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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,277 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Aug 142007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,700 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The engine turned completely off. There were no prior warning indicators. The mph was unknown. The dealer replaced the ignition switch, however; the failure continued. The current mileage was 15,804. The failure mileage was 15,700.

- Pinckneyville, IL, USA

problem #5

Apr 242007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt sedan randomly shuts off while driving. So far it has happened about 6 times. The first time was a few months ago. I was driving at a speed of about 30mph making a left turn crossing a very busy lane of oncoming traffic when the car just shut off. The radio was still on but if I pressed on the gas, nothing. I had to put the car in park, shut off the ignition and then restart it. It immediately started back up. I called the dealership right away and was told that because no warning lights came on they wouldn't be able to trace the problem and hopefully it was a one time thing. Well then about a month later it happened again. The dealership told me to wait about a week and call back, well within a week it happened again so I called and told them I was bringing it to them. When I brought the car in they installed a flight recorder and sent me on my way. About a week later the car shut off again so I pressed the button on the flight recorder and brought it back to the dealership. The mechanics informed me that the flight recorder did not work because they forgot to put something else on my car at the time of the installation in order to make the recorder work and wanted me to bring the car back to have the recorder re-installed. I refused and told them I would bring the car back but they needed to keep it until they figured out the problem. On my way back to the dealership the car shut off again while going 65mph on the highway. The dealership had the car for about a week and claimed it was fixed for sure. They said they found the problem and replaced the ignition switch and power train relay. Well I have now had my car back for two weeks and as of last night it happened again. I called the dealership and told them to have the car towed because I refuse to drive it. At this point I do not want the car and have no faith in them repairing it. The car should be recalled before there is a fatality.

- Windsor, CT, USA

problem #4

May 042006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,912 miles
My daughter was driving her 2005 Cobalt on a us route with a speed limit of 55. This road is very hilly and curvy. She was going up a hill and was approaching a curve, so she took her foot of the gas. Suddenly, the car shut down. She lost power, power steering, everything. She managed to steer the car to the brim of the road. The key was still on. She turned the key off, then back on. The only thing she noticed different on her gauges, was the coolant read 223, it normally runs 184-196. She had no cell phone service, so she started the car and drove to her grandmother's. every time the car shifted gears (an automatic), it jerked and lurched. She was scared to death. I contacted the GM dealer where we purchased it and took it right over, driving very slow. They were unable to reproduce this, and nothing showed up on the computer. I contacted GM who feel that if they can't find anything, they can't fix it. I am scared to drive this car myself, let alone let my daughter drive it. I began researching on this site, and have found twelve other cases, listed under electrical system-ignition, ignition switch, electrical system defects, and even under engine & engine cooling. They all did not show any thing on the computer diagnostics, the cars just shut off on them at various speeds. So far no one appears to have been injured, but what if you're going 65 mph on an expressway with a semi next to you and this happens?

- Malvern, OH, USA

problem #3

Feb 252006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,440 miles


: the contact stated without warning the engine stalled while driving 45 mph. The vehicle would not restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealership. The dealership determined there was a short in the ignition system causing the injection fuse to blow. The wiring was repaired. Updated 3/20/2006 -

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #2

Mar 012005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The ignition shuts off while driving. This occurred several times at various speeds. Also, it occurred a couple of times while trying to tilt the steering wheel or while just driving and not trying to adjust the steering wheel. The dealership was as stunned as the consumer that GM will not do anything to correct this problem. The manufacturer said that one could put a slot in the key hole to make it smaller to correct the problem. This procedure has not been correctly done to consumer's vehicle it was just in the works to see if this would be a possibility to fix. The consumer has been having this problem since March 2005, and the vehicle was purchased in February 2005.

- Jacksonville, AR, USA

problem #1

May 152005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Bought a new 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt in March. Since then it has been in the repair shop 5 times. While driving 40 mph dashboard panel lights came on and then suddenly the engine died. When this occurred the key was in the ignition in the start position. Dealer said it was designed for women so they may start the car easily. The ignition was designed to stop the engine if the key or ignition were touched while the vehicle was in motion. The dealer said Chevrolet designed it this way. The second opinion from the dealer was simply there was nothing wrong. When the engine shut down there was a loss of brake power along with everything electrical. They did a diagnostic check which showed nothing. There was a recall service performed on the vehicle, but that was on the air conditioner. There was some sort of reprogramming work done. Consumer did not know what was wrong with vehicle.

- Plainfield, CT, USA

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