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 7 of 56)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #997

Oct 272014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


While driving, my power steering flashed on and it became difficult to drive. I understand that there was a recall issued four years ago but the problem continues. I would like to see GM assist me in the appropriate way to handle this issue.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #996

Nov 022009


  • 32,150 miles
I have owned my 2006 Chevy Cobalt since 2008. Starting in 2009 all the way until now 2014 I have had issues with the car that are related to the ignition switch recall. I took my car in to the Chevy dealer to take care of the ignition switch recall on November 5, 2014. I got my car back the same day, they replaced the ignition switch and gave me two new keys. Surprise! two days later on November 7, 2014 my car again had the exact same problems related to the ignition switch recall that it did before I took it in for the recall fix. Hence, Chevy's "recall ignition switch fix" does not solve the problem with these cars! my car still does the following things even after the ignition switch fix that is supposed to solve these problems. Whenever it pleases it will lose electrical power and turn off the engine, leaving me stuck in the middle of a busy highway, this has happened on numerous occasions!! as if that isn't bad enough there's more! the power steering light flashes, the check engine light comes on, the service airbag light comes on, the gauges on the dash completely stop working properly the speedometer needle goes haywire moving from 0 mph to 60 mph back and forth non-stop when I'm not even accelerating to those speeds. The RPM gauge does the exact same thing. The car jolts forward uncontrollably, like it is having a problem shifting especially when the RPM is between 2000 and 3000. When you go to brake you have to slam the brakes all the way down because you lose your normal braking power the car skids as you're braking and continues to jolt forward uncontrollably. Oh and on top of all of this sometimes the power steering completely goes out leaving you with all of the problems mentioned above and you can't steer properly! something needs to be done immediately! the ignition switch recall fix does not work! these cars should not be on the road period.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #995

Nov 042014


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated the power steering failed causing the contact to use excessive force to maneuver the vehicle. The power steering light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 52,000.

- Warminster, PA, USA

problem #994

Mar 122014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 820,000 miles


Had my car recalled for the ignition recall and had my car sitting at the dealer ship waiting on the part for 6 months. Received my car back in August 2014 and find that having several problems. The ignition locks the key does not open the door, electric problems, lights go out and than come on, ac has rattle when turn on high, car jerks. These problem have occurred since I have received my car back after 6 months sitting at the dealership because of the GM recall. I had a rent a car and paid over $600 in gas and had to get the window repaired from a chip that got bigger, from a small one when I got it. Had to get an oil change because it was low on oil and new wipers. I would never had to have done that with my car. It cost me more money to have a rent a car and I never got reimbursed. Just got a thank you. I feel I should get something out of this weather I am injured or not.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #993

Oct 162014


  • 115,000 miles
My power steering went out on my 2006 Chevy Cobalt while driving in a parking lot. This resulting in an increased difficulty steering at low speeds. I took it to a local Chevrolet dealership for repair and although they replaced the power steering motor, which was under a recall, they also need to replace the whole steering column assembly since it too was damaged, as replacing the motor did not fix the issue. The dealership could not confirm or deny that the issue of loss of power steering being the result of the motor failing or the steering column failing. They also could not confirm or deny if it was the motor failing that caused the failure in the column to need replaced as well. If it was indeed not the motor that failed and instead the steering column failing due to manufacturer error does that not produce a similar issue of safety as the failing of the motor (which is currently recalled).

- St Charles, IL, USA

problem #992

Aug 142014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Upon starting the vehicle, the power steering indicator illuminated and the vehicle became extremely difficult to maneuver. The power steering resumed normal operation once the vehicle was warmed up. The vehicle was previously repaired twice according to NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 12/09/14 updated 9/30/2015

- Lumberton, NC, USA

problem #991

Sep 112014


  • 76,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving at an unknown speed, the steering wheel became difficult to turn and seized without warning. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power steering motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 76,000.

- Redford, MI, USA

problem #990

Aug 262014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
The power steering light comes on causing the vehicle to not want to stop and the back end to push forward. Steering gets tight. I just bought this car 2 months ago it has a power steering motor recall and to me this car should not have been sold to anyone. It's dangerous..I took it back to find out what it was and this is what they told me today 9/16. I bought this car at a dealership. Now what do I do?

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #989

Jul 172012


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel seized as the power steering warning light illuminated. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V073000 (steering) however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 136,000.

- Lumberton , NC, USA

problem #988

Aug 252014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 148,000 miles
While driving the car the power steering goes out and makes the car hard to drive. The steering pump has been changed 2 times since original recall, but yet the problem still exists.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #987

May 062014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Power steering failure seems to occur at random times, and becoming more frequent. There is a "power steering" display on dashboard and a warning chime. Then the speedometer and RPM's go bonkers, the car repeatedly jumps forward abruptly, and the power steering goes out. Sometimes I can park, turn the car off and back on, and the issue goes away, and sometimes it does not. This happened last year, but the power steering motor recall (done in July of 2013) seemed to fix it, but only temporarily. It is irritating and scary to have to drive my car like this, and I am concerned for my safety during the upcoming winter months where I will certainly be driving on ice and snow. I hope there will be another recall to permanently solve this issue. Thank you.

- Soldotna, AK, USA

problem #986

Aug 192014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
I was driving down the road. I reached 55 and my engine shut off. I had no brakes or steering and went to right in ditch and hit a telephone pole.

- Rutledge, MN, USA

problem #985

Aug 192014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
I was driving down the road. I just reached 55 mph. My ignition shut off and I lost steering and brakes. I went to the right into the ditch and hit a telephone pole.

- Rutledge, MN, USA

problem #984

Aug 162014


  • 125,331 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at 70 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact mentioned that the steering seized causing the vehicle to flip over and crash into trees. A police report was filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 125,331.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #983

Jan 102013


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the steering wheel. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was not available.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #982

Jun 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering sensor illuminated intermittently. The dealer informed the contact to turn off and restart the vehicle in order to reset the computer system. The failure persisted and the vehicle stalled. The VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign number: 10V073000 (steering). The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000. Updated 10/8/14 updated 03/23/2015

- Verona, PA, USA

problem #981

Jul 122014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 61,594 miles
My dealer drove the vehicle and I was told that the steering column needed to be replaced to solve the problem. There are metal bearings encased in plastic in this column. Over time the metal will rub against the plastic and cause play in the bearing. The play will cause chatter when going over bumps and other safety issues. By doing research on this matter I found that there were lawsuits placed against the maker or the steering column due to the fact that General Motors had to replace so many of these columns under warranty because of this defect. I contacted GM about this matter and was given a case number and was told that they had no way of telling me if the problem had been fixed or the steering column had been modified to fix the problem. I was told the same by my dealer. General Motors told me over the phone that one option I had to solve the problem was to file this complaint with you. There is a bulletin that was issued on this problem and I was told today by my dealer that the bulletin had been cancelled by General Motors. Why it was cancelled is a mystery. My dealer advised against me changing the column since it is a good possibility that the problem will arise again with the new column.

- East Peoria , IL, USA

problem #980

Jun 162014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Light goes on and power steering comes on the screen transmition does not shift right no power steering the car can't be driven safely 43000 miles and it was already fixed once.

- Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #979

Jul 112014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
After having ignition switch replaced by recall, 2 weeks later we lost the use of power steering assist, the service airbag light is on, steer wheel hard to turn, feels like manual steering, we took vehicle in for power assist motor replacement under recall warranty, but did not fix problem?, dealership says that steer column needs replaced but, we have to pay $924 to replace. Out of pocket. Pickup from dealership and took to local service center for another opinion.

- Van Buren, AR, USA

problem #978

Jul 192014


  • 141,286 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while reversing out of a parking space, the power steering failed and no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle made a left turn and there was a sudden increase in engine rpms. Shortly after, the vehicle resumed normal function. The failure occurred on two different occasions. The manufacturer was not contacted. There was no diagnosis or repairs completed on the vehicle. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 141,286.

- Rochester, NY, USA

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