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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,000 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #5

Aug 052006


  • miles


2006 Cobalt had vibrations at highway speeds. Customer states if they stop and turn the vehicle off and on it will temporarily correct the vibration problem. The consumer stated since purchasing the vehicle, the vehicle has had an extreme vibration at high speed. The consumer stated the vehicle has become so dangerous and hard to drive that at times he would have to pull over to the shoulder. The consumer stated after several attempts to assess the problem balancing the tires and replacing 2 of the 4 tires, he was informed by dealer the rotors were out of round and left tire was worn. The consumer stated due to the fact the 2 Chevrolet dealers were given ample time to assess the problem, he feels this should fall under the lemon law of a refund or a replacement car. New tires were placed on the vehicle and balanced.

- Delmar, NY, USA

problem #4

Aug 212007

(reported on)


  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt with several different issues customer states that car is a lemon and that she drove the 2007 Cobalt and it ran beautifully* the consumer stated the entire shifter system had to be replaced. The ignition key would not turn in the ignition, the steering column was replaced and the system was reprogrammed, the rotors were machined.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #3

Aug 172007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
ABS light continues to come on first couple times dealer could not duplicate the problem. Finally light came on as I was leaving I called the dealer and told them I was coming right then before I shut my car off again for them to put it on the computer. Put car on comp, and got to codes both were something about a pump relay motor. Was fixed and then about 3 weeks later scheduled 3 rd appt for shaking problem and oh the ABS light came on again. 1 St appt for shaking said rotors needed turned with 17000 miles told them I was not paying for it called GM 800 number told me I lived in a hilly area round flat area. Took it to another dealer and they turned them under warranty. 4000 miles later took it back for steering wheel shaking on Tuesday. Wednesday they called to tell me I needed 4 new tires, new pads, oh and new rotors, not under my warranty wrong again I will not pay for all of these new at 21000 miles crazy. Today Friday I called to check on my car and was informed that there 30 year technician and service manager have been on the phone with tech support for two days and they told them they were on their own. If these mechanics have to use a phone to get information about a car they are either not a very good mechanic or maybe we are relying to much on computers to run our cars.

- North East, MD, USA

problem #2

Jun 202007

Cobalt 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
With only 42,000 miles on this car the brake rotors have deep grooves as well as little brake pads left.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #1

Apr 202007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
I purchased a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss w/ 2.4 liter non-supercharged engine. At about 5,000 miles the car began shaking while braking. I took the car to the dealership and they informed me that the front rotors were delaminated and they machined them down smooth again. This fixed the problem for about another 5-600 miles, then the shaking started again. My car had to go back to the dealer again and they machined them down again without replacing the rotors-they said they just pass inspection. Also, they informed me that the head gasket, the valve covers and the exhaust manifold all needed to be replaced. This is the sixth day they had my car and everyday it is something else they find wrong with it. My car only has 15,000 miles on it and is well taken care of. I feel that the braking power of the car is decreased, even after the rotors are "fixed", I fear I may get into an accident because of this and no one at denoyer Chevrolet on wolf rd in albany, NY tele#518-458-7700 cares. The person that is updating me with information on my car is jeff winne and he is very rude. I hope this matter can be further investigated to prevent any further injury.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

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