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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,428 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 012009


  • 5 miles


My 2005 Chevy Cobalt begins to shake while driving on the freeway. I can feel the vibration starting through the floor board and eventually the whole front end begins to shake. The steering wheel violently shakes from front to back(versus side to side) and the vehicle is hard to control. I always have to pull over or get off the freeway. It feels like the whole front end is going to fall apart. After coming to a complete stop I can continue to drive without any problems. This began almost a year ago. I have had my car looked at several times and the shocks replaced last year when it began. Each time I take it and someone test drives they cannot find a problem. They also tell me that my car is in near perfect condition. But it continues to shake all the time. Sometimes it won't happen for a week or two, sometimes it happens two or three times a week. I have also replaced the two front tires in hopes that it would correct the problem.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 212009


  • 50,000 miles
I purchased a 2005 Cobalt in April 2008, started having violent shaking in front of car while trying to find the problem my mechanic discovered a defective strut which Chevy replaced even though warranty had just run out. This did not correct violent shaking occurring on a regular basis. Had front end, tires, wheels, rotors, axle checked with no outcome of finding the problem. When the shaking occurs unable to steer and have to reduce speed and pull to shoulder of road, after complete stop normally can resume driving. Since my daughter does not do any long distance travel I hoped that it would not occur as often as it does while I was driving it to work, however in January of 2009 while my daughter was driving car around a curve T/C light came on shaking and inability to control the car left her straightening the curve out spinning around and after weeks in a body shop and 5000 dollars in repairs, several trips back and more money, high insurance rates we still have a car that has a serious defect with no answers to what causes it and what can be done to correct it. Now that she is venturing further from home I am in fear for her life but I have no funds to replace this car or it would have already been gone although I am sure that nobody else would want it due to the publicity that these cars have been getting. Luckily my daughter was not killed in this accident but does someone have to die before Chevrolet steps up to the plate and fixes these cars. I have been constantly been researching trying to find the problem even though I can find other people with the problem nobody seems to have the solution. The cars or in warranty or just out of warranty and we couldn't get answers and as the autos get older they don't feel it is there problem. Our car gets regular maintenance with the same mechanic each time so therefore he has firsthand knowledge of every step it has had, and now that it has hit the news I am seeing some direction to take to get help.

- Hertford, NC, USA

problem #4

Jun 252008


  • 59,083 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. The vehicle was taken to the Chevrolet dealer for maintenance. While repairing the vehicle, a mechanic left a rag on top of the engine underneath the hood. After the contact retrieved the vehicle, it caught fire due to the rag being left on the engine. The dealer repaired the vehicle, but the contact does not feel that it is safe to drive because it continues to break down. In addition, the traction control light continues to illuminate. The dealer stated that they could only repair the vehicle to its original state. The current mileage was 60,059 and failure mileage was 59,083.

- Elkourve, CA, USA

problem #3

May 052006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles


After having the car for 6 months had to replace the tires and 1 year later replacing tires again. Can not open passenger front door while passenger back door is open. The hinges on door shifted and the dealership and gmac said it was our fault because of the mileage on the car and they aren't going to take care of the problem. The doors are chipping away the paint on the car from the doors hitting it. This is a new car and they told me to go through my insurance company to have it fixed. What ever happened to the warranty you receive when buying a new car? I think there is a bigger problem with the vehicle no one wants to admit. All we want is to have this problem fixed and no one will do anything.

- Export, PA, USA

problem #2

Jul 062005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owned a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. This vehicle was rented by the consumer for three days. The vehicle was making a squealing noise, and got into a severe accident. The problem was either in the steering or the tires. An investigator was looking into the problem. Contact believed that the accident was caused by this noise. She lost complete control of the vehicle while going around a curve, resulting in a collision. 2 occupants sustained injuries. The police reported that contacts vehicle hit the left side of a diesel semi truck, but she stated that vehicle hit the front of the other vehicle. Also, the police report stated that there was moderate damage to the diesel truck. The police report was available if needed.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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problem #1

Jul 162005

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 480 miles
With less than 500 miles on my brand new 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, while traveling on the highway at 60 mph, my right rear tire exploded. After getting over to the shoulder, I smelled rubber burning and discovered that the sidewall was completely separated from the rest of the tire. After taking my tire to a dealer for inspection, they stated that there was a hole in the tire which caused it to deflate and my driving on the deflated tire to the side of the road (maybe 100 yds) caused the sidewall to separate.

- Lanaster, TX, USA

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