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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
18,972 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 #5

May 032010

(reported on)

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer states vehicle stopped suddenly. Consumer has received recall notice and is requesting reimbursement the consumer stated the power steering light illuminated. The consumer was also informed the headlights were full of water.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 182007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 49,862 miles
I have had my 2005 Chevy Cobalt since July 2005. At 800 miles I had it serviced for a leak in the passenger floorboard. It was in the shop 5 times before they found a fix. Next was the lights flashing on the dashboard, specifically the check engine, brake and high beam lights. Then the heater would not blow so it was in the shop to have that fixed. Then the reverse lights stopped working and there is condensation in the headlights. Now, two days ago, my power steering light comes on and it becomes very hard to steer. I almost had an accident when I couldn't turn fast enough. When you turn the car on and off it works again temporarily. I will be taking it to the shop again, but at this point it has 50,000 miles and is out of warranty. Very disappointed with the quality of this car!!

- Driftwood, TX, USA

problem #3

May 012007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
I have a 2005 Cobalt I purchased new. I have had numerous problems with the brakes, headlights, a.C., signal lights etc. But the newest problem is the power steering it goes out without any warning. It does this every day at no certain time. And this is very dangerous as it is very hard to steer when this happens.when the steering goes out it says power steering on dash, most of the time I can pull over and turn the car off wait a minute and restart the engine and it steers fine for awhile. The car has 37,500 miles on it and the warranty just ran out. This could easily cause a loss of control and or a collision. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.....thanks.

- Wise, VA, USA

problem #2

Aug 042006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
- the contact received two recalls 04560000 concerning exterir lighting:headlights and 07V014000 concerning structure on the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt in August 2006. He made three attempts to get the vehicle repaired. The dealer will not give him a loaner vehicle for the day and/or will not give him a ride to work. The current mileage was 45,000. There had been no failures to date.

- Rio Rancho, NM, USA

problem #1

Jan 012006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
We bought this car in July 2005. Since this time, it has been in the shop 8 times for various reasons. Mainly the steering. Going over bumps, it rattles very loudly. The steering column, struts, mounts, and almost everything to do with the steering has been replaced twice!! still rattles loudly. GM tells us that is not a safety hazard. There is a fix in progress but may take 6 months to a year! I pay a lot of money a month for a rattle trap! other items that have been replaced on the car is the radio, the blower motor, the right headlight, all 4 door bezels, all 4 door weather stripping due to wind noise, the shifting column because I had trouble getting the key out of the ignition. This has been the worst new car purchase I have ever made. I have already been in touch with the BBB about it.

- Brazil , IN, USA

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