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:
63,667 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 #3

Apr 062014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


My daughter was on her way to work and was unable to stop andhit the rear end of the vehicle in front of her. The car shut off... she did what the recall was told to do and had just the key in the ignition... luckily she was able to turn on the car to get out of traffic and she was not going too fast the seatbelts did not work and the airbag did not work as well.. also before we knew about the recall her ignition was messing up by not able to completely turn off while in park and key would not come out... we have to shift gears and turn off and on the car to get the key loose... so now we are down a car, I paid the car in full and its now not drivable... ??

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #2

Apr 142006


  • miles
Was hit from a car going 70 miles per hr. The seat belts that morning were not working for the driver side, enabling my mother to have safety protection. We have evidence and pictures of this, she was thrown out of the car. The passenger side airbag did not deploy, because we were hit at such a fast speed, it caused our car to spin around in circles and run into a building. The passenger side seat belt also did not lock up, causing me to be thrown into the driver seat without the airbags presence to keep me in place. I am disgusted to know there was acknowledgment of this in 2004 yet they just now choose to call a recall on these situations.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #1

Feb 252010


  • 61,000 miles
Power steering went out while driving on the high way. Luckily I am a strong man and was driving and not my wife. The front passenger seat belt is now no longer usable due to the fact that it is stuck buckled together for the 2nd time. It can no be detached. This is a safety hazard. And now I must replace this seat belt and buckle.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

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