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:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,500 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 252007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 21,000 miles


On the date listed, my wife was driving at app. 40mph. At which point she ran into the rear of another vehicle that was stopped. Upon impact the seat belt failed to keep her in the driver seat. There was also no airbag deployment. Upon impact she flew upwards and forward, hitting her face on the visor. She went to the hospital where they did scans and found no bleeding on the brain, however she was injured in the face to which she still has a bump on the bridge of her nose and still gets headaches. Also, shortly after the accident she had two black eyes and a concussion. The vehicle was repaired, but there was no indication that anything was done with the airbag system or the seat belt, by the auto body shop. We contacted GM a day or two after the accident. They sent an engineer out to gather readings from the car a few weeks later. It wasn't until this week that we heard something back from GM. They said there was nothing for them to do and they left it at that. We are still driving the same car and are very weary of what could happen if we are involved in another accident. I think there needs to be a recall done and the manufacture held liable for the equipment failure.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #1

Aug 272005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The consumer stated while sliding through a red light another vehicle hit consumer's on the driver's side rear. The vehicle then hit a pole, spun around, and hit another pole. The vehicle almost flipped over. It went up on two wheels and came back down. There was front and rear end damage. The vehicle was totaled. Upon impact, the airbags did not deploy, and the passenger's seat belt came off. The vehicle has not been inspected yet to determine why this happened on August 27, 2005. A police report was taken. The passewnger sustained injuries, hit chest and arm on the dash, board and she was bruised.

- Benton, AR, USA

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