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:
30 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
121 / 3
Average Mileage:
64,401 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 10 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #141

Oct 202013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 164,100 miles


I was traveling on a 2 lane road that I travel most every day, the road is not busy most I was entering a sharp curve suddenly the car engine quit and next thing I knew I was raking the guardrail on the right side of the road, .damaged the car more than it was worth, this was only the 2nd time the car had done this but I had only owned it about 11/2 yrs.the guardrail saved us from going over a 300 ft.mountain into the river.thankful for that guardrail, but left without anything to drive.

- Manchester, KY, USA

problem #140

Oct 012013


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and the key became stuck in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to the contacts residence where the battery was replaced. The contact later attempted to start the vehicle and the key because fractured in the ignition switch. The contact was able to remove the fractured key and resumed by utilizing the spare key. The contact stated that the vehicle would exhibit an abnormal noise when attempting to start, which required numerous attempts. The contact later received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 14V047000 (air bags and electrical system). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 58,000.

- Garden, TX, USA

problem #139

Mar 132014


  • 225,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while traveling various speeds, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was found that the computer needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 225,000.

- Bloomingburg, NY, USA

problem #138

Mar 132014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


My car has been turning off/stalling in the middle of heavy traffic for the past 3 weeks. It is very scary as I have two children that I am responsible. My mechanic said it is the ignition. I heard about the ignition re-call and contacted two dealers in fresno and clovis California who both informed me that they are not able/willing to help with rental cars until the parts come in. Shame on you Chevy/GM for providing terrible customer service and lack of safety for your consumers and our children!

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #137

Mar 122014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 189,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road and was restart after several minutes. The failure was recurring. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who replaced the ignition switch however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not further repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 189,000.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #136

Apr 042013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. Additionally, the vehicle would exhibit a stalling noise when the key was first inserted into the ignition. The failure was recurring. The contact also stated that the key became stuck in the ignition repeatedly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40000.

- Washington , DC, USA

problem #135

Dec 282006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that she was unable to remove the key out of the ignition immediately after turning the vehicle off. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to determine the cause of failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 26,000. The current mileage was 35,000.

- Grassy, MO, USA

problem #134

Aug 142013


  • miles
1. brakes wear uneven in the front. Rotors, pads, and calipers were replaced.difficulty with bleeding brakes.1 year later with 11,000 more miles on car the pad was worn and grinding rotor.replaced both front rotors, caliper again. 2 techs had an extremely hard time bleeding the brakes for the peddle to rise. Car stopped but peddle went to floor.they worked on bleeding the brakes for 2 hours.they repeated the procedure 6 times. Bleed every wheel and pumped brakes over and over again.could not get peddle up. This happened with the other brake job as well. Could not let my daughter drive the car. Took car home and the next day was on the way to another dealer when the brake peddle came up. 2. daughter was in an accident before second brake job and hit a pick up truck in rear as stopping no one was injured and air bag did not deploy. 3. have friend with 2005 Cobalt where her brakes completely locked up. Had to get vehicle towed and brakes replaced.

- Owings Mills , MD, USA

problem #133

Mar 012012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds the vehicle suddenly stalled. The engine was restarted and the vehicle resumed normally. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who replaced the battery, cleaned the fuel system and changed the spark plugs but the failure persisted. Additionally, the contact stated that the key would sporadically become stuck in the ignition switch. The manufacturer was notified and the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number 14V047000(air bags, electrical system). The contact stated that the vehicle had experienced the same defect listed in the recall. The failure mileage was 85,000.

- Alexandria, AL, USA

problem #132

Sep 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Driving on 127 North toward lansing Michigan at 75 miles per hour when the engine lost control causing the car to go no faster than 15 miles per hour on the highway. This is a safety risk to the driver as well as others. I have replaced the gas peddle sensor which did not correct the problem, next I will replace the throttle body. The codes can be reset to correct the problem temporary if you purchase a $300 dollar code reader. I have also had to replace the front bearings twice. On 2/16/2014 I hit a pot hole and knocked a bolt loose that holds the cars frame together so at this point the car is unsafe to drive. At least I'm hoping its loose and not broke. The car shakes terribly due to the frame bolt. This is a big safety concern.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #131

Feb 242014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles


My wife and her mother were driving on a street in the city that we live in. This street does have a mild to moderate amount of traffic depending on the time of day. It is a two lane road that for the most part goes through the residential area of the city that we live in as well as the neighboring city. The speed limit predominately is 35 mph. At the time of the incident, my wife was traveling to the South in which the roadway proceeds down a short, mild downgrade in to a natural wash or stream bed and then back up an upgrade to the South side of town and the neighboring city. My wife was traveling downhill when suddenly she lost power to the vehicle and the steering locked up. The engine was still running but all the electrical components of the vehicle such as the gauges and the car stereo ceased to work.due to the steering locking up and my wife being unable at the time to control the vehicle, she drifted in the opposite lane, bounced off a curb on that side of the road and then drifted back into the appropriate lane before coming to a stop. Fortunately for the safety and well-being of my wife and her mother, no other vehicle was in or approaching the opposite lane. When the vehicle came to a stop, the engine stalled when the key ignition was in the run position. My wife proceeded to switch the key in the off position and then proceeded to restart the vehicle. The vehicle then started up like normal. My wife proceeded to drive the vehicle to her original destination which was only a couple of miles away. She then notified me by cellphone in which we started the process of trying to get this issue resolved.

- Yucaipa, CA, USA

problem #130

Nov 142013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The driver door is jammed, it will not open from inside or out. Happened before and then opened after awhile and then it happened again. I've had the door fixed and it worked for about 3 weeks and is now jammed again. It is a safety hazard, I have to go into the car through the passenger side. My speakers in all doors will not work along with the radio screen will flicker on and off. The automatic locks worked on a few doors but will not work on any now. I've seen and heard many complaints about the same problems I'm having that other Cobalt owners have/had.

- Meshoppen , PA, USA

problem #129

Dec 182013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
On 12/18/13 I began to notice a "humming" noise coming from the car. The humming noise got increasingly worse over the next few days. At the same time I noticed the "service airbag" sign came on and the radio began flash and attempted to eject a cd without me manually pushing the button or cd being inside it. The "humming" noise progressively got worse and the steering wheel began to stiffen up. After 2 weeks of the problem becoming increasingly worse, I decided to have my mechanic do a complete diagnostic test. He believed that the diagnosis is the electrical power steering and stated that after much research the cost would be $900+ because the repairs would have to be by a certified GM and parts would have to be specially ordered due to the nature of the way the car was manufactured. He also stated that apparently this problem is an ongoing issue with this particular make/model car and regretfully was unable to repair it. I am a single mom and value me and my child's safety but at this time the no repairs have been made due to the obscene amount of money in question to repair it and ongoing financial hardships. I am filing this complaint because I feel this problem can lead to a more serious issue and may be a part of a bigger issue.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #128

Feb 162014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 41,489 miles
I was stopped at a turn around East of garfield on 16 mile road in clinton township Michigan. Proceeded to complete turn and go West on 16 mile road when I felt my vehicle (2006 Chevrolet colbalt) had a loss of power. There was no response when I stepped on the gas pedal. The dashboard lights blinked. Then with in seconds I was struck by a vehicle in my passenger side rear, then I spun around and another vehicle hit me in the driver rear side. None of my air bags deployed. The clinton township police questioned the other two drivers who struck me but never questioned me to explain what happened. The first vehicle that hit me the man had a cut on his leg and refused medical treatment. The second vehicle that hit me the female was able to drive home. I was taken to the hospital by ems because my head, neck, back, hip and leg was hurting me. When I was in the hospital the police officer came up to me and gave me a ticket with two separate violations, and stated that I caused the accident. The officer never asked me what happened and when I tried to explain to him, he just said that's why its called an accident and left the hospital. My 2006 Chevy colbalt is totaled according to the insurance company. I found a NHTSA 14V047000 recall on the ignition switch failure on this NHTSA website. GM's recall number is 13454.I have record of 2 repairs to that same ignition by the dealership in 2006 and 2009. I believe that the faulty ignition caused me to loose power and acceleration thus causing the accident and injuries.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #127

Feb 202014


  • 170,030 miles
While driving around a corner lost all power and control of car. Therefore I was unable to steer the car and hit the back of a parked car.

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #126

Aug 202013


  • miles
The key would not come out of the ignition switch, this continues to happen with this car.

- Reidsville, GA, USA

problem #125

Feb 042014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Driving on expressway car shut off while driving 65 miles per hour has now done this two other times car is dangerous to drive heard about recall on news however Chevy dealer told us recall has not been started by GM shame on them this is a huge safety issue and car is now parked cant risk it.

- Almont, MI, USA

problem #124

Oct 042010


  • 113,360 miles
Car would cut off when steering wheel was tilted and at times key would not come out of ignition.

- Boykins, VA, USA

problem #123

Aug 092013


  • 39,000 miles
I re-entered the highway (I65) southbound from rest stop. As I approached cruising speed and merged into the outside lane, I deployed the tilt steering lever and pulled the steering wheel down to my preferred position. Since I usually drive another vehicle and was not used to this one, I pulled too hard on the steering wheel causing it to come down abruptly and hard into the full down position. This caused the ignition to shut off. My speed was about 70mph. I began to slow and edge towards the shoulder when I recovered my faculties, put the car in neutral, and restarted the vehicle with the key while still in motion at about 50mph. I resumed my trip as normal and cautioned my daughter against rapid steering column adjustments while driving. I read the recall news today and thought it might be helpful if I recounted my experience with the ignition failing on my vehicle.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #122

Oct 082013


  • 115,000 miles
First got a very small crack in windshield and next day splintered all way across, still have not replaced first Chevy I've owned that windows are crap. Speakers have not worked in front ever and only come on and work randomly now and than. Now brake fluid light constantly coming on even after a day I put fluid in. This is officially worst car I've owned out of all Chevrolet had!!!! basically all service to it costs as much as car!

- Yardville , NJ, USA

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