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 51 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #103

Jun 292009


  • 83,000 miles


I was driving 2006 Chevy Cobalt down the highway at 70 mpg and the message displayed power steering and I had no power steering so I pulled off onto a ramp and turned off the car and restarted the car and everything was fine and down the road about 3 miles it happened again. This can not be safe at all and can't believe that there is not a recall on the steering column. I got the car in the shop today (June 30th) and the quote I got was $750 to fix. And I would be able to have the old part.

- Paola, KS, USA

problem #102

Jun 152009


  • 63,250 miles
The power steering in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt no longer works. The mechanic said he could not repair it and that I must go to a dealership. I have not gone yet. The power steering is on for about 5 seconds when I first start the car, then the "power steering" pops up on my electronic display and it makes a beeping sound.

- Long Branch, NJ, USA

problem #101

Jun 112009


  • 50,220 miles
We bought this 2006 Cobalt certified used, for our daughter for school last year. It was fine until the other day she was driving and while making a right turn the power steering light came on and there was no power steering. She had to lock the brakes in order too not hit another car head on. Her boyfriend was with her so he could turn the wheel to get it to the side of the street. She turned the car off and started it again and the steering worked for a couple of blocks and went out again. Now everytime you start it goes out in a couple of seconds. I researched this problem on the internet and found many complaints. The car has only 50220 miles, so of course it is out of warranty. I got in contact with someone from the company that makes the steering column and he said to take it to the dealer and they should take care of it. So I took it to the dealer and they sent it in to GM, I waited a week for an answer. They called back and said GM was not aware of any problems and they would not assist. I am in contact with Chevy customer service waiting for an answer. The car has been sitting for two weeks.

- Mendota, IL, USA

problem #100

Apr 222009


  • 24,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact experienced multiple failures with the power steering over the last four months. While driving 55 mph, he noticed that the steering became stiff and caused him to lose steering control. The contact was able to safely maneuver the vehicle to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop and the technician stated that the power steering fuse failed. The vehicle was repaired at the cost of $50. The failure recurred three weeks later. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but they could not determine the cause of the failure. The vehicle is currently being inspected for the failure so a repair can be made. The contact filed a complaint with the manufacturer and was informed that a district specialist would call him on June 23, 2009. The contact has not yet received a call. The failure mileage was 24,000 and current mileage was 25,000.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #99

Jun 222009


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph, the contact noticed that the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The power steering failed at the same time. Once the vehicle was turned off and restarted, the power steering began working properly again. The failure occurred the previous day as well. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 51,000.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #98

Jun 212009


  • 53,138 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph, the power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel, which indicated that it was failing. The steering became very stiff and the contact was unable to move the steering from side to side. She managed to safely maneuver the vehicle to the shoulder of the road and shut off the vehicle. The failure was not present once the vehicle was restarted. The vehicle has not been inspected nor repaired. The contact is in the process of notifying the dealer and manufacturer. The failure mileage was 53,138 and current mileage was 53,500.

- Bossier, LA, USA

problem #97

Jun 182009


  • 40,250 miles


I purchased a 2006 Chevy Cobalt in June of 2007 it was a new car. There has been no recalls for any parts concerning the power steering. On June 18, 2009 on my dash board had a dic message come up staying power steering and I completely lost control of the power steering in the car. Thank goodness I did not have an accident, but it made the car very difficult to turn or control. It happened twice. After I shut the off it resumed normal driving. Then it happened again about 20 minutes later. I believe this is a safety issue and the GM corporation should be aware of this and take responsibility for fixing these errors. On June 19, 2009, I took my car to licensed mechanic and they said there is a short in the power steering motor. The mechanic also stated that he has had several Chevy in the shop for the same problem. The part is available but it will cost around a $1000 dollars to fix with parts and labor, which it is our of my budget with the state of our economy. I also did research on the internet and found many other individuals with the same problems with their Chevy and power steering. It is very frightening when their are two small children in the backseat of the car as well.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #96

Mar 142009


  • 51,000 miles
There were no prior events leading up to my power steering going out while I was driving on the highway. All of a sudden, my power steering light clicked on and I could barely turn my steering wheel and in fact almost got into a serious accident. I took it straight to the dealership and was told it wasn't just my power steering but my entire steering column was shot at only 50K. GM replaced the steering column for $800; absolutely absurd for a car I bought brand new in 2006.

- Ramona, CA, USA

problem #95

May 112009


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering suddenly failed while making a turn at a low speed. The failure also occurred while driving in reverse. The failure usually occurs at speeds of 35 mph or less. The vehicle has not been taken to a dealer or mechanic for inspection. Through online research, the contact found numerous complaints for the same issue. The failure mileage was 55,000 and current mileage was 57,000.

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #94

Jun 092009


  • 78,000 miles
Steering failure in the Chevrolet Cobalt. I was driving and the power steering went out. Took car in to the Chevrolet dealers services department, I was told that it was the intermediate steering shaft, I was told that this part was replaced but when they test drove the car they found the steering to be impossible to turn. They released the car back to us without solving the problem. I find this to be troubling since this is their product. This is a very serious problem and GM should be liable for this problem. There should a recall on the steering column in the Cobalt, before someone is killed.

- Homewood, IL, USA

problem #93

Jun 132009


  • 67,400 miles


Dear sir or madam: On my way to wal-mart on route 40 one Saturday afternoon, a "power steering" message came up on my 2006 Cobalt ss dashboard. This was happening as I was increasing my speed close to the speed limit of 55 miles an hour. I arrived to my destination with difficulty since I have never driven a car without power steering and driving it took a lot of effort to avoid crashing in the parking lot traffic. After I shopped at wal-mart and returned to my car, I started engine and relieved that the problem has disappeared. Much to my dismay, I went back to route 40 up to 55 miles an hour again with the power steering problem appearing again. Based on what I've experienced so far, the power steering seems to get turned "off" during a long, straight-away drive at more than 50 miles an hour on a hot weather. It has happened twice today and I'm concerned that it may happen again and again. The defect could endanger myself and my passengers in the event the power steering is much more needed, especially in low traffic speeds. During low traffic speeds, it increases the risk of an accident due to a more required effort to steer. Nothing has been done to it yet and I will be calling my car dealership soon to see if my zurich vehicle contract covers the electronic power steering. Since GM's warranty has expired already, it will not be covered. I have searched the web and found that countless Cobalt owners are having the similar problems, which worries me. General Motors hasn't started a recall for the defect and it's unfortunate because the defect can end up being fatal to many other Cobalt owners. I hope General Motors isn't being negligent, especially now that they are under bankruptcy protection. I bought the 2006 Cobalt ss 4 months ago used and I've accumulated 7000 miles on it with an odometer reading of about 67,400. It was a great car until I find out it's pretty unsafe with a re-occurring power steering problem.

- Hagerstown, MD, USA

problem #92

May 122009


  • 40,000 miles
My husband and I purchased to 2006 Chevy Cobalt in September of 06. Since the purchase of my, "brand new" car the air conditioning, power locks, and power steering have all ceased to work. My air conditioning only worked for one summer. The power locks went out about 6 months ago. Now, the most concerning is that my power steering has now failed. I turn the car on and have power steering for approximately 2-3 minutes, then the cars power steering fails. I will never have the money to replace any parts because of the high payments and insurance. My poor husband is a pizza delivery person! this is the worst thing to happen. I tried to buy an american made car hoping that I would at least get to drive it for a few years without having it break down. Now GM is getting my paycheck and the taxes they took out of it!! this is plain wrong! I will never buy GM again.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #91

Jun 032009


  • 69,000 miles
I almost got in a major accident a week ago because my power steering failed on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss/SC. My warranty is up and the dealer told me it would be 900 dollars to fix. I am disgusted this is not recalled. This is extremely dangerous and needs to be recalled. And I understand there are alot of other people with the same problem. Just wait until someone really gets hurt, cause I know GM wont recall it until someone does!!!!

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #90

May 312009


  • 60,200 miles
My 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt with electronic power steering has an intermittent problem in that the power steering just turns off. There are no apparent reasons why. I can drive 1-2 days with no problem and the third day it will quit 4 or 5 times. Turning the car off and restarting it turns it back on. Chevrolet has recalled the Malibu because of the same problem but nothing is being done with the Cobalt. This obviously a big safety issue since the car is very hard to steer when the power steering just quits. I have not had any accidents yet due to this problem and will have it repaired however it seems a matter of time before some unexpected person has this happen at an inopportune time resulting in an accident.

- Mansfield, TX, USA

problem #89

Jun 062009


  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering fails while driving various speeds. As a result, the steering wheel becomes very difficult to turn. The dealer stated that there were no recalls and the warranty was expired; therefore, the contact would have to pay over $3,000 for the repairs. The failure mileage was 36,000.

- Stratford, CT, USA

problem #88

Apr 232009


  • miles
I bought a 2006 Chevy Cobalt April 9,2009. After about 2 weeks the power steering light came on. I took it to the dealership and they said the steering column is going out and it would cost about $900. Now the light comes on after a few minutes. The car was not under warranty, but I think they knew there was something wrong with it. I have checked on the internet and a lot of people have the same complaint. There should be a recall or something help for people like me that cannot afford to have it repaired.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #87

Jun 062009


  • 52,102 miles
While driving the vehicle at highway speeds for approximately 5 minutes, I slowed to make a left turn when I noticed the steering wheel was hard to turn, as I looked at the dash to make sure the engine had not died, I noticed that the power steering message was on. After I stopped to attempt to locate the power steering reservoir...(which I later determined that this vehicle does not have.) upon re-starting the vehicle it seemed to work fine...for about ten miles. I turned the vehicle off and restarted with a resolution of he problem. The problem re-occurred several times on the way home. The current mileage was 57,102. This vehicle will be parked in until I contact a dealer on Monday to report this problem. I do not feel safe transporting my family in this vehicle. After searching the internet and this appears this is a big problem on these vehicles. GM should look at this carefully and notice that there have been no deaths or injuries>>>>yet>>>! with the current financial troubles of automakers today...I doubt the would really want a huge injury or death related lawsuit to be filed against them. Everyone with a voice (and a Cobalt with problems) should make themselves heard and voice these complaints! as Cobalt owners we should consider ourselves lucky just to be able to write a complaint about this problem! something has to be done to correct this issue!

- Macarthur, WV, USA

problem #86

Jun 032009


  • 45,500 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt which I'm upset to say has caused me to almost be involved in various accidents. This problem started since December, 2006. While driving, my "power steering" warning comes on, and before you know it, you loose control of your car. This has almost made me get into a few accidents. The manufacturers should be more serious about the consumer's safety. I'm enraged and terrified to think this might happen when I'm in the car with my kids. As a result, I don't go out to prevent any accidents. Manufacturers should do something to resolve this problem. I'm pretty sure, if they were the ones who drove my car, they would be more selective about the quality of their product. I will never own a Chevy again.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #85

May 292009


  • 46,589 miles
I was driving down the road and all of sudden my wheel locked on me. I try to get out of the way of a oncoming car and I was very frighten. This could have been a serious accident if I was not thinking on my feet. Chevrolet should have a recall on the steering wheel column. I only got 45,000 miles on the car and only own it for about 3 yrs.

- Greenville, NC, USA

problem #84

Jun 012009


  • 68,400 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that a power steering mechanism in her vehicle failed three times in one day. She had to turn off the vehicle and wait for it to reset itself. The dealer and manufacturer have not been notified. The failure mileage was 68,400.

- Lewisburg, TN, USA

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