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:
8 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,364 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 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #6

Sep 242009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles


Hit electric pole and went airborne. Airbag non-deployment. Updated 02/13/10 the consumer stated she hit her head on the steering wheel. Updated 02/16/10 updated 05/05/10 updated 03/10/10 the consumer believed the steering problem caused her accident and now a recall has been issued. Updated 03/05/10

- Smith Center, KS, USA

problem #5

Jan 122010

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that he was driving approximately 35 mph when the steering failed. The vehicle was turned on and off and then reset itself. The vehicle will be taken to the dealer on tomorrow to be repaired. The failure mileage was 45,000. Updated 01/19/10 the dealer replaced the electric power steering motor. Updated 01/20/10.

- Corinth, TX, USA

problem #4

Dec 182009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. When driving the power steering warning light intermittently illuminates on the instrument control panel. And then steering becomes difficult. After restarting the vehicle the error code will reset. The dealer was contacted and he was advised to have the vehicle diagnosed and repaired if necessary, but at the owners expense. The failure mileage was 44000. The current mileage was 44995. Updated 01/20/10. The power steering motor was replaced. Updated 01/21/10.

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #3

Jan 142009


  • 74,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 45 mph, the contact noticed that the steering column was becoming stiff when attempting to turn the wheel. The steering wheel locked and became very difficult to maneuver. The contact was able to safely steer the vehicle to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the electronic steering sensor failed. The vehicle was repaired at the cost of $802.62. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 74,000 and current mileage was 74,500. Updated 03-09-09 the steering position sensor failed. The dealer replaced the electronic steering column. Updated 03/13/09.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #2

Dec 112007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
Power steering doesn't work.

- Elburn, IL, USA

problem #1

Nov 152007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,209 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 40 mph, the contact heard a beeping sound and the power steering failed completely. The vehicle had to be restarted. The power steering failure began intermittently, but has now become more frequent. The current and failure mileages were 6,209.

- Bath, PA, USA

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