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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 1
Average Mileage:
90,113 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Oct 192011


  • 98,000 miles


When pulling out of our drive way this morning, the car suddenly began to jerk, I thought it was nothing. Then as I pulled to the stop sign, the car then jerked again and somewhat slowed down and the low brake fluid lights began to flash and a dinging noise came on as well. I immediately turned the car back into our driveway but barely could because the steering wheel was so stiff it would hardly budge.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #6

Feb 182011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt sudden acceleration. My daughter's 2005 Cobalt has had two episodes in 30-days of her accelerator pedal dropping to the floor and the car racing out of control until she brakes hard, pulls over and shuts off the car. Today it accelerated to 96 mph and she was ticketed for speeding. The GM dealer says there is no recall. Toyota said the same thing until people started dieing...

- South Jordan, UT, USA

problem #5

Mar 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 119,378 miles
I had severe power steering failure and my map sensor is also defective even though it has been replaced twice. I have a very low mpg its a 15mpg at best. My car also accelerates without my foot on the pedal and I have had severe brake failure, to the extent that I have had to use my hand brake to stop.

- Fort Lauderdale , FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 242010


  • 42,312 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. She stated that while driving 5 mph with her foot her on the brake pedal, the vehicle accelerated on its own. She then lost all power to the vehicle including the steering which made it very difficult to control the steering wheel. She applied the emergency brake in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. They were unable to duplicate, diagnose or repair the failure. The failure and current mileages were 42312.

- Clifton Heights, PA, USA

problem #3

Sep 012009


  • 21,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt and periodically it starts shifting really hard and the power steering goes! I have to stop the car, shut it off, let it sit, start it, shut it off, repeat three times, then it is okay for a while.

- Brook Park, MN, USA

problem #2

Oct 152008


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 70 mph on the freeway, the "reduce engine speed" indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle shifted into low gear and the contact could not accelerate beyond 40 mph, which she considered very dangerous on a highway allowing 70 mph speeds. The vehicle began operating normally. Prior to the failure, she noticed that the vehicle began stalling when she would slow down at traffic lights or stop signs. Occasionally, the contact would have to shift the vehicle into neutral so that it could perform correctly. On three occasions, a mechanic stated that multiple codes were present after diagnosing the vehicle. The manufacturer stated that there was no relevant recall to-date. The current mileage was approximately 82,000 and failure mileage was approximately 80,000. Updated 4/23/09 updated 04/27/09

- Roseville, MN, USA

problem #1

Oct 022005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The consumer stated the vehicle shut down and stopped while driving at 20 mph. Then, she had to turn the vehicle off, put it in park, and turned it back on. The dealership stated it would have to happen again before they would know what was wrong with it. General Motors told her she could take the vehicle in to the dealership. There was no accident when this happened and this is the only time this has occurred.

- New Hide Park, NY, USA

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