that I would have to replace it and it would cost $1,000.

- Oklahoma City , OK, USA

problem #137

Aug 012009


  • miles


2006 Chevy Cobalt-power steering pump goes out unexpectedly. After researching many databases, seems this is a severe problem with this model car and this particular style of electric power steering pump that GM utilizes. GM continues to ignore the consumer regarding this problem without issuing recalls or safety messages.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #136

Jun 302008


  • 30,000 miles
While traveling at highway speeds, approximately 40 mph a message appears in the message center in my dash indicating the power steering has gone out. I feel no difference in steering, but when the car switches gears (it is an automatic ) it is very rough and almost dies. It occurs randomly and has happened twice this week local repair shop couldn't find any problem.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #135

Jul 302009


  • 82,000 miles
My power steering went out on my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. I was on the expressway and it went out. If I pull over and turn the car off, let it sit, turn back on, it will work fine for a random period of time before it goes out again. I almost got into an accident. Now it keeps going out. I did some online research and found that hundreds and hundreds of people are having this problem. This is a very dangerous problem.

- Madison Heights, MI, USA

problem #134

Jul 172009


  • 29,978 miles
Electric power assist system went off while driving after a few minutes. The problem repeats at random intervals.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #133

Jul 281992


  • miles


Power steering failure. Electrical system failure.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #132

May 062008


  • 50,000 miles
At 50,000 miles or so the power steering failed, it no longer works. I heard this is a common problem with the Chevrolet Cobalt. GM will not fix this problem now because my car is no longer under warranty.

- Compton, CA, USA

problem #131

Jul 282009


  • 53,950 miles
While driving my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, the power steering message would appear on the led screen and the power steering would fail, reverting back to manual steering. Fortunately, I was able to control the vehicle and avoid driving underneath a tractor trailer, but others may not be as fortunate. I read several hundred postings on a website last night with other people experiencing the same problems. GM will not acknowledge that there is a problem with the vehicles steering, or potentially a defect prompting a recall. Once you turn the car off and restart it, the power steering works again and then the problem will repeat itself again sometimes within seconds of several minutes. This has been occurring for 3 days now and getting worse. I am waiting to take the vehicle to a GM dealer for evaluation, and I'm already being told that this is a non-covered warranty problem, costing around $2,000 to fix.

- Lyndhurst, NJ, USA

problem #130

Jul 172009


  • 69,400 miles
Power steering comes on and off in my car. Stays off mostly when driving it but comes back on for a brief minute after restarting the engine before going back off again. I have filed a complaint to GM corporation who did nothing about the problem despite it being a safety issue. There is a service bulletin active from GM about the steering issue as I was shown by another mechanic.

- Winter Haven, FL, USA

problem #129

Jul 262009


  • 38,956 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that is under 40000 miles. The power steering message comes on and the I lose control of the vehicle not being able to turn the wheel. This does not happen while I am at a stop it happens while I am driving in traffic. When I turn the car off it will work fine for a while and then I lose the power steering again. I took it to the mechanic and they said that they couldn't find anything wrong, but as soon I had left it started it again. I went back to the mechanic and they said that I need to replace the steering column and that will cost over $700. I have only had this car for 3 years and have kept up on all routine maintenance. This is ?!@#$%!!! I looked online and there are numerous people who have had the same complaints about this car. And as usual my warranty was just expired. This car is dangerous and I can no longer feel safe driving on the road.

- Winter Springs, FL, USA

problem #128

Jul 252009


  • 72,000 miles
Power steering warning light comes on while driving, power steering immediately stops working, once you turn the car off it resets but no more then 5 minutes and it fails again! I luckily have not had an accident yet while this occurs but there is definitely potential for one, I brought the car to the dealer and they want to charge me over 800 dollars to replace the steering column, which I've heard is not the problem.

- Lancaster , CA, USA

problem #127

Mar 102008


  • 62,000 miles
Well my power steering worked for a while when I bought it, but one day I was getting on the interstate and all of a sudden my power steering icon came on and it got very hard to steer so I pull over and turn the car off turn it back on and it worked fine. A few days pass and it happens again so I turn it off and bout 30 minutes later it happens again. Now my power steering only works bout 4 seconds long enough for me to restart my car to make a U-turn.

- Cleveland , TN, USA

problem #126

Jul 162008


  • 53,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt. It runs off of a electronic power steering system which differs from the typical hydraulic power steering fluid system. Every time I start the car then rotate the steering wheel to back out of my drive way my power steering shuts down. The first time it happened I was driving down the interstate to orlando and it locked up. This problem can be fatal if someone who is driving is not prepared or cannot drive a car without power steering. I have read thousands upon thousand of Chevy Cobalt drivers having this same issues and all General Motors is telling us to do is take it to a dealership which then gets followed up by a nice $2000+ bill. If this problem does not get corrected I am almost certain that deaths could result from this problem. Going down the road and power steering locks up with a turn coming up means a horrific car accident will ensue not only for the driver of the impaired vehicle but others on the road as well. I am awaiting a reply back from an attorney im speaking with this concerning any lemon law issues in the state of Florida and I would hope that the NHTSA is looking into this matter. I know I am not the only one with this issue and it appears in Saturn ions as well. The problem seems to occur from vehicles years from 2005-2007 the most as I have not fully looked into the 2008's yet. NHTSA please assist us!!! I do not want to be one or see a motorist on the road lose power steering a life gets lost due to the power steering failing.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #125

Jun 282009


  • 74,291 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at any speed, the contact noticed that the power steering failed. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 74,291.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #124

Jul 012009


  • 72,000 miles
I have an 06 Chevy Cobalt that I purchased in November of 2006. Recently the power steering has been going out while I'm driving down the road. The only way to make it stop is to stop the car and turn it off. It has done it several times in the past two weeks and is very dangerous. I have read several other cases with the same issues and this should be a recall.

- Charlestown, IN, USA

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