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:
39,300 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 112010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


Chevrolet Cobalt VIN [xxx] is involved in safety recall 10023 by GM. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Yauco, PR, USA

problem #3

Apr 172010


  • 60,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt has several issue with traction control, ABS, and emergency brakes. I have taken this car to the Chevy dealership for repairs multiple times and the same problem keeps recurring. All the warning light for tc, ABS, and emergency brake are on again and when this sensor fails the car shifts gears and loses traction control. Very dangerous especially in wet weather conditions. I have heard this a common problem with these types of Chevy cars. So what's it going to take to get a recall! a fatality? someone do something about this.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 212010


  • 64,000 miles
Brake pedal locks or gets hard to press.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #1

Aug 032008


  • 33,200 miles
My 2005 Cobalt has had electrical and power steering problems ever since I leased it. Intermittently, while driving, the instrument messages start flashing (usually "power steering"). the car then becomes very hard to steer and brake, the engine surges up and down. On Aug 3rd the car was involved in a minor accident when it was steered into a curb, possibly caused by another equipment failure. I took the car in to a Chevrolet dealer again, when it failed again two more times after the accident. Both times the dealer found error codes. However, they said they had a "tsb" on this problem, from Chevrolet which says to just clear the logs, give the car back to the customer and to "perform no work". they are putting lives in danger by following this procedure. I have copies of the service orders to confirm my statement.

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

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