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:
68 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
129 / 3
Average Mileage:
60,623 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 18 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #777

Apr 242010


  • 55,438 miles


I was backing out of my driveway when my power steering went out. My car beeped at me 3 times before the steering went out and beeped 3 times when the steering came back on. It was out for about 5 seconds but I had my 9 month old daughter in the car and I do not feel safe driving knowing my power steering could go out at any second. I received a letter from chevorlet stating there has been a recall but that I need to wait for another letter that says the parts to correct the situation are in.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #776

Feb 192010


  • 74,600 miles
Purchased 2006 Chevy Cobalt lt in January on the 13 of the month later the steer column start locking up. Contact a General Motors and chevorlet service department and was told there as a recall on the power steering it happen every time you drive under 15-20 miles a hour it goes to manual driving very hard to turnthe steering wheel as long as your driving 30-40 miles it has power steering, I was told that chevorlet has not found a way to correct this problem and it was going to a be recalled. I was also told if I brought it in before the recall I would have to pay for it and sign a form that said the dealership would not be held liable after it was fixed. It has been three month since I spoke to GM and the dealership and I haven't heard anything about the recall. This is very dangerous I have a infant and wife that some time rides in my card and if I have to turn quickly I might not be able to. Also if someone or a car turn in front of me I might not be able to turn the car because of the power steering being out in this vehicle. Nothing has been done by the dealership to fix this problem as of today.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #775

Apr 232010


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving at speeds of 65 mph there was an unusual noise and the power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle would intermittently lose power steering. The dealer would not perform a diagnostic or further investigate the failure. He advised he was unable to make repairs and advised that he contact the NHTSA. The manufacturer had not been contacted. The failure and current mileages were 103,000. The VIN was not available.

- Edwards, MS, USA

problem #774

Apr 162010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 95,814 miles


The power steering light came on, on my 06' Chevy Cobalt and the steeling was hard to turn in any direction. I had to pull over because I had my son with me. I don't think it safe to drive my car anymore.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #773

Jan 012010


  • 50,000 miles
Chevy Cobalt power steering failure.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #772

Aug 012008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Intermediate power steering goes out and message is displayed to service power steering, this happens every time I drive the vehicle. Loud clunking noise is coming from steering column.

- Denton, MD, USA

problem #771

Jun 162009


  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when turning in any direction, he noticed that the power steering failed and the vehicle jolted. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership but the dealer refused to perform the repair for recall (10V073000 regarding steering:electric power assist system) because her vehicle was not included. The contact then called the manufacturer who assigned her a case worker who advised her to make an appointment with the dealer at her expense. The VIN was unavailable at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 45,000. The current mileage was approximately 56,000.

- Summers, CT, USA

problem #770

Apr 052010


  • 47,900 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph when the power steering failed without warning. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle began to operate normally. The failure occurred sporadically. The contact experienced the identical failure as mentioned in the recall under NHTSA campaign id number 10V073000 (steering: Electric power assist system). The vehicle had not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 47,900. The current mileage was 48,000.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #769

Mar 092010


  • 48,200 miles
Driving on a residential road in a 35 - 25 mph zone. Proceeded to brake into a turn traveling at approximately 15-20mph and came upon a stopped truck in my lane. The driver of the truck was loading a ladder into his vehicle. I applied my brake and proceed to enter the other lane to avoid the truck. As a entered the other lane my power steering light came on and I had difficulty controlling the car and keeping it in the opposite lane of traffic going straight. At this point I am going about 3-5 mph and I am trying to force the wheel to the right. I was unable to keep the car in the opposite lane of traffic and I proceeded to hit the embankment on the left hand side of the road traveling at a very low speed. Felt like a slow motion crash. My vehicle struck the embankment on the left hand side causing minor damage to the exterior of the vehicle. The impact was such that my radiator to the car was bent and needed to be replaced. After my vehicle came to a stop the check engine light and the power steering light remained illuminated. I was able to reverse the vehicle and drive it to a safe location on the side of the road and call police. I have not seen either of these lights since the accident and my car was fixed.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #768

Dec 232009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the power steering failed. The contact pulled over, shut the vehicle off and restarted it. The power steering still failed intermittently. The vehicle was not inspected when the complaint was filed. The failure mileage was approximately 50,000. The current mileage was approximately 63,800.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #767

Apr 042010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 106,443 miles


2006 Chevrolet Cobalt VIN# [xxx] intermittent loss of power steering. Determined that recall for this problem had been initiated 3/10/10 and contacted Chevrolet for assistance. Chevrolet claimed my car was not affected. I invite them to try to drive my car never knowing when the steering might go out. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Eureka Springs, AR, USA

problem #766

Jan 022010


  • miles
I was driving slow around a bend and my car lost complete control spun around three times almost hit a bus, then the steering wheel locked completely on me. I had to try to coast it down the hill to pull over for traffic. It has done this three times so far with the spinning, even on days that there is dry roads. I also parked the car went into a drugstore and came out and the car steering was totally locked as well. I don't understand why this is doing it and I feel that this is a unsafe car as I Transport my children around. I no longer am confident in that car. It also slides all over the road in winter and I also have studded tires.

- Averill Park, NY, USA

problem #765

Mar 082010


  • miles
The power steering just started turning off. Sometimes when I am making sharp turns, other times it just shuts off at random. I would say it happens every other day that I am driving. It makes it a safety hazard because it is almost impossible to make quick or sharp turns, and is just overall hard to drive.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #764

Mar 292010


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at approximate speeds of 45 mph, the power steering warning light illuminated on the warning panel, immediately followed by a loss of power steering control. The contact then shut the engine off and then restarted the vehicle. The power steering had reset itself and was operating normally. The failure mileage was 46,000 and the current mileage was 46,700.

- Fortworth, TX, USA

problem #763

Apr 032010


  • 9,000 miles
Me and my kids ages 7 and 5 were headed home when my car locked up around a curve and then power steering light come on, thank god I was able to stop!! this car could have cost our lives.... I looked up my car on the internet and the 2006 Chevy Cobalt has been recalled!! how bout that..... what can be done about this? I don't know about these vehicles they have become dangerous I'm kind of scared to own a newer model car, that makes Toyota and Chevy that has been recalled. And they are not little problems!!!! are they using cheaper parts or not testing them right... they need to figure out something or it could cost my kids and my life... and no car is worth that!!! the company needs to be alot more concerned about there products... I haven't called the company yet but I read all the reports and some people had to pay for Chevy screw up and that is not fair to me or my kids!!!

- Briggsville, AR, USA

problem #762

Mar 312010


  • 47,500 miles
Power steering stops working while driving car

- Alden, NY, USA

problem #761

Apr 012010


  • 0 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 15 mph, the power steering failed while the contact was making a turn. The contact was unable to control the vehicle when it crashed into a concrete base. One passenger was injured and a police report was filed. The air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop; the contact had not called the manufacturer when the complaint was filed. The VIN was unavailable when the complaint was filed. The current and failure mileages were unknown.

- Cape Carl, FL, USA

problem #760

Mar 222010


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ls. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the power steering failed and it began to malfunction on a daily basis. The contact called the dealer and was informed that the power steering failure was electrical. The vehicle had not been taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing when the complaint was filed. The current and failure mileages were approximately 88,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #759

Mar 302010


  • 74,951 miles
Electric power steering went out today on my 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. It was working fine this morning, and I got off of work, went to start my car, once I started moving, I noticed that my power steering didn't work anymore. Does GM have a recall for this yet? I am not paying money to fix this problem, it is a manufacturer defect and they need to recall it so I can get it fixed.

- Burleson, TX, USA

problem #758

Feb 012010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the power steering failed and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The failure occurred intermittently. The manufacturer advised the contact that there were no related recalls for her VIN and would not provide any assistance. The failure mileage was 48,000 and the current mileage was 58,000. Updated 6/1/10 updated 06/04/10.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

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