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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
62,648 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #3

Jul 292016


  • 158,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph, the steering wheel seized and became difficult to steer. The power steering and a yellow padlock warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power steering motor failed. The dealer diagnosed that the power train control module needed to replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 158,000. Updated 10/04/16

- Wetumpka, AL, USA

problem #2

Dec 092006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,445 miles
- the contact has a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt with 14445 miles and the vehicle has lost power when the traction control engages. The vehicle has all wheel drive. The vehicle stalled while driving on the under wet conditions at 45 mph. The contact was able to pull the car over to the side of the road. The contact has taken the car to the dealer (curry Chevrolet) and they the not been able to diagnose the problem. The contact has all repair orders.

- Mount Vernon, NY, USA

problem #1

Aug 162005

Cobalt 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,500 miles
: the contact stated while driving at various speeds on two separate occasions the vehicle stalled without warning. The first time occurred while pulling in to a toll booth. After completely shutting off the vehicle, it restarted 5-10 minutes later. The second time the vehicle was towed to the dealership. After inspecting the vehicle the dealer replaced the PCM in the transmission. The failure did not reoccur after the PCM was replaced.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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