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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,076 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #2

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 #1

Nov 152008


  • 61,100 miles
Gear shift breaks so ignition key gets stuck in the ignition. Have to replace the whole shift assembly. This should be a recall on GM's part.

- North Evans, NY, USA

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