Print this page 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:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,686 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 #7

Jun 202016


  • 180,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was involved in a front end collision and the air bags failed to deploy. In addition, the seat belt pretensioner failed to retract. The vehicle was towed to a tow yard. A police report was filed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The driver sustained a sprained shoulder, facial abrasions, and minor cuts. The passenger sustained a laceration to the chin. Both occupants required medical attention. The failure mileage was approximately 180,000.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #6

May 072013


  • 174,800 miles
The light on the dash switches over and says that it is on whenever the vehicle is running and someone is sitting in it but it will ding at them until they put their seat belt on. Whenever they put the seat belt on, the driver information center (dic) on my dash tells me to service airbag and the light that tells when the airbag is on or off says that it is off.

- Trenton, MO, USA

problem #5

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 #4

Jan 022011

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


On occasion my seat belt gets stuck and wont unbuckle. This is not safe if you need to hurry and get out.

- Blanco, TX, USA

problem #3

Jul 142010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the driver's side front seat belt webbing was worn. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the webbing was replaed 4 times. The failure mileage was approximately 22,000 and the current mileage was approximately 21,000. Updated 1/21/11 updated 04/18/11

- Kent, WA, USA

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problem #2

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 #1

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

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