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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,784 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #2

May 052006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles


After having the car for 6 months had to replace the tires and 1 year later replacing tires again. Can not open passenger front door while passenger back door is open. The hinges on door shifted and the dealership and gmac said it was our fault because of the mileage on the car and they aren't going to take care of the problem. The doors are chipping away the paint on the car from the doors hitting it. This is a new car and they told me to go through my insurance company to have it fixed. What ever happened to the warranty you receive when buying a new car? I think there is a bigger problem with the vehicle no one wants to admit. All we want is to have this problem fixed and no one will do anything.

- Export, PA, USA

problem #1

Jul 212005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 569 miles
The contact had several problems with a vehicle he previously owned. The vehicle stalled while driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealership for inspection. The dealer determined that the key chain was too long and touched his knee. The second problem concerned the brake light coming on momentarily. The dealership could not duplicate the problem. The third problem was that the door handle stuck one eighth of an inch from the door. As a result, he returned the vehicle back to the dealership. The ignition switch was replaced to hold the consumers heavy key chain. Updated 01/19/06.

- Plainfield, CT, USA

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