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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,210 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

problem #10

May 082008


  • 45,052 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that when the keys were in the ignition while the vehicle was parked, she was unable to remove the keys from the ignition. The gear shift selector was also stuck in the park position and could not be removed. The dealer replaced the ignition at the owner's expense. In addition, while driving at speeds of 20 mph, the power steering locked without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the steering column was replaced a second time, at the owner's expense. The manufacturer stated that there were no recalls and the warranty was not valid. The manufacturer would not provide any assistance. The failure mileage was 45,052 and the current mileage was 72,000.

- College Park, GA, USA

problem #9

Jan 212009


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated while driving at 25mph she would hear a click from the vehicle and the power steering would shut off making the vehicle difficult to steer. The contact has taken the vehicle to a dealer and the dealer informed the contact that there is a tear in the steering column and it needs to be repaired. The contact feels a recall should be issued due to the amount of complaints that are filed regarding the power steering. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Mickleton, NJ, USA

problem #8

Apr 192009


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the power steering failed while driving approximately 35 mph and it became difficult to control the steering wheel. She turned the vehicle off, restarted it and the power steering corrected itself; however, when she began driving, the power steering failed again. The dealer informed her that the entire steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired to-date. She has not spoken with the manufacturer. The current mileage was approximately 50,000. The failure mileage was approximately 40,000.

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 022009


  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt ss. The contact stated when driving, he intermittently loses power steering. As consequence his risk of vehicle crash is increased.the steering column was replaced twice. However, after the second repair a technician advised him that the component would not be replaced under warranty coverage. As of current date the failure has not been remedied.the failure mileage was 45,000. The current mileage was unknown.

- La Punte, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 192009


  • 41,100 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving various speeds, the power steering fails. As a result, the steering becomes difficult to turn and the vehicle becomes difficult to drive. Whenever the power steering fails, the contact restarts the vehicle and it resets itself back to normal. The dealer could not determine the cause of the failure. The failure mileage was 41,100. Updated 06/09/09. The steering was replaced at no cost. Updated 06/09/09.

- Branson, MO, USA

problem #5

Feb 022008

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,243 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Approximately four months ago, the steering column rattled whenever the contact attempted to stop his vehicle. The dealer repaired the failure for free. Currently, the failure has recurred. The current and failure mileages were 31,243.

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 152007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,700 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 10 mph on dirt or rugged roads, the steering column would rattle. The failure would not occur on smooth surfaces. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they stated that the steering column was faulty. The current and failure mileages were 51,700. Updated 03-04-08

- Lena, MS, USA

problem #3

Aug 212007

(reported on)


  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt with several different issues customer states that car is a lemon and that she drove the 2007 Cobalt and it ran beautifully* the consumer stated the entire shifter system had to be replaced. The ignition key would not turn in the ignition, the steering column was replaced and the system was reprogrammed, the rotors were machined.

- Glen Burnie, MD, USA

problem #2

Mar 012007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact is dissatisfied that her vehicle is only one year old and is under recall # 07V014000 (structure). She received the recall notice in March of 2007. The contact has already had the upper steering column replaced, but is still hearing a clumping noise. She has notified two dealers in her area, but neither have called her back because they have not received the parts for the vehicle. The contact has waited over a month to have the recall repair work performed. The vehicle has been at the dealer since February. The engine size was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 24,000.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 072006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 14,000 miles
My car makes a very loud rattling sound that is coming from the steering column/rack and pinion. GM Canada has told me that they do not have a fix for the problem at this time, but not to be worried as it is not a safety concern at this time.

- Regina, Sk., 00, USA

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