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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 172007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


1) when parking my Cobalt, 3 of every 5 times my key becomes stuck in the ignition. I have to do things like--apply the brake off-and-on repeatedly, shift in-and-out of park repeatedly, and sometimes even rock the car back-and-forth with my body until it "clicks" into place and I can take my key out of the ignition. I work late shift at the hospital. It is a very scary situation to be stuck in the dark--in the middle of a parking lot--not able to get the key out of the ignition. 2)periodically, when I start up my Cobalt, the clock on my dashboard will start back at "12:00". it is very frustrating to have to keep resetting my clock. Why is this happening? 3) as I drive my Cobalt, the back windows slowly roll themselves down. I am constantly having to reach back and roll them up. They do not roll themselves down all the way, but they crack themselves enough to hear the air coming in. 4) since I bought my Cobalt I have had problems with my headlights pointing downward too much. I have brought them in to be adjusted on more than one occasion. They are still not adjusted correctly, and--at times-- I have to squat down in my seat at night in order to see "under" my headlights, so I do not cause an accident. There was a wreck associated with this headlight problem late in '06 involving a deer on the highway becuase it was impossible to see in time.

- Wadesville, IN, USA

problem #1

Oct 112006

Cobalt 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Excessive glare from poor design of headlight causing excessive glare and safety risk for other vehicles and obstruction of pedestrian and road hazards. This applies to all Chevy Cobalt coupe and sedan model ls lt ss sited to date. Headlights are overly bright and misadjusted also causing blinding of other vehicles and pedestrians. Serious safety issue contributing to distraction, glare blinding and eye strain.

- Freehold, NJ, USA

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