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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,424 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 1 of 13)

problem #247

Jan 302021


  • miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalt has a fuel leak which was recently a recall. I have been told by several dealerships that it will not be repaired for free. How can this be? I didn't know recalls expired. It's a safety issue and the manufacturer's responsibility. Please advise me on next steps.

- Stanford, IL, USA

problem #246

Oct 312021


  • miles
Last year or so, even before than, I noticed suddle fuel odor smell & noticed few drops by left rear wheel has progressingly gotten worse and now puddles and smells of fuel constantly...all which I traced back to fuel lines by rear exhaust heat shield area where it's very rusty, inline elsewhere around car area...seems to be bad design and or manufacturing issue...also very common I noticed with cobalt saturn Pontiac models sharing same design & platform.. Very dangerous and needs to be corrected by gm!

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #245

Oct 282021


  • miles
My headlight an blinker quit working new bulbs an all new wiring it it still will not work My trunk button also just stopped working an the fuse is not blown. I even replaced it just to make sure still nothing. Door panel clips won-€™t stay in bought new ones same thing so now my handle is coming apart an my door doesn-€™t want to shut bc it thinks I-€™m still holding the handle.. Fuel everytime I get gas I have to crank my car a few times and press on the gas before I can get it to go otherwise it just dies on me I-€™ve had it looked at they said it was something about how my car does not know when to stop releasing air I think. My blinkers don-€™t turn off unless I do it manually. The seals on my door is no good anytime it rains it-€™s coming inside of my car an since the door panel won-€™t stay on it-€™s coming straight into my car

- Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #244

Oct 182021


  • miles


I began noticing a slight drop in fuel mileage at first. Started smelling fuel while parked and only getting 200 miles to a tank. Noticed the supply and return fuel lines where damp. Dropped the tank and the fuel lines at the pump were cracked a little. I temporarily fixed thos with jb weld but dont expect it to last.

- Fitzgerald, GA, USA

problem #243

Jun 252021


  • miles
Fuel lines are rusted where the heat tape is around them by the exhaust. This has caused them to rust and no is leaking fuel. I am worried that it's going to catch fire. This is my daughter's car and is a very poor design.

- Wentzville, MO, USA

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problem #242

May 172021


  • miles
There is a recall for some vin numbers on the 2006 Chevy cobalt (recall # 09V419000). My vin number was not included but the exact recalled part was also defective on my car. I wanted to let you know because there are probably several more vins that should be included in this recall, as my car is proof of that.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #241

Feb 142021


  • 0 miles


Had to change my fuel pump due to a crack on it. My key gets stuck in the ignition switch in order to take it out I have to push a button under the steering wheel. I to change my steering shaft because it does a clacking noise.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #240

Mar 122021


  • 80,000 miles
Fuel line leak by left rear wheel well. Heat shield seems to capture moisture and has rusted line by clip. Results in fuel leak by exhaust system.

- Stony Point, NY, USA

problem #239

Dec 212018


  • 100,000 miles
While driving on expressway, car went dead> had to make an emergency stop. Power steering went out, but after restarting the car it was ok. It keeps happening off and on- on occasions. I kept smelling gas, took it to car repair shop was told I could not drive the vehicle, was told the gas tank had to be replaced or whatever the part inside the gas tank. Note: When the power steering problem arrived I was leaving going to work. I started the car but the steering was hard to turn so I pulled back into parking space and turned off the engine. I restarted after a few minutes-was able to steer ok. Upon smelling gas this went on for serval days. I thought it was fumes from other cars. I would smell gas while driving it. One day as I pulled up to work I got out of the car and noticed something wet next to my front tire. I could smell gas fumes. I took it to repair shop the next day. Shop told me the car could have caught on fire.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #238

Jan 162021


  • 149,897 miles
The company wrapped a heat shield fiber around a bare metal fuel line causing premature failure of the line in that specific location due to rust from the trapped moisture. The fuel line bursts causing a steady flow of gasoline to pour from beneath the vehicle causing an extremely hazardous situation. The car continues to function, leaving a trail of gasoline everywhere you go. The heat wrap does not appear to affect the brake line due to it's black coating. The fuel lines should also be protected in this area.

- Abingdon, VA, USA

problem #237

Dec 012020


  • 64,300 miles


Very strong fuel smell started occurring that was noticeable even after long periods after parking. Upon further investigation a fuel leak was discovered on the outlet of the fuel pump which is integral to the fuel tank. It appears there is a crack or some sort of defect causing the exterior piece on that fuel pump to fail. Vehicle only has 64,300 miles on it.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #236

Nov 052020


  • 80,000 miles
My vehicle, a 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt, like many other Chevy Cobalts I've found in my research, has a fuel leak in the rear driver side. I have not pinpointed the exact leak location but I have a picture displaying the fuel line covered in what seems like an aluminum foil to keep the lines from heating up. Clearly this doesn't work. This is a common issue and I believe it needs to be addressed.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #235

Nov 112020


  • 133,000 miles
Plastic fuel tank cracked and fuel is dripping from vehicle imposing a potential fire and hazard.

- Saltsburg, PA, USA

problem #234

Jul 252020


  • miles
I have had to have the fuel feed line and fuel return line assembly replaced back in Feb 2020 because of strong smell of gas and leaking gas now the issue has started again not sure why strong odor of gas and leaking started about July/August

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #233

Jul 042020


  • 120,000 miles
Everytime I get near my car a small a strong odor of fuel, exterior and interior of my vehicle and it seems to be turning to much gas for a 4 cylinder engine.

- Lutz, FL, USA

problem #232

Aug 052020


  • miles
1.gas smell - fuel leaks after leak fix still smell gas (even after setting for a couple of days. 2-door lock issues-even after fixed by GM-now won't lock at all 3.air bags- GM stated that they could not get parts in 4.electronic issues -start auto now show-power steering, had checked by GM wont ECM won't cummunicate with tcm. I have had all of this checked by anthony Chevrolet and nothing has been done! state they cannot get parts and or not worth fixing.

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #231

Jul 232020


  • 13,000 miles
On 7-20-20 I spoke with stephanie ( 1-800-222-1020) on the NHTSA site, were I got the phone number. I told her I entered my VIN and found there were 6 recalls on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. I explained to her on 7-15-20, I left for work but noticed my power steering was not working properly. I was afraid I would not be able to make the turn onto the expressway because of the steering. I went and purchased power steering fluid, only to learn there was no place to put it. Stephanie and I looked at the recalls together. We discussed the numerous recalls she saw along with me. She set-up a diagnostic appointment here in conway, ark were I now reside for 7-23-20 @ 7:00am. Superior dealership. I arrived and (lisa) asked if I had an appointment, I said yes. I told her what my issue was and she went into my car and pulled out something under the dash. She had in her had something she said would light up red if there was a problem. I was under the impression I was going to have to place the vehicle on a machine in order to find out the problems. She then told me there were three recalls on the car but they all had been fixed. And stated I would be charged $ $150 for a diagnostic test. I explained to her I had not received any communications pertaining to recalls on the vehicle. I clearly saw on the NHTSA site recalls for, the gas tank which I had to replace because it was leaking gas. I replaced a fuel throttle because when I was driving on the expressway I lost power in rush hour traffic. There is a problem with the air bag because it is showing it's off, so I know if I were to get into an accident it will not deploy. I believe the recalls I saw on the site were legit recalls. I'm not certain how they disappeared from the site when I showed up for my appointment only a few days later. I was told I could pay the $150 because their techs had to be paid or get rid of the car.

- Conway, AR, USA

problem #230

Jul 182020


  • 180,000 miles
My gas tank is leaking fuel.from the top of my tank

- Houtzdale, PA, USA

problem #229

May 222020

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Fuel leak near left rear wheel. Smelled gasoline. Parked vehicle. Saw a puddle of gas leaking from the vehicle. Checked with Chevrolet since there is a recall for this issue but was told my vehicle was not part of the recall. There is a special bulletin 12191 covering this issue that should be free of charge to fix but nobody related to Chevrolet I spoke with knows about this.

- Beecher, IL, USA

problem #228

May 052020


  • 161,000 miles
Gas line is leaking on rear drivers side. Car was at the shop and the gas caught on fire on the ground and could have killed us and all the workers. I think GM needs to do something about this. Mine is not the only car with this issue.

- Waverly, TN, USA

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