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:
7,273 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #1

Dec 152005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,273 miles


I purchased a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt in August of 2005. In December of 05 the car was having a problem related to the automatic shifter and was in for service. The shifting unit was replaced, also the radio was reprogrammed for flashing an error message at the time of service. By February of 06 the shifter was again very stiff to move and was having trouble getting the key out of the ignition. The garage adjusted the shifter linkage and lubed the cable assembly, at this time I also had a concern with the operation of the headlights, changing them from low beam to high beam. The problem being that when you switch the lights they go out for a brief time. The garage ordered a new multi-control switch for the car. A few days after having the car serviced for these problems the car was towed back to the dealership because I was unable to remove the key again from the switch causing the battery to go dead, and the shifter was very stiff. The garage ordered and replaced the shifter assembly and defective cylinder for the key switch. As of the 7th of March, 06, I was still having problems with the lights going out when changing from low to high beams, the car is presently in the shop. I have contacted GM about my concerns with the shifter and the lights. After I did this, I recieved a call from the GM representitive that I had spoken with only to be told that the service manager from the garage told him that this is a normal condition for the vehicle and that nothing can be done to correct the problem.

- Emeigh, PA, USA

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