Print this page 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 1 of 2)

problem #31

Nov 292016


  • 178,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 55 mph, the steering wheel seized without warning. The contact coasted to the side of the road and the engine failed. In addition, the doors unlocked without warning and the instrument panel lights failed. The rearview mirror dome light was the only light illuminated. The contact was able to resume driving. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 178,000.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #30

Jan 302013


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 14E021000 (electrical system); however, the failure recurred. In addition, the contact stated that all the doors failed to remain locked. When the locks sporadically continued to unlock, the battery became inoperable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 90,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Douglassville, PA, USA

problem #29

Mar 142011


  • 148,000 miles
The contact owns 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the doors locked and unlocked independently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who repaired the vehicle; however, the failure has continued. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 148,000.

- Whitetop, VA, USA

problem #28

Mar 052008


  • miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalt has had several instances of the doors not latching and/or not being able to be opened. The driver door, seems to do ok, as long as I keep it lubed. Currently, the rear passenger door will not latch. When I look at the latch, it seems to be moving freely, yet will not latch. It has been tied closed with a rope, since October 2013, as it will cost hundreds, just to have it looked at. It has manual locks, so is not an electrical issue. I need to find a way to fix it myself, but cannot figure out what the problem is.

- Ferndale, NY, USA

problem #27

Mar 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The power locks suddenly do not work as usual. Usually, all the doors are locked when I drive the car while they are unlocked when I park the car. Now, there is no response of each door when I shift the car to park or drive. I hear some tick sound when I push the brake, which is not there when the locks work well. Sometimes it is very hard to move the power steering when I park the car.

- Center Line, MI, USA

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problem #26

Feb 022012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
My door locks will not always work.... the doors will just be locked whether your inside or outside of the car. The locks show the doors are unlocked but when you pull the handle it feels as if it isn't attached to anything. After punching the door around the handle area the door sometimes will then open. Upon searching this issue on line it seems there are a lot of people with this same issue. I was locked in my car for hours yesterday until I finally climbed out the window. After that the doors finally opened and when I went to the store shortly after I was locked out and stranded outside my car for another several hours. I think there needs to be a recall.... also once when trying to open my door I tore the handle right off the car because it had locked me out. This also seems to be a huge issue for many others as I also see this online.

- Schoharie, NY, USA

problem #25

Feb 042013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


Unable to open driver side door from the inside or the outside. I can unlock the door with no issues, but the door itself will not open. Have to climb in and out the passenger side of the car. Have seen a lot of complaints about this same issue on

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #24

Oct 192012


  • 77,093 miles
I arrived at work yesterday only to find I couldn't exit my car through the driver's door. I manually tried unlocking it, but it still did not open. I proceeded to climb out of the passenger seat. That door would not close all the way. I thought the seat belt was stuck in the door. It turns out the latch didn't allow enough space to catch the door. After 5 minutes of pushing the latch and trying to get the door closed, it finally was able to close. I just purchased this car (used) 2 weeks ago. My first car!! I wish I had bought a Honda! today I was going to run errands on my day off. This time the passenger door wouldn't latch. I have no way of securing the door closed since it is a 2 door vehicle. The car is sitting in my parking lot, unable to be driven due to the safety feature (or lack there of!) of the passenger door potentially flying open on me while I'm driving. Have seen many complaints on this vehicle. Looks/rides nice but not worth the money or headache. Still haven't discovered a recall regarding this issue. Might be trading this in on a new car, different model/make!

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #23

May 292012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that all four doors had become inoperable. The latches were not secure enough to keep the doors closed and they would open while driving. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that each door would cost $185 at the expense of the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and a complaint was filed. They offered no other assistance. The failure mileage was 65,000. Updated 8/6/12 the consumer stated the vehicle was taken to a second dealer and was informed the vehicle could not be diagnosed because it was not electric. The consumer's concerned if the vehicle was repaired if it would fail again in a few years. Updated 08/14/2012

- Charlestown, NH, USA

problem #22

May 022011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I have a 2006 Cobalt. Periodically I can't open the driver door from inside and I have to roll down the window to pull handle from outside to get out. And then fuss with the latch mechanism sometimes to get the door to shut. And right now my locks are going up and down by themselves while I drive and when I'm parked.. I lock my doors and I come out to my car and they are unlocked. And I can't disengage my alarm...soo every time I open the door I have to jump in and turn on the ignition. I called the local Chevy dealer and of course they haven't heard any complaints like this. Although, I've read many complaints like this.. they tell me if I want to bring it in, I have to pay for them to diagnose it! I'm still making payments on this car!

- Troy, NY, USA

problem #21

Dec 192011


  • 40,000 miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalt had wheel bearing issues starting at 40,000 miles. At 50,000 miles my front end suspension (lower control arm and bushings), struts, and doors locks started acting up. My door locks will jam and I will be trapped in my car until they (door locks) decide to work again. Fortunately for me usually only one stops working at a time. The dealer says that it just needs greasing; I have tried every grease under the sun and none has fixed the problem. This is a serious safety issue and this car should have a recall to at least fix the doors!!!.the dealer wants to charge over $1,000 per door for repairs. I have heard of some peoples doors never opening again and the door having to be cut off to be repaired. If something were to happen you need to be able to quickly and safely get out of the car. Please please please recall this door issue on the Cobalt!

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #20

Dec 072011


  • 128,000 miles
It driver side door latch began malfunctioning and either would not let my door shut or once it was shut it would not let me out. The locks still work but the door continuously gets stuck shut or won't shut at all.

- Tallmadge, OH, USA

problem #19

Jan 292011


  • 120,000 miles
I noticed issues starting shortly after we bought the vehicle in 08 with the door locks erratically locking and unlocking themselves. My husband fixed the issue by disconnecting the electric locks. Then in January of 2011 the car completely stalled while turning. We started it up and got it home. We went through all kinds of things figuring out what was wrong. We changed the catalytic converter, spark plugs, and manifold was running fine for a while but still at idle it felt like it was going to stall. Then one day it wouldn't start at all and the key got stuck in the ignition. We jumped the vehicle and the key came out. Then we got the codes read at auto zone and found we needed a ignition coil. So we replaced that. Ran good but the stalling feeling at idle was still present. Then the key got stuck in the ignition again and the shifter button was pushed in and the shifter would move without using the brake.I found people have had all these issues online and found the release switch. I used this switch and the shifter is back to normal. We have a limited income and we cant afford all of these issues, but it seems that they are all very common with these cars.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #18

Apr 102011


  • 50,000 miles
Driver side door will not open from the inside or out. The door lock will go up and down but will not open.

- Ocala, FL, USA

problem #17

Apr 022011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
I have had constant issues with the lock mechanism on my door. A couple of times when opening my rear passenger door it does not close. I've been able to find a way to get the latch to go back to it's original position and then close and lock the door. On 04/02/11 however, while driving, the back door opened up on itself. Some things fell out of the car and were slightly damaged and my friend riding in the back injured themselves when the door opened on its own and slammed against them. We closed it again with success and then my friend moved to the front of the car and we took any items out of the back seat area. Again the car door opened on its own however, this time, the door will not close. I have never been in an accident, the mechanism that keeps the door closed and locked just seems to be faulty. I've looked online and it seems many people have had this issue. I don't understand why this has not been recalled. Now I'm forced to find rides until I have the money to repair an important safety issue on my car that should have never been an issue. I found that many of the parts on my car used for "safety" are made of plastic. This infuriates me. Luckily my friend is only sore and my personal items damaged were more of personal value than actual financial value but this is still not acceptable. I just keep thinking if this happens to someone while on the highway this could be fatal and Chevy will have deaths on their hands because they have sacrificed quality for cost effectiveness.

- Manchester, NH, USA

problem #16

Nov 302010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Door latch failure.

- Truro, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 042011


  • 60,000 miles
The drivers side door will not open. Both the inside and outside door handle do not work. For 2 days, I had to climb out of the passenger door. After 2 days, I unlocked my door and heard a popping sound from the door. Whatever is jamming up finally released. It's a safety danger because of the risk for an accident. The driver/occupants could be trapped in the car. This has occurred 2 separate times, both lasting for about 2 days.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #14

Dec 012010


  • 59,000 miles
Failure of door to open. For 2 days the driver's door did not open from the insider or outside.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #13

Oct 102010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 30,500 miles
The driver side door lock of my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt failed while I was driving the car. I was unable to open the door from the inside and had to exit the vehicle through the front passenger door. Although I was not injured, if there had been an accident or a fire in the car, I would not have been able to get out of the car in a timely manner. Very dangerous!! I am unable to open the door from the outside as well. My dealership will probably have to replace the entire door because they cannot open the door without damaging it. I have driven this vehicle less than 31,000 miles since purchasing it new in June of 2006. It has never been in an accident. I have read of similar driver side door lock failures in the 2006 Cobalt, so I feel that this is a manufacturer's defect and not a user issue.

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #12

Jul 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 80,401 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt lt. The driver and passenger door locks failed. The doors could not be opened from the inside or the outside. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who greased the doors lock mechanism, but the failure wasn't corrected. The manufacturer advised the contact to take the vehicle to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle wasn't repaired.the failure mileage was 80,401 and the current mileage was 89,518. Updated 12/30/10

- Harrisburg , PA, USA

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