Notes: The Cobalt was introduced to replace two of Chevy’s smaller cars, the Cavalier and Prizm. But the compact’s fresh start that Chevy was hoping for was riddled with issues, most notably widespread power steering failure.

The power steering failed so often that GM was forced to issue a recall in March, 2010. Great, but what about other problems like the key getting stuck in the ignition or all the other electrical demons this car possesses?

And, oh yes — then there’s the terribly dangerous issue where the Cobalt randomly shuts off while driving. As it turns out, that problem is related to GM’s massive 2014 recall for a dangerous ignition switch defect. A recall that eventually ballooned to 2.6 million vehicles in one of the automotive industry’s biggest scandals.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
59,786 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.

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Jun 012005


  • 45,000 miles


Three issues with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. One the door latch broke and I can no longer get out the drivers side. If an accident were to occur I would have to crawl out the passenger side to get out of the car. Secondly, my struts keep going bad on my car. I have had them replaced three times now. My third issue is the brakes. I was told that the Cobalt had anitlock brakes when I bought it. However, when I have had to slam on the brakes they lock and a little light comes on with a anti brake symbol on it.

- Apollo, PA, USA

problem #10

Mar 172010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
My 2005 Cobalt has problems with the doors getting stuck shut. They will not open from the inside or outside. I feel that this is a major safety issue due to the fact that if I need to get out of my car in a hurry that this will not be possible. Something needs to be done about this problem.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #9

Jan 302010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The power steering on my 2005 Chevy Cobalt went out while I was driving, luckily it didn't result in an accident. I could have just as easily been in an accident due to the fact I couldn't turn my wheel at all. I took the Cobalt to a shop, and it turns out it was the motor. Apparently this happens to a ton of Chevy Cobalts all the time. This is sooo dangerous! also, occasionally my driver side door won't open from the inside or outside. This could be a huge safety risk if I needed to get out of my vehicle in a hurry.

- Grand Island, NE, USA

problem #8

Feb 272010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 75,090 miles


I am not able to get my key out of the ignition of my 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls. This has been a persistent problem since I bought the car in 2006 (was a rental). Up until today (2/27/10) I've always been able to get it out eventually. Now however, my car will not start - it just clicks, and my shifter won't move. The car doesn't recognize that it's in park. After doing some research online, it appears many people have had this problem. The conclusion is that there is a defect in the transmission shift cable. Please see this link: this is not the only problem I've had with this car: Power steering failure after about 45,000 bad wheel bearing after about 50,000 cd player replaced because it wouldn't eject cds (this is still a problem even though the dealer replaced it with the same manufacturer's model) faulty glove compartment. I feel this model of car is dangerous and should be recalled after all the problems people are experiencing with it.

- Kaukauna, WI, USA

problem #7

Dec 022009


  • 62,530 miles
Power steering on my 2005 Cobalt goes out intermittently, it had not done it for two months. But recently, while I was taking a turn, it went out, and I was unable to keep the car in my lane and hit the curb on the opposite side of the road, thankfully no other vehicle was present in intersection, or it would have been a front end collision. Now it works only for a few minutes when I turn my car on, but goes out every time I drive it. I also have problems with the power locks locking and unlocking themselves constantly while I'm driving, and even after the vehicle is parked. I can not leave it unattended because it unlocks itself. I started to have the problem shortly after purchasing it in 2007, but the warranty expired, its 63,000 miles, and cannot afford to fix it. This should not be an issue in a car less than 5 years old. I live in Minnesota, and the roads are often icy, I am fearful it will happen again, and I may not be so lucky again. I have also had problems with the front suspension, I had the shocks/struts? replaced 2 months after buying it, at around 40, 000 miles, and they still have the same problem after the dealer fixed it, I should have complained then, but I was afraid to shell out more money for something else they would claim was wrong with it.

- Minnetonka, MN, USA

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problem #6

Jul 022009


  • 37,224 miles
Stuck key.

- Ellenville, NY, USA

problem #5

Apr 182009


  • 34,423 miles


Ignition key sticks in the "acc" position at shut down about 80% of the time. Restarting the car or pushing up under the key cylinder sometimes releases it. I've gone to two dealers so far and all I get is yup its stuck...maybe its the shifter maybe its the ignition. That's not a great response to hear. This is on 05 Chevy Cobalt ls coupe.

- Ellenville, NY, USA

problem #4

May 012008


  • 80,000 miles
The power steering on the 2005 and later Cobalts quits either intermittently or continuously. In my case, the ps only works for 2/10 of a mile before quitting. After that point it is only manual drive. There are websites and blogs that are dedicated just to this problem including this site has 335 instances of this problem as of today. GM has failed to step up and fix this. In fact, they insist that the entire steering column must be replaced. However, this site shows that it is usually only one component but that component cannot be purchased separately. The entire column replacement runs from $800 to $2000 whereas the component alone has to be much cheaper and is actually simple to replace. I tried the remedy listed by wayne from zion il #318 on the first website listed here and while it didn't work for me, there was so much black powder coming out of it I couldn't believe it. No wonder it doesn't work! this part is basically sealed so it must be made in unclean conditions. I believe it is made in Japan (one of the posts mentions it). I believe that power steering issues are a major defect and why nothing has been done by this organization or GM is beyond me. While it may be safe to drive in manual steering, having it change in the middle of a turn (as is reported in the posts) is not safe! another problem that seems to be related is the key not coming out of the ignition. I say related because most cars with the first issue seem to have the second issue too. Lastly, these cars also have the A/C leak directly into the passenger compartment causing mold and mildew and therefore unsafe breathing conditions in the car. Check the posts, dealers "can't find anything wrong" with them. How do I force your organization to do something about this as I know I'm not the only one to complain?

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #3

Apr 022008


  • 79,000 miles
When it rains, my car doors do not open. I took my car in to get the door locks replaced after being trapped in my car after the battery died and I was trapped for an hour or so waiting for someone to jumpstarted my car. Due to the battery being dead, I wasn't even able to climb out a window.

- Delafield, WI, USA

problem #2

Jun 042008


  • 24,500 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering goes out at random, car locks you inside, you have to go out the window, car dies while driving. These are all common problems with this car. Chevy does not make redesigned parts to replace its current stock of bad parts. Someone is going to get hurt, if Chevy is not forced to take action.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #1

Jul 082005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The placement of the door locks on the 2 door is must reach back over your sholder to unlock the door, either power door locks should be standed or the lock location should be changed to the door handel 2005 Chevy Cobalt 2 door

- Lindenhurst, NY, USA

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