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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
33 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
22 / 5
Average Mileage:
55,150 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 7 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #95

Dec 052011


  • 38,000 miles


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 #94

Oct 252010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Vehicle was taken to the dealership in Oct 2011 at apprx 16,000 miles to check loud noise coming from front suspension area. Dealer replaced power steering motor according to recall and replaced part of steering column. However, that did not fix the issue. This is my elderly mother's car and she did not recognize the noise was not usual or that the repair did not address the problem. Vehicle now has 20,000 miles (Nov 2011) and mechanic diagnosed lower control arm bushings are shot. This is apparently a common problem for this model & year. Dealer does not consider this a safety issue. I think it is--possibility of suspension components failing.

- Helotes, TX, USA

problem #93

Nov 222011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Unable to maintain control of steering, wheel control or braking.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #92

Aug 042010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 55 miles


Unable to maintain control of steering, speed control or braking. Same problem again today 11/22/2011 while stopping at stop sign under 10 mph.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #91

Oct 282011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
As I was backing out of my driveway the power steering suddenly stopped working. The light on the dashboard came up "power steering" so I went to an auto zone where they told me they couldn't find power steering fluid and it was apparently an electronic steering system. I called a dealer in town and they looked up the VIN and told me that it had been serviced under a recall. I then called GM and was told that GM would not cover the service costs again, most likely. I was asked if I had owned other GM vehicles and asked what that had anything to do with it. I was not given an answer but the dealer that I eventually took it to said that it "of course matters, because if you haven't bought GM in the past or will not in the future why would they want to help you"". obviously they should want to help me because it is a faulty product and potentially deadly. I was told by GM that they will most likely only cover once on a recall whether the problem was fixed or not??" I found out the dealer where the work had been done and went to have it looked at. The dealer tried to tell me that there was no way it could have anything to do with the original problem on the recall. I told him that it would seem to be common sense that it was. He also said that regardless, their service warranty runs out in 12 months and it was past. They eventually fixed it at no charge but I was told there was no guarantee that it was fixed and that it could very possibly go out at any time again. Obviously the recall did not fix all of the problems and this part can fail again at any time causing a very dangerous situation.

- O'fallon, MO, USA

problem #90

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 #89

Apr 052010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles


Steering column rattles, dealer installed recalled power steering unit and greased intermediate shaft. Noise quit for 10,0000 miles and started again. Dealer said new shafts only last 20,0000.

- Everett, PA, USA

problem #88

Jul 292011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,500 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving 45 mph, the power steering lamp illuminated. The power steering failed making it impossible to make any turns or change lanes. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 67,500. Updated 09/01/2011

- Woodbridge , VA, USA

problem #87

Jul 032011


  • 46,946 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25 mph, the contact stated that the power steering light illuminated when as the power steering failed. The failure recurred intermittently. Neither the dealer nor manufacturer were notified of the failure. The vehicle was neither inspected or repaired. The current mileage was 46,950. The approximate failure mileage was 46,946.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #86

Jun 262011


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph the power steering failed and the steering wheel was very difficult to turn. The vehicle was pulled over and stopped. Upon restart, the vehicle continued to drive as normal. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 67,000.

- Greatvine , TX, USA

problem #85

Feb 012009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


I bought a new 08 Cobalt in Sept 08. I have had to have two steering columns put in, a power steering pump, stabilizer bars, front end bushings and bearings, and now a rack pinion (along with multiple other unrelated repairs). I took the car back to the dealer (ron marhoffer stow oh) after each repair and was told that there was nothing wrong with the steering or suspension of the car. The car would pull out of my lane to the left and was very difficult to control. I actually lost control of the car and went into a ditch on one occasion. I do not believe that the dealer knows how to fix the problem and therefor just keeps throwing parts in it. However the problem still exists. It is very dangerous. The dealer also replaced multiple fornt end parts including stabilzer bars, bearing and bushings on oth fron wheels tryng to correct the steering problem. I also have had to replace the tires on the car twice on the front end due to abnormal wear and tear from the car constantly pulling while driving.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #84

Apr 102011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Transmission module failure leads to temporary power steering failure. While driving my 2008 Chevy Cobalt, the instrument cluster started malfunctioning. The speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge all started bouncing around erratically. The driver information center started flashing "power steering". this all took place while I was driving the car on the freeway ay about 60 mph. As I was trying to pull to the breakdown lane the power steering failed. I thought the power steering pump went out. After getting the car to the side of the road and turning it off I called my mechanic. He told me he heard of this before and told me to restart the car. I did and everything was back to normal. I drove straight to his shop where he plugged in his diagnostic check computer. He told me the problem was with the transmission module and is a well know problem with the Chevy Cobalt. I have since googled it and found many Cobalt owners are experiencing the same problem. I spoke to Chevrolet customer service and was told that because my car has 125,000 miles it is out of warranty and not covered. I don't care so much about that as the potential safety hazard. If the power steering fails while on the road again it could lead to an accident. It has happened twice since and I have managed to pull over before the steering shut down. Is this an issue you could look into on these cars?

- Mabank, TX, USA

problem #83

Jan 012011


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 50 mph, the power steering failed making it impossible to control the vehicle. The dealer advised the contact to bring the vehicle in for diagnostic testing. The contact did not inform the manufacturer nor was the vehicle diagnosed or repaired. The current mileage was 53,628 and the failure mileage was 47,000.

- Hamet, CA, USA

problem #82

Sep 052010


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 40 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn and began vibrating abnormally. The contact shut off the vehicle momentarily and when restarted, the steering resumed normal operation. The failure was experienced numerous times yet the vehicle was not taken to the dealer to be diagnosed nor was the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 44,000.

- Orlando , FL, USA

problem #81

Feb 012011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 108,400 miles
The steering in my car all of a sudden became hard to control, hard to turn and you have to pull the steering wheel back after a turn and then the car jerks. This happened after my car was recalled for power steering defects, and after the appropriate work was done to replace the recalled part. I now have a problem with my power steering ( even though I had no previous steering difficulties prior T recall ). that the mechanics at the dealership have been unable to diagnose as apparently it is not the power steering( yet two other mechanics from other shops are reporting to me that it is indeed the power steering at to go back to my dealership as this is on recall ) this is a driving hazard and I am thoroughly disappointed in this car, the amount of maintenance it has required. I have put more work into this 2008 Chevy Cobalt in the past three years than my ten year old 10 year old Mazda ever had. I will never again buy a Chevy as this is the second vehicle I have owned that has required a lot of maintenance and, the quality is very poor. I have had to replace the alternator, sway bar (twice ), brakes, shocks, tires, bushel's and my fuses are constantly blowing in my car and now continue to have a problem and a very serious steering and safety issue.

- Leduc, Alberta Canada, 00, USA

problem #80

Mar 062011


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 25 mph, the steering wheel locked and the driver was unable to turn the wheel. As a result, the vehicle was involved in a crash in which the air bags did not deploy. The driver and a passenger were reported injured and a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a lot and was not examined for the cause of failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering:electric power assist system). The failure and current mileages were 55,000.

- Coal City, WV, USA

problem #79

Jan 122011


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving 35 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was unable to remove the key from the ignition while the steering column froze. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who diagnosed the failure as the ignition lock cylinder needing to be replaced. The manufacturer was contacted but offered no assistance. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 45,000 and the current mileage was 52,948.

- Aurora, IN, USA

problem #78

May 152010


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph the power steering would malfunction making the steering wheel vehicle very difficult to control. The contact stated that when the steering wheel locked the vehicle crashed into the garage. The contact previously took the vehicle to the dealer to repair to the steering system but that did not correct the failure. The vehicle was in the dealers possession when the complaint was filed. The contact stated that the vehicle was unsafe to drive due to the power steering. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #77

Nov 182010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
While heading South on 8 mile road in cincinnati, Ohio. My car went out of control. When the car landed against the guard rail I was heading North. This is the second accident this year with this car. First one was Feb.2010 ODI #10307249. I was going about 35 mph, it had stopped raining and the street was still a little wet. The recall of the steering motor, had been replaced. My concern now the none of the air bags deployed. The car will more than likely be totaled. Which would be a good idea to get this lemon off the road.

- New Richmond, OH, USA

problem #76

Nov 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received recall notice 10V073000 steering electric power assists system in August of 2010. The dealership advised him that they could not schedule an appointment, because the part wasn't available. On November 1, 2010 while the contact attempted to start the vehicle the steering wheel locked. She was unable to unlock the steering and was not able to turn the key in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to the dealership for diagnostic testing which determined that the power steering column caused the failure to occur. The manufacturer will be contacted. The vehicle wasn't repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 54,000. Updated 01/31/11 the ignition lock cylinder was replaced. Updated 04/18/11

- Stilwell , OK, USA

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