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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,956 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 5 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #112

Aug 012012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


My wife and I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt in August 2012 I noticed a gasoline smell coming from the car. I took the car to a shop and they found the fuel pump assembly was cracked. Luckily we caught the problem early and fuel had not been leaking really bad and we had the problem fixed. Due to the newest recalls on the Cobalt I decided to look into previous recalls on the car and saw that there had been a recall on this problem in 2009 on the Cobalt but only for cars registered/bought in 5 states(Illinois not being one). We find that to be extremely unacceptable and dangerous. All the Cobalt model years have a recall on a faulty fuel pump problem but only for cars bought and registered in 5 states that's just crazy. If a car has been deemed unsafe enough to cause a recall in five states why was it not done for all the states/all the Cobalt's. this is just ridiculous.

- Arcola , IL, USA

problem #111

Feb 082013


  • 80,000 miles
My 2006 Chevy Cobalt ss supercharged started malfunctioning in Feb 2013 driving the hwy the car would jolt as if it was running out of gas same thing occurred on April 2013. The big problem happened Sept 2013, driving 75 on the fwy my Cobalt started to jolt and loose power and the speed started slowing down all the way to 30mpg I was barley able to make my way through traffic to get to the side of the road, once pulled over my Cobalt didn't want to start and when it did it would only go about 100 feet and slow down then turn off. Since then my Cobalt has not been able to function properly. At low RPM's it dies off. Since that day my boost gauge doesn't work. My mpg's have dramatically fell about 10, ill fill up half the tank and the next thing you know it drops to empty. Also while driving when I hit pot holes the car turns off. It has a hard time starting up. I've read through the forums and other people have had this problem. Is there a recall for this yet and if not who not"! wouldn't you think cars failing on the fwy is a major red flag"

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #110

Apr 232014


  • miles
My vehicle smells of gasoline and has been leaking like crazy. I am getting less than 17 miles per gallon and losing a ton of gas due to the fuel pump recall. I believe that it should be under recall in every state and not just a few. If it is recalled on any 2006 Chevy Cobalt I believe it should be recalled on all of them no matter what the state. I live in Michigan and therefore its stated there is no recall for it here. I am very disappointed in this and in GM for selling a car with as many recalls as the Cobalt has and only choosing very few states for the recall to be granted. I used to be a huge GM fan but, now after having as many issues as I have had with this car and living in Michigan not being able to have it fixed under recall, I no longer feel the same, in fact I am strongly thinking of going foreign. Thanks GM for letting down yet another customer. Please get back to me when you want to take care of your customers everywhere and not just in certain states. This is your fault that the car is so faulty and I think you should stand up and own up to it and fix the Chevy Cobalt's no matter what state they are in. How does it even matter what state a person is in anyways a default part is a default part, isn't it?

- Traverse City , MI, USA

problem #109

Mar 012014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 100,500 miles


I have been noticing the smell of gas from my car for about 2 months. About a week ago I saw a puddle of gas on the garage floor. I took it into the shop to have it inspected and was told the fuel line is leaking due to a part the manufacturer placed on the vehicle that is defective and rusted. Upon doing further research I have found that many owners have experienced this problem and the manufacturer has issued a recall but only in certain states, none of which are mine. I feel this recall should be for all vehicles. It should not matter what state, as it is obvious this defect is affecting vehicles in all states. The consumer should not be responsible for the cost of this repair as it is due to the faulty manufacturing.

- Greenfield, IN, USA

problem #108

Jan 172013


  • 58,697 miles
Since I bought this car in may of 2011 I have had nothing but problems. In March of 2012 my fuel pump went out while I was driving due to a recall from several years earlier, which I don't understand why it wasn't replaced before I bought the car especially if I bought if from a dealership. In January of 2013 my gear shift assembly went out luckily after I was done driving and in the process of parking which resulted in my keys getting locked in the ignition. A month later my switch board stopped working in my steering wheel which turns off my signals when I turn and my keys still occasionally get locked in my ignition. My O2 sensor just went out, shortly after I got the car I learned one of my valve covers is leaking oil, and I just replaced my ignition coil pack! I am afraid to drive this car any longer especially with the new recall about the ignition. This car is a hazard to anyone driving it. I should not have this many issues when I have only owned the car for three years. I believe GM should recall the whole car. I tried taking my car to the dealership in February to inquire about the recall and they sent me away and said to wait to receive something in the mail to see if my car qualifies. Seriously"?" I'm not sure what actions I should take to ensure my safety. I don't have the money to fix this car that has everything under the hood failing all at once! every day I drive this car I am putting myself in danger. Any information back would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

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problem #107

Feb 262014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received otification of NHTSA campaign id number: 09V419000 (fuel system and gasoline) and took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer stated that the modular reservoir assembly would be replaced however, the parts were not available to perform the repair. The contact received a second recall notice yet the parts were still not available. The manufacturer was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Iselin, NJ, USA

problem #106

Feb 122014


  • 110,000 miles


Consistent with many, many other owners, my 2006 Cobalt has the dreaded gas leak smell, yet Chevrolet refuses to include my state in the recall. This is unacceptable and dangerous to allow so many cars with gas leaks to not be recalled. I do not exactly live in a cold weather state (mo). It is absurd that if I lived 200 miles to the South my car would be at least partially affected by a recall for this very issue. GM is pinching pennies and refusing to fix a problem which exists nationwide.

- Chesterfield, MO, USA

problem #105

Sep 052013


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that upon starting the vehicle, a fuel odor was in the cabin. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where who stated the fuel pump failed. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified about the failure. The contact was also informed that the vehicle was not included in nets campaign number (fuel system, gasoline). The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Vidor, TX, USA

problem #104

Jul 162013


  • 124,578 miles
There is a recall for the fuel system leaking on 2006 Cobalts as well as other year Cobalts and ion's. the recall is limited to certain states and certain VIN's. my 2006 Cobalt was bought in Kentucky but is having the same issue as described by the recall. Upon researching the issue I have found other complaints outside the affected area with the same issue.

- Taylor Mill, KY, USA

problem #103

Jul 192013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
Car smelled of fuel when stopped. Mechanic found crack on fuel pump module and replaced.

- Destin, FL, USA

problem #102

Jan 152013


  • 64,000 miles


I noticed a slight fuel smell from the car which lasted several months. It increased to a strong fuel smell and hard cold starts along with rough idling. It finally led to leaking fuel. I removed the fuel tank and while inspecting it, the fuel line fitting broke off of the fuel pump. There is a current recall for the exact problem, but not in the state I bought or registered my car in. This should apply to all affected vehicles.

- Minot, ND, USA

problem #101

Mar 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while the vehicle was parked she noticed a fuel leak. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the fuel pump would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 170,000.

- Bishop, CA, USA

problem #100

Mar 202013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact received a noticed from the manufacturer which stated that the contact's vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 12V459000 (fuel system, gasoline) due to where they lived. The letter also stated that the manufacturer would repair the vehicle should the failure occur. The contact felt that all vehicles of the same year, make, and model should have been included, regardless of residency. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Dansville , NY, USA

problem #99

Apr 092013


  • 13,200 miles
I had noticed a very strong gas odor in my vehicle for awhile when I took it in to get an oil change I inquired about it. While working on the car they noticed a leak coming from the gas tank and made me aware of it and suggested I get it fixed as soon as possible. Once I was able to I looked up the information and found that there was indeed a recall on these vehicles for this particular reason and many consumers were upset about it. I called GMC and they informed me that I was eligible for a special coverage adjustment to replace my fuel pump and I should make an appointment with the dealership. I went to the dealership to make an appointment and they informed me that although it was within the ten year limit it was over 120,000 miles and they would not replace it under the special coverage adjustment. Obviously this car is eight years old and the chances of any vehicle that old being under 120,000 miles is absurd! and I was told in a very rude manner that if my car blew up because of this it was not their problem. I have only owned this car for a year and a half and was not made aware that this was a recall or special issue upon purchase even though it has apparently been recorded since 2009. It is completely and utterly ridiculous that they are not more pro-active in the rectification of this issue as it is endangering lives!

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #98

Mar 222013


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ls. The contact stated that he noticed a strong odor of fuel and shortly after a leak. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. After diagnosis, they advised him that there was a fracture in the fuel pump and it needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 72,000. The current mileage was approximately 73,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #97

Mar 112013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 173,000 miles
This is the second time I have faced spending hundreds of dollars to replace a part with a known problem. The first time was nhsta complain #10419243 filed on 08/12/2011. At the time, I issued a complaint after having to replace the fuel pump on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt because of a crack in the port on top of the pump that is situated on top of the fuel tank. On 3/11/2012 the replacement pump also failed in the exact same spot. At the time, I was driving down the highway when the engine stalled. I later learned there was fuel leaking all over the road under my car. After being towed to an independent repair shop, I was told that the same part had failed again. Though the mechanic tried to find the part itself, he soon learned it is not sold separately and the only way to fix the problem is to replace the entire pump.this time is was over $600 to replace it and together with the $85 tow bill, I have now spent over $1100 on a known defect that would be covered under recall if I lived in one of the states where a recall for this part is in effect. More than 100 complaints have been filed between these two personal incidents. When is someone going to do something about it"??!!!!! does someone have to die in a fire before this problem is addressed"

- Shermans Dale, PA, USA

problem #96

Mar 172013

Cobalt 4-cyl Diesel

  • 88,800 miles
For the past few days my wife and I have smelled gas after the car was shut off. Today we now have fuel leaking from the fuel tank area of the car. We looked the problem up and see that a recall for the problem. We call GM and were informed that our car is not on the recall list. Our car is the same year and model as the recall but we live in the wrong state.

- Girardville, PA, USA

problem #95

Feb 222013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Can smell fuel vapor odor from rear of vehicle. Had inspected for leak and found line cracked on top of fuel pump module. This is a fire/safety hazard and this low mileage vehicle should be covered under the safety recall 09V419000 but is not because the car is registered in a "northern" state.

- Harrison, OH, USA

problem #94

Jan 252013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
Smell of fuel went to get it checked and it is leaking gas from the top of the fuel tank.

- Seminole, OK, USA

problem #93

Aug 022010


  • 56,000 miles
After parking vehicle I noticed a strong gasoline odor emitting from the car. Took it to a mechanic who said it was the fuel pump leaking and it needed to be replaced. Cost me $750. I see on the internet that this is a common problem with this vehicle. I live in and bought my car new in Florida which is one of the states that is covered under the recall notice # 09V419000. I was never issued a notice by GM about this recall. The only way I did find out about it was that my sister owns a 2007 Chevy Cobalt and she received one. She also lives in and bought her car in Florida. I feel that GM should have sent me a notice and also that they should pay for the repairs I had to incur on my vehicle.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

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