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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
48,692 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2006 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 072010


  • 82,849 miles


On June seventh, 2010, I was driving on the I-95 expressway. Suddenly, I lost the control of my car which was hit by another car driven for reymy w. portes (crash report # [xxx]). on February 21th, 2011, my husband, [xxx] had similar accident with his 2008 Chevy Cobalt. The fact that both crashes were so similar made dubious about our responsibility on them. On December 12, 2011 my husband presented a complaint to F. H.S. M. V. D. M. S. (complaint # [xxx]), on December 16, 2011 its answer was: "your complaints do not fall within its jurisdiction. Dejected, he didn"T any more action. I have just received from GM a warning about a defect which relates to motor vehicles safety exists in 2005-2007 model year (my) Chevrolet Cobalt, then I read on tv news, and internet, that GM issued that it's possible that the air bags might not deploy if there is an accident". in this moment we realized that both the 2006 and 2008 Chevy Cobalt air bags" did not deploy, regardless both vehicles crashes were on front bumper and maroone collision center charge to allstate the amount of $4183.16 to repair my car. We have received a significant amount of letters from lawyers, as well as allstate insurance dealing with injures damages and monetary compensation. Allstate paid to Mr. Portes the sum of $3 000, consequently our allstate insurance premium was raised substantially. This entire situation had caused stress, economic problems and lack of confidence in both my wife I. because both crashes happened in the afternoon rush hour, I-95 traffic was crowded and slow, but in other conditions and as consequence of air bag malfunction my wife and might have died. For the reasons explaining above, I, the writer, demand from GM a monetary compensation for the psychological, legal, and monetary problems caused by my car malfunction. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- North Miami Beach, FL, USA

problem #5

Jul 012013


  • 113,000 miles
Hit a pot hole, not a very big one going less than the speed limit and the rim bent. Later, since I could not afford to replace the rim, the tire exploded and I was stranded 3 hours from home. Since then 2 more wheels have bent and cannot be fixed only replaced with more crappy rims.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #4

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 #3

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 #2

Nov 282008


  • 34,300 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. While driving 60 mph, the contact stated that the front end of the vehicle shakes very badly. The failure occurs without warning. The shaking is so severe that the contact occasionally loses control of the vehicle. The manufacturer advised him to take the vehicle to the dealer. The vehicle was taken to the dealer three times and each time he was informed that there were failures with the rims. The rims were repaired, changed, and balanced three different times at the cost of $120-$330. The failure still persists. The failure mileage was 34,300.

- Ann Harbor, MI, USA

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problem #1

Nov 022006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles
(1) car shuts itself off while I was driving down the freeway. During@ rush hour I veered away ( w-no power to car ),from traffic behind me. Parked, shut car off, took key out of ignition, then replaced and started it back up, and proceeded enroute. (2) after market cruise control failure to shut off and turn on. (3) result of above (2)after market cruise control takes its own mind and decides to fully accelerate until gearing down in hopes it 'awakes' the computer (automatic transmission),then cruise control will finally shut off. (consequence ) passenger had a heart attack. I called a taxi. "he's ok" (4) service air bags light have been on since 20, K miles I now have 47, xxx miles. (5)stock tires and rims wobble with irritating continous noises -can't ge rid of it. (6) stock seats driver and passenger sides both were installed incorrectlythey are really slantedlike this ( / \ ). (7) a clunking bucket sounding noise fills very slowly, (health problems) an odor is always present leaving me light headed, nautious while driving, dizzy exiting car, and with breathing problems -like shortness of breath. I have severe back problems now, and can not sit in the car for more than 20 min, upon a break of fresh air and a walk for the spine. (8) brakes sound and feel (when applied),scratchy.@5,000 miles the Chevy dealership had to turn and shave allready my disc brakes saying they were worn in. (9) my heater makes a lot of noises when using it. (10) acceleration hesitation.

- San Jose, CA, USA

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