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.

10.0

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 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Mar 202012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2009 Chevy Cobalt and upon parking my car I cannot turn off the car and remove the keys from the car. I was able to do a quick search on my phone on what to do and found hundreds of responses on online forums of people having the exact same problem. The key will not turn backwards (towards off). It will budge forward slightly but will not turn the car off and allow the key to be removed. Upon calling a dealership and GM directly I have found out that this an incredibly common instance. I was able to pop the trunk and pull the fuse and power from the battery to kill the engine but no matter what I do I cannot remove the key. I have even tried suggestions from GM which involve a manual key release under the steering column but nothing happened (mechanic told me this actually doesn't work the way GM explains). My car is getting fixed for a nominal fee that I cannot afford because I have recently lost my job. My complaint however resides on how common this issue is and how quick GM and dealerships are able to diagnose it because of how often this comes up.

- Fairborn, OH, USA

problem #26

Mar 122012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
Was traveling 55-65mph when the gauges on the car started to bounce around erratically, not reading true speed, RPM, fuel level, and flashing power steering and numerous other warnings on info display. After stopping and restarting situation went away. A few days later problem reoccurred at lower speed this time all problems reoccurred and car didn't' want to shift gears, or when did was extremely violent. GM acknowledges this problem on multiple vehicles (there tsb # is pic4677F) has been updated numerous times with various makes and models. Along with some other symptoms I have yet to have such as engine surging or stalling while driving. (this is a huge danger!, Toyota had to recall how many because of this same issue?) it is my opinion as a certified, active, and sworn police officer that this a dangerous issue. I believe should be a mandatory recall. As the gauges being effected could easily cause a wreck, blown engine, etc.. also the shifting at low speeds is enough to cause damage to child.(and as I have 2 one of which is 2 I could only imagine what this would due to a new born..) there are just to many vehicles effected and to much to risk to let this go-on un-treated.. #pic4677F: No start no crank intermittently / no communication over high speed lan - comm nocrank nostart - (Sep 23, 2010) subject:no start no crank intermittently/no communication over high speed lan models:2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt 2006-2011 Chevrolet HHR 2004-2011 Chevrolet Malibu 2008 Chevrolet Malibu classic 2008-2010 Pontiac G5 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 2006-2007 Pontiac pursuit (Canada) 2007-2009 Saturn aura 2007-2009 Saturn sky 2006-2009 Saturn solstice with onstar (UE1)

- Irvine, KY, USA

problem #25

Mar 092011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,695 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the key would not remove from the ignition. As a result, it was difficult to start the vehicle. The contact also stated that on the last attempt to start the vehicle, the key fractured. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and was repaired. The failure mileage was 31,695 and the current mileage was 43,396. Updated 05/10/12

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #24

Dec 052011

Cobalt

  • 38,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Came out of the store with my three kids in 25 degree weather, when I got into my 2008 Cobalt and I couldn't get the key to turn!! there are so many complaints about this and Chevy is doing nothing to fix it!! my car is at the shop and it is going to cost me $408 to get fixed, right before christmas!

- Fort Riley, KS, USA

problem #23

Oct 032011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was unable to turn the key to start ignition without pressure holding the steering wheel. The second occasion, the steering wheel could not be turned without calling a mechanic in. Parents bought car for commuting college student. Mileage is approximately 80,000.

- Holly Springs, MS, USA

problem #22

Jun 252011

Cobalt

  • 83,000 miles
My 2008 Chevy Cobalt lt won't turn off the key is in the ignition and won't come out or turn off. I went to the dealer ship and they said that this is a common problem with Cobalts prior to this and it's the cylinder ignition. They said that it is not covered by warranty and it hasn't been recalled, but if it happens so much why haven't they done anything about it yet. If people are having problems then why isn't this taking care of? I do not have 300 plus dollars to put into my car. To fix it. They told me I could drive it like that til I could fix it all I had to do was disconnect the battery terminal until I was ready to use the car. When I did that and went to turn the car back on by battery it said energy power reduced and my car won't even start now. When I called to them this they said oh your throttle body went bad. But they were the ones who told me I could do this. Now I have no car to drive and they said it would be 300 plus to fix this problem as well. So now im looking at over 600 dollars to fix my car which I do not have.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #21

Jul 152011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My aircondition quits blowing cool air off and on the buttons are wrong. Engine light comes on and off. The airbag light comes on and off.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #20

Jul 052011

Cobalt

  • 21,000 miles
Mileage, about 21,000 miles, out of warranty. Ignition lock seized while driving. Could not turn off. Went to dealer, who performed a "courtesy" repair. If this had happened at night or over the weekend, would have had a major problem.

- Murphy, TX, USA

problem #19

Jul 182011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 33,324 miles
This is a 3 year old 2008 GM Cobalt with less than 35,000 mile. I was out running errands 7/18/11. I drove in to parking spot and attempted to turn my car off. The key did not turn to turn the car off nor could I remove the key from the ignition. I drove my car to GM dealer and was told the ignition cylinder needed replacement. I was surprised because the car is only 3 years old and I had no other problem. I have owned two other cars, one for 10 yrs and one for 11 yrs never at any time did I have any problem with getting the key from the ignition or problems turning my car off. I believe that the ignition cylinder was defective and so I should not be responsible for paying for a defective part to be replaced. Thank you for the opportunity to enter my complaint.

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #18

Jul 062011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 65,925 miles
Ignition key would not turn off. Had to have ignition switch replaced.

- Mcdonald, TN, USA

problem #17

Jun 042011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

After parking my vehicle in the parking lot, I attempted to turn off the engine. The key was stuck in the ignition and would not move. Thus, the car could not turn off. I tried shifting the car from park to drive to park again but this would not work. I finally had to remove the fuel pump relay so I could turn off the fuel and lock my car. The key was still in the ignition so the battery drained. I had to jump start the car the next working day to drive it to the dealership.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #16

May 272011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 76,220 miles
2008 Chevy Cobalt keys stuck in ignition and vehicle will not turn off. Chevy offered no assistance with the issue when I contacted their corporate office. There is also an issue with the 2009 Chevy Cobalt having exactly the same issues and GM has sent a memo to services centers to correct this issue. The 2009 issue involves exactly the same part number and the same make and model car as well as a few other vehicles with the same problem.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #15

May 232011

Cobalt

  • 85,000 miles
Ignition key stuck will not turn off car and cant remove key have to pop clutch and disconnect battery told by dealer that there have been a lot of these ignitions just falling apart why is there no recall.

- Webbers Falls, OK, USA

problem #14

Jun 052010

Cobalt

  • 44,113 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle would hesitate to start intermittently. The contact would have to attempt to start the vehicle several times, toying with the key until the vehicle would start. The failure progressed to the point where the vehicle would not start at all. The contact stated that the failure did not appear until after the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering:electric power assist system). The vehicle was not inspected for the failure. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 44,113.

- South Ambly, NJ, USA

problem #13

Apr 102011

Cobalt

  • 52,000 miles
I have a 2008 Chevy Cobalt. The ignition is stuck and the key will not turn the ignition to start the car. This has happened on several occasions with the vehicle. Using force the mechanic was able to eventually get the car started, but this happened again in another incident several months later. It is not included in the recall since the recall for the ignition only covers the 2009 Chevy Cobalt. This was also not covered in the extended warranty.

- Covina, CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 082011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,500 miles
We first had electronics issues the with our Cobalt when parking.was told wife over drove steering mech. Later they called a recall & replaced the steering motor.constantly we have had it that he turn signals would not turn of after a turn. Again they tell me they can not reproduce the issue.then the passenger door not unlock for the key. Several times this occurred & one time the issue lasted for about 2 weeks. Another issues was that the inside light would not come on this lasted about 2-3 days sometimes we smelt rubberish smoke fumes then the issue occurred & then went away.we called Chevy & emma set up a file & we turned the vehicle in several time to jba Chevy in glen burnie, md 21062 and each time they say the issues could not be reproduced. This last time I took it in telling them of the issues and again they could not reproduce them. This last issue has occured about 500+ miles later. I just had the brakes checked and tires rotated. I asked for a complete check but the attendant only set it up for oilchange, brakes and tire rotation. They said all was okay. On Friday the 8th of April on the way to work I stopped at a red light. As I took off thecar acted funny and the speedometer reached 80 & te rev was high yet I was only doing about 20mph the trans downshifted real hard. I noticed it was not responding properly but seemed better. So I tried to proceed to work. As I was coming down the hill past the next light the car froze up and I went into a skid. I tried to steer it out of it but the car would not respond & the antilocking brakes seemed not to be working, I rammed into the curb & the car would not respond properly to my trying to move it forward. At that time a jeepsuv slammed on his brakes and hit me in the rear..I think it totaled the car. On that Tuesday noticed the brakes not responding well (shimmied for a time. On wed & thurs, they worked normal. I think the vehicle has an electronics issue. Was told a body control module might be bad.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #11

Apr 072011

Cobalt

  • miles
Had no problem leading up to this problem and worked fine and came out of no where. My 2008 Chevy Cobalt ls won't turn off the key is in the ignition and won't come out or turn off. I called my dealer ship and they said they have had several problems with Cobalts prior to this and it's the cylinder ignition. It's in the shop now and won't know anything till tomorrow. If people are having problems then why isn't this taking car of? I do not have 300 plus dollars to put into my car.

- Hedgesville, WV, USA

problem #10

Apr 022011

Cobalt

  • miles
My 2008 Chevy Cobalt just started giving me problems April 2, 2011. I purchased it on March 15, 2011. I went to leave work and my car wouldn't start. All my electrical components shut down on me and my key wouldn't come out the ignition. When I turned the switch it just made a clicking noise. So I just sat there trying to figure out what was wrong. So I walked away trying to get help. When I returned the radio was on and the car just started right up. Also it doesn't pick up speed on the highway. At 65mph it seems as if I'm just barely moving. I feel as though this is an inconvenience to me because I have to sit and wonder if my car is gonna start everytime I turn the switch. It has occurred several times in one day and I haven't even had my car for a month. I am highly upset.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #9

Sep 272010

Cobalt

  • 45,353 miles
I bought my 2008 Cobalt as a program car in November 2008. I received a recall for the power steering motor in September 2010. The motor was replaced. I thought that maybe that was the problem of the intermittent ease of turning the key. When I picked up the car for that repair I was told that the ignition cylinder had to be replaced because it was intermittently locking up. I picked up the car and then the emergency switch broke, that was replaced and during this time I was told that the front speakers blew out. Those were replaced, and now the radio/clock has to be replaced which is not under warranty. I do not believe that my two-year car is reliable. I told the service manager that I believe the car is faulty because it is "too young" to have this much repair work in a very short time.

- Wharton, TX, USA

problem #8

Sep 272010

Cobalt

  • 45,353 miles
I bought my 2008 Cobalt as a program car in November 2008. I received a recall for the power steering motor in September 2010. The motor was replaced. I thought that maybe that was the problem of the intermittent ease of turning the key. When I picked up the car for that repair I was told that the ignition cylinder had to be replaced because it was intermittently locking up. I picked up the car and then the emergency switch broke, that was replaced and during this time I was told that the front speakers blew out. Those were replaced, and now the radio/clock has to be replaced which is not under warranty. I do not believe that my two-year car is reliable. I told the service manager that I believe the car is faulty because it is "too young" to have this much repair work in a very short time.

- Wharton, TX, USA

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