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 47 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #84

Oct 152008


  • 60,000 miles


I have a 2005 chevorlet Cobalt and the power steering module fails during operation. To reset this condition you have to stop the car and re-start the engine. This happens after less than three minutes of driving every time you drive the car and is not safe for someone that is not strong enough to steer the car without power steering. The repair will cost approximately $900.

- Vinton, LA, USA

problem #83

Jan 242009


  • 46,000 miles
Power steering randomly goes out while driving. Very dangerous!!!

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #82

Dec 242008


  • 53,000 miles
Power steering stops working while driving, works again after restart. Dealer says this is a common problem with this vehicle. Dangerous as car is very difficult to steer.

- Dry Fork, VA, USA

problem #81

Jan 142009


  • 47,159 miles


While driving the electronic power steering assist motor failed and lost all power steering in the vehicle. Cycling power to the motor (killing ignition and restarting car) brings it back for a few moments before it fails again. Entire steering column had to be replaced.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #80

Jan 032008


  • 19,700 miles
Power steering failure during mountain driving.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #79

Dec 152008


  • 70,000 miles
After driving for a few minutes the "power steering" indicator comes on and then there is no power steering, it happens every time you drive it. It is going to cost over $1000 to fix it because the factory warranty is out, so we are unable to fix it at this time. It is the only vehicle I have to drive a 130 mile commute every day.

- Tombstone, AZ, USA

problem #78

Dec 202008


  • 71,824 miles


Without warning the power steering has failed and has failed everytime I start to drive it. This started on 12/20/08. Driving it is difficult and the only cure is to replace the steering column costing $700. I have found this is a common problem to the Chevy Cobalt 05-08.

- Enon, OH, USA

problem #77

Jan 032009


  • 66,000 miles
Beginning January 3rd, 2009, the 'power steering' warning has intermittently appeared and power steering assist would fail. This occurred about 3 times, between 30 and about 50 miles per hour. This is clearly a safety hazard. I also own a 2004 Malibu. My wife is the primary driver. The same issue happened with her car. After fighting with GM and the dealer they agreed, as a one time exception, to replace the steering column for the Malibu at no cost. This due to my "customer loyalty." Knowing the trouble involved and the likely outcome, I have not yet contacted GM regarding the current Cobalt issues. The cost of repair is suspicious, around $2000. The method of repair is also suspect; the replacement of the entire steering column. Not only does this seem to be excessive, there is little assurance that the new steering column is any different. It is not reasonable to expect anyone to foot this bill as a consumer. It is expensive, and clearly a product defect. I am concerned about using the car, especially on the interstate, thus rendering this costly product all but useless - and dangerous. This is not the only electronic issue I have had with this car. I need to open the bottom of the column to remove my key from the ignition (estimated repair cost from goodwrench - $450), and repeated blown fuses when I first bought the car, attributed to pinched wiring. A recall seems in order for this situation. Thank you.

- Wallingford, PA, USA

problem #76

Dec 252008


  • 56,000 miles
It was christmas morning and I drove approximately 20 miles home and as I got off the highway the power steering sensor came on, I lost control of the vehicle as I had no steering. It occurs every time I drive the vehicle, there is no accurate way to determine when it will go out, the consequence is possible death or accident depending upon what's around that I may hit when I can't steer my car. It was brought it for diagnostic testing, it was diagnosed, it was not repaired as it cost over a thousand to fix.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #75

Dec 232008


  • 19,698 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 20-50 mph, the steering wheel indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and the steering wheel locked up. The vehicle lost power and became very difficult to steer. The failure has occurred more than six times in one month. The vehicle is currently parked because the contact feels that it is unsafe to drive. A mechanic stated that there was failure pertaining to the steering wheel. The failure mileage was 19,698.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #74

Dec 152007


  • 60,000 miles


The power steering continues to fail while driving on a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, there have been many complaints about this vehicle and power steering. It is very unsafe to drive. There needs to be a recall of this component.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #73

Dec 112008


  • 69,214 miles
While driving the car a "power steering" warning came on and the power steering stopped working. The car became very difficult to steer. This is the second the message came on in the last month but the first time it went off and there was no steering problems. The car was diagnosed by a local dealer as needing a new electric power steering motor. The car is scheduled for repair this week.

- Phoenixville, PA, USA

problem #72

Dec 122008


  • 45,000 miles
I was recently traveling on the highway when the steering wheel became stiff and hard to maneuver. I looked down at the warning panel and it had lighted up "power steering". my car is a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with 45,000 miles. I read on the internet about other 2005 Cobalt owners having the same problem around 40,000 miles. I took it in to a Chevy dealer telling them that it appears that this is a flaw with the 2005 Cobalt but they said there has been no recall on the electric power steering system and that I would have to pay several hundreds of dollars to have the eps module replaced. I feel that it is unfair to have something so expensive to go out on your vehicle when it is still fairly new and have the same thing happen to others but yet we are left to pay for an apparently well know flaw in the Chevy Cobalt that GM does not want to admit exits.

- London, KY, USA

problem #71

Nov 272008


  • 87,220 miles
Power steer cuts out and does not come back until car is restarted. Happens random timing every trip. Chevy quoted $800 to repair stating that the steering column needs to be replaced.

- Goffstown, NH, USA

problem #70

Dec 112008


  • 34,600 miles
The incident date below was the fifth time this has occurred. First noticed traction control and power steering light coming on-the car "bucks" and power steering is lost-several times car will lose power and have to be restart. After restart warning lights will go away and power steering returns. Seems to come back to normal after restart, runs ok until the process starts again. The car was purchased May 08 and first incident was Aug 15 2008-took to dealer and they reset the computer, second and third time the car seemed ok until the 4th incident and returned to dealer again and reset again. I was told that the computer codes were showing U2105 and U2100 U2107 and car returned. This last incident (12-11-08) the car was doing the same thing and drove right to dealer to show service what the car was doing. They claimed the car is equipped with electric steering column and it disengages from the computer and the steering column needed to be replaced and a computer module. Gave them permission to correct this because I can't let my son drive a car knowing at anytime he will lose power steering. He has been lucky he was traveling at low speeds when this occurs. If he was on a highway and in front of a tractor trailer and lost power he might be killed because he would lose ps and stall. This is a safety-related defect in the vehicle equipment (electric power steering column) when at any time with no warning you can lose your steering, stall and/or buck. Upon further research into the 2005 Cobalt, I have found 805 complaints regarding the steering column and the problems of controlling the car when this happens. Upon further research the Malibu is having the same issues with steering. Guess what kind of steering is in the Malibu. Check "" for complaints regarding steering column. Several people have described incidents where their safety was compromised. Please help GM rep claims can't recall column without you. Please help

- Middleses, NJ, USA

problem #69

Dec 152008


  • 42,222 miles
Driving the car, and then, no power steering. Called mechanic told "didn't want to touch eps system. Called dealer told to bring in to look at.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #68

Aug 122008


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25 mph, the contact heard a chime from the instrument panel, which indicated that the power steering was failing and the steering wheel locked. The dealer stated that the power steering system was faulty. The vehicle has not been repaired due to the cost. She felt that the vehicle was very unsafe to drive because the power steering could lock at any moment while driving. The current mileage was 53,834 and failure mileage was 46,000.

- Fulshear, TX, USA

problem #67

Dec 042008


  • 90,000 miles
'05 Cobalt: Failure of electric power steering while driving. Condition will clear by turning car off then restarting, but fails again while driving. This appears to be a common problem with Cobalts, but GM won't issue a recall. Please don't wait for this to become an accident!

- Seagrove, NC, USA

problem #66

Nov 122008


  • miles
While driving at any speed, the power steering intermittently shuts off. The failure progressively worsened over time. This causes extreme difficulty in turning, especially scary in urgent situations with children in the vehicle.

- Big Spring, KY, USA

problem #65

Jul 192008


  • 30,000 miles
With little warning, power steering went out as I was leaving my driveway; I barely could turn the steering wheel; when the engine was shut off, I was able to drive short distance and then the power steering light came on. Fortunately, the car was still under warranty; my steering column had to be replaced. Now I continue to have problems with the front end, with the engine light coming on!!!! I thought Chevy Cobalt had good consumer reports. What happened Chevrolet"?? did you all decide that quality just isn't worth a damn! how about public safety!!! I am an rn and am outraged at the number of complaints regarding this same issue, and yet no public recall has been announced. Does someone have to die first"

- Winnetka, CA, USA

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