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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
37,103 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.

2009 Chevrolet Cobalt electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #29

Jul 312012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 78,500 miles


I started my vehicle up and parked it in the garage. When I went to remove my key from the ignition, the key wouldn't turn and I couldn't get my key out. In order to turn the car off, I had to remove the fuse and unhook the battery. I'm taking the car to schmidt Chevrolet in centralia, il first thing tomorrow, but there is no active recall on my vehicle at this time. I see that his has been an issue for multiple Cobalt owners and even the mechanics that I was able to get a hold of told me that this is a known issue. I believe that my vehicle should be included in this recall and that any money spent should be refunded to me by Chevrolet for a poorly designed ignition.

- Centralia, IL, USA

problem #28

Jul 012009


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt lt. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start after being informed by neighbors that the headlights and brake lights were illuminated all night. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where they advised the contact that the computer module failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired for the computer several months later. In addition, while driving approximately 50 mph, the power steering failed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering:electric power assist system) however, the failure recurred shortly after having the recall repairs performed. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 100.

- Rego Park, NY, USA

problem #27

Sep 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Headlights side marker cover came off on both headlamps not at the same time short time after the first one then the right side came off causes glare. Power locks do not function any more with buttons only function with gear shifter sometimes locks will go lock to unlock by themselves multiple times with or with not driving the car. Contacted GM and they informed me that the headlights are not recalled on my year but they are for the 2005's. obviously they did not fix the problem from then. I will not by another GM product ever.

- Mineral Ridge , OH, USA

problem #26

Mar 122012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 44,671 miles


Ignition switch stuck on. Had to disconnect battery and stall car. Found recall # 10256 and called dealer, dealer said they have no recall notice. Dangerous situation for someone that does not know how to disable car.

- Chichester, NH, USA

problem #25

Mar 102012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
Key is stuck in ignition in the on position. Car will not turn off. Had to disconnect the battery (while car is running) to turn off. Although support bulletin 10256 references this exact problem with 2009 Cobalts, GM and dealer are saying that my car is not included in this and I have to pay to get fixed. The support bulletin says dealers fix at no cost through January of 2013. VIN was not included in the support bulletin. This is a serious issue. My daughter was not home when this happened. Having to disconnect the battery while the car is running and damage that may be caused to other equipment because of connecting and disconnecting the battery. I see so many reports of this problem online with some people having issue. How do we get the list of VIN's updated. How do we get the word out to customers that this is a known problem. I am very upset that I have to pay for this. I was told that a key getting stuck in the ignition is a common problem. GM did compromise with me with my deductible but I honestly think this should have been a recall and I should not have to pay for a known issue.

- New Carrollton, MD, USA

problem #24

Mar 032012


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. While parked the contact attempted to shut the vehicle off when she noticed that the key had become stuck in the ignition. The contact allowed the battery to die in order for the vehicle to be shut off. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostics but the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 45,000.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #23

Feb 012012


  • miles


Ignition switch. Could not turn off engine. Could take key out in any gear but wouldn't turn off engine. Had to pull fuse out to get it off. For 79,732 miles I think this is a hazard.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #22

Sep 012011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
The key will not turn in the ignition cylinder. Therefore the car will not turn off. There is a special bulletin #10256 about this exact problem including only the 2009 Cobalt however as there is not an open recall the manufacturer will not repair my car because my car has a branded title and they will only repair 'open recall' items. This issue is not listed in the global database when my VIN is searched but it needs to be listed under my VIN and there needs to be an open recall on this issue because it is certainly a huge safety problem that many owners have been experiencing. The only way to turn the car off is to get under the hood and remove the fuel relay fuse. In case of a fire this would be a catastrophic safety issue which could result in serious injury or even death.

- Baytown, TX, USA

problem #21

Jul 272011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
During July I had to have my 2009 Chevy Cobalt towed into a repair shop because I couldn't turn my key in the ignition. I had to have the ignition cylinder replaced which cost me over $200. Now in November 2011, 4 months later, my car is having the same problems. There hasn't been a recall yet on this and multiple people are having the same issues. This is getting ridiculous.

- Maryville, MO, USA

problem #20

Oct 202011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Key is stuck in the lock cylinder. Can not turn off car. This is an extreme safety hazard. Electro-mechanical release mechanism interlocked with gear shifter appears to be working correctly (inside bottom of steering column). The key is physically stuck in the ignition lock cylinder, so the car can not be turned off. Quick search on the web reveals dozens of the same complaint on Cobalt models at least back to 2005.

- Burnet, TX, USA

problem #19

Aug 292011


  • 16,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the ignition key would fail to shut the vehicle off and the key could not be remove from ignition switch with the vehicle running. The contact had to remove the fuel pump relay to shut off the vehicle. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer where the dealer advised that the entire steering column needed to be replaced due to the key being stuck in the ignition switch. The failure mileage was 16,000.

- Hermosa Beach, CA, USA

problem #18

Sep 092011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The first occurrence was on 9/9/2011 at 7:30 am in the morning. The vehicle would not start. The second occurrence was on 9/9/10 at 5:00 P.M. the vehicle started and when arriving at designated location the vehicle would not stop in park. The engine continued to run, unable to take key out of ignition, the vehicle when put into other gears was able to drive. We attempted to get the engine to stop and get the key out of the ignition but we failed to do so for a lengthy period of time. The battery had to be disconnected with the engine running. This decision was made after no other alternatives could be made to shut off the vehicle. This was a dangerous situation and could have cause electrical burns or other issues while doing this.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #17

Jul 282011


  • miles
Issue: My ignition key will not turn once inside the ignition, preventing my car from starting. Dealership: Will charge for replacing and cylinder, housing and key if vehicle exceeds bumper-to-bumper warranty (36,000 miles or ~2 years, whichever comes first). Cost including labor is $797 + tax! number of occurrences: 2 safety: Depending on where you last park your car, you can be stranded anywhere! tip: I have learned from the tow company that this is the most frequent problem from these Chevy vehicles and that many people have had this problem.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #16

Aug 292011


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that he was unable to power the vehicle off and the engine remained running. The dealer informed the contact that the vehicle had not been included in any recalls. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. No repairs were performed. The current and failure mileages were 38,000.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #15

May 102011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I have a big issue about the odometer reading on my Cobalt. I have made several complaints to the dealership. I bought my car 7/29/09 and it now has 59,740 miles on it. This is only an in town car. I bought tires in 3/11 and the tire place last week said I put over 12,000 miles since then. This is no way possible. They say they have tested it and there is no problems. I have not change my driving habits since I bought this car. The car I had before this had a regular odometer and not the digital. The car was 1997 and it had 155,000 and I drove out of town a lot. By the end of the year I won't have a power train warranty anymore. There is just no way in hell this is correct and I have heard others say the same. Someone needs to step up to this issue.. this looks like a way for the manufactures to get out of warranties.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #14

Aug 072011


  • 39,900 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the key was removed from the ignitin yet the engine continued to operate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised that the engine lock cylinder would need replacing and that there were no recalls for the failure. The manufacturer was contacted who stated they will contact the dealer and check on the failure. The failure mileage was 39,900. The VIN was not available.

- Carneige, PA, USA

problem #13

Jul 282011


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle would not shut off when it was in park and turned off. The key broke inside the ignition when the contact attempted to pull it out. The dealer and manufacturer denied any assistance with repairs to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 60,000.

- Dixon, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 102011


  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated the key would not turn off the ignition. The contact had to disconnect the rally for the fuel injectors in order for the vehicle to be shut off. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and the dealer advised that the ignition switch lock cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. In addition, the contact stated that vehicle would drift from left to right when driving at least 60 mph. The vehicle was not inspected for the drifting failure. The failure mileage was 51,000.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #11

May 282011


  • miles
I went to shut off my car Saturday night, May 28th and was unable to remove key had to remove battery cable to shut car off. Dealer familiar with problem. Apparently at least 200$ solution. This has happened to other folks also.

- Gays Mills, WI, USA

problem #10

May 192011


  • 45,488 miles
Could not shut car off when parked. The key would not move lock to shut car off. Could move key forward (to start), but could not move to off. Immediately drove car to dealer. Dealer told me they had to disconnect battery (while the car was running) to shut of the car then proceeded to replace the ignition cylinder. The remarks on dealer repair invoice were " replaced ignition cylinder due to the key getting stuck in the housing and the cylinder blowing up". note that I consider not being able to shut off a running car extremely unsafe! in case something happens like throttle sticking etc. (don't know if there is any history of throttle sticking on this model yet). Also, generally it is bad practise to disconnect the battery cable on a running engine. This may affect the computer (future safety issue? or future expensive electrical system repairs). Does GM condone this practise at their dealers? dealer used my extended warranty and charged $106 for the deductible to fix this safety item. I found similar 2009 Cobalt ignition issues on your NHTSA website, ref. ODI id's 10364046, 10368042, 10361530, 10394051

- Andover, CT, USA

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