really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,021 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.

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2008 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #13

Aug 122016


  • 0 miles


The speakers no longer work in front vehicle, cannot hear any warnings such as low fuel, no seat belts, low oil etc. This could be potentially dangerous if warnings cannot be heard. Read that others have experienced this as well. Also, seat belt clip button has broken off, can still use seat belt but the clip slides to floor when not used.

- Kingston, PA, USA

problem #12

Jul 222016


  • 90,000 miles
At approximately 90,000 miles, my 2008 Chevy Cobalt lt sedan intermittently displayed a "service airbag" indicator on the dashboard. The indicator would appear with and without a passenger in the front seat. I took the vehicle into a Chevy dealer on 07-22-2016 for a diagnosis. The dealer found history code B0081 and code 23. They stated the front passenger seat belt retractor was not working properly and causing the "service airbag" indicator. They stated the seat belt my not engage in the event of an accident. After researching online, I found service bulletin #270624, action # 10032334 describing the exact symptoms and error codes that my vehicle had. I advised the dealership of the service bulletin, they stated that since it was not a recall, the cost to replace the seat belt retractor was not covered by Chevy. I had the retractor repaired on 08-09-2016. I feel that since this is a known issue and could cause severe injury or death, Chevy should make this a recall and repair all affected vehicles.

- Berlin Center, OH, USA

problem #11

Jan 012013


  • 50,577 miles
One morning when I started my 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt with the 2lt trim package, the airbag readiness light came on and stayed on the whole time I was driving, and at the same time the passenger airbag status indicator off symbol was lit. The car had never been involved in an accident and the approximate millage on my car at this time was 50,577. There was a person setting in the passenger seat that weighed approximately 140 pounds, so the airbag should have been on. Ever since that day, every time I start my car the airbag readiness light and the passenger airbag off lite come on and stays on. I checked the connectors under the passenger seat and all were connected. I took my car, paid out of pocket to have diagnostic testing to get the error codes for this but no codes were shown. Recently I took it to the dealership for the ignition switch safety recall repaired. After reading Chevrolet Cobalt technical service bulletins about airbags, numerous complaints from other Cobalt owners about this exact problem, recalls that had the term airbags mentioned, I decided to tell my concern to the service employees and was told this wasn't covered, that I could pay for them to do testing on it. Seeing as I had already paid for the exact same testing before with no results as to what was wrong, I declined to have it done again. I contacted Chevrolet by email concerning this. They emailed me back asking for additional information. I replyed with that information and have never heard anything back from them. What do those of us who have safety concerns associated with the airbags need to do to get Chevrolet to acknoweledge that this is a problem that needs their attention seeing as this is a common problem with the Cobalts? seeing as Chevrolet has put out technical service bulletins concerning this exact problem proves they are aware of it but have yet to do anything about it.

- Sweetwater, TN, USA

problem #10

Jul 312008


  • 100 miles


On the Cobalt coupe there is a seat belt guide attached to the front seat headrest assemblies. For a taller driver that sits with the driver's seat in a rearward position, when leaning forward the seat belt can become pinched between the guide's opening due to the slot being along the horizontal (side) edge of the guide. When leaning forward this causes the belt to get caught, then if the driver leans back into the seat there are multiple inches of slack in the upper seat belt and it will not properly restrain the driver. The driver needs to constantly manually free and re-seat the belt inside the guide loop or leave it outside the guide.

- Twentynine Palms, CA, USA

problem #9

Sep 052014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 70,100 miles
Seat belt on passenger side continuously got jammed while seatbelt was on. Couldn't get out of seatbelt, had to cut seatbelt off.

- Winston-Salem, NC, USA

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problem #8

Aug 052014

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
"service seatbelt" warning displayed on dash. Dealer diagnosed the passenger side seatbelt retractor was defective. Dealer wants $500 for the repair. I found many complaints online with the same problem.

- Roswell, GA, USA

problem #7

Apr 282014


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the passenger side air bag indicator was illuminated and the coolant levels malfunctioned for over a week. The dealer stated that the passenger side seat belt pretensioner needed to be replaced. The coolant failure was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Bourbonnais, IL, USA

problem #6

Apr 282014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that the front driver and the passenger side seatbelts failed to retract intermittently. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 14V171000 (electrical system) and stated that the parts were not available. The dealer did not give a specific date when the parts would become available. The manufacturer could not provide an estimated date for when the contacts vehicle would receive the recall repairs. The vehicle was not repaired or diagnosed. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Pinconning, MI, USA

problem #5

Jul 012013

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
My front driver seat is hard to buckle and very hard to release. My repair airbag light came on while driving, and I took my car to the dealership. I was told the seat belt retractor was bad, and the cost to repair would be $648. I have read numerous complaints about the problems with the drivers side belt and the problem of the retractor going bad. With the number of complaints GM must know the problem with the seat belt system.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #4

Jan 012012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that upon inspection, it was noticed that the front driver's side seat belt had unraveled and the buckle was secured by only a quarter of material. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who informed the contact that the seat belt needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted but offered no assistance. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was approximately 71,000.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #3

Sep 242012


  • 96,500 miles


On 9/24/2012 at around 5 pm my wife and daughter were at the navarro county college to see a teacher, my daughter who had just had major surgery got locked into the front passenger side seat belt. After 10 minutes and 2 security guards and 2 nice gentlemen tried all they could they could not get my daughter seatbelt to come unbuckled so they had to cut her out of the seat belt. This is a serious incident that needs to be addressed, when I called the local dealer in ennis he said oh its no big deal ! he wasn't the one who just had surgery on her arm and was stuck in a seatbelt. I want someone to call me back on this! I think Chevy should let people know this can happen at any time. I also think Chevy should pay for the repairs.

- Ennis, TX, USA

problem #2

Feb 072012

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
The right rear seat belt will not realease to allow anyone to sit within the vehicle and buckle up. I brought this along to the attention of my service provider and was advised that this is accessory equipment and that I would be charged for the repair of this equipment along with a trouble shooting charge as to why it would not release. The tire pressure monitoring system has failed, thereby causing light to display on the dash. I have taken this back to the dealership for a third time and now a part has been ordered to replace the defective monitor and I'm being billed for this as well. I have been provided with a loaner, since the part was going to take overnight to arrive and the dealer's loaner has the same issue. I have obtaind the VIN for this vehicle of needed, but would like to know if either of these have been reported and the circumstances around the actual replacement costs.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #1

Mar 252011


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the front driver side tire went flat and the contact lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle flipped twice and crashed into a ditch. During the crash, the driver side seat belt did not secure the contact nor did the air bags deploy. The contact suffered two broken ribs and a broken pelvis. The vehicle was destroyed during the crash. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Longview, TX, USA

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