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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 1
Average Mileage:
52,346 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

Aug 272016


  • 100,000 miles


I have a 2006 Chevy Cobalt and in the first year I've had it I had encountered numerous problems. The first problem was that the radio that was installed started flashing and was not working whatsoever, an electrical issue. The next problem was the suspension after just 3 months of having it the shocks were worn out completely and had to get that fixed. Then just 1 month later my struts, tire rods, alignment, oil pressure sensor went to complete "S*" so now I'm struggling with bills after having to fix most things on my car I haven't fixed all the problems since I'm low on money having to keep and keep fixing this car. Then to top it off just this morning going to work the "power steering"light pops up and I cant even turn my steering wheel, I turned it off and then it worked fine but I'm very scared it will keep happening especially when going down the highway. Please help

- Bismarck, ND, USA

problem #31

Aug 032016


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the vehicle lunged forward and experienced violent shaking while driving 35 mph. The power steering warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and dealer, but the failure could not be replicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 87,000.

- Toms River, NJ, USA

problem #30

Sep 112015


  • 202,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph, the front passenger side axle fractured. The contact stated that the vehicle started to vibrate excessively. The contact was unable to control the vehicle, which caused the vehicle to veer off the road and crash into a ditch. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 202,000.

- Pachuta, MS, USA

problem #29

Jan 152015

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


The automobile went in for an inspection and it was found that both front lower control arms needed to be replaced which had also affected the brakes, rotors and the two front tires also being replaced. I have had cars with over two times more mileage and had no problems like this. Doing a little research on the internet this seems to be a wide spread problem, one that it seems GM is ignoring. Which resulted in a $1,300 repair bill..

- Peekskill, NY, USA

problem #28

Nov 252014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Customer got car fixed because of gas leak but consumer paid for parts and labor and wants money back. After having the lower control arm replaced, it was noted on the invoice, the vehicle had a gas leak. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealer, where the gas line had to be ordered, because it had rusted. The consumer stated after waiting weeks, the parts still had not arrived.

- Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA

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problem #27

Jun 072013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 189,442 miles
I bought car used and wasn't told of recalls so I had car one wk before it just broke down...the steering column is defective said the GM dealer but they said I'd have to pay out of pocket even though it is a factory installed part it being of poor quality has cause the steering gear to go bad and the half shaft that goes into transmission...if they know it's just a poorly designed steering column why aren't they being held responsible for the lack of responsibility as a car maker who know of this issue but they haven't been forced to offer a recall on the steering column....instead they expect the consumer to pay for their total lack of safety!!!! what am I suppose to do with a car that's unsafe to drive and my only car"?" not to mention after the recall on electric power steering they just put in has gone bad due to the steering gear & bad steering column...

- Mill, VA, USA

problem #26

Aug 022013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles


Boltwell ever since we had gotten this Chevy Cobalt we are having probes bad it is bad.yes we got a warranty. So we take it back so they can fix it so they had it for a week. Well they called us to come get it well we did and they told us they couldn't fix it because they wouldn't make no profit off of it they did and. So they had a white truck out there with more miles. So we ask for it and they said they couldn't do it. And now the warranty went up yesterday so now we are stuck and it cost. Us to 50 dollars a day to drive it costthirty miles.and use it to take my grandma back and forth to the clinic and it makes her very sick please help us get what we are paying for or what we wanted in the first place and that is a small truck we don't care it can be the same mileage and every thing and this place is a in bowie and it's lipscombs and I prefer not going back there if I can keep from it I recorded them telling us that and everything and I had all ready got the car and every thing you can tell what they checked to because it is still hanging from the car please contact me my grandma is 82 yrs old she has to make it to her appointments please.

- Bowie, TX, USA

problem #25

Apr 062014


  • 96,000 miles
I own a 2006 Chevy Cobalt that yes is involved in the ignition switch recall. Just putting the key in the ignition I am sure helps a bit. But I have been checking the ignition position when I stop at lights and stop signs and a few times the key has slipped a little not enough to bounce it into the off position. But enough that if I did not push it back into position and I hit a bump it would have. However it has not been recalled in the steering column recall. I have for months off and on had a whining noise in the steering wheel and when it does this the car is hard to steer. On the way home from work the other day the steering wheel started to whine when I was turning onto the highway and steering got harder. When I hit the highway the warning light came on and car started to ding at me. I pulled over and turned car off for a minute and turned it back on and car was fine. When I got home I looked to see if there were other Cobalt owners having this issue. And there are hundreds of 2006 owners and even more for 2005 having the issue. That is when I found they were recalling cars for this issue but only 2010 Cobalt's which they had recalled in 2010 for the same issue. But the rest of us are not included in the recall but are having the same problem. There is also another problem with the 2006 Cobalt's front end. I brought my car in a couple months ago because it was making a banging noise in the front end. And found that the lower tie rods and the bearing were bad on both sides of the car. I again hit the internet to see if other owners where having this issue and I found again hundreds of 2006 Cobalt owners where having this same issue. And many of them stated that they contacted Chevy to talk to them about the issue and they were told that it was not a safety issue so therefore Chevy was not going to recall the car and fix the problem it was our issue.

- East Hampton, NY, USA

problem #24

Apr 012008


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would drift to the left. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the front passenger side control arm bushing was defective. The bushing was replaced. The contact also indicated that a popping noise was present from the front of the vehicle. The dealer diagnosed that the stabilizing bushing that was connected to the engine sub frame was damaged. The vehicle was repaired and the defect was remedied. The manufacturer was notified and no solution was offered. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #23

Sep 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Driving on 127 North toward lansing Michigan at 75 miles per hour when the engine lost control causing the car to go no faster than 15 miles per hour on the highway. This is a safety risk to the driver as well as others. I have replaced the gas peddle sensor which did not correct the problem, next I will replace the throttle body. The codes can be reset to correct the problem temporary if you purchase a $300 dollar code reader. I have also had to replace the front bearings twice. On 2/16/2014 I hit a pot hole and knocked a bolt loose that holds the cars frame together so at this point the car is unsafe to drive. At least I'm hoping its loose and not broke. The car shakes terribly due to the frame bolt. This is a big safety concern.

- Jackson, MI, USA

problem #22

Nov 192013


  • 122,000 miles


After two hub failures, stabilizer link failures, ignition coil failure, rear defroster failure, power locks failure, and now the steering rack is making a grinding noise and causing premature wear to the front right tire. I believe there is a tsb on the steering rack. This should be a recall I won't ever by a GM again.

- Lake Geneva, WI, USA

problem #21

Apr 162012


  • 43,000 miles
Have been told various times I need new struts and shocks. I think this is ridiculous seeing as though I have do not have many miles on my car and the year of my car. Dealerships have told me that it does not make sense that a car a 2006 and with low miles on it should need shocks and struts right now. I have had nothing but problems with this car since I paid it off. Wheel baring, shocks struts, problems getting key out of ignition, headlights and tail lights leaking water into it, slve cylinder and master cylinder, fuel pump. I will never buy a Chevy again!

- Oxford, MA, USA

problem #20

Jan 252009

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
Crash car, steering became difficult to handle. Ran off road to right hit bank and flipped car several time. Car was going a little fast, but this car should have been able to handle the speed. One guy had a injury to his arm and the other was thrown from the car leading to his death.

- Ocean Isle, NC, USA

problem #19

Sep 012012


  • 60,000 miles
Since this vehicle reached 60000mi I have replaced the control arm bushings twice. When these bushings go bad they cause steering issues, braking issues and handling issues. These bushings are poorly engineered and I think that all vehicles with this control arm design should be covered under a recall. I have a 2006 Chevy HHR with the same problem. These bushings are mounted horizontally and are supposed to flex horizontally with a vertical bolt through them. Impossible to do efficiently. I would not be surprised by any number of accidents that could be stemmed from this.

- Port Washington, WI, USA

problem #18

Jan 092012


  • miles
I bought the car in November of 2011. Nit even 3 months later, a very loud. Clunky noise started every time I go over a bump no matter how big or small. I've been to multiple mechanics and have been told my sway bar links, as well as my outer tie rod ends are bad. Then another said it was my bushings. I just want the noise to stop and want to know why is the car sound like its falling apart? very disappointed with Chevrolet for. Not the best 1st car.

- Rock Island, IL, USA

problem #17

Mar 082007


  • 34,000 miles
Loud clunking noise from front suspension, replaced control arm bushings and noise went away temporarily but came back.

- Bonner Springs, KS, USA

problem #16

Mar 012012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. Consumer states several issues with vehicle related to recalls the consumer stated there was a smell of gasoline inside the vehicle, five sensors were bad, there was a problem with the fuel pump and fuel injection system. The RPM's jumped, when the vehicle was in cruise control mode, the cruise control would shut off for no reason. The consumer had a difficult time starting the vehicle, after she filled the tank, the vehicle would steer to the left, and there were times when the vehicle would jump out of gear.

- Ripley, WV, USA

problem #15

Feb 012008


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving approximately 30 mph, the steering wheel began to vibrate excessively. The contact stated the failure usually occurred when driving over 60 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing where the technicians stated that the upper control arms on the front driver's side would have to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but to no avail. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Lebanon, IN, USA

problem #14

Dec 192011


  • 40,000 miles
My 2006 Chevy Cobalt had wheel bearing issues starting at 40,000 miles. At 50,000 miles my front end suspension (lower control arm and bushings), struts, and doors locks started acting up. My door locks will jam and I will be trapped in my car until they (door locks) decide to work again. Fortunately for me usually only one stops working at a time. The dealer says that it just needs greasing; I have tried every grease under the sun and none has fixed the problem. This is a serious safety issue and this car should have a recall to at least fix the doors!!!.the dealer wants to charge over $1,000 per door for repairs. I have heard of some peoples doors never opening again and the door having to be cut off to be repaired. If something were to happen you need to be able to quickly and safely get out of the car. Please please please recall this door issue on the Cobalt!

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #13

Sep 012011


  • miles
Vehicle has various problems which started with the fuel gauge going to empty not matter how much fuel there was, this issue was never fixed properly. Front suspension rattles and lower control arm bushings are cracked, diagnosed, but not repaired by Chevrolet. Interior dome light has a short as does the radio, intermittent. Also paint is peeling off of the door handles, radio and dashboard control buttons. And just recently there is an odor of gasoline coming from somewhere on the vehicle. The vehicle has a little over 21,000 miles on it.

- Peekskill, NY, USA

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