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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
47,636 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.

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 2 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #107

Aug 202014


  • miles


I was just wondering if after the dealerships fixed the defective key slots of Cobalts and other cars, many people had their wiring system mess up only to take it back to the dealership and have them charge you for fixing up the wiring that led from the key slot ( where you insert the key to start the car) down to wherever it goes. This is what happened to me. About a month to two months later ( I would have to go back and check) after they fixed the key slot my car just went dead and the dealership told me it was the wiring from the key slot from the ignition to wherever it leads and that they had to change it and when I tried to talk to the manager about it I never got through to him on his phone, he never answered his cell phone and wasn't at the office and I just gave up on it. So my question is did others have the same problem as I did where they had to pay for wiring that I think was part of the same thing that they supposedly had recalled to fix. In case you don't know what I am talking about; there was a recall on the ignition keys, that could accidentally just turn your car off and you would have trouble steering the car's steering wheel as the car was off. Sorry, if I am not being specific enough, I was just wondering if others had the same problem I had about having to fix the wiring and pay for it themselves as I believe it was their negligence of handling the wiring system. I am not sure on the dates as I am not looking up the information, I am just approximating and I am not sure how to send this information as I am not computer literate.

- Mcallen, TX, USA

problem #106

Nov 222007


  • 2,080 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the ESC warning light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the ebcm needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 2,080. Updated 7/9/15

- East Prairie, MO, USA

problem #105

Mar 102015

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 138,400 miles
"service ESC" dash warning came on. Both "traction control and ESC" dash lights were lit.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #104

Sep 042014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles


Car rolled down slight hill after turning off and exiting vehicle, transmission shifter appeared to be in park but obviously not as car rolled after leaving alone on slight slope. After accident, I placed key in ignition, started car but will not back up or change position of gear from neutral or drive. Will not go back into park. Key will not come out of ignition now. Bumper and radiator are damaged after crash.

- Milton, WA, USA

problem #103

Jun 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
When driving the power steering goes out, the odometer goes crazy, my search engine and security light comes on, starts saying low fuel (when on a full tank), the mileage goes blank as well as everything else on the dashboard.

- Owensboro , KY, USA

problem #102

Sep 302014


  • 65,306 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that after the push button starter was deactivated, the front driver and passenger side doors failed to unlock. The contact activated the remote key fob to exit from the front driver's side door. In addition, both turn signals became inoperable. The air bag on indicator and tire pressure monitoring system failed to function. The failures occurred after the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering). The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure was mileage 65,306.

- Kulpmont, PA, USA

problem #101

Aug 082014


  • 55,000 miles


Took car to dealer on GM ignition switch recall; there was nothing wrong with the car mechanically when they took possession. They had the car for about 6 weeks, they moved it around on their lot by their own admission, did a req oil change and when we went to pick up they had lost the keys. When they agreed to make new keys, they could not get the automatic door lock to work and after now 6 months of discussions they still wont take responsibility although a second dealership has looked at it and says "they must have shorted out the system changing the ignition or programming the keys".. I need help getting them to fix the locks.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #100

Nov 062012


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the instrument panel display would illuminate extremely dimly causing the instrument gauges to become difficult to read. The contact discovered that the headlight wiring harness burned and melted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the harness needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Kalispell, MT, USA

problem #99

Jun 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Our vehicle was subject to the recall for the ignition system. We called to make an appointment and were told that we needed to wait for the parts to come in first. After waiting 8+ weeks we were told the parts were in and we made an appointment and dropped the vehicle off. When we went to pick up our vehicle we were told that a vehicle, with the same VIN # was already repaired in Illinois. We live in NJ and our vehicle was never in il. The maintenance manager (freehold Chevy) agreed that the vehicle was never repaired by looking at the ignition switch. We were told that the VIN # issue needed to be corrected before they can work on our car. It's now 6+ weeks later and our follow up phone calls have not brought us any closer to having the repair done. I believe the repair should have been done since they could tell the parts were never replaced on our vehicle and the VIN # should have been resolved between the dealerships.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #98

Sep 032014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 20 mph, a clicking sound emitted from the dashboard and the key became lodged in the ignition switch. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the battery post needed to be tightened. The vehicle was repaired but the failure persisted. In addition, the contact received a notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system) and NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system). However, the parts needed were unavailable to perform the repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #97

Oct 302013


  • 84,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle jerked forward and stalled on various occasions. Also, the contact mentioned that all the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V355000 (electrical system). However, the parts needed were not available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded the reasonable amount of time for repair. The dealer stated the parts were unavailable for repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 84,000.

- Dallas , TX, USA

problem #96

Oct 012014


  • 87,608 miles
Once my ignition switch was repaired per the recall, I began smelling gas inside and outside of the vehicle. No check engine light has come on but the smell has been getting worse and worse. When the car sits for a long or short period of time it has difficulty starting; also since the ignition switch was replaced an electrical issue began.

- Langehorne, PA, USA

problem #95

Sep 122014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 96,410 miles
My car shut down while driving for the second time since June 25, 2014. This time it restarted and I was told to take it to the GM dealership which fixed it before. The engine control module was replaced in July and now the problem was the module connectors. Both of which I had to pay for the costly repairs. GM doesn't care unless there is a death with these cars shutting down while you are driving them. I was told GM would not stand behind any of the repair costs because I had a high mileage vehicle. At what mileage should you expect a GM car to start shutting down while you are driving? I wasn't given that information when I bought the vehicle new. The 59 cent ignition switch is not the only problem shutting down GM vehicles. I have had to pay over $500 to repair the other parts that they say are shutting my vehicle down while driving. I have incurred too much money to fix a vehicle that is not safe to drive and has electrical problems. I will also loose money when trading it because of this history of the vehicle. Make GM do something about these unsafe vehicles.

- Harrisville, PA, USA

problem #94

Aug 082014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 28,389 miles
2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer requests reimbursement for defective ignition switch recall repairs.

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #93

Sep 062014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The electrical system drains the battery causing the keys to get stuck in the ignition I need to get a jump to start it and this is a new battery six months old.

- Merced, CA, USA

problem #92

Apr 302010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 38,238 miles
I am the very unhappy driver of a 2008 Chevy Cobalt with 4 recall repairs to date. I reported noticing problems with the power steering, struts and interior dashboard lights as early as Sept 2010, while having routine service done to my Cobalt. (the interior dash digital read out lights have always given misinformation and would dim on a regular basis.) I've recently been experiencing the power steering totally going out on my car (once on June 25, 2014 and again on Sept 4, 2014) which makes it practically impossible to steer my car. I've been involved with these recall issues since 2010 and have followed GM's instructions to have the repairs done, only to have continuing problems with the cars performance. It's not only a inconvenience, but is stressful and dangerous to continue driving this vehicle. I've requested to have GM help me get into another car more than once over the past few years, but have been denied. Now I've been told that GM has implemented a new "buy back program" for drivers such as myself and have requested they get me out of this vehicle and into another car, but again, have not been contacted concerning my request.. I can not and do not want to be without a car to drive and feel that I deserve to have my car replaced by General Motors at no cost to myself.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #91

Apr 092010


  • 38,238 miles
After parking my vehicle on my way to work on a Friday afternoon, I could not get my key out of the cylinder and I couldn't turn my car off ! I was instructed to take my car to the nearest dealership ( Santa Fe Chevrolet and Cadillac, 4450 cerrillos rd, Santa Fe, N.M. ) which I did. I wasnt offered a replacement vehicle by the dealership, but they told me they had reserved a rental from hertz for the week-end, which I had to pay for. The repair was done the next day so I only needed the rental for that night but had paid for the whole week-end (re: Sf Chevrolet and Cadillac) it took quite some time for me to be reimbursed by hertz for the time I had paid to have the rental, but did not need. No help with that problem from the dealership.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #90

Aug 182014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
This evening when I pulled into the garage, I put the car in park and proceeded to turn off and remove the key from the ignition. After several attempts to turn key forward and then back, I could not get the key out. I tried putting the car in gear and then putting it in park again. The key still would not come free. I didn't want to burn the 1/2 tank of fuel so I removed the fuel pump fuse, which stopped the car and then had to disconnect the battery so as not to drain the battery as the key is stuck in the "on' position. Different than other stories I have read about the key being stuck on, is that I am still able to turn it forward a bit. Hopefully, I can put the fuse back in, connect the battery and start it so that I can drive it to a dealership in the morning.

- Collinsville, IL, USA

problem #89

May 142014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the key failed to turn in the ignition until after several attempts. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was recently repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V486000 (electrical system, visibility) however, the remedy was insufficient and the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #88

Aug 142014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 54,500 miles
The recall of ignition was done but yet the ignitions still are failing, if U turn key it sticks on the on position and keeps starter goining..obviously the garages dont listen...sooner than later this will turn into a accident.

- Johnstown , PA, USA

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