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:
9 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,526 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #12

Jun 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 43,000 miles


My Chevy Cobalt 2006, has had the issue with the emergency air bag lighting up and saying it is off and I get the message that the "air bag needs to be serviced". I have less than 45 thousand miles. Around June 2010, my mother and I were in the car and we were on the highway when we heard the beeping sound and the airbag light turned on, meaning the passenger side airbag was off. It is suppose to turn on automatically, but has not. Every time we start the car the beeping sound starts and the passenger side has no airbag protection. I have noticed that many people are who have the Chevy Cobalt have the same issue.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #11

Mar 212010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
While driving 45 mph. Lost control of vehicle. Hit ditch, went up embankment, airborn, landing and breaking power pole gude wire, continuing 300 ft, frontal impact into tree. Vehicle totaled. Front rear, under carriage and rear damage. Airbags did not deploy, seatbelt did not lock. Contacted

- Gray Court, SC, USA

problem #10

Mar 262010


  • 16,769 miles
We bought a 2,006 Chevy Cobalt with 16.769miles on it. Was not told it was used as a lease vehicle and was not told that it was bought at an you can see we certainly are not very happy to begin with. Hidden truths.we was called on March 26,2010 at 10;30 to go and pick upour vehicle. "they had just finished putting the sterring column in-recall but said it was not for our vehicle....we turned the vehicle on and the airbag light came on and stayed on until we arrived home some 30 miles away. Was told it was in the sensor and persons weight-O.K. then just leaning on it kept it on again. This is dangerous. Any recalls and how can this be fixed?

- Groveton, NH, USA

problem #9

Mar 152009


  • 59,000 miles


The contact owned a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving less than 55 mph, the driver crashed into the preceding vehicle. The frontal air bags failed to deploy. There were no injuries. The vehicle was destroyed and the front end was smashed into the interior of the vehicle. The insurance company was concerned that the impact was at high enough speeds so that the air bags should have deployed. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 59,000.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 032009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,900 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While making a left turn, the contact's vehicle was struck on the front driver's side by another vehicle. The vehicle spun around and crashed into a curve. The frontal air bags failed and the left side of the contact's head struck the window. A police report was filed. The insurance appraiser inspected the vehicle and was unable to determine why the air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The speed was unknown. The failure mileage was 40,900. Updated 3/27/09 updated 04/01/09.

- Corfu, NY, USA

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problem #7

Jul 262008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. In April of 2008, the vehicle was involved in a crash while driving 10 mph. The air bags failed to deploy. Recently, the vehicle was involved in a crash with a truck and both the driver's side and passenger side air bags failed to deploy. The vehicle was destroyed and two occupants were injured. A police report was filed. The failure mileage was 30,000. Updated 09/23/08. Updated 09/24/08.

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #6

Jun 142006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 2,000 miles


I was driving to work on rt 8 in butler, pa. A deer ran into my car, hitting the front end. I was going about 50 mph. I slammed on the brakes and got out to look at my car. The front bumper was completely smashed, along with the bumper being folded, ac condenser broke, grille broke, radiator broke. I got back in my car and noticed the air bag symbol was on but by air bags didn't deploy. I wasn't wearing a seat belt and I was the only one in the car. My seat belts locked up for some reason and the air bags didn't go off. I called the Chevy company and asked them why, and they told me that you need to hit the car in a certain spot on the car, but a mechanic told me usually if the rebar is cracked the air bags go off. They said there is nothing they can do about it. I paid the car off and I didn't have full coverage. So my car is practically garbage. I think they should at least fix the air bag problem and the seat belts.

- Butler, PA, USA

problem #5

Jun 282007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,450 miles
I was at a red light, the light turned green I started to go and the person in front of me in a PT CRUISER stopped short and I hit him in the rear causing so much damage to my front end. How on earth can they give this car even 1 star for front end collisions, if I was going any faster I would have been killed! the entire bumper, hood, the structure that holds the bumper is ruined and my compressor to the air conditioning as well, this was all at the speed of approx 2 to 4 miles per hour! the airbags never deployed either, showing that this was not a heavy impact, however this car just crumpled and I am worried for my saftey driving in my car. I go to college and then to work and I am scared that if someone were to hit me I don't even have a chance in this car that claims to have good impact results. There was no damage to the other car and I was the one that was injured, my back and both knees. I would like more information on this car and the results from minor fender benders as they call it to see if maybe there is something wrong with the structure of just my car, or all the 2006 Cobalt 4 door sedans.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA

problem #4

Apr 162007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,620 miles
2006 Chevrolet colbalt. Vehicle was involved in collision hitting another vehicle on the right side causing damages to the front end. Consumer states that the air bags did not deploy. Update 4/25/07

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #3

Nov 022006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles
(1) car shuts itself off while I was driving down the freeway. During@ rush hour I veered away ( w-no power to car ),from traffic behind me. Parked, shut car off, took key out of ignition, then replaced and started it back up, and proceeded enroute. (2) after market cruise control failure to shut off and turn on. (3) result of above (2)after market cruise control takes its own mind and decides to fully accelerate until gearing down in hopes it 'awakes' the computer (automatic transmission),then cruise control will finally shut off. (consequence ) passenger had a heart attack. I called a taxi. "he's ok" (4) service air bags light have been on since 20, K miles I now have 47, xxx miles. (5)stock tires and rims wobble with irritating continous noises -can't ge rid of it. (6) stock seats driver and passenger sides both were installed incorrectlythey are really slantedlike this ( / \ ). (7) a clunking bucket sounding noise fills very slowly, (health problems) an odor is always present leaving me light headed, nautious while driving, dizzy exiting car, and with breathing problems -like shortness of breath. I have severe back problems now, and can not sit in the car for more than 20 min, upon a break of fresh air and a walk for the spine. (8) brakes sound and feel (when applied),scratchy.@5,000 miles the Chevy dealership had to turn and shave allready my disc brakes saying they were worn in. (9) my heater makes a lot of noises when using it. (10) acceleration hesitation.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 152007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles
- while driving on a rainy day on a main road, the contact lost control of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt at a speed of 40 mph, causing the vehicle to crash into a hillside that had a big rock sticking out. The entire front of the vehicle sustained damage, the radiator, transmission and engine were crushed. The contact stated that the frontal air bags never deployed. Prior to the incident there was no warning that the air bags weren't working. The consumer hit a ditch before hitting the hillside. The seat belt didn't restrain the consumer. Updated 02/27/07.

- Falmouth, KY, USA

problem #1

Jan 062006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 2,567 miles
: the contact stated while attempting to apply brake pressure at 40 mph the vehicle hit another vehicle from behind and the airbags did not deploy. A police report was filed at the scene and there were no injuries. The vehicle sustained front end damage. It was towed to the dealership and the front end was replaced. The manufacturer was contacted.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

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