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 9 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #943

Mar 232014


  • 103,000 miles


I was driving on the highway, and my Cobalt suddenly lost power steering. I received flashing warning messages for power steering and another one saying "service air bag." I am worried that if I am in an accident, the air bags will not deploy. These two things happened simultaneously.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #942

Mar 212014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The contact also mentioned that the power steering ocassionally failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage and VIN was not aviailable.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #941

Feb 162007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I purchased my 2006 Cobalt in February of 2007 with mileage of +/- 30000, within the first 2 weeks I had to have the steering column and power steering assist replaced and had to pay for front end alignment caused by the steering a) steering wheel shaking when driving at highway speeds and very violently when breaking and B) the power steering going out. The car now has 107000 miles on it and have had trouble with this same shaking when driving and it being violent when breaking. The dealership states GM is aware but I still have had to redo my front brakes twice (which helps temporarily)..the last time being in June or August of 2013. The shop tells me the problem the first time was the front rotors were sticking and the ground them down smooth. Then the shaking started again. I had to take my car in to have the rotors ground down again and have a serpentine belt replaced. So here I am again 7 months later and will have to do this again because the shaking has started again and is becoming so bad it will have to go to the shop again at my cost for something they know about but will not fix. I have already received a recall letter regarding the ignition problem but am told that the parts are not available and will be informed when they are. This steering/braking problem is serious and I some times fear that either something will break inside the car or I will not be able to hold on to the steering wheel and will wreak. I am afraid to drive my car any distance or speed because I fear it will fail and I see that this has been an ongoing problem since 2007 and people have complained but have received no satisfaction.

- Post Falls, ID, USA

problem #940

Mar 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Driving down the road and all items on gauge cluster die and come back on over and over again. Security light pops on ABS light comes on air bag light comes on. I lose power steering when this happens and sometime vehicle wont start and my security light pops on. Sometimes nothing in my gauge cluster wont work and all warning lights will appear when driving down the road or as soon as I start my vehicle.

- Bennington, VT, USA

problem #939

Jan 252009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
When the accident happen, my son and his friend were going to his other friend house to stay. His friend that lived said he was having trouble controlling the steering they ran off the road hitting the side of the road flipping the car, my son was thrown out of the car and was dead on the scene.

- Ocean Isle Beach Sw, NC, USA

problem #938

Jan 252009


  • 22,000 miles
You know when my son bought this car, I know he thought he had the best, this is part of your reviews. New for 2006 are ss sedan and coupe models with normally aspirated engines. These new ss models fit between the lt and ss supercharged models. Their price, power and performance and body work are all toned down from the ss supercharged coupe, but they're sporty cars and possibly the best choice in the lineup, boasting 171-horsepower engines and sports suspensions.this car was suppose to handle good. But now he is dead because of this car. Do you people at chevorlet even know how people feel or what kind of emotion a parent goes through with losing a child and how my life has changed. I will never see him get married, have children. I will never be able to talk to him, feel him, tell him I love him. Yes, I'm hurt. I want you to pay for the mess you have done for my son's life and the life of others. Because you guys hid this mess for years you knew. How many people have too get injured or die. Just look at all the recalls just for this car. Just to think Chevrolet has been the choice of vehicles we have always driven.

- Ocean Isle Beach Sw, NC, USA

problem #937

May 012013


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the front end of the vehicle would shake and become unstable. The contact indicated that repairs to the power steering were performed. No further information was available. The contact also stated that he was unable to remove the ignition key from the ignition switch. The ignition defect was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #936

Oct 202013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 164,100 miles
I was traveling on a 2 lane road that I travel most every day, the road is not busy most I was entering a sharp curve suddenly the car engine quit and next thing I knew I was raking the guardrail on the right side of the road, .damaged the car more than it was worth, this was only the 2nd time the car had done this but I had only owned it about 11/2 yrs.the guardrail saved us from going over a 300 ft.mountain into the river.thankful for that guardrail, but left without anything to drive.

- Manchester, KY, USA

problem #935

Mar 302012


  • 123,842 miles
I went outside and started my car. As I attempted to drive off, the car would not steer. I learned that there had been a recall on my power steering. The Cobalt has electric power steering, and can only be fixed at the dealership. The problem was fixed on 4/16/2012. On 2/26/2014, I went outside to start my car. Again, as I attempted to pull off, the car would not steer. After taking it to the dealership, I learned that the entire steering column had gone out. GM knows this car is defective, and refuses to do anything about the problem. My car has been in the shop for 2 weeks, and I am getting the run around. I have had numerous problems out of this car. I've had trouble with the ignition switch, fuel problems, rattling noises, shaking, the windows going out, and the steering system. Something needs to be done. GM needs to be held accountable. I make regular repairs and have routine maintenance done on my car. I should not have to continue to suffer with these issues that GM know exists. There response is always "due to the mileage and year of your car, we can't offer you any assistance."

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #934

Apr 042013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. Additionally, the vehicle would exhibit a stalling noise when the key was first inserted into the ignition. The failure was recurring. The contact also stated that the key became stuck in the ignition repeatedly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40000.

- Washington , DC, USA

problem #933

May 252013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving approximately 34 mph, the steering wheel suddenly malfunctioned, which caused the vehicle to crash into a cement block, then jump the curb and crash into a fire hydrant. The air bags did not deploy on impact. The contact and passenger were injured. The contact had a cracked skull and a concussion. The passenger sustained a concussion and a broken arm. A police report was filed. The vehicle destroyed.the vehicle was towed to a salvage yard. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000.

- Sisterville, WV, USA

problem #932

Mar 062014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph when the power steering assist failed, making the steering wheel difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who advised the contact of a recall pertaining to the same failure under NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering). An authorized dealer was contacted and advised that the vehicle was previously repaired under the recall in 2010. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 82,000. Updated 09/05/14 updated 09/8/2014

- Cheektowaga, NY, USA

problem #931

Feb 242014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
My wife and her mother were driving on a street in the city that we live in. This street does have a mild to moderate amount of traffic depending on the time of day. It is a two lane road that for the most part goes through the residential area of the city that we live in as well as the neighboring city. The speed limit predominately is 35 mph. At the time of the incident, my wife was traveling to the South in which the roadway proceeds down a short, mild downgrade in to a natural wash or stream bed and then back up an upgrade to the South side of town and the neighboring city. My wife was traveling downhill when suddenly she lost power to the vehicle and the steering locked up. The engine was still running but all the electrical components of the vehicle such as the gauges and the car stereo ceased to work.due to the steering locking up and my wife being unable at the time to control the vehicle, she drifted in the opposite lane, bounced off a curb on that side of the road and then drifted back into the appropriate lane before coming to a stop. Fortunately for the safety and well-being of my wife and her mother, no other vehicle was in or approaching the opposite lane. When the vehicle came to a stop, the engine stalled when the key ignition was in the run position. My wife proceeded to switch the key in the off position and then proceeded to restart the vehicle. The vehicle then started up like normal. My wife proceeded to drive the vehicle to her original destination which was only a couple of miles away. She then notified me by cellphone in which we started the process of trying to get this issue resolved.

- Yucaipa, CA, USA

problem #930

Feb 242014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
I was attempting to turn into a drive and the steering became hard to turn. Afterwards power steering appeared to work normal.

- Nashville, NC, USA

problem #929

Aug 082012


  • 110,482 miles
I was driving on the highway in North Carolina on vacation at 65-70 mph when the ignition kicked off luckily I acted quickly and restarted the car there have been a few other instances when the ignition has just shut off with out warning. I drive a 5 speed so I thought it was because I took my foot away from the gas, but I just learned that GM has a recall out on this model for similar problems.

- Blacksburg, VA, USA

problem #928

Dec 182013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
On 12/18/13 I began to notice a "humming" noise coming from the car. The humming noise got increasingly worse over the next few days. At the same time I noticed the "service airbag" sign came on and the radio began flash and attempted to eject a cd without me manually pushing the button or cd being inside it. The "humming" noise progressively got worse and the steering wheel began to stiffen up. After 2 weeks of the problem becoming increasingly worse, I decided to have my mechanic do a complete diagnostic test. He believed that the diagnosis is the electrical power steering and stated that after much research the cost would be $900+ because the repairs would have to be by a certified GM and parts would have to be specially ordered due to the nature of the way the car was manufactured. He also stated that apparently this problem is an ongoing issue with this particular make/model car and regretfully was unable to repair it. I am a single mom and value me and my child's safety but at this time the no repairs have been made due to the obscene amount of money in question to repair it and ongoing financial hardships. I am filing this complaint because I feel this problem can lead to a more serious issue and may be a part of a bigger issue.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #927

Dec 312009


  • miles
On December 31, 2009, my 25 year old daughter was driving along an interstate in her Chevy Cobalt. She crashed into a tree along the side of the interstate. Her airbags did not deploy, and her seatbelt did not lock. She died on impact, according to the police on reviewing the scene of the accident, my son observed that the tracks left by the car before it crashed were in a straight line, suggesting that the brakes either had not been applied or had not worked. On doing research, he found information online suggesting that there had been other, similar crashes in Cobalts and that the ignition switch was thought to be defective. We have already addressed this with GM and completed our action, and, at the time, I filed a consumer complaint to document the issue. I just read that this Agency will be investigating the issue, and I wanted to make sure you were aware of my daughter's death in a Cobalt in which the air bags did not deploy, the seatbelt did not lock, and that we strongly suspect, though GM never confirmed this, had a defective ignition switch.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #926

Feb 292012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Vehicle was exiting interstate 81, traveling approximately 55 mph. Though braking, the car was not slowing properly and the steering was very hard, power seemingly lost. The car could not be steered around the left hand curve and hit a bridge abutment and spun around before coming to rest with the motor not running. This apparent mechanical failure was noted in the police report of the accident.

- Maybrook, NY, USA

problem #925

Feb 202014


  • 142,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 10V073000 (steering). The failure mileage was approximately 142,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #924

Jan 012010


  • 50,000 miles
TL-the contact owns 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed numerous times while driving at various and caused the steering wheel to be hard to turn and vehicle jerked. The power steering warning bell beeped while the failure occurred. The contact wanted to also state that the vehicle was taken to the dealer several years ago to have NHTSA campaign number 10V073000 performed however the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 130,000.

- White Lake , MI, USA

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