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 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,433 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 12)

problem #232

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 #231

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 #230

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 #229

Jul 182020


  • 180,000 miles


My gas tank is leaking fuel.from the top of my tank

- Houtzdale, PA, USA

problem #228

May 222020


  • 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

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problem #227

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

problem #226

Jan 012020


  • 200,000 miles


The car says service airbag the steering is hard to turn and it makes a good knocking noise when you go out low-speed a high-speed make it difficult to leave on the road and make you swear it pulls to the left and it's horrible and gas

- Anderson, SC, USA

problem #225

Dec 012019


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While operating the vehicle, the odor of fuel was present inside the cabin. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that fuel was leaking from the top of the fuel tank and the fuel tank needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer and jk Chevrolet (1451 S hwy 69, nederland, tx 77627) were notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Groves, TX, USA

problem #224

Dec 112019


  • 140,000 miles
Fuel smell around rear of car. Chevrolet refused to repair despite a known issue and recall. Paid $1100. At non dealer to diagnose and repair. Leaking fuel lines on top of gas tank from in tank fuel pump.

- Urbandale, IA, USA

problem #223

Aug 102019


  • 219,110 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt lt leaks gas profusely. Was told there was a recall because this is typical of the Cobalt. Took my car to Chevy dealer but did not fix issue and now is worse then when I took it in. While sitting, leaks more.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #222

Apr 012019


  • 180,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While operating the vehicle, the odor of fuel was present inside and outside the vehicle. Upon inspection, the contact noticed puddles of fuel underneath the vehicle. The cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer and local dealer were not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 180,000.

- Vacherie, LA, USA

problem #221

Mar 112019


  • 97,000 miles
Got oil leak

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #220

Oct 172018


  • 140,000 miles
Fuel lines corroded through leaking enough gas that a puddle would form under the vehicle by the rear driver's side tire when stopped. When towed to the dealer the fuel started leaking by only turning the key to the on position without starting the car.

- Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #219

Oct 252018


  • 94,000 miles
Tamara recall I have a fuel leak and it is spilling out at my residence when I started smelling gas.w hen I drove it to work gas was spilling out like water.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #218

Sep 012018


  • 125,000 miles
There is a terrible gas fume smell from inside the car. It is stronger on the passenger side where the fuel tank is. The check engine light is also on, again. This happened around 125,500 miles.

- Eagle Creek, OR, USA

problem #217

Mar 012017


  • 270,000 miles
Bought car in 2016 from silver Eagle auto mall in Missouri. Call randomly cuts out while driving on city streets in on highway and have to pull over. Have there very close to accidents on multiple occasions. Battery an alternator have been replaced it does not just dial industrial back up it starts right back up. Now as of August 1st 2018 I am currently smelling strong gas once I get out of car with children... can smell a lot from driver side it may seem also this car has started smelling like gas outside of car car won't start sometimes I'm playing multiple turns with keys and is now cutting out even more while driving... been having problems with car since I bought it far as random cutting out I don't know where the smell is coming from it is not from under hood....

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #216

Jul 062018


  • 196,000 miles
I was driving my car and I noticed a strong fuel odor coming from my car. I pulled into a parking lot. Left the car running and saw a huge puddle of fuel dripping down onto the ground from the top of the fuel tank. One of the lines right at the fitting into the fuel pump is cracked. They have this already recalled, but only in 15 states and mine isn't one of them. I want Chevy to issue a 50 state recall for this issue. My car could of caught fire and I could of died. This is a very serious issue. A year ago I had to replace the fuel lines from the fuel filter to the fuel rail in the engine because the metal tubing rusted out and cracked. They need to be stainless steel not pot metal. Their is no recall on those fuel lines, but I read lots of complaints for the same issue. I don't have any photos only video of it dripping.

- Parkville, MO, USA

problem #215

Jul 042018


  • 100,000 miles
I already had a recall on the fuel pump or modular and then on the ignition switch. The check engine light has always been on. They couldn't get it to go off even when they did those repairs, then one day the turn signals stopped turning off after making a turn. The newest problem and the scariest one to me is now a gas leak. I went out and started my car, started to reverse and then smelled a strong odor of gas. I stopped and noticed my gas gauge actually going down. So I shut the car off hurried up and got my kids out and then saw the gas pouring on the road from under my car. I can't believe the problems that I've had with this car. Chevy needs to be held accountable for these problems. It's their cheap mistakes. The only reason I have continued to keep the car is because it belonged to my little brother who died in a tragic car cash with his pregnant fiancÉ and my father. So I haven't wanted to part with it. I have seen that others have had the same problems and apparently there was recalls for some of these problems on others but not for my VIN. How is that right? they need to be responsible for fixing this and they need to fix everything correctly this time. I need help with this problem, I'm not sure where else to turn at this point.

- Marion, IL, USA

problem #214

Jun 212018


  • 108,000 miles
Recall number 09V419000 recall date 10/29/2009 component fuel system, gasoline:delivery:fuel pump I'm having the same problems with my car as this recall, but because my VIN isn't flagged the dealership won't repair my vehicle.

- Tuckahoe, NY, USA

problem #213

May 292018


  • 115,000 miles
I had noticed a smell of fuel coming from my vehicle shortly after parking the vehicle, or if it was idling in one space for quite some time. This smell of fuel developed into a fuel drip on to the ground. Researched the concern online, and found there is a recall out for this concern, but not for the state I am currently in. There is a "special coverage" issued (bulletin 12191B) instead for my state which states I can have this concern fixed free of charge. I took it to a dealer, they confirmed I am covered by this special coverage. The dealer has now denied to do the work and forced me to pay for a tow to a different dealer to have the concern fixed, as they refused to carry out the repair.

- Genoa City, WI, USA

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