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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,204 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 #14

Jan 212011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch and other vehicle problems and unsatisfactory customer service at dealership. The consumer stated the vehicle would not shut off for about 10 minutes after she switched the ignition to the off position and removed the key. The consumer stated while driving, the vehicle suddenly ran out of gas. There was no warning. The very same day, she received a recall notice in the mail regarding an issue with the fuel pump. Also, the consumer discovered the batter exploded, when an odor began to come inside the vehicle. Also, the engine light illuminated, the ac and heat did not work, the dash lights worked occasionally, the transmission was slipping and the interior was falling apart. The vehicle overheated, the ac compressor failed. While driving on the highway, the vehicle stalled. Then something went wrong with the battery and toxic fumes from the battery in the trunk were being sucked into the vehicle. The consumer exited the vehicle, opened the trunk and hot battery acid was all over the place. Updated 09/08/14

- Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #13

Dec 032013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Issue #1: December 3, 2013 my daughter parked her car upon arriving for work at the upper deck sports bar & grill. She opened her car door and as she brushed her hand across the interior door handle had her hand sliced open by a sharp edge of the chrome. See photo: She was driven to the hospital by a fellow employee. The wound was so deep she required both internal and external stitches to close it properly. Due to the severity and location of the wound and her job requirements as a bartender, she was not allowed to return to work for a week. 7 months have passed and we are still waiting payment from the insurance company to pay medical bills nearly $3000 as well as missed wages. Issue #2 ? the car my daughter drives is a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, one of the cars involved in the major recall where 15 people have been killed when the car shuts off while being driven. She has had one incident of this happening already. Fortunately it happened on a side street where she could drift off to the shoulder of the road and not on 95 where she drives to and from work. She has received letters regarding the recall but is constantly being told they ( miami lakes Chevrolet auto mall) don't have the part necessary to make the repair. The last time, they made an appointment for her to come in and when she got there was told they made a mistake and didn't have the part. They performed a "safety check" on her vehicle and told her that everything looked ok and it was safe to drive until they got the part. To this date, they still claim to not have the part.

- Englewood, FL, USA

problem #12

Apr 162012


  • 43,000 miles
Have been told various times I need new struts and shocks. I think this is ridiculous seeing as though I have do not have many miles on my car and the year of my car. Dealerships have told me that it does not make sense that a car a 2006 and with low miles on it should need shocks and struts right now. I have had nothing but problems with this car since I paid it off. Wheel baring, shocks struts, problems getting key out of ignition, headlights and tail lights leaking water into it, slve cylinder and master cylinder, fuel pump. I will never buy a Chevy again!

- Oxford, MA, USA

problem #11

Aug 082012


  • miles


The plastic supply on the modular reservoir assembly has cracked on my 2006 Cobalt. Fuel is leaking from the area. The crack is causing gas to leak to the ground. My mechanic has said this could lead to my vehicle catching on fire. It appears that Cobalts in other areas of the country have been recalled for this same issue. I'm wondering why all Cobalts have not been recalled as I have heard/seen many other '06 Cobalt owners in others states are having the same issues.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #10

Aug 042010


  • miles
Trunk of the vehicle has collected water. My spare tire was not available when needed during the winter because it was frozen to the bottom of my trunk. The water collected is so excessive that enough of it was able to cover my spar tire and freeze it. Water comes up through both wheel wells and does not drain out.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

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problem #9

Oct 252009


  • 470,000 miles
Began driving on to highway. Between the shift from 3rd to 4th gear, the clutch pedal depletes completely and does not return. After towing the car to a dealership, we find the firewall is broken. When a new firewall was put in it was noticed that the part of the firewall was modified and reinforced. I still have the old part to show proof of the change made.

- Norwich, CT, USA

problem #8

Jul 172006


  • miles


Defective lining in car. Car has been sent for service over nine times in four years due to water leaking in vehicle. Everytime it rains both back seat floor boards are soaked. They have replaced the lining and replaced the carpet once and vehicle continues to leak. I have had the vehicle since 2006.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 052008


  • 66,000 miles
I have had to replace my fuel injector, my ignition switch, and now my steering has gone out. All where while driving and warning light comes on. I keep my car well maintained, recently got a mileage service done. I have seen many post on these issues. What is being done about recalls.

- Glen Burnie , MD, USA

problem #6

Aug 162007

(reported on)


  • miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt recall notice on roof air bags customer states that dealership has yet allowed her to get her car fixed* the dealer informed the consumer the part had not arrived. The consumer received the recall notice in March 2007.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #5

Oct 242006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles
I purchased a 2006 Cobalt ls level 2 used in October of 06. Shortly after the purchase my car started a moderate tone whistling and my heater started making a clicking noise which both are very annoying. I have brought my car to the dealership whalen Chevrolet in greenwich NY many many times and all they ever say is the noises are normal there's nothing they can do about it. Shortly after those problems came about my wipers stopped working in a storm for no apparent reason, when I brought the car to the dealership for this problem they blamed it on me saying I was mis-using my wipers, apparently your not supposed to use them. Within days of that problem my car started to bump when I'd touch the brakes, once again I brought the car to the dealership and what do you know the dealership said it was my fault and the brake rotors needed to be planed down. Still to this day the car is whistling the entire time it runs and the heater is clicking away like always, it is apparent to me that this is no replacement for the lack luster cavalier, it is the cavalier it's just prettied up a bit. To this point the shabby engineering of this car has cost me well over $500 in repairs & diagnosing to try and solve a problem the GM certified mechanics at whalen Chevrolet in greenwich NY can't seem to figure out---oops I mean it's supposed to sound like it's falling apart.

- E.Arlington, VT, USA

problem #4

Mar 012007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact is dissatisfied that her vehicle is only one year old and is under recall # 07V014000 (structure). She received the recall notice in March of 2007. The contact has already had the upper steering column replaced, but is still hearing a clumping noise. She has notified two dealers in her area, but neither have called her back because they have not received the parts for the vehicle. The contact has waited over a month to have the recall repair work performed. The vehicle has been at the dealer since February. The engine size was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 24,000.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 152006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,612 miles
Today, after a hard rain, the sunroof leaked again... soaking the headliner from the sunroof forward, again.

- Oakwood, GA, USA

problem #2

Oct 272006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,150 miles
After a pretty good rain during the day on October 27th, my fiancee and I got in my car and noticed the headliner was sagging. Upon touching it, I found it was soaked from the front of the sunroof, all the way forward. I did some research online and found this to be extremely common in Cobalts. I'm taking it to the dealer today in hopes of repair.

- Oakwood, GA, USA

problem #1

Feb 272006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90 miles
: the contact stated unless the automatic on sensor determines it necessary the dash lights fail to illuminate. There is no switch allowing the contact to turn on the dash lights. On page 3-14 of the owner's manual it states the dash lights are suppose to illuminate when the lights are turned on. According to title 49 of the U. S. code part 571.101, paragraphs S5.3.3 and S5.3.1 updated 03/15/05

- Hampstead, MD, USA

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