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 40 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #337

Dec 072009


  • 102,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 65 mph the power steering light illuminated on the dashboard and then the power steering failed. The steering column was replaced one year ago. The contact has not taken the vehicle back to the dealer. The contact stated that this is a major safety issue that could result in someone losing their life. The current and failure mileage were 102,000.

- Thayne, WY, USA

problem #336

Dec 072009


  • miles
I have lost power steering in my 2006 Chevy Cobalt. It is dangerous and nothing has been done. How is it that GM is not taking responsibility over this safety hazard, but they are suing the company that made these electrical power steering? detroit General Motors co. Has sued a supplier, saying it has spent more than $30 million fixing problems in the steering systems of the Chevrolet Cobalt, its best-selling small car, and other vehicles. GM said customers have complained about unusual rattles, "clunks" and other noises. It pinpointed the flaw to "excessive gear backlash, " which causes problems in the steering column under certain driving conditions. The lawsuit names jtekt North America Inc., based in Plymouth, mich., and an affiliated company, jtekt automotive Virginia Inc. Of daleville, va. GM said it wants to be paid for replacing thousands of parts under customer warranty claims on the Cobalt, pursuit, G5, HHR and other cars, starting with 2005 model year. By fall, the cost had exceeded $30 million, and "GM's damages are expected to continue to increase as additional warranty claims are made, " the automaker's lawsuit said. "jtekt contends the components all met the specifications and testing requirements that GM gave it, " said bob haddad, a lawyer for the supplier. "the issues do not affect the operator's ability to control the vehicle. This is a noise issue." Changes were made at GM's request, and jtekt continues to provide steering assemblies, haddad said Monday. The steering systems are in tens of thousands of GM cars. Court papers do not indicate whether the company considers this a safety issue. A GM spokesman, alan adler, had no immediate comment. The lawsuit was filed in August in macomb county circuit court, amended there in October and moved Nov. 17 to federal court in detroit.

- Auburndale, FL, USA

problem #335

Dec 062009


  • 85,000 miles
I have a 2006 Cobalt ss. It has 85000 miles on it and when driving it from Florida to Virginia my power steering shut off 5 times and everytime I stopped the car and turned it back on the problem went away but randomly returned this is a serious issue as I thought my car was going to swerve off the highway. Thanks

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #334

Nov 302009


  • 70,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that I brought 2 years ago. I have had many problems with the power steering in my car. There have been many incidents when I am driving that my power steering will go out. While I am driving the car will shut off and it will jump. I have taken the car to the mechanic on several occasions where they tell me they can not find anything wrong. I have found that if the car sits for about two weeks or more then the computer will reset itself. Just recently the power steering went up in the car while I was driving home and the speedometer starting jumping around and I could not tell how fast I was driving and if I went under a 40 mph the car would jump and shut off if I had to stop. Now the car's power steering has gone up again and I can't turn the wheel at all. I have found that if I drive the car for a hour or more straight on the beltway then I have the most problems with the power steering unit. Most recently the problem has been occurring ever two weeks and I am unable to drive the car until it resets (if it resets).

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #333

Nov 202009


  • 67,000 miles
I have A2006 Cobalt ltzand the power steering keeps going out when I drive down the road, also I have a very bad shaking problem with it, also I have noise coming from back of the car.............please help, I have went to the dealership, and they want to charge me a outrageous price to fix it.....this is a very dangerous problem..................eugene offenberger.........

- Marietta, OH, USA

problem #332

Aug 212009


  • 60,000 miles
I have 06' Chevy Cobalt ls and the power steering is gone. The power steering light come on everytime I turn the car on and drive away. I'm taking a big risk every time I get behind the wheel but have no choice right now.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #331

Nov 162009


  • miles


I have a 2006 Cobalt ltz, and the power steering keeps going out when, I drive down the road, also I have shaking and noise, and I had my grandchild in the car, and the power steering went out which could have had a wreck...this is a very bad problem, also I have shaking and noise, when I drive down the road...........please help!!

- Marietta, OH, USA

problem #330

Sep 012009


  • 70,000 miles
I bought a 2006 Chevy Cobalt about six months ago. Three months after I bought it the power steering began to go out. It does not take power steering fluid there is a ps motor in the steering column. Everyt time I drive my car it goes out, it is not just every once and a while. When I restart my car the power steering will come back on. But within 100 yards it will go out again. The first time it went out I was going around a sharp curve and I nearly lost control of the car. The car behind me had to slam on there breaks because I started to fishtail. This is a major safety issue for me and other drivers and something really needs to be done about it. There is page after page of people who have the same problem. It seems to me that with so many people having this problem that there would be a recall on it. Obviously something was done wrong. It is dangerous and basically every time I get into my car I am risking my life. Its not worth it and you guys being a safety administration should really look into it.

- Bloomfield, KY, USA

problem #329

Nov 252009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,230 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph he noticed that the power steering light was illuminated on the dashboard. Within a few minutes, the contact lost complete power steering. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 105,230. Updated 03/12/10. The consumer believed the problem was with the PCM. Updated 09/21/10

- Bonifay, FL, USA

problem #328

Dec 012009


  • 88,000 miles
Yesterday I was driving with my wife in our 2006 Chevy Cobalt and without any warning the power steering failed in the middle of a turn. I had to pull with everything I had to keep from hitting a car in the other lane on the road I was turning onto. Luckily I was driving, I don't think the ending would have been as pleasant if my wife was behind the wheel. Keep in mind that the power steering fails all of the sudden, we have had nothing but problems with this car, and my wife just reminded me that we had the steering column replaced once because of a vibration. Please push for a recall on this vehicle, we cannot afford to fix GM's poor engineering mistake. Thank you

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #327

Nov 292009


  • 40,016 miles


My 2006 Chevy Cobalt car has just 40K miles. The dash board began to show "power steering" warning. And then the steering power is lost. I searched online and found many complains on such problem for Chevy Cobalt.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #326

Aug 052009


  • 65,001 miles
I was making a U turn the first time my power steering went out, I thought I was out of gas or something so I turned the key to off and restarted the car, it was fine for a while maybe 20 min. And then it went out on me again going around a corner then I realized it was my power steering that's when I found out it was completely comes and goes as it pleases now!!!!! (this is a 2006 Chevy Cobalt !!!!!!!!!!!! )

- Cottonwood, CA, USA

problem #325

Oct 312009


  • miles
I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and the power steering has completely gone. Its 1000 dollars to fix it and I am having constant problems with this car.

- Charlton , MA, USA

problem #324

Nov 052009


  • 65,000 miles
On more than one occasion the steering has stopped working. Its intermittent and unpredictable and can happen at any speed.

- Calhoun, GA, USA

problem #323

Nov 212009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 70 mph the power steering failed without prior warning. She was able to pull to the side of the road, and turn the engine off. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The technician stated that they could make the repair, but the failure would resurfaced because the component was defective. The failure mileage was 35,000. Updated 12/22/09 updated 12/22/09

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #322

May 082009


  • 49,000 miles
At 49,000 miles my 2006 Chevy Cobalt steering goes out intermittently. The dealer could not get it do anything wrong. Now that the warranty is out, it does it about once a week now. If you turn the car off and wait a few minutes, then turn it back on it will work again. This is very dangerous in that you try to turn, expecting it to work and the car keeps straight! close calls but no crash yet. Please help us! this thing is too dangerous to drive like this. After seeing all of the complaints on the internet, I want to know why it has not been recalled?

- Forney, TX, USA

problem #321

Nov 232009


  • 38,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. It has 38,000 miles on it. I was driving and with no warning my dashboard flashed "power steering" and at the exact same time my power steering went out. Needless to say I was on a busy well traveled 4 lane road and almost didn't make the turn to get off. I couldn't even park the car. Not exactly a safe situation. Took the car to the dealership & I'm told it's not covered because I have 38,000 miles so I'm barely over my warranty period. They then tell you it is probably the power steering motor but you don't know until you replace that for $460 and if the message still comes on for power steering you will need a new steering column for an additional $700-$800. After doing some research and calling local Chevy dealers and speaking to people who don't want to give their names for fear of losing their jobs it has been become clear that the steering in a Cobalt is a huge issue and is happening to a lot of people. My dealership has even admitted that my car is in great shape and not been driven badly or beat up on. Please do something to help the people that can't afford to replace something that is defective to begin with. Also, the part is on back order for obvious reasons with so many people having problems so I am without a car for a minimum of a week and there's not a guarantee it won't be longer.

- Warminster, PA, USA

problem #320

Nov 232009


  • 48,526 miles
Power steering signal comes on while driving and it shuts off completely thus making it hard to turn at any time.

- Brownsville, TX, USA

problem #319

Sep 052009


  • 38,000 miles
1. my wife and I purchased a 2006 vehicle for my 20 year old daughter roughly a year ago. Everything was fine for the first 9 months. After that one day when my daughter was driving the vehicle it began to shake and the power steering light began to flash and she had no control over the vehicle, she had to pull over, turn off the vehicle and restart it and the car was fine until she got home. Everytime you drive the car literally every 2 miles you have to pull over and turn the car off and start it again, it is extremely dangerous and a hassle. We took the car to the dealership and they said because we didn't purchase a warranty it would cost 2,000 dollars to fix. Due to the poor economy we cannot afford to fix the car, but yet we put down 3,000 on the vehicle and we continue to be stuck with 350 car payments every month for a vehicle we cannot even drive. Something needs to be done about this car, we are extremely worried about anyone that has one of these cars. The car is not worth the money we are spending on it. We have no idea what to do about the situation and we are in a horrible position.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #318

Oct 202009


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 45 mph the power steering warning light illuminated on the instrument panel, and then there was a loss of power steering. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, and the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000. The current mileage was 81,000.

- Ward, AR, USA

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