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 19 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #757

Feb 272010


  • 67,000 miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalt at time is hard to turn a low speed. I talked to the dealer about the problem. He said he could not tell me if my car was part of the recall or not. He also told me I should be be getting a waring lighton my dash

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #756

Mar 292010


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at approximately 35 mph, the vehicle lost power steering which made it extremely difficult to turn the steering wheel. The same failure occurred about 300 times. The vehicle had not been taken to the dealership at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 67,000.

- Sandusky, OH, USA

problem #755

Feb 282010


  • 26,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25mph to 35mph the power steering goes out. As the power steering goes out the vehicle is being pull to the side of the road turned off and on and then the steering would reset itself. The GM manufacture was call and inform contact his VIN is not included in the recall and there is nothing they can do in regards to the failure. The vehicle was never taken to the dealer for a diagnostic check. The failure mileage was 26,

- Beaver, PA, USA

problem #754

Mar 262010


  • 61,000 miles


My 2006 Chevrolet colbalt's power steering stopped working, causing loss of control

- Kenosha, WI, USA

problem #753

Jan 012009


  • miles
My son owns a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. GM has elected not to recall his car at this time even though he has experienced loss of power steering while driving. His car has around 60000+ miles. If he shuts the car off and waits a few minutes he regains power steering. I am not sure how often this occurs be cause he is at school. GM gave him a case number and said he could have a diagnostic preformed. Why should he have to pay for this and why are they being selective on cars. Do not have specific date on failures.

- Vicksburg, MS, USA

problem #752

Mar 262010


  • 86,500 miles
I own a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Well to begin, I initially had an issue with my shift column, which I researched and found out it was a common issue with this vehicle. It would cause my key to get stuck in the ignition. I took it to the delearship and they replace the whole column. Then a a couple of week later, my vehicle was accelerating really fun, I just blew it off for a moment, until I then tried to put my car in reverse one day, and it would not go anywhere. I took it to the delearship and they told me my transmission is slipping, at 86,000 miles. The dealearship has my car, and is trying to figure out if it's even worth fixing. Im also wondering if this problem could have been caught the intial time they fixed the vehicle, and figured it was my shifting column, because even with my transmission slipping, it also affected the shifting column. One other problem I have had with the vehicle is the air bag sensor, I have not got this fixed yet, because the dealearship wants to charge $99 just to see exactly what's causing my airbag sensor to not come on, when I have passengers with me.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #751

Mar 262010


  • 92,150 miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6). I was driving home this evening from work when I got the "power steering" warning on my dash. Soon after, I noticed my car would buck and jerk quite violently. It got to the point that I did not feel safe driving on the interstate so I pulled over. I called my local dealership, george weber, remembering there was a recall on 2006 Chevy Cobalts, to my dismay, my car was not included in this so called recall that was announced in March. However, the service department employee, marsha, did acknowledge that the symptoms I had experienced coincided with the symptoms of two vehicles that were fixed at her shop. The only difference was those two vehicles were under the recall, but my car is not. It is imperative that this recall extend to all Cobalts that stand a chance of having the same issues. I was very scared for my safety and the other on the road as I felt I had no control over my vehicle. The scariest feeling is that it came out of no where. [xxx]

- Waterloo, IL, USA

problem #750

Mar 242010


  • 54,000 miles
The power steering goes out at random times. I get a warning signal on the instrument panel, and the steer becomes very difficult. If I stop the car and shut it off, the steering is restored for awhile. This happened to me on the highway, at highway speed. This is very concerning.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #749

Feb 122010


  • 45,000 miles
I was just pulling out of a parking space and the power steering failed this has only happened once and it became very difficult to steer the car and the power steering light came on. I turned the car off and then turned the car back on and I have not had the problem since

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #748

Mar 162010


  • 62,506 miles
Inability to steer, car was taking to dealer, they was not able to get the car to duplicate

- Opelika, AL, USA

problem #747

Mar 202010


  • 42,100 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt ltz. About 3 months ago, I was driving and "power steering" appeared on my dashboard along with a chime noise and a few other warning signs. I took it to a shop and they found nothing wrong with it. Just this past Tuesday 3/16/10 it did the same thing so I pulled over, turned it off and let it sit. After about an hour I drove home and it was fine. Then today 3/20/10 it happened again as I was driving so I pulled over and turned it off for 10 minutes, started again, and the warning lights were still there. I turned it off and on a few more times but the problem was still present. I continued to drive then, and the whole time the power steering warning came on and off along with the chime. The traction control and engine lights stayed on also. A few hours later, I started my car and the engine light stayed on the whole time until I got to my house.

- York, PA, USA

problem #746

Jan 152010


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 25 mph at night the vehicles power steering suddenly stopped working. A digital check power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact called the manufacturer who stated that were not sure which vehicles would be on the recall list. They also stated that they are uncertain if they would assume liability for the repairs. The failure mileage was 49,000 and the current mileage was 53,506.

- Pimebrook Pines, FL, USA

problem #745

Mar 172010


  • 73,000 miles
Power steering defaults.....

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #744

Mar 172010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt suddenly lost power steering and became extremely difficult to control, almost causing an accident on more than one occasion.

- Seaside Park, NJ, USA

problem #743

Jul 232009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While traveling at speeds of 30 mph, the power steering failed causing the steering wheel to become extremely difficult to maneuver. The contact stated that the failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 60,000 and the current mileage was 88,000.

- Florissant, MO, USA

problem #742

Mar 162010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 59,117 miles
The electronic power steering when out on my car several times almost getting me and my friend in to a accident. I was able to get my car home safely but had to drive with extreme caution. Turning was more then difficult. The power steering would come back when I turned the car back on but shortly after would turn off again. I tried to fix it but it was to no avail it just kept turning off. This of cores makes it to where I cant even get to work safely with out worrying about my steering going completely out.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #741

Mar 122010


  • 89,000 miles
I was driving and I was turning on a curb. I lost my power steering. I was going 50 mph. I went to take the car to the dealer and turned the car and once I restarted my car the power steering was back as if nothing happened. I was told by 2 dealer that my car is not on a recall list. And, that I needed to get the power steer motor replaced most likely.

- Landover Hills, MD, USA

problem #740

Mar 092010


  • 70,000 miles
My 2006 Chevy Cobalt's power steering is not working. A few days ago the steering felt as if it were sticking. Going into a turn there would be no power steering and I would have to really torque the wheel, then, in the same turn it would suddenly come back on causing me to oversteer and swerve. Now it usually isn't working but occasionally does.

- Kingston, NH, USA

problem #739

Mar 112010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
I was driving on the highway in denver Colorado when my power steering went complete out I had no control on the steering of the can I pumped my brakes to come to a complete stop. Should I have been driving the car during rush hour I could have been killed or killed someone else.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #738

Mar 122010

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer states steering and front end problems. The consumer stated the vehicle has been to the repair shop 3 times for front end problems. The coil pack and module had to be replaced. The shift lever failed and would not release the key when the engine was turned off.

- Greenville, PA, USA

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