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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
16,376 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

problem #3

May 062006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle loses power and rolls to a stop. The contact loses control of the vehicle and the power steering fails. All of the instrument panel lights illuminated. After purchasing the vehicle, the contact detected smoke. A mechanic stated that all of the wiring and fuses in the vehicle needed to be replaced. The shifter locks in position and the key cannot be removed from the ignition. As a result, the vehicle cannot be shut off, which causes the battery to fail. The vehicle has to be connected to a charger all night in order to be driven the next day. In may of 2006, the dealer stated that they could not locate the failure. In November of 2007, after the warranty expired, the dealer stated that all the wiring in the vehicle needed to be replaced and the contact would be charged. The failure mileage was 3,000 and current mileage was 49,600.

- Brunsick, VT, USA

problem #2

Oct 222007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,278 miles
I bought this car back in June. And I have had nothing but problems with the car. Numerous problems with the computers in the car. From the ECM, to the PCM, and the BCM. I also have proof the odometer has also been rolled back. If needed for this investigation can send a copy. The cars has been serviced now 5 times. This time it is sending error codes to the computer of random misfires on the first and fourth cylinder.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #1

Apr 012007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,850 miles
I parked my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt in my driveway and overnight an animal climbed up under a plastic schroud over the 4 cyl engine and literally chewed the main wire harness off the connector that feeds the electrical wiring to the engine components, approximately 20 - 30 wires. The wires were inches too short to reconnect to the engine connector, and the whole wiring harness had to be replaced at a cost of $826 at a Chevrolet dealer. This area is accessible to animals, such as squirrels/ chipmunks, etc. They apparently used the wiring materials for nesting purposes. Should this area be enclosed or further protection be provided on the wiring components to prevent fires or malfunctioning components/sensors to prevent accidents of system faults. Every wire on the connector was separated and shortened overnight. It took the GM service garage several hours to find this fault, and was not covered by any GM liability for leaving access to this area.

- Batavia, NY, USA

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