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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,522 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #5

May 302011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 71,110 miles


On Monday May 30 2011 I was driving home and decided to take the freeway. I entered the 215 freeway at center street in riverside, then accelerated to traffic speed then the car ahead of me slammed on there brakes so I proceeded to stop and avoid hitting them and the steering wheel locked up and my car veered over to the center divider from the slow lane and my car crashed into the wall it left me completely facing traffic on the 215 freeway! then to avoid any further accidents I drove off the freeway and drove home. This is the first time I've noticed the steering wheel locking up. My car is currently being worked on.

- Riverside , CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 202010


  • 61,000 miles
1. I took my car to a Chevy dealership to have the fuel pump recalled then one day after I got it back the power steering stopped working while driving home from work. 2. I was driving and I heard a chiming noise and I looked at my dash and it said power steering, so I drove home as best as I could and parked my car, turned it off then back on and it was fine but now nearly every day when I drive it fails as im going down the road, I have nearly collided with other cars because of the loss of control in my car! 3. I called the dealership and they told me I could have it replaced but it wasn't under recall.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 032010


  • 68,000 miles
I was driving on the free way and there was traffic and as I was getting ready to slow down my wheel locked on me almost putting me into the wall on the free way. I have been having problems with it and scared for my life. I talked to Chevy and they told me I would have to wait up to 4 weeks but in the mean time I am stuck in this car that could possibly kill me or someone else on the streets. I believe this a problem that is caused by them and they should at least provide a rent a car. Its dangerous to be driving these cars on the streets when it could hurt someone. I went to many different Chevy places and all told me that same that I would have to wait for their systems to post the recall. I have this problem every single day. I had it fail 4 times with an hour of me driving my car. I think that something should be done soon or there will be more accidents and fatal accidents.

- Bedford , TX, USA

problem #2

Sep 262009


  • 78,000 miles
Power steering column not working.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 182009


  • 44,500 miles
Our 2006 Chevy Cobalt has started having power steering failures. The car has 44,000 miles. Two weeks ago while driving down the highway, the ps light indicator flashed on and we did our best to try and get off the road. If we turn the car off and then back on, the power steering will work, but the problem is becoming more frequent; at least a couple of times a week. This car was bought new and is driven by my 20 yr. Old honor college student. I had a mechanic check this and he told me the steering column had to be replaced at a cost of approx. $1500.

- Murchison, TX, USA

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