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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
1,700 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 232005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,700 miles


While driving home a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, we ran over a small rock that had fallen from a truck in front of us ( about 8" in diameter). We heard a banging and tearing noise, then the engine went dead. After several attempts to restart, we exited the Cobalt to find fuel gushing from underneath the vehicle. We had our 3 children make a run for it, grabbed our possessions, followed the kids, and called the fire department from a safe distance. Fortunately we, (and other motorists) were not injured. In 25 years of driving, we had never seen anything like this. The firemen on the scene said they had never seen a small rock tear open a fuel tank at that slow a speed before. The sheriff echoed their comments, along with the fact he had never seen a fuel tank like that before, particularly the fact that it did not have a bladder. I'm not well versed in auto mechanics. I'm just happy my family is alive. Take this as a warning - perhaps the protective measures Chevy took for the fuel tank in a rear collision left it vulnerable in other areas. I don't think this is the first and last time this will happen, and hopefully a recall will take place before someone dies from this flaw.

- Evergreen, CO, USA

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