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:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 1
Average Mileage:
66,724 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #20

Oct 122016


  • 69,000 miles


I had gotten out of my vehicle and had locked the driver's side door manually. When I unlocked the door, and tried to get in my car, the door was stuck. It wouldn't open from either the outside or inside. I tried locking and unlocking the door again, but it is still stuck shut. It is very unsafe.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #19

May 102012


  • 75,000 miles
The tc light keeps coming on now also check engine light is on the car is her jerking really hard acts like it wants to cut off doesn't matter where I'm driving or what speed I have already spent a few thousand dollars on this problem Chevy needs to fix this problem this is dangerous.

- Bedford Hts., OH, USA

problem #18

Mar 192016


  • 106,400 miles
Takata recall. My car has been at a Chevy dealership about 7 times now and they cannot fix my car, and have no idea what's wrong with it. It just shuts off while I'm driving. The breaks land steering wheel lock up and I lose control of my car. I almost ran over children crossing the street when I made a turn. I had to use my ebreak and I barely stopped in time. This keeps happening and my ignition switch recall cannot be fixed. The car is unsafe to drive. I feel like I'm gambling with my life and the life of others if I drive my car. So I cannot drive it now. This has happened several times in the course of 2 years I've had this car.

- Holmes, PA, USA

problem #17

Feb 292016


  • miles


Ever since I purchased car it'seems been nothing but problems. First it was both control arm bushing after 1 month of purchasing my 06 Chevy colbalt. I've since had to replace the entire front end all except for the steering column.which makes a loud unsettling rattling noise when I go over the slightest bump or when I turn my wheel left to right while in the park position. But now even more scary my car has been stalling out randomly and I've seen other complaint's about this issue. I've had oil changes and tunes up and a diagnostic test and I've been told the car is's not okay! today it stalled out while accelerating at a green turn arrow and I got hit from the back by the car behind me turning as well. No huge damage but I'm afraid and would like to know what is the real issue.

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #16

Jan 092014


  • 100,000 miles
Stalls after a stop. This is random. Maybe days before it does it again. On city street. Stationary. Started around 100,000 miles.

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

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problem #15

Sep 142015


  • 39,324 miles
This is GM recall #14632-transmission shifter which locks the key into the ignition cylinder. I was parked and couldn't get the key out, which should have been replaced with the recalls under 14V047 & 14V171. Stewart Chevrolet refused to do my key, which I thought was the problem. On 9/25/2015 I filed a compliant with GM asking where else I could go and if it is unsafe to drive the Cobalt with this key and with this new problem. I've never received an answer from GM nor has stewart stepped up to remedy this even now that they know the problem. Is this vehicle safe to drive, as only the first recall problems have been fixed.

- San Bruno, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 012014


  • 100,000 miles


My 2006 Cobalt has manual door locks and the top knob of the lock in the interior to unlock the door from the inside has broken off flush with the top of the door so when they are locked there is nothing to grab making it impossible to unlock. The top part of the knob simply broke off when trying to unlock the door from the inside. If the door is accidently locked while inside I have to reach through the window and use the key to unlock it from the outside. This ia a huge safety hazzard.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #13

Sep 292015


  • 82,000 miles
After putting my car into park and turning the car off I was unable to get my key out of the ignition switch, which was replaced last year. I had to jiggle the gear shift (automatic) and still had to forcefully remove the key.

- Newberg, OR, USA

problem #12

Aug 202015


  • 134,000 miles
While driving all of a sudden speedometer stopped working T/C light came on powersteering light came on. Car wouldn't go pass 35 and door locks kept on locking and unlocking while driving. GM is saying there's no recalls for this problem. When parked car came out later car wouldn't start but then next day it started but same lights went on but then car never started again, even though we replaced battery.

- Jackson, NJ, USA

problem #11

Feb 042015


  • 94,846 miles
The ignition switch locks up after I have put my vehicle in park. I then have to start my car again, foot on brake, move my shifter to neutral, back to park and hopefully im able to turn the key to off. The steering is a pain at times to deal with. Especially at slow speeds it jerks sporadically. Also im not sure if this issue has been recalled but I've read many forums of the ac leaking on the passengers floor leaving puddles of water. My car does this, through car washes and when it rains. I've also noticed that you can hear the remaining water flow left behind in the dashboard. I only had this car since November 2014 and have so many problems. If possible, can all recall repairs be performed on my car to prevent any issue in the future?

- Bakersfield , CA, USA

problem #10

Feb 142014


  • miles


I think it is ridiculous that it has taken since the recall in Feb. And there still aren't parts to replace the ignition issue. Today I received the same recall for my lacrosse!

- Prophetstown, IL, USA

problem #9

Apr 272012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
I was driving so I have to make a left turn and my car just turn off so I crash in a sidewalk after crash I just star on my car again and put in reverse and park the car and check cause the car start drop the antifreze.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #8

Jan 252009


  • 22,000 miles
You know when my son bought this car, I know he thought he had the best, this is part of your reviews. New for 2006 are ss sedan and coupe models with normally aspirated engines. These new ss models fit between the lt and ss supercharged models. Their price, power and performance and body work are all toned down from the ss supercharged coupe, but they're sporty cars and possibly the best choice in the lineup, boasting 171-horsepower engines and sports suspensions.this car was suppose to handle good. But now he is dead because of this car. Do you people at chevorlet even know how people feel or what kind of emotion a parent goes through with losing a child and how my life has changed. I will never see him get married, have children. I will never be able to talk to him, feel him, tell him I love him. Yes, I'm hurt. I want you to pay for the mess you have done for my son's life and the life of others. Because you guys hid this mess for years you knew. How many people have too get injured or die. Just look at all the recalls just for this car. Just to think Chevrolet has been the choice of vehicles we have always driven.

- Ocean Isle Beach Sw, NC, USA

problem #7

May 042010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
My wife an I were stopped at middlebrook pike traffic light waiting for the oncoming traffic to pass on western avenue in knoxville, Tennessee so that we could make a right turn. We were rear ended by another vehicle who failed to stop. My seat belt did not restrain me, I was bouncing back and forth several times(I remember going back and forth around 3 to 4 times before it knocked me out). The seat belt just did not hold me ! at that time I weighed about 250 to 260lbs. I was paralyzed from the waist down for about 9 days at the university of Tennessee hospital in knoxville on the neuro floor. I have been to [xxx] rehabation several times and they have fitted me for a power wheel chair. If the seatbelt would have worked properly I would not be in this situation the head rest is bent and loose were my head bounced off of it severaltimes, an the seat itself moves when it is supposed to be stationary(it can go forward or backward) without warning.the car dealer said they was a recall on the seat belts on this car but they never did fix them. The car dealer had people who bought vehicles sign papers that they had their pre-delivery inspection when they did not. The dealer would give them a tank of gas for it an also for any letter from GM on ranking the local dealer's service favorably only. This dealer knew of several recalls on this vehicle but they did not want to fix them under the manufacture wife called GM headquarters and they told her that if she had any more problems with her car they would replace it. I also have a spinal cord injury. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #6

Jan 012010


  • 75,000 miles
Passenger side door started to not close when this first started and after a while the door got completely stuck and will not open and the passenger side door handle is cracking almost ready to brake. Driver side door is starting to stick shut also.

- Appleton, NY, USA

problem #5

Mar 242011


  • 69,900 miles
They key is stuck in the ignition due to a problem with a micro switch in the shifter. You can shift the car into gear without touching the button

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Mar 182010


  • 102,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, the check engine light will come on in the car and the car will just stop or sometimes the check engine light doesn't come on and the car will stop. I was crossing a busy intersection and the car just stopped, I tried to start it back up but it just stalled. This has happened several times were you could be driving and the car will just stop. I was at a stop light and the car just stop. It's becoming a driving hazard, because I really don't know when the car will just stop on me. I have had a diagnostic check on the car from the dealership and they found nothing wrong and I had them check it again they said it was a sensor. The next day after the dealership checked my car the car stopped again in traffic. Now this will be the third time I will have take it for repairs to see what is wrong. I'm afraid I'll get hurt or my teenager daughter will get hurt, because the car just stops. The car also stoppped on the expressway while driving, I was in the slow lane and was able to pull over. Can you please help...

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #2

Mar 262010


  • 75,000 miles
My 2006 Chevy Cobalt will sometimes loose power when you turn a corner or from take off. It will hesitate for a few seconds a then start to take off gradually. There has been no engine light on but one time. The electric power steering light came on (making a dinging noise) then went off when the car started to run better. Seems to have more problems during the colder weather. I called GM dealerships and they said there is nothing they can do about it. It a safety issue because people are behind you when you take off and all of a sudden your car starts to act like it has no power and I almost been hit from behind. Amco transmisson place told me it might be something with the transmission trying to take off in second gear. GM dealerships said they doubt it and would not look at it. I was wondering if anyone else has had problems. GM in tulsa, claremore Oklahoma said they never heard of it but I do not belive them. This problem happens all the time.

- Claremore , OK, USA

problem #1

Mar 122010


  • 50,000 miles
For the last 10 days I have been having problems with my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. For some reason after U park the car the vehicle wont go all the way into park and U cant remove the key from the ignition. Also when I start the car the shifter seems to be completely stuck and after I continue to restart and press the brake it finally will move. Seems to be a linkage problem. I looked this up online and other people are having the same problem. So my vehicle has been sitting in the garage since Saturday with the keys stuck in it. When are we gonna start getting proper recalls on this car or have it labeled as a lemon. I just got it out of the shop a month ago for the power steering problem.

- Longview, TX, USA

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