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:
3 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,219 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 7 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Aug 202010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 37,600 miles


I had just returned home from shopping in my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. I noticed a strong smell of gasoline at the back of the car. I looked under the car and saw gasoline was leaking from the top of the fuel tank and collecting on the ground. After lowering the fuel tank it was easy to see the problem. The fuel return line had fractured at the top of the fuel pump module. The car was undriveable. Fortunately this happened in my driveway. I bought a new fuel pump module at my Chevrolet dealer for $304.36 and replaced the part myself. I understand there is a recall for this problem but not in my state. I live in Pennsylvania which is not part of the recall. I have retained the old part.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #36

Aug 182010


  • 47,412 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt fuel leak. Plastic port on top of fuel pump assembly cracked. I see there is a recall in certain states for this problem, but I live in Virginia and that state is not listed in the recall.

- Collinsville, VA, USA

problem #35

Aug 042010


  • 82,150 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated there was an unusually strong odor of gasoline. She then noticed that gasoline was leaking from the vehicle. The dealer and the manufacturer were both notified and the contact was advised the vehicle was not under recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 82,150. Updated 11/16/10.

- Kansas City , MO, USA

problem #34

Aug 012010


  • 55,000 miles


Just like a similar recall the plastic supply or return port on my cars reservoir assembly has cracked. Potentially leading to a fuel leak that could cause decreased efficiency and performance. Worse, if that leaking gasoline comes into contact with an ignition source of any kind, it will ignite.

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #33

Jul 302010


  • 101,000 miles
1. fuel odor in vehicle. 2. fuel pump module leaking at seal on pressure line. Fuel leaking causing great hazard to drive vehicle 3. vehicle was repaired at authorized dealer where vehicle was purchased. (dealership has old parts) the part that was replaced at a cost of $550.35 was the same part number in recall of 2006 Chevy Cobalts, however this VIN# was not included in the recall and was said to be not covered or reimbursed because the vehicle was no longer under warranty, and because it had 101K miles on it. A very dangerous driving situation knowing there was huge risk for fire on the vehicle while driving it.

- Wellington, KS, USA

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problem #32

Jul 232010


  • 74,000 miles
I recently purchased a used 2006 Chevy Cobalt. With-in two weeks started noticing gas smell coming from the car. The fuel system plastic supply/ return port on the modular reservoir assembly cracked and fuel is dripping from the area.

- West Point, VA, USA

problem #31

Jan 012010


  • 52,000 miles


Started leaking fuel approximately Jan 2010. Loss of fuel mileage affected my asthma which caused me to go into hospital. Was inspected and was reported that the lines were leaking. You can smell gas fumes within 100 feet of car.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #30

May 122010


  • miles
Having accident because power steering went off. The car was in shop (vara Chevrolet san antonio, tx)on April 28, 2010. Asking dealer to fixed it. Saying no parts. After 2-3 weeks got an accident, dealer still did not have parts. Took car to the shop. (benson Chevrolet san antonio tx) dealer called allstate without asking or informing us. They did not want to pay. Car is in the shop since May 13 2010 until today's date (June 27 2010) asking for rental car. Local dealer authorized it. After GMC Chevrolet found out we put a complaint on BBB cancel rental meantime the car is still in the shop. Due to the complaint. They knew the consequence why sent letter without no parts and now do not want pay for the repairs.the car is 2006 and it has 4 recalls. 1. fuel pump. 2. power steering not fixed on time. 3.power train: Automatic transmision.4.structure. Already had fuel pump and power steering defected.

- Elmendorf, TX, USA

problem #29

Jun 242006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
I have owned my 2006 Chevy Cobalt since June 2006 and have had numerous problems out of this car. I have had to pay out of pocket for every repair because they seem to all happen before a recall is issued and the dealerships will not refund money on the repairs. 1) A/C leaks water in passenger side floor board. I have had it in the shop 3 times and it is still leaking. No one can figure out why the water is leaking into the car. 2) gas tank had to be replaced due to fuel lines cracking. 3) power steering went out while my husband was driving on the interstate and was about 130 miles from home. 4) the car would die if the RPM's got too low, this was caused by a carbon build up on the idler. 5) there is no way to check the transmission fluid and it is starting to slip and take forever to upshift. 6) the key gets stuck in the ignition and will not come out. 7) the drivers side door gets stuck and will not open. 8) the door latch sometimes messes up and the door does not close. 9) the stereo display and buttons no longer work. I can not use the cd player for fear of losing the cd for ever since the eject button doesn't work. I can not see the clock or what station the radio is on. The car lost its value so fast that even after 4 yrs of having it I still can not trade it in due to the amt. I still owe on it. So I am stuck driving this piece of crap until it is paid for. I have already invested several thousands of dollars into this car for these problems. I believe that the car is a lemon and I should be reimbursed for the car and all of the out of pocket repairs I have had to make.

- Gilmer, TX, USA

problem #28

Jun 122010


  • 52,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. In the past week my wife and I have noticed a strong odor of fuel in the passenger cabin and around the vehicle after we have stopped. I called Chevy and they tell me their is no recall on my vehicle for fuel problems. However, I see the that there is a recall on the same year, make and model for fuel issues that are eerily similar to mine. The gentleman from GM said that Chevy would not cover this issue. I believe that this is a Chevy issue and that the NHTSA should get involved with this.

- Havelock, NC, USA

problem #27

Feb 252010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles


To whom it may concern, I am an owner of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt VIN [xxx]. the reason I am filing a complaint is in February I had a problem with an incredibly strong gas odor filling the cabin of my car and so I went to the dealer I purchased it from and they found that the fuel pump module needed replacing. They did the repair work and charged me a total of $558.89 for the replacement of the pump. I am aware that there is a recall for 2006 Cobalts for faulty fuel pump modules (recall #09226). I tried to get reimbursement for the repair work since my VIN is well within the range of recalled vehicles but GM is claiming I have no right to do so. Any help you could provide me with would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Happy Valley, OR, USA

problem #26

May 212010


  • 70,000 miles
I see there are issues on the fuel module on the 2006 Chevy Cobalts, and I took it to get replaced however when I take my car to get diagnosed it continues to say there is something with a misfire, and my fuel evaporating. I am having multiple problems with my 06 Cobalts and has I have done extenuous research and every problem I've found online over 1000 complaints and blogs, and sites where customers are all complaining about the same issue. I am a working college student and drive to work and school everyday. My car stopped on the freeway the other day, and almost caused an accident however the vehicle slammed on their brakes. Not only the fuel line but also my car key does not come out the ignition. All these issues are ongoing and I have found over 10,0000 unsatisfied consumers all with the same issues with the Cobalts. This is a big issue, and I am tired of dealing with Chevrolet as this is there product and they are only trying to get the money and make you pay for all the services. These are major issues all going out at the same time.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #25

Nov 022009


  • 78,016 miles
On November 2, 2009 there was a strong fuel smell, I brought the vehicle to my repair shop and they dropped the tank and found that the fuel pump port was leaking, pump was replaced and the old pump is availble

- Imperial, MO, USA

problem #24

Mar 202010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 72,250 miles
Yesterday 03/20/10 on Saturday night at 11:30pm to 11:40 pm my vehicle Cobalt at close to 40 km/hr speed stop working. Like ignition off. All gauges goes to off condition like vehicle is moving without engine running.outside temp.-1degree C. I placed emergency lights on and put in parking mode then I restart my car again and it starts. This is happened second time. I took to dealer last month but there was no code. I complained to GM earlier also. They told me take to dealer when it happen and in running condition. But on Saturday at 11:30 pm on night which dealer service station is open? I have 4 times earlier sudden acceleration problem in the same vehicle also. Pl do something before it met with accident.

- Brampton, 00, USA

problem #23

Mar 032010


  • 84,000 miles
I have a 2006 Cobalt. The fuel pump started to leak gas. I was wondering why this was not part of the recall for this problem that has been in effect for other states. I live in Missouri.

- Saint Peters, MO, USA

problem #22

Nov 232009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 88,585 miles
Car developed odor of fuel. Car began to leak fuel about one month after odor appeared, fuel leak was minimal at first, progressed to large puddle of fuel and frequency became consistent with a fuel leak. Took car to personal mechanic and was diagnosed fuel pump housing was cracked in half. Mechanic replaced whole fuel pump assembly--cost $ $553.58, mileage at 88583-- received recall on fuel assembly three months later--current mileage 98,347.

- Romoland, CA, USA

problem #21

Mar 102010


  • 30,000 miles
06 Chevy Cobalt taken to dealer for fuel smell. Dealer replaced fuel pump per recall in Arizona. Cobalt taken back to dealer for fuel smell, dealer pressurized gas tank and found fitting on top of tank spraying fuel. Fire hazard. Replacement fuel tank for this Cobalt is backordered it could take weeks or months to get one. I believe the fuel pump is not the problem, it is the tank. If not why does there seem to be a problem getting a new tank.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #20

Apr 102008


  • miles
2006 Cobalt I have experienced this problem a couple of times but it did not concern me until know that I look at the recalls. When driving my car at freeway speeds I get a gasoline like smell. This has happened for a couple of years. I took it to a dealer about 2 weeks ago and they checked it out and told me that the recall did not pertain to me, but I have looked at the VIN numbers and they match but I have not received a recall letter.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #19

Sep 012008


  • 45,000 miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt-power steering failure. I have no power steering in this car now. The electrical unit that powers the power steering has gone out-failed. I took the car to a Chevy dealership and was told it would cost at the very least $800 to fix. I cannot afford to have this repaired. My son uses this car daily (now with no power steering) to and from work and to school. His commute is 1 hour on the interstate one way. My son follows a website for Cobalt owners and tells me that almost all of the emails on the website are regarding the failure of the electrical unit for the power steering. We have also had to replace the fuel tank and fuel injectors on this car. Will there be any recall for the Chevy Cobalt? there should be!!!L

- Gretna, LA, USA

problem #18

Jan 042010


  • miles
My daughter's 06 Chevy Cobalt ls steering loss power and she barley got her car out of traffic, she then waited ten minutes and started the car again and was able to drive 4 more miles before it happened again. This has continued to happen so I had to get it fixed before someone got hurt, this has cost me some very expensive car repairs, some thing needs to be done about this I've beentold by the repair shop that it could happen again since the part they replaced is the same part they ordered, which is faulty, I live in fear everytime my child gets in that car to go anywhere, and she needs a car to get to college. As I said before please don't wait for a tragedy that could be prevented. Thank you

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

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