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 52 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #83

May 312009


  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The power steering stopped functioning after a warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The failure occurred while driving 10 mph. The contact was still able to drive the vehicle, but with great difficulty. The vehicle has not been inspected by a dealer; however, the contact was informed that the repair would be expensive since there were no recalls on the instrument panel. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 68,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #82

May 222006


  • 44,525 miles
I purchased a 2006 Chevy Cobalt from the gsa through the norwalk auto auction (norwalk, California) two days ago. While on the way home I experienced a complete power failure of the steering system and the steering wheel became inoperable and struggled to make it to the emergency lane where I stopped. I moved the wheel from side to side and within moments the power steering warning light went off. I continued to have this problem two more times repeated the same process while on my 30+ mile return home. I have visited numerous consumer web sites times since and within the last two days I find that this is a common defect. This is probably why the government issued vehicle was auctioned off. Estimates to fix this problem are reported to be approximately $2,000. The complaints are numerous and the cost for replacement is obscene. Consumers report the repeated failure of this component even on repaired vehicles. Apparently the component fails at elevated temperatures repeatedly. I am 6'1" and 250lbs. And I struggled to control the car, there is no doubt that my wife at 5'. 115lbs. Will have even more difficulty to maintain control. If I am unable to resolve this issue at a more reduced cost I will sell this vehicle to another unsuspecting individual just like the good 'ol gsa of the usa did to me. This is a serious safety issue and should be addressed.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #81

May 202009


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed without warning and almost caused a crash at 40 mph. The dealer stated that the steering column needed to be replaced and the vehicle should not be driven. The contact feels that this is a serious safety risk. The current mileage was 57,000 and failure mileage was 3,000.

- Castlewood, VA, USA

problem #80

May 202009


  • 61,436 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering fails randomly. The failure previously occurred at 20,000 miles and was reported to GM, but they never took action or repaired the vehicle. The contact was informed that the vehicle was out of warranty. The vehicle is currently at the dealer being repaired at the contact's expense. The failure mileage was 61,436.

- Auburn Hills, MI, USA

problem #79

May 142009


  • 52,051 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 35 mph on normal road conditions, the vehicle resisted unexpectedly while making a turn. The driver exerted greater effort to turn the steering wheel. The power steering warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The driver pulled the vehicle over to the side of the road and turned off the engine. The vehicle was restarted after a few moments and resumed normal operation. The failure occurs without warning whenever the vehicle is in motion. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing and they stated that the steering motor failed. The repair part was unavailable. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 52,051.

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #78

Feb 052009


  • 19,000 miles
Driving home powersteering light came on and power steering went out. I was told by the dealer to turn the car off and the computer will rest itself. It lasted for a while, but started again. Car had 19,000 miles, bought new and dealer wants me to pay $1,100., to replace the whole steering column. Do not have $1,100 to pay for this new vehicle. I am taking chance driving this vehicle and the powersteering light will come on anytime. Warranty ran out 01/09. The 1st incident occurred Feb 5th, 2009. Fox Chevy dealer advised 3 yr warranty expired.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #77

Mar 102009


  • 60,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt that on frequent occasions the power steering unit goes out for no reason at all. It seems that this happens as the outside temperature increases. It doesn't matter if I am on the interstate or driving in my neighborhood. I have researched this issue and have found 1000's of complaints on this power steering problem. I hope this brings this to your attention for GM to recall this issue before someone is killed.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #76

May 082009


  • 46,840 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving between 55-60 mph on normal road conditions, the steering wheel locked up without warning. The driver pulled over to the side of the road with caution and turned off the engine. She waited a few minutes and the vehicle restarted normally. The failure recurred several times while driving to her destination. The failure recurs whenever the vehicle is in operation. The failure and current mileages were 46,840.

- Temple, GA, USA

problem #75

May 122009


  • 40,000 miles
My son owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. The power steering light comes on and then the power steer locks up to where you are unable to turn the steering wheel. The quick fix is to cut off the ignition and restart. This is only a short term fix as it happens again within the next 10 miles or so and is becoming more frequent as time goes on. Does someone have to die before a recall is issued" after reading the reported problems on the internet this is a very common thing for the 2005 and 2006 models. I have seen recalls on here for lesser things like not enough amber in a turn signal? how is this any more dangerous than losing the ability to steer while doing 70 mph on the interstate? it is a matter of time before a death or permanent disability happens to someone. GM has to be aware of this problem by now. I guess they will just take there chances being that they are filing bankruptcy. I beg you to recall this component. How many more complaints are needed"

- Moody, AL, USA

problem #74

Apr 012009


  • 51,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ltz and the power steering has went out on it numerous times while im driving, trying to make a turn, while my 2 children were in the car. It makes the car extremely hard to steer around a curve. Thankfully I have only about hit other cars. But I still have to drive it because I don't have any other way to work, until I can save enough money to get it fixed. I don't know what caused it but, I have done some research and there are many people dealing with this problem with the Cobalt 06. I have to replace the whole electric power steering part bout $1000 that I don't have.. I M a single mom of two boys. I think there really needs to be a recall done on this particular part on the 06 Cobalt. Before someone is hurt.. there are to many people having problems with this.. oh and did I mention my warranty just ran out..

- Des Arc, AR, USA

problem #73

Apr 182009


  • 44,500 miles


Our 2006 Chevy Cobalt has started having power steering failures. The car has 44,000 miles. Two weeks ago while driving down the highway, the ps light indicator flashed on and we did our best to try and get off the road. If we turn the car off and then back on, the power steering will work, but the problem is becoming more frequent; at least a couple of times a week. This car was bought new and is driven by my 20 yr. Old honor college student. I had a mechanic check this and he told me the steering column had to be replaced at a cost of approx. $1500.

- Murchison, TX, USA

problem #72

Nov 152008


  • 65,000 miles
My power steering has been going on and off since 2008. I took it to the dealership and they said I have to replace the entire column. The power steering goes out every day. As soon I turn on the car and go a few yards it goes out. The problem has gotten worse. It's a lot harder to turn and a lot more frequent than it was in November.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #71

Apr 172009


  • 37,289 miles
The power steering lock up every time I drive the car. The key will not come out of the steering column. Cant drive the car.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #70

Apr 102009


  • 75,000 miles
Driving down the highway and the power steering went out, power steering goes in and out on 2006 Chevy Cobalt.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #69

Apr 252009


  • 49,000 miles
The power steering in the vehicle went out while making a turn almost causing a collision with the oncoming vehicle.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #68

Apr 182009


  • 85,200 miles
While driving at 35 mph, heard beeping and message on dic read"power steering". pulled to the shoulder and restarted the car. No message was displayed after restarting the car, but problem remains. Car will lose power steering now more frequently, at least 5 times during a 45 minute ride. Have to keep pulling over to restart the car to fix the problem. Car is 3 years old with about 85,200. Have not repaired it yet, car not under warranty.

- Vernon, NJ, USA

problem #67

Feb 022009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 30 mph on wet road conditions, the contact heard a loud noise underneath the vehicle. Immediately, the vehicle spun out of control several times before skidding off the road surface into a wooded area. The failure occurred without warning. The police department and roadside assistance were called to the scene and a police report was filed. The driver sustained minor facial injuries. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for inspection, but the cause of the failure has not yet been determined. The manufacturer engineers are investigating the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were unknown. Updated 05/11/09. The lower control arm was replaced. Updated 05/11/09.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #66

Apr 072009


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at any speed, the power steering locks up. The dealer stated that it was a common failure with the Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the failure was guaranteed to occur when the vehicle was at 50,000 miles and out of warranty. A report was filed with the manufacturer and they stated that there was no recall. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 63,000.

- Oklahoma , OK, USA

problem #65

Oct 132007


  • miles
Starting in October 2007, I have had ongoing power steering problems with my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. Without warning, the power steering will suddenly quit while the transmission will start jumping. The car becomes unable to drive. This will happen while driving. The problem will occur and then go back to normal a short time later. I have brought my car into the dealer four times now concerning this issue. I have been told that they don't know what to do. I am not the only one experiencing this problem. After doing some research, I have found that this happens to be a very common problem with the Cobalt. There is currently an online petition to have the Chevy Cobalt recalled. This is a huge safety issue!!! I am afraid to drive my car. Something needs to be done before someone is killed.

- White Lake, MI, USA

problem #64

Mar 172009


  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 20 mph, the contact noticed smoke coming from the hood of the vehicle. He pulled over and turned off the vehicle. The vehicle was diagnosed and it was discovered that the serpentine belt failed and caused the engine to lock. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and repaired under warranty. In addition, the power steering failed twice and is currently being repaired. The failure and current mileages were 44,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

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