Notes: The 2006 Cobalt continued to carry the torch first lit by the 2005 model year. To be clear, that torch is burning bright with widespread power steering issues, electrical curiosities and a dangerous ignition switch defect which led to a massive recall by GM. This isn’t a great torch to carry.

The 2006 added it’s own special flare with gas leaks due to cracks in the “return portion of the modular reservoir assembly.” A recall of 2006 Cobalts was issued to fix the problem, but only to vehicles sold in or current registered in Arizona and Nevada, leaving other owners to pay for repairs themselves.

Between this car stalling while driving, giving owners fits with power steering failure and having it be a potential tinderbox because of gas leaks, we felt we had no other option than to award it our “Avoid Like the Plague” badge.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,934 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.

2006 Chevrolet Cobalt accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

May 242010


  • 47,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving 35 mph when the power doors independently locked and unlocked. The contact stated the failure would occur whether the key was in the ignition or not. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #10

Mar 252010


  • 120,000 miles
I bought a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. After a month the door locks started to malfunction. I had the car at the dealership twice to fix the issue. Then 6 months ago I could not open my driver side door. I have had to cut through the panel and all of the rods are in place. The door will not open from the inside or out. I have to enter the car from the passenger side. I have complained to riverton Chevy in sandy, ut and I have complained to GM. They claim because of the mileage on the car they will not fix unless I pay. They want to charge me 150$ just for a diagnositcs. The door is stuck. They were the last people to have the panels removed. This is horrible. If you search the internet you can see I am not the only person with this problem. I need help. I cannot afford to pay someone for something, I believe they are responsible for and were the last people to work on my car.

- West Jordan, UT, USA

problem #9

Jun 242006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I have owned my 2006 Chevy Cobalt since June 2006 and have had numerous problems out of this car. I have had to pay out of pocket for every repair because they seem to all happen before a recall is issued and the dealerships will not refund money on the repairs. 1) A/C leaks water in passenger side floor board. I have had it in the shop 3 times and it is still leaking. No one can figure out why the water is leaking into the car. 2) gas tank had to be replaced due to fuel lines cracking. 3) power steering went out while my husband was driving on the interstate and was about 130 miles from home. 4) the car would die if the RPM's got too low, this was caused by a carbon build up on the idler. 5) there is no way to check the transmission fluid and it is starting to slip and take forever to upshift. 6) the key gets stuck in the ignition and will not come out. 7) the drivers side door gets stuck and will not open. 8) the door latch sometimes messes up and the door does not close. 9) the stereo display and buttons no longer work. I can not use the cd player for fear of losing the cd for ever since the eject button doesn't work. I can not see the clock or what station the radio is on. The car lost its value so fast that even after 4 yrs of having it I still can not trade it in due to the amt. I still owe on it. So I am stuck driving this piece of crap until it is paid for. I have already invested several thousands of dollars into this car for these problems. I believe that the car is a lemon and I should be reimbursed for the car and all of the out of pocket repairs I have had to make.

- Gilmer, TX, USA

problem #8

May 212010


  • 70,000 miles


I see there are issues on the fuel module on the 2006 Chevy Cobalts, and I took it to get replaced however when I take my car to get diagnosed it continues to say there is something with a misfire, and my fuel evaporating. I am having multiple problems with my 06 Cobalts and has I have done extenuous research and every problem I've found online over 1000 complaints and blogs, and sites where customers are all complaining about the same issue. I am a working college student and drive to work and school everyday. My car stopped on the freeway the other day, and almost caused an accident however the vehicle slammed on their brakes. Not only the fuel line but also my car key does not come out the ignition. All these issues are ongoing and I have found over 10,0000 unsatisfied consumers all with the same issues with the Cobalts. This is a big issue, and I am tired of dealing with Chevrolet as this is there product and they are only trying to get the money and make you pay for all the services. These are major issues all going out at the same time.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Oct 012006


  • 30,000 miles
My vehicle is a Chevy Cobalt, 2006. The power steering has been going out randomly since I first bought the car. This is very dangerous, especially if I am in the middle of a turn and it goes out, takes me by surprise and have to use more strength to go into the turns. This happens every time I drive it. Daily. I was told it would cost me over $2000 to have the power steering replaced, and I don't have the funds to pay for that and pay for my car, so nothing has been fixed on it. This seems to me to be a very serious problem that needs to be taken care of in a recall. I have seen thousands of posts by other owners on the internet relating to this same issue I am having. I also am having problems with the locks, they lock and unlock at will. I can be in or out of the car, and it can be running or not. No rhyme or reason.

- Fredericktown, MO, USA

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problem #6

Dec 182009


  • 56,867 miles
Tried to unlock door using the remote keyless entry. The passenger door unlocked, however the driver's door remained locked. I then tried unlocking the driver's door with the key. The key turned, however the door remained locked. I entered the car via the passenger door and tried unlocking the driver's door using the power lock button, however the driver's door remained locked. I then tried unlocking the door by manually pulling up on the "popup" lock and pulling on the handle, however the driver's door remained locked. I took the Cobalt to a dealer, and they determined the latch was faulty. They replaced the driver's door latch at a cost of $264.04.

- Lincoln, CA, USA

problem #5

May 122009


  • 40,000 miles


My husband and I purchased to 2006 Chevy Cobalt in September of 06. Since the purchase of my, "brand new" car the air conditioning, power locks, and power steering have all ceased to work. My air conditioning only worked for one summer. The power locks went out about 6 months ago. Now, the most concerning is that my power steering has now failed. I turn the car on and have power steering for approximately 2-3 minutes, then the cars power steering fails. I will never have the money to replace any parts because of the high payments and insurance. My poor husband is a pizza delivery person! this is the worst thing to happen. I tried to buy an american made car hoping that I would at least get to drive it for a few years without having it break down. Now GM is getting my paycheck and the taxes they took out of it!! this is plain wrong! I will never buy GM again.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #4

Aug 062008


  • 25,000 miles
Driver side interior door opener is peeling the metal coating from the polymer substrate. I have been cutting my fingers causing bleeding when I try to open the door. Car has less than 35K miles.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #3

Nov 152008


  • 61,100 miles
Gear shift breaks so ignition key gets stuck in the ignition. Have to replace the whole shift assembly. This should be a recall on GM's part.

- North Evans, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 092008


  • 44,000 miles
The doors on my 4 door car have not been securing when shut. I have had to tie them shut with clothesline so I could get home. I have had the drivers side door mechanism replaced but cannot afford the other 3 right now. Therefore I am unable to use 3 of my doors.

- Mechanicsburg, OH, USA

problem #1

Jun 092008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
1) when purchasing this used vehicle from the dealer, we were informed the previous owner had broken his key in the ignition switch, hence the broken ignition lock mechanism. Lie 2) car began making a front end noise or so I thought, the next day as my daughter in law and my grandkids were driving home the power steering indicator light turned on, she applied her brakes to slow down and all the lights on the panel turned on and her steering locked. The truck behind us was forced off the road to avoid slamming in to us. After getting online to see if there was going to be an easy and inexpensive way to repair this problem I was appalled to read all the complaint regarding these same issues. I lost my oldest child to faulty seat belts on the 01 Ford Ranger edge. This is indeed a safety issued that needs to be resolved immediately before someone is seriously hurt or killed.

- Floresville, TX, USA

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