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:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 1
Average Mileage:
142,160 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

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 #27

Jun 112018


  • 155,000 miles
Traction control light comes on. Difficult to control car due to rough year shifting, lose power steering. Car eventually loses power.dangerous cannot get out of traffic without causing accident. Turn off car and restart all lights are off and seems ok but will randomly happen again-- two times in same week!!!! this is crazy, afraid to drive vehicle but have no choice cannot lose my job.

- Aberdeen, MD, USA

problem #26

Mar 132018


  • miles
I had the ignition switch changed 3 years ago and it is now messed up. My car won't start and I need a new ignition switch

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #25

Jan 072018


  • 134,000 miles


Takata recall. I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt 2.2. the traction control light is on and the power steering is on the dash. When driving it has a hard shift to it and power steering at all. It all start with the traction control light come on. I cant not get it off.

- Linclon, DE, USA

problem #24

Nov 052017


  • 1,700,000 miles
A few years ago I had my car sent in for the recall that caused the vehicle to shut off. Now I am having the exact same issue again! when I come to a stop or slow down at an intersection the vehicle will shut off and lose all power! I have done a lot of research and this is still happening for a lot of people. Mechanics cannot give a for sure answer as to what could possibly be causing this issue.

- Arlington Heights, IL, USA

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problem #23

May 272017


  • 142,000 miles
After smelling gas I brought my car to the dealer and they said nothing was wrong. After smelling gas real bad years later I brought it to a repair shop and was told the fuel pump was leaking. This was a covered extended warranty from Chevy. The dealer I went to also told me it is definitely a free repair under warranty. I called Chevy and they were very rude and told me it is not covered. I would have brought it to a dealer for repair if they sent me a notice. The dealer printed a paper showing me it was covered with no limit in miles or years. Please help.

- Walden, NY, USA

problem #22

May 042017


  • 150,000 miles


I was locked inside of my vehicle because the doors would not unlock. While pressing the lock/unlock button from the inside of the vehicle, the locks would not move up/down. It took about 30minutes before the locks opened up and that was only on the passenger side. The driver side never opened. My vehicle was parked/stationery.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #21

Apr 022017


  • 95,000 miles
Car smells like burning wire, locks unlock all day and all night, some electrical problem drains battery over night. I am terrified. GMC will not contact me.

- Newport News, VA, USA

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

problem #15

Sep 142015

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 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

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