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 50 of 51)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Jul 172008


  • 44,000 miles


Power steering failure signal comes on after any length of time of driving, at any speed and on any pavement. The steering wheel locks up and the car has to be turned off and restarted in order for the steering to reset. Fuel injection failure. Key won't turn in ignition. Cd player picks and chooses when it will work.

- Clayton, MO, USA

problem #23

Jul 152006


  • 22,000 miles
2005 Cobalt door automatic.. since June-July of 2006, the automobile has repeatedly been taken to 2 different dealerships for repair or correction during the warranty period. The would act as to stall, shaky, and hesitate while driving. Each time the dealer said they were unable to find or determine the problem. Now, that the warranty is out and the car has done the same problem (July 10. 2008) the dealership says there is a problem and they will have to look farther into it.. I knew this was going to happen, the moment its out of manufacture warranty, they can find a problem with it.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #22

Jun 202008


  • 30,000 miles
I was driving my 2005 Cobalt on the highway and suddenly the power steering light turn on and could not manage the car. I have to stop the car but this is a dangerous situation. No one was injured but why wait till someone gets hurt to do something about it.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #21

Jun 192008


  • 25,000 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt ls 2 dr coupe, the power steering will just cut out sometimes up to 6 times in a single day. If you shut the car off and restart it corrects to problem until it happens again. The computer code show U2100, also the other day the car just quit while driving down the road for no reason. This steering issue is very dangerous, I would hope that someone looks into it before someone dies from it. I searched the internet and I found many complaints regarding these same issues. This is obviously a know problem and on a 25,000 mile vehicle it should not be happening.

- Ontario, NY, USA

problem #20

Jun 172008


  • 25,000 miles
2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, electronic power steering failure. Power steering light comes on and I have a total loss of power steering. Has happened multiple times. Extremely dangerous during rush hour driving conditions taken to dealer multiple times and they "can't" seem to determine the problem. I believe they are attempting to wait out the warranty before they repair it. I searched the internet an apparently this is a problem with alot of 05,06 Cobalt owners. I believe GM needs to get involved ad rectify this problem before people die.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #19

Jun 062008


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 5 mph or higher, the steering wheel locks intermittently. In addition, the instrument panel lights illuminate and the power steering malfunctions. The failure also occurs when the steering wheel is turned to the left or right. The contact has not taken her vehicle to the dealer because she feels that she should not have to pay for the repair. The failure mileage was 32,000.

- Fincascle, VA, USA

problem #18

Jun 042008


  • 24,500 miles


2005 Chevy Cobalt power steering goes out at random, car locks you inside, you have to go out the window, car dies while driving. These are all common problems with this car. Chevy does not make redesigned parts to replace its current stock of bad parts. Someone is going to get hurt, if Chevy is not forced to take action.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #17

Mar 012007


  • miles
The electric power steering will occasionally shut off during driving. The car must be shut off then turned back on to restart this. This is a repeating occurrence sometimes happening more than 10 times a day. The only fix right now is replacing the steering column.

- Waterford, MI, USA

problem #16

May 102008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Electronic power steering asst. Complete failure power steer returns after key cycle data indicator flasher (power steering) immediately after manual steering almost lock up only small corrections can be made in steering at that time this is a life threatening problem!! for me or someone else. Car hopped curb causing small amount of damage to rims dealer suggested a repair of 831.45$ +tax caused by dtc CO475 elec. Steering motor circuit. They did not indicate what the cause of the failure in the circuit!

- Maricopa , AZ, USA

problem #15

Nov 012007


  • 65,000 miles
2005 Cobalt, power steering goes out everytime it moves. The power steering in my car has been out for about 7 months now. I just read several other complaints of the exact same thing so it is nothing I have done and is common with the Cobalts. GM takes no responsibility for this defect and has left the $1,000 repair up to the owners to pay out. This is a big safety issue, will it take someone being killed before this is addressed? it seems there should be someone out there forcing these manufactures to take responsibility for their products.

- Nineveh, IN, USA

problem #14

Apr 192008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Steering locks car shakes while driving can be a big problem has happened many times dealer can not find the problem but see many complaints on wed sites. Was in Florida to george moore dealer in jacksonville on August 20 2007 problem still happening what next?

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #13

Sep 172007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 50 mph, the power steering stopped working. The power steering warning light illuminated and it became extremely difficult for the contact to steer the vehicle. The vehicle has not been to the dealer. The VIN and powertrain were unknown. The current mileage was 47,000 and failure mileage was 34,000.

- Albequreque, NM, USA

problem #12

Feb 012007

Cobalt 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,200 miles
Events leading up to complaint of 05 Chevrolet Cobalt steering problems: The Cobalt was under warranty & GM road side assistance was call for each failures. 3 times the power steering went out. After the first 2 failures there was not any change in the sensitivity of the steering. 12/2/07 failure #1 @ I-75 near adel driver was able to drive the car to the next exit (exit 39). GM sent the car to prince automotive in valdosta, ga for repair. Prince auto. Replaced the steering column. 12/14 the car was driven from S. ga to atl. 12/24 failure #2 @ gahwy 141 in duluth. GM sent the car to bill heard Chevrolet in kennesaw, ga (where car was purchase new) for repair. 12/26 bill heard determined the problem was in the communication between the computer & steering column. 12/31 failure #3 @ camp creek pkwy & fulton ind. GM sent the car back to bill heard for repair. Bill heard replaced the steering column with a different steering column. Service tech @ bill heard said there was an issue with the original manufacture of the steering column, GM has a new vendor. Prince auto. Had replaced the column with one from the original manufacture. Bill heard replaced the steering column with one from the new manufacture. 1/8-9/08 during daily commute to work noticed more sensitivity of the steering. The car was more sensitive when driving through a curve in the road or over bumps and/or potholes. 1/19 car returned to driver in S. ga., she noticed a more sensitive steering response during her around town driving. 2/1/08 ga hwy 221: Driver swerved right to miss something in the road; car went off onto the right shoulder. When corrective action was taken, the Cobalt went into a spin hitting an on coming vehicle. The Cobalt's front airbags were deployed, front doors, jammed; the Cobalt driver & passenger escaped through the driver side window, the car was engulfed in flames within 3 minutes from impact. The other driver vehicle died in the accident.

- Powder Spring, GA, USA

problem #11

Jun 122007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The electric power steering keeps failing while driving. Sharp turns, backing up, or shallow turns the power steering keeps on going out making the vehicle very difficult to steer. It also will do this rarely on while keeping straight. I have tried diagnostic tests none of the tests come back as failed. Tried finding info on internet to find out what other problems could be, but to find out I am 1 out of 30 or more that has this problem with the Chevrolet Cobalt.

- Lake City, FL, USA

problem #10

Sep 122006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,253 miles
Car purchased on 3/14/05 from rk Chevrolet. Starting Sept. 12, 2006 the car electrical system started malfunctioning. Various dash board lights came on, tick noise from the shifter, power steering light and fails, and the gauges began to go crazy! the car also wanted to shut off, and has boosts of energy. The same issue occurred November 2, 2006, June 8, 2007, September 19, 2007(colonial Chevrolet), and October 16, 2007 (colonial Chevrolet). After we got it back from colonial, the same problem occurred approximately 2 days later. Colonial Chevrolet indicated that that could not fix the problem and they were waiting to talk to GM about it! they even suggested initiating a buy back. We have been in contact with gmac in detroit about the issue and no answers have given nor a resolution. Currently we have to drive a very unsafe car that jolts, can't turn, and will not accelerate at times. We have been requesting at least a rental (safe car) until this problem can be addressed and no one has offered this in lue of a resolution. What has been done: PCM replaced: (9/15/07)body, throttle (8/7/07, 11/2/06), replaced: Body control (11/2/06); shifter bind & ndash; replace slide, automatic control lever replace, floor shift replace, wiring /connector steering suspension ride control??< control assembly. Floor shift replace (9/12/06).

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #9

Sep 222007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
I was driving our Cobalt 2005 at a speed of about 25-30 mph when the steering failed without any warning on a Suburban street. The steering wheel was completely loose and did not control the car. The vehicle slid into a curb, jumped it and ended up on someone's lawn. There was severe damage to car's underside. Wheels and tires (over $ 5,700). I was told that the "steering knuckle" broke (why"?"). car was declared "repairable" but everything is in limbo because of concerns about the safety of the vehicle. I requested an investigation by Chevrolet in detroit. No repairs will be done until Chevrolet has finished the investigation, which is to begin 2-6 days after the request.

- Summit, NJ, USA

problem #8

Jul 212007


  • miles
My 2005 Chevy Cobalt lost power steering today. I came here to research if there were any recalls or safety bulletins. I keep finding accidents from this problem and am now wondering how many people have to be killed before you do something about this. I do not see where someone lost life so I guess you don't care. You have all kinds of complaints about the same system but no service bulletins or recalls. W H Y "????"

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Feb 262007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,728 miles
2005 Chevy Cobalt. While driving 55mph, heading into a right hand curve, motor shut off and steering column locked causing crash. Car sent to dealer to investigate issue and repair colison damage. They state that no error codes so accident must have been my fault. I contact manufacturer and am told, dealer found no issue, and they dont know of any other similar issues with Cobalts. I request a safety review due to multiple instances that have been found online, and am denied. Explain to dealer that instances excede Virginia state lemon law, and they are not cooperative. Seeking legal coucil.

- Mount Sidney, VA, USA

problem #5

Aug 212006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 82,106 miles
I own a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and have had several problems with it. Some aren't life threatening (like the power windows not working and the brake light flashing), but I've had a maf sensor short which caused the car to stop running while I was doing 60-65 mph and the steering locked up. Fortunately, the car started back up. I've recently dealt with another steering issue. I was driving down an uneven/bumpy road and a "power steering" message came up on the information panel and the speedometer went out. The steering became very mushy and it was difficult to control the car. I've also dealt with the car not starting and the cab filling with gas fumes. There has been hesitation/loss of power when the A/C is on, which makes it unsafe to pull out in traffic or blind curves. The dealership has been very professional and have corrected what problems have arised, but I have lost confidence driving the car and no longer feel safe.

- Leander, TX, USA

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