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 20 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #737

Jun 172009


  • 91,422 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact was driving approximately 45 mph. The power steering warning light illuminated on the dashboard with a loss of power steering. The vehicle was able to continue in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer. The failure was contributed to the steering column. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 91,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #736

Mar 022010


  • 54,000 miles
2006 Chevy Cobalt. The car started to rattle when driving couple days latter the steering wheel started to wobble from side to side. I took it to a automotive repair garage and had the look at the problem and was told by the garage that the rack & pinion steering assembly needed to be replaced. There was a lot of play in the steering assembly. The garage had me speak to the local Chevy dealer. The service department informed me that there has been major problems with the Cobalts steering and there is 1.3 million Chevy & Pontiac cars that have a steering issues but there is nothing they could do for me but buy a new assembly at $367 plus labor to correct the problem. GM might recall the problem. The steering has locked up on me today after the GM dealer said it was ok to drive. Thank god I was no going at a low speed. I hope that nobody gets killed. I have parked the car until I can have a new assembly installed by the repair garage. The assembly is a special order from a GM dealer. This also takes a toll on the tires and front end.

- Garden Grove , CA, USA

problem #735

Nov 122008


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 50 mph the vechile lost power and the engine shut off. When the vehicle shut off the steering wheel was very difficult to control. The power steering warning light illuminated when the failure occurred. After the vehicle lost power the contact was only able to drive to the dealer at 5 mph. The dealer was performing a diagnostic test and will let her know the results. The failure mileage was 34,000.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #734

Mar 072010


  • 10,789 miles


I'm driving the car and randomly the power steering flashes on the screen and my power steering stops working. Turn the car off and back on and the issue goes away.

- Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #733

Mar 072010


  • 33,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving 60mph she noticed that the power steering light had appeared on the dashboard, moments later the vehicle no longer had any power steering. The vehicle has been taken to the dealership on several different occasions where the contact was informed that the failure could not be reproduced or serviced. There were no prior warnings and the current and failure mileages were 33000.

- Clarendon Hills, IL, USA

problem #732

Mar 132009


  • 72,842 miles
I own a Chevy Cobalt lt and the power steering goes off and its hard to control.

- Springdale , AR, USA

problem #731

Dec 012009


  • 85,067 miles


Power steering stops working.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #730

Feb 032010


  • miles
6 months ago the power steering on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt stop working. Car was over warranty & took it to ray price Chevy dealership, mt pocono pa. Charged me $907 to repair the power steering column and box (electric). Car did not appear to be handling as prior to failure & replacement. Took car back several times and svc mgr would not look at it. Said there was nothing he could do. I continued to use the car with slightly irregular power steering. On 2/3/2010 I was going to work on lightly snow covered rd which I have been driving for 26 yrs. I had the car in low gear and had snow tires on the car. I drove around downhill winding road and could not bring the car's steering back under control. I hit a few trees just missing an enbackment. I suffered minor injuries at the time & did not go to the hospital. I called the police. The car was not driveable and towed to D'amcio autobody shop, scotrun, pa. The body work took 28 days to complete. When I picked up the car on 3/2/2010, Mr. D'amico told me the power steering was not working correctly & the car was not safe to drive. Greg smith ins appriaser agreed with Mr. D'amico and said there was absolutely no internal damage to the car causing the power steering now to be broken. I heard seveal times on news that ge was recalling 2005 -2010 Chevy Cobalts due to power steering failure. I called ge corporate customer svc dept and they gave me a incident #. they called me and I called them several times and they did not know exactly when car would be checked. They said they had past my info on. When I asked to speak to someone it the dept that now had my incidient they would not give the name of person. I have no car to drive to work & ge will no offer a solution. Ge should take responsibility for all monies past & present related to power steering incidents and accident. Ge should loan me a used car from a dealership until they fix car & buy back car. I will never feel safe again in the car.

- Henryville, PA, USA

problem #729

Feb 132010


  • 60,000 miles
I was in a motor vehicle collision on 2/13/10 due to loss of power steering. I have contacted Chevy and they are not accepting responsibility.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #728

Mar 042010


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While the contact was driving 35mph she noticed that the power steering light had appeared on the dashboard, moments later the vehicle no longer had power steering. The vehicle had not been diagnosed by the dealership and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 70000.

- New Cumberland, PA, USA

problem #727

Sep 012009


  • 0 miles


Chevy Cobalt 2006. Power steering goes completely out and have no control of the wheel. This happens every time the car is moving.

- Saginaw, TX, USA

problem #726

Feb 142010


  • 85,000 miles
14-Feb-10 approx 69mi. Trip power steering failed and power steering light and chime showed on dash. 25- Feb-10 approx 74mi. Trip power steering failed an power steering light and chime showed on dash. 5-March-10 approx 200mi. 5hr trip power steering failed 6 times. Each time car was pulled over turned off then restarted and within 20 to 30 min power steering would fail.

- Tyrone, PA, USA

problem #725

Feb 272010


  • miles
2006 Cobalt steering wheel locked up only going at 25 mph. Causing it to hit an embankment and damaging the front end of the car.

- Mount Vernon, KY, USA

problem #724

Feb 212010


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 25 mph on normal road conditions there was a sudden loss of power steering. The driver was able to continued driving with caution. There was extreme difficulty turning the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for inspection. The VIN was unavailable. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was 63,000.

- Greensburg, KY, USA

problem #723

Oct 012009


  • 30,000 miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt. A few months after my 3 year warranty expired, I noticed that something within the front end of the car would start to shake at certain speeds. I took my car to an independent garage & was told my power steering motor case was cracked. I called GM to find out if covered by an extended warranty & was told no. I asked the rep if there had been other complaints about Chevy Cobalt power steering, at first she said no, then she said none that she was aware of. The mechanic at the garage told me the part alone to repair this problem would be over $800. He thought it should be covered by a warranty as it is a safety issue. Since the mechanic said the price of the part should go down with time, I continue to drive my shaky Cobalt hoping the power steering will not go out on me.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #722

Feb 062010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 43,268 miles
I have a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt with approx 43,000 miles on it. Recently, I have been having power steering problems with my car. It randomly goes out when I am driving, and after shutting the car off and turning it back on, it seems fine until it does it again later. This is unsafe.

- Quantico, VA, USA

problem #721

Sep 052009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 50,638 miles
Chevy Cobalt 2006- power steering failure-light comes on indicating failure-turning off ignition and powering on restores power for a wile but fails power steering available during failure- mileage around 50,00-52,000 miles-dealer replaced 436 cpc &power steering module&power steering column & electrical steering column.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #720

Feb 202010


  • 59,500 miles
1. car was driven from parking space and was almost unable to turn the steering. 2. failure occurred one time and the vehicle was towed to the local dealership. 3. dealership gave me the option of replacing either the electric steering motor or the steering motor and the steering column due to electrical components in the column. Only the steering motor was replaced and the car seems to drive normally.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #719

Mar 032010


  • 12,000 miles
Power steering failure in 2006 Chevy Cobalt.

- Midland, TX, USA

problem #718

Feb 262010


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to have the steering system repaired and was told that the VIN was a part of the steering recall dated March 1, 2010. The contact was advised that she had to pay $1500 to have the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer stated that she might not be reimbursed and the dealer has refused to repair the vehicle until they receive payment. The current and failure mileages were 40,000.

- Washington Township, NJ, USA

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