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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,787 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #11

Jun 272014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


Our drivers side door frequently "stops" working. You are unable to open the door with the inside or the outside door handles while the vehicle is in park or shut completely off. The other 3 doors in the vehicle open without issue, but the drivers door refuses to open (and I do not consider having to climb out the passenger side door or play "dukes of hazard" a feasible action). After doing some research this appears to be a common issue with the Cobalt and G5. To this effect I am not sure how this has not been addressed with a recall. If I am able to find thousands of results on the issue with a 30 second internet search it has to have been reported. It would seem that this would be a fairly high priority fix due to the risk of someone being trapped inside the car in the event of a fire or some other catastrophe. Granted I do not expect to see a recall on this as it is not technically a life or death defect unless you consider the above scenario. Just though I would take the time to submit a complaint about a car that seems to have way too many recalls in its history already.

- Plover, WI, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Nov 072013


  • miles
Door handle won't open from the inside of driver side. I have to roll down my window to open it. This has happened before inside and out when I was under warranty. As well as a whistling noise from my passenger vent and rattling windows. Supposedly this was all fixed. Except the part for my air vent. Now I can't even open my manual door. I have read this is a common problem with my model of car. I feel everything is poorly built. Door is rusting out on drivers side. Yet, I have take great care making sure it stays clean. But the fact that I can't get out of my door. And it's winter time. Is scary. I did not go with electric due to that fact of getting something expensive fixed. In the past. It was temporary. But now it won't work at all. Again. Before it would happen at times. On either door. Getting in or out. But now the driver side won't open from the inside at all. And what if the window is frozen and the passages side won't open either. Worried.

- Cleveland Hts, OH, USA

problem #8

Apr 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 140,600 miles


Incident #1: while driving at 55mph on a highway, the driver side door opened without warning. Generally, while the vehicle is in motion, the vehicle doors lock automatically. Driver was wearing safety belt. Driver pulled the vehicle over to shut the door. Once parked, the driver side door would not latch shut. After a few moments of messing with the locks and jiggling the door handle, the door latched shut. Incident #2: five days after incident one, on April 6, driver side door would not open. Owner had to climb through passenger side to access interior driver side door handle to attempt to open the door. However, from the interior, the driver side door would not open. A few hours later, driver side door opens after another attempt from outside. Once inside the vehicle, the driver side door would not latch shut. Vehicle could not be driven until door latched shut nearly 45 minutes later. Incident #1 has happened only once. Incident #2 has happened on multiple occasions. As a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt owner, I feel this is a safety issue that should carefully be looked into. After researching quick fixes for this issue online, I've found hundreds of very similar cases in which all involve 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt driver side door issues with opening, not opening, and latches. In some instances, the window would not roll down when unable to open the door.

- Beloit, WI, USA

problem #7

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

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problem #6

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 #5

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 #4

Aug 032010


  • 26,297 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated the front passenger door fractured and she was unable to open the door from the exterior of the vehicle. The vehicle was not yet taken to the dealer for repairs. The failure and current mileages were 26,297.

- Sunfield , MI, USA

problem #3

Jul 232010


  • 98,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt drivers side door will get stuck shut not allowing the door to open from the inside or outside of the car causing the driver to have to crawl through the passenger door. After door released and was able to be opened door handle became stuck not allowing the door to close properly and flew open while driving around a bend at 20 mph. The position in which the handle becomes stuck seems to switch between not allowing the door to open and not allowing the door to close properly.

- Albertville, MN, USA

problem #2

May 302009


  • miles
My daughter's finger was cut when the chrome plating on the driver's inside door handle started flaking off and became extremely sharp.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #1

May 282007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 669 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when the doors are locked, he cannot exit the vehicle unless he pulls the knob. The current and failure mileages were 669.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

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