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:
18,215 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 #3

May 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch recall notice. The consumer stated the first week of owning the vehicle, it would not start. When she called the dealer, the told her to move the steering wheel up and down and tap on the accelerator pedal. There were times through out the years, where the vehicle would not start. Also, the vehicle would pull to the left, the oil pan was leaking, the ignition switch was replaced, the left turn signal was inoperable, and the oxygen sensor was replaced.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Mar 012006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,645 miles
: the contact stated the ignition switch would not turn, the airbag light illuminated and the turn signal failed. The dealership repaired the problems but they reoccurred. The manufacturer was alerted.

- Bedford, PA, USA

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