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:
35,000 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

problem #2

Jan 072010


  • 64,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. When the contact started the vehicle he noticed that the it began to stall and suddenly shut off. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that gasoline was pouring into the engine and that the ignition control module needed to be replaced. There were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 64000.

- Elmira, MI, USA

problem #1

Jan 152007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Went out to warm up my car, as I do every morning. The car would not start. When we got it started, it sounded like a go kart or 4 wheeler putting. Decided to drive it to dealer and had my husband follow. It made it about 5 miles and started smoking and sparks were coming from the exhaust. It died and wouldn't start back. We had to call in a tow truck to take it to a dealer. The dealer just informed me that it is an ignition module. We will see if that fixes the problem. This car had problems since the day I got it. When I got home with it in August 2005, the trunk ajar light stayed on even though the trunk was not open. Took it in to a shop and they replaced a computer, which immediately burnt out while there. I had to wait an additional week for them to get another one in. About may of 2006 the car was leaking from the air vents and the passenger dashboard. Took it in and the problem seemed to be fixed for a while. May of 2007 I had the same problem and took it to another Chevy dealership the problem seemed to be fixed for only 2 days. It still leaks to this day and I get condensation on the dashboard when it S hot enough. My radio has shorted out twice from this problem. My trunk constantly makes weird tapping noises and when people are in my car, they think someone is in the trunk. My car is now at the third local dealership on about its 6 + visit. I see other people with the same complaints as myself, and wonder why we are all paying out of pocket for things that should apparently be recalls. My gauges also work by themselves, when the car is off and keys are removed. The dealers claim this never happens in their view. I am very dissatisfied with my purchase and would not recommend this vehicle to anyone. Mainly because of the lack of concern from the Chevy dealers to fix the solutions for myself and others that I have read about.

- Southaven, MS, USA

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