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 4 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #261

May 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt customer is requesting reimbursement the consumer stated the vehicle was towed several times, to the dealer.

- East Point, GA, USA

problem #260

Nov 022009


  • 32,150 miles
I have owned my 2006 Chevy Cobalt since 2008. Starting in 2009 all the way until now 2014 I have had issues with the car that are related to the ignition switch recall. I took my car in to the Chevy dealer to take care of the ignition switch recall on November 5, 2014. I got my car back the same day, they replaced the ignition switch and gave me two new keys. Surprise! two days later on November 7, 2014 my car again had the exact same problems related to the ignition switch recall that it did before I took it in for the recall fix. Hence, Chevy's "recall ignition switch fix" does not solve the problem with these cars! my car still does the following things even after the ignition switch fix that is supposed to solve these problems. Whenever it pleases it will lose electrical power and turn off the engine, leaving me stuck in the middle of a busy highway, this has happened on numerous occasions!! as if that isn't bad enough there's more! the power steering light flashes, the check engine light comes on, the service airbag light comes on, the gauges on the dash completely stop working properly the speedometer needle goes haywire moving from 0 mph to 60 mph back and forth non-stop when I'm not even accelerating to those speeds. The RPM gauge does the exact same thing. The car jolts forward uncontrollably, like it is having a problem shifting especially when the RPM is between 2000 and 3000. When you go to brake you have to slam the brakes all the way down because you lose your normal braking power the car skids as you're braking and continues to jolt forward uncontrollably. Oh and on top of all of this sometimes the power steering completely goes out leaving you with all of the problems mentioned above and you can't steer properly! something needs to be done immediately! the ignition switch recall fix does not work! these cars should not be on the road period.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #259

Mar 122014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 820,000 miles
Had my car recalled for the ignition recall and had my car sitting at the dealer ship waiting on the part for 6 months. Received my car back in August 2014 and find that having several problems. The ignition locks the key does not open the door, electric problems, lights go out and than come on, ac has rattle when turn on high, car jerks. These problem have occurred since I have received my car back after 6 months sitting at the dealership because of the GM recall. I had a rent a car and paid over $600 in gas and had to get the window repaired from a chip that got bigger, from a small one when I got it. Had to get an oil change because it was low on oil and new wipers. I would never had to have done that with my car. It cost me more money to have a rent a car and I never got reimbursed. Just got a thank you. I feel I should get something out of this weather I am injured or not.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #258

Jul 302014


  • 170,000 miles


2006 Cobalt that had the 2 recalls "fixed" by a dealership. At the suggestion of the dealership, also had wiring fixed and a new shifter assembly installed at $380+ extreme and dangerous electrical problems: #1 - when driving down the road all gauges go to zero, all lights on the dash turn on and the mileage reads ----------------- (all dashes) #2 - the car does not start consistently. Turn the key and it has power, the lights come on the dash, the headlights come on, but the car will not start. Multiple visits to dealerships and repair facilities and each ones says: They say it is not a bad part, they say there is nothing wrong. They say there is no codes. They say they cannot duplicate it. They say it started every time for them. They say the gauges never drop. They cannot fix it. This car has a major/serious electrical issue that needs to be figured our and repairs paid for my the manufacturer.

- Adrian, MI, USA

problem #257

Oct 212014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
I've had several recalls on my car. Air bags, power steering, ignition switch. I was only able to get 2 of these fixed because the others were not "valid" recalls for my vehicle. One of the issues the ignition switch recall has is that the car turns off. The car. Turns. Off. I don't know why and I don't know how. I just know, the car turns off. This has been a daily battle for me. It started a few months before the recall was released and continues to this day. I was driving across an intersection, the light just turned green, a few cars in front of me. I press the gas slightly & my car turns off. I wasn't even going 10 mph. I wasn't even going more than 5! another incident a few days prior, I was coming to another intersection and another car in the opposite direction was making a left so he was in the middle of the intersection. Thankfully I was not going so fast that I could've stopped and he could've passed. Just as I was approaching the lines to cross into the intersection, my car turned off again. My car is constantly turning off in the middle of rush hour traffic. Thankfully it's traffic so it's going slow but it has happened that my car will just turn off in the middle of me actually driving! there have been many times that I am trying to make a turn and my car turns off. Mid turn! in the middle of the you know how dangerous that is" it just reminds me of those movies where those silly people get stuck on train tracks. Why would you park or stay on a train track" oh, I know, just own a Chevrolet! it'll constantly turn off. Thankfully, I have not gotten stuck on a train track but what I have encountered is just as dangerous. I am constantly driving around with other people and children. My car constantly turning off, especially in the middle of the street is a great hazard to myself and my passengers. I fear my life driving this car. :(

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #256

Oct 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Letter from senator rubio on behalf of constituent re a faulty ignition problem in 2006 Cobalt. The consumer and his wife were involved in an accident. They sustained serious injuries.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #255

Nov 132013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


My car has been mildly having problems when you would stop at a light or pull into a parking spot it acts like it wants to cutoff. I got the letter on the recall and it definitely gave me anxiety driving the car especially since I have to travel 180 miles quite often for my kids. I had the recall fixed and yet still had the minor problem. I say minor only because it did not cause anything bad to happen at that time. Also noticed that my car was not acting right with the two keys they gave me sometimes it would start and sometimes it locked up. But not every time. About two months after that I went to lunch and my key got locked in the ignition and the car would not start. Figuring I trust be the battery I went bought a new battery but the car still wouldn't start. I had it towed to GM dealership and they told me it coded for the ignition switch and the fuse box. But then called me back and said it was the fuse box and the body control module and the fuel pressure censor. I tried to trade it in and the value of a car I bought just a year and a half ago for 11,999 is now only worth $3000 even to the maker of the car I would be stuck paying on a car that is unsafe still and makes it to where I cannot get a new car because of the amount I still owe on the vehicle.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #254

Oct 172014


  • 155,214 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The dealer diagnosed that the cylinder kit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired under recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (electrical system). However, the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 155,214.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #253

Oct 082014


  • 164,660 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. After the vehicle was serviced according to NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system) and NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (electrical system), the key was loose when it was inserted into the ignition. The contact also stated that the key would tighten once the vehicle was started and opened the trunk. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 164,660.

- Breezewood , PA, USA

problem #252

Oct 042014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 122,117 miles
While driving, the door locks went up and down and immediately after, the engine raced and RPM gage went up significantly.

- Ozark, MO, USA

problem #251

Sep 152014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


I was driving on a highway at 65 mph and the traction control light and check engine light on the dashboard came on and when I had to accelerate then the car started shifting really roughly. I was half way to my destination and then the traction control light went off and the car shifted smoothly on acceleration. The check engine light stayed lit but the car seem to run fine. When I got home I researched the issue and found that there was over 1800 complaints about this same issue. My car is now parked because I thinks its not reliable. I think this should be, yet, another recall for the Cobalt.

- Eagle Creek, OR, USA

problem #250

Jul 182014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Electronic display goes completely black while in motion or stationary at times with no warning then returns to normal or partial information displays. Also, display blinks weird codes and symbols at times then returns to normal without warning.

- Hanover Park, IL, USA

problem #249

Sep 032012


  • 64,927 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the ignition key failed to release and the gear shift lever shifted out of park independently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician replaced that the R&R solenoid key release, solenoid key lock and shifter assembly. The vehicle was included in recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V04700 (air bags, electrical system) and NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 64,927.

- Henrico , VA, USA

problem #248

Aug 022013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
Boltwell ever since we had gotten this Chevy Cobalt we are having probes bad it is bad.yes we got a warranty. So we take it back so they can fix it so they had it for a week. Well they called us to come get it well we did and they told us they couldn't fix it because they wouldn't make no profit off of it they did and. So they had a white truck out there with more miles. So we ask for it and they said they couldn't do it. And now the warranty went up yesterday so now we are stuck and it cost. Us to 50 dollars a day to drive it costthirty miles.and use it to take my grandma back and forth to the clinic and it makes her very sick please help us get what we are paying for or what we wanted in the first place and that is a small truck we don't care it can be the same mileage and every thing and this place is a in bowie and it's lipscombs and I prefer not going back there if I can keep from it I recorded them telling us that and everything and I had all ready got the car and every thing you can tell what they checked to because it is still hanging from the car please contact me my grandma is 82 yrs old she has to make it to her appointments please.

- Bowie, TX, USA

problem #247

Apr 202014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I ordered my parts for the GM ignition switch in April. It is now mid-September. I have been getting the run-around from both the dealership that I ordered the parts from as well as the GM customer care. I am a resident physician who drives 30 miles each way to and from the hospital, six days per week. Twice now I have been told I'd hear back from the GM district manager within 24-48 business hours. I am still awaiting a call-back from a conversation last Thursday. Not everyone has a 9-5 job with holidays off, a second family car to use, a work address close to public transportation or the disposable income to pay for a rental car. I am using just the single key, but I do not have the peace of mind that I am driving in safe vehicle, as my car has switched into the accessory position both before and after the recall. A $50 per day out-of-pocket cost is not a resolution, it is another burden on the car owner, especially if he or she does not have a driveway or garage to park the faulty car. Hearing "we can't tell when your parts will come in, because so many are being made, " or "where did you buy your car? maybe your parts are there, " is not customer service, nor is "we'll check with the dealership, and call you back". (then wait 24-48 hrs, just to be called back by the rep who wrote down the wrong dealership name, and has not called back since). This is unreal. There should be a way to track centrally the status of the parts and repairs! this is an endless game of phone tag!

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #246

Aug 252014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 148,000 miles
While driving the car the power steering goes out and makes the car hard to drive. The steering pump has been changed 2 times since original recall, but yet the problem still exists.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #245

Sep 042014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system) and NHTSA campaign number: 14V171000 (electrical system). However, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced the failure.

- Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA

problem #244

Aug 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer writes in regards to ignition switch, ignition lock cylinder and key replacement recall issues. The consumer stated he always experienced problems with the vehicle, but could get never get a resolution from the dealer, as they could never replicate the problem. The consumer received three recalls about the urgency of getting the issue fixed. However, the dealer did not have the parts.

- Fall City, WA, USA

problem #243

Apr 162014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V047000 (air bags, electrical system); however, the parts were unavailable to perform the repair. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The VIN was not available. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Plainsbourough, NJ, USA

problem #242

May 062014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Power steering failure seems to occur at random times, and becoming more frequent. There is a "power steering" display on dashboard and a warning chime. Then the speedometer and RPM's go bonkers, the car repeatedly jumps forward abruptly, and the power steering goes out. Sometimes I can park, turn the car off and back on, and the issue goes away, and sometimes it does not. This happened last year, but the power steering motor recall (done in July of 2013) seemed to fix it, but only temporarily. It is irritating and scary to have to drive my car like this, and I am concerned for my safety during the upcoming winter months where I will certainly be driving on ice and snow. I hope there will be another recall to permanently solve this issue. Thank you.

- Soldotna, AK, USA

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