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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,384 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

Aug 112005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 467 miles


While driving my 2005 Cobalt it stalls out with no warning. The radio flashes locked across the screen, just as the car is about to shut off. I have taken the car back to the dealership on three different occasions, and they keep telling me they can't find the problem. This has happened probably 15 times or more since I leased the car back in July. I'm really afraid that this might cause an accident. At this time, I am going through the process to have General Motors by the car back.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #1

Feb 222005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,300 miles
We purchased our 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt in mid December. In the middle of January we noticed that the air conditioner was not blowing cold air. Dealership replaced the air conditioner compression valve. Approximately one week later the vehicle began to display the "check engine" light and read "power less reduced" then, we began to have difficulty accelerating. The gas pedal became stiff. The dealearship replaced the air conditioner compression valve once again. Again the problem surfaced about a week later. The same part was replaced once again, and an appointment was made for the following Tuesday to drop the vehicle off for further investigation. Dealership discovered a faulty wiring harness causing the problem. We were then told that this was an engineering problem with the vehicle. Proceedings are underway to replace the vehicle with another car.

- Acton, CA, USA

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