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:
45 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
27 / 5
Average Mileage:
62,740 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 13 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #764

Oct 042005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


Chevy today said that their is nothing wrong with my pwr steering yet both myself and my brother test drove it. Now in Aug I had the recall and they fixed it so they claimed in Aug but yet it is doing the same thing only worse this past wk. Amazing how Chevy will try to use the excuse that it is something else other then the pwr steering when the instrument light chiming pwr steering was a [xxx] good indication that it was the steering. Not to mention I could not turn my steering wheel and when I try to accelerate the car would jolt like it was not going into gear. Let me not forget to mention the clicking noise I get underneath the dash near the steering wheel and the clicking in the shifter. Same problem new day and they tell me it's fine. I guess I have to kill someone on the rd for them to do something about the car. You guys need to step in because I am 2 steps away from calling a lawyer and suing everyone that is involved with knowing and not doing anything about it. I surely do not feel like being scraped off the darn hwy or the guilt of killing someone over something that you guys should have taken care of back in 2005 when all this started happening. We need to recall all cars from 05 to 09 and get them off the street and have Chevy reimburse us or give us a safer car. I know it may seem like a lot of money but 1 life being saved makes a difference. I know car dealers have what they call a bean counter and they don't care if 1 or a 12 people die from faulty equipment and you guys can live with that. But to me that is horrible and needs to be stopped means now!!!!!!!!! thank you for your time not so happy with how you guys manage safety and the response time. Ignore the parts section or equipment section because I did not know the manufacturer of the pwr motor replaced. I truly do not feel they even replaced it. I think America has been had once again by the car industry. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #763

Oct 042010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Well last year I had issues with my 05 Chevy Cobalt power steering unit and it did almost get me killed along with some pedestrians on the side of the road. Luckily no one got hurt. You guys finally recalled the car and I had my unit replaced on August 16 of 2010. However this past Monday October 4th my car did the same thing after the repaired recall was fixed. It would appear that any vehicle from 05 - 09 has this problem and it will never be fully repaired correctly or it can't be. But I think it will take hundreds of more accidents and maybe a few hundred deaths before it is truly dealt with accordingly. I think they just need to take all these vehicles back and scrap them as recyclables because they will never be safe or liable. They were poorly manufactured and I truly do not feel safe in it. However I can not afford a new car so I am stuck with the risk of killing innocent people along with myself. God be with us all as we take our chances and Venture into the valley of death. Keeping these cars on the road, you are killing people. Wake up guys and lets fixed this problem now before more people get killed........I am already for a class action suit against Chevy. I rather do it now before it is too late and others die or get hurt because of a computer controlled device that I think is truly unrepairable.... sorry under equipment I added zf and I-shaft. I did not know the part manufacturer that they installed so ignore that part. All I know is they fixed the so called power steering recall issue thing and it did not fix the problem. Or the repairs will never truly fix this problem and you need to issue a statewide alert to get these vehicles off the road completely before someone gets hurt if not killed. Have some dignity for human life please is all I ask. Thank you!!!

- Titusville, FL, USA

problem #762

Aug 192010


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 65 mph, the steering wheel began to jerk and the power steering failed which caused the vehicle to pull to the side of the road. The failure occurred three times before. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the motor sensor, steering column and rack and pinion shaft were replaced. The manufacturer had not been notified. The failure mileage was approximately 54,000.

- Hazard, KY, USA

problem #761

Aug 292010


  • 50,000 miles


My Chevy Cobalt just reached the 40,000 mile mark recently and has been presenting a power steering defect. I understand the car operates electrically, however, there has been no warning of a power steering problem. My steering wheel picks and chooses which day it wants to lock up and stop working. The first time the power steering acted up, I was making a left turn. I was terrified because my steering wheel wouldn't turn enough to complete the turn, even by using all my strength. However, my cars problem is occurring more frequently as of lately. This problem could of very well caused my life. Having researched the problem I'm even more terrified seeing as I am beginning to experience these problems. I'm upset and disturbed that this issue has not been recalled. Every time I turn my wheel I'm scared of when it will act up again.

- Hialeah , FL, USA

problem #760

Jun 062010


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was traveling between 55-70 mph when the steering wheel and column began to shake abnormally. The dealer informed the contact that the vehicle was not under recall and any repairs would be at her expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileage was 92,000.

- Miami , FL, USA

problem #759

Aug 162010


  • miles
I own a 2005 Chevy colbalt ls that I purchased two months ago. There was a recall #20110023. I took it to a Chevy dealer and they "fixed" the electric power steering motor. About a month later, I was driving on beverly rd in pittsburgh, 35mph or less, I turned the wheel to the right and tried to turn it back to center but it would not respond, causing me to hit a telephone pole and $6000 worth of damage.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #758

Jul 072010


  • 35,888 miles


I have a 2005 Cobalt coupe with power steering problem. My problem it still happens once in while even though the motor was replaced.! dealer has seen the problem, but states the problem has to be happening at the time when the mechanic can look at it. I leave it at the dealer and then when the mechanic goes to work on it, the car is fine. In my case it has to happen close to home and when dealer service is open. It happens when dealer is not open ! when I turn off the car and leave for 60 minutes or so, the problem goes away. Then the car is great. When it happens 1. the chimes come on, 2. the dash lights go on and off, 3.the odometer gets "-, 4.the shifting becomes very ruff. The car acts like bumbee on transformers. Any ideas ?"

- Point Pleasant, NJ, USA

problem #757

Jul 072010


  • 35,888 miles
I have a 2005 Cobalt coupe with power steering problem. My problem it still happens once in while even though the motor was replaced.! dealer has seen the problem, but states the problem has to be happening at the time when the mechanic can look at it. I leave it at the dealer and the when the mechanic goes to work on it, the car is fine. I my case it has to happen close to home and when dealer service is open. It happens when dealer is not open ! when I turn off the car and leave for 60 minutes or so, the problem goes away. Then the car is great. When it happens 1. the chimes come on, 2. the dash lights go on and off, 3.the odometer gets "-, 4.the shifting becomes very ruff. The car acts like bumbee on transformers. Any ideas ?"

- Point Pleasant, NJ, USA

problem #756

Aug 242010


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The vehicle was previously repaired for the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000, steering electric power assist system. While driving approximately 50 mph the steering wheel locked and she could no longer control the steering wheel. The vehicle was pulled over then towed to an authorized dealer where they were in the process of diagnosing the failure. The failure and current mileages were 80,000.

- Bellingham, WA, USA

problem #755

Aug 172010


  • 103,762 miles
I recently had power steering problems with my 05 Chevy Cobalt. I went to premier dealership in brooklyn ct to have the recall done after experiencing problems my power steering. The power steering light would go on and would be hard to turn my wheel, engine light on and car security light went on. After the recall was performed today my car ran smoothly and those lights did not go on. However according to the dealership I still needed a whole power steering column replaced... and the charge was 805 to do the whole job. To "look" at the supposed other problem costs me $113. Now the recall was supposedly "free" for me.

- Danielson, CT, USA

problem #754

Aug 122010


  • 71,000 miles


Received recall notice for my 2005 Cobalt sedan(71,000 miles), in March of 2010. The recall was related to the electric power steering unit. The electric motor thought to be the problem was replaced free of charge by local dealer, no problems with steering up to that point. Just recently(Aug 2010), I started experiencing problems with the steering. The power steering light would flash on and ding. The car would immediately lose power and the door locks would lock and unlock by themselves. It was as though a switch had been thrown. And then it would go away. The local dealer that troubleshoot the problem charged me $55 and said there was an electrical short triggering error problems within the steering column modules. I asked if it was related to the problems they had with the steering electric motors and he said this was another unrelated issue. Sure. So I called a reputable local mechanic and explained my problem. He said he has replaced several steering column units at a cost of $900 a pop. I can see why GM's parts and labor guys love this. He also said the entire column is faulty and they all should be replaced. Of course nothing will happen until a congressman's relative gets badly hurt or killed. I am surprised that the NHTSA has not followed up on the original recall fix as that was only the tip of the iceberg for a much bigger problem. I understand there are several thousand people experiencing steering issues that can be severe at times.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #753

May 132010


  • 14,000 miles
While driving in the right lane on taconic pkwy in New York the steering failed on my mother's Chevy 2005 Cobalt on May 13, 2010. She felt a loss of power over all and could not steer to keep the car on the curved road - car went off the road into the woods and crashed head on into a tree. Passenger was 81 year old woman. Ems/fire had to cut her out of the car and she was taken to St. Francis hospital in poughkeepsie where she was in the ic unit for days. It was hours before she could even speak to advise doctors to send for her family. She suffered from broken ribs, crushed chest, dislocated shoulder, facial and body wounds. The car was recalled the month prior but Chevy dealer (yonkers) advised they had not gotten the ok from GM to pay for the repair (steering) on 2005 Chevy Cobalts. GM knew of this steering problem for years - even when the recall was official the Chevy dealer would not make the repair. GM is responsible for this. My mother was injured badly and nearly killed. I have called this dealer more than once since the May 13, 2010 accident and the last call in June they were still stating they did not get word from GM to pay for the steering defect on the Chevy 2005 Cobalt!!! something needs to be done when there is a recall and the dealers refuse to make the repairs. The Chevy 2005 Cobalt should have been recalled in 2006 or 2007 not April of 2010. I will do everything in my power to work with NHTSA to investigate this matter. I am respectfully asking for help from NHTSA to have one of their engineers check the crashed (totaled) remains of my mothers car. I have not signed title over. Please help me with this.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #752

Dec 152009


  • miles
Both front lower control are bushings are bad needs replaced and GM with not do anything but told me sorry for the experience. In the winter in Dec, 2009 my car started to driving funny the steering was act weird had to drive about 15 to 20 mph then it starting pulling to the right and try to keep the wheel start but it was hard I hit a giant pot hole made a horrible noise under the car. I find out when I took my car for the power steering recall that my passenger rim is bent, maybe wheel bearing is damaged also all on the right front and that both front lower control arm bushings are bad need replaced. Got the steering recall fixed and left the dealership talk to 3 different repair shop and they told me that they have to fix these front lower control arm bushing on several 2005 Cobalt and up that this a very on going problem even with Cobalt with less miles then mine and I do not even have 50,000 yet. I would say it is a very big problem that GM needs to be responsible for not each car owner.

- Mansfield, OH, USA

problem #751

Jun 032010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 48,940 miles
My 2005 Cobalt's steering was recalled, since that I have had two different power steering units put on my car within two weeks. Now my third power steering unit has gone bad and I can't drive my car until the dealership orders a new one which will take four days. If I do drive it I could risk a serious accident if it goes out.

- Norton, OH, USA

problem #750

Jun 202010


  • 59,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. 59000 miles on it. Had the whole power steering problem right after I financed the car, the recall that went out in March was replaced immediately, 3000 miles later (I drive about 2500-3000 a month) power steering started acting up again, took it to a mechanic, it wouldn't act up for him, he said to bring it back when it was actually acting up. It worked fine for a few weeks, happened again, check engine light came on, took it in still wouldn't give him any problems, mechanic advised to have Chevy check the power steering motor recall to see if maybe they replaced it with a bad motor. Called Chevrolet to get the power steering recall looked at again to see if maybe the replacement was a bad one..... Chevy dealership looked at it, checked the car and said he didn't know what was going on with it, and that he could change a few things.... power steering column, new battery...etc. $1000 dollars + worth of work and not knowing the whole time if it was even the problem. Worked ok again for a couple more weeks and now it doesn't want to shift in and out of gears and gain speed on the highway, check engine light came on, took it to a mechanic as soon as it happened, he took it out to test drive and the darn thing wouldn't act up on him. This car is a lemon, even the idiotic Chevrolet people at the dealership don't know what it is going on with the car and don't know how to fix it. I just want the thing off my hands, don't want to have to pay anymore into it, it's unreliable and unsafe.

- Morro, AR, USA

problem #749

Jun 182010


  • 35,378 miles
Was driving and lost power steering.

- Wrightsville, PA, USA

problem #748

May 262010


  • 60,500 miles
Approximately 15 occurrences of warnings lights randomly going off. Such as the power steering and traction control. The power steering had been repaired over a year ago so, it was not associated to the recall that just now was issued. After that it started happening more often and more warning lights would light up -- for no apparent reason. It would never happen when I took it to the shop. Then everything went "haywire" one night coming home from work at 1 am. Dials and lights went wild and the car was hesitating, the gear shift was clicking and the car was "slamming" in and out of gear. I took it to my local Chevy dealership and they could not find anything wrong. They told me maybe my fuel injectors needed cleaning!!!! one month later and it happened again. This time they said it was my body control module. Quoted a price of $619 and it turned out to be $729!!!! I have checked on line and have found multiple comments from other Cobalt owners who have experienced the same problem. This if very dangerous and Chevy needs to recall the part!!!!

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #747

May 292010


  • 54,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt that was recalled for the power steering column. I began having difficulties with my power steering suddenly going out in Feb 2010. I brought it to get looked at and was told my car was fine. I brought it back in when they power steering column was recalled. Since I have gotten the power steering column replaced I have continued to have the same problems with the power steering. I have been in contact with GM and Chevy and have brought my car back to the dealership several times and was told by all three that there "was nothing more they could do." The problem has gotten so bad that my car will jolt when the power steering goes out making the car very difficult to drive. I will pull off the road and turn my car off for approx. 15 minutes. This problem occurs at low speeds. May 29, 2010 was the last dated issue.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #746

Apr 152010


  • 86,000 miles
I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt ls with power steering problems and switch problems. My husband took it to auto zone and told him that the power steering was good so we took our car home with danger. Since that day we have alots of problems. He had to replace several parts to the car. I wanted to give my report because I feel unsafe on my vehicle for me and my kids and others people life.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #745

May 232010


  • miles
I started driving my car and within ten minutes the wheel of my Chevy Cobalt 2005 was very hard to steer. And I could not turn and almost caused a accident. It was very stiff and very hard to turn. There was a blinking sign that stated power steering. This has been happening for three days now and I have visited a mechanic and he told us that he could not do anything about it. It has caused me many problems. I do not want to put myself in danger and it can cause life threatening problems.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

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